We close out our week with
White Kyurem (BW: Boundaries
Black Kyurem and
White Kyurem didn’t fair too well
with their Pokémon-EX versions; let’s
see how one of the “plain” versions
White Kyurem is a Dragon-Type
There is some support for the
Type, but it hasn’t seen a lot of play
lately and that isn’t likely to change
as said support comes in the form of two
easy to OHKO Stage 1 Pokémon:
Altaria (BW: Dragons Exalted
84/124; BW: Boundaries Crossed
152/149; BW Promo BW48) and
Gabite (BW: Dragons Exalted
The good news is that you can hit any
other currently released (or known
about) Dragon-Type Pokémon for double
damage, as they are all Weak to each
other, and you will never have to worry
though, this is another card that makes
me crave the return of “dual-Type”
Pokémon; in the video games
White Kyurem is Dragon/Ice hybrid.
Given how significant it is to
its character, not based on TCG
Type-Matching potential… though as “Ice”
is represented as part of the “Water”
Type in the TCG, it would help more than
As a Basic Pokémon,
White Kyurem enjoys being the Stage
that by fundamental game design is the
easiest to put into play, the fastest to
put into play, and requires the least
space in your deck: one slot equals one
Those aspects also make them
inherently superior at using “search”
Ultra Ball gets you the total
package, unlike with an Evolution.
By design of the current card
pool, all Basic Pokémon enjoy the
support of cards like
Prism Energy, and
No wonder this Stage dominates the
In the video games,
White Kyurem has a great HP Base
Stat, slightly above average base
Defense Stat, and an above average
Special Defense Stat, so the card’s 130
HP is appropriate.
It is also the maximum score seen
on Basic Pokémon that lack special rules
(such as Pokémon-EX) in the TCG.
Outside of hits from other
Dragon-Type Pokémon (due to Weakness),
most decks will have to push to score a
OHKO, and even amongst the competitive
seen, some may just fall short.
Unfortunately, a 2HKO is still
more or less a given.
As already mentioned,
White Kyurem is weak to Dragon-Type
Pokémon, and this condition is common to
the entire Type.
It also is likely the best
Weakness for it to have; as a Dragon/Ice
hybrid in the video games, it takes
double damage from Fighting (one of
three Types that make up the TCG
Fighting-Type), Rock (another one of
three Types that make up the TCG
Fighting-Type), Steel (Metal-Type), and
of course Dragon-Type Pokémon just like
the actual card.
Fighting-Types are widely played, both
as the main attacker in decks and as a
back-up, so it is one of the worst
Weaknesses to have right now.
Metal-Type decks are expected to
be popular and stronger again thanks to
newly released in BW: Plasma Storm.
Dragon-Types are not expected to
see much of a change, which means you
are mostly concerned with
Rayquaza (BW: Dragons Exalted
128/124); Dragon Vault 11/20) and
Rayquaza EX (BW: Dragons Exalted
85/124, 123/124), the latter of which
White Kyurem for two Energy
discarded instead of three.
Peaking ahead at BW: Plasma Storm,
it is unlikely to make a difference as
the Dragon-Type Pokémon in that set
expected to perform well already OHKO
The lack of Resistance is irritating.
As so few cards posses
Resistance, it isn’t even a draw back so
much as a missed opportunity.
In the video games,
White Kyurem is Resistant to Water,
Grass, and Electric type moves, all at
the half damage level.
As such, Lightning-Type Weakness,
while only marginally useful, would have
been both appropriate and appreciated…
but despite Dragon-Types being known for
their Resistance to several Types in the
video games and even in some TCG
incarnations (when they were part of the
Colorless-Type), having no Resistance is
frustratingly the current direction.
White Kyurem requires two Energy
discarded to retreat, and due to the
card pool, what appears to be a more or
less average score is actually the worst
for Basic Pokémon right now.
Free remains the obvious best,
and thanks to
Skyarrow Bridge, a Retreat cost of
one is better than it normally is (and
it is normally quite good).
Heavy Ball, larger Retreat scores
have a silver lining, especially on
Basic Pokémon since we don’t have to
mess with lower Stages.
In the current format, any Retreat cost
over two requires something to lower it,
a method of bypassing it, and/or the
capacity to “tank” the Pokémon in
question so that it can endure being in
the Active slot, even prematurely.
