Take Control of Your Game with Victini!
22 Dec, 2011 in TCG
One of the three new Victini cards in the Black & White—Noble Victories expansion is turning heads.
It’s common to hear that the Pokémon Trading Card Game has become more dependent on coin flips lately. A lot of Pokémon have potentially great attacks, but the fear of hitting a coin-flip cold streak turns many deck builders away from them. Now a whole bunch of deck ideas heat up with the arrival of Fire-type Victini (Black & White—Noble Victories, 14/101). In fact, there are actually two Fire-type Victini cards in this expansion, and the other Victini (Black & White—Noble Victories, 15/101) has its own merits. For now, we’ll look to see how Victini with the Victory Star Ability can be a cornerstone for many decks.
We looked at this Victini before the launch of the Black & White—Noble Victories expansion, but here’s a quick recap: Victini’s Victory Star Ability lets you take a do-over if, after you flip coins as part of an attack, you don’t like the outcome of those flips. There are a few caveats worth noting: this works after an attack only, and it doesn’t work for Trainer cards, other Abilities, or anything else except the Active Pokémon’s attacks. Also, if an attack requires that you flip more than one coin, you must re-flip all of the coins, not just the ones that came up with undesirable results. Finally, whatever result you get on your second flip is the one that stays in play—you can’t choose to keep the original results after seeing the second ones!
Fire and Ice
One of the most exciting possibilities for the Victory Star Ability is combining it with Vanilluxe (Black & White—Noble Victories, 29/101) and its Double Freeze attack. Double Freeze does 40 damage times the number of heads after two coin flips, but it also Paralyzes the Defending Pokémon if either of the coins comes up heads. That gives you better than a 93% chance to do 40 damage and Paralyze the Defending Pokémon every single turn. And 25% of the time (when you flip two heads on your first flip), Double Freeze will do 80 damage and Paralyze the Defending Pokémon! Since the Defending Pokémon cannot attack or retreat when it’s Paralyzed, your opponent has only a few options: use a Trainer card such as Switch, Super Scoop Up, or Pokémon Catcher to escape, or wait until the Pokémon is Knocked Out and then hope to regroup.
Half of the time, you’ll flip one heads and one tails on your first round of coin flips, and when that happens, you may be tempted to flip again in hopes of getting two heads. Maybe you can tell by the gleam of your opponent’s eye that he or she has a plan to disrupt your attack. Maybe you just feel like being aggressive when you’re in the lead. But you should ask yourself whether you really need to try for that extra 40 damage, because your odds of getting two tails dwindles to a much-more harrowing 25% if you decide to proceed. You should either be in dire straits or have a solid back-up plan in place before flipping again after splitting your initial coin flips.
One of the features that the Victini and Vanilluxe combination illustrates is that Victini can work in virtually any deck. The fact that it could also battle never has to come into play (although there are a number of situations where it won’t hurt, as you’ll read in a moment).
All the Way Up the Chain
Another excellent use of Victini is to support the Colorless-type Haxorus (Black & White—Noble Victories, 88/101). This Stage 2 Pokémon’s Dual Chop attack hits for 50 damage for each heads you get after two coin flips. Obviously, Victini will help you get as much out of that attack as it can. Victini has the added value of helping not just Haxorus but also its two pre-evolved forms, Axew (Black & White—Noble Victories, 86/101) and Fraxure (Black & White—Noble Victories, 87/101), which have the Dual Chop attack as well. And that attack just gets stronger as you evolve your way up to Haxorus. So, at any point in your game, the Victory Star Ability can be of great service. The same math comes into effect as it did with Vanilluxe, but you may need to push your luck a little more often with Haxorus. Since you’re not Paralyzing the Defending Pokémon, you may have to take your chances and try for 100 damage once in a while in order to Knock Out a potentially dangerous Pokémon. This strategy may sound a little hard to pin down, but it’s getting these kinds of gut decisions right that turn middling Pokémon TCG players into World Champions.
Feel the Burn
We should also take a quick look at Victini’s Stored Power attack. At 30 damage, it’s not the most fearsome attack, but it can make Victini a good Pokémon to lead off with. Pile as much Energy as you want onto Victini at the start of a match, then use Stored Power to transfer that Energy to a Pokémon you’ve been prepping on your Bench.
One excellent candidate for this combo is Simisear (Black & White—Noble Victories, 17/101), whose Double Fire attack is a beast—it does 80 damage times the number of heads after two coin flips. Double Fire also requires two Fire Energy and a Colorless Energy, making it a little time consuming to set up. If Victini is out in front early and you can get a couple of Energy attached to it, use its Stored Power attack to transfer all of Victini’s Energy to Simisear. Then use a Switch to promote Simisear to the Active Position, putting Victini into a good position to use its Victory Star Ability to have Simisear’s back. It’s a simple combination but one that utilizes all of Victini’s skills, not just its Ability.
As we said, the number of coin flip attacks in recent expansions makes Victini a must-have Pokémon for so many decks. Keep searching for other ways to benefit from its Victory Star Ability, because they’re out there, waiting for you to discover them!