Zamazenta V – Celebrations
October 14, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Coming in at 3rd-Place is Zamazenta V (Celebrations 018/025)! This is one of those cards where we should probably cover the Ability first. “Growl of the Shield” only works for your [F] type Pokémon when they’re attacked by an opponent’s Pokémon VMAX. When that happens, Growl of the Shield reduces the damage your Fighting Pokémon take by 20 before Weakness/Resistance. This Ability would be very potent if it stacked so it doesn’t: the Ability’s own text lets you know that you may only apply a single instance of Growl of the Shield. Fortunately, even a single one is handy when you think of how of your Fighting type Pokémon could just barely survive if only they took 20 less damage from a single hit, 40 less from two hits, etc. From what are usually the hardest hitting attackers in the game.
So… yeah, I’d say this is a solid Ability. Not spectacular, but good. Note that it does protect your Benched and Active [F] Pokémon, including itself. As it is so straightforward, let us also address the card’s one attack, “Heavy Impact”. Priced at [FFC], it lets Zamazenta V do 150 damage to your opponent’s Active. This is… decent. Getting two Fighting Energy plus a third of any type onto Zamazenta V won’t be easy, and you’re a tantalizing 20 damage from having a solid 2HKO attacker for anything. Well, anything if we go just by printed HP scores. In Expanded, that has an easy remedy… in fact, multiple remedies as this is a Fighting type (more on that later). Not so much in Standard, unfortunately. Without some Energy acceleration, this attack is filler… but at least it is decent filler attack, especially considering this is a Bench-sitter.
Okay, time to jump back to the card’s stats, beginning with its name. Probably not a major concern, but we already have Zamazenta V (Sword & Shield 139/202, 196/202, 212/202; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH019, WSH077). Each of today’s Zamazenta V you run means one fewer copies of the original. They have different typing and also run on different Energy types but if you just need the original Zamazenta V to wall via its Ability, there’s a chance you might have to run two. Good thing, given its Ability doesn’t stack, today’s Zamazenta probably only needs one or two slots in your deck. There’s more, though! Zamazenta V has some name-based support. Unless you need a different Tool on it, you can slap Rusted Shield onto either Zamazenta V for +70 HP. Protective Bench-sitters are normally tempting targets to force active and OHKO, but Rusted Shield means Zamazenta V has 290 max HP, making it just shy of a Pokémon VMAX.
This time, being a Rule Box Pokémon does matter, as (peeking ahead) we can see that has an Ability which Path to the Peak can negate. As for being a Pokémon V, that means the usual: Zamazenta V gives up two Prizes when KO’d, can’t make use of certain beneficial card effects, is targeted by certain detrimental ones, will have significantly more HP than its baseline counterpart, and might have better effects than it otherwise would enjoy. Zamazenta V is a Fighting type this time and not a Metal type. While I’ll miss the goodies contained in [M] type support, and while Fighting’s best tricks are probably in Expanded, there’s one key bit of support that complements Zamazenta V in Standard: each Stone [F] Energy attached to a Fighting type Pokémon reduces the damage that Pokémon takes by 20 (again, before Weakness/Resistance).
Zamazenta V’s base 220 HP is good; not great, but good. It is a pretty typical amount for Basic Pokémon V. Clearing the 200 damage threshold by 20 seems good; a decent amount of cards hit that hard and a simple +10 damage won’t put Zamazenta V into OHKO range. Plus, it has the protection offered by its Ability, and potentially the protection offered by Stone [F] Energy and/or Rusted Shield. [P] Weakness isn’t happy; Psychic is a solid type, a good chunk of them are Fighting Resistant, and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX’s popularity has given their already good attackers a boost. Normally, I wouldn’t hold a lack of Resistance against a card, but it just feels wrong for Zamazenta V to lack it. Still, most Pokémon don’t have it, so I’m not that bothered by it. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither low enough to be good or high enough to be bad. If you aren’t going with Rusted Shield, then Air Balloon is an option for zeroing it out.
So, what makes Zamazenta V worthy of being our 3rd-Place pick? Mostly, lack of competition! As we’re not worried about reprints, especially not-legal-for-organized-play reprints, Celebrations only has 22 cards! Zamazenta V is one of the best cards. In your typical quarterly set, though, Zamazenta V still might make the list, just much further down. I’d say Zamazenta V is a loose staple for Standard, and a plausible pick for your Expanded Format deck. Besides plenty of non-Pokémon VMAX hitting hard in Expanded, there are also more ways to counter Abilities. In the end, I’m encouraged enough to round up this time, giving Zamazenta V some very nice scores. Which is why it was also my 3rd-Place pick.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 3/5
Our third best card of Celebrations is Zamazenta-V. A basic Fighting type with 220 HP, Psychic weakness, and a retreat cost of CC, it has an ability and an attack. It’s ability, Growl of the Shield, reduces the damage Fighting type Pokémon take by 20 after applying Weakness and Resistance while Heavy Impact costs FFC for 150 damage.
So, I guess Zamazenta provides a defensive buff for Fighting types and can even combo well with Stone F Energy to further reduce the damage taken. While there aren’t many Pokémon VMAX in the card pool, some of the VMAX Pokémon has seen enough competitive play that its ability could be useful under the right circumstances. Reducing 20 damage isn’t much, but even if it was 10, it would still make certain attacks whiff from a 2HKO. For Zamazenta itself, not only it has a built in effect of damage reduction, it also has some form of support for itself. Rusted Shield is a Pokémon Tool card from Shining Fates, and that lets Zamazenta-V get +70 to its max HP. With that, you’ll have a Zamazenta-V with 290 max HP with Growl of the Shield, and it still gives up two prizes!
Granted, this isn’t the only Zamazenta-V which affected VMAX Pokemon. The other Zamazenta-V from Sword & Shield is a Basic Metal type with 230 HP, Fire Weakness, Grass Resistance, and a retreat cost of CC. It has an ability called Dauntless Shield, which protects itself from damage by Pokémon VMAX. Assault Tackle costs MMC for 130 damage and also discards a Special Energy card from your opponent’s Active Pokemon. With Rusted Shield, that version of Zamazenta has 300 HP.
There’s a dilemma when choosing which to use or to use both. Zamazenta-V from Sword & Shield only protects itself while today’s Zamazenta helps your other fighting types soak in minuscule damage. Regardless of competition, I think today’s Zamazenta is a nice addition for Fighting based decks, and it could even benefit from all the fighting based support in Expanded.
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