If you’re reading this, then I forgot to
write an actual intro.
is a Pokémon-EX, which means it is a
Basic Pokémon but worth two Prizes when
Basic Pokémon require the least
deck space and are the fastest to get
into play, plus they even have some
Stage specific support that puts them
well over the top.
As we have learned, being a
Pokémon-EX is usually quite promising,
though not a guarantee of quality.
Being a Fighting-Type is quite potent
right now; there is no Type Support for
them, though I suppose there is some
pseudo-Type support for them in the form
Terrakion EX (BW: Dragons Exalted
I say that because
Terrakion EX can accelerate any form
of Basic Energy, but the attack it uses
to do that requires two sources of (F)
Energy, making it so that it favors
decks using a significant amount of
Fighting Energy cards.
That of course then favors most
other Fighting-Type Pokémon, since the
Energy requirements in the attacks of
Pokémon usually are Colorless or of the
same Type as the Pokémon itself.
Both simpler to explain and honestly
more important, what actually aides
Fighting-Type Pokémon the most right now
isn’t any form of support, but the
presence of Fighting Weakness being so
common to three different Pokémon Types:
Colorless, Darkness, and Lightning.
It most definitely is not
universal, but strong decks built around
Darkness have been a major force in the
recent game since the release of BW:
Dark Explorers and strong
Lightning-Type decks through out most of
this format and the previous.
It should be noted that all three
Types do have Fighting Resistant members
as well, but only Colorless seems to
have a truly strong example:
Tornadus EX (BW: Dark Explorers
Ever since the return to “x2” Weakness,
I slowly came to realize how overpowered
it is for the TCG and recognize it quite
clearly now; I’ll address this further
when we get to the effects of
Only something with massive HP
and Fighting Resistance is likely to be
the “drawback” of being a Fighting-Type;
while several things are Resistant, with
damage as high as it is it takes just
the right amount of HP for it to affect
Tornadus EX is a prime example,
having 170 HP so that when coupled with
Resistance, can allow it to last at
least one extra turn.
itself enjoys 180 HP, the maximum for
any Pokémon-EX and second only to our
favorite benchmark Pokémon,
Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted
26/124) and its 200 HP.
Unless hitting for Weakness, most
attacks will fail to OHKO
Landorus EX, and even a 2HKO
requires hitting for a solid 90 points
Said Weakness is Water, and this
card happened to come out in a set that
seems poised to finally deliver on the
promise of a strong, Water-Type deck.
Lightning Resistance is great for
Landorus EX but scary for
Lightning-Type decks that don’t have a
good, off-Type attacker; between hitting
most of them for double damage and
requiring one hit scoring 200 damage,
two hits totaling 220 damage, three hits
totaling 260 points of damage etc. such
a match-up is horrible.
Even the card’s hefty Retreat of
three isn’t all bad; you’ll need to
build your deck so that it doesn’t have
to retreat or include something to
mitigate the cost, but it also makes
Landorus EX a legal target for
Heavy Ball, and as a stand alone
Basic Pokémon this is much easier to
has two attacks.
The most important is the first
one; it is excellent while the second is
For (F), Hammerhead delivers a
solid 30 points of damage to the
Defending Pokémon while also hitting one
Benched Pokémon of your choice for
Without the Bench damage, it
would still be a good attack given the
Pokémon it is attached to, but the Bench
damage increases both its raw power and
its strategic element.
It even helps if you are stuck
facing something Resistant as you can
peck at it for 10 points of damage while
still pressuring the Bench.
Land’s Judgment delivers 80 points of
damage for (FFC), which would just
barely be low (90 for three seems to be
the “going rate”) except for two things;
first there is an effect and second the
first attack would help set-up for it.
