The Future of the Format – Noble Victories Set Review

With each new set comes opportunities. New decks are created, strong techs are revealed and the format can be turned upside down. I’m sure by now most of you have seen the scans for Noble Victories, so you know it introduces some very unique and potentially game-changing cards.

I won’t be going over every single card in the set, just the strong, unique or otherwise notable cards. Without further ado, here’s my review of Noble Victories.


pokebeach.comFor starters we have Leavanny, which is a Stage 2 Grass Pokémon. Its attack, “Cutting Arm,” dishes out a low 40 damage and lets you flip two coins. For each heads, add an additional 20 damage. If I hit two out of two coin flips correctly, I expect to be hitting for a lot more than 80 damage. The reason that I’ve included Leavanny on this list is because of its Ability, “Leaf Tailor”, which gets rid of the Weaknesses on all your Pokémon with an Energy attached.

I could definitely see this card being useful in a lot of decks, but the two I see it being the potentially strongest in is Gothitelle, for the mirror and Mew matches, and Tyranitar, to fend off Donphan. This card would definitely be a Bench-sitter, which makes its CC Retreat Cost a potential problem.

In this format, it is difficult to run cards like these. In some match ups, getting it can win you the game, but in others, it’s a dead-draw. If you’re using it in Tyranitar, you’ll need it out fast against Donphan, which makes a thicker line necessary. However, this makes you more vulnerable to be out-sped in other match ups. It’s a real headache that could ultimately force players to pass on Leavanny.


I very much agree with what Teridax said in his “Pokémon Pantheon: Noble Victories” article. Virizion is definitely an overestimated card that can’t do any real damage. Its high HP and “Double Draw” attack might suggest it could be a potential starter Pokémon, but it’s weaker than Cleffa for sure. Some people are hyping this card to the moon, but I just can’t get behind it.


Next up is the Stage 1 Grass Pokémon, Amoonguss. The low 90 HP means it won’t be sticking around long. Combined with a Fire Weakness and irritating CC Retreat means we’re not off to a good start. It has two attacks, “Toxic” and “Body Slam.”

The first is where this card is interesting. For a single G Energy, “Toxic” will Poison the defending Pokémon. However, two damage counters are placed instead of one between turns. If you played Pokémon last format, this attack should definitely give you déjà vu of a certain bat Pokémon. While Crobat G was one of the most played Pokémon of the 2009, 2010 and early 2011 formats, it was not because of its attack. Body Slam is a weak 30 damage attack, but it does offer a 50% chance of Paralysis.

At first glance I thought this card could work as a Gothitelle counter, like a stronger Magby. Unfortunately, since Toxic belongs to an unsplashable Stage 1, I don’t think this card will see much play. If you really want a card like this, go with Muk.

Victini NV 14 aka FlipTini

pokebeach.comThis card was one of the first revealed cards from Noble Victories and for good reason: it’s awesome. 60 HP on an unevolving Basic pales in comparison to Pokémon such as Zekrom or Reshiram. The attack “Stored Power” definitely isn’t why you’d want to play this card either. For RC, doing 30 damage and moving all Energy attached to it to a benched Pokémon is terrible.

If you’re running this card, it’s for Victini’s Ability, “Victory Star”, which states that once during your turn, if you flip any coins for an attack and don’t like the result, you may ignore those flips and flip them again. However, you can only use this effect once per turn, regardless of the number of Victini in play.

Unlike a lot of TCGs, as far as I can remember, Pokémon hasn’t had any cards that can alter the results of coin flips. In the Naruto CCG, there are entire decks dedicated to re-flipping coins again and again so the results are always to your advantage. Victini brings a new aspect to the game, which has me very excited to see what other kinds mechanics are introduced.

Now back to the card, Victini is just begging to be abused. There are just so many attacks that use coin flips to some extent, whether it be the majority of the attack or a small bonus effect, hitting those heads twice as often means this card will definitely see play. Stock up now, you won’t regret it.

Victini NV 15

All together there’s three Victini in this set, all of which are pretty interesting. This one has a slightly higher 70 HP, although this small gain is irrelevant against just about every attacker in the game. Even Donphan, which only hits for 60, can surely get the 1HKO with a PlusPower, which most Stage 1 decks run at least 3 copies of.

What makes this card interesting is its attack, “V-Create”, which for RC dishes out a massive 100 damage. However, this damage is negated if you do not have a full bench. Hitting for 100 damage for such a low cost with no real side effect is pretty decent. Unfortunately, it isn’t all that good as 100 damage 1HKOs very little. You can pretty much rule out getting multiple shots off with this guy as its low HP means it’s getting killed fast.


pokebeach.comStage 2. 140 HP. CCC Retreat. Pretty average stats for a Stage 2 Pokémon. Its attack, “Hyper Voice,” does a meager and near-useless 70 damage for WWC. For sure the best aspect of this card is its first attack, “Round.” For a doable CC, it does 30 damage times the number of your Pokémon in play that have the Round attack. Maxing out at 120 damage with 4 “Round” attackers in play is definitely nothing to scoff at.

