Hey everyone! Before I get into the article, I should introduce myself. My name is TacoTurtle, and I have been playing the Pokémon TCG for a long time now. I am relatively new to the competitive scene, and haven’t really accomplished much of note yet, but I hope to become more involved with competitive play in the future.
But, you’re not reading this to read about my accomplishments (or, I should say, lack thereof). With the first round of Noble Victories prereleases over and the second fast approaching, I want to take a detailed look at the set from a Limited standpoint. In this article, I am going to go over Noble Victories one type at a time and highlight the notable Pokémon of each category. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the analysis!
pokebeach.comGrass types got a great turnout in Noble Victories, and many of them are quite solid when it comes to Limited. The star of this category is Virizion, which is arguably one of the best cards in the set for Limited. It sits at a great 110 HP, allowing it to take a few hits. Fire weakness isn’t too bad in this format. Water resistance is good. The single Retreat Cost is always nice. A nd the fact that it’s a basic means that it is easy to throw into your deck. And, if you get one, you should.
Its first attack, Dual Draw, uses only a single C energy and allows you to draw 2 cards, and while that may not seem like much, it is invaluable in a slow format that contains almost no other form of draw-power. Its second attack, Leaf Wallop (I love that name!), is also nice, dealing 40 then 80 damage for only a Grass and a Colorless. There is really no excuse not to use Virizion if you pull it, so expect to see a lot of Virizion drafted at your prerelease.
Accelgor is the runner-up for grass supremacy, and is another awesome Limited card. As a Stage 1, Accelgor isn’t too hard to use, and it is well worth adding to your deck. Accelgor’s 90 HP is pretty good, Fire weakness is normal, and its free retreat is amazing. Acid Spray, its first attack, deals 20 damage and, if you flip a heads, discards an energy attached to the defending Pokémon for a single C energy.
This attack can be okay, and can slow down your opponent by denying them energy, but Accelgor’s second attack is where it really shines. For just 1 Grass energy, Slashing Strike deals 60 damage, with the drawback of not being able to use the attack again next turn.
Accelgor can easily get around this, however, either by retreating or by using Acid Spray in between Slashing Strikes. While it is a little harder to use being a Stage 1, make sure to look out for Accelgor when you are sorting through your cards.
pokebeach.comThe last Grass Pokémon I want to go into detail on is Leavanny. It’s a Stage 2 with 130 HP, a Fire weakness, and a Retreat Cost of 2. Its attack is okay for Limited, but nothing too special; it’s one of those “flippy” attacks where the damage output relies on coin flips. So why even consider trying to fit in such a mediocre Stage 2? Because of its Ability, Leaf Tailor.
Leaf Tailor states that as long as Leavanny is in play, none of your Pokémon who have any energy attached to them have any weakness. This is a great ability that can turn the tide of match ups against types that your deck is weak to, but Leavanny is hard to use in Limited.
Being a Stage 2, you need to pull at least 2 Sewaddle (I do not recommend running a 1-1-1) and at least 1 Swadloon. Then there’s the problem of setting it up, but I won’t go in to that. Leavanny has a great Ability, but remember what you’re getting in to when you shove that clunky Stage 2 line into your build.
The rest of the Grass Pokémon are less impressive, but are all fairly solid if you plan to draft Grass. Lilligant can heal all damage off one of your Pokémon for a single Grass energy, and can force your opponent to switch out their active Pokémon if it is giving you trouble. Amoongus can use status conditions, making it much easier to wear the defending Pokémon down. Crustle is fairly bulky and can deal some fairly good damage. None of these Stage 1s stand out, but you take what you can get in Limited and they are not bad for decks that are going to use Grass.
Overall, Grass is a great type to play in Noble Victories Limited, and has some awesome Pokémon that will certainly perform well. Grass as a whole is looking solid, and the two best grass types, Accelgor and Virizion, do not require much energy, so they are fairly splashable even if you do not draft much grass. I would come prepared with the knowledge that grass will be a popular type in this format.
pokebeach.comNow that we know that Grass will be a popular type, let’s take a look at Fire. Aside from Victini #14 (or Fliptini, as it has been nicknamed), Fire didn’t get anything to amazing. However, drafting Fire as a secondary type could be a good call, as both Grass and Metal (both weak to Fire) look to have a strong presence in decks. First, however, we can’t talk about Noble Victories without talking about Victini #14.
