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!
EX: Team Rocket Returns
As long as Rocket’s Entei ex has any (D) Energy attached to it,
Rocket’s Entei ex has no Weakness.
(C) Energy Link 
Search your discard pile for an Energy card and attach it to
Rocket’s Entei ex.
(RRC) Volcanic Ash
Discard 2 Energy attached to Rocket’s Entei ex and then
choose 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon. This attack does 60
damage to that Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and
Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)
As always, it is good to be a Rocket’s Pokémon. It gives
you access to a lot of built in combos, and only a few cards are
now denied you for the change. Being a Pokémon ex means you
lose two prizes instead of one if Rocket’s Entei ex is
KO’d. It is a Darkness-Type Pokémon. Again, I wish they would
have made it dual-typed, but at least if it gets stuck with only
one type, it’s Darkness, which means nothing Resistant, a small
number of Pokémon that are Weak to it, and most important of
all, the ability to get extra damage from Darkness Energy.
Rocket’s Entei ex
is a Basic Pokémon. This is the best: long as there is room,
you can drop it into play. It has 100 HP. For a Pokémon ex,
this is not a happy number. It more or less breaks even with 90
HP, so it is acceptable, but due to the large amount of
Desert Ruins being played, there are many times when this
thing will seem like it only has 90, 80, sometimes even less HP
as those damage counters from said Stadium pile up.
Fortunately, there are many excellent Rockets’ Stadiums
to run as counters. For the record, I wouldn’t honestly expect
much more HP anyway: I can’t recall a basic Pokémon ex
that has exceeded 120 HP, and most of the Evolutions that do get
saddled with a double Weakness.
Now we come to the bottom stats. Water Weakness is not a happy
thing: Water may not be a dominant type in Modified, but it is
pretty strong, and in Unlimited, it is vying for
dominance. Still, as we will see later, Rocket’s Entei
ex has a way of dealing with this. The Resistance is the worst:
nothing. At least is harder to nail down a Resistance for Fire
Pokémon so it doesn’t seem so bad (in terms of card craft).
Obviously in game terms, it is the worst, as you would have
gained some advantage from Resisting a type. The final bottom
stat is the near perfect Retreat of one: as long as you wouldn’t
be discarding something really important, it’s usually no
problem to retreat.
Like most of Rocket’s Pokémon ex, Rocket’s Entei
has a Poké-Body and two attacks. The Poké-Body is a mixed bag:
no Weakness is the best Weakness, and the Poké-Body grants
that. Unfortunately, it’s only when you have something
providing (D) Energy attached that this is so. This card
requires a good deal of Fire Energy to use its second attack, so
it’s a pain to worry about keeping non-Fire Energy attached.
Also, having a Poké-Body opens you up to certain counters.
Still, it is beneficial.
The first attack, Energy Link, helps this card a lot. To
explain how, let me jump to the second attack: Volcanic Ash.
Volcanic Ash requires (RRC) to attack. So that means you’ll
want a smaller attack to use while powering up. Second,
Volcanic Ash requires a discard of two Energy cards, meaning
you’ll really want another method for getting Energy attached.
Is Volcanic Ash even worth using? Yes, barely. You pay for 60
damage; the initial (RRC) should yield 40 and the (CC) discard
should pay for 60. Then you get a nice non-Evolving Basic
bonus: you can nail any of your opponent’s Pokémon in play.
Wait, isn’t this a Pokémon ex? Indeed it is, and that “bonus”
appears to be where the Poké-Body (already mentioned) and the
first attack come in: Energy Link does 10 for (C), which breaks
even, then it has a very rare effect in the world of Pokémon: it
allows you to attach an Energy from the discard pile to
Rocket’s Entei ex. Wait, why is that rare? Because there
is no restriction about Special Energy. Send Rocket’s Entei
ex up, drop a Fire Energy on it, reclaim a discarded
Darkness Energy. Sweet. It is also a nice, inexpensive
opening attack that of course allows you to attack one turn
sooner than normal if you had an Energy card in the discard.
In Modified, there may be a good deck for this, but the best I
can come up with right now it TecHing one copy into a typical
Blaziken/Pidgeot/Delcatty style Firestarter
deck. Why? It can hit the bench with fewer resources than
Blaziken ex, and thus usually do it sooner. It’s okay that
it does 40 less damage if its first few attacks are almost all
against low HP Basic Pokémon. Also, especially for the few
people who are considering abandoning Rayquaza ex, this
could help handle Water decks a little better: out quickly, and
able to snipe most Pokémon that are still being Energy Rained
on. For that matter, it could also help against other
Firestarter decks since it can hit a Pokémon that has gone to
the bench to recharge its Energy. Remember, you can have this
ready to go on your second turn without a Firestarter
Blaziken: you just need discard an Energy card with TV
Reporter, Rocket’s Mission, or Energy Draw
Delcatty. Okay, so that is harder than it sounds since you
can’t play a Supporter first turn.
3/5-As usual, you can try sticking it with stuff like Dark
Vileplume (and perhaps Harvest Bounty Venusaur if you
feel lucky) and have a fun gag deck that stands a change at
winning some games, but it will only be some games, and not the
3/5-Once again, I can’t help but think there is something the
majority of us players are missing. However, for now all I can
do is find use for it as so-so Firestarter TecH.
3.75/5-Good here, if you plan carefully. If you can set it up
safely and they have nothing nasty out yet, you can get three
quick kills, possibly game from it. Sniping benched Pokémon is
amazing here. The only catch is that you need to make sure it’s
safe to do so.
Rocket’s Entei ex,
like so many of the Rocket’s Pokémon ex taunts us with
unrealized potential… or maybe not. Use it only for gag decks
in Unlimited, maybe a little bit of TecH for Modified, and keep
searching for ways to break it. Who knows, maybe the only real
problem is that, right now, it’s being overshadowed by so many