November 7, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
A new week, a new Pokémon V-Union! For those getting tired of them, good news: as far as I know, this is the last one! Zacian V-Union is made of the following cards:
- SW – Black Star Promos SWSH163
- SW – Black Star Promos SWSH164
- SW – Black Star Promos SWSH165
- SW – Black Star Promos SWSH166
Hopefully you’ve already read this article from the official Pokémon site, explaining the Pokémon V-Union in great detail. If you haven’t read it, though, I’ll mention the fundamentals throughout this review. The first bit is not to confuse the list of cards I just gave for an evolutionary line. A Pokémon V-Union is basically an oversized card made legal by dividing it up into four normal sized cards.
Each portion of the V-Union will have its name, type, Stage of Evolution, and a Rule Box explaining how to put that Pokémon V-Union into play printed on it. These are the only things the game will recognize about these cards when they are not in play. You cannot put just a piece of a Pokémon V-Union into play. You can only put a Pokémon V-Union into play by following the directions printed in the Rule Box that appears each piece. Namely, you need all four pieces in your discard pile and an open Bench space during your turn. Then you can combine the four cards into a single Pokémon on your Bench. A Pokémon V-Union only uses up one space on your Bench, even though it is oversized. Each Pokémon V-Union may be put into play through this effect only once per game. If you’re running more than one V-Union, like both Mewtwo V-Union and Zacian V-Union, then each can be put into place once.
A side effect of all four pieces of a V-Union sharing the same name is that they all count against each other for the 4 Copy Rule. This means you either run one of each piece or all the pieces you do run are dead cards! It also means even one piece getting stuck in your Prizes, or worse, being sent to the Lost Zone, can leave the rest useless. As this is Zacian V-Union, let me stress that is the entire name. So Rusted Sword does not work with Zacian V-Union. Rusted Sword specifically says “Zacian V” in its effect, as opposed to “a card with Zacian in its name” or “a Pokémon V with Zacian in its name.” Zacian V-Union is a Metal type. This has been a good to great typing over the last few Formats. Even now, it still comes with access to Metal Saucer. There are also a few other pieces of Metal Pokémon and/or Metal Energy support that can help it out. The Expanded Format offers more proven support, like Metal Frying Pan and Metal Goggles. It isn’t very useful for exploiting Weakness.
Zacian V-Union’s Stage of Evolution is… V-Union! Yeah, it is both a Rule Box mechanic and a Stage of Evolution. Peeking ahead, Zacian V-Union doesn’t have any Abilities, so having a Rule Box won’t really matter for it. Pokémon V-Union are still Pokémon V, so Zacan V-Union has to deal with the counters that include it and the beneficial card effects that exclude it for being a Pokémon V. Being a V-Union means Zacian V-Union is neither a Basic nor an Evolution/Evolved Pokémon. Effects specific to those won’t work with it. Those that work with any Stage of Evolution, like Ultra Ball, are still kosher. While it is found on other pieces, I’ll also warn you now that Zacian V-Union is worth three Prizes when KO’d, just like a Pokémon VMAX! I’ll save its HP and bottom stats for when we cover those pieces of Zacian V-Union, but know that it does have HP on par with a VMAX as well.
The only other thing found on this first card of Zacian V-Union is an attack, “Union Gain”. This shows up on the first piece of all of the other Pokémon V-Union as well. They all cost [C] to use, and Zacian V-Union’s lets you attach up to two [M] Energy cards from your discard pile to itself. As always, only basic Metal Energy counts as [M] when not attached to a Pokémon. For the other V-Unions, Union Gain is the same except it attaches whatever Energy type matches that Pokémon. As I said with the others, this is not a good attack. However, it also is not useless. If you go second and get Zacian V-Union into play and attacking on your first turn, or if there’s any other time when your opponent cannot attack you very well, it can be worth it. Most of the time, though, your opponent will be happy you had to spend a turn powering up, because that means they basically get a “free” attack on you.
As with all the other Pokémon V we’ve looked at, the first piece is underwhelming, but not awful. As such, it will receive a two out of five for each format.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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