Weavile-GX – Unified Minds
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It’s countdown time! No, not for the next set. That is coming up soon, and by the time those cards are legal for the Standard Format, either 2022 Standard Set Rotation will have gone into effect or will very, very soon. So we’re counting down the Top 15 Cards Lost to the 2022 Standard Format Rotation. Much like our year-end countdowns, this is the one where we have the most flexibility. Of course, they have to be cards getting the axe due to our yearly set rotation for Standard; Expanded isn’t a factor because they refuse to rotate anything out of Expanded… even though I think Expanded very badly needs to lose the Black & White series cards. Where the flexibility comes in is that we can nominate cards because of their past, current, or hypothetical future performance.
15th-Place goes to Weavile-GX (SM – Unified Minds 132/236). This is a Pokémon-GX and that means power at a price. They’re worth two Prizes when KO’d, are excluded from some beneficial effects and have to deal with some baneful effects. However, there are some beneficial effects/exclusions that apply to Pokémon-GX, plus they have better HP scores and (potentially) better effects than their baseline counterparts. Best of all, they have a GX-attack; this was the new mechanic introduced with Pokémon-GX, a once-per-game attack. And I mean once-per-game; if one Pokémon-GX uses its GX-attack, none of the others can. Oh, and for the detail oriented… I think there are exceptions to each of these rules, some well-known (TAG TEAM Pokémon), some not so much (Bonnie letting Zygarde-GX use its GX-attack more than once per game).
Weavile-GX is a Darkness type Pokémon. During its time as a Standard-legal Pokémon, this typing has been underwhelming, has been great, and probably everything in between. I seem to recall a lot of the SM-era Darkness support not living up to the hype, but we’ve had some real winners like Eternatus VMAX. It has also gotten better in terms of type-matching, now that TCG Psychics based on both VG Ghosts and VG Psychics are [D] Weak by default, as opposed to just the former. With the TCG Fairy type retired, and VG Fairies now represented as TCG Psychic types, [D] Resistance will disappear from Standard after the rotation. 200 HP is decent, but was a bit better when Weavile-GX was new. Basic Pokémon V regularly clock in at 210 or 220 HP, versus the typical 180 or 190 HP of most Basic (non-TAG TEAM) Pokémon-GX. Damage output has mostly kept up with the rising HP scores, at least for single and double Prize Pokémon.
[F] Weakness was awful when Weavile-GX first came out, or thereabouts. We eventually saw fewer worthwhile Fighting type decks and attackers, but here at the end, they’ve finally been making a comeback. -20 [P] Resistance has been handy, both with older Psychic types like Mewtwo & Mew-GX, and adding some insult to injury for many of the newer, [D] Weak Psychics of the SW-era. A Retreat Cost of [C] is good; any reductions lowers it to a perfect free Retreat, and [C] itself is often easy to pay. The Ability and GX-attack have more substance to them, so I’m going to cover “Claw Slash” first. A regular attack, it is priced at [GGC] and does 130 damage. A little on the low-side now, but solid back when Weavile-GX was new.
However, folks weren’t running Weavile-GX for its regular attack. Its Ability is called “Shadow Connection”, and it lets you move your already attached [D] Energy around your side of the field, from Pokémon to Pokémon. This includes Special Energy that provides [D], whether something like Aurora Energy or Hiding [D] Energy. Effects like this have been around since Base Set, and typical combos involve throwing up Pokémon which are hard to OHKO, moving them to your Bench after they’ve taken a hit, and moving their Energy to a fresh attacker up front. Sometimes, you can even add in some healing and/or bounce. Sometimes you include cards like Rainbow Energy and/or Aurora Energy, so you can attack with a variety of types.
While not the main thing, Weavile-GX also includes the GX-attack “Nocturnal Maneuvers-GX”. For just [C], you can Bench any number of Basic Pokémon from your deck. No coming into play effects, but it makes it can help both with setting up a main strategy or getting TecH Bench-sitters into play. It also doesn’t care about anything except the Pokémon’s Stage. Basic baseline, Pokémon-GX, Prism Star Pokémon, Pokémon V, etc. are all legal targets, so long as you have space for them on your Bench. I don’t find this GX-attack too thrilling, especially as Shadow Connection can help with paying for more expensive GX-attacks mid-to-late game, but it is inexpensive and can help with early game setup… and if Weavile-GX is attacking, you’re probably a bit desperate for other attackers.
