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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Kingdra Prime #85/96

HS Unleashed

Date Reviewed: 04.19.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.75
Limited: 4.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Kingdra (Prime) Unleashed

 

Hello and welcome to an exciting new week of Pojo’s CotD.

 

Exciting? Yes really, because we kick off the week with reviews of three new Prime cards from the upcoming Unleashed set!

 

Reviewing cards early is a fun but risky business. Until a set has been released and playtested, it isn’t always possible to spot the potential (or the downsides) of a particular card. Despite this, I’m pretty confident in saying that today’s card, Kingdra Prime, is going o be a real tournament level card.

 

Kingdra has decent, if unremarkable stats. 130 HP seems to be the standard for Stage 2s these days, and the Retreat cost of one is easy enough to pay. Double Lightning Weakness stands out as being a major downside, however. Luxray could really ruin this card’s day with a very easy OHKO.

 

If you are looking for upsides to this card though, look no further than its Pokémon Power, Spray Splash. With this Power you get to place a damage counter on one of your opponent’s Pokémon. Every single turn. Even better, the Power stacks, so if you have three Kingdra Prime in play, then you get to place three damage counters per turn!

 

Now, if anyone is thinking ‘so what? What difference does one damage counter make?’, then I will refer them to Crobat G. Poke Turn and Crobat G are used in all SP decks, and even teched into other decks because being able to add an extra 10 damage with a PokePower can be game winning. You can take a Prize you might be 10 damage short of; you can finish off a damaged Pokémon on the Bench, or you can avoid the dreaded Fainting Spell coin flip from Gengar SF if you can knock it out without using an attack. True, Crobat G is an easily searched Basic while Kingdra Prime is a Stage 2, but if your deck runs Rare Candy or Broken Time-Space, then it can be easy enough to set up to act like a permanent Crobat.

 

Frankly, Spray Splash alone is probably good enough to get Kingdra Prime some tournament play as a tech. It goes especially well with the Kingdra from LA, using its Power to add to help load damage on to the Bench, or get a quick KO.  The thing is, though, Kingdra Prime also has an extremely good attack. For the low, low price of [W], Dragon Steam does an amazing 60 damage making Kingdra a very fast and reasonably hard-hitting Pokémon (especially if you factor in the damage Spray Splash can do). Of course, you would expect an attack like that to have a drawback, and Dragon Steam has an interesting and unique one: if your opponent has any Fire Pokémon in play, the attack’s base damage becomes only 20.

 

If Kingdra Prime becomes popular (and it might well), then I can see people teching in Fire Pokémon to sit on the Bench and reduce the attack damage. The ability to do this is one way of balancing what would otherwise be an extremely broken card. This, and the fact that tech Bench-sitting Kingdras are very vulnerable to Luxray GL LV X, will probably be the two things that will keep use of this card in check.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 4 (Amazing Power, very good attack . . . but it can be countered)

Limited: 3.75 (won’t be easy to get out, and a lot depends on how much Fire is in the set)

virusyosh Welcome back, Pojo readers! We are going to begin this week by reviewing a few of the new Pokemon Prime cards from the new HS Unleashed expansion. The Primes in HGSS have received a lot of play lately, so it makes sense that a few of the Primes from Unleashed would be played as well. As for today's card, we are reviewing Kingdra Prime.

 Kingdra Prime is a Stage 2 Water Pokemon. Being a Water Pokemon is pretty good right now: Kingdra and Gyarados decks are commonly played, as well as a random Rain Dance deck here or there. 130 HP is pretty good for a Stage 2, and Kingdra should survive a few hits. Double Weakness to Lightning, however, is quite awful with all of the Luxray GL Lv. X running around, as well as the random Ampharos, Electivire, or Raichu. No Resistance is too bad, and a Retreat Cost of 1 is quite nice, and can be paid if necessary.

Kingdra Prime has A Poke-Power and an attack. The Power, Spray Splash, is very similar to the Power of the commonly played Crobat G. Once per turn, you may put a single damage counter on one of your opponent's Pokemon. Unsurprisingly, this Power has very similar uses to Crobat G's Flash Bite, but there are a few very important differences. First of all, Kingdra Prime's power can be used once per turn, unlike Crobat's coming into play ability. However, this is both good and bad: Even though you can have a consistent placement of one damage counter per turn, Kingdra is much more difficult to scoop to use multiple times per turn. A very common combo used in the metagame today is Crobat G + PokeTurn, so Flash Bite can be abused multiple times in a turn to get your opponent into KO range. It's pretty difficult to do this with Kingdra, as it is a Stage 2 and cannot be easily scooped up by something like PokeTurn. The Power is still quite excellent, though. Kingdra's single attack, Dragon Steam, deals a very excellent 60 damage for a single Water Energy. However, the attack has a very interesting drawback: If your opponent has any Fire Pokemon in play, the attack's base damage is just 20 instead. While the secondary effect was done to clearly balance the card (so Kingdra couldn't simply one-hit KO nearly every Fire-type Pokemon in the game with a single Energy), the attack may overall hamper Kingdra's overall usefulness against Fire decks. Against every other deck, however, Dragon Steam will be doing a good amount of damage fast.

