We are going to close the week by
taking a look at the two EX Pokémon from the set which
failed to make our list of top 10 cards. By implication,
these are the lesser EXs from the set: the ones that
come with a slight feeling of disappointment when you
pull them from a pack.
Actually, you shouldn’t feel too
depressed about getting an Entei, as he really isn’t so
bad. His 180 HP is right up there with the current
maximum for EX Pokémon, and his Fire Typing is ok as
well. Water isn’t used very much in the current metagame
(with the possible exception of Empoleon DEX), so Entei
should be able to absorb a hit or even two without
disappearing to the discard pile (as a Basic, he also
gets to benefit from Eviolite). The retreat cost of
three might mean that you need to run Switch, but on the
other hand it also makes him searchable with Heavy Ball
. . . very handy as you don’t need to rely on flips
(like Dual Ball) or discard in order to search him out
So, there’s definitely something to
work with there, but of course it will all come down to
the attacks. The first, Fire Fang, costs one Fire and
one Energy of any Colour to do 30 damage and inflict
Burn. That kind of damage output makes for a bit of a
filler attack on an EX, though you
it with Volcarona DEX if you wanted the Burn to have a
more devastating effect. The trouble with Burn though is
that it is depends on a between-turns coin flip and is
Much more interesting is Entei’s
Grand Flame for [R][R][C]. This does 90 damage, and has
the effect of allowing you to attach a Fire Energy from
the discard to a benched Pokémon. That damage output may
seem on the low side for an EX, but it’s actually a
pretty good number to be hitting at the moment with the
big EXs all having 180 HP, putting them in two-hit KO
range. Meanwhile the Energy acceleration is more than
nice: getting Fire in the discard is not hard with Junk
Arm and Juniper, and you can easily build up another
Entei on the Bench while the first attacks.
That’s most probably the way you
will see this card run: in a mono Entei deck with plenty
of healing cards to make sure that the active never gets
KO’d, and can be switched out with a ready-and-waiting
replacement when necessary. You could also find it as a
tech in some Reshiram/Typhlosion lists too.
It might not be as desirable as
Darkrai or as versatile as Tornadus, but Entei is a very
solid card and most definitely playable.
Modified: 3.25 (good in his own
deck . . . just try and avoid the Penguins)
Limited: 4.5 (hugely overpowered
for this format, like virtually all EX Pokémon)
Hello hello, Pojo! Today we're reviewing one of the
new Pokémon-EX in Dark Explorers. Today's Card of the
Day is Entei-EX.
Entei is a Basic Fire Pokémon-EX.Fire types are
relatively uncommon right now, with Reshiram and Entei
seeing a bit of play with a few Stage 2 support Pokémon
thrown in for good measure. As a Pokémon-EX, the
opponent takes two prizes for each KO on it, so you'd
better make Entei last as long ad possible. 180 HP is
good on an EX, and Entei should be able to take a
powerful hit before going down. Water Weakness is
largely irrelevant right now, as Kyurem and Kyurem-EX
don't see much play anymore. Entei also has no
Resistance and a Retreat Cost of 3, making it hard to
retreat (though it is searchable with Heavy Ball).
Entei has two attacks. Fire Fang deals 30 damage and
Burns for a Fire and a Colorless, which is fairly
underwhelming for an EX attack. However, it is good in
Limited, and can absolutely be used until you power up
something better. Grand Flame does 90 damage for two
Fire and a Colorless, which giving Energy acceleration
by attacking a Fire Energy from your discard to one of
your Benched Pokémon. Energy acceleration of any kind is
always good, and Entei is no exception. It would have
been better if this attack did slightly more damage
though, as 90 isn't quite enough to make a huge
difference in Modified.
Modified: 3.25/5 Entei has potential, but probably
just falls short of being playable. It has a huge body,
irrelevant Weakness, and built in acceleration, but also
has somewhat sad damage output. Overall, someone will
break Entei eventually, but it isn't good enough to
compete right now on its own.
Limited: 5/5 Like each of the other EXs, Entei should
win games by itself here. Fire Fang is great, and Grand
Flame's acceleration is fantastic in a format with
limited options. High HP is also very nice, too.
Time to heat things up
Some prefer a bad pun to one of my lectures, and just be
glad you’re not getting a long lecture that is supposed
to be a joke! XD
is a Pokémon EX; unless you are extremely new to the
game (or at least this period of the game), you already
know that means it is worth two Prizes when KOed.
Besides a compulsion to include obvious facts
like this, I like to get people
about those obvious facts; the precursors of Pokémon EX
were Pokémon ex (and no, they are not considered the
same for game purposes despite their blatant
similarities). They were very easy to under- or overrate
when this simple fact of “KO equals two Prizes” was
Pokémon EX need to be about twice as effective as
whatever the next mostly like Pokémon to be used in a
similar situation would be, though certain built-in
advantages keep it from being strictly formulaic; two
Pokémon doing the same job usually require twice as many
deck slots and twice as much Energy.
is well on its way to exploiting that foundational
aspect of Pokémon EX: it is a Basic Pokémon, so it is as
fast, space-efficient, and well supported as any other
Basic Pokémon in the current format.
