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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Kyurem  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
December 9, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.00
Limited: 4.52

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 (Legendary Treasures) 

Hello and welcome to some more reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. This week we have some interesting cards chosen by Otaku to look at, so let’s get down to business and kick off the week with Kyurem. 

Yep, this is a reprint of the version from Noble Victories which saw a decent amount of play, when it was first released. Mainly it found a home in ‘Six Corners’ style decks (which were awesome) and focused mainly on the Outrage attack, and also in Electrode Prime based decks (which could be awesome but were very flaky) where Glaciate could be powered up quickly. Since then it has fallen out of favour, but could this reprint spark a revival? 

Well . . . Outrage is always a good attack when it comes on a high HP Pokémon and has a fairly low cost, but that goodness is undermined somewhat when it exists in a format where OHKOs can just render it useless. Even with massive (for a non EX Basic) HP of 130, Kyurem is quite vulnerable on this score. Darkrai EX with Dark Claw and Lasers can do it, Kyurem PLF can do it with a single Deoxys EX Benched, and Black Kyurem EX and Rayquaza EX will do it without any help whatsoever. Those are all more or less popular cards so . . . yeah, Outrage is a much less scary prospect these days. 

But what about Glaciate, an attack which does 30 damage to everything on your opponent’s side of the Field? On the plus side, you can now use Dusknoir BCR to manipulate the spread damage to your advantage. On the minus side, though, rising HP numbers and the prevalence of tech Mr Mimes protecting Benches everywhere seem like they could severely limit the effectiveness of the attack.

Like Zekrom and Reshiram (BLW + numerous reprints) before him, this Kyurem started out awesome but then got left behind by the massive EX power creep (more like a surge than a creep, really). Looked at in isolation, it’s a good card, but I fear that right now it belongs more in the binder than at a tournament. Oh well, at least it will look great there thanks to the fantastic artwork. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.75 (its best days seem to be behind it)

Limited: 4.25 (big Basic with Outrage . . .still going to be excellent here)


Otaku

This week we are looking at more cards from BW: Legendary Treasures that were picked by me mostly because they did something I thought worth exploring.  Why the new rules are over a month old now, things still haven’t settled down yet and so I looked for things that showed… potential.

 

We begin this week with a reprint; Kyurem (BW: Legendary Treasures 43/113).  We’ve actually reviews this card not once, but twice.  Here is our very first review for it from over two years ago, and here is our follow up review from only about a month later, because this Kyurem (as BW: Noble Victories 34/101) made our Top 10 List of 2011!  Perhaps that is why a re-review for its first re-release as BW Promo BW44 wasn’t needed?

 

I managed to miss both previous reviews, so let’s do a quick run through of this card’s stats and effects.  Being a Basic is still boss and being a Water-Type may be better than it has been in a short while as Fire-Types might be seeing some serious play again.  The 130 HP is fantastic even if it is just likely to survive a single shot and no safe from a OHKO… but then we remember this is a “plain” Pokémon; not a Pokémon-EX or any other constraining gimmick.  The Metal Weakness is not the best Weakness (that would be none at all!) but its manageable, though the lack of Resistance is naturally the worst and the Retreat Cost of two is too low for Heavy Ball, too high to be easy to manually Retreat, but still not devastating as most decks would be packing something to help with changing out Pokémon anyway.

 

Outrage is still a great attack, and may have benefited from the new rules; no longer is it easy to force a Kyurem that is up front and “blocking” out of the way with a Pokémon Catcher (and a second on the Bench can deal with Escape Rope) and if you go first, you can (ideally) use Tropical Beach first turn while soaking your opponent’s first attack… which probably won’t be enough to OHKO Kyurem and could set Kyurem up to instead OHKO whatever your opponent is attacking with.  The base 20 points of damage for (CC) is unimpressive in modern context, but still better than nothing, while the +10 per damage counter is still good thanks to that impressive HP score that goes with it.  That Energy cost still remains important, as it allows Energy acceleration as simple as Double Colorless Energy to bring a Kyurem online that had nothing attached the turn before.

 

Glaciate still has the potential to be terrible, awesome, or somewhere in between.  An opponent with a loaded Bench is risking 180 points of damage spread out in units of 30 amongst his or her six Pokémon, with the combos boosting the damage to the Active even higher.  Then again if they’ve got no Bench (actually that is probably a good thing for you) or have Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) protecting it, you could only do 30 to the Defending Pokémon, which is terrible for that (WWC) cost.

