The Top 10 Impactful Cards of Noble Victories

by Pikkdogs ~ November 1st, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there, this is Pikkdogs  here.  We are now proud to bring you my quarterly review of the new set that is coming into the format.  Before each set I usually write an article that highlights 10 cards that I think will make the most impact on this format and the future ones.  Noble Victories is no different, here is the article.

Noble Victories was quite a mysterious set.  We thought it might be a lot of the cards from the Red Collection that was released in Japan, but we weren’t sure.  Now we can be be sure, it is mostly made up of Red Collection cards and some cards from Theme decks.  The mystery of this set has obscured a lot of the hype that usually surronds these sets.  The only card that was getting some hype was Victini.  Now we know exactly what is in the set, we can give it a fuller review.

Before I talk about the set, let’s get one thing straight, these cards will not be legal for fall Regionals.  So even though a lot of people have the Victini card now, you still can’t play it until Cities.

To me, this set is fairly disappointing.  Emerging Powers was not a great set, but it did have some good main attackers like Gothitelle and Beartic.  This set however does not have any main attackers that are slam dunks like Gothitelle was.  There is definitely some value in this set, but it is not one of the better sets in the format.  N is a great card, and there are a lot of cards here that will see some rogue play.  But it is nothing like Pokemon Catcher.  So let’s officially get into the list to see what I am talking about.

#10- Hydreigon

The first card on our list is one of those Pokemon that is more used for rogue decks than solid Tier 1 or 2 decks. It is Hydreigon. 

Hydreigon is a stage 2 Dark Pokemon with 150 HP, a 3 retreat cost, and a fighting weakness.  Its ability, “Dark Aura”, counts every energy attached to Hydreigon as dark.  That means if you put 2 DCE’s on this Pokemon, it will be able to use its attack which costs DDDD.  Speaking of the attack, “Berserker Blade”, does 60 damage to the active and 40 damage to two benched Pokemon. 

That is a total of 140 damage!  140 damage for 2 DCE’s is nothing to sneeze at.  Plus, since the energies don’t have to be dark, you can use the Shaymin/Pachirisu move with lightning energies or Emboar with fire energies.  There are a lot of ways to skin the cat in this one.  This makes Hydreigon very versatile. 

Since you are attacking three Pokemon, you can get up to three knock outs a turn.  It is really good against decks like Gothitelle that try to spread damage out.  You might never knock out Gothitelle, but it will be easy to get 6 knockouts in a different way.  It also works well against Stage 1 Rush decks, because they have fairly low HP and rely on a lot of different Pokemon on the bench. 

Hydreigon is fairly poor against  Donphan based decks.  Donphan can hit Hydreigon for weakness and can negate a lot of the damage done to each Donphan. 

I don’t think Hydreigon is a great deck right now, but it is actually not that bad.  You should be able to come up with a list using some kind of energy acceleration (Emboar, Pachi/Shaymin) and then include techs that are good against problem decks like Donphan Prime.  I would be interested to see if people could make a good deck with Hydreigon.  It could be similar to a Zekrom deck with Pachirisu, Shaymin, and Tornadus; but it would be a little slower since Zekrom is a basic Pokemon.  But it would be fun. 

I don’t think this card will be too impactful.  It will see a couple rogue decks, but nothing that will catch on in a big way.  Should be a fun deck to play though. 

#9- Durant

Durant is another rogue Pokemon in this list.  It has received a fair amnount of hype since its release.  I love the concept of milling, so I really want this Pokemon to work out and be very impactful on the format. 

Durant is a 70 HP basic metal Pokemon with a 1 retreat cost, a fire weakness, and a resistance to psychic.  His “Vice Grip” attack does 30 for CC, which means it is a candidate for donking a baby Pokemon like Cleffa.  Though I don’t know if a deck with Durant would ever run DCE.  The attack that everyone is talking about is “Devour” and it costs 1 metal energy.  The effect of the attack is that you can mill (or discard from your opponent’s deck) 1 card for every Durant in play.  So that means if you start with 1 Durant and use a  Pokemon Collector for 3 more, you will be milling 4 cards a turn (with the help of cards like Revive). 

The question is, “Is Durant good enough to mill the entire deck by istelf in 6-8 turns.  Durant will be easy to knock out so you gotta expect that your opponent will not need more than 6-8 turns to knock out 6 Pokemon.  The answer to that question is not easy to asnwer.  It depends on how the deck is made, and how your opponent plays.  But, I think that it will not be too risky to say that Durant needs some help in milling. 

So the next question is, “is there enough help in the format to help Durant mill a lot of cards?”  The answer to that question probably will be a “no.”  Kyorge/Groudon Legend can mill cards, but it takes at least 3 energy cards, so it is not easy to do.  There are not any more Pokemon that can mill a substantial amount of cards. 

So I think that Durant will see a little play in Cities, but then die out after that.  The final question is, “Will Durant ever get some help.”  On that question the answer is, “who knows?”  Durant just needs one more good milling Pokemon to come into the format to help him.  I do not see the card in the horizon, but that does not mean that it will never come.  I really hope that Pokemon will once again have a concept of Mill, because it is a very fun game mechanic. 

