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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Dragonite #18/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Dec. 17, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.60
Limited: 2.33

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

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Dragonite (Triumphant)

 

In complete contrast to yesterday’s card, Dragonite is a very popular Pokémon . . . just not with the people who design the cards. We haven’t had a playable one of these for years.

 

Basically, I have two good things to say about Dragonite: it has a nice 140 HP and a useful Fighting Resistance. Now get ready for a big list of bad things . . .

 

1. Colourless Weakness: seen much Garchomp C around lately? Yep, the most used attacker in the game eats Dragonite for breakfast.

 

2. Overcosted, underpowered attacks: Calming Wind costs [C][C][C] and does a measly 50 damage. Yeah, it removes Special Conditions from Dragonite, but Special Conditions are rarely used and ineffective anyway.

 

3. Flippy attacks: for four Colourless Energy, Dragonite will do a very meh 80 damage. Then you have to flip two coins. Double heads means the Defending Pokémon is Paralysed, double Tails means the attack does NOTHING! That’s terrible: if I invest FOUR Energy on a Stage 2, I don’t want it failing on flips. Was the attack really so broken that they had to introduce this drawback?

 

4. Stupid Retreat cost: I seriously think the card designers are having a laugh at the expense of Dragonite fanboys here. Dragonite can fly (it even learns Fly in the videogame), yet they have given it a Retreat cost of FOUR!

 

To be honest, though, I would rather pay that Retreat than ever have this thing active. I even managed to get it set up at a prerelease and it was still bad . . . took about one Prize before being put out of its misery.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1.25 (Dear Pokémon, please can we have a good Dragonite next time? Thank you)

Limited: 1.5 (a poor reward for all the effort it takes to get out)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Dragonite (HS Triumphant)

 

Hey folks, I'm back! The computer is fixed, halle-freaking-lujah!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I will be trying to catch up on all of the interesting cards I missed (I can't say playable, because a card usually isn't considered playable until someone uses it to win ', damn our inability to see the future!) and I plan to write a series of articles for beginners in the game as well. So if the words 'metagame', 'rotation' and all of the abreviations for deck names cause you to scratch your head, please stay tuned.

 

Now the review. Dragonite was a card I was luckyenough to pull at my prerelease, but couldn't actually play. Which was a pity, because it looks pretty effective in Limited.

 

As always, I ramble and then move on to the stats. a Stage 2 140 HP Colourless beast (lot's of Pokemon are coming out with that, I think the bar is being raised again) with 2 expensive attacks, Colourless weakness (thank life that Confusion has been nerfed to place damage counters!), Fighting resistance and a retreat cost of 4 (damn!).

 

Roughly translated, those numbers and categories mean that a healthy Dragonite should survive at least one fully powered hit from most attackers (a belted and supported Charizard AR or Machamp Prime [and maybe Gengar SF on a brillint day] would be the only exceptions I can think of) and due to it's typing and energy requirements, it can be dumped in just about any deck. The problems are the retreat cost (did Dragonite break a wing or eat a bakery?) which makes moving Dragonite around a real pain in the current format. Even worse, the energy cost of the attacks, coupled with the lack of abilites, means that Dragonite goes from splashable to to completely unusable.

 

Still, let's check out the attacks so I can say something nice about ths lovable dragon that never seems to get a break (although I suppose the 'nite gets lovely coverage in plush toy sales and in the anime, with decent stats in the videogame) I will explain the attacks and why they wrok in Limited while sucking horribly in Modified.

 

Caliming wind costs CCC, and deals 50 dmage while removing all Special Conditions from Dragonite. SInce 2 of the aforementioned conditions (Sleep and Paralysis) will stop Dragonite attacking and Confusion causes failure if you flip Tails (with the added insult of 3 damage counters) this attack is limited in its usefulness (Bad pun! How did you sneak into my review? Get back to your box immediately!). Still, in Limited being Poison and/or Burned really sucks, so this attack will stop Dragonite's health being whittled away, keeping you in the game that much longer. The damage is sub par, but we can't expect brilliance all the time or the game will be reduced to a single coin flip, because going first will guarantee the win.

 

Now we have Dragon stamp. for an extra C energy, you flip 2 coins. If both are Tails the attack does nothing, so 25% of the time your heavy investment will get you absolutely nothing (which is why this card will never be played in Modified at the tournamnet level). However, if you get 2 heads, you cause Paralysis, and as long as you get at least 1 Heads you deal 80 damage. 80 seems to be important in Limited, putting the OHKO smackdown on Basic and most Stage 1 Pokemon while all but guaranteeing a 2HKO on any Stage 2 Pokemon your opponent can build. Since Dragonite doesn't need any specific energy, you can have some sort of consistency in your Limited deck, which does wonders for your game.