 

When this card debuted, we thought it was finally going to make Feraligatr (HeartGold SoulSilver 108/123; HGSS Promo HGSS07) and while it helped it, that deck never came remotely close to the power of modern Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) decks.  Instead it seemed more useful as a splashable Water-Type attack (have Double Colorless Energy, will travel) or in decks I didn’t see coming like the one built around Cobalion (BW: Noble Victories 84/101, 100/101; BW: Legendary Treasures 91/113), Electrode (HS: Triumphant 93/102), and this Kyurem.  My renewed interest in it is this vague notion that decks like the latter are once again possible… with modern tweaks of course.  Just about any deck that can effectively Glaciate can employ the vexing strategy of the false lead; unless the opponent has some way of dealing with damage counters, while your opponent takes Prizes from KOs against Kyurem, you can use N to drop their hand while getting a good draw longer than normal because the spread damage likely won’t start generating serious Prizes until several turns in… when you could create as large of a swing as going from zero Prizes taken to Win!

 

A lot of Benches feel ‘safe’ because of Mr. Mime… so how could this card deal with that?  Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113); no Abilities means no Bench protection, and also stops most decks capable of reliably OHKOing Pokémon turn after turn (as opposed to most decks that can still OHKO Kyurem, but only through finite resources or slow to manually rebuild combos).  Another thought was Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149, BW: Plasma Blast 104/101); while it would take a little more effort, you can always move counters (generated by attacking the Defending Pokémon) and take out Mr. Mime so you can get back to massive spread hits and then dropping all that Energy onto whatever needs KOing that turn?

 

The big challenges for Kyurem are what face almost every Pokémon in competitive play right now; Energy acceleration and increasing its staying power.  If you are able to build fast enough, “staying power” is less important, but the deck that can build it the most quickly (Deluge) just doesn’t look like it needs it (maybe as a TecH attacker in rare circumstances, but that would be it).  I wish I had the answer as to how to quickly pay the Energy cost of Glaciate, but I don’t; if I knew odds are enough other people would know that decks using this Kyurem would already be a “thing” again.

 

Speaking of other Kyurem, due to “same name” rules, this card is competing with a few others, but the only one that seems to be of note is Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116), a.k.a. Kyurem [Plasma].  I have even considered Team Plasma Badge to work this Kyurem into Team Plasma decks; Thundurus EX might then provide some Energy acceleration, Deoxys EX a boost to damage against the Active, and just one Glaciate means Kyurem [Plasma] (with its usual damage boosts) easily finishes off the wounded.

 

Spoiler alert!

 

I haven’t covered upcoming cards as much lately, but Greninja (X/Y 41/146) might be an interesting card to use with all the Outrage attackers, as they could be “up front” and possibly exploiting Weakness while Greninja uses its Water Shuriken Ability to discard a (W) Energy from hand to place 3 damage on the opponent’s Pokémon of your choice.  Water Shuriken deals with Mr. Mime while Glaciate can be that final massive wave of damage that scores multiple KOs when the time is right.

 

End Spoiler!

 

So what about Unlimited?  Worth a shot with the right backing; its not the easiest thing to donk via damage counter placement, though it is no where near as safe as a bulky Pokémon-EX… but as is often the case there are enough “old favorites” to make a viable deck out of it; improving offensive and defensive capabilities.  Some of those old-school Bench-sitters with effects so powerful they are worth running even with the risk of being donked are, after all, on the small side.

 

As for Limited, the only time I would not run this is if I pulled something worth using in a +39 deck, such as a durable, fast attacking Pokémon-EX.  Even if you’re only using Kyurem for Outrage, it’s pretty amazing.  I wouldn’t try to use Kyurem itself in a +39 build, however; if your opponent can Evolve one thing (or just has big enough Basic Pokémon, it is too easy for them to overwhelm you before that fourth Prize is taken.  Otherwise there are good odds you could Outrage your way to two or even three Prizes, and if they are slow with damaging you, three or four Glaciate could win you the game.  That 130 HP just doesn’t look like it could last quite long enough.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 3/5

 

Modified: 3.25/5

 

Limited: 4.8/5

 

Summary

If I knew for a fact what worked, this would have been a vastly different review.  Instead I merely am contemplating what has potential, as was stated in the beginning.  I hope that my article, while meandering, helped spark some ideas; Kyurem still has a lot going for it if we can cover some simple, basic concerns.


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