It gets better, Seismitoad’s Stage 1 form, Palpitoad, also has the Round attack (although its version of Round costs CCC and does less damage), which means you don’t need 4 Stage 2’s to do maximum damage.

Seismitoad immediately reminds me of Beedrill, the rogue deck that stormed Worlds ’09, taking home the tournament. However, unlike 2009, we have neither Claydol nor Uxie in the format (not to mention Broken Time-Space is out and Rare Candy is weaker now), meaning it will be very, very difficult to be hitting for any kind of real damage with Seismitoad.


Vanilluxe is a Stage 2 Pokémon with a solid Water typing, letting you hit Reshiram, as well as any Emboar/Typhlosion you happen to Catcher up, for twice the damage. The Metal Weakness is pretty decent as Steelix and Scizor Prime see such little play. The CC Retreat Cost makes Vanilluxe a bit less user-friendly, but it isn’t terrible.

Vanilluxe comes equipped with two attacks, one of which is much stronger than the other. “Frost Breath” does a vanilla 60 for WW, which isn’t a very good Energy to Damage ratio, especially on a Stage 2. “Double Freeze,” on the other hand, is quite interesting. For WC, you get to flip two coins and for each heads, it does 40 damage. However, if you get at least 1 heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.

pokebeach.comGenerally any attack that Paralyzes only does so on a coin flip or something else similar that prevents you from doing so repeatedly. However, since you get to flip two coins and only need one heads, that gives you a 75% chance of paralysis. That’s not even counting Fliptini in the mix. If you do, it’s pretty much a guarantee of paralyzing the opposing Pokémon. One nice thing about Special Conditions is that it shuts off Poké-Powers such as “Afterburner” and “Magnetic Draw.” Combined with Pokémon Catcher, Vanillux can be very disruptive.

The only Weakness I see to Vanilluxe is the fact that it dishes out such a low amount of damage. While you have a decent chance of hitting for 80 with Victini, there’s something you have to take into account. If you use “Double Freeze” and get 1 heads, thus doing 40 damage and paralyzing, you’re taking a risk flipping again via Victini and hoping to get two heads. Each time you flip, there’s a 25% chance you won’t be doing any damage at all (not to mention no paralysis).

The reason I see this card as potentially stronger than Cobalion or Beartic is because Special Conditions shut of Poké-Powers, meaning cards such as Magnezone and Typhlosion not only won’t be able to attack, but can’t even use their amazing Poké-Powers either.


This card is one of the most hyped cards from Noble Victories. Is the hype worth it? Let’s find out. 130 HP is very strong for a Basic, putting it on tier with Zekrom and Reshiram (which makes sense). The x2 Metal Weakness is a very good one as there’s virtually no Metal Pokémon that sees common play (although this could change with Cobalion). The Water typing is huge since you can do twice as much damage to Reshiram, the most popular attacker in the format.

Like his Lightning and Fire brothers, it has a CC Retreat Cost. It isn’t too bad here because Kyurem is an attacker, meaning you won’t need to Retreat it too often. Also, being a Water type gives it access to Feraligatr Prime, who allows you to quickly get Energy for its attacks in play.

pokebeach.comKyurem comes equipped with the standard “Outrage” attack that does 20 damage plus an additional 10 for each damage counter on it. I think “Outrage” is especially strong on this card because he’s harder to 1HKO than Zekrom or Reshiram because of the uncommon Weakness.

Kyurem has another attack, “Glaciate,” which for WWC dishes out 30 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokémon. It hits every Pokémon your opponent has in play. The most commonly discussed partner for Kyurem is the aforementioned Feralitagry Prime, so you can quickly and consistently get the three Energy on Kyurem so it can attack.

I feel like 30 damage is the perfect amount to be spreading on your opponent’s Pokémon. It’s enough to 1HKO babies and 2HKO any Basics your opponent has put down.

Frankly, I’m having trouble figuring out exactly how strong a Kyurem-based spread deck will be in this format. I definitely think it will succeed to some extent, but I can’t decide exactly how much its vulnerabilities will hold a deck like this back. But alas, time will tell.

Victini NV 43

The third and final Victini of the set, this time a Psychic-type. Victini is fairly simple; no Ability and only one attack. When you use “V-Blast”, you flip two coins. If either of them is tails, the attack does nothing. However, if you get double heads, the attack does a whopping 120 damage for a single Energy!

Again, since this attack uses coin flips, it gets considerably stronger when used in conjunction with Victini NV 14. However, the odds of hitting two Heads, even when you have two tries, makes dealing consistent damage impossible.

I can see Victini NV 43 and FlipTini being used together as a counter to Gothitelle or maybe even the yet-to-be-released Mewtwo EX. If the “Eye on Japan” article is any indication, Mewtwo EX is going to be a huge deck, so having a card that can 1HKO it for a single Energy is going to at least be considered.