The effect is that you can
optionally discard all (F) Energy
Landorus EX to increase the damage
by another 70, totaling 150 point
Barring Weakness, Resistance, and
various other modifiers this is enough
to OHKO all of the “smaller” Pokémon EX,
all but the largest Stage 2 and Stage
one Pokémon, and all non-Pokémon-EX
Don’t forget that in a format of
big hits, discarding all your Energy is
a meaningless cost if your attacker is
going to be KOed next turn anyway.
When used together, you should be able
to use Hammerhead to set-up OHKOs with
Land’s Judgment; sometimes without even
needing the discard.
Before factoring in any cards
other than a source of Fighting Energy,
you have a solid combo going.
You open with
Landorus EX and use Hammerhead, and
unless your opponent also manages a
strong offensive that early, you drop
one more Energy and then stop and
If your opponent will finally be
able to seriously harm
Landorus EX, stop powering it up.
If your opponent still doesn't
have a strong offense ready, determine
if you should switch attacks, including
if it is worth using both Land's
Judgment and its discard effect and
basically "starting over".
Reading what I just wrote, it sounds
unimpressive but consider it from the
receiving end; whatever you send up to
Landorus EX, if it doesn’t finish it
off, could be slammed for 150 points of
Since a second
Landorus EX can easily deliver 30
points of damage and your Bench has also
been under assault this whole time, it
is pretty threatening.
has a natural combo that I am surprised
I don’t hear more about; perhaps this is
one of those things that is so obvious
people don’t talk about it, or perhaps I
am missing some serious drawback.
Landorus EX doesn’t need any other
Pokémon to abuse
Start your assault with
Hammerhead, and if you have time to
power-up for Land’s Judgment (and a
worthwhile target for it), discard your
Energy (all of it is you aren’t running
a second Type), and if your opponent
Landorus EX, drop a
Max Potion and repeat.
Let that sink in; we just established
that the above combo is a threat to most
Pokémon in the game, and while something
Eviolite… so too could
While by that same logic your
opponent could use
Max Potion, they would have to use
it on that early bit of damage from
Hammerhead, and that rarely is worth it.
Beyond this, I believe
Landorus EX finally presents a
Terrakion EX that should make for a
strong, mono (or mostly) Fighting-Type
You probably want something
off-Type to bypass Resistance/exploit
another Weakness, but now you have
something that is effective even without
Terrakion EX opening for it; indeed
Landorus EX can open for
Terrakion EX, and right before your
opponent scores a KO against
Landorus EX, drop a
Switch, bring up a
Terrakion EX that can at least use
its first attack, and drop a
Max Potion on
Landorus EX so that it has no damage
Being a big, Basic Pokémon (even a
Pokémon-EX) and requiring only a single
(F) to use the first attack means that
Landorus EX is pretty splashable as
well; as long as the rest of your build
allows you to drop a
Blend Energy WLFM or
Prism Energy or clutch basic
Fighting Energy (however your deck
accomplishes it), just relying on
Hammerhead is a viable strategy,
especially if the deck in question needs
to hit Fighting Weakness.
With that massive HP, again you
might even be able to throw a second
source of (F) Energy (even if you’re
only running a small amount of them)
plus whatever Energy the deck normally
uses, to do that final Land’s Judgment
really does have only one major concern,
that Water Weakness is becoming a
The big focus is on
Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed
Keldeo EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed
49/149, 142/149), and it is warranted.
Honestly, the reason I think both
cards (especially a deck between the
two) has such merit is that they steam
Keldeo EX off-Type matters so much
because I expect
Landorus EX to be such a force, with
the previously Fighting Weak decks still
Landorus EX being strong in part for
hitting them for double damage, and
Landorus EX for Weakness thus
becoming so important.
That is a lot of assumptions, and there
are tricks that can allow
Landorus EX to have a fighting
(pardon the pun) chance.
Exploiting the shared Grass-Type
Weakness between the two, as well as
taking advantage of it’s (that is
Landorus EX) natural speed
Perhaps more of a concern should
be the Water-Type Pokémon that have
already proven useful even outside of a
mono/mostly Water-Type deck.
