If you think this review is too long to read, just
skip straight to the scores and then read the
summary for a concise overview!
This card seemed appropriate since it’s the only new
Rocket’s Pokémon-ex to not appear in EX: Team Rocket
Rocket’s Raikou ex
When Pokémon-ex has been Knocked Out, your opponent
takes 2 Prize cards.
Whenever you attach a (D) Energy card from your hand to
Rocket’s Raikou ex, you may choose 1 of the Defending
Pokémon and switch it with 1 of your opponent’s Benched
Pokémon. Your opponent chooses the Benched Pokémon to
switch. This power can’t be used if Rocket’s Raikou ex
is affected by a Special Condition.
(LCC) Thunderous Blow [40+]
Does 40 damage plus 10 more damage for each (L)
Energy attached to Rocket’s Raikou ex.
As a Rocket’s Pokémon, Rocket’s Raikou ex
gains access to a lot of intrinsic combos, at the price
of being unable to use one or two cards because of
having an “owner” in it’s name. As it is also a
Pokémon-ex, most of those cards (Ancient Tomb,
for example) wouldn’t work for it anyway. Naturally,
it’s going to need a lot to compensate for being a
Pokémon ex: two prizes can make for an easy turn
around. It is a Darkness-Type Pokémon; wish they would
have made it dual-typed, as few things are Resistant to
Electric Pokémon but the oh-so-commonly played
Pidgeot is Weak to that type. At least as a
Darkness Type Pokémon nothing is Resistant to it and a
small number of Pokémon are Weak to it. As we will soon
see, the damage bonus that Darkness Types normally enjoy
isn’t as important here.
Being a Basic Pokémon is the best: despite numerous
cards (many of which wouldn’t work for this anyway since
they don’t apply to Pokémon ex and/or Pokémon with
owners in their name) are on of the two key drawbacks,
and the only one universal to all Basic Pokémon. The
other applies to those that can’t Evolve or Evolve from
something else (via a Pokémon Power): what you see is
what you get: you can’t evolve from something smaller
(having access to more useful abilities early game) and
you can’t Evolve into something bigger (nice if you’ve
taken a few hits).
Sadly, 100 HP is no longer so great for a Basic Pokémon
ex. If you are a Basic, you are just as well off having
90 HP since that would keep you from being vulnerable to
Desert Ruins. Honestly, most Basic Pokémon-ex
need to have below this and fantastic abilities, or be
110/120. Fighting Weakness is bad for Pokémon ex, as it
makes it extra susceptible to two different “anti-ex”
decks: Magma and those oriented around EX Hidden
Legends’ Machamp. No
Resistance is even worse, but at least a retreat cost of
two on a Pokémon this size is average: you won’t want to
pay it, but you can if you must.
Because it makes the Poké-Power a little more sensible,
let’s cover the attack first. Thunderous Blow is very
solid: (LCC) should yield 35 points of damage, and we
get 40 points base. Then we look at the rest of the
effect: for each Electric (“Lighting Energy” or “(L)” )
Rocket’s Raikou ex does 10 more points of
damage. So if you power this with just (L) Energy, you
care hitting for 70 damage!
The Poké-Power is less thrilling: you can force a ”Switch”
on your opponent when you attach a Darkness Energy
to Rocket’s Raikou ex. This isn’t bad, but it’s
not great. Having just one three Energy requirement
attack makes this card vulnerable both while powering up
and to Pokémon with attacks like Amnesia, which prevent
you from using one of your attacks. If this was a
cheaper attack or a Poké-Power or –Body that got Energy,
healed you, or protected you, this card would be well
worth the effort of playing it. As is, it seems
This card isn’t a bad idea for a deck already relying on
a lot of Electric Energy or Dark/Rocket’s
Pokémon. Realistically though, it needs its own deck,
or one that matches it perfectly even if built around
something else. For the first option, I could see
working a Dark Heart (Dark Dragonite/Dark
Electrode) deck around a bit to use this instead of
or in addition to Rocket’s
Sneasel ex as your main hitter. After all,
spiking the (L) Energy content would make it easier to
use Dark Electrode, which could turn this into a massive
OHKO machine, even if Dark Dragonite is a no show.
Also, Rainbow Energy is not a stranger to these
decks, and unlike everything else in the deck, it would
give 10 more damage to Rocket’s Raikou ex when it
attacks with Thunderous Blow. It might even work as a
cleaner and/or opener for Zapdos
ex, since you could load it with Energy for big
damage, then bring out the Big Bird right before
Rocket’s Raikou ex would be KO’d (to absorb the
Energy and get it to the relative safety of the bench).
1.75/5-Fighting Weakness and heavy Energy dependence is
a horrid thing. You can’t even gain much of an
advantage from Double Colorless Energy, since you
wouldn’t be hitting very hard without quite a few (L)
Energy attached. There might be a few decks that could
pull it off, though.
3/5-See Uses and Combinations.
If those ideas work, it has its place.
ex didn’t exist at all, it might be the focus of a
deck after that style…
N/A, since it is the box topper. If you are not in a
sanctioned event and are allowed to choose it, do so:
the Poké-Power will be nearly worthless, but as long as
you can build it up before your opponent is ready to go,
you should be able to score OHKO after OHKO (thus
keeping yourself relatively safe).
The way this card is designed, it wants to compete with
Zapdos ex, and
not surprisingly it loses there. Still, it appears it
could work its way into a new variant of that and Dark
Heart and prove useful.