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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Kyurem

Dragon Vault

Date Reviewed: Oct. 9, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.87
Limited: 2.75

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

Kyurem (Dragon Vault)

Poor Kyurem . . . the only one of the Unova Legendaries not to get his own Full Art card. I bet it would have looked awesome too. Never mind, to make up for that, he does get to be the secret rare in the new Dragon Vault set. Do we have another Rayquaza DRX on our hands? An incredibly hard to get card that is actually good? Let’s take a look and find out.

Starting with the basics . . . Kyurem is a Dragon Type unevolving Basic with a very good 130 HP, a moderately bad retreat cost of two, and Weakness (like all Dragons) to its own Type. So far Kyurem is looking like a pretty solid card, but of course everything depends on those attacks.

The first, Dragon Claw, costs three Energy of any Colour and does 60 damage. Very vanilla and a bit less than you would expect for the cost. However, this is the attack that players are taking a second look at for two reasons. First off the Colourless attack cost mean that we at last have a Dragon Type that doesn’t need weird Energy combinations to attack, and can be splashed into any deck (especially those running Double Colourless and/or Energy acceleration). Secondly, the fact that Kyurem is a Dragon Type means that it can be used against other Dragons, notably non-EX Rayquaza which it can OHKO. The second attack isn’t going to be so popular, as we are back to silly Energy requirements. Blizzard does 90 damage and 10 spread (which is nice enough with 90 being a magic number against EX Pokémon), but the fact that it needs Water and Psychic (which aren’t even on the same Blend Energy) plus two Colourless, means that most decks will find powering that up a pain unless they really scramble their Energy line (which most often lowers consistency).

So, what we end up with is a Pokémon that is good against little Rayquaza and Dragon Basics like Deino and Gible, but which will usually fall short of a OHKO on Rayquaza EX and the evolved Dragons . . . all of which can take an easy Prize from Kyurem itself. This brings up the question of whether it is worth running a counter to Rayquaza in the first place. I suppose if Little Quaza does see a huge spike in play now that it is more accessible through its release in Dragon Vault, then you could consider using Kyurem. Against anything else, it’s just a Pokémon that will get two or three hit KOs for a pretty steep Energy cost . . . your deck should be running other Pokémon that can do that job better anyway.

Rating

Modified: 3 (has some potential as a very niche tech until something better comes along)

Limited: N/A (it’s from a mini set)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Kyurem
 
Kyurem is a Basic Dragon Pokemon with 130 HP.  It is weak to Dragons and has a retreat cost of 2.
 
'Dragon Claw' cost 3 colorless energy and does 60 damage.  Not spectacular... not even good.  Altaria can boost its damage, but can you fit it in with Garchomps as well (I'm assuming you would have Garchomp/Altaria)?  If you ran Pluspower, you could take out quite a few Pokemon.  Oh, Rayquaza.  This attack will OHKO Rayquaza, so its not all bad (and looking at some of the other Dragons' HP, it can OHKO them as well).  Okay, so this attack is becoming a little better than I initially thought.
 
'Blizzard' costs 1 Water, 1 Psychic, and 2 colorless energy.  It does
90 damage and 10 to all of your opponent's Pokemon.  This sounds like it could combo well with Groudon EX, however, Groudon is Fighting.
The energy lineup would look ridiculous (you'd need both Blends, or some Prisms, heck, just throw it in Ho-oh).  This attack doesn't make him that splashable.  The damage, on the other hand, will take out a Rayquaza EX.
 
Kyurem is similar to Rayquaza, only Rayquaza has cheaper attacks and has synergy with Rayquaza EX.  Kyurem will take some fitting into one of the top tier decks, unless you can find a way to make a top tier deck including it.
 
Modified: 3/5
Limited: 3/5
Combos With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo readers! Today we're continuing our reviews of the new Dragon Vault mini-set by reviewing the lone Ultra Rare in the set. Today's Card of the Day is Kyurem.

Kyurem is a Basic Dragon Pokemon. Dragons are fairly powerful right now, with both Hydreigon and Garchomp from Dragons Exalted seeing some play; of course, being a Dragon also means that the card will be a bit more powerful than normal as well as having strange Energy requirements. 130 HP is great for a Basic, as it allows Kyurem to take at least one medium-sized to big unboosted hit before going down, which is always great. Dragon Weakness is expected, and could be a major problem against the aforementioned Hydreigon and Garchomp, who should both easily OHKO. Sadly, Kyurem has no Resistance, and its Retreat Cost of 2 is payable in a bind.