But again, the biggest flaw of this card is it can’t deal consistent damage, which means there are going to be turns where you don’t do any damage at all. Yes, 120 damage is a lot (especially for P), but I’m not sure it’s enough to risk doing no damage at all some turns. I’m far from sold on this card.


pokebeach.comNext we have an apparently run-of-the-mill Stage 1 Pokémon; 90 HP, Psychic Type, Darkness Weakness, no Resistance and CC Retreat. “Ambush” is a pretty weak attack. For PC, it does 40 damage and lets you flip a coin. If heads, it does 60 damage instead. Even when you do hit heads, the attack still does a pitifully low amount of damage.

The reason I’m actually reviewing Cofagrigus is because of its Ability, which is called “Durable Body.” It states if Cofagrigus would be Knocked Out, flip a coin. If heads, its HP is just reduced to 10 instead. Immediately I’m reminded of Focus Band from Neo Genesis, which was very strong back in the day. The funny thing is, Cofagrigus is so weak that it doesn’t have to worry about surviving longer because you would be crazy to run this card.

Reuniclus NV 52

With no Ability in sight, Reuniclus has two attacks: “Future Sight” and “Net Force.” The first, for C, lets you look at and rearrange the top 5 cards of your deck. This is a very bad attack when it’s on a Stage 2 Pokémon. Thankfully, it does have a second attack. “Net Force”, for a single P Energy, dishes out 40 damage times the number of Reuniclus you have in play. Again, I’m having flashbacks to Beedrill from Great Encounters, who did 30 damage for each Beedrill in play at the cost of a single Grass.

However, there’s a few key differences between the two. For starters, the difference in HP makes swarming with Reuniclus much less efficient. In addition, with there being no draw/search engine in the format, it is difficult to get multiple Stage 2 Pokémon in play quickly and consistently.

Fortunately, Net Force does 40 damage for each Reuniclus, opposed to 30, so you can hit for 120 damage with only 3 in play. This also means you could hit for a staggering 160 damage, but you would need four Reuniclus to do so. If we get a strong draw engine someday, this card has potential.

Elgyem NV 55

pokebeach.com60 HP is solid for an evolving Basic, but not amazing. The Psychic Weakness is pretty common on a Psychic-type and the C Retreat Cost is expected. Elgyem has the classic “Call for Family” attack, but under a different name. “First Contact” lets you search your deck for two Basic Pokémon and put them on your bench.

Throughout the history of the game, Pokémon that have Call for Family-type attacks have been used to drastically increase speed and consistency. A great example is Dunsparce SS. Because of its “Strike and Run” attack, which fished out three Basics and put them on your bench, it saw massive play in a huge variaty of decks.

Ultimately, I don’t think this card will reach Dunsparce’s level of popularity because of Pichu. Offering a free Retreat alternative that has a 50% chance of stalling your opponent for a turn via “Sweet Baby Face”. In addition, Pichu can get a lot more Basics in play opposed to Elgyem, who maxes out at two per turn. If you don’t like helping your opponent set up, there’s always Cleffa.


When I first read this card, I said to myself “not bad, not amazing, but it could be kinda good”. After a minimal amount of testing, I shifted my opinion to “it seems good, but just isn’t good enough”. But after I played about 3 games against the deck on playtcg, I changed my opinion once again.

Even though I won all three games by a decent margin, there was one turn in the middle of game two that I looked at the board and said “I could be in a tight spot if he does X move.” I ended up way underestimating my side of the board and it turned out to be no problem, the lists I played against were mediocre at best. It got me thinking, I wonder what it could do in a good list piloted by a strong player (I have no idea what my opponent’s skill levels were). I’m not quite yet sold either way on this card.

I don’t want to make assumptions as its way undertested, but I threw Chandelure together with Vileplume and it performed decently, winning three out of four games (won against a Gothitelle, MagneBoar and TyRam; lost to the same TyRam list next game).

Conkeldurr NV 64

pokebeach.comI think Conkeldurr will end up going the route of Nidoking TM. Both have the capability of becoming huge tanks, but are bogged down by their slow set up. Nidoking was pushed by a lot of big names, including our own Chris Fulop, as having potential, but unfortunately, it never quite caught on.

Conkeldurr isn’t as slow as Nidoking as F Energy are a lot easier to get in play Nidoqueen. However, in a format where doing 120 damage a turn is common and cards that can 1HKO just about anything (ie Magnezone Prime), not to mention the nasty Psychic Weakness, it’s just about impossible for a tanking deck to be successful.

Reuniclus would make it a lot stronger, but once you run Reuniclus, you’ve got to include Vileplume as well. To summarize, you’re running three Stage 2 Pokémon with a main attacker requiring four Energy and maxes out at 80 damage a turn. I’ve been wrong before, but it sounds like a bad The Truth knockoff and not a tournament-winning deck.

Some people are saying Conkeldurr is pro with Electrode. I put together a deck using this concept the other day. I’ll admit I only played about twenty games with it, but from what I gathered, you either have to run a very high Energy count (20-25) or make luck a HUGE factor in the deck’s performance.


