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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Cards of 2012

#8 - Tornadus EX

- Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed:
December 19, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.37
Limited: 5.00

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

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#8 Tornadus-EX (Dark Explorers) 

Today’s card has a very different trajectory from the Rayquaza-EX that made #9 on the countdown. When it was first released (or spoilered), there was a fair amount of hype surrounding the card, and it’s easy to see why: with a DCE and a Skyarrow Bridge on the Field, Tornadus could hit for 60 on turn 1: enough to KO most evolving Basics and put any opponent under some pressure. What’s more, it could follow that up with a Power Blast for 100. The cost? A relative cheap three Colourless Energy: not bad for something that will two-shot any EX regardless of Eviolite. 

The anticipated Darkrai/Tornadus/Mewtwo decks didn’t quite work out as expected, but Tornadus did find a home in the Celebi Prime/Mewtwo decks which were very successful up until the rotation. Although Tornadus’s Fighting Resistance made it great against cards like Terrakion NVI, the Lightning Weakness was something of a drawback when Zekrom/Eelektrik was still a thing. 

After rotation, Tornadus dropped off the radar for a while, but the recent release of Aspertia City Gym has catapulted it up to the top once more. This is the Stadium card that gives all Colourless Pokémon an extra 20 HP. Now that Lightning Type attackers have mostly disappeared from the format (bar the occasional Raikou-EX and even rarer Zekrom BLW), you can slap an Eviolite on Tornadus and really give your opponent a headache as it trades two hit KOs for three hit KOs with the other EX Pokémon. Being a Colourless Type means that Tornadus can be paired up with almost anything really: Mewtwo-EX, Bouffalant (both of them), Landorus-EX, Sigilyph DRX, Terrakion NVI and Ho-oh-EX (for Energy acceleration, mainly) are a few of the most commonly used. Basically, it provides a strong backbone for a deck comprised of cards which are effective against the more popular decks in the format. 

This recent surge in popularity for Tornadus-EX is likely what has propelled it on to the list. It has been good in the past, though, and will probably remain at least decent in the future. It doesn’t ask for much in order to be splashed into a deck: just a Stadium or two and some Double Colourless Energy, and Tornadus-EX is good to go. 

Rating 

Modified: 4 (versatile EX with solid attack potential, and now some nice support)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Tornadus EX
 
I remember pulling the full art of him when the set just came out.  I ended up putting him in my deck to help with the Fighting weakness (I was running Eels).  He came in handy a couple of time at Battle Roads, but that was about it.
 
The card didn't see too much play (at least I didn't see much of him) due to it's Lightning weakness and the fact Eels were the dominant deck at the time.  Now things a have changed.  With Eels not so rampant, he has seen more play.  And Aspertia City Gym.  Together with an Eviolite, Tornadus EX becomes a beast.  Right now there are the Colorless decks that use Aspertia and Pokemon that can tank and hit back just as hard.  
 
Before Boundaries Crossed was released, I remember hearing about a donk deck with Tornadus EX.  It's goal was to use First Ticket to go first, then get a stadium, DCE, and Tornadus EX to hit for 60 in hopes of donking your opponent.  Plus Powers and Aerodactyls were used as well to take care of anything a little over 60.  This didn't fair too well since most decks run EXs and that is usually what they'll start with (minus Sableye).  There is a very, very low chance of donking an EX (there are some instances).  So I'm guessing that's why the deck never took off.
 
Anyway, right now he is more popular than before.  I don't think the Colorless decks have been as much of a success as the top decks, but I think they are putting up somewhat of a fight.
 
And the full art looks so awesome.  It has that crazy eyes thing going on.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Hey there readers, sorry I missed yesterday's review. Quetzalcoatl is an excellent myth to base a Poke'mon on, and Rayquaza EX captures the 'feathered serpent' vibe beautifully.
 
So, on to today's card. #8 on our list is the feared and revered Tornadus EX, who alongside Double Colourless Energy and Skyarrow Bridge likes to make evolving Basics cry.
 
Tornadus is obviously the most loved of the three Genies, because it is Colourless (read:easy to abuse) and because it has been printed in two Full Art varieties (Landorus has no basic Full Art and Thunderus EX has not yet been printed). Someone in development likes the Zephyr breeze, and went to great lengths to make us like it too.
 
