November 9, 2021
Standard: See Below
Expanded: See Below
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Time for Part 3 of our Zacian V-Union review! Pokémon V-Union are a new kind of Pokémon V, made by combining four different cards. For a more detailed explanation, there is a great article over on the official Pokémon website. Yes, I often explain most of it in the review itself, but that’s not completely intentional. In fact, I’m just going to remind you they’re worth three Prizes when KO’d, and each piece has the same name (Zacian V-Union), type (Metal), Stage (V-Union), and Rule Box (explaining how to put them into play). There are also stats and effects on each piece that are not shared with the others; keep in mind that, when not in play, “the game” only recognizes the four aspects shared by all four cards.
Thanks to the previous pieces, we know that Zacian V-Union has 320 HP, which is somewhat good, even though it is worth three Prizes when KO’d and the V-Union mechanic can make it… finicky to run. Today we learn that Zacian V-Union has the typical Fire Weakness and Grass Resistance of most SW-era Metal Pokémon. The next set may give us a hot new Fire deck for the competitive scene, and there are still a few kicking around already. In other words, [R] Weakness isn’t good, but it could be worse. Any Resistance is appreciated, and there are some [G] attackers doing well right now, so… yeah, this is nice.
Each piece of Zacian V-Union has had an attack so far. SW – Black Star Promos SWSH163 gave us “Union Gain”, and attack all the V-Unions have. For [C], it lets Zacian V-Union attach up to two [M] Energy cards from your discard pile to itself; on other Pokémon V-Union, just change the Energy’s type to match that of those other Pokémon e.g. Mewtwo V-Union’s Union Gain lets you attach up to two [P] Energy cards to itself. I don’t think it wise to use up an attack powering up, as that means your Pokémon V-Union is up front and able to easily take damage while not dishing any out. After all, you may only put a particular Pokémon V-Union into play once per game, so once they’re KO’d their done. Same if they leave play for any other reasons.
SW – Black Star Promos SWSH164 gave us “Dance of the Crowned Sword”. Priced at [MMC], this attack does 150 damage to the Defending Pokémon while leaving an effect on it (the Defending Pokémon), reducing the damage it does next turn by 150 during your opponent’s next turn. 150 is maybe a tad low for for three Energy, but especially with the effect, it is more than adequate. Yes, even though the effect isn’t that difficult to shake; you’re getting it as a bonus while still doing solid damage!
Which brings us to today’s attack, “Steel Cut”. Also priced at [MMC], this does a flat 200 damage. Which is pretty good for the Energy and pretty good for OHKOing almost all single Prize targets, and even smaller Basic Pokémon V. At least, going by printed HP scores; Weakness, Resistance, and miscellaneous effects can help some things survive while bringing other targets into range. This attack can score 2HKO’s with a decent amount of overkill, so that it requires some significant protection for the target to endure. If something is too big for Steel Cut to OHKO, seems like Dance of the Crowned Sword is here to setup for the 2HKO while keeping Zacian V-Union alive to deliver.
While three Energy takes some doing, as a Metal type Zacian V-Union has Metal Saucer for help. There’s also the combo using Zacian V (Sword & Shield 138/202, 195/202, 211/202; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH018; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH076) and Bronzong (SW – Battle Styles 102/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH091; SW – Chilling Reign 223/198). A combo that also works well with Metal Saucer. All in all, it just seems like a solid, though not spectacular, play. Expanded adds more combos, more competition, and more counters but… yeah, still seems like it should be functional and then some in Expanded. The big exception to both is if your opponent can OHKO something this big. Which is where the rest of your deck ought to come in. I’ve stressed before that you’re only getting to put Zacian V-Union into play once per game, and that it might not even show up, so it might be more of an alternate attacker to a deck already running the above combos, as opposed to the star of its own deck.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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