The version of the Boundary Pokemon has two attacks. Dragon Claw does a vanilla 60 damage for three Colorless Energy, which is a tad bit expensive for the cost, but is definitely usable in either Modified or Limited while waiting for something better. Additionally, 60 damage will probably be enough to Knock Out most opposing Basics or opposing Dragons with damage, so it's not totally disappointing.

Blizzard is Kyurem's second attack, dealing 90 damage to the Defending Pokemon and 10 damage to each of your opponent's Benched Pokemon for a Water Energy, a Psychic Energy, and two Colorless Energy. Water and Psychic is a somewhat difficult combination to work with, as this means Kyurem has little synergy with the new Blend Energies. It does, however, work quite nicely with Prism Energy. 90 damage for four Energy is a bit lackluster, but the spread damage, while small, can be good enough to push through a few more KOs.

Modified: 2.5/5 A big body with good typing and decent attacks, Kyurem should be able to see play somewhere at least as a tech. While Blizzard's cost is somewhat unwieldy, spreading damage is really powerful and often underrated. I think Kyurem's usage in Modified will largely be dependent on two things: whether or not it can fit nicely into a deck, and your local metagame, as it's probably a bit too slow to work in Dragon-saturated areas.

Limited: 3.5/5 While there isn't a Dragon Vault Limited format per se, Kyurem stacks up well against the rest of the set. Dragon Claw's combination of Colorless Energy requirements and decent damage output will take out pretty much everything save Salamence and Dragonite due to Dragon Weakness, and Blizzard will be absolutely crippling when it hits. Of course, Kyurem is also somewhat slow, and given its own Dragon Weakness, may not last very long itself.


Otaku

Today we look at the Secret Rare of the Dragon Vault mini-set, Kyurem (Dragon Vault 21/20). Will this be the next Rayquaza (BW: Dragons Exalted 128/124, Dragon Vault 11/20)? Probably not, given the differences in distribution, but it still could be a good card.

Stats

Kyurem is a Basic Dragon-Type Pokémon. Being a Basic is the best, at least this format; and in case you’re extremely new to the game or just still waking up I’ll tell you why. Kyurem enjoys the built-in benefits of requiring the least space to run (one deck slot per copy), merely requires an open space on your Bench to drop into play (barring special circumstances where you can drop it into the Active slot just as easily), and is the fastest Stage to get into play now (though Restores Pokémon can be just as fast if you are extremely lucky). Then you get actual Basic Pokémon support, like Prism Energy or Eviolite.

Being a Dragon-Type is great; there is still plenty of hype over this new Type, nothing is Resistant, all Dragon-Type Pokémon are Weak to Dragon-Types, and there is a little bit of Type-themed support as well. 130 HP is the maximum possible for Basic Pokémon and still higher than the vast majority of printed Pokémon, though a little less impressive when compared to the HP of the Pokémon that see play (which includes Evolutions and Pokémon-EX). It should still be able to survive all but the biggest hits, especially with Eviolite.

Just remember that due to having the currently universal Dragon-Type Weakness to Dragon-Types, the most prominent attacks amongst them score an easy OHKO. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, though; most of what we are talking about are Stage 2 Pokémon or Pokémon-EX; most were near or actual OHKOs before this, so the main benefit is that they require a little less effort. Perhaps the real threat is the odd Evolving, or lesser played Dragon-Type, suddenly scoring a OHKO.

The lack of Resistance disappoints me as it usually does; though the top Dragon-Types might not need it, most of them could use that extra push. Kyurem is a Dragon/Ice-Type hybrid, so it takes half damage from Water, Grass, and Electric attacks (attacks have Types as well in the video games). Since the TCG blends Water- and Ice-Types into the TCG Water-Type, that still leaves Grass or Electric (that is Lightning in the TCG) Resistance. The latter would have been quite impressive!

Last for the Stats, we come to a Retreat Cost of two; too low for Heavy Ball, one too high for Skyarrow Bridge to zero out. Two is low enough that paying it is reasonable, but high enough it is still painful. Overall, pretty middle of the road unless your deck favors Heavy Ball, and the entire Stats package is promising.

Effects

Kyurem has two attacks. Dragon Claw delivers 60 points of damage for (CCC), which is slightly sub-par. Generally speaking, you want to score at least 70 points of damage for three Energy, and you would prefer your opening attack be something you could power in one shot without relying on anything fancier than Double Colorless Energy or other Energy acceleration + Energy Switch.