“Ancient Power” is a seriously wicked Ability, stopping both players from evolving their Pokémon. Permanitly. If you were to run this card in a deck filled with strong Basic attackers (Zekrom, Tornadus, Reshiram, etc.), you’d pretty much win the game if you can get it out early enough. Unfortunately, apart from the higher than average 130 HP on a Stage 1, the rest of Archeops is pretty much a disappointment. A Grass Weakness is terrible thanks to Yanmega, the attack is overpriced and underpowered. Its previous form, Archen, is a Restored Pokémon, meaning it can only be put in play with Plume Fossil.

Plume Fossil is a Trainer card that lets you look at the bottom seven cards of your deck. If Archen is among them, put it on your bench. There’s a lot of reasons why this isn’t good: Trainers can’t be searched out, an Archen in your hand is useless, Trainer lock, there might not even be an Archen in the bottom seven, etc. Unless if “Restored” Pokémon get some serious support, I don’t see Archeops seeing play.


pokebeach.comWith such epic art, I wish it were stronger. Don’t get me wrong, “Retaliate” is a strong attack that helps it to act as a Toxicroak G. However, part of the reason Promocroak was so strong was because it could swoop in out of nowhere, get a 1HKO on Luxray GL LV.X. Then, with either its Poké-Power or TGI Poké Turn, quickly escape and let your other attackers take over.

Terrakion, on the other hand, can be spotted from a mile away. In addition, without the precise Energy fishing of the Cyrus Engine, you need to be running a decent amount of F Energy. Finally, say that you’re able to get a revenge 1HKO, you now have Terrakion stuck active doing a pitiful 30 damage a turn.


Being a member of the same clan as Tornadus (and even Thundrus, for that matter), I’m a bit underwhelmed. 110 HP is good; Water Weakness is decent; Lightning Resistance is pretty much irrelevant as Magnezone Prime gets the 1HKO for 3 Energy regardless; and the low Retreat Cost is helpful, but nothing amazing.

“Abundant Harvest”, for F, lets you attach a Basic Energy from your discard pile to Landorus. “Gaia Hammer”, for FFC, does 80 damage to each Benched Pokémon. Obviously, the idea behind the design was to use Abundant Harvest to quickly charge Landorus up. Then, use Gaia Hammer to clean up.

I don’t see Landorus being the star of his own deck because he doesn’t hit for that much and unlike Tornadus, can’t abuse Double Colorless Energy (or Pachirisu/Shaymin) to increase its speed.


pokebeach.comThe second I read the scan of Hydreigon, I fell in love. “Berserker Blade” is a very, very strong attack. 60 damage to the active and 40 to two Benched Pokémon rocks! This allows you to hit their active attacker and get KOs on their benched Pokémon as well. The cost of Berserker Blade is equally massive: DDDD.

Thankfully, it has an Ability similar to Base Set Charizard’s Poké-Body which makes all Energy attached to it D Energy. There is a lot of potential here. Not only can Hydreigon use Special Darks, but Double Colorless Energies suddenly become Darkness!

The Fighting Weakness is unfortunate, but this is softened since Donphan can only 2HKO Hydreigon when using “Earthquake”. I think we can definitely expect Hydreigon to be a strong contender come Cities.


Iron Breaker” has made it the focus of a significant amount of hype, declaring Cobalion the card Beartic was supposed to be. Comparisons between the two arise because of “Iron Breaker”, which for MMC does 80 damage and makes the Defending Pokémon unable to attack during your opponent’s next turn. Beartic had a similar attack, but only prevented the Defending Pokémon from using one of its attacks that you choose.

Cobalion is considered the stronger of the two because it prevents the Defending Pokémon from using any attack at all, not just one of its attacks. This is very important when facing Pokémon such as Zekrom and Yanmega Prime, who have multiple attacks. The only way for your opponent to attack after you’ve used Iron Breaker is to A) Evolve the Active Pokémon or B) Retreat (either manually or via Switch). In addition, Cobalion’s attack is dishes out 80 damage opposed to Beartic’s 50.

There are a few flaws to a “lock your opponent out of attacking forever” strategy. Cobalion’s going to take a full three turns to charge up. Skarmory can reduce this, but then you can’t use Cleffa or Pichu. Also, you’ll need to waste an Energy retreating Skarmory so you can bring up Cobalion (unless Skarmory is KO’d). Another thing I think is important to note, you WILL NOT stop your opponent from attacking the whole game. As soon as you KO a Pokémon, the new Pokémon your opponent brings up will be able to attack.

According to the “Eye on Japan” article, Cobalion will become a strong contender in the format. I think Cobalion’s going to do better than Beartic, but I’m doubting it’s the next BDIF. This brings me to Cobalion’s last major flaw: it’s so fragile. With 120 HP and a Fire Weakness, hoards of Pokémon can 1HKO it. You don’t want a Pokémon you just invested three turns of Energy attachments being 1HKO’d repeatedly.


pokebeach.comEviolite is very similar to Defender, but with a few slight changes. First and most importantly, Eviolite can only be attached to a Basic Pokémon, greatly shrinking the amount of targets this card has. However, this restriction also comes with a new advantage: it’s a permanent damage reducer. You read right, each time the Pokémon its attached to receives damage, it is reduced by 20, exactly like Donphan’s all-powerful “Exoskeleton“.

