– Plasma Storm
November 2, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
The V stands for VARIAN WORLD?!
…just kidding, it stands for Victini-EX.
Victory Piece is another ACE SPEC Tool that’s only usable with one specific Pokemon, and while attached to Victini-EX, it can use any of its attacks regardless of the amount of Energy it needs. Course the card is only as good as the Pokemon it gets attached to, so let’s see what Victini-EX there are!
…there’s only one. Coming out of Plasma Storm, Victini-EX (the one and only) has 110 HP and two attacks. Turbo Energize normally costs 1 and speed boosts your Pokemon with 2 Basic Energies from your Deck, attached in any way you’d like, while Intensifying Burn normally is a 3-for-50 that adds another 50 damage if the opposing Pokemon is a Pokemon-EX.
You can see how Victini-EX was somewhat aimed towards being relevant back then, and having a Pokemon that could potentially have a 0-for-100 move was probably even a little appealing. Even nowadays, a free Energy booster for your Pokemon is nothing to snuff at, but at that point, you’re better off just playing Victini-EX and using Turbo Energize on its own with the Fire Energy. Victory Piece does make it free, but you’d rather aim that towards Intensifying Burn, which either only does a measly 50 damage – and yes that’s including on the new GX Pokemon, which remain unaffected by Victini-EX’s powers thanks to the powers of “no way is there enough foresight to think that far ahead with an attack like this” – or it does 100 damage on specific Pokemon that could just as easily OHKO Victini-EX in return.
It’s okay for what it aims to do but not for what it does.
Standard: N/A (naturally, this card rotated out with Plasma Storm)
Expanded: 1.5/5 (the extra half-point is mainly on getting that free Turbo Energize, but that’s hard to justify running both cards since you only have 1 Victory Piece and likely 9-12 basic Fire Energy)
Limited: 2.5/5 (otherwise? this card would be pretty much useless, so thank Victini-EX for its own niche appeal)
Arora Notealus: Free attacks are always tempting, but if this were a free attack for something like, say, Black Kyurem-EX or even something later on like Seismitoad-EX, you could imagine how broken this card could have been. Combined with cards like Skyla that can easily fetch this card, it would have been immediately emergency banned forever, locked away in the vaults of the Company and sorted away into binders, where it would be sold off in stores for minimal credit at best. Needless to say, Victory Piece being limited to what is a mediocre Pokemon-EX is probably for the best.
Next Time: Roaring out of the new set comes another legend!
Today’s Throwback Thursdays is another Pokemon specific Ace Spec Pokemon Tool card: Victory Piece. This tool can be attached to any Pokemon, but the full extent of the effect will only work for Victini-EX. In order for me to review Victory Piece, I will also have to talk about Victini-EX. Both cards are in the BW Plasma Storm expansion.
The wording of Victory Piece may sound weird, saying that Victini-EX can use the attacks regardless of what type or how many energies attached to this Pokémon. So to make it easier for you to understand, Victory Piece would say “The attack cost on each of Victini-EX’s attacks is zero.” Free attacks are appreciated, you don’t need to commit energy to said Pokémon and it can fit into any decks. How much does that help Victini-EX?
There is only one Victini-EX in the Pokémon TCG. It is a fire type, has 110 HP, weak to water, and a retreat of one. Already, this is a bad situation for this Pokémon, low HP on top of weakness means Greninja BREAK and Safeguard Alolan Ninetales will destroy them with ease. It has no abilities, just two attacks. Turbo Energize costs R and fetches two basic energies from your deck to any of your Benched Pokemon. Victini-EX won’t get those energies due to the wording, but that probably won’t matter if Victini-EX is going to be OHKOed on your opponent’s next turn. Intensifying Burn costs RCC for 50 damage, plus 50 more if the Defending Pokemon is an EX. This is an outdated attack due to being specialized. Back then, this would’ve been good against fire weak EX at its time such as Shaymin-EX (Next Destines), Cobalion-EX, Registeel-EX, Virizion-EX, and Genesect-EX. Now, with GX Pokemon on the scene, Intensifying Burn will do only 50 instead of 100……on the face of 200-250 HP Pokemon that isn’t fazed by this attack.
