– Cosmic Eclipse
December 11, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Vaporeon (SM Cosmic Eclipse 42/236) is another piece of GX support for Eeveelutions. Refreshing Rain is its only attack which costs WCC for 60 damage and heals 30 damage from each of your Pokemon. Healing is rarely important due to OHKOs, which makes such strategies futile; even in some situations it might be too late for you to use Max Potions. The ability, Vitality Cheer, makes GX versions of Eeveelutions gain +60 HP, meaning their Max HP has raised. So, to give you an idea…
Espeon-GX: 200 —–> 260
Umbreon-GX: 200 —–> 260
Sylveon-GX: 200 —–> 260
Leafeon-GX: 200 —–> 260
Glaceon-GX: 200 —–> 260
Vaporeon-GX: 210 —–> 270
Jolteon-GX: 200 —–> 260
Flareon-GX: 210 —–> 270
Indeed, the raise in HP makes those Eeveelutions match that of the HP of Tag Teams but still worth two prizes, which may or may not alter the turns where KOs will eventually happen. But because the HP boost comes from an ability, the boost is actually unsustainable. This ability can be offline, making them lose the HP boost. If Vaporeon is knocked out, they also lose the HP boost. If Vaporeon leaves play, they’ll lose the boost. And if those GX Eeveelutions sustain heavy damage, they could be knocked out if they got 60 or less HP remaining before the HP reduction. All in all, this creates a domino effect that hurts more than they can help. And it faces heavy competition from other Eeveelutions in Expanded, most notable where three of the Eeveelutions in XY Ancient Origins has abilities that adds a type in addition to it’s existing type.
Perhaps the most sustainable effect would have to be permanent so that it gets to keep the HP boost. But putting the HP boost on an ability, or a stadium card, or a Pokémon tool card? If I remember fondly, those three does get interrupted; abilities can be shut off, stadium cards can get replaced or removed, and Pokémon tool cards can be removed.
Vaporeon (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 42/236) is our second Eeveelution this week. As with yesterday’s Flareon (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 25/236), its defining characteristics are Evolving from Eevee and its Ability. In this case, the latter is “Vitality Cheer”, which provides +60 HP for your Pokémon-GX that Evolve from Eevee. It also states that only one instance of Vitality Cheer may be applied at a time, so it cannot stack with itself (but should stack with other methods of increasing maximum HP). Flareon-GX and Vaporeon-GX have 210 HP, while the other Pokémon-GX Eeveelutions have 200 HP, which means Vitality Cheer ups them to 270 and 260, respectively. While the result of a combo, that is bigger than the smallest TAG TEAM Pokémon!
The rest of Vaporeon isn’t good, but it also isn’t particularly bad. We’ve already established that it Evolves from Eevee, and being a Stage 1 is decent right now. 110 HP is of comparable quality; a probable OHKO while Active. [G] Weakness is relatively safe at the moment, but when you do face a [G] Type attacker, the OHKO is even more likely. Lack of Resistance is typical, so it is more of a missed opportunity than a detriment to Vaporeon. A Retreat Cost of [CC] is high enough you won’t want to pay it, but low enough you likely can, give or take the specifics of the deck.
Vitality Cheer should often make a difference, but definitely not always; 260/270 damage attacks will still OHKO your Eeveelution-GX card, but that is better than your opponent just needing attacks which do 200/210 damage. Instead of 100/110 being sufficient for a 2HKO, now it will take 130/140. Always remember the drawback of HP buffs; if your only Vaporeon is KO’d or if Abilities are shut down, maximum HP scores will lose that bonus. In one sense, you’re still ahead; whatever is KO’d by this should have been KO’d earlier, so you’ve gotten extra time for (and hopefully extra use out of) it. It can lead to a false sense of security, if you leave yourself with even one (let alone many) injured Pokémon only being sustained by Vitality Cheer.
You may have noticed we haven’t discussed Vaporeon’s “Refreshing Rain” attack yet. For [WCC] it does 60 damage while healing 30 damage from each of your Pokémon. This attack is bad, but maybe not for the reasons you expect. The combination of damage and widespread healing might have been worth it on something that could survive being Active, but not only does Vaporeon become an easy Prize, but unless you’ve got a spare you lose Vitality Cheer’s HP bonus. There’s also the issue of your opponent damaging but not KOing your Pokémon so that they’re still around to be healed en masse. Normal tactics would likely leave you with one Benched Pokémon (at most) being healed by Refreshing Rain.
Is Vaporeon worth it? For an Eeveelution-GX focused deck, I’d say “probably”. The biggest problem is lack of deck (and maybe Bench) space. In Standard, you don’t have to worry about Guzma or Lysandre, and in Expanded, your opponent may have to worry too much about your Active attacker to use either of those to target Vaporeon. Some Standard Format decks can still hit the Bench or forced Benched Pokémon Active without a huge cost, and some Expanded decks will have reason to prioritize Vaporeon. In the Limited Format, Vitality Cheer is going to be useless but Refreshing Rain is suddenly a decent attack (and as are Vaporeon’s stats). That is because its Energy costs make it plausible to work into various non-Water decks, and retreating injured Pokémon to sit on your Bench is a more effective tactic here.
Vaporeon offers double the boost to the HP of Pokémon-GX Eeveelutions than Flareon offered to their attacks, but in Pokémon, offensive is usually much more effective than defense. You can benefit from Flareon’s Ability before your opponent has the chance to KO it; while Vitality Cheer technically raises your HP as soon as it hits the field, it rarely matters until your opponent’s turn, after they’ve attacked. Yet I didn’t score Vaporeon that much lower because both Abilities are handy for Eeveelution-GX decks; Flareon just a little more so.
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