 

There you have it. Another Dragonite only fit for Limited. Though I still wonder about that retreat cost since Mitsuhiro Arita clearly thinks Dragonite is speedy, if not light.

 

I am trying to put something nice about the artwork in all of my reviews to come, because it occured to me a few days ago while sorting my collection just how many beautiful artworks are found in Pokemon, and just how little anyone seems to appreciate them. Stay tuned for an artycle in the not-too-close-but-not-unimaginably-distant-future on the subject where I name a few of my favourite card artworks and invite everyon else to do the same.

 

Wait... how did you get back out of your box you naughty little pun?! Into the cage, NOW!

 

*cackles insanely*

 

*gets dragged away from the keyboard by concerned relatives*

 

Modified: 1.5 (I can't give it a 1, just in case a newbie gets lucky using Dragon Stamp at League)

Limited: 3 (with Twins to get set up and the splashability, Dragonite is a good pick even if it is a Stage 2)

Combos with: an as-yet-unprinted starter with an attack that makes all of your flips during the next turn come up Heads. Oh, it also combos with Prerelease games.

conical 12/17/10: Dragonite(Triumphant)
 
Once upon a time, Dragonite cards had cool art, even if they weren't necessarily playable. There were also playable Dragonites at some point in time. Sadly, this card is neither playable, nor does it have good art.
 
Calming Wind does 50 damage, plus it removes all Special Conditions from Dragonite. This sounds good, until you realize that most Special Conditions would just prevent Dragonite from attacking. Dragon Stamp does 80 damage, and paralysis on two heads, but it does nothing on two tails. Personally, I prefer that any attack I use doesn't involve the attack failing. But that's just me.
 
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 2.5/5

Otaku

Want a quick, concise review?  Jump down to the Ratings and Summary!

 

We end the week with Dragonite from HS – Triumphant.  As expected of a Flying/Dragon hybrid, it is a Colorless Pokémon.  This will allow it to hit other “Dragon-Type” Pokémon for their Colorless Weakness.  It is a Stage 2 Pokémon, so it will eat up several slots in your deck and require aid to get into play quickly.  I’ll come back to which Dratini and Dragonair you should run with it, after we’ve finished with Dragonite itself.

 

140 HP is good: not the largest, but up there.  The Colorless Weakness is clearly bad: the main Type matching benefit it enjoys gets turned around against itself, so it must fear a OHKO from Garchomp, for example.  Fighting Resistance is greatly appreciated: with the HP it will take four hits for a Donphan Prime to KO it using Earthquake alone, forcing such a player to bring in a back-up hitter or power up Heavy Impact (which still requires two shots).  Even a Machamp Prime with a full, damaged Bench will only be able to swing for 130 points of damage after Resistance, just shy of scoring the OHKO.  We finish off the stats by noting the three Energy needed to retreat.  This is a lot and should only be paid in times of desperation: your deck should pack plenty of retreat aids/alternatives.

 

Dragonite has two large attacks, Calming Wind for (CCC) and Dragon Stamp for (CCCC); it’s almost like the designers still thinks it has Boost Energy to abuse, eh?  At least it has Double Colorless Energy, like everything else, and that can power up both attacks in two turns.  You’ll rarely want to use calming wind: on a Stage 2 Pokémon, 50 damage for three Energy is rather weak, even if they can all be any Type of Energy.  The additional effect of removing all Special Conditions from Dragonite is good to have, but doesn’t justify the relative cost.  At this point both time and Energy really begin to matter.  It is good that it has an attack that can be used with just two Energy attachments, even if one has to be a Double Colorless Energy, but it isn’t keeping up with other competitive decks, that either hit harder or enjoy more useful effects.  Special Conditions, after all, are usually fringe benefits in the current format, or when they are important are important because they happen in a manner that Calming Wind can’t solve.  If you are Asleep or Paralyzed, you can’t attack, so it can’t cure you.  If you are Poisoned, you’ll take a damage counter before you have a chance to remove it.  If you’re Confused, you only have a 50% chance of attacking successfully, and if you flip “Tails” not only are you still confused, but you’ve wasted the attack and put 3 damage counters on yourself.  Burned comes out best, if you’re lucky you don’t take damage between turns then can finally heal yourself when you attack.  On top of being poor timing for the effect, most decks will have other ways of getting rid of Special Conditions that are more effective!

 

Dragon Stamp is the second attack and for all that goes into it, the best case scenario is that roughly one in four tries (double “heads” on the coin toss) results in 80 damage with Paralysis.  Your bonus for braving the other part of the effect, having roughly one in four tries fail (double “tails” on the coin toss) is a Special Condition most decks can easily deal with.  The “base” damage is actually pretty good: 20 points of damage per (C) is in line with a lot of modern main attackers.  The catch is that most of the top decks are either just a little better, or manage a “drawback” quite well so that they enjoy even better damage/effects.  Plus, there is a diminishing return on Energy invested: the longer it takes to power an attack, the more opportunities to have attacked will pass before it is ready, and the more likely the Pokémon (in this case Dragonite) will be KO’d or you’ll simply already have lost!