As I said earlier, Victory Piece helps Victini-EX attack for free. However, there are some risks that make the combined cards harder to stick around or even get into play. As you’re only allowed one Ace Spec card in your deck, using Victory Piece means you’re giving up on other Ace Spec cards such as Computer Search, Dowsing Machine, etc.. One lone copy of that Ace Spec could be prized, meaning Victini-EX would be dead weight unless your deck uses Fire Energies, thus somewhat meeting energy costs. As a Pokemon tool, it could be discarded by Tool Scrapper or Field Blower while fueling up damage output on Garbodor’s Trashalanche attack. You could also be giving up other Pokemon Tool cards that would’ve helped this Pokémon such as Choice Band and Fighting Fury Belt. Victini-EX probably won’t last long on the field trying to take advantage of free attacks.
If both Victini-EX and Victory Piece were to be reprinted, it will still see play mostly on its first attack. You have to hope to open with Victini-EX with Victory Piece in your hand to fuel up your attackers. Intensifying Burn can still pack a punch to leftover EXs between XY BreakThrough and XY Evolutions. Same can be said for Expanded, but slightly better due to all the EX Pokemon between BW Next Destines and XY Evolutions. In Limited, like other Pokémon specific tool cards, if you pulled both Victini-EX and Victory Piece, then both are must-run. In BW Plasma Storm, Victini-EX can two shot any EX card and three shot the rest with ease barring the rare Plasma Steel Klinklang with other steel Pokemon, which walls Victini-EX completely due to its ability.
So, an Ace Spec that is a Pokemon Tool? Sounds familiar? Well, because there are already hundreds probably of the damn things around. This time, we are straying a bit from the Ace Specs for the best physical Icium Z in OU and the strongest specially attacking Ice type and enter the world of active Tools for other Pokemon. And this time… its for Victini-EX! Victory Piece which has seen multiple plays during the height of VirGen’s popularity to help its mirror matchups via Weakness damage, and this Ace Spec is part of its repetoire.
What Victory Piece does is simple. It frees away the burden of attaching energies to any Victini-EX this Ace Spec is attached. This card, as you might have guessed, is only as good as the Victini-EX this card is attached. Currently, there is only 1 Victini-EX, which is only available in the Expanded format, and as we enter the world of Pokemon-GXs there is zero hope that we see a new Victini-EX coming in. So what does that Victini do?
That particular card has 110 HP, the same as Shaymin-EXs, is a Fire type, and has 1 retreat costs. So its not terribly bulky, but at least the attacks can patch its lack of defensive presence, right? Well, let’s see. Turbo Energize costs 1 Fire energy, which becomes free when this Ace Spec is attached, and it searches and attaches 2 basic energies in anyway you like. Sounds familiar? Because this is the Fire version of the combination of Virizion-EX (BW PLB) and Lurantis-GX (SM Base), which smooths setups by allowing it’s main attacker to attack faster. Similarly, Intensifying Burn should be a familiar attack which has seen numerous reprints here and there; for 1 Fire and 2 Colorless energies it can strike for 50, or 100 when it hits a Pokemon-EX. In its age, this can destroy Grass types which ruled the meta back then by clean one shots with the help of Victory Piece; but as soon as Mega Pokemon-EXs are released Victini-EX becomes terrible unfortunately.
Alongside the power creep issue, there is another issue, one that plagues card-specific Pokemon Tool Ace Specs; you can only have 1 Ace Spec in your deck, you need to forfeit your setup Ace Specs that may be more useful in more situations and also it is a Tool. It can be removed very easily by either Items, Tools, or even Supporters. These drawbacks are all very crippling and sacrificing consistency for an edge in a certain matchup isn’t my fancy at all.
Overall, Victory Piece looks like a good card and it can be, but the various denial methods it needs to face does hurt its viability.
Expanded: 3/5 (The Victini itself isn’t that good, but this Tool is the piece of the puzzle that helps its viability)
Next in SM Shining Legends: