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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Giratina EX

Dragons Exalted

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 3.87

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

Giratina-EX (Dragons Exalted)

Every set has a duff EX that no-one wants to pull, it seems. Next Destinies had Reshiram, Dark Explorers had Kyogre. A lot of players think that today’s card is the runt of the Dragons Exalted litter. Are they correct, or is Giratina a card that (like Kyogre-EX) can find a niche use in a deck at some point in the future? Let’s take a look and find out.

Giratina is a Basic Dragon Type EX with the current standard maximum 180 HP. The fact that it is only Weak to its own Type means it is a very tough KO for anything that isn’t a Dragon itself, but this leads to a ‘Mewtwo wars’ type scenario against other Dragon Pokemon where everything OHKOs everything else. That’s fine if you are exchanging Prizes two-for-two with Rayquaza-EX, but not so great if you are getting mauled by Garchomps.

Shred, Giratina’s first attack, is actually pretty great. Yes, like most Dragon attacks, it has a stupid attack cost (in the case Grass, Psychic, and Colourless Energy are needed), but then that is what Blend Energy is for. For that, you have an attack which gets to do 90 damage and ignores all effects on the defending Pokémon. Yep, that means Shred just goes right through Eviolite or any other reduction/prevention effect such as Bouffalant DRX’s Bouffer Ability or Sigilyph EPO’s Reflect attack. Speaking of Sigilyph, the DRX version’s Safeguard (which prevents effects and damage from EX Pokémon) doesn’t work against Shred either. This is worth remembering, as if Sigilyph DRX becomes a popular card, then Giratina may well have found a place in EX decks as a viable counter. Incidentally, I should point out that Weakness and Resistance do NOT count as effects on the defending Pokémon, so Giratina will still be able to score those OHKOs on anything of its own Type.

Giratina’s second attack, Dragon Pulse, adds another Colourless Energy to the cost of Shred and does 130 damage. It also discards the top three cards of your deck which is somewhat risky, but not risky enough to put you off using it if the circumstances are right. 130 used to be a ‘magic number’ in Pokémon, allowing you to OHKO any of the Unova Dragons, plus otherwise annoying Stage 2s like Gothitelle EPO. Now however, when the format is dominated by 170-180 HP EX Basics, and even the Stage 2s like Empoleon DEX have 140 HP, it seems a lot less effective. Mind you, if Gothitelle/Accelgor starts to see more play, then maybe Giratina-EX just found another niche for itself . . .

Although it doesn’t leap out and scream ‘build a deck around me!’ like Rayquaza-EX, Terrakion-EX, or even Ho-oh-EX, I personally feel that Giratina is a little bit underrated at the moment. In fact I think it could well be this set’s Kyogre – a card that people laughed at until they ran into a deck that found a way to use it effectively. No-one needs to be trading furiously for this card . . . but don’t completely forget about it either.

Rating

Modified: 3 (it will find a niche so don’t be too disappointed if you pull one)

Limited: 4 (big HP, Blend Energy in the set . . .it’s a fearsome Pokémon when it gets rolling)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Giratina EX
 
Giratina EX is a Basic Dragon Pokemon with 180 HP.  It has a weakness to Dragon and a retreat cost of 3.  It can be searched by Heavy Ball.
It gives up 2 prizes when Knocked Out.
 
'Shred' costs 1 Grass, 1 Psychic, and 1 Colorless energy.  It does 90 damage and is not affected by any effects on the Defending Pokemon.
For 3 energies, you get about a substandard amount of damage from an EX.  Registeel EX puts 90 damage on the field for 3 Colorless.
Darkrai EX puts on 120 and Mewtwo EX can put on 120 (if not more for less energy).  Raikou EX snipes for 100 and Tornadus EX does 100.
Plus, all these attacks have effects that can help in various ways.
'Shred' makes sure 90 damage is done.  I would have liked it if the base damage was more, considering other EX attacks would do about the same to an Eviolited Pokemon.  And one other thing, the cost is ridiculous.  Last time I checked there wasn't any Grass or Psychic acceleration (that makes an impact) that could help get the attack off quicker.  At least Hydreigon has the ability to get Dark energies from Dark Patch (in a roundabout way).
 
'Dragon Pulse' costs 1 Grass, 1 Psychic, and 2 Colorless energy.  It does 130 Damage and you discard the top 3 cards of your deck.  The damage is not good for the cost, barely doing what 3 energies on other EXs can do.  Plus the discard probably won't be helping the deck (like milling does for Eelektrik).
 
If there was an engine that could speed this guy up, it would be a little better.  It can OHKO all the Dragons out there, but it struggles against non-Dragons.  I'm not rushing to build a deck with Giratina EX.
 