Modified: 3.5/5 I can see Kingdra Prime becoming something like Donphan Prime once Unleashed is released: a fast attacker with an interesting Power. While Spray Splash isn't quite as abusable as Flash Bite and Dragon Steam being a bit less useful against Fire decks, Kingdra is still quite useful and will probably see some play.

Limited: 4.5/5 Both Spray Splash and Dragon Steam are excellent here. If you can get it out, you win.

Willy G

Hello world! I'm Willy G and I'm a new reviewer for Pojo's Card of the Day!!! I've been reading this site for quite a while, so to be part of it is just awesome. Anyways, on to my first review... Kingdra Prime, from the upcoming Unleashed set.

Kingdra Prime has an HP of 130, which means that it'll be able to take a couple hits. However, it is burdened with the worst possible weakness in the game: double to Lightning. This means that Luxray GL Lv.X and a single Crobat will send our dragon friend to a watery grave in a single turn. No resistance... oh well. Life goes on. A retreat cost of 1 is very doable, but shouldn't matter, since Kingdra Prime is better as a bench-sitter.

Kingdra Prime's Poke-Power essentially is a once-per-turn Flash Bite. This very useful power has been suggested as an alternative for or supplement to Crobat G in many decks. It is also stackable, so if you have four Kingdra Primes on the bench, you are essentially using four Crobat G's every turn. This Power makes this card truly brilliant, and this is the reason why it will see play.

Kingdra Prime's attack is, well... less stunning. In appears magnificent at first glance, W for 60! However, this is its only attack, and 60 damage max out of a Stage 2 just does not cut it as a main attacker these days. It does have potential as a donker, but when you have the alternative of Kingdra LA, which would put an extra damage counter on the Bench each turn while fortifying its first attack, there's really no use for this card as an attacker. The effect is bad too: the presence of a Fire-type foe reduces the base damage to 20. This isn't too bad when the only such Pokemon is Defending, since it will probably have weakness to Water. However, a Bench-sitting Fire-type will thwart this attack entirely, and given that Ninetales HGSS will probably be the most popular draw engine in the format after the rotation, this will be a common occurrence.

Combos: The first one that came to mind for me was the Houndoom from the same set, which does D for 80 when your opponent has a Fire-type in play. If you really wanted to use Kingdra Prime as an attacker, It would probably be a good idea to back it up with a 1-1 Houndoom line and a few Dark(ness) Energy. However, my personal favorite combo with Kingdra Prime is Cacturne PL. T2, Broken Time-Space plus Collector, Communication, etc, for Cacturne and Kingdra Prime, drop a Double Colorless, and begin sniping for 60 EVERY TURN on WHOEVER YOU WANT. If you can get it out quickly, many basics (outside of SP) will be OHKO'd by this combo. And you don't even have to bother with searching out Crobats and Poke-Turning them every turn.

Counters: These really ruin Kingdra's day. First and foremost, if Ninetales does in fact become the new Claydol, then Kingdra Prime will be completely useless as a main attacker. Luxray GL Lv.X is also this card's worst nightmare, being able to Bright Look, Flash Bite, Flash Impact for the OHKO, and there is not much that can be done about that. Nidoqueen also negates Kingdra Prime's Poke-Power to some extent.

Modified: This card looks great on paper, but probably won't have a huge impact on the game. Outside from the combos I mentioned, there isn't a much of a home for Kingdra Prime. The likely future popularity of Ninetales makes the attack essentially useless. The weakness and deceptively bad attack make it very vulnerable to Luxray GL Lv.X. However, if Kingdra is played more than I have anticipated, it will be for its fantastic power, an every-turn Flash Bite, which may find its way into a few decks.
Rating: 3.67/5

Limited: If you can get it out, you're in luck, because this card will slowly drain your opponent's bench while quickly pummeling the Defending Pokemon. The problem is getting it out in the first place, but in a set with very few Fire or Lightning Pokemon (outside of the LEGEND cards, which won't make much of a showing at tourneys), this card has potential.
Rating: 4.33/5

Thanks for reading my first review! I hope to be sharing my opinions of Pokemon with the world for many days to come!


Otaku

Today we review Kingdra Prime from the new Unleashed set.  As a reminder, “Prime” is merely a rarity in the game and just used to help identify the card.  This new Kingdra is a Stage 2 Water Pokémon, as expected.  It has a solid 130 HP but that won’t last long against some popular decks due to the x2 Lightning Weakness.  The lack of Resistance is as depressing as always but at least it has only a single Energy retreat cost. 

