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.
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
Prism Energy or
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
It should still be able to
survive all but the biggest hits,
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
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
Overall, pretty middle of the
road unless your deck favors
Heavy Ball, and the entire Stats
package is promising.
has two attacks.
Dragon Claw delivers 60 points of
damage for (CCC), which is slightly
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 +
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
Switch… and don’t forget you need to
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
Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted
Low level spread damage can mess
up long term calculations for
Max Potion protection.
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
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
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
Definitely not a powerhouse, but
if Dragon-Type Pokémon are your main
problem (and you meet the above
requirements), this could be the
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
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
So what difference could even a single
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
This is like the classic Rain
Dance effect, but works with targets of
any Type and not just other Water-Type
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
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
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.
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
N/A, would be 5/5
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