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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Boundaries Crossed Countdown!

#10 - Flygon

Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 5, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.25
Limited: 3.75

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

Flygon (Boundaries Crossed)

Hello and welcome to our top 10 countdown of cards from Boundaries Crossed. Some significant cards that were in the equivalent Japanese sets were left out of this set, and that made compiling a top 10 a bit of a tricky job (for me anyway). There were no problems picking some worthy cards for the top spots, but after that it seems that there was a lot of stuff that was quite good without being spectacular. This made it pretty tough to decide what to include.

Anyhoo . . . the results are in, Pojo has done the maths-type stuff, and the card that comes in at #10 is Flygon, a Dragon Type Stage 2 with a decent 140 HP, Weakness to its own Type, and a decent Retreat cost of one. Nothing special about any of that, so just what qualities got it into our countdown?

It’s safe to say that that would be mostly down to Flygon’s Ability, Sand Slammer. This states that, if Flygon is your Active Pokémon, you get to put a damage counter on each of your opponent’s Pokémon between turns. We’ve seen similar stuff from Flygon in the past (see Flygon ex δ and Flygon SW), and it’s a very nice effect that can really rack up the damage turn after turn. Low HP Pokémon like Eelektrik and Sableye are put on a clock counting down to their KO, high HP Pokémon can be brought within OHKO range, and the cumulative damage can be manipulated with the new Dusknoir from Boundaries Crossed. All of this is possible if . . . if . . . you can keep a Flygon in the active slot.

And that’s the major problem really. It’s a Stage 2, so it’s not that easy to keep them coming once they are KO’d. The Dragon Typing does make it a tough KO for a lot of Pokémon, but it is very vulnerable to other Dragons (both Rayquaza, Hydreigon, Garchomp). It’s not even going to be able to take advantage of that typing to score easy OHKOs in return either as Flygon’s only attack, Flying Beatdown is incredibly awkward to use. Yes it does 80 damage (enough for a OHKO on any Dragon once you factor in the Ability), but the cost is a Fighting, a Grass, and two Colourless Energy. Fighting and Grass aren’t even on the Same Blend Energy, so you are forced to run two different Types. What’s more, if you want the very nice bonus effect of auto Paralysis, you have to discard the Grass and Fighting Energy . . . you might pull that off once per game if you’re lucky, but don’t count on Flygon surviving long enough to attach all that to it – especially as neither Type has any real access to Energy acceleration.

I can see why people like this Flygon, and I can certainly see why it made this top 10. That Ability just begs to be exploited with some kind of lock or damage manipulation combo. Can such a strategy really survive in a format of hard hitting high HP Basics? Let’s just say I have my doubts. The potential is there, but making the most of it won’t be easy.

Rating

Modified: 3 (the format is very unfriendly to Stage 2 Pokémon – even the decent ones)

Limited: 3.25 (I can see the Ability working well here)

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! Over the next two weeks we'll be doing Pojo's Top 10 countdown of cards in Boundaries Crossed. We'll be reviewing quite a few good cards over the next few weeks, so be sure to check back to see how these new cards can shape the metagame. We'll kick things off with #10 on our countdown, which happens to be the Boundaries Crossed prerelease promo. Today's Card of the Day is Flygon.
 
Flygon is a Stage 2 Dragon Pokemon. Dragons are seeing quite a bit of play right now, as Rayquaza and Rayquaza-EX are both quite popular, and both Garchomp and Hydreigon are still seeing some play, as well. 140 HP is average for a Stage 2, and Flygon should be able to take most unboosted hits without any problems. Dragon Weakness means that all of the popular Dragons will OHKO, which is a major problem against both Rayquaza and Rayquaza-EX, as they are very common in the metagame. To round out the bottom stats, Flygon has no Resistance, as well as a Retreat Cost of 1, which is pretty good if you need to pay it.
 
