Terrakion – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Terrakion (SW – Vivid Voltage 092/185) is not a multi-Prize Pokémon, something with a Rule Box, a regional variant, or part of some special subclass of Pokémon. Well, at least this particular version is not. We’ll have to wait until SW – Battle Styles has not only released, not only become tournament legal, but as been well assimilated into the metagame to know for sure, but being “neutral” is probably a okay deal. Terrakion is a Fighting type. This should be better than it is, because it is handy for exploiting the Weakness on the likes of Crobat V, Dedenne-GX, Eternatus VMAX and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX. Terrakion should work (or work more readily) with support such as Bea, Karate Belt, Martial Arts Dojo, and Stone [F] Energy. Yes, there are some anti-Fighting effects, and Fighting Resistance is one of the more common forms of Resistance, but the good should outweigh the bad…
…except Fighting types are a somewhat rare sight in tournament results. They’re not completely absent, but they’re scarce in the top cut. Terrakion is a Basic Pokémon, meaning minimal time and resources to put it into play. 140 HP is good; this is around the point where a Pokémon goes from more likely to be KO’d to less likely. [G] Weakness is currently one of the less significant ones, while lack of Resistance is also unlikely to be much of a problem. The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is difficult to pay, so you’ll need to rely on switching effects or being able to tank while Active. Small pro within this con, Terrakion is compatible with cards such as Buff Padding and Poké Maniac.
Terrakion knows two attacks, “Guard Press” and “Earthen Power”. The former costs [FC] and the latter [FFC], which is a mediocre start. It is good Terrakion has something it can do for less than three Energy, but [FC] is slightly awkward. The Energy cost also tells us you’ll need a mostly or mono-Fighting deck to use Terrakion well. As for Guard Press’s actual damage and effect, it lets Terrakion hit for 30 while placing an effect on itself that reduces the damage it takes from attacks by 30. This reduction is after applying Weakness and Resistance, not that Terrakion has any Resistance. Neither the damage nor the amount of damage reduction are great for the Energy. It can help in a pinch, Stone [F] Energy can make it a bit better at soaking damage.
Earthen Power does 80 damage, and if you have a Stadium in play, the attack does another 80. 80-for-three is bad, but 160-for-three is somewhat good. You’re not OHKOing most Basic Pokémon V, let alone Pokémon VMAX, outside of Weakness. It might seem like a nitpick, but I’d rather the damage split was different; 120-for-three is decent, and having your Stadium in play when attacking isn’t too hard, so a 120+40 would be a better deal, even if only by a little. Once again, Fighting support might help here. As long as you have a basic Fighting Energy attached, Martial Arts Dojo will let Terrakion swing for 170 with Earthen Power. If your opponent has fewer Prizes remaining than you do, that +10 becomes +40, and that means a solid 200 damage. Still a little short of OHKOing typical Basic Pokémon V…
…but we need a controlled method to fall behind, and there are some Supporters that suddenly make for a solid, albeit a bit complicated, combo. Magneton (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 69/236) has the Ability “Call Signal”. This Ability lets you search your deck for up to three Supporters, but Magneton then KO’s itself, and your opponent gets to take a Prize. If you and your opponent are even in Prizes, and you have at least two Prizes remaining, you can use Call Signal to fetch Lt. Surge’s Strategy and two other Supporters. Against most Basic Pokémon V, a copy of Leon completes the combo. Your other Supporter can be whatever is handy: Bea, Boss’s Orders, a second Leon, Professor’s Research, etc. What matters is this combo lets Earthen Power hit for 230 damage. Basic TAG TEAM Pokémon and Pokémon VMAX are outside of your range (excluding Weakness).
Is it worth it? If you really want a different single Prize, Fighting deck? Sure! I’m in no way promising you’ll change the metagame or win events, but I think you could build a functional deck from it. Going down in Prizes can get risky, and you might want an alternate attacker so that you can still swing for good damage without being behind in Prizes. Then again, if you’re ahead, maybe Earthen Power is already enough without the above combo, which would leave room for something else. I’d rather not make Terrakion the focus of a Fighting deck, though, but find a Fighting deck that works that can just slip a copy or two of Terrakion into its existing line-up. In Expanded, a lot of what I already said applies except there are already so many solid Fighting types to use. It just makes Terrakion feel a bit underwhelming.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Terrakion is just a bit below what I’d like to bump it up to a three-out-of-five, but it has enough potential I is in no danger of getting less than a two-out-of-five. It is pretty easy to see how Terrakion could be better without obviously being broken… but I think it also clear that we’ve seen far, far worse.
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