Draw a Card #3: Vespiquen

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To start us off, I’d like to know what people think of  Vespiquen AOR. The stats on this card are all really quite useful. Both it and Combee can be targeted with Level Ball, having 40 and 90HP respectively, with Vespiquen having a free retreat cost, decent offensive typing on Grass, and a relatively uncommon weakness to Fire, outside of Flareon AOR and its teammates. Whilst 90HP is low and won’t usually take too many attacks, the speed and ease at getting this card into play is worth the fragility.

tcg_vespiquen

Vespiquen has two attacks, both of which are very usable. The first attack, “Intelligence Gathering”, for a single colourless costs, deals 10 damage and allows the player to draw until they have 6 cards in their hard. Reminiscent of “Return” type attacks. But this card is obviously going to be used for its second attack, “Bee Revenge”. Why it wasn’t called “Bee-Venge” or Vespiquens signature VGC move “Attack Order”, I don’t know. But this attack is good, dealing a base 20 damage plus 10 damage for each Pokémon that player has in their discard pile. Just like Flareon of old, but maybe with even more tricks.

A lot has been written about Vespiquen already, even Play! Australia’s own Marcus published an article over at ProPokémon on the topic. So to avoid too much crossover, here’s a run down of the plethora of options Vespiquen has for support:

  • AOR Eeveelutions
  • Forrest of Giant Plants (I’ve been annoying my playtesting partners by insisting that the initialism of this card, FoGP, is pronounced “Fog-Puh”. Try it out).
  • Blacksmith, through Flareon
  • Unown AOR
  • Night Marchers
  • Raichu
  • Ariados
  • Bats
  • Faded Town
  • Battle Compressor
  • Acro Bike

And there’s plenty more. But all of these help solve some problems Vespiquen can face, and there are a few problems. Firstly, the decks built around Vespiquen often rely very heavily on Double Colourless Energy, a limited resource. Further, Vespiquens damage is unlikely to be very high at the start of the game; but will increase as more hands are played and Pokémon are knocked out. Another issue can be successfully knocking out megas that the Queen Bee and her Eeveelution typings can’t hit for weakness, noticeably Mega Manectric EX. Furthermore, as this deck relies on speed and items to build up damage, a quick item lock can be devastating. A final problem to look out for is Giratina EXs attack locks out the ability to attach special energy.

So what do you guys think of Vespiquen? I’ve found it to be a cheap, available card to include in some serious Tier 1/2 decks. It was one of the first cards I started testing from Ancient Origins, and I haven’t been disappointed. But let me know what you think! What’s holding back Vespiquen? What is its best pairings? How much of it would be expect to see at events? Any cool ideas or interactions you’ve found with this card and others?

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