Some people have been touting this as the sure-fire Defender replacement. However, Eviolite does have one key weakness that Defender does not: it’s a Pokémon Tool. Basically this means that unlike Defender, you cannot stack Eviolite to reduce damage by 40+.

In general, I think you most decks with Basic main attackers will benefit from running a mix between the two (maybe two of each?) to ensure you can stack them AND get permanent damage reduction on your Pokémon as well.


Finally, it returns: Rocket’s Admin. is back in Modified! Now, some of you will see this as good and others will not. When you play N, each player shuffles their hand into their deck, then draws card equal to the number of their remaining prizes. Obviously in slow, come from behind decks (The Truth, Gothitelle), this card will be HUGE. Often times, such decks will be 3+ behind in the Prize trade, meaning you give your opponent a hand of 2-3 cards while you draw 5-6.

The bad news is a lot of people think Rocket’s Admin. was terrible for the game. When both players have 1-2 Prizes left, playing N pretty much changes the game to a competition of who can topdeck the best cards. Generally, in the history of Pokémon, Supporters that give both players new, but different size hands have not been good for the game, pretty much turning it into a luck-fest.

Another great example of this was Team Galactic’s Wager. In a PLOX mirror match, pretty much whoever won the Rock-Paper-Scissors match has a 90% chance of winning the whole game.

pokebeach.comBack to the present, N is definitely more balanced than TGW, but that isn’t saying much. But despite how stupid Rocket’s Admin. was, it’s back and we have to make the best of it. N’s definitely going to be a huge card, so get your play set asap.

Rocky Helmet

Definitely over-hyped, I think Rocky Helmet is much weaker than players are making it out to be. I understand how it could theoretically be strong: stacking 2-4 damage counters on your opponent’s attackers without even attacking. However, in a format filled with 1HKOs, you’ll generally only be putting two damage counters on the attacker.

In addition, it’s a reactive card that’s usefulness depends on what your opponent does. Reactive cards are generally bad because they’re much easier to play around. Sometimes all they have to do is attack your active with a different Pokémon and the Rocky Helmet damage becomes irrelevant.

Rocky Helmet can help you get KOs, but it’s useless until your opponent actually attacks. You don’t want to miss a 1HKO because your opponent hasn’t set up their field yet. In most decks, it’s just a weaker PlusPower.

Side Note: Rocky Helmet can be useful when attached to big-tank Pokémon. However, most of those Pokémon (Tyranitar Prime, Gothitelle) are perfectly capable of getting KOs without it. And if you can’t get 1HKOs, you’re generally better off going with PlusPower.


I won’t spend a lot of time going over this card, I just want to touch upon it briefly. Xtransceiver should NOT be played. Getting to search your entire deck for any Supporter you choose is definitely tempting, but only a 50% success rate is not worth it. This card is especially bad when we have Pokégear 3.0, which lets you search a fair amount of your deck for a Supporter and doesn’t require a coin flip.s

Super Rod

pokebeach.comFor the last card on my list, we have yet another reprint. However, this card was in the Format just two years ago, in the 2009-2010 season. Originally named Night Maintenance, it saw a lot of play as its a stellar recovery card. Returning to your deck a combination of three Pokémon and Basic Energy was huge, especially in decks such as Beedrill and Jumpluff, which needed to consistently warm the field with Stage 2’s again and again.

Super Rod is still a strong card, but the difference between this format and 2009-’10 is drastic. The most notable difference is the lack of a strong draw or search Engine in the format (Ninetales is very restrictive and Magnezone isn’t as strong as Claydol GE and Uxie LA). When Night Maintenance was coupled with extremely strong draw power, it was easy to get those rescued Pokémon back in play quickly. You can still use Super Rod to save your Pokémon today, but it will take a lot longer to get those Pokémon back in play again.

You can definitely expect Super Rod to see play, but between Trainer Lock, the lack of a strong Pokémon draw engine, as well as Rescue Energy and Revive, don’t expect many decks to include four copies of this card.

In Closing

Noble Victories looks to be one of the best sets we’ve had in a while, offering a lot of strong and diverse new cards, as well as bringing back some old favorites. I didn’t go through every single card, but I think I hit most of the big ones.

I’d love to know what you think of Noble Victories, so please post your comments below!