Victini is a basic Pokémon who’s stats aren’t all that great; 60 HP is fairly low, 1 retreat is to be expected, and a weakness to Water means it will get 1HKO’d by possibly the biggest threat in the format: Kyurem. Its attack is meh, doing 30 damage for a Fire and a C energy and then moving all energy attached to Victini to one of your benched Pokémon.
Victini’s Ability, Victory Star, however, is awesome. It allows you to, once per turn, if you need to flip a coin(s) for an attack, you may redo your flip(s) if you wish. While you may only use 1 Victory Star ability each turn, Victini can turn many Pokémon who would normally be “just okay” into powerhouses. While he isn’t good on the attacking side, Victini is any coin-flipping attacker’s best friend.
There is also another Victini, Victini #15, in the Fire category. This Victini has the same stats as his brother, but has 70 HP instead of 60. This allows him to withstand a shot from Kyurem’s Glaciate or Accelgor’s Slashing Strike, which sometimes can be the difference between victory and defeat. Its attack, V-Create, for a Fire and Colorless, deals 100 damage, but only works if your bench is full.
This isn’t terribly hard to do, and 100 damage is a high amount in Limited. It allows Victini to 1HKO a multitude of threats and bigger attackers, and can take a decent chunk out of everything else. Victini #15 is a good option if you are looking for a heavy attacker who can take a prize fairly reliably, so keep an eye out for it while you open your packs.
Aside from the twin Victinis, no Fire types really stand out. Heatmor, a Basic Fire type with 90 HP, is pretty cool, as it is able to discard the new tool cards from the defending Pokémon using a Fire and a C energy. Simisear is an okay Stage 1 that can be turned into a good attacker with Victini #14’s help, but you have to be pretty lucky to pull both of them.
I have a soft spot for Volcarona; I just love its artwork. Another Stage 1, Volcarona can deal 30 damage with a single Fire energy and has the bonus of attaching any basic energy in your discard pile to one of your Pokémon. With very little energy acceleration to be found in Noble Victories, Volcarona could be quite a handy card.
Fire most likely won’t be as popular as Grass or some of the other types, but there are some decent Fire types in the set that can be used to counter some more prominent types, such as Grass and Metal. It probably won’t be the type you base you deck on, but Fire could very well be a great secondary type to use in your deck.
pokebeach.comWater is an interesting type in this format. It includes a variety of cards, ranging from an unplayable fossil Pokémon in the form of Carracosta to what may very well be the king of the Noble Victories Limited Format: Kyurem. Kyurem is a Basic Pokémon with a beastly 130 HP, a weakness to Metal, and a Retreat Cost of 2. His first attack, Outrage, deals 20 damage plus 10 more damage for each damage counter on Kyurem, for two C energy… yeah, you guessed it. This guy is related to the infamous Reshiram and Zekrom, probably the two most domimant forces in our current HGSS-on metagame.
Kyurem’s second attack, however, is what sets him apart from his cousins and makes him a serious threat in Limited. Glaciate, for two Water and a Colorless, deals 30 damage to every Pokémon on your side of the board. This is devastating in Limited, where weaker basics often have to sit on the bench for a few turns and wait while you try to draw their evolution.
Kyurem makes you hesitate every time you go to bench a new Pokémon, and can take multiple prizes to end games with ease. This is another card that is a must; if you pull a Kyurem, you should draft it immediately 99% percent of the time.
Jellicent, a Stage 1, also looks to be pretty solid, with 110 HP, a weakness to Lightning, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Jellicent has a great Ability called Cursed Body; whenever it takes damage from an attack while it is active, the Defending Pokémon becomes Confused. This can be a great way to slow down and sometimes cripple threatening attackers, that isn’t all Jellicent brings to the table.
Its attack, Hydro Pump, deals only 10 damage, but adds 20 more damage for each Water energy attached to Jellicent. The attack costs two C energy to use, but should pretty much always be run with Water energy. The great thing about Jellicent is the fact that, technically, it has the power to 1HKO anything in the format.
pokebeach.comGranted, you need a lot of energy to take out something like a Kyurem or a Terrakion, but combined with its great Ability, Jellicent is a great card that you should consider if you decide to draft Water.
The last Water Pokémon I want to mention are the Cryagonal brothers. Both Cryagonal have the same stats; 80 HP, weakness to Metal, and a 1 Retreat Cost. The first one, Cryagonal #32, can put the Defending Pokémon to sleep for a single Water energy with its Icy Wind attack, and deal 30 damage for a Water and a Colorless with Ice Shard.
