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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Luxray  #46

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 3.13

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

Luxray (Next Destinies)

Hello, and welcome to the week on Pojo’s CotD. Not long to wait before we start looking at the exciting new cards, but until then there’s work to do . . . and as far as today’s card is concerned, it isn’t going to be pretty.

Luxray is a Stage 2 Pokémon, and that just isn’t good news right now. Previously playable Stage 2s like Chandelure NV and even the mighty Magnezone Prime have all but disappeared from tournament play, thanks to the influx of the powerful Basics that offer vastly superior speed and take up much less room in a deck. Only Vileplume UD is clinging on to playability by finding a space in Mew Prime lock decks and a few surviving Truth variants. But this Luxray has more than just its Stage to drag it down . . . it’s also Weak to the popular Fighting Type (see Terrakion NV, Landorus NV, and even Donphan Prime for details), meaning that even its decent 140 HP won’t save it. It’s also lacking an Ability so nothing short of mind-blowingly brilliant attacks are going to prevent this card from going straight to the binder.

The first attack is really painful to review. Most players will recognize it from one of the best and most dominant cards of the last few years – Luxray GL LV X. Here, Flash Impact is actually cheaper (costing just one Lightning Energy), and it still does 60 damage with 20 damage to one of your own Pokémon (you choose which). The trouble is that what was good on a blisteringly fast Pokémon with a game-breaking PokéPower, is just worse than mediocre on a Stage 2 in a format where 130-180 HP attackers are the norm. It almost feels like a joke in bad taste to see a brilliant card like Luxray LV X recycled as something that no competitive player would ever want to use.

Crunch, Luxray’s second attack isn’t really helping either. It’s pretty expensive at [L][L][C], and for that you get just 80 damage and a coin flip to discard an Energy from the Defending Pokémon. When Stage 2s that can OHKO everything in the format (Magnezone Prime) are no longer playable, then you know that something like this (which can’t even 2HKO a Mewtwo-EX) just isn’t going to make the grade.

I don’t mind Pokémon printing a poor Luxray card, I just wish they hadn’t given it Flash Impact. It reminds me too much of a card I loved playing, and to see it here makes me angry enough to do something I rarely do and give this Luxray the lowest score that Pojo allows.

Rating

Modified: 1 (a travesty of a Luxray)

Limited: 2.25 (eh, to be fair the one Energy attack is ok, but the effort of getting out a Stage 2 in limited isn’t really rewarded too well by this card)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Hey Bill, sorry I've been missing in action. I'm writing with a vengeance now to make up for the gap!



Luxray (Next Destinies)
 
It's a new week and I hope you are all looking forward to the release of Dark Explorers! Until then, we still have more Next Destinies cards to review. Now for the return of a fan favourite, Luxray!
 
140 HP, Lightning typing and a retreat cost of 1 are all very strong points in Luxray's favour, but unfortunately being a Stage 2 that can be dealt a 1HKO by Terrakion drags it back down to being a slightly subpar card. Without any Abilities to speak of, it will be the attacks that make pr break this card.
 
Flash Impact is a phrase that has been feared for the past 2 rotations and which made anything with a x2 Lightning Weakness completely unplayable. This version is actually an improvement, only costing [l] instead of [l] and a TGI-105 Energy Gain while also dealing less recoil damage than the version on Luxray GL (20 vs 30 on the old Lv X), while still dealing 60 damage! Sure, the awesome Poke-power is no longer printed but we have Poke'mon Catcher to cover that!
 
The problems start when we consider what caused Donphan Pre to become obsolete: Eviolite and 130 HP Basics. When you need 2 Pluspowers and Weakness to punch through a single Poke'mon that your opponent can more than likely replace immediately (thanks to Revive, energy acceleration and Junk Arm), you have to start looking for another attacker.
 
Since Bright Look is missing from this Luxray it has room for a second attack, but I'm sad to say that Crunch has never inspired fear around the tables. Typically an overcosted attack with a flippy energy removal effect attached, this version is no different. Paying [l][l][c] for only 80 damage and a 50% chance at discarding an attached energy is somewhat redundant while Bolt Strike and Crushing Hammer are still around. This is not the attack that Luxray needed to reenter the arena and compete with the Legendaries of today.
 
To finish, Luxray ND is a good card for a League match and will quickly end any Limited match it appears in, but Modified has decided to shut it out. Between the errata to Rare Candy, HP creep and the power of Eviolite, what used to be a lightning assault that could 2HKO anything you were likely to face (and would one-shot a lot of vulnerable Poke'mon) is now painfully weak. Yet again, our crystal balls have just been spitting static and we are now forced to use insane phrases like "60 damage for 1 energy is underpowered" when past formats were almost broken by 60 damage first turn attacks!
 
Modified: 3 (better than most recent efforts, but it still doesn't hold a candle to the Zekrom/Eelektrik combo)
 
Limited: 4 (60 damage for one energy is perfectly acceptable here, and Crunch is much more powerful when you are playing against decks with multiple energy types, especially if the attacker has 140 HP!)
 
Combos with: time warping back to the early Diamond and Pearl sets where this would have been a beast to compete with Gardevoir SW, like what Donphan Prime was to Luxray GL.


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