This Mystic Pokemon has an Ability and an attack. Sand Slammer puts a damage counter of each of your opponent's Pokemon between turns if Flygon is Active, and is definitely something to consider building a deck around (for those that like stall/spread decks). It is worth noting that Flygon must be active for Sand Slammer to work, so you'll need to focus on keeping Flygon healthy and Active. Celebi-EX is a notable partner, allowing you to use Trapinch's Energy discard attack as well as Vibrava's spreading abilities (especially on turns after Flygon discards Energy to Flying Beatdown, but more on that in a moment). Of course, keeping Flygon powered up and without damage is probably the best way to keep the Ability going.
 
Flying Beatdown, the Ground/Dragon's form of offense, does 80 damage for a Grass, a Fighting, and two Colorless Energy. However, in addition to dealing damage, you can discard a Grass and a Fighting to automatically Paralyze the Defending Pokemon. Paralysis is probably the best Status Condition, and a guarantee of Paralysis can easily give your opponent major headaches. Of course, discarding a Grass and a Fighting Energy turn is really difficult, as neither of those types are very good at Energy acceleration. That being said, 80 damage with guaranteed Paralysis is good enough to stall a game out, and works very well with Sand Slammer to ensure that your opponent racks up a lot of passive damage.
 
Modified: 2.5/5 Some people see a lot of potential for Flygon in today's Modified metagame, but I'm a little more skeptical. Dragon typing is both a blessing and a curse, as Flygon will likely fall to any mainstream Dragon in a single hit, while OHKOing all of them except Rayquaza-EX. Therefore, it becomes a matter of who hits first, which isn't usually a good thing. Sand Slammer's passive damage, while helpful, probably doesn't actually do enough damage to build a deck around, as many of the threats in Modified have huge amounts of HP. Finally, Flying Beatdown is an excellent attack, but is also very slow and requires two Energy types that lack acceleration, making the automatic Paralysis somewhat difficult to do consistently. Overall, I think Flygon would be playable in a format with either fewer Pokemon-EX or fewer Dragons, and until that happens, it unfortunately won't amount to much in Modified.
 
Limited: 4/5 Conversely, Flygon is very good in Limited. Sand Slammer does make a big difference in a format where Pokemon tend to have lower HP, and Flying Beatdown's automatic Paralysis will often be trouble for your opponent. Of course, Flying Beatdown also requires four Energy (two of different types), making it somewhat difficult to use in the slower Limited format. Like most Stage 2 Pokemon in Limited, if you are able to get Flygon out, you should probably win the game.

Jebulous Maryland Player

Flygon is a Stage 2 Dragon Pokemon with 140 HP.  It is weak to Dragon and has a retreat cost of 1.
 
'Sand Slammer' is an ability that puts 1 damage counter on each of your opponent's Pokemon in between turns, if Flygon is your active Pokemon.  So you are guaranteed at least 1 damage counter on each of them when you send it out.  If you opponent deals with it, then that's it for the time being.  If they don't counter it, you'll actually get 2 more guaranteed counters (from their turn to yours, and from yours to theirs if you leave it active).
 
'Flying Beatdown' costs 1 Grass, 1 Fighting, and 2 Colorless Energy.  It does 80 damage and if you discard a Grass and Fighting, you Paralyzed the Defending Pokemon.  This can get nasty if they don't have a way to switch out or heal.  Paralysis means a guaranteed 3 damage counters (unless Catchered out).
 
So there is some potential with this guy.  From thinking about it a bit, there are a few ways to go about making a deck around him.  You could go with massive spread damage and work in some attackers like Registeel EX.  Pairing with Groudon EX could be a possibility  seeing as how Flygon compliments Groudon EX's second attack (Tromp?).  You could try to pair it with an attacker that switches itself out after its attack (Accelgor, Ninjask...).  This way you get an attack off, then have Flygon get extra damage out there.  You could also try to just constantly stream Flygons.  If you can get it to the point where there is always an active Flygon, then you will be putting out tons of damage.  It'll be interesting to see what people do with it.
 