However, if the Defending Pokémon is a Fighting type, Ice Shard deals an additional 40 damage, making it an awesome tech against Fighting types. Fighting is another great type in Noble Victories Limited, so being able to hit things like Terrakion and Landorus for 70 damage is great.
Cryagonal #33 is less impressive, but still has its uses. It’s first attack, Ice Chains, requires a Water energy to use and works like a Pokémon Catcher in attack form, dragging up whatever Pokémon you choose from your opponent’s bench. While not a great an effect in attack form, this can still be quite useful, and can buy you time while you set up your other Pokémon.
The rest of the Water cast is, sadly, pretty bad. Carracosta is rendered completely unplayable in Limited due to all the cards you need for it to work effectively, and Seismitoad is just too much effort to set up to really be worth much in the end. Vanilluxe might be good if paired with Victini #14, but being a Stage 2 hurts it’s playability.
Overall Water includes some really good cards to draft, but also has a lot of junk that will be worthless most of the time. Regardless, Water will see play because of Kyurem and, to a lesser extent, Jellicent. You should be prepared to face off against these fearsome Water types, so be aware of their presence as you put together your deck.
pokebeach.comLightning is easily the most disappointing type in the set when it comes to Limited. Eelektrik, a Stage 1 with a great Ability in Dynamotor, makes for great energy acceleration in Modified, but using it in Limited forces you to run Lightning energy – and somehow get them into the discard pile. Maybe if you are only running one type and then colorless, but that usually won’t be the case.
Lightning suffers from a lack of decent attackers; Eelektross is a Stage 2 and hard to play, and Zebstrika is average, but not really special in any way. There aren’t even many Lightning-weak Pokémon in the set, so it doesn’t do any good to tech a Lightning type.
Overall, there is not too much to be said. Lightning is just about the worst type in Noble Victories Limited, and there really is no sense in drafting it with so many other good cards in the set.
Psychic falls somewhere in the middle in terms of how good the types are overall. There are some good cards, but nothing that can compare to beasts such as Kyurem. There are a few, however, that are worth looking at. One of those cards is Beheeyem, a Stage 1 with 80 HP. It carries the usual weakness to Psychic and has a Retreat Cost of 1.
The reason why Beheeyem worth any attention is its first attack, Synchronoise. The attack does 20 damage, as well as 20 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokémon that are the same type as the Defending Pokémon, all for just one Psychic energy. In Limited, most decks consist of two main types, and sometimes even a single type, so Beheeyem can actually be a very effective way to get damage on your opponent’s board.
It can also work well with Kyurem, as both can spread damage around and take multiple prizes fast. And to top it off, Beheeyem’s pre-evolution, Elgyem #55, can search for 2 Basic Pokémon and place them on your bench for a single C energy, which is a huge plus in a format that offers little to no aid in setting up your deck.
I feel like Beheeyem is one of those cards that nobody really cares about, but actually has potential to shine in certain settings – and one of those settings is Limited.
Another Stage 1 Psychic-type I wanted to mention is Cofagrigus #46. Cofagrigus has 90 HP and a 3 Retreat Cost, as well as a weakness to Darkness. Its second attack is just okay, but its first attack is quite cool: the awesomely named Damagriiigus. For a Psychic and a Colorless, the attack moves all damage on one of you benched Pokémon to the active Pokémon.
When used in conjunction with a high-hp basic like Kyurem or Terrakion, Damagriiigus can dish out some major hurt, and it has the added bonus of healing one of your own Pokémon fully. Cofagrigus is a really cool and interesting card to play with, and could be a big assets in a Limited deck.
Psychic doesn’t have that many more cards worth mentioning, other than maybe Chandelure. Chandelure has a decent attack (for Limited) and a great ability that puts more damage on the board, but again, Stage 2 are hard to play in Limited. Cofagrigus #47 and Garboder are solid Stage 1s if you plan to draft Psychic, but they aren’t anything too special.
Reuniclus (both of them) aren’t very good at all in Limited, being Stage 2s with nothing to great about them. Overall, Psychic has some interesting cards that can really help a deck, but probably won’t be drafted as any more than a secondary type.
pokebeach.comFighting, like Grass, get’s a great selection of Pokémon in Noble Victories, and will likely be a string overall presence at any given prerelease. The poster boy of this category is Terrakion, a big bad basic with that is another big contender in the Noble Victories Limited format. Everything about Terrakion (save its Grass weakness) is big: its hefty 130 HP, massive 4 Retreat Cost, and powerful attacks.