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 2.5/5
Combo's With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

Otaku

Intro

Stats

Giratina EX is a Pokémon EX; currently all have been “Legendary” Basic Pokémon worth two Prizes when KOed, something I hope continues since there aren’t a lot of good ways to otherwise represent the raw “power” of said Pokémon (which usually have superior video game stats, Abilities, and access to moves than most other Pokémon). It will enjoy all the benefits of being a Basic Pokémon in this format (access to Eviolite, Prism Energy, Revive, and Skyarrow Bridge) on top of the normal benefits (1 slot in deck = 1 Pokémon to play, easy to play from hand or deck, etc.), so already we are off to a promising start.

Giratina EX is one of the new Dragon-Type Pokémon; nothing is Resistant to them, and so far all Dragon-Type Pokémon share a Weakness to their own Type which sets up a scenario not unlike what happened with Mewtwo EX. Simply put the easiest way to handle Dragon-Type Pokémon is by running one of your own, though this is not as easy as Mewtwo EX was as there is no big, Basic Dragon-Type Pokémon with a damaging Colorless attack. There are also two pieces of Dragon-Type Support that Giratina EX can tap; Altaria (BW: Dragons Exalted 84/124, BW Promo BW48) can boost its damage by 20 per copy due to its “Battle Song” Ability, while Gabite (BW: Dragons Exalted 89/124) can search it from the deck.

Giratina EX clocks in at 180 HP; for Modified legal cards, only Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124) has more (200 HP, specifically). This will allow Giratina EX to easily take one hit, outside of Weakness, and if your opponent isn’t mounting a strong offense, often two. Being so large, even though it is worth two Prizes upon being KOed, is a huge advantage. Keep in mind this is the most common score for a Pokémon EX with just over half of the 18 different Pokémon EX we’ve seen released (that is, 10) possessing that score. As already mentioned, Giratina EX (like all other Dragon-Types) is Dragon-Weak and that is one of the few times you’ll need to be wary of a OHKO.

No Resistance is annoying but understandable and won’t really hurt the card; I don’t think it would cause problems, but given how potent Pokémon EX have been so far, I too would be leery of overpowering Dragon-Type Pokémon. Finishing off the Stats is the Retreat of three; big enough to be a definite pain (and Skyarrow Bridge won’t shave enough off to really matter). You’ll need Switch or Darkrai EX (BW: Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108) if you don’t want Giratina EX getting stranded up front… or a strategy to help it tank. Still, it isn’t all bad, as it makes it a legal target for Heavy Ball.

Effects

Like most Pokémon EX, Giratina EX brings two attacks to the table. Neither attack is small; one requires three Energy while the other requires four. Both attacks also require two different Energy Types, though thankfully it is the same two different Types for each.

So for (GPC), Giratina EX sports Shred, an attack we saw on Rayquaza (BW: Dragons Exalted 128/124). It was good but pricey there and it is good but pricey here. Three for 90 is roughly the going rate, but with nothing less expensive to open with and needing two different Energy Types, it is kind of steep. Fortunately the effect of Shred is almost surprisingly useful in this format. There are more and more damage reducing effects (that reside on the Defending Pokémon) cropping up, and Weakness and Resistance are NOT considered effects; they are considered fundamental game mechanics. So without healing or boosting HP (e.g. Giant Cape), only Wailord is safe from being 2HKOed.

Dragon Pulse is actually a bit disappointing; milling three cards from your own deck is pretty risky. Without that effect, the attack would still seem fair to me: 130 points of damage for four Energy, especially when again two of those Energy requirements are of different, non-Colorless Types it already seems comparable to what we see on most Pokémon EX. Still, when you need a brute force attack and your opponent has no protective effects, only the largest Stage 1 Pokémon and “medium size” and up Stage 2 Pokémon can take that… besides of course most Pokémon EX. For what it is worth, at least Double Colorless Energy can be used for this attack as well.

Usage

Giratina EX is not that Pokémon EX you’re going to splash into any and every deck, like Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99) or Tornadus EX (BW: Dark Explorers 90/108, 108/108), who possess great attacks that can use any Type of Energy to boot!. It isn’t like Darkrai EX (mentioned earlier), whose body and common usage of Rainbow Energy and Prism Energy still got it splashed into a lot of decks to make use of its Retreat zeroing Ability, and is still a reason why many decks are partially “Darkness-Type”.

