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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Landorus #74

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 3.88

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
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Landorus 74/101 (Noble Victories)

The Weather Genies are the other set of Legendaries from Black and White, and the card designers seem to like them too. Tornadus is an extremely efficient early game attacker and Thundurus is actually a decent card which suffers from being its shadow. How will the third member of the trio fare in its TCG debut? Let’s find out.

Like the other Genies, Landorus’s stats may fall short of being Dragon-like, but they’re nothing to be sniffed at either. 110 HP is still good for an unevolving Basic, the Retreat cost of one is very payable, and the Lightning Resistance actually very useful given the popularity of Zekrom. Water Weakness isn’t too much of a problem right now either (there is a hard counter to Landorus in the set (the uncommon Cryogonal) but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Landorus’s first attack is Abundant Harvest. It costs a single Fighting Energy and allows you to attach a Basic Energy card from your discard pile to Landorus. This is actually pretty good first turn acceleration if you can get the Energy into the discard with something like Junk Arm or Engineer’s Adjustment (by no means guaranteed – you need two Energy and the discarding card in your opening hand). If you can’t, however, then Landorus’s second attack, Gaia Hammer, become rather slow with its [F][F][C] cost.

At least the attack you get for that price is fairly decent: it does 80 damage to the Defending Pokémon and 10 to every benched Pokémon (both yours and your opponent’s). Damaging your own Bench is never fun in this format: it makes Pokémon Catcher + KO easier to pull off and it makes Kyurem’s job a whole lot easier, but the fact that you’re also spreading to the opponent’s field makes it somewhat more bearable. You could try running some Reshiram/Zekrom/Kyurem yourself and using the damage to power up Outrage, but for Catcher-related reasons, I find this a somewhat dubious strategy in this format and it has already been attempted in the Donphan/Dragons deck with mixed results.

In fact, Landorus is a Pokémon that reminds me a lot of Donphan, and I’m not convinced that the comparison is in its favour. Yes, Landorus has a higher damage output, but it is also less durable and its attack is much slower than Donphan’s Earthquake. The fact that it won’t be attacking until turn 2-3 kind of wipes out the speed advantage it gets from being a Basic.

Like Druddigon from earlier in the week, Landorus strikes me as a ‘nearly’ Pokémon. Even with Abundant Harvest, I still think Gaia Hammer cannot be fast enough reliably enough to work: if it were Double Colourless compatible, things might be a little different. I can see people experimenting with it as a Donphan alternative though, so it’s just possible it could find a niche use somewhere.

Rating

Modified: 2.75 (solid Pokémon, but just a little too slow to be truly competitive)

Limited: 3.75 (as a high HP basic, it can do very well in this slower format)

virusyosh

Happy Thursday, Pojo readers! Today we're going to continue our reviews of Noble Victories by reviewing another powerful Basic from the new expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Landorus.

Landorus is a Basic Fighting Pokemon. The only common Fighting-type we see in Modified right now is Donphan Prime, with the occasional Machamp Prime making appearances. However, Fighting is a type lacking strong Basics, so Landorus may be able to fill a niche role there. 110 HP is standard for a member of the djinn trio, and should allow Landorus to take a few unboosted hits before going down. Water Weakness is bad against Beartic, Kyurem, and the occasional Samurott; Lightning Resistance is great against Zekrom and Magnezone Prime; and a Retreat Cost of 1 is easily payable.

Landorus has two attacks, both of which are very similar to its trio brethren, Tornadus and Thundurus. Abundant Harvest allows you to search your discard pile for a basic Energy and attach it to Landorus for a single Fighting Energy, acting as this Pokemon's Energy acceleration attack. Abundant Harvest can only really work during the first or second turn in Modified, but can be useful in Limited, especially after a few of your other Pokemon have been Knocked Out. Most people will use Landorus for Gaia Hammer, which deals 80 damage while also doing 10 damage for each Benched Pokemon for two Fighting and a Colorless. While the Energy requirements basically force Landorus to be run in a dedicated Fighting deck, 80 and all of that spread damage can be fairly useful if Landorus can find a way into a deck. In Limited, the attack is great because it's strong and doesn't require an Energy discard, but in Modified, it's hard to see where Landorus is going to fit.