As always, if you would like to talk strategy or get some decklist/tournament help, feel free to send me an email (


Until next time,
Dakota Streck

Reader Interactions

54 replies

  1. Tommy Roberts

    Perhaps the biggest problem in this card’s way of becoming a prominent deck is its Weakness to Grass, meaning it can easily be OHKOed by a “Sonicboom” from Yanmega Prime.
    Do I need to say anymore…

    • Matheus Aguiar  → Tommy

      I even can’t comment on the matter since I made the same mistake two weeks ago. But yeah, Sonicboom doesn’t apply for Weakness. Also, Seismitoad can get away with Palpitoads on the bench, so at least it’s a tad less hard to use Round, although it will only be really playable after Wigglytuff comes out.

      Also, I’d like to comment that Landorus’ resistance isn’t so bad, since Zekrom needs a Pluspower to OHKO it. Still, Zekrom can probably outspeed it and get that Pluspower.I just think you missed Eelektrik and Damagriigus, but it was a nice read.

        • Dakota Streck  → Martin

          True, but most of your damage will be coming from the Seismitoad line, though. But yeah, there’s other ones out there.

        • CalebM  → Dakota

          well you said it can max out at 120…when it really maxs out at 180.. which is HUGE.  im pretty sure that that could OHKO ANY card in this format (even EXs once we get them!)  assuming they dont have an eviolite attached

        • theo Seeds  → CalebM

          The 6 Pokemon called Wigglytuff, Wigglytuff, Palpitoad, Palpitoad, Palpitoad, and Semistoad. Plus DCE, 4 Tympole, 2 Jigglypuff, and another Palpitoad (or Rare Candy). If I am not mistaken that is 14 cards.

    • Scott Catlett  → Tommy

      Well that statement is not entirely true, If you read the attack of Sonicboom it says “This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness or Resistance”  Which entails a Pokemon x2 weak to Grass doesn’t take the extra damage for weakness but only takes 70.

  2. Petros Ogbamichael

    If you closely look at Yanmega Prime, Sonicboom is not affected by weakness or resistance. By the way, upcoming wigglytuff and Palpitoad both have round so making the possible damage output 150, not 120. 
    Besides that the article was informative.

  3. Bartek Orlowski

    Beartic stop Defending Pokemon from attack just like Cobalion, not only block one attack. Also Cobalion isn’t fragile. It has access to Eviolite and SP. Metal. So he can tank with attack against non-fire decks.

    • Dakota Streck  → Bartek

      I must have been crazy when I wrote this article, lol. Sorry to everyone for any and all mistakes in here. Thankfully everyone knows their stuff so my delirium isn’t confusing anyone.

      Now to address your comment, sure, it can use Eviolite and Metals, but I stand by my statement that it’s fragile. If you’re against Trainer lock, it’ll shut down Eviolite. Reshiram, the main attacker in the most popular deck in the format, can OHKO Cobalion even when stacked with Eviolite and a 4 Special Metals.

      Also, Cobalion is very slow, requiring a full three turns to get charged up (skarmory is not an answer), so your opponent’s going to have plent of opportunities to Cather those Cobalion with Energy on them.

      I know what you guys mean, I spent a lot of time testing out Cobalion and trying to tank with it, but generally, it just didn’t happen.

      • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Dakota

        Electrode seems like the thing to do with Cobalion.

        Esa has an article based on JPN lists on The Deck Out.

      • Ron Routhier  → Dakota

        This is why Beartic is so much better than Cobalion. It can OHKO any Fire Pokemon in the Format, and can start “Sheer Cold” T2.

        • theo Seeds  → Ron

          The less damage also helps because it helps you get more time to heal.

  4. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Dammit, once again it looks like no-one ever reads the text on the most popular card in the format.

    Cobalion will have more impact on Cities than Hydreigon, Eelektrik really should have been mentioned and if you’re going to talk about stuff like Cofagrigus and Conkledurr, then surely Haxorus and Druddigon deserve a look too?

    Not a terrible set review, but too many things missing imo.

    • Willy Doehring  → Jak

      Yeah, I was waiting for Eelektrik and Druddigan… And Cryagonal… And Durant… And maybe the other Cofagrigus.
      Other than those guys, though, I thought that this review was pretty accurate. Good job!

  5. Dakota Streck

    So sorry about the “Sonic Boom” mistake. I know it doesn’t apply Weakness or Resistance, but I think it slipped my mind because no cards have a Grass weakness, thus I’ve never used Yanmega to hit for Weakness.

    So yeah, my bad.

  6. David Wiken

    I’m not gonna cry about this, but: Cryyyyyyyyogonal!

  7. Mekkah

    Misses several key cards and talks about Cofagrigus instead… :(

    “The only Weakness I see to Vanilluxe is the fact that it dishes out such a low amount of damage. While you have a decent chance of hitting for 80 with Victini, there’s something you have to take into account. If you use “Double Freeze” and get 1 heads, thus doing 40 damage and paralyzing, you’re taking a risk flipping again via Victini and hoping to get two heads. Each time you flip, there’s a 25% chance you won’t be doing any damage at all (not to mention no paralysis).”

    Sorry, but if you flip one heads and choose to reflip then you’re just a bad player. That’s not Ice Cream’s fault.