#8- Terrakion

Terrakion is a very cool card.  The full art version of the card can be described only in one word, badass.  Terrakion looks like he is about to pounce and give somebody a really bad day.  But is the card as impactful as the artwork? 

It has 130 Hp, a massive 4 retreat cost, and a great weakness to grass.  It has two attacks.  The first attack does 30 for FC, but it could do 90 if you had lost a Pokemon to damage from an attack last turn.  The second attack, Land Crush, costs FFC and does 90 damage. 

At first site he looks very much like Bouffallant from Black and White.  He can do 90 damage for two energies if you lost a Pokemon last turn.  Revenge kills are always great, and Terrakion can take advantage of them.  Fighting is also a great type to have right now, this Pokemon will make quick work of Zekrom and Magnezone. 

But it is not all sunshine and roses for Terrakion.  After you get done peeing your pants from that scary artwork, you realize that DCE does not work with this Pokemon.  That means you will have to load 2 energies on him for the first attack, and 3 energies for the second attack.  And if your opponent can Pokemon Catcher up Terrakion to stall, you could be in a tight spot because nobody can easily retreat for CCCC. 

Terrakion is a very good card, but you need to use it wisely.  I could see it ending up in a rogue Stage 1 Rush deck, but you will need to play it just right.  Starting with the card could mean the end of the game, and having it active with no energy in your hand could cost you. 

I do not see it getting a lot of play right away, but it is so good that I think it eventually will get some play.  130 HP from a basic is really great and the attacks aren’t that bad.  

#7- Rocky Helmet

Rocky Helmet is the first trainer on the list, and is a nice idea for a trainer, though I doubt it will ever see consistent play. 

Rocky Helmet is a Tool card, we haven’t seen one of those in a while.  You can attach it to a Pokemon and if it is active and damaged by an attack, you can put 2 damage counters on the attacking Pokemon. 

This card does show a lot of early promise.  The format is all about OHKO’s, so if you can use the first turn that your opponent attacks as a way to set it up for a knock out next turn, that sounds like something good to me.  It also is re-useable because of Junk Arm. 

The problem is that there is not a lot of free spaces in decks these days.  I would love to be able to just waste space on something that can damage an attacking Pokemon, but a lot of decks don’t have that luxury. 

It is a card that can fit into any non-Vileplume deck and make an impact, and will see decent play at Cities.  But, I am not sold that this card will be great in the long run.  Look for it to have a little play in the beginning, and maybe some rogue play here and there, but eventually fall off into obscurity.   

#6- Chandelure

This is the last of the Pokemon that will be featured because of their cool rogue aspects.  Chandelure is a stage 2 Pokemon with 130 HP, a weakness to dark, and a 2 retreat cost.  Its ability, “Cursed Shadow”, lets you put three damage counters on the field in any way that you like. Its attack, “Eerie Glow” does 50 damage and burns and confuses the defending Pokemon for PPC. 

On paper Chandelure looks like the perfect Gothitelle counter.  It can hit for weakness without being hit for weakness itself.  It can OHKO a Gothitelle (30+(50 x 2)=130), and can place damage counters making it harder for Reuniclus to keep all the Pokemon alive. 

The problem is that it takes a long time to put three energies on a Pokemon.  Although I love the Ability, I don’t see people being able to put three energies on this Pokemon in a consistent manner.  If you can find some way to put energies on Chandelure faster, I would love it, but right now it is below par. 

Perhaps you can find room for it in some kind of Ross Deck type thing with Dodrio.  Dodrio could give Chandelure free retreat, Chandelure can drop 3 damage counters then retreat, and you could bring something like Yanmega Prime up to attack.  You would also need Vileplume on your bench.  It is a nice idea, but it seems very complicated.  

I do not see it having an impact on the format right away. It is a great card that probably will eventually see some play, I just don’t see it right now. 

#5- Kyurem

In a moment where Reshiram and Zekrom are running rough shot over the format, their lesser known brother is ready to make his debut.  Yes Reshiram and Zekrom are not a duo, but part of a Trio.  And we are about to see if there is room at the top for another dragon. 

Kyurem shares similar stats to the other Dragons, 130 HP, a 2 retreat cost, and no resistance.  But this one is weak to metal, by far the best weakness of the three.  Of course it has the “Outrage” attack.  Its second attack let’s you spread 30 damage for WWC. 

I know that Spread has been dead for years now and Reuniclus laughs at spreading 30, but that does not mean Kyurem is useless.  Some people are trying to build decks that feature Kyurem, but I am not sure if they will ever ben anything more than a fun rogue deck. 

I think the best use for Kyurem is in Donphan and Dragons.  Now this deck has another Dragon that can be used to hit for weakness.  Kyurem is just what the deck needs to get the clear advantage over Reshiram decks.  Now with a decent Zekrom matchup and a good Reshiram matchup, Donphan and Dragons has taken itself from tier 3 to tier 2. 

Kyurem will see instant play in the Donphan and Dragons deck, and will make the deck a lot better.  It will be a very impactful card right out of the gate.  But, I do not see this card being that great in the long term as a deck of its own.  The spread is dead, and I don’t see it getting any better. It does not live up to the reputation of Zekrom and Reshiram. 