Getting this powered up first turn is going to require a massive combo, either Double Colorless Energy, Energy Switch, and something like Dark Patch or a double Dark Patch/Energy Switch… and don’t forget you need to get basic Darkness Energy into the discard for either of those. This is a very fast format, and most decks don’t like having to rely on Energy acceleration combos; they will happily use them, but only a few decks rely on them. Its real strength is reliable damage for any Type of Energy, and that is why it is only slightly sub-par.

Blizzard is plagued by the odd off-Type Energy pairings that “spoil” several Dragon-Type cards, plus at (WPCC) it isn’t viable without a real combo. 90 points of damage for that much Energy isn’t great, but the spread damage does keep it from being bad. Note that this is based less on “formulas” than on what could be described as the “going rate”: the entire BW-block of sets has seemed to consist of cards using two different standards for damage output.

Blizzard can be thought of as slightly sub-par, or maybe even actually average; 90 points of damage twice is enough to OHKO anything without protection other than Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124). Low level spread damage can mess up long term calculations for Eviolite and Max Potion protection.

Usage

The key to Kyurem could be how it combos with other cards. The main external issue it faces is that Kyurem (BW: Noble Victories 34/101) is still a great card, and since they share the same name, each one run of one is one less you can run of the other. If you somehow aren’t familiar with that Kyurem, it is a Water-Type (not as good) with the same HP, lack of Resistance, and Retreat Cost, but a more tolerable (at least for now) Metal Weakness and definitely two better attacks.

Now the best use I can see for today’s Kyurem is in a deck that isn’t backed by any form of Energy acceleration other than Double Colorless Energy and/or an Energy Switch based combo. The other major forms of Energy acceleration all have better options. Those without multiple Energy attachments per turn can use Kyurem to safely take down smaller Dragon-Type Pokémon (anything not a Pokémon-EX or an Evolution) in one shot.

With a few copies of PlusPower (and perhaps a Tool Scrapper) you can take down all but the biggest (e.g. Pokémon-EX), and while it requires a massive amount of effort, any other Dragon-Type can be OHKOed by Dragon Claw boosted with four copies of PlusPower. Definitely not a powerhouse, but if Dragon-Type Pokémon are your main problem (and you meet the above requirements), this could be the solution.

No real use for this card in Unlimited; first you’ve got “First Turn Win” decks, lock decks that go off first turn, and then you’ve got some of the strongest, fastest Pokémon that are probably going to OHKO Pokémon regardless of Weakness. Since this showed up in a mini-set, no Limited use either. Should this be packed into a future set, though, it would be a top pick due to its HP, Type, and first attack.

Spoiler

So what is this new section about? This is where I’ll take my best shot at judging the card based on what we (or at least think) we know is coming. This card is an excellent example of why this section is pretty handy, and harder to miss than this information being inserted somewhere into the Usage section.

So what difference could even a single set make? Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149) has an Ability that allows you to attach as many cards providing Water Energy from your hand (note: that currently only means basic Water Energy) to your Pokémon as you wish. This is like the classic Rain Dance effect, but works with targets of any Type and not just other Water-Type Pokémon.

So what that means is today’s Kyurem can be dropped and powered in one hit, and if you can work a source of (P) Energy into your deck, you can even bust out the big attack to OHKO any other Dragon-Type Pokémon. Is it worth running off-type Energy for this? Depends on how Blastoise backed decks work: if they use Cilan and/or Energy Retrieval, running a clutch Psychic Energy (yes, the basic Energy card!) should be pretty easy. You do get a manual Energy attachment each turn, after all.

The big reason not to bother is that we’ll also be getting some more potent Water-Type Pokémon alongside Blastoise, and one we have seen is Keldeo EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 49/149, 142/149). Keldeo EX is widely anticipated to be the main attacker anyway, and it has a “does more damage for more Energy” attack that allows it to ultimately OHKO anything without serious protection. The reason Kyurem would still be appealing is three of Energy handles smaller Dragon-Types, and three Water Energy and a Psychic Energy handles any of the big ones… most of which require a seven or eight Energy investment with Keldeo EX.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 2.5/5

Limited: N/A, would be 5/5

Summary

Kyurem is a very borderline card, which means you shouldn’t be too quick to part with them, but don’t worry about getting a play set either; I think it has a decent future, but even the use I am predicting for it won’t make it a staple, just a useful splash.


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