It isn’t even Terrakion EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 71/124, 121/124) or Entei EX (BW: Dark Explorers 13/108, BW: Dark Explorers 103/108) that delivers a solid attack while building the next attacker. Giratina EX would seem to be in danger, because it keeps company with the several Pokémon EX that are little more than “beatsticks”; straight up or nearly straight up attackers: how can it rise above such competition, especially when I already mentioned two beatsticks that can use any Energy?

By doing something none of the others can. None of the other Pokémon EX we currently have can bypass Abilities like “Safeguard” on Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted 52/124) or “Bouffer” on Bouffalant (BW: Dragons Exalted 110/124), which still hold the promise of becoming widely played counters to Pokémon EX heavy decks… other than Mew EX but it has to copy the Shred or a similar attack from another Pokémon. Bouffalant is challenging (especially when it has an Eviolite so it is soaking 40 points of damage per hit) to take down before it fells a Pokémon EX, but Sigilyph is a real threat for the classic “Pokémon EX plus Bench-sitter” builds, completely walling against Pokémon EX.

It also can, and now you know why I keep repeating this fact, hit other Dragon-Type Pokémon for double damage due to Weakness. Not one single Dragon-Type Pokémon can survive a hit from Shred. Yes, Rayquaza EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 85/124, 123/124) can do the same thing, but it also needs three Energy and discards two of them, plus those two Energy Types are Fire and Lightning… which don’t share a Blend Energy. The “secret-rare” Rayquaza (BW: Dragons Exalted 128/124) can dish it out but can’t take it as well as that same lack of a compatible Blend Energy. Yes, Prism Energy is an option but still, discards or just 120 HP.

Garchomp (BW: Dragons Exalted 90/124) can also OHKO anything on its own for (WF) Energy but has to discard two cards from the top of its deck or be backed by at least two Altaria. Hydreigon (BW: Dragons Exalted 97/124) needs (PDDC) and has two discard two Darkness Energy. Hydreigon (BW: Dragons Exalted 98/124) doesn’t actually hit hard enough to punch through an Eviolite but otherwise can OHKO an unprotected Dragon for (PDCC). Every other released Dragon comes up short; since most that are left are lower Stages of an Evolution line, that isn’t a surprise.

Is that enough? For a specific deck, yes: the key here ends up being Hydreigon (BW: Dragons Exalted 97/124), Blend Energy GRPD, and Max Potion. You can run a single copy in a Dark Trance deck and OHKO all other Dragons with at least a slight chance of surviving. Opposing Dark Trance decks that can only attack with Hydreigon are taking a huge risk pushing for the OHKO, Garchomp decks as stated need two Altaria or to risk one of their Blend Energy WLFM, and Rayquaza EX is already a main attacker, but as a fellow Pokémon EX you trade even on Prizes. The “plain” Rayquaza is the only one that can safely attack and won’t be giving up a lot of cards (it’s a Basic) or just as many Prizes (it isn’t a Pokémon EX), and that doesn’t fit well into a Dark Trance deck.

In Unlimited, this effect can actually be handy, and being 180 HP makes it hard for the traditional Sabledonk strategy (which relies on spamming damage counter placement effects for a first turn KO). Some variants are already prepared for this, however, using Drifblim (HS: Undaunted 12/90) to return the Pokémon to the deck. Otherwise it is just a big beatstick that can bypass effects on the Defending Pokémon; nice if you slam into something old-school like a Mr. Mime (Jungle 6/64, 22/64) or Erika’s Dratini (Gym Heroes 42/132) is handy, but that same slot could be used for Tornadus EX or Mewtwo EX which will be “nicer” and easier to work in most of the time.

In Limited, this is an almost automatic run. Unless you’re fortunate enough to pull any Blend Energy GRPD, there is a significant chance you could struggle to get a deck that can run enough Grass Energy and Psychic Energy. Fortunately both Types are well represented this set alongside the Limited mainstay of Colorless-Type Pokémon, and most other Types have several candidates with “splash” friendly attack costs. Basically, unless you also pull something like Rayquaza EX, you’re probably good. Just mind all the other Dragon-Type Pokémon.

Ratings

Unlimited: 2/5

Modified: 3.25/5

Limited: 4.75/5

Summary

If a good Grass- or Psychic-Type deck comes along, especially one that actually has compatible Energy acceleration (unlikely at the moment), then we'll get another place for this card. For now, it is just a great splash for your Dark Trance deck – smacking around the popular new Pokémon-Type and giving you less to fear from anti-Pokémon-EX walls - and that isn’t a bad thing.

Please check out my eBay sales by clicking here. It’s me whittling away at about two decades worth of attempted collecting, spanning action figures, comic books, TCGs, and video games. Exactly what is up is a bit random. Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions; Pojo is merely doing me a favor by letting me link at the end of my reviews.


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