Some downfalls of the deck... Flygon is a Stage 2 Dragon.  That means you have to set up a Stage 2 and leave it as the Active.  The fact it is Dragon means other Dragons can take it out quick (and 140 HP isn't a lot to begin with when things hit for a ton of damage).  Though the HP is out of a lot of things OHKO range, I will give it credit for that.  The Paralyzing ability of its attack is nice, but the discard hurts it.  There isn't any real Grass or Fighting Acceleration, so the discard can make it hard to stream.
 
It seems like a fun concept, just have to test it against the big decks to see if it survives.
 
Modified: 3.5/5
Limited: 4/5
Combos With:  Groudon EX
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Otaku

Welcome readers, as we count down the Pojo Crew’s Top 10 picks from BW: Boundaries Crossed! We begin with the #10 pick, Flygon (BW: Boundaries Crossed 99/149, BW Promo BW53)!

Stats

Flygon is a Stage 2 Pokémon, making it slower than everything else unless you use Rare Candy, in which case it is still slower than the Basic Pokémon (and Pokémon-EX) that dominate this format. It also will eat up a lot of deck space, and the two together will make it very hard to combo it with several otherwise ideal candidates.

Being a Dragon-Type is still popular, and some of that may be justified since the best counter to one Dragon-Type is your own, as all are Dragon Weak… including Flygon so watch yourself against other Dragon-Types. Since it sports a fairly good 140 HP, being hit by another Dragon-Type is one of the few ways for Flygon to be easily OHKOed; the rest of the time it should be able to take the hit.

Sadly there is no Resistance to provide an extra strong match-up, but since so few cards sport Resistance it isn’t really likely to hurt Flygon. It does manage a near perfect single Energy Retreat; this can still be too much if you’re really tight, but for the most part is easy to pay… unless your deck runs no Energy or you have complicated attacks costs, which may hold true for this card.

Effects

Flygon has a great Ability, Sand Slammer, which places a damage counter on each of your opponent’s Pokémon while Flygon is Active. If your opponent doesn’t take Flygon out as soon as possible, it could easily rack up three damage counters worth of spread damage without even attacking.

So what attack does Flygon have to go with this? Flying Beatdown, and attack with a massive four Energy cost, specifically (FGCC). Fighting and Grass Energy aren’t on the same Blend Energy, so you’ll have to run actual Fighting Energy and Grass Energy. You could use most forms of Energy acceleration to fill the (CC) cost, at least.

80 points of damage for that much is pretty weak, but you do have an optional effect; if you discard one (F) and one (G) Energy, Flygon scores automatic Paralysis. This effect may actually be worth it; remember Sand Slammer is going on this whole time and if you being an uninjured Flygon, even if you can’t afford to use Flying Beatdown again and your opponent OHKOs Flygon the turn after Paralysis ends, you’ve hit the Defending Pokémon for 80 points of damage and Sand Slammer triggered three times.

It is shaky, and dependent on much. Your opponent must shake Paralysis or OHKO Flygon. Also, you must make sure you aren’t doing enough damage to the Defending Pokémon to KO it with Flying Beatdown or Sand Slammer when it would spoil the Paralysis. If you do these, you might have enough manual Energy attachments to reload Flying Beatdown for a second shot. That would be two 80 point shots to the Defending Pokémon (again, hopefully KOs come from Sand Slammer damage on turns you aren’t Paralyzing it) plus Sand Slammer triggering seven times.

Seven times! Quite unrealistic, but worth noting, and I believe it explains why this card was designed how it was; any better and it might be broken… if it wasn’t so easy to beat Special Conditions.

Other Stages/Versions

Flygon Evolves from Vibrava which Evolves from Trapinch. Currently only a single Modified legal version of all three, so I’ll just cover the lower Stages to give a better measure of Flygon itself.

Trapinch (BW: Boundaries Crossed 83/149) is a Basic Fighting-Type Pokémon with 60 HP, Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance, and requires a single Energy to retreat. The HP is low enough most decks should OHKO it with little trouble, and the fastest can do it first turn. Water Weakness makes that feat easier for a few decks, but most fully Evolved attackers will score a OHKO anyway. The Lightning Resistance will be mostly useless for the same reason.