As far as fun cards go, Tornadus EX is a workhorse; it won't give you many moments of awesomeness by itself, but it fits in almost anywhere so it can cover gaps in your latest unproven deck, preventing the frustration that comes from having a fun combo you never get go play. Throw in the potential for evil laughter resulting from donk wins, and you have a card that is fun because it isn't flashy.
 
This is an interesting design lesson for all of the aspiring game developers in our audience, and a good pull for collectors and players alike. And if your opening hand contains DCE and a Stadium...
 
Mwahaha!
 
Modified: 4.5 (it's cloud shaped putty for your deck, filling the cracks at the cost of not hitting the power level of other Poke'mon EX. Enabling fun cards is an often overlooked part of deck-building)
 
Limited: 5 (there is no reason not to play this if you pull it)

virusyosh

Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing our #8 Card of the 2012, which has been out for a while but has really only started seeing a lot of play recently due to some awesome support that it got in Boundaries Crossed as well as being quite good against the current Modified metagame. Today's Card of the Day is Tornadus-EX.
 
Tornadus-EX is a Basic Colorless Pokemon-EX. Being Colorless is a great boon for Tornadus, as it can easily fit into any deck due to its relaxed Energy requirements. Additionally, Tornadus can benefit from Aspertia City Gym, giving the cloud genie more HP to work with. 170 HP is the standard for a Pokemon-EX, and Tornadus should be taking a few unboosted hits before going down. Lightning Weakness is pretty fortunate right now, as there are very few Lightning Pokemon seeing play aside from Eelektrik (which doesn't usually attack). Fighting Resistance is great against Terrakion and Landorus-EX, and a single Retreat Cost makes retreating easy.
 
Tornadus has two attacks. Blow Through is an excellent turn one move, dealing 30 damage for two Colorless Energy while potentially dealing 30 more if there is a Stadium card in play. It's very common for players to lead with Tornadus, drop a Stadium (Aspertia City Gym, Skyarrow Bridge, or Tropical Beach), attach a Double Colorless, and then Blow Through to either deal significant damage or Knock Out the Defending Pokemon. This attack is also very good for its Energy cost in later stages of the game as well, since Stadiums are a very common sight in Modified.
 
Power Blast is Tornadus' second attack, dealing 100 damage for three Colorless Energy. In addition to dealing damage, the user has to flip a coin, and if tails, discard an Energy attached to Tornadus. Once again, this attack is great for its cost, and the Energy discard isn't too big of a deal when there are many powerful Energy accelerators running around. Overall, Tornadus is a very powerful beater that can fit into most decks, and should continue to see some play for quite some time.
 
Modified: 4/5 Tornadus-EX has proven to be a pretty powerful Pokemon in the format, and has very high usage right now along with Aspertia City Gym (and Bouffalant). Very few Pokemon can compete with Tornadus-EX's amazing damage to cost ratio, as it's probably one of the most efficient "aggro" Pokemon in the metagame right now. Be sure to continue looking out for Tornadus-EX, as it's going to be played for quite a while.
 
Limited: 5/5 Tornadus is fantastic in Limited. Colorless Energy requirements mean that you don't have to worry about making the right attachment, and Tornadus's attacks are both terrifying in the format. An amazing pick for your Limited deck.


Otaku

Today we come to #8 pick for our Top 10 cards of 2012, Tornadus EX (BW: Dark Explorers 90/108, 108/108).  You can read the original review of the card here, where we collectively ranked it as the fourth best card of BW: Dark Explorers.  As I did not get a review submitted at that time, this will be a full review of the card as it stands (floats?) today.

 

Stats

Tornadus EX is a Pokémon-EX; this means it enjoys all the usual benefits of being a Basic Pokémon, namely minimum space requirements per copy run and being the fastest Stage to field.  This also means it is worth two Prizes when KOed, and as it made this list that tells you it has to be pretty great overall to overcome that.

 

Being a Colorless-Type means it doesn’t have to worry about Weakness or Resistance, and now it also allows it to tap Aspertia City Gym for an extra 20 HP.  170 HP is 10 away from the maximum for Pokémon-EX, and just 30 away from the maximum (and seldom seen or played) 200 HP for Pokémon.  This is high enough to survive a hit from all but the strongest attacks, which will usually require a combination to get off.  Decks that can’t reliably average 85 points of damage per turn may find it takes two or three attacks to take Tornadus EX down.

