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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Landorus  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
December 2, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.87
Limited: 3.37

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

Landorus (Legendary Treasures) 

Hello and welcome to a full week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. I hope all American readers enjoyed (and recovered from) their Thanksgiving excesses. 

We kick off the week with a look at Landorus. This is a reprint (surprise surprise) of the card that has already appeared in a set and been a promo. I won’t say it has never been used because it has . . . just not that often. 

And that seems a bit odd really. Landorus is a solid Basic with good Typing and decent attacks. Abundant Harvest is reasonable Energy acceleration (for itself), while Gaia Hammer delivers an ok-is 80 damage for three Energy, plus 10 spread to both Benches. Now that we have Mr Mime PLF, the self-harming isn’t even so much of a problem anymore, although the downside is that it is a pretty common tech these days, so don’t count on always being able to damage your opponent’s Bench either. 

So, why hasn’t Landorus seen more play during its lifetime? Well the answer to that is probably that Terrakion is just that little bit better with its extra HP and ability to hit the magic 90 damage (enough to two-hit an EX or one shot it with Weakness). I don’t think that situation is likely to change in the foreseeable future, and the ‘no attacking first turn’ rule hits Landorus quite badly as it denies him the first turn Abundant Harvest which was one of the card’s main attractions. For those two reasons, Landorus is doomed to remain a decent card that hardly anyone plays because something rather obvious is superior. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.75 (decent but outclassed)

Limited: 3.75 (solid Basic with usable attack)


Otaku

Welcome to another week of CotDs, dear readers!  For those reading this that celebrate, I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Weekend and took some time to appreciate what you have.  I personally was blessed to spend more time with family, including some from out of state. 

Today we look at Landorus (BW: Legendary Treasures 85/113).  Why are we looking at this card?  It is simple; before finding out we were only reviewing three cards the previous week, I listed some suggestions that were one part cards worth looking at again (as they were all reprints of older cards) and one part delicious puns or similar bits of holiday humor.  Landorus was honestly more for the humor because its first attack, “Abundant Harvest”, seemed fantastic for a Thanksgiving Day review. 

Yup; that didn’t happen and good thing too as I wouldn’t have finished a review in time anyway.  So is there any “real” reason to look at this card?  Obviously, you’re about to find out.  We’ll begin with two very positive traits; this is a Basic, Fighting-Type Pokémon.  Being a Basic is still the best due to the easy of play and being a Fighting-Type still means hitting three of the now 11 Pokémon-Types for Weakness if they follow standard the standard template and aren’t based off of dual-Type Pokémon. 

Landorus rocks a 110 HP; this is just 20 below the printed maximum for Basic Pokémon-EX that lack a “gimmick” like being a Pokémon-EX.  It isn’t enough to guarantee surviving a hit, but it is more likely to survive than not unless a shot is being boosted or the deck already falls into the “OHKO” range for just about anything.  Water Weakness is not good, but fortunately it is a lot better than it would seem because Water-Type decks often employ off-Type attacks, already will be using attacks that score a OHKO before Weakness, or still will fall short after Weakness (such as attacking with a Keldeo EX that has no source of Water Energy attached). 

When writing this review, I almost skipped the card’s Resistance; besides being more than a bit absentminded to begin with, I hope it is understandable that Resistance, as it is so often absent or fails to make a serious impact, truly is easy to miss.  Lightning Resistance is certainly better than nothing and will make it hard for such Pokémon to OHKO Landorus.  Unfortunately for Landorus, at the moment there aren’t a lot of strong, Lightning-Type decks/attackers.  I’ve heard some debate on whether or not Thundurus EX is still worth it in Team Plasma decks, and maybe it is just an information failure on my part, but that is the only Lightning-Type attacker of note currently on my radar.  Finishing off the bottom stats is a good Retreat Cost of just one; this is relatively painless to pay and anything that lowers it at all turns it into a free Retreat. 

Landorus has two attacks, the aforementioned Abundant Harvest and Gaia Hammer.  Abundant Harvest requires (F) and allows you to attach a single basic Energy card from your discard pile to Landorus itself.  This was okay when it first came out but especially now that the player going first can’t attack on the first turn, you can’t speed into an overall-game-turn-3 Gaia Hammer.  Going second and hitting Gaia Hammer on Turn 4 just isn’t as impressive… and we still need to talk about Gaia Hammer itself.  For (FFC) the attack does 80 points of damage to the Defending Pokémon plus another 10 points to every Benched Pokémon (for both players).  The good news is that you can use Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) can protect your own Bench from that spread damage.  The bad news is that this appears to be a popular play right now and so a lot of the time, you’re just getting 80 for three with either a Bench-sitter or Bench damage. 

Does Landorus have anything else going for it?  Not really, but the first half of the evaluation shouldn’t be forgotten; no, not just that I selected this card because the attack name sounded seasonal, but that this is a Basic Pokémon that isn’t a Pokémon-EX and is a Fighting-Type.  Sure, a Darkrai EX powered up with a Dark Claw attached or the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym can effectively OHKO Landorus… but Landorus can do the same thing back only substituting the Dark Claw option for Silver Bangle.  It also can use Silver Mirror (as can many things) to more safely harass Team Plasma decks. 

The main problem for Landorus is that it isn’t fast enough on its own, and I can’t think of any good, reliable combos that solve that problem.  There are the usual eclectic combos that require too much effort for the reward or unreliable, to the point I am resisting the urge to list them because it just means another three paragraphs telling you to tinker with it but not to get your hopes up.  My own hopes initially rose because the various recent changes make Landorus EX a little less dominant, which I had hoped would open things up for other Fighting-Type Pokémon… but now I am thinking “no”. 

If you want to use this card in Unlimited, you can make a rock solid beatdown deck, either backed by disruption or packing acceleration.  The catch is that most support will make the deck more vulnerable to the surviving First Turn Win decks.  For Limited play, I like the card because everything about it becomes better.  Just remember to mind that Bench damage you’ll be doing to yourself, and don’t bother trying to +39 it or run too light on Fighting Energy; you won’t have an easy way to get Energy into the discard so Landorus won’t survive long enough to take four Prizes without a lot of luck, and while Abundant Harvest can fetch needed Fighting Energy, it also requires one to be used. 

Ratings 

Unlimited: 2.75/5 

Modified: 3/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary

I just explained in some detail why Landorus isn’t a “good” card, but I still gave it an average-to-good score: what gives?  The card really isn’t bad; in fact it’s a solid, perhaps even a good example of design.  Landorus suffers because we’ve got a lot of overly fast, overly powerful Pokémon that outperform it while negatively affecting game balance. 

Attaching a basic Energy card from your discard pile with a single Energy attack should not be too slow, but that’s because you’re supposed to be able to use it first turn even when you get to go first.  Likewise, a 110 HP Pokémon (at least within the context of past formats) should be a tricky OHKO, sometime functionally impossible the first two to four turns of the game.


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