Keldeo EX, which as I mentioned in
its review, has strong potential for
being run off-Type.
(BW: Dark Explorers 29/108) is a
Stage 2, but it still provides a strong,
fast attack and draw power via its
Landorus EX doesn’t OHKO it unless
it uses the effect from Land’s Judgment,
and it has the potential to OHKO and
Since it is usually run with
other Types, there is no simple counter
to decks built around it.
There is also
Kyurem (BW: Noble Victories
34/101) whose Outrage attack allows it
to also work with any Energy and in a
deck that does provide (W) Energy,
Glaciate provides spread damage.
Spread damage ruins
Max Potion tricks and Outrage is a
natural counter to spreading damage;
Landorus EX really needs to OHKO
So as you can tell, I am pretty
Landorus EX will become a major
presence in Modified.
In Unlimited, it may as well;
here there are more options to cover its
Weakness, and Pokémon-EX do make it
harder for the first-turn win decks,
since they either have to use a more
complicated variant that doesn’t ensure
a donk or else try to donk something so
Spread makes it hard for lock
decks to safely lock down as well. In
fact, more traditional donk decks can
Landorus EX; perhaps it can revive
If not, all the tricks Unlimited
Landorus EX even more formidable;
here you can build decks that allow it
to use Land’s Judgment with the discard
for 150 points of damage every turn!
As for Limited play, if you pull this,
you run it.
I can’t say I like the idea of a
deck that is
Landorus EX plus 39 Energy, but it
might still work despite the set having
some potent Water-Type Pokémon that work
in multi-Energy decks.
There is also a Pokémon in this
set that protects itself from Pokémon-EX
via an attack,
Scizor (BW: Boundaries Crossed
94/149) that auto wins if your opponent
gets it out, begins attacking, and has
If you don’t encounter either (or
a similar deck built around another
strong Pokémon-EX), you’ll be hard to
You can also use it pretty easily
in a full-fledged deck, not relying on
it but using other pulls until it shows
was perhaps hurt most by the shuffling
of cards from this set.
Due to time constraints, I am
assuming you can look these cards up
(Pokebeach.com has text spoilers with
the Japanese card scans).
Landorus EX donk deck that could
OHKO almost anything in the game; while
it required a lot of luck to pull off a
Land’s Judgment first turn, it was
When that didn’t happen,
Hammerhead and a
PlusPower or two was already a
Ditto (BW: Boundaries Crossed
108/149) and a secondary attacker and
even tertiary attacker (all with strong
donk potential) offset the bad match-ups
would have been great given the Retreat;
Landorus EX (when needed) like
Switch, since you were already
implementing a minor “spread” strategy,
Pokémon Circulator like part of the
effect would be hard to whiff on;
one-third of your opponent’s Pokémon (at
least) would have been damaged by a
single Hammerhead, after all.
Still possible, of course, but it
requires you need to change out your
Active when whatever attack you were
using next would have scored an
will almost certainly be a major force
in the format, possibly driving a few
Fighting-Weak decks into extinction.
Besides a certain card being postponed,
only its Water Weakness threatens it;
had it lacked a Weakness, lacked a
vulnerable Weakness or Water-Types
remained ineffective, this would likely
have become the face of the format even
though it does take a little work to fit
it into some decks.
likely will become part of a four way
struggle for dominance in terms of
Pokémon-EX beatsticks between
Darkrai EX (BW: Dark Explorers
Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies
Tornadus EX, and itself.
While sometimes radically
different in strengths, weaknesses, and
even approach, each one has some area
that dominates another but in turn
allows yet another to dominate it.
ranked high on my list; in my first
draft it actually held the number one
After finishing said draft, I
quickly bumped it down… to the number
I have yet to see anything to
prove it shouldn’t remain at least that
Yes, this was a long, long
summary, but it was a longer review.
Please check out my eBay sales by
It’s me whittling away at about
two decades worth of attempted
collecting, spanning action figures,
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Exactly what is up is a bit
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