Victini – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today we’re looking at Victini (SW – Evolving Skies 020/203). To begin with, this is a baseline Victini card: no name alterations, no Rule Box, no additional mechanics (like Battle Styles). Victini is a Fire-type, handy for attacking Grass or Metal Pokémon, but poor in terms of support in Standard. Victini is a Basic Pokémon, so you don’t need to run any other cards to play it, you don’t have to wait to Evolve into it, it can be your opening Basic, and just naturally working better with certain game mechanics (like bounce or search).
Victini has only 60 HP; nice that it can be searched via Level Ball, possibly (but probably not) meaningful in that it is a legal target for Professor Elm’s Lecture (in Expanded), and mostly relevant because it means Victini is quite, quite easy to OHKO while Active, and is even fairly vulnerable to being KO’d on your Bench! On the bright side, this means its bottom stats hardly matter. Only [W] attackers doing 30, 40, or 50 damage score a OHKO where they wouldn’t have. Hypothetical Resistance still would have seen Victini OHKO’d by affected attackers KO’d by just 90 damage. When you’re this small, odds are good you don’t live long enough to retreat.
If you think I’m selling the Retreat Cost of [C] short, let me explain that Victini? It is intended to be an attacker! Its only effect is an attack, and that attack is “Victory Dive”. This attack costs [CC] and does 30 damage, plus you may search your deck for up to two cards. Add the card (or cards) you searched out to your hand, then shuffle your deck afterward. This doesn’t seem worth it except for Turn 2. Maybe. Which… isn’t all that bad, actually. Yes, even though your opponent might Marnie the cards away. Even though 30 damage isn’t much, Victini might actually be “decent” for otherwise slower starting decks with tricky setups. You’ll have to use some Energy acceleration (even Twin Energy will suffice), but this one turn lets you get any two cards. Including the difficult to search out stuff like Special Energy cards and Items.
This caries over to Expanded as well. On one hand, Victini faces loads more competition, and Marnie is joined by N and VS Seeker. Never forget about VS Seeker! Still, Turn 2 search for a slow deck might find Victini worthwhile. It is borderline for both Formats, so I’ll award Victini a two-out-of-five for each. If Turn 1 attacks ever returned this… probably wouldn’t be worth it, because decks would go for First Turn KOs if at all possible. Now, if they ever – say – alter the Turn 1 rules to allow attacking but ignore any damage done then something like this could really shine. Yes, I’m being very self-indulgent bringing up a rule change that I’ve suggested, but never even bothered testing myself, and that is not something the powers-that-be have hinted at in the slightest.
I can dream!
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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