The second attack requires (FC), which means it also is mostly useless; if you are able to attach to Energy and attack with Trapinch, something is wrong since you should have Evolved. Said attack only does 20 points of damage, anyway. If you are desperate, its first attack is “tails fails” but otherwise, for (C) discards an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. Unreliable, but it might buy you the turn you need to Evolve.

Vibrava is a Stage 1 Dragon-Type Pokémon with 80 HP, Dragon Weakness, no Resistance, and a single Energy Retreat, like Flygon. For (G) its first attack allows you to flip two coins and score 20 points of damage per “heads”. For (FCC) it can hit for 50 and do 10 points of damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. These aren’t bad attacks; I wouldn’t call them good either, but if the HP wasn’t so low I would consider using the second one as more than a desperate act or finisher.

Usage

For Modified, I’ve heard three proposed decks. First you can try the no/low Energy deck, where you’re just throwing Flygon up front and trying to capitalize on the spread damage. Possible partners are Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149) to move those accumulated damage around and Max Potion/Rescue Scarf/Super Scoop Up to keep throwing Flygon up over and over again. The big risk is several decks may be too durable for this to result in you taking six Prizes before your opponent.

The low Energy version uses Accelgor (BW: Dark Explorers 11/108) and Mew EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 46/124, 120/124) to Paralyze the Defending Pokémon with Deck And Cover then bring up Flygon. Constantly setting up something to Deck And Cover can be unreliable, and odds are against having room to combine this with Dusknoir, let alone combining it into something that sets up quickly and reliably.

If you don’t mind an Energy heavy deck, finding a way to accelerate Energy onto Flygon could allow repeated uses of Flying Beatdown with Paralysis. You’re still vulnerable to your opponent finding a way to change out the Defending Pokémon anyway, but the best option on paper for this looks to be Terrakion EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 71/124, 121/124). I may be completely wrong; I was really counting on getting Ether and am now scrambling to find an alternative. If it does work, Terrakion EX can probably take an early Prize or three, and failing to shake Paralysis or OHKO Flygon could then become game.

The last option, and it isn’t impossible to work into some of the other builds, is to use the new Celebi EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 9/149, 141/149); its Time Recall Ability would allow you to tap the attacks on Vibrava, which included that spread attack. The big concerns here are that Celebi EX has just 110 HP and you can’t use Rare Candy to speed up Flygon, plus like I said that attack is just “okay”. If your opponent just focuses on repeatedly OHKOing Celebi EX, you would just hit for 50 to the Defending Pokémon twice, 10 points of spread damage to the Bench twice, and about five activations of Sand Slammer (if I counted correctly).

In Unlimited, this card might have a shot. With the official reprint of Computer Search debut this set as an Ace Spec card (short version: you may only run one Ace Spec card per deck), Unlimited should get a bit of a shake-up. I don’t think this will kill most top decks, just make them less efficient having only one copy of Computer Search. While this will also make a hypothetical deck built around Flygon less efficient, you can make a no Energy, low Energy, or even high Energy deck but it would be able to go off first turn. You might even manage a lock deck with it.

As for Limited, provided you get the lower Stages this is a great pull. The Energy requirements for the line aren’t too terrible, and even if you can’t run both Types of Energy, here you can easily use it with no Energy since your opponent will likely struggle to 2HKO Flygon. Just remember this set has a few cards that can help shake Special Conditions, so even Paralysis may not be “safe”.

Ratings

Unlimited: 2.75/5

Modified: 3.25/5

Limited: 3.75/5

Summary

Flygon appears to be an interesting card that yields at least one fun deck, maybe more than one. I think it has a small chance of being competitive, but I wouldn’t mind someone proving me wrong and piloting something built around this to some big victories. If you do encounter it in a tournament, don’t think it is “safe”; Abilities like Sand Slammer can turn sound strategy into a major misplay.

