Telescopic Sight- Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: December 11, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Telescopic Sight from Vivid Voltage would’ve been a great card…if it weren’t for that added bit of text.
This is a Pokémon Tool card which lets your Pokémon deal 30 extra damage to your opponent’s Benched Pokemon-GX or Benched Pokémon-V. The fact is that you’ll never hit for anything extra against the Defending Pokémon. In order to make the most of Telescopic Sight, you would need a Pokémon with an attack that hits multiple Benched Pokemon at once (Rillaboom’s Drum Roll will do 40 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon) or a single target that hits hard (Cramorant-V’s Spit Shot can do 190 with the tool). But even after all that, almost all of the time, Weakness and Resistance AREN’T applied to Benched Pokemon! This may or may not matter depending on the attacker in question, but looking back at Cramorant-V, it can take out anything with 190 or less HP, and however many Galarian Zizzagoon you use, it can reach as high as 230.
Bench hits are a rare gem but not nonexistent. Some small bench hits have no drawback while bigger bench hits like Cramorant-V’s Spit Shot and PikaRom’s Tag Bolt have hefty drawbacks: the former having you discard all energies attached to it while the latter uses up your GX attack of the game. I don’t know a deck that wins only by damaging Benched Pokemon and never hitting the Defending Pokémon. Obviously, this card is useless if there’s no Benched Pokemon to target.
Telescopic Sight (SW – Vivid Voltage 160/185, 203/185) has an unusual effect. This Pokémon Tool increases the damage done by your attacks to your opponent’s Pokémon-GX and Pokémon V by 30, but only against Pokémon-GX and Pokémon V on your opponent’s Bench. Yeah, that place where the effects of damage increasing Tools normally do not apply. Weakness and Resistance are still not applied. It does not grant a Pokémon the Ability to attack the Bench. If an attack hits a Bench target but doesn’t normally do damage (it hits the Bench with an effect, like placing damage counters), Telescopic Sight provides no bonus. Nor does Telescopic Sight confer any damage bonus against your opponent’s Active. It does apply to each Benched Pokémon-GX and Pokémon V you hit, so it could effectively add a lot of damage all at once.
Much like Memory Capsule, this is niche. Unlike Memory Capsule, it is a bit easier to spot what should use it, and what to use it against. There are a decent number of decks running Cramorant V for its “Spit Shot” attack: [CCC] to do 160 to the opposing Benched Pokémon of your choice, with the additional drawback of having to discard all Energy attached to Cramorant V. This is great in decks with compatible Energy acceleration, as – ideally – you play Cramorant V from your hand to Bench, attach enough to it so it can immediately attack, promote it to the Active position, and OHKO a Benched Dedenne-GX for game. What Telescopic Sight contributes is another key target: Crobat V comes into OHKO range!
Would it really be worth using one each of these cards for this? Maybe. 16th-place at the Champions League Yokohama did, but players running a similar deck finished both higher and lower than that. There may be other attackers that can use this card well, and of course there is no problem with using the combo to take out a different, compatible target. It is just most Basic Pokémon V, let alone larger targets like Pokémon VMAX, are going to be outside of the OHKO range. You can’t up your attackers damage with stuff like Leon, either, though you could go for a combo with Galarian Zigzagoon (Sword & Shield 117/202), maybe even going so far as to also use Galarian Obstagoon (Sword & Shield 119/202; SW – Vivid Voltage 198/185; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH059). More likely, though, is just being able to score the follow-up KO on a slightly larger/less injured target.
Telescopic Sight doesn’t seem as good for Expanded, but I may be missing some crazy combos. Still, while there are more Pokémon able to use Telescopic Sight in Expanded, there are more counters to it, and just more competition; +30 to certain targets on the Bench, or +20 damage when attacking your opponent’s Active (whatever it is) via Muscle Band? While they’re not as common as they used to be, Telescopic Sight also won’t bother Pokémon-EX. In the Limited Format, you need something that can hit your opponent’s Benched Pokémon V. Not only is it unlikely your opponent has such a thing, but the compatible attackers in this set are
- Genesect (SW – Vivid Voltage 037/185)
- Galarian Darmanitan VMAX
- Cramorant (SW – Vivid Voltage 48/185)
- Barraskewda (SW – Vivid Voltage 042/185)
- Zapdos (SW – Vivid Voltage 048/185)
- Ampharos V
- Raikou (SW – Vivid Voltage 50/185)
- Eelektross (SW – Vivid Voltage 059/185)
- Pinchurrin (SW – Vivid Voltage 062/185)
- Woobat (SW – Vivid Voltage 073/185)
Sound like a lot? Well, the Pinchurrin and Woobat are Commons and everything else is a Rare or higher card. Woobat also requires you have an empty hand, which can be surprisingly difficult to accomplish and maintain in the Limited Format. If your opponent is using a Mulligan strategy with a Basic Pokémon V, Telescopic Sight will grant no bonus damage.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
- Limited: 1/5
Telescopic Sight is almost got a three-out-of-five in Standard. It is still nice that it exists, and when it works, it is pretty amazing… but how often will that be? I keep going back and forth over this card, and in the end I made it my 21st-Place pick, the very bottom of my list, but still a part of it.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!