Yes, some decks will even have
access to all three because tanking is
hard and sabotaging a manual retreat is
Yes, you will often be able to
afford discarding two Energy to manually
retreat, but it will also set most decks
back to far to do it, thus a Retreat of
two carries the baggage of higher scores
without the fringe benefit.
“Damage Rush” is a “flip until tails”
attack which does 20 points of damage
times the number of “heads” you flip,
and at a cost of (RC).
On average, half the time, the
Again on average, half of the
remaining times (a quarter overall), you
are only scoring 20 points of damage.
The remaining “average” quarter
of the time, you hit for at least 40
points of damage, which is the minimum
return I would like.
In short, this is an overpriced and/or
The second attack is “Cold Fire”, the
name of one of the two Starter decks for
BW: Boundaries Crossed, which
contains both a holographic and a normal
version of this card.
For (RWCC), Cold Fire does 80
points of damage, plus another 40 if you
get “heads” on a mandatory coin toss.
When you get “heads”, you get the
return I expect for this kind of
investment, and when you get “tails”,
Cold Fire comes up 10 points of damage
shy of what it takes to 2HKO most
Pokémon-EX, or OHKO key (plain) Basic
Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted
Still, Cold Fire should average 100
points of damage, the minimum I want to
see for four Energy, and enough to 2HKO
anything without protection.
It is still a little low for the
Energy invested due to the awkward
presence of both (R) and (W) Energy
requirements (they don’t share the same
Blend Energy), but enough to trade
blows with several Pokémon-EX due to
White Kyurem being just outside of
easy OHKO range for most.
The costs also don’t preclude it from
most other forms of Energy acceleration.
Prism Energy is an option to help
with the awkward Energy cost, and the
two (C) requirements are easy enough to
meet with most acceleration; even
Double Colorless Energy can handle
The good news is that we don’t have some
strange third non-Colorless Energy
requirement slapped onto the card, and
since both attacks require coin flips,
Victini (BW: Noble Victories
14/101, 98/101) is doubly useful (more
on that later).
There are no other versions of
White Kyurem, and the card does not
There are several similarly named
cards, but nothing else ties directly
into this card in terms of game
What brought this card to my eye was my
attempt at finding a Basic Dragon-Type
Pokémon with sustainable fast attack or
reliable attack, preferably both.
My goal was to see if I could
back it with
Altaria, to pump its damage up so it
could outpace Pokémon-EX.
This card does not deliver both, but
somewhat sadly, it doesn’t have a lot of
Rayquaza (the “plain” version) is
the only Dragon-Type with a strong
single Energy attack, and when you are
relying on it most of the game, discard
cost (to your deck) becomes too
debilitating, especially if you are
trying to back it with anything else.
Everything else requires at least
two Energy (usually three) and none of
the others had a better, reliable “big”
So, if there anything you can do well
with this card?
better or worse, this is a Pokémon for
those that love coin flips.
All the competitive decks that
might enjoy a splashed in Dragon (and
thus can handle the Energy costs with
few or no modifications) have better
choices for the same effort.
If you do love coin flips, you
can back this with
Victini to improve your coin toss
The drawback is
Victini is a small Basic Pokémon
easily OHKOed, but the upside is it is
also easy to search and to bring back
Hitting it also means ignoring
(Dragon Vault 17/20) could also
fit in such a deck; its opening attack
is reliable, affordable, but weak as
(CC) buys 20 points of damage and a flip
The second attack has a cost of
(RWC), which the hypothetical deck would
need to meet anyway for
White Kyurem, and said second attack
has you flip two coins and do 80 per
“heads” so it too would benefit from
In a word “no”.
It doesn’t make for a better
first turn win or lock deck, and we have
better options for attacking as I don’t
see a need for a Dragon-Type attacker in
this format, and if I did
Rayquaza has enough tricks here to
address the massive amount of discarding
it would involve.
As is so often the case, Limited is
where an otherwise underwhelming card
This card is not good enough to
just run with 39 Energy.
It is however good enough that if
you can afford the Energy Type mix you
should run it; I don’t recommend just
running it with
Fire Energy as Cold Fire is the
better attack, especially here.
The 130 HP of
White Kyurem is only surpassed in
this set by Pokémon-EX and Stage 2
Pokémon; everything else at best ties
Outside of Limited play,
White Kyurem isn’t going to be worth
the effort of running, though if you
insist you could make a flip focused
deck out of it with right cards and
hopefully have some fun.