Modified: 2.75/5 Landorus is by no means bad, it just doesn't have a place in the format yet. Abundant Harvest is too slow to work in Modified effectively, and Gaia Hammer, while powerful, is easily outclassed by Tornadus or even Donphan. Water Weakness against the increasingly popular Beartic and Kyurem is also a problem.

Limited: 4/5 While Fighting is not the strongest type in Noble Victories Limited, Landorus is a solid addition to any deck running the type. Good HP, energy acceleration, and a decent attack are all great points.

Mad
Mattezhion

Landorus (Noble Victories)

Today is another final member of a trio, but this time it's the third Weather Genie. Say hello to Landorus!

Landorus is a Fighting type non-evolving Basic with 110 HP, water Weakness, Lightning Resistance, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks.

Much like Kyurem yesterday, Landorus has the same basic build as it's cousins from Emerging Powers, but in this case that isn't so much of a bonus. Admittedly the Resistance and typing are great against Zekrom, Thunderus and Magnezone Prime but the disadvantage is that Fighting Poke'mon currently have absolutely zip in the way of usable energy acceleration. As such they tend to fall behind quickly when both players are trading 1HKOs, especially if they run into Resistance. Since Water, Lightning and Fire all have energy acceleration as well as Big Basics that can abuse Revive, a Prize race is something you are almost certain to face (and lose to) at any tournament.

The first attack, Abundant Harvest, goes some way towards fixing the speed problem. At a cost of [f], the effect is to retrieve an energy card from the discard pile and attach it to Landorus. This combines well with Engineer's Adjustments but requires careful deckbuilding to ensure that you have a good chance of starting with 2 energy (one for the attack and one for the discard effect of Adjustments) if you want to use it as an opening move (the specific energy cost hurts this strategy a bit).

The other option is to use Abundant Harvest for recovery later in the game (since the attack doesn't specify Basic energy, you can take what you like!) but using an attack just to retrive energy gives your opponent a chance for another shot, likely costing you another Prize and wasting your effort. Fortunately, Eviolite gives Landorus a better chance than most Poke'mon to survive the free hit so the Djinn has a half decent chance of using it's main attack.

That main attack is Gaia Hammer which does more or less what it says on the tin by taking a hammer to everything in your path. The cost of [f][f][c] is a bit high due to the aforementioned lack of energy acceleration for Fighting Poke'mon and the 80 damage, while it is fair value, is heavily outclassed by other popular attackers. Fortunately, the secondary effect somewhat makes up for the negative points by dealing 10 damage to every Benched Poke'mon on each side of the field. The recoil works well with Machamp Prime's Champion Buster as well as softening up the opponent's side of the field, and Machamp's Fighting Tag Poke-power also makes great use of Abundant Harvest's energy acceleration. If only Machamp's tournament performance was equal to it's potential...

Landorus would make a great starter for the now abandoned Machamp/Donphan deck, possible even replacing Donphan Prime altogether if only there was a reliable way to accelerate Fighting energy. While Donphan/Machamp decks of the past have been fast enough to deal significant damage (especially with the advantage of the common Fighting Weakness) they have always stalled out after Machamp is removed by a revenge Knock Out because there is no way to build a replacement Machamp quickly.

If the Poke'mon development team are reading this, please introduce some Fighting type energy acceleration before Machamp rotates out, or at least before Landorus is forgotten! Fighting Poke'mon deserve this!

Modified: 3 (Landorus isn't going to see much serious play whilever we are forced to attach each energy manually, even with the excellent support for Basics and relevant combo pieces)

Limited: 4 (Landorus still has speed issues due to the high Fighting energy investment required but if you get it powered up it can really bring the pain! Just watch the recoil)

Combos with: Machamp Prime and relatively easy-to-use Fighting energy acceleration.


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