Terrakion’s first attack, Retaliate, costs a Fighting and a Colorless. The attack deals 30 damage, but adds 60 more damage if one of your Pokémon was KO’d the turn before. This makes Terrakion a great revenge attacker to bring in after another attacker falls, and it can then keep the damage coming with Land Crush, its second attack that deals a vanilla 90 damage for two Fighting and a Colorless.
Terrakion’s ability to take hits and dish out high damage turns it into a force to be reckoned with, even with a weakness to both Virizion and Accelgor. Terrakion is a tank, and one that can help pull your deck to victory.
Landorus comes in right behind Terrakion, and is also a great basic Pokémon. Landorus is sitting pretty at 110 HP, and has a nice Retreat Cost of 1. Weakness to Water isn’t great due to the fact that it will take more damage from Kyurem and can be 1HKO’d by Cryagonal #32.
Its first attack, Bountiful Harvest, allows you to attach a basic energy from the discard pile to Landorus for a single C energy. This can help a lot when you need Landorus to be attacking as soon as possible, and makes it easier to set up Landorus’s Gaia Hammer attack.
This attack, for two Fighting and a Colorless, deals 80 damage and 10 damage to every benched Pokémon in play; both yours and your opponent’s. This can be useful to get some extra damage on your opponent’s Pokémon, but be careful of the damage on your side. Landorus is another great attack that should be strongly considered when you are picking cards for your deck.
Fighting also like Grass in that the rest of the cards, while not too special, are pretty solid. The two Conkeldurr’s are both good it you can get them up (darn Stage 2s!) and Mienshao and Golurk are both solid Stage 1s. Archeops and Gigalith are both trash in Limited, but the rest of the type as a whole looks really good. Watch out for Fighting types at your prerelease, as they are sure to be a popular type to draft.
pokebeach.comThere isn’t too much to say about Darkness, as there are only 2 Darkness Pokémon lines in Noble Victories. They are both hindered by a weakness to Fighting, but both are pretty decent cards. Hydregion is a Stage 2 with an awesome 150 HP, Psychic resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Its Dark Aura Ability turns any energy attached to it into Dark energy, making it spashable into any deck, but its attack still costs a whopping four Darkness energy!
The attack, Beserker Blade, deals 60 damage and 40 damage to two of your opponent’s benched Pokémon. Hydregion has some great qualities and I personally love the card, but being a Stage 2 really hurts Hydregion in Limited play. It isn’t likely that you will pull a solid line of Hydregion out of six packs, and trying to use a small line is more trouble than it is worth.
The other Darkness Pokémon is Bisharp #76, a Stage 1 that has a fair bit going for it. It has 90 HP, a resistance to Psychic, and a 1 Retreat Cost. For a single Darkness energy, Finishing Blow does 20 damage. But if the Defending Pokémon has any damage counters already on it, the attack deals an addition 50 damage! Because of this, Bisharp is akin to Accelgor in that it can deal a lot of damage for little cost.
Its second attack, costing a Darkness and a Colorless isn’t anything great, dealing 30 damage and allowing you to swap Bisharp with one of your benched Pokémon. While not to great, it can get a minor hit off while getting Bisharp out of trouble. Bisharp can be a great card to draft for a fast attacker, so don’t count it out just because of its typing.
Overall, Darkness won’t be doing anything to great. With Fighting types having such a strong presence, and Hydregion being hard to play, Bisharp is left as the only easy-to-use Darkness type Pokémon. And while Bisharp is a good back-up attacker, it won’t be spearheading any decks in Noble Victories Limited.
pokebeach.comEven though it hasn’t been a great type in Modified lately, Metal actually holds some decent cards. Just take a look at Cobalion; with 120 HP, a weakness to Fire, and a Psychic resistance, it can take a few hits. 2 retreat is average for a Pokémon with these stats, so that’s to be expected. Being a basic is always a plus, and Cobalion’s attacks make it a great card to draft into your deck.
Its first attack, Energy Press, deals 20 damage plus 20 more damage for each energy attached to the Defending Pokémon for the cost of a Metal and a C energy. This attack can deal a fair amount of damage, but it isn’t the reason why Cobalion is so great. For two Metal and a Colorless, Iron Breaker does 80 damage and prevents the Pokémon that was hit by it from attacking during your opponent’s next turn.
