– Vivid Voltage

Date Reviewed:
November 17, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 5.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:


Trumbeak (SW – Vivid Voltage 144/185) takes 11th-place.  Trumbeak is a baseline Pokémon, worth a single Prize when KO’d and lacking any specialty mechanics, like being a Prism Star card.  It is a Colorless type, which no Weakness or Resistance when attacking, as we’re not worried about Unlimited.  It means access to Powerful [C] Energy in Standard and Expanded, with a few other tricks that might prove worthwhile in Expanded.  Expanded also has some anti-[C] effects, but I don’t think any will prove relevant to Trumbeak.  Trumbeak is an evolving Stage 1.  This is perhaps the most neglected Stage of Pokémon evolution: rarely are they not pure filler, and Rare Candy means they’re often skipped in actual play.  This means Trumbeak might help its Stage 2 form (Toucannon), but it also could work as anything from a 1-1 TecH line to a full 4-4 supporting line without being overly demanding.

Trumbeak has 80 HP, which is low enough that its [L] Weakness and -30 [F] Resistance usually won’t matter.  Still, any Resistance is better than none, and there are some more technical attackers among [L] types – low damage, useful effects – that could still cash in on a surprise OHKO.  Much of this depends on whether or not Lightning types start performing better in competitive play… something I’m anticipating, but which I’ve also been anticipating,so take it with a grain of salt.  Trumbeak has a Retreat Cost of [C], which is good; you’ll often be able to afford it, both up front and in the long term.  I am a bit disappointed by it, though, as it “feels” like it ought to have a free Retreat Cost.

Trumbeak has one Ability and one attack.  We’re going to get the attack, “Drill Peck”, out of the way first, because it is a vanilla 50-for-[CCC].  It is nice it can be covered by a single Triple Acceleration Energy, but it does about 50 less damage than is needed for it to be a decent attack.  This is filler, though we have seen worse.  The thing that earned Trumbeak a spot in our countdown is its “Charging Trumpet” Ability.  This Ability may only be activated when you play this card from your hand, to evolve one of your in play Pokémon during your turn.  If you choose to use it, you look at the top three cards of your deck, then you may attach any basic Energy cards you find there to your Pokémon.  If you attach multiple Energy in this manner, they can be split between multiple targets or all attached to the same Pokémon.  Energy you choose not to attach, as well as anything else, are shuffled back into your deck (your opponent only sees the Energy you attach).

Charging Trumpet is a good Ability, a generic form of basic Energy card acceleration.  Scoop Up Net means you have a reasonable way of reusing it as well.  While it won’t help with Special Energy cards, it isn’t locked into a specific basic Energy type, which is useful when dealing with Pokémon that require multiple types of Energy.  Charging Trumpet does not care about a Pokémon’s type, Stage, whether or not it is a Pokémon V, etc. either.  This makes Trumbeak very flexible.  As long as a deck isn’t running too heavily on Special Energy or too low on basic Energy, and has nothing better to run in the same slots, Trumbeak is a legitimate option.

How much basic Energy is required for Trumbeak to work well?  It really does depend on the deck.  When you can combo with a card like Oranguru (Sword & Shield 148/202; SW – Vivid Voltage 199/185), you can get by with a lower number.  Oranguru’s “Primate Wisdom” lets you swap a card from your hand with one from the top of your deck, so you can guarantee at least one bit of Energy acceleration, and Oranguru is already a somewhat common sight in decks.  One concern I have is that one of traits I mentioned could make running Trumbeak worthwhile – effects requiring multiple types of Energy – also justifies running Special Energy cards.  Standard only has Aurora Energy, but Expanded has the Blend Energy cards, the Unit Energy cards, Rainbow Energy, etc.

Trumbeak evolves from Pikipek and into Toucannon.  Neither of these Pokémon have a worthwhile version so far, though you’ll need to pick a Pikipek unless you’re running Trumbeak with just Ditto {*} in Expanded.  Which is a plausible tactic if you only need a little Energy acceleration and your deck contains enough basic Energy to have good enough odds.  There is one other Trumbeak worth mentioning, Trumbeak (SM – Lost Thunder 165/214).  Its “Mountain Pass” Ability is one of the few activated while in your hand. Mountain Pass makes you send this Trumbeak to the Lost Zone, but you then not only get to look at your opponent’s hand, but if your opponent has any Supporters in hand, you may select one and send it to the Lost Zone.  Given how it is used, this means the Mountain Pass Trumbeak only cares about today’s because of the 4 Copy Rule; I don’t think Lost March needs today’s Trumbeak, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

For as good as Charging Trumpet is, I don’t think it is going to show up in a lot of competitive decks.  Why?  It is both a coming-into-play Ability on a Stage 1 and somewhat unreliable.  A three-card range isn’t bad, it just isn’t good, either.  As you need to wait to evolve, it also isn’t fast and you’ll have to telegraph that you’re using it by Benching Pipipek (barring Ditto {*} use).  While even a single Energy attached through Charging Trumpet is good, it can whiff, and no matter what you’re “paying” two slots from your deck, a space on your Bench, and a turn of waiting.  This is even assuming an 80 HP Bench-sitter is not a tempting target for Bench hits or Boss’s Orders.  Reliably using Charging Trumpet requires a lot more than the 1-1 TecH line; Oranguru, Scoop Up Nets, and higher counts of basic Energy cards, the Trumbeak line, or both.

In Expanded, I think Trumbeak actually has a little more going for it, and that is all due to Ditto {*}.  It turns Trumbeak into the strictest form of a TecH, a single card addition you can chance to attach from zero to three basic Energy cards, all depending on how lucky you get.  Given how common VS Seeker is, you may also be justified in adding a single Mallow to your deck, assuming it doesn’t already include her.  It is a low count combo, and you do burn both your Supporter for the turn and your Ditto {*}… but it means at least two basic Energy cards are attached.  The other place where Trumbeak should shine is in the Limited Format.  Unless you can build a Mulligan deck around a Basic Pokémon V, if you pull even a 1-1 Trumbeak line, you run it.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 5/5

I actually was very excited about Trumbeak for a time because I misread it, or maybe just remembered it wrong: that it was a typical once-per-turn Ability you could easily use turn after turn.  Which may be why I was disappointed when I realized my blunder.  It didn’t make my list, but I certainly understand why it made Vince’s, as well as those some non-Pojo reviewers.  I’m sure at least one deck will find a decent use for it, but I don’t know if any major competitive ones will… or the opposite extreme, that its flexibility means some crazy combo deck will eventually get it banned!


Note: Vince had Trumbeak as his 6th-place pick.

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