Again if you’re a new let me elaborate: Evolved
Pokémon always need another card to get into play,
They also will almost always need a turn before they can
Evolve, and the exceptions to that I can think of aren’t
Modified Legal or else use an attack (precluding the
Evolution using an attack or non-attack effect on your
Basic Pokémon not only need less space and can simply be
put on your Bench, but they enjoy the support of cards
that can easily search them out from your deck (Dual
Collector), resurrect them from your discard pile (Revive),
and several other spiffy benefits.
180 HP is the current maximum printed in the TCG, and
historically just 20 points below the maximum printed on
a legal-to-play card.
Simply put, without utilizing a powerhouse combo
or exploiting Weakness,
Entei EX is
going to take a good two hits to KO, possibly three.
Water Weakness isn’t too big a deal right now;
Water decks have really struggled the whole format
despite some cards that looked strong, and the best (and
most used) Water-Type Pokémon I can think of is
Noble Victories 34/101) also focuses on “spread”
damage, making it likely
Entei EX can
still survive a hit.
The lack of Resistance is a little less
frustrating for Fire-Type Pokémon simply because their
Resistances were less important in the video games, and
even if it was irritating Resistance is uncommon enough
that possessing it is a “bonus” rather than lacking it a
Even the chunky Retreat Cost of three isn’t so bad; you
certainly never want to pay it unless it is basically to
win (or avoid losing) the game, and even then you might
not have the Energy to do so (a fully powered
Entei EX only
has just enough), but you can and should build your deck
so that you have alternatives to manually retreating and
that high Retreat Cost makes
Entei EX a
legal target for
has two attacks: Fire Fang and Grand Flame.
The former requires (RC) and does 30 points of
damage, plus inflicts Burn: no flips, discards, or other
This is only a modest “discount”: if this same
attack was on something meant to Evolve twice (like a
expect it to only cost another (RCC) or maybe even (RR),
though that would be a good attack for such a Pokémon.
It’d be merely adequate for a “plain”
getting 30 points of damage for two Energy and a
you’ll place another two damage counters on the
Defending Pokémon between turns.
While it is possible your opponent could leave
something Active long enough for Burn to rack up some
serious damage, it is quite unlikely given the short
lifespan of Pokémon against successful decks (usually
only one or two turns).
Attacking first turn with
unlike a few of the more popular Pokémon EX, will also
prove more challenging since most others have an attack
with Colorless Energy costs (or of a type that has
first-turn Energy acceleration available).
Grand Flame requires a sizable investment of (RRC),
though to be fair three Energy is “low-to-average” for a
card’s “big” attack.
You score a reliable 90 points of damage plus are
allowed to attach a single (R) Energy card from your
discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon; currently
(and for that matter the entire history of the game) the
only Energy that counts as (R) while in the discard pile
would be basic
The damage is high enough to often score a 2HKO, but
just barely misses against larger Pokémon EX if they are
good news is that most of the time you’ll have a
card in your discard pile and that effectively makes
Grand Flame cost just (RR), since its effect means a
Energy is attached elsewhere (like to what you would
rather be powering up).
The main gripe I have about this attack is that unless I
am running another form of Energy acceleration, it can
be hard to do more than “break even” with
It can’t attack for a single Energy making it a
less-than-desirable opening Pokémon, and for two Energy
it isn’t all that hot either… but this isn’t a format
where slowly building a Pokémon on the deck is a good
I use to speed up
Entei EX can almost always be used for a different
Pokémon, and Grand Flame gives a good (but hardly great)
damage return by the format’s current standards.
So why use Entei
EX? It is a
nice, large Fire-Type Pokémon EX with two more or less
The key appears to be momentum, or perhaps synergy.
Obviously we already have multiple “general”
Pokémon EX that can be used in most (perhaps all) decks,
and effectively at that.
Focus on a deck that can run a good chunk of
Rainbow Energy and
won’t due) and can work well with
My time is short so I won’t bother carefully
listing all the Pokémon a more traditional “big Fire”
deck for this format would run, but you can get some
creative ideas by either “chaining”
Entei EX to
each other and constantly delivering solid damage (while
having ample room for a variety of disruptive Item
cards) or by using Grand Flame and
Exp. Share to
easily set-up another Fire-Type Pokémon, be it Basic or
Ignoring Entei EX
to take out what you are building is quite dangerous,
but so is focusing on it to take out what you are
building. I can’t
say I consider this a brilliant strategy, but I do find
it more appealing as I return to it.
Don’t worry about it for Unlimited, though; you’ve got
better Fire Pokémon to work with there, even after
adjusting for the brutally competitive nature of a
format dominated by first turn win, lock, or even more
traditional dock and soft-lock decks.
This is a great pull for Limited, unless you
simply can’t run a deck that is about half Fire (or
rather capable of running with half of its Energy as
The lower average HP scores and damage outputs
make Entei EX
amazingly durable and possibly a OHKO machine, and if
you are stuck using Fire Fang, all Special Conditions
are more effective here as well.
Energy acceleration is amazing and plenty of
Pokémon can make use of at least some
Just remember that when
Entei EX does
fall, it is two Prizes… but in Limited that is half of
your initial four Prizes!
I’m glad that others showed me this card has some
potential I’d miss; putting Energy acceleration on a
three Energy attack in a “fast” format still takes
effort to make useful, but it can be done.
could be help surprise rogue deck for the format, or
just end up as part of a fun League deck, but at least
it seems to do things reasonably well and is somewhat
creative by Pokémon EX standards.
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Exactly what is up is a bit random.
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