#4 Victini

Victini has been hyped as the savior of rogue decks.  We haven’t really seen many rogue decks pop up lately.  We had Ross Deck at worlds and I did write an article about an Audino deck, but mostly things have gone as planned.  We need someone to save us from the monotiny that has resulted from such a small format, and that savior might be Victini. 

Victini has the “Victory Star” Ability, which lets you re-flip if you flipped any coins for your attack.  It will not let you re-flip for things like Dual Ball, but it will still have an impact letting you re-flip on attacks.  The rest of Victini is not that great, he has 70 HP and a 1 retreat cost, meaning that he will be a prize from Pokemon Catcher.  But, he might be useful enough to warrant giving your opponent the extra prize. 

Victini can be used with a lot of good Pokemon, to make them a lot better.  Audino EP and Sharpedo are just two of the more popular choices.  Victini could also bring back parlysis as a relevant special condition (since most parlaysis attacks require a flip), so there are many good uses of Victini. 

Now will Victini be in a top tier deck, probably not.  But will it be the savior that rogue decks need to make them relevant again?  I think so.  Look for it to see considerable play at Cities. 

#3 Eviolite

This is the era of BBP (Big Basic Pokemon).  We knew that when Reshiram and Zekrom were released, and we knew that when Tornadus did well at Battle Roads.  But we now know that BBP are a lot better.  Eviolite is like Donphan’s “Exoskeleton” Poke-Body for basic Pokemon.  It reduces every attack by 20, but it can only be attached to basic Pokemon.

Well Eviolite sure does not have a shortage of good Pokemon to be attached to.  Zekrom, Reshiram, and Torandus are three of the most played Pokemon right now.  This makes Eviolite a lot more playable because it can be easily tossed in to any deck.  And if the Pokemon it is attached to gets knocked out, it can be returned with Junk Arm.

Reducing an attack by 20 is really useful.  Right now the goal of most decks is to get an OHKO on the defending Pokemon, and Eviolite makes it a lot harder to do that.  It is already very hard to get knock outs on Reshiram, Zekrom, and Tornadus; now it just got a lot harder.  It should give decks like Reshiphlosion and Zekrom a bigger advantage than they already have.

I think Eviolite could make BBP a lot better, and will make Reshiram and Zekrom the best decks until the next set comes out.  When the next set comes out, Evoiolite will probably be used with the BBP that are also Pokemon EX.  Eviolite is set to be a great card through its time in the format.

#2 N

N is one of the most interesting card in the set.  It let’s both players shuffle their hands into their decks and draw as many cards as they have prize cards.  It was previously released as Rockets Admin.

This card kind of reminds me of Judge.  Both cards let you shuffle the hands of both players.  Judge gives you a consistent 4 cards, and let’s you even hand size while providing disruption.  Judge is also good for early disruption.  N on the other hand does not always even up hand size.  N does not always give disruption, because you could give your opponent 6 cards.  N also is not extremely helpful at the beginning of the game for disruption.

But this does not mean that N is not a good card.  N is perhaps best used in a deck that is not very good, the Lost World deck.  No deck with Lost World in it is very good right now, but they almost never take prizes.  So N will always give them 6 prizes, but it will give their opponents less than 6.

N will be useful in other decks.  I do not see it as a card that you want to run 4 of, but I think a lot of decks will run about 2 of them.  They are very versatile cards because they can provide disruption at some times and can provide hand refreshment at others.

Although I don’t think this card is a slam dunk like Professor Juniper, I think it has some good strategic uses.  I also think it will be used a lot throughout the life of this card.

#1 Super Rod

I know this is a pretty anti-climatic #1, but I think it will be the most impactful card in the set.  The card let’s you shuffle 3 in any combination of Pokemon and basic energy cards from your discard pile into your deck.

This card is impactful because it will see a lot of play from day one.  I can see most decks playing one of these cards.  Since most decks right now are not very focused (look at Stage 1 Rush, a lot of decks now are tool boxes), it is very helpful to re-use cards that you do not run a lot of copies of.  This card was last in the format about a year ago as Night Maintenance.  NM was used a lot in decks, and that was when we had better recover cards.

I could see this card being used in Donphan and Dragons, Stage 1 Rush, Zekrom, and about almost any other deck that is currently being used.  It is a very versatile card that can be used in every deck.

Even though the card is not very exciting, it will be used in almost every deck and will be very helpful to the player.


Well, the more I look at this set, the more I like it.  I still know that it has no big Pokemon that will change the format.  But it does give the format a lot more depth and gives us rogue players a lot more tools to work with. 

The set itself will not be as impactful as EP and BW, but it is still a good set that should be fun to work with.  I hope you guys have fun trying to make rogue decks with Victini and Pokemon like Hyrdeigion, Drudiggon, and Chandelure.  It is a fun set, but not the most impactful on the format.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts about the set and your top ten list in the comment section. 

So Long and thanks for all the fish!

Category: Card Discussion | Tags: , , , , , , ,