In my own Top 10 list, Flygon actually clocked in at number eight.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Flygon (Boundaries Crossed)
 
It's been quite some time since I posted a review (I've missed all of Dragons Exalted), so I'm glad to be back for the Top 10 Pojo Picks for Boundaries Crossed. I didn't vote this time around, but I've found a few precious seconds to write these words. 
 
A new set release means 3 things: Prerelease Events (always a blast), new toys for old decks, and fresh cards just waiting to be broken. Flygon is the third category with an Ability that should be familiar to anyone who played with Dark Tyranitar RR or Flygon SW. Those ancestors of this modern card also placed damage counters on Poke'mon in between turns if they were Active, but they had restrictions (Tyranitar hurt all Basics and Flygon missed opposing Fighting types). Today's card just pours the hurt on your opponent's entire team, one damage counter at a time.
 
So, you have Sand Slammer doing exactly what is says on the tin, and I imagine that many deckbuilders are salivating at the thought of Flygon tearing down high HP Poke'mon EX without even attacking. But why shouldn't you attack? Flygon's Flying Beatdown is certainly flashy enough to warrant use.
 
For [g][f][c][c] you get 80 damage (severely weak for a 4 energy attack) and an optional discard. Losing the Grass ad Fighting energies every turn is painful (no acceleration or shared colours on the various Rainbow Energy variants) but the automatic Paralysis is definitely going to come in handy. I can't think of any way to manage it consistently turn after turn but as a once-per-game effect, it can buy you a crucial turn.
 
Now we get to the less than fun part of the review where reality kicks in. Flygon BC is a Stage 2 spreading disabler in a format dominated by Poke'mon EX beatsticks. You'll need lots of card space dedicated to finding both Rare Candy and the evolution line if you want to have any chance of getting into play in time to matter, and will by extension have less room for the common tools of the trade like Poke'mon Catcher.
 
The Dragon Weakness is another limiting factor, since Flygon is unlikely to do much attacking of it's own to exploit the mirror match and Rayquaza (in both its forms) has found a comfortable home at the top of the Dragon slaying pile.
 
Some comfort can be taken from the low retreat cost (it's easy to move at least) and the 140 HP will resist almost anything you can throw at it (Max Potions will be essential). But with the currently unworkable energy costs, Flygon is a poor choice for fighting a regular match.
 
What Flygon needs is a cunning player who can somehow combine a fast evolution engine with the correct tools to stop your opponent bringing the fight to you. Discard is your friend, with Crushing Hammer locking out an opponent's energy and Hooligans Jim and Cass relieving your opponent's hand of options. Add Dusknoir BC to shift the opposing damage counters onto the weaker utility techs (that means Eelektrik NV, Sableye DEX and Dragon Call Gabite) and you might just have a way of closing out the game.
 
I don't have high hopes for Flygon, simply because the card has been intentionally dropped in an environment hostile to building on small advantages (today's discerning player prefers giant plays that make your opponent flip the table). But if you can find a way to cripple your opponent's engine while also keeping Flygon Active (no Sableye recycling, no Gothitelle Item locking and no Energy acceleration from the discard just to make things extra difficult) then I can't think of a more imposing Poke'mon. Wiping out an entire opposing team regardless of damage reduction is something that gives me the shivers, no matter how many hoops I have to jump through!
 
Modified: 3 (an inevitable win condition in Sand Slammer is held back by pretty much every other facet of the card and the metagame will not be kind. Pick up a copy or two for your rogue deck building pleasure and see if you can succeed where I have failed)
 
Limited: 4 (not needing to attack is a funny way to win, but if your opponent has nothing better happening then that's exactly what you'll do. If you can manage the energy costs, then go for it because Boundaries Crossed has enough draw/search to make Stage 2 Poke'mon playable and auto Paralysis wins Limited games. Just be careful of Audino who will ruin your fun)
 
Combos with: Dusknoir BC, an as yet undiscovered way to make attacking with Flying Beatdown less painful than dental surgery without anaesthetic.


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