By: Brian Hsieh
Eviolite is found in the fifth generation of the Pokemon games. It raises the special defense and defense of a Pokemon if that Pokemon is capable of evolving. This gave card creators a chance to insert it into the metagame. While keeping its defensive traits, this card differs from the actual item in the game. Instead of raising the defenses of a Pokemon that still can evolve, it raises the defense of all Basic Pokemon by 20 HP, even ones that do not have the capability of evolving further. This is basically a Defender card that never goes away unless the Pokemon is knocked out. This gives holders of this card many strategic applications that can further change the metagame.
A perfect insert for Eviolite is into ZTPS. Every Pokemon within ZTPS is a Basic Pokemon and would all benefit from an Eviolite attachment, although attaching to a Shaymin or Pachirisu would be quite pointless, as they aren’t your actual attackers in the deck. What this does is give Zekrom and Tornadus some breathing room against 120 attacks from Reshiram or another Zekrom that use a Pluspower to knock out a Zekrom. A smart opponent wouldn’t attack like that in fear of getting hit with an Outrage, so it does stall for a turn giving your own Zekrom the chance to Bolt Strike for 120 and add a Pluspower if that opponent hasn’t attached an Eviolite. This card might also see some play with Reshiram themed decks, although the insert might not be as strong as ZTPS considering Reshiram is the sole Basic Pokemon that attacks in those decks.
Another good example would be for wall decks. Vileplume takes away the Pluspower one would need to KO a Pokemon with 130 HP and Reuniclus spreads the damage around so that the active Pokemon remains unharmed. Techs like Magby and Kingdra Prime have shown an ability to overcome such obstacles, which have lowered Gothitelle’s playability. Eviolite won’t help Gothitelle, but it will help Pokemon such as Kyurem, Reshiram, Zekrom, Terrakion maintain a healthy wall while even being hit with burn or Spray Splash after the user’s turn. It will even help Pokemon like Cobalion and Virizion maintain walls as 140 is good enough for Kingdra but doesn’t help with Magby. It can be really deadly with Kyurem though, as steel type Pokemon haven’t received much play. Eviolite also counters Rocky Helmet, another Pokemon tool released in Noble victories which would initially damage the attacker by 20.
Eviolite won’t be seen in any Stage 1 Rush or Yanmegazone, but now those decks have to insert more techs to counter this item. Once it’s released, it should automatically be considered in your deck if you run any of the above. If not, you must consider putting a card that will counter it. Pokemon tools were just rereleased in this new set, so the only Pokemon at the moment that removes Pokemon tools is Heatmor. The upside is that Heatmor is a basic Pokemon, which means that there won’t be a clunky evolution line just to counter one thing like Kingdra Prime does. The downside is that it takes two turns to set up, as it requires two energies in order to use this attack. Typhlosion Prime’s afterburner effect allows Heatmor to gain one from the discard pile and attach, but the opponent can easily just knock out Heatmor and attach another Eviolite. Best case scenario is using Rocky Helmet mixed with a Kingdra Prime line. This gives the user a chance to hit for 10 more damage in order to expose any Pokemon with Eviolite and 150 HP that decides to attack a Pokemon with Rocky Helmet. Future sets will probably hurt Eviolite’s playability, but for now, it’s a very playable card. It’s not completely devastating, but it can affect the outcome of many battles from here on.