    • Dakota Streck  → Mekkah

       That’s what I’m saying, lol, you shouldn’t reflip again if you get a heads, meaning you’ll generally be stuck at the lower damage output.

  8. Dustin H

    Writing about a new set of cards before seeing all of the strategies or watching a lot of playtesting is a daunting task. That beings said, I think you missed a couple of key points on a few of the cards.

    Cobalion – Against certain decks, Cobalion is amazing. He does well against ZPS with eviolite or a special metal (forcing your opponent to use a PlusPower or two. In addition, he can lock down an attack in ZPS if the opponent can’t drop another zekrom or tornadus with a shaymin and switch. Furthermore, he can revenge kill a Zekrom that did a bolt strike with a pluspower for only two energy. He causes havoc against Gothitelle (-20 Resistance). If he has any special metal energy he sucks up a lot of damage and can force the Gothitelle player into burning a switch or retreating and wasting energy if Iron Breaker is used. But the biggest advantage of Cobalion is his advantage against the most-hyped Pokemon iin Noble Victories, Kyurem. For two energy, he can OHKO a Kyurem with three enrgy on it.

    Rocky Helmet – I think you missed one key combo with Rocky Helmet–Donphan. With Rocky Helmet, Donphan can now two shot a Reshiram (Or one shot a Zekrom or Magnezone just by hitting it once, both will knock themselves out if they attack back) using Earthquake without a PlusPower. The biggest advantage is that Rocky Helmet gives Donphan the ability to go head-to-head against Tornadus and can now dispatch with his nemesis in two shots and one PlusPower if Tornadus decides to attack Donphan. Even without the PlusPower, Tornadus gets KO’d if it attacks a second time against Donphan.

    Landorus – You mentioned how the lightning is irrelevant against Magnezone, but you failed to acknowledge that Zekorm can’t one-shot Landorus with a Bolt Strike unless it has a PlusPower. This doesn’t make Landorus awesome, but it does give it a little more respect.

    Virizion – The obvious advantage over Cleffa is that you don’t have to discard your hand to draw two more cards. Fantastic if you have a rare candy and the stage 2 or some other essential card in your hand but don’t want to use Cleffa’s attack.  I see Virizion being good in any deck that wants to use the Twins Engine by drawing 2, 4, or 6 cards before being knocked out which allows you to play Twins. Virizion also has survivability on the bench after you retreat Virizion. One Glaciate or a Yanmega can make you pay for playing with a Cleffa. It can be splashed into any deck and the one retreat cost is minimal if you are using the draw ability. I am not saying Virizion is awesome, but if Kyurem becomes a top 5 deck, Cleffa may be a very poor play over Virizion. Virizion seems to have a situational use in decks like Gothitelle or Vileplume/Ross decks because it can have more damage moved to from Reuniclus while it is bench sitting.

    Just some thoughts. Once again, my analysis may be flawed because not many of the cards are being play-tested as of yet. However, those were some of the strategies I have seen circulating.

    • Dakota Streck  → Dustin

      Wow, long post. Ok, I’ll try to respond to some of the stuff you said:
      Cobalion- The biggest reason I don’t like it is because both Reshiram and Magnezone can OHKO Cobalion. This wouldn’t automatically make him unplayable, but since you’re required to invest three Energy into Cobalion, it makes him much weaker. I’ve done a lot of testing with Cobalion and that’s been my general result. Even against ZPS, you’re going to spend three turns getting Cobalion ready at which time the ZPS player will have collected a few prizes. In addition, they’re not just going to let Cobalion sit pretty on the bench while you attach energy to it: They will actively be trying to Catcher it up. Vileplume can stop this, but that will slow you down even more.

      I’m not saying Cobalion is a terrible card that will never work, I just think it’s not as strong as everyone’s saying it is.

      Rocky Helmet- Yeah, I can agree with what you’re saying here.

      Landorus- True, but it isn’t very hard for ZPS to get a Pluspower, so I didn’t think it was a huge point. But yeah, you’re right.

      Virizon- All the benefits of what people are saying this card has are 100% true. Sometimes you won’t want to ditch your hand, which is when Virizon comes in hand. Also, its higher HP is awesome. The flaws with it are A) Its attack costs C, Eeek is free. This is really irritating as it’ll slow your Energy attachments down at least one turn. B) Sometimes, your hand is bad and you’ll want to shuffle it away. Drawing two cards isn’t as good as a new hand by a longshot. C) If it at least had free Retreat, I could maybe see it used in Magnezone, kind of how people tried to use Manapy, but alas, it doesn’t.

      So yeah, that’s my reasoning for what I wrote in the article. I again would just like to point out that my team and I have done a lot of testing with the cards in this set. A lot of what people are saying about the more controversial cards is just theory, so I digress: Please test them out, then we can duke it out.

