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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Rockets Raikou-ex - Deoxys

 

Date Reviewed: 04.01.05

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Unlimited: 2
Modified: 1
Limited: n/a

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  5 is the highest rating.


Johnny Blaze
Rockets Raikou-ex – Oh how I wish he wasn’t a 100 HP-ex Pokemon. Not only is he Desert Ruins bait but with a subpar Pokemon Power that is a watered down Dragon Wind having your opponent choose which Pokemon comes up from the bench is not a good thing.

Unlimited: 2/5 – Tyrogue will hose Raikou which is pretty sad. His one and only attack is actually decent since Raindance is real popular, just attach a L energy on Turn 1 and DCE next turn and Raikou is hitting L weak Pokemon for 100 a turn.
Modified: 1/5 – Pretty sad here. As I mentioned before, Desert Ruins really hurts 100 HP Basic Pokemon and the Water downed Lightning Burst Pokemon Power really weakens this card.

Limited: N/A – As the sets one and only box topper, Raikou-ex is not allowed to play in draft.
 

Otaku

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 Returns.

 

Name: Rocket’s Raikou ex

Set: EX: Deoxys

Card#:

Rarity: Pokémon ex

Pokémon-ex Rule: When Pokémon-ex has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Type: Darkness

Stage: Basic

HP: 100

Weakness: Fighting

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)(C)

Poké-Power: Lightning Burst

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.

Attack: (LCC) Thunderous Blow [40+]

Does 40 damage plus 10 more damage for each (L) Energy attached to Rocket’s Raikou ex.

 

Attributes: 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.

 

Abilities: 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 questionable.

 

Uses and

Combinations: 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).

 

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 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.

 

Modified: 3/5-See Uses and Combinations.  If those ideas work, it has its place.  If Zapdos ex didn’t exist at all, it might be the focus of a deck after that style…

 

Limited: 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).

 

Summary

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.


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