Shadow Connection lead to the modern iteration of Dark Toolbox decks a.k.a. Dark Box a.k.a. Black Box. Okay, so I think I’m the only one who used that last one. Earlier builds used Naganadel (SM – Lost Thunder 108/214) to accelerate basic Darkness Energy cards from the discard pile, via its “Charging Up” Ability. Charging Up can grab any Basic Energy cards, but Shadow Connection can shunt Darkness Energy from Naganadel to more useful attackers. Greninja & Zoroark-GX, Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX, and Umbreon & Darkrai-GX are examples of those attackers… but some were things like Weavile (SM – Ultra Prism 74/156). Which brings up one last benefit of Weavile-GX; none of the Sneasel are stellar, but some were at least decent. The aforementioned baseline Weavile was a good attacker in its own right, and an easy addition to Weavile-GX decks.
A Dark Box deck managed to finish in 16th-Place for the 2019 World Championship. The deck would wax and wane in popularity, its contents shifting as new sets released and as previous rotations shaved off older sets. Other Dark decks started bringing in big wins, and Weavile-GX, but you’d still see Weavile-GX decks around. Some of this might just be a consequence of Organized Play grinding almost completely to a halt due to the pandemic; with more events, there would have been more chances for more decks to place highly and attract attention. Just recently, at the Players Cup IV, Dark Box decks showed up as the 7th and 13th-Place finishers. Besides widely used competitive cards, they both included Galarian Moltres V and Red & Blue to help with Energy acceleration. You can look up more Weavile-GX lists here.
Weavile-GX has had a good run. I don’t know if there are any major events left before rotation, but if there aren’t, Weavile-GX can retire to its Expanded-only life satisfied it had a good run. I’m rounding up a bit, but it earns a solid four-out-of-five. As for its prospects in Expanded, I’d say they’re solid. There is so much competition in Expanded, but I think there may be room for Weavile-GX. My main concern are anti-Ability effects that could grind Weavile-GX to a halt, and that general level of competition, which could just crowd it out entirely. As it is a supporting Pokémon, it may be as simple as the right partners showing up for it, even if that is a few years down the road. Perhaps not too long, as power creep turns it into a low-effort, high yield Bench-sitter. Still, I’d say Weavile-GX is a solid three-out-of-five in Expanded.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 3/5
20210809: Almost forgot: you can read our original review for Weavile-GX here. For my Top 15, Weavile-GX was actually my 10th-Place pick. I originally didn’t plan on even including it, let alone ranking Weavile-GX that high, but I couldn’t ignore its recent resurgence, which also got me thinking about long term prospects. Sneaking in at 15th-Place is still adequate, as I may be placing too much emphasis on last-minute tournament results.
Is that time again, where we look at some of the impactful cards that are about to leave the Standard format. In this case, we are bidding farewell to whatever’s left from the Sun & Moon series, making the 2021-2022 season become Sword & Shield-on. Or most specifically, cards from the “D” regulation block onwards. I guess everything at this point is uncharted territory, based on the lack of reviews due to IRL stuff, but at least I can reminiscence about older cards.
Our 15th best card lost to rotation is Weavile-GX from SM Unified Minds. This card was an integral part of decks that uses Dark Energies, as its ability lets you manage your resources. It won’t advance your game plan, but as long as you got some amount of basic Dark energies on the board, you can move them. At the time of its release, Max Potion was already on its way out, though you could enjoy moving energies away from a heavily damaged Pokemon, heal it with Max Potion, and move the energies back on the healed Pokémon. The discard penalty is inconsequential. Additionally, Darkrai Prism Star provides a way to put 2 Basic Dark energies on the board the moment you put into play. Like Max Potion, Darkrai (*) was soon to leave rotation three months after Scoop Up Net came out, and I think this would’ve been the best insane combo to make use of Weavile’s ability. With 4 Scoop Up Nets, you could use Darkrai’s (*) ability as many as five times, netting 10 basic dark energies on the board, barely enough to meet the attack cost of Mega Sableye & Tyranitar’s Gigafall-GX!
Combos come and go due to yearly rotation, but Weavile is still a solid card. I guess at this point, Weavile can still provide its ability to move energy around, but then it can use Nocturnal Maneveurs-GX to flood the field with basic Pokémon, ideally Eternatus-V so that it can VMAX next turn. You just got to hope Weavile can survive anything 190 or less after using that GX attack. Now, Weavile-GX is about to leave rotation this year, and without it, Dark based decks would have to make sure they’re attaching those energies to the right Pokemon. Weavile might not be too important of a card in certain dark decks, but it will be missed.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉 Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 4600 Pokemon cards over the last 20 + years!