 

If you still want to run this, I guess a single copy might be worth it in a build focused on the Dragonite from Legends Awakened.  It has some fun looking attacks that, with a little bit of help, could lead to a very interesting but flippy deck.  It cannot, however, deal solid damage directly to the Defending Pokémon: only 40 with an Energy removing effect or a flip for 50 as part of a massive “hits every opposing Pokémon” attack.  Since I don’t see a Level X form available, that might make it a useful “surprise I am actually running this!” card.  That Dragonite also enjoys just as good of stats except for a better Colorless +30 Weakness.

 

As for what to Evolve from, I’d go with the HS – Triumphant Dratini.  Neither card is brilliant, but the extra 10 HP it has over its cousin from Legends Awakened will matter in all match-ups where you aren’t facing a Colorless attacker.  Against a Colorless attacker, +10 damage will with 10 less HP is on par with 50 HP and damage doubling Weakness.  Likewise the attacks are affordable on both, but also underwhelming, so HP is the deciding factor.  The choices for Dragonair actually fair better.  They are set-mates to the versions of Dratini and Dragonite already discussed and follow a similar pattern.  The older version has 10 less HP than the new version, but came about during the time when Weakness could be a straight damaging adding effect: in this case Colorless +20 instead of x2.  There are only a few situations, mostly early game where that is going to matter, as the bigger version just has 80 HP to begin with: simple for most decks to OHKO.  Both have attacks for (CC) and (CCC) respectively.  For the lower cost, the older version can try to Paralyze while doing 20 (coin toss based, as always) and for three Energy, hit for 30/50 split (again, coin toss based).  With the same respective Energy costs, the newer version can search out any two Pokémon and add the to hand or flip two coins and get 40 damage for each “heads”, resulting in doing roughly no damage a quarter of the time, 40 half the time, and 80 points of damage the remaining quarter of the time.  This is interesting when you realize that thanks to the double coin toss clause on Dragon Stamp, it does no damage the same amount of the time.  One less Energy merely loses the negligible ability to Paralysis and “drops” the damage to 40 half the time.  It really puts things into perspective.  I would go with the new version, since I’ve already stated that Paralysis isn’t a reliable enough option to promote survival.  I’d rather get a replacement for the Dragonair I may be about to lose.  Likewise, if you have to swing for damage, you’re already taking a risk, so you may as well swing for more damage even if you might whiff and do none at all.

 

Limited play is where this card actually gets to shine.  First, Dragonair is brilliant here, making it so that you can finish evolving quickly and easily or set up another Pokémon.  You can even do both if your opponent is slow or you pulled multiple Dragonair.   In a format where the average HP is lower, 140 is stellar.  Being able to use any Energy allows it to fit into any deck.  Special Conditions are actually more potent here, and combined with the lower average HP scores I just mentioned double bumps the attacks up from poor to good.  All this together makes it a desirable pull.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 2/5 – Despite my pessimistic outlook, it isn’t useless, just not the best option.  There is a better Dragonite, better Stage 2 Colorless Pokémon, and even a well known better Stage 2 “Dragon-Type” Pokémon!

 

Limited: 4/5 – Quite a high score, and realize most of that comes from the Dragonair it has to evolve from.  It’d be a whole point lower if Dragonair was merely an “average” card and if Dragonair was poor, then so to would Dragonite be because it really is only a little above average on its own.

 

Combos with: Dragonite (Legends Awakened)

 

Summary

By now you should realize that I have done my best to make this otherwise disappointing card an interesting end to the week.  If you want a short review, know that it’s a poor card that doesn’t hit hard enough, fast enough, and stop reading.

 

Remember my complaints about Bronzong?  I’d have cited the Dragonair if it hadn’t slipped my notice.  Unless there is a wording issue I am unaware of, you should be able to use it to fetch Pokémon LEGEND, just as quickly if you went first or if you burn a Double Colorless Energy.  Plus then you can consider running a Dragonite or two to force the opponent to burn resources against it instead of the real focus (the LEGEND).  Dragonite itself just feels like it’s jumbled, with effects that are better used as a Pokémon Power or that aren’t worth the risk.

 

Now for those looking for last minute Christmas gifts, if Transformers are you thing click here for a listing of my current auctions.  The big piece in my collection sold the same night it was listed and Christmas is nearly here, so I wouldn’t delay!  Okay, I would, because I am broke and feel I’ve become too materialistic.  If you’re not in that situation though, take a look at some of my favorite things!


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