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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Dragonair #32/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Jan. 19, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.67
Limited: 4.25

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Dragonair (Triumphant)

 

How do you know when there is a new set just around the corner? When you end up reviewing evolving Stage 1s, that’s when.

 

With certain, very rare, exceptions like Virbrava RR, Stage 1s are just something you use to get from the Basic to the Stage 2. Sure, you’ll pick the best option, but even so, it’s the Stage 2 card that you will be focused on.

 

This Dragonite does a pretty god job of showing why that is the case. Its 80 HP is fairly typical and makes it vulnerable to OHKOs if it ever appears in the active slot. Even on the Bench, it’s not safe from the ever-present Garchomp C LV X. It’s only damaging attack, Slam, isn’t something you will ever want to use . . . three Energy to flip two coins and do 40 for each heads? That makes it both unreliable AND underpowered. The first attack is more interesting though: Search and Invite costs two Energy of any Colour and enables you to grab two Pokémon from your deck. There’s no restriction on the type of Pokémon either – it could be Basics, Evolutions, LV X, or even both halves of a Legend.

 

This does sound useful and, if you ever had to use it, it would be. The trouble is that it is nowhere near enough to make Dragonair playable by itself as the Pokémon TCG is full of search options that don’t require a two Energy attack from a weak Stage 1. It’s by no means a bad choice to use in a Dragonite deck but the only legal Dragonites we have are pretty awful, meaning that this card will see no play at all unless that situation changes.

 

With a good Dragonite and a much slower format (like the one that its ancient cousin Dark Dragonair was playable in), this card could be a decent Stage 1 to help with set up. For now, though, it’s next to useless.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1.5 (better-than-average evolving Stage 1, but that doesn’t say much)

Limited: 3.5 (Colourless attacks and search ability are very good in limited)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Dragonair (HS Triumphant)
 
Like yesterday’s card, this is a good pick in Limited and only just misses out on being a decent card in Modified. Unlike yesterday’s card, there is still hope for Dragonair.
 
Dragonair is an extremely rare contradiction in Pokemon: sometimes it is more effective than its evolution. The Dark Dragonair was far more popular than Dark Dragonite because of its awesome power, and back in the days of Red and Blue some players would avoid Dragonite because the dual-Flying type brought in a weakness to Rock and Lightning that Dragonair didn’t suffer from. The only other example of this in Pokemon is Scyther, because it is faster than its evolution Scizor with comparable power (and it also has a different element/type, just like Dragonair/Dragonite).
 
That is again the case today, because the Dragonite in this set is terrible. But Dragonair is good, and if a playable Dragonite comes in one of the next few sets this baby will hit the tables like a hurricane! Pun intended (Dragonair is a weather Pokemon, unlike Dragonite which is friendly and intelligent but has nothing to do with the weather, yet another reason for not evolving)
 
The vital statistics: Dragonair is a Stage 1 Colourless with 80 HP, Colourless weakness (a Dragon’s curse), a retreat cost of 1, 2 attacks and barely any colour on the card at all (but that isn’t a criticism, Mitsuhiro Arita did an excellent job on this Dragonair).
 
Basically, the sats are about right for an evolving Stage 1. The HP is too low to keep Dragonair in play for long and the weakness is terrible since a lot of Colourless techs have made their mark, but Dragonair will usually live long enough to become Dragonite, and to use it’s attack.
 
No, you read that correctly. This is one of those incredibly rare evolving-Stage-1 Pokemon you won’t want to skip with Rare Candy (unless you really need Dragonite). Dragonair has 2 attacks, and 1 of them is worth using as it can both be paid for with a Double Colourless Energy.
 
Slam is the second attack, which is rubbish so I’ll get it out of the way. The cost is [c][c][c] and the payoff is 2 flips; each Heads will net you 40 damage. Since the odds of each coin coming up Heads cause this attack to average 40 damage, you know it sucks. If the cost of the attack was one [c] less then it would occasionally be worth the gamble, but you’ll never use it in Modified games.
 
Search and Invite is the real draw here, with the cost of [c][c] allowing you to search your deck for any 2 Pokemon, show them to your opponent and put them into your hand. Obviously this is awesome, and can let you grab anything you need from extra Basics to a full Pokemon Legend. However, there is the downside of having to use your attack, which means you can’t play them until next turn. This gives your opponent a chance to shuffle away your hand or disrupt you some other way, and since they know exactly what you pulled they will certainly be trying.
 
In Modified, this card would be a must in any deck running Dragonite but no such decks exist. In other decks that like to use run multiple DCE, Dragonite might be worth it but generally losing a Special energy and an attack isn’t viable, especially since you will probably have to burn another card to search out Dragonair in the first place. Anyone who wants to play multiple Legend cards in a deck should give Dragonair a whirl, but otherwise this card is just waiting for a good Dragonite to make an appearance.
 
Modified: 3 (it is clunky support and susceptible to disruption, but it could get really popular really quick if a good Dragonite comes)
Limited: 5 (run this! RUN THIS NOW!)
 
Combos with: Nidoran girl TM (in Limited), a new Dragonite

conical 1/19/11: Dragonair(Triumphant)
 
You know what we haven't reviewed for a while? An evolving Stage 1! In all seriousness, I do enjoy these sorts of reviews, because it's more a matter of determining if today's Dragonair is better than any other Dragonairs. They also come up more often in Limited play, and who doesn't like Limited play?
 
As you likely know, Dragonair evolves into Dragonite. There are no really playable Dragonites in the format. No matter; there could be one in the future. At any rate, this Dragonair has an excellent attack in Search and Invite, which searches out any 2 Pokemon in your deck. Given the wording, this could mean searching for the final Dragonite, plus a support Pokemon like an Uxie or something similar, or it could even search for both halves of a Legend. Given that Bronzong TRI already does that, and no one uses it, though, there's no real reason to use Dragonair as an engine for your deck either.
 
That shouldn't really get Dragonair down, however, as it's clearly the best Dragonair in the format. The only other Dragonair is Dragonair LA, which has two attacks; one of which causes paralysis on a flip, and a flippy attack for weak damage. Dragonair TRI's second attack is equally flippy, but I'd rather have the searching attack than a chance for paralysis, not to mention it has 10 more HP.
 
And in Limited? In Limited, this card is incredible. If can pull a couple of this, plus a competent enough evolutionary line of anything, you should be pretty much set. Search and Invite is, well, Pokemon search, which is always awesome in this format.
 
Modified: 3.5/5(If only there was a good Dragonite to use this with...)
Limited: 4.25/5


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