 

Weakness will speed things up considerably; Lightning Weakness used to be one of, if not the worst to have but now it is a little more manageable.  Still, when you encounter that older style Lightning-Type deck with a good Lightning-Type attacker, or something new I am simply unaware of, a 90 point shot will become a OHKO.  90 points of damage is actually pretty common for decks, and of course smaller hits that would have barely meant anything will now become threats if you can’t get rid of them quickly.

 

Tornadus EX enjoys Fighting Resistance, which is not only quite valuable, but just nice given how many Pokémon have no Resistance at all.  Fighting-Type Pokémon do not like a 170 HP Pokémon that can also soak 20 points of damage from attacks.  Fighting-Types that can OHKO Tornadus EX are not competitively played, and the most commonly seen need help to score a 2HKO.  The final Stat is the Retreat cost which is just a single Energy; this is low enough to be easy to pay, plus you can zero it out completely with Skyarrow Bridge.

 

Effects

Tornadus EX has two attacks.  The first is Blow Through, which requires (CC) and delivers 30+ points of damage; the “plus” is an extra 30 points of damage if there is a Stadium in play.  This is a fairly painless trigger for extra damage as a single Stadium will work for all your copies of Tornadus EX once you have it in play.  There aren’t a lot of effects that can discard a Stadium other than another Stadium, and since your opponent’s Stadium will still trigger the clause that isn’t a huge drawback.  60 points of damage is enough to OHKO lower HP Pokémon that see play and even the base 30 points for (CC) is still enough to be a concern.

 

Power Blast is a fairly reliable, solid attack that requires (CCC) and hits for 100 points of damage.  The only drawback to the attack is it requires you flip a coin and if the result is “tails”, you must discard an Energy attached to Tornadus EX.  Even without fancy combos, this should allow solid blows that threatens to 2HKO anything in the game… at least before effects and combos your opponent may be running.

 

Both attacks have just Colorless Energy requirements, being a two-three split allows most Energy acceleration to ready the first attack in a single turn and sometimes the second, and sometimes you’ll even be able to ready Power Blast first turn as well.

 

Usage

Tornadus EX has one rival for being the most splashable attacker in the format.  That rival is the infamous Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99), and being compared to it is favorable indeed.  Mewtwo EX has the capacity to hit harder overall, and with the same investments hits almost as hard almost as quickly.  If not apparent, consider that high praise for Tornadus EX to be compared to Mewtwo EX.

 

Simply put, Tornadus EX is seldom, if ever, a bad play.  Any deck can still use it as an “okay” beatstick with absolutely zero support for it (other than what would be found in the average deck).  Simple additions like a Stadium and almost all forms of Energy acceleration (including Double Colorless Energy) propel it from “okay” to “great”, and especially if a deck needs to compensate for Fighting Weakness elsewhere, it becomes an invaluable addition.

 

Thanks to Aspertia City Gym and other good Colorless Pokémon, Tornadus EX has another deck to headline in.  It has been used well in other decks, sometimes as one of the main attackers, and with decks centered on Aspertia City Gym it usually is “the” main attacker.

 

For Unlimited play, Tornadus EX might have some use.  Did we ever get a ruling for using older copies of Computer Search in Unlimited (and whether or not the Ace Spec rule applies to older copies)?  Assuming First Turn Win (or Lock) decks are still dominant, Tornadus EX can headline a more traditional Donk deck.  For a more sustained assault, its Colorless Energy requirements and still great Stats and attacks will make the most of several classical Special Energy cards.

 

In Limited, this is a must play.  You may want to risk the infamous “Pokémon-EX + 39 Energy” build or make something a little more fleshed out, but either way this card will be amazing here.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 3.5/5

 

Modified: 4.5/5

 

Limited: 5/5

 

 

Summary

Much was expected of Tornadus EX, and while it delivered on some of it, its Weakness really held it back at first.  With Fighting-Type decks becoming better seemingly each set and Lightning-Type decks on the decline, Tornadus EX started strong and finished strong, with a respectable “middle” run.

 

For both my Top 10 of 2012 list and my Top 10 of BW: Dark Explorers, I had Tornadus EX in the third place spot.


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