Kingdra has a Poké-Power and a single attack.  The Poké-Power, Spray Splash, lets you place a damage counter on one of your opponent’s Pokémon once per turn before you attack.  It can’t be used if Kingdra is affected by a Special Condition, which is a pretty standard thing.  This seems kind of underwhelming to me: though you can use it to spread damage around it’s a single counter.  Yes if you retreat or use a card to switch out to another Kingdra you could get up to four damage counters to play with… but that’s a lot of cards to invest and you will only be able to max out on damage counter placement two or three times before you can’t pull those tricks off again. 

The lone attack, Dragon Steam, does a solid 60 for (W) or plus 20 if… 

Wait.  Well, I actually do need new glasses but that is no excuse – I’ve read the card wrong.  This is what comes from assumptions – I don’t know why they decided it should hit Fire Pokémon less hard, but the attack’s base damage becomes just 20 if your opponent has a Fire Pokémon in play.  This is certainly an interesting approach to the card: one wonders if they expect it to become very popular and figure this makes it easy to TecH against?  Let alone next format a lot of Fire Pokémon look to have potential (just look at the Fire Pokémon we’ve reviewed from HeartGold & SoulSilver). 

Now, the thing is… how much will this matter?  The match-up that would normally have been practically an auto-win for Kingdra is… just a normal match, basically.  If you have another Kingdra in your deck, odds are you can just rely on it to OHKO Fire Pokémon (as all but two I found were anything but Water Weak).

Personally, I think the Modified legal Kingdra from Legends Awakened is just better.  It has the same stats except a slightly less problematic +30 Lightning Weakness and while you’ll have to actually develop your deck around a specific combo, you’ll find yourself regularly hitting as hard as the new Kingdra and the occasional much harder shot.  Perhaps splitting the deck and running a copy or two of Kingdra Prime would be good for the established deck as sort of a back-up in case the combo doesn’t materialize.  I’d almost be tempted to run Kingdra as a back-up line for some other fast hitter (imagine a Donphan with four of these tenderizing the Defending Pokémon) but then I factor in how a Stage 2 line would slow the deck down and it just seems unwise. 

I haven’t seen the full Unleashed set, so I’ll give it a tentative Limited score.  If the lower Stages in the set are as Energy efficient, bump the score up.  If it can’t be played or the lower Stages are bad, drop it. 

Ratings

 

Modified: 3.25/5 

Limited: 3.5/5

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia
Kingdra (HS Unleashed)
 
Sorry for the confusion last time, the picture provided was of the Prime version while the reviews were for the normal version. This time, welcome the Prime!
 
Kingdra Prime has a healthy 130 HP (a boost would have been nice, but you take what you can get) with the ususal weakness to Lightning (Someone get me an Exploud!) and a retreat cost of one. So far, nice stats.
 
Now we have the real draw of the card, the attacks and powers! Kingdra delivers with one of each, and both have been the subject of a lot of speculation about their effect on the game. First up is Spray Splash, which simply allows you to place a single damage counter on one of your opponent's Pokemon once a turn. What it doesn't say is what makes this power worth looking at, because it stacks so you can use it once for each Kingdra Prime you have in play, giving a nice little boost to any attack you may wish to use. Power spray is always a problem, but Spiritomb PA helps out with that, as does the Vileplume I keep hearing about from the next set. I look forward to that review!
 
Back on the subject, Kingdra Prime also has a decent attack to its name. Dragon Steam is well named, becuase it deals 60 damage for W (which is awesome!) but only deals 20 damage if your opponent has any Fire Pokemon in play. CharPhlosion decks and variants that use Ninetales/Typhlosion Prime (or the alternative Flygon/Heatran Lv X) engine will make this Prime less useful than we would like, but other decks use absolutely no Fire Pokemon so this is a good backup attacker to your Kingdra LA (a very popular deck archetype among Diamond & Pearl veterans). Unless Pokemon release a Moltres with the Set Up power that we all love (pleaseohpleaseohplease do that!) the drawback to Dragon Steam won't prove much of a problem.
 
When all is said and done, this card gets the thumbs up from me as being a playable tech in Kingdra decks, but I'm not so sure about other Water decks or Tier 1 decks in general. Spray Splash is the main reason this card will see play (Dragon Steam is good to start with, but the damage cap catches up quickly) and we already have a much loved card that does the same job: Crobat G. The main difference is that Crobat G uses its power coming into play, so you have to use Poketurn or Super Scoop Up to use it again. Therefore, the deciding factor is whether your deck has more room for Poketurn or Rare Candy and Broken Time Space. For evolution-based decks that don't use any SP pokemon, Kingdra may well be what you prefer especially if you can swap in a W energy, just in case. Otherwise, Crobat is a lot easier to find room for and to play early in the game (which is when the power is the most useful), esecially considering how many decks love to tech in Luxray GL. Only time will tell, but I fear the day when someone puts both of them together and adds Pokemon like Gallade E4 and Spiritomb LA
 
Modified: 3.5 (definitely one of the best cards from the set, but probably still second place to Crobat G)
Limited: 4 (Dragon Steam does wonders here, and Rare Candy is in this set to make Stage 2 pokemon awesome!)
 
Combos with: Spiritomb PA, Kingdra LA


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