      • DrMime  → Dakota

        I agree on both Cobalion and on the testing. In my hands, Cobalion is just too slow to power. I’ve been testing two Cobalion lists–a variant of Esa J’s Cobalion/Kyurem/Electrode list from his thedeckout blog, and a Cobalion/Vileplume one of my own making–against a pretty vanilla, NV-updated ZPST list. If the ZPST player can get 1-2 Eviolite on the board, either before Kyurem starts spreading, or before the Plume lock is set, Zekrom is awfully hard to stop. I can’t do better than ~35/65 against it with Cobalion.

  9. Dan W

    “it saw massive play in a huge variaty of decks.”
    Sorry, I’m just like that :P

    Pretty nice article, but baby mario already pointed out a few things that could’ve also been included.

  10. barryfken

    For saying
    you’re not going to review alot of cards, you kinda did :P

    Just a few

    1) “I
    could definitely see this card being useful in a lot of decks, but the two I
    see it being the potentially strongest in is Gothitelle, for the mirror and Mew
    matches, and Tyranitar, to fend off Donphan.”

    If I was
    playing at League, I’d take the risk, but it’s extremely difficult to have a
    deck with 2 different Stage
    2’s, especially since T-Tar ALREADY runs on 3
    T-Tars…1 Leavanny gives you four Stage 2’s in a deck. That’s not really good.

    “Some people are hyping this card to the moon, but I just can’t get behind

    Better than
    its EP version where you can’t use Sacred Sword the next turn…You can keep
    doing 40/80 just for a Grass and a Colorless every turn, I’d rather that than
    not being able to do 100, even though Giga Drain is a decent attack against
    Status Condition Decks (i.e. Poison – Burn Decks, you’re doomed.)

    3) Amoongus
    is a good substitute to Drapion. I would think it’s mainly for Status Condition
    decks though.

    4) There
    aren’t many big Metal Pokemon except for Bisharp, Scizor Prime and Aggron
    really, so Kyurem
    Spread has no hold-backs, and even then, Outrage is something
    to watch out for if you can’t OHKO Kyurem with your Metal pokemon.

    most commonly discussed partner for Kyurem is the aforementioned Feralitagry


    “The funny thing is, Cofagrigus is so weak that it doesn’t have to worry
    about surviving longer because you would be crazy to run this card”

    I think
    it’s just to give you an extra turn to build up a benched pokemon if you’re
    consistently getting KO’d
    by Reshiram or Zekrom.

    “you either have to run a very high Energy count (20-25)”

    Records can help you get energy for Electrode.

    7) Druddigon
    with Rocky Helmet is the hype, not just Rocky Helmet by itself :P

    8) Super
    Rod’s basically a Trainer version of Flower Shop Lady, so of course it’ll see
    alot of play, haha.

    article though.

  11. Jacob Willinger

    I think that articles like this should be collaborations among a few of our writers. Doing so could allow us to gain different perspectives as well as reduce the risk of missing significant/important cards. 

    Nice article. Jazzed about this set :)

    • Anonymous  → Jacob

      That would be cool to have collaboration articles on sets. Maybe every time a new set is released, the top 10 (or top 12 or whatever the amount of people that get free UG subscriptions is that month) from the last Writer of the Month poll should get together and write a set review.

      Then again, what would happen to the CoTDs?

      • Dakota Streck  → Anonymous

        CoTDs and Set reviews are really-opinion based. What one player thinks is amazing another will say is terrible. This is especially true with reviews on newer sets, since so much of the set is untested and there’s been no tournaments yet, there can be a lot of different opinions and viewpoints on a card. So there being one full set review by the top writers from the poll as well as COTDs, I don’t think there would be a problem.

  12. andrewgn12

    yanmega doesnt hit for weakness, so arceops is not OHKO by mega

  13. Tom Kitchen

    The thing about what you said in your Cobalion part about Skarmory needing an energy to retreat is a little silly since it will already have a steel energy attached for the ‘Steel Coat’. So its essentially not wasting it, as it was already used.

    • Dakota Streck  → Tom

      Yeah, but it does make it so you can’t Shaymin off the Energy onto Cobalion, retreat and start attacking, though.

  14. n1ghtmare90

    Does anyone else think that Magnezone prime will love N, it’s either a PONT or you just magnetic draw back up to 6

  15. Matt P

    I made a Chande-Balion deck with a Victini (Psyhchic Type) and got a donk with Victini. This won me 3 extra packs at the Prerelease. Planning to use it in Cities.

  16. Ricky Turrietta

    landorus does 80 damage to the active only not the bench, which gets hit for 10 each if it hit 80 on everything, itd be too broken if it were the other way.  how has no one else seen this

  17. Steven Nilsen

    A complete Noble Victories review is a two-part article for sure.  What I like about reviewing any part of it is you can’t possibly remember everything about this mammoth set (maybe because the last X sets have dumbed us down).  I appreciate the Hydregion review… that seems worth testing.

  18. Koichi Nishida

    You didn’t even mention eelektrik.. Such a good card… Impacted the format in japan.

  19. Luke Doganiero

    ” as far as I can remember, Pokemon hasn’t had any cards that can alter the results of coin flips.”

    Well,Shiftry RR of last year’s format pretty much did!

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