Tsareena V – Sword & Shield Fusion Strike 21/264
January 5, 2022
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I guess it’s nice that more and more Pokemon are getting the Pokemon-V, Pokemon VMAX, or Pokemon VSTAR treatment as more Sword & Shield expansions keep on coming. I mean, who would’ve expected Tsareena to be getting the Pokemon-V treatment? Not many, I assume, though it would provide an incentive to use her.
But she has no ability and only one attack, which doesn’t seem to be promising. Fortunately, however, she does have a good attack. Queen’s Orders costs GC for 20 damage, and you can discard as many Benched Pokemon as you like. Then it does 40 more damage for each Benched Pokemon discarded. This attack style kind of reminds me of Mega Gardevoir-EX from XY Steam Siege, in which its Despair Ray attack does 110 damage before adding 10 more damage for each Benched Pokemon you’ve discarded. Granted, the damage boost is so small that Gardevoir had to devote resources to secure certain OHKOs. Tsareena is on a similar boat, except that her multiplier is far larger (20+40X) than Gardevoir’s 110+10X. Both Tsareena and Mega Gardevoir-EX do the same 140 damage if players discarded three Benched Pokemon, but once you discard more than three, the Tsareena will start to outperform Gardevoir. The only thing Gardevoir has over Tsareena is being dual typed, being both a Fairy and a Psychic type, which helps Gardevoir exploit multiple type weaknesses.
Granted, this isn’t an attack that can be consistently used for the same amount of damage you’re trying to achieve. Discarding Benched Pokemon means that you have to find a way to retrieve them and put them into play next turn, otherwise Queen’s Orders is terrible. You could argue that you can discard Benched Pokemon as fodder after they served their purpose, but they don’t come back that easily. You need something that brings itself from the discard pile onto your hand or your Bench. I don’t think the Standard format has a card like that for quite a while. But there are several cards in Expanded that can help facilitate reasonable maintenance to some extent:
-Exeggcute from BW Plasma Freeze has an ability called Propagation, which lets you put Exeggcute from the discard pile onto your hand.
-Giratina from SM Lost Thunder has an ability called Distortion Door which also puts itself from the discard pile onto your Bench, in addition to putting one damage counter on two of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon.
-Sky Field from XY Roaring Skies is a Stadium card which increases your max Bench space from five to eight.
In theory, with Sky Field active, four Exeggcute, and four Giratina in your Bench, Queen’s Orders will deal 340 damage, enough to OHKO the max printed HP on a card! And that’s before factoring multiple uses of Distortion Door for extra damage counter placements. Battle Compressor could be used to dispose multiple copies of Giratina and Exeggcute from your deck so that you don’t have to draw into them. This made me think that Tsareena-V could perform much better in Expanded with those resources than in Standard unless I’m missing something. Looking at Limitless again, there has yet to be a deck that features Tsareena-V, though it’ll be a matter of time until her potential is finally realized.
Tsareena-V brings back a familiar attack that has previously seen some competitive success in early 2017, so I can’t see why she won’t be able to perform a similar role. Perhaps the most important thing to take away is that if the card pool doesn’t have something to accommodate Queen’s Orders, then she probably isn’t worth using. The Expanded format happens to contain specific cards and resources that can help Queen’s Orders reliably achieve OHKOs, which is why I rated her much higher than Standard.
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