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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Boundaries Crossed Countdown!

#4 - Landorus - EX

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 13, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.90
Limited: 4.67

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

#4 Landorus-EX (Boundaries Crossed)

Number 4 on our top ten is the other huge Basic EX from the set. I have to say that, although Landorus was never exactly prettyful, I find the Therian forme especially difficult to love. Both the normal and full art versions of this card are probably the least attractive of all the EX cards I’ve seen. But that’s kind of appropriate, because Landorus-EX isn’t about looking cute; instead he’s all about raw, brutal power and destroying other Pokémon from turn 1 onwards.

So . . . what you have here is a Fighting Type Basic EX Pokémon with top-of-the-range 180 HP. Fighting has been the Type of choice for metagame counters for a long while now as, not only does it deal nicely with Eelektrik and his Lightning Type friends (Raikou-EX, Zekrom), it also hits the ubiquitous Darkrai where it hurts. That’s why you’ve seen players teching Terrakion NVI into just about everything during the past year. Landorus-EX’s Water Weakness would not have been an issue previously, but with Blastoise and Keldeo-EX, it seems that Boundaries Crossed has provided us with a natural counter to this card. And yes, that is something they really needed to do.

Landorus-EX’s first attack, Hammerhead, is quite possibly the best turn one offensive attack I have ever seen. For a single Fighting Energy it does 30 to the active and 30 to a Benched Pokémon. Due to Weakness, that’s enough to OHKO any Tynamo, or put severe pressure on an active Darkrai. Heck, I can’t think of any deck that would enjoy taking that kind of damage to the face before they even get to draw a card. 60 for one Energy is ridiculously good on any Pokémon (see also Donphan Prime and Kingdra LA), but when you get it from a 180 HP BASIC? Then it becomes stupidly good.

And how about that 30 to a Benched Pokémon? That has terrific synergy with Landorus-EX’s second attack, Land’s Judgement. This costs two Fighting and one Colourless Energy for a Base damage of 80. That’s . . . not great, but here’s the thing: you can choose to discard all Fighting from Landorus to add 70 damage to the total, so you have the option to hit for a huge 150 for just three Energy. Factor in the 30 damage from an earlier Hammerhead and you have a OHKO on any EX Pokémon that doesn’t happen to have an Eviolite attached. The discard can set you back, but you should really only be doing it to take two Prizes on something important anyway. If you play carefully, it should be just about manageable.

Landorus-EX really does take Fighting Pokémon that little bit further by giving them a card that can work as a heavy-hitter against anything, and not just those Pokémon that are Weak to it. The lack of available Energy acceleration for Fighting, and the Weakness to Keldeo-EX are really the only things that are going to keep this Pokémon in check. Hammerhead is just about the best thing you can do on your first turn, and I really fear for people who want to keep on playing the popular and successful Eelektrik-based decks, because running into this beast is going to give you nightmares. Landorus is a card that can be powerful in both the early and the late game, and you’re going to see quite a lot of it in the coming months.

Rating

Modified: 4.25 (is this the end for Eelektrik?)

Limited: 4.75 (just using Hammerhead all game will give your opponent fits)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Landorus EX
 
Landorus EX is a Basic Fighting Pokemon with 180 HP.  It is weak to Water, resistant to Lightning, and has a retreat cost of 3.  It is searchable by Heavy Ball and you get/give 2 prizes when it is Knocked Out.
 
'Hammerhead' costs 1 Fighting and does 30 damage.  It also does 30 to one of your opponent's benched Pokemon.  This can OHKO Tynamos and Dark Deinos (almost OHKO Sableyes).  Plus the extra 30 softens up other Pokemon.  It really is a nasty attack, and it only costs 1 Energy.
 
'Land's Judgement' costs 2 Fighting and 1 Colorless.  It does 80 damage, and if you discard all Fighting from it, it does 150.  This is great in the sense that if the 70 isn't enough to OHKO something, you can switch it up to 150.
 
So this card is incredibly hyped.  There is good reason, seeing as how the 2 big decks going into the set both has Fighting weaknesses.  To get an EX that is a tank, can spread damage, and can hit big is really good for the Fighting decks that tried to counter the popular decks.  But I think we will have to give it a few Cities to see how it settles in to the format.  If it becomes widely played, the other decks might see a decrease in play, unless they find a way to counter it.  I find it funny that the Blastoise/Kedeo deck is kind of dependent on this deck.  If Landorus is widely used, Blastoise/Keldeo will be used as a counter.
 
But that is if this deck takes off.  Right now the only Fighting acceleration is Terrakion EX, and you have to power it up before you can even accelerate.  So it'll be interesting to see what happens.
 
Modified: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Combos With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

virusyosh

Greetings, Pojo viewers! Today we're continuing our Boundaries Crossed Top 10 Countdown with the #4 card, which is considered by many to be the best EX in the set (by those that don't think that the title goes to Keldeo). Today's Card of the Day is Landorus-EX.
 
Landorus-EX is a Basic Fighting Pokemon-EX. Fighting-types have seen a decent amount of play lately, as both Darkrai-EX and Zekrom-EX have a Fighting Weakness. That being said, Landorus will likely join the likes of Terrakion in terms of being played at a high level in Modified. As a Pokemon-EX, Landorus will have to have some big attacks or great Abilities to warrant the two Prizes your opponent takes for the KO, and I don't think you'll be disappointed here. 180 HP is standard for a Pokemon-EX, taking huge hits easily from any Pokemon that isn't attacking for Weakness. Speaking of bottom stats, Water Weakness will be a gigantic problem against Keldeo, as the water musketeer will easily OHKO. Lightning Resistance is great against Zekrom and Raikou, as they should still be sticking around for a little bit during Cities. FInally, a Retreat Cost of 3 is pretty hefty, but means that Landorus can be searched out with Heavy Ball, if need be.
 