This attack is just amazing in Limited, dealing great damage with stopping the defending Pokémon cold. While your opponent can still retreat out to something else, a common strategy in Limited is to use one attacker while trying to set up another. If you opponent is not set up and is relying on their active attacker, Cobalion can shut them down in an instant. Combined with the ability to 1HKO the dreaded Kyurem, Cobalion alone is enough to make Metal a solid type to draft.
Cobalion isn’t the only Metal type that can perform well, however. Bisharp #82 is still fairly solid at 100 HP, with the usual Fire weakness and Psychic resistance, as well as a Retreat Cost of 2. Bisharp is fairly accessible being a Stage One, and comes equipped with some fairly decent attacks.
Energy Stream, for one Colorless, deals 20 damage and lets you attach a metal energy from the discard pile to Bisharp. Just like with Landorus, this can be handy while trying to set up Bisharp’s bigger attack, Metal Scissors.
For three C energy, the attack does 40 damage plus 20 more damage for each Metal energy attached to Bisharp. This attack can become quite powerful, dealing 100 damage if the cost is being paid with 3 Metal energy.
This means that Bisharp can take down Kyurem without much trouble, and is a solid Metal attacker overall. Bisharp can be a great choice if you plan on running Metal, or if you just want that Pokémon who can take out threats like Kyurem fast.
The other metal Pokémon are, meh, just okay. Durant is cool but not great, and Escavalier, while fairly decent, doesn’t have a ton going for him (although he can 1HKO Kyurem as well, always a plus). While there isn’t a very big selection of Metal types to choose from, Metal is probably one of the best secondary types you can draft and will see a fair amount of play in Noble Victories Limited.
pokebeach.comWe’re on the home stretch! Colorless is pretty self-explanatory, with Colorless attackers often being thrown in to decks that just need some extra Pokémon to finish it off. The only card I really want to talk about in this category is Druddigaon, a Basic Pokémon that looks to be a great Limited card.
Druddigon has a decent 100 HP, no weakness or resistance, and a retreat of 2. Druddigon’s Ability, Rough Skin, deals 20 damage to the Defending Pokémon every time it attacks Druddigan while it is active. This Ability is pretty sweet, softening up opponent’s Pokémon for Druddigon or your other attackers.
Druddigon also has a decent attack in Clutch, dealing 60 damage and preventing the Defending Pokémon from retreating at the cost of three C energy. 60 damage is a fair amount, and stopping a Pokémon from retreating means that it either has to just sit in the Active Spot and take hits, or attack Druddigon and suffer Rough Skin damage. Being colorless, Druddigan can be drafted into any deck, and is a great card to have at your disposal.
The only other Colorless Pokémon are Audino and the Haxorus line. Haxorus is pretty great as an attacker, but being a Stage 2 makes it really hard to play. Audino is, well, just okay. It is really just one of those filler cards that you can throw in if you need an extra Pokémon. There really isn’t much else to say about Colorless; honestly, it isn’t very exciting. Druddigon is a great card in Noble Victories Limited, but other than that the category isn’t anything special.
pokebeach.comAnd finally we reach the Trainer cards, which I promise I will just do a quick overview of. The new Pokémon Tool cards, Rocky Helmet and Eviolite, are gold in this format, with Eviolite being perfect for protecting your powerful basic attackers and Rocky Helmet dishing out punishment every time your Pokémon is hit. The fossil cards, as I have already mentioned, are complete garbage in Limited, and shouldn’t even be given a thought.
Super Rod is good due to the fact that you will probably only pull one copy of all you best attackers, allowing you to re-use your KO’d Pokémon. N is okay in Limited, but you should include it simply because it is the only Supporter in the entire set, making it an invaluable card to pull. Xtransiever is the final trainer in Noble Victories, and really should only be used if you also have an N to search for with it. Otherwise, it’s just as bad as the fossil Trainers.
Noble Victories looks to be an amazing set, adding a ton of great cards to the HGSS-on format. But it also looks to be a great Limited set, with a pretty balanced spread of cards and nothing as game-breaking as Reshiram and Zekrom. Kyurem and the legendary Musketeer trio obviously are some of the best cards, but they can at least be beaten and are checked by other cards in the set.
Thank you all who took the time to read this very long article, I tend to write a lot when I get involved in a topic. I hope that all of you enjoyed my first article here on SixPrizes, and I hope that you will leave having learned something about Noble Victories as a Limited set. For all of you who have pre releases coming up this Saturday, I wish all of you good luck!