COTD – 29th September 2011 – Serperior BW

Today’s Card of the Day derives from our Black and White Base Set and actually caused quite a stir at US Nationals, when the format was still quite fresh. This card actually mirrors a Pokemon we had last format in the Rising Rivals set, but reborn with the updated Ability instead of PokeBody. We’re going to be looking at Serperior #6.

At first glance, we have ourselves a Stage 2 Grass type with 130HP, a single attack and Ability along with a fairly nice 1 retreat cost. Now the Fire weakness is really going to be an issue in a format full of Fire Pokemon like Reshiram, Emboar, Typhlosion paired with Pokemon Catcher, but that is going to be an issue for pretty much any Pokemon so we’ll let that slide for now.

‘Royal Heal’ is Serperior’s Ability and it simply heals all of your Pokemon in play by 10 damage in between every turn. This means that by the time it comes back to your turn, the damage on your side of the field will have been reduced by 20 damage on each Pokemon, pretty neat. This was used to full effect in a deck with Tyranitar which made it to Top 16 of US Nats since ‘Darkness Howl’ adds damage to your own bench as well. Having Serperior on the bench meant that you could add damage all around the field, but heal all your own off between turns making it only an issue for your opponent.

The only really big issue we have here is that the format right now is full of OHKOs which Serperior isn’t going to have a say in whatsoever. Pokemon like Reshiram, Zekrom, Bad Boar and Magnezone can hit for ridiculous amounts of damage, pretty much OHKOing everything in their way meaning that you won’t have any damage counters around to heal off in between turns. In the unlikely case of a 2HKO, Serperior could help you out quite a bit since your opponent is going to have to find the extra damage you’ve healed in their next turn to take that KO effectively.

Another issue we are presented with in regards to Serperior is that it is a Stage 2 that can only really have an effect on the game when OHKOs aren’t present, which isn’t really where we are right now in the format as we know it. This form of healing damage is just not going to be quick or effective enough right now to make big enough of an impact on a game where Potion couldn’t do a better job.

Serperior’s only attack really doesn’t make things better for it. ‘Leaf Tornado’ costs a single Grass energy and a Colourless to do 60 damage with the effect that you can move as many Grass energy as you like attached to your Pokemon to another of your Pokemon as much as you like. The cost for the energy isn’t actually too bad, but is made to look silly by Pokemon such as Yanmega, Donphan and even Kingdra in some cases. The moving of Grass energy really isn’t that great since there isn’t an effective form of accelerating Grass energy in the format and Grass attackers don’t need that much to attack anyway (look at Yanmega and Jumpluff).

Overall, Serperior is okay at best and really doesn’t make a massive impact in the format of OHKOs, made worse that it’s a Stage 2 as well. I’m going to give it a rather disappointing 5/10. The effect is interesting, but just can’t be utilised very well in a format of Fire Pokemon along with Pokemon Catcher after you’ve taken the time to set it up. Have a look at Potion instead?

Artwork: Yet another stock image placed on a rather boring holo background unfortunately. Serperior is looking ready for business in the image with the nice touch of leaves flailing in the background, but it’s a shame it really can’t bring the business in the card game. There could have been so much more they could have done with this Pokemon so we’re just going to be getting a mediocre 4/10 for now.

Thanks for reading today’s COTD and please vote below on how you think this card fits into competitive play with the star rating system below :D

Posted by at September 29, 2011
Filed in category: Card of the Day,
  • Anonymous

    Great observation Dan, Seperior could be good but just not in this current format. You have to look at the resources required to set up Seperior and weigh the return on your investment. In this current format it’s a poor investment of resources.