Landorus has two attacks. Hammerhead does 30 damage plus 30 damage to a Benched Pokemon for a single Fighting Energy, which is a great damage to cost ratio. Hammerhead is an amazing early game play, and continues to be useful later on. This attack is especially great for taking out Fighting Weak Basics, like Tynamo. Land's Judgment, Landorus's second attack, does 80 damage for two Fighting and a Colorless, but can also do 70 more if you discard all Fighting Energy attached to this Therian Pokemon. 80 damage for three Energy is just about what you'd expect in our current format, and 150 damage for the cost is quite powerful as well. Considering that you probably won't be using the discard effect until you're going to land a KO, Landorus can deal good damage until your opponent is in KO range, and then use the discard as a finishing blow. Then, on your next turn, Landorus can keep up offensive pressure by using Hammerhead again. In summary, Landorus is an excellent offensive Pokemon that will find a home in many decks with Terrakion, but it really needs to watch out for Keldeo and Blastoise.
 
Modified: 3.5/5 As I previously stated, Landorus is a powerful offensive threat that is going to be strongly kept in check by Keldeo-EX. High HP and two very damaging attacks make Landorus an excellent addition to most decks running Fighting, but Water Weakness will be a problem. Of course, Terrakion is an excellent partner in such decks, as it covers Landorus's Weakness very well. Overall, expect to see Landorus on a regular basis at tournaments, even if it's just a one-of: this land spirit's power is for real.
 
Limited: 5/5 I must admit that I'm biased here, but Landorus is amazing in Limited. Hammerhead's damage output is insane in a slow format with limited healing and relatively weak HP scores, and Land's Judgment is an excellent offensive threat against nearly everything. To give you an idea of its power, I swept my local prerelease with Landorus as the only Pokemon in my deck. It's that good, play it.


Otaku

If you’re reading this, then I forgot to write an actual intro.

Stats

Landorus EX is a Pokémon-EX, which means it is a Basic Pokémon but worth two Prizes when KOed. 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 of Terrakion EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 71/124, 121/124). 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 basic 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 90/108, 108/108).

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 Landorus EX. 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 a match-up. Again, 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.

Landorus EX 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 of damage. 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 utilize.

Effects

Landorus EX has two attacks. The most important is the first one; it is excellent while the second is “merely” great. For (F), Hammerhead delivers a solid 30 points of damage to the Defending Pokémon while also hitting one Benched Pokémon of your choice for another 30. 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 attached to Landorus EX to increase the damage by another 70, totaling 150 point whammy. 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 Basic Pokémon. 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 evaluate. 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 hit Landorus EX, if it doesn’t finish it off, could be slammed for 150 points of damage! 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.

Usage

Landorus EX 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 Max Potion. 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 can’t OHKO 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 might have Eviolite… so too could Landorus EX. 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 partner for Terrakion EX that should make for a strong, mono (or mostly) Fighting-Type deck. 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 your first 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 on it.

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 finish.

Landorus EX really does have only one major concern, that Water Weakness is becoming a serious concern. The big focus is on Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149) and 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 roll Landorus EX. Running Keldeo EX off-Type matters so much because I expect Landorus EX to be such a force, with the previously Fighting Weak decks still being strong, Landorus EX being strong in part for hitting them for double damage, and hitting 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 advantage. 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. That and Keldeo EX, which as I mentioned in its review, has strong potential for being run off-Type.

Empoleon (BW: Dark Explorers 29/108) is a Stage 2, but it still provides a strong, fast attack and draw power via its Ability. Landorus EX doesn’t OHKO it unless it uses the effect from Land’s Judgment, and it has the potential to OHKO and easily 2HKOs Landorus EX. 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 Kyurem!

So as you can tell, I am pretty confident 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 big. Spread makes it hard for lock decks to safely lock down as well. In fact, more traditional donk decks can easily incorporate Landorus EX; perhaps it can revive them. If not, all the tricks Unlimited brings make 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 no Bench. If you don’t encounter either (or a similar deck built around another strong Pokémon-EX), you’ll be hard to defeat. You can also use it pretty easily in a full-fledged deck, not relying on it but using other pulls until it shows up.

Spoiler

Landorus EX 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).

Ether allowed a 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 possible. When that didn’t happen, Hammerhead and a PlusPower or two was already a probable OHKO. Ditto (BW: Boundaries Crossed 108/149) and a secondary attacker and even tertiary attacker (all with strong donk potential) offset the bad match-ups for Landorus EX.

Escape Rope would have been great given the Retreat; besides Benching Landorus EX (when needed) like Switch, since you were already implementing a minor “spread” strategy, the 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 important KO.

Ratings

Unlimited: 3.5/5

Modified: 4.5/5

Limited: 5/5

Summary

Landorus EX 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.

Landorus EX likely will become part of a four way struggle for dominance in terms of Pokémon-EX beatsticks between Darkrai EX (BW: Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108), Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99), 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.

Landorus EX ranked high on my list; in my first draft it actually held the number one slot! After finishing said draft, I quickly bumped it down… to the number two slot. I have yet to see anything to prove it shouldn’t remain at least that high. Yes, this was a long, long summary, but it was a longer review.

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