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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Terrakion  

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
January 22, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.17
Limited: 4.45

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

Terrakion (Boundaries Crossed) 

Now here’s a card that was definitely worth reprinting, though I guess that putting it out in ultra rare shiny form doesn’t exactly make it any more accessible. We’ve seen this card appear in decks since its release, both as a tech and as a main attacker (or indeed the only attacker in the infamous Quad Terrakion deck), and I don’t suppose it is going to disappear from the tournament scene any time soon. 

Terrakion is a very solid Pokémon with great HP for a non-EX Basic, but there are two main reasons for its success. Firstly, it is a Fighting Type so it hits for Weakness against Darkrai-EX as well as other commonly played Pokémon (Bouffalant, Eelektrik). Secondly, Terrakion’s attacks have enough muscle to exploit that Weakness for OHKOs. 

The key here is Terrakion’s first attack, Retaliate. For one Fighting and one Colourless Energy, this does a mere 30 damage . . . unless one of your own Pokémon were KO’d last turn, in which case it does 90, and that’s enough to one-shot a Darkai-EX without Eviolite and do substantial damage to anything else. If you can get another Fighting attached to Terrakion, then you can hit for 90 regardless with Land Crush and that’s good enough for the two-hit KO on most Pokémon, even the EX ones (with Tornadus being the important exception). 

Terrakion shines brightest as a surprise revenge attacker that you can use on the turn he comes into play. For that reason he is most effective in decks which use some kind of Energy acceleration (such as Ho-oh-EX) or pseudo-acceleration like Energy Switch, Exp Share, or Klinklang BLW’s Shift Gear Ability. The high retreat cost means you don’t really want him sitting on your Bench, waiting to be dragged out with Pokémon Catcher before Retaliate’s effect is triggered. As long as Fighting Weak Pokémon are popular, however, it will likely be worth the risk: this is a very strong card which, unlike the EX Pokémon, only gives up one Prize when knocked out. 

Rating 

Modified: 4 (as long as there is Darkrai around, you will find Terrakion)
Limited: 4 (tough to KO, does some good damage) 

Jebulous Maryland Player

Terrakion
 
I felt like I've reviewed Terrakion before, but I don't remember.
 
Terrakion is a Basic Fighting Pokemon with 130 HP.  It is weak to Grass and has a retreat cost of 4.  It is searchable by Heavy Ball, though I don't think I've seen that play by an opponent.
 
'Retaliate' costs 1 Fighting and 1 colorless energy.  It does 30 and 60 more if one of your Pokemon were Knocked out last turn.  This is the monster attack that is used to take out Darkrai EX.  You throw down a Terrakion, play energy Switch, then attach for turn.  Then you are ready to do 180 to that Darkrai.  It also comes in handy against Eel decks.
 
'Land Crush' costs 2 Fighting and 1 colorless energy.  It does 90 damage.  Normally a vanilla attack isn't good, but this does a magic number of damage (hit for weakness and goodbye Darkrai), so it sees more play.  Usually you use this after you retailated the turn before.  A consistent 90 (180) against Dark/Lightings is really good.
 
So one way around Terrakion is Catchering it up and either OHKOing it (hard to do) or damaging it and hoping for them to not be able to retreat.  Though decks now seem to run either Switch or Darkrai in order to get the Catchered Terrakion out of the active spot.
 
Modified: 4.5/5
Limited: 4.5/5
Combos With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Otaku

Today we look at Terrakion (BW: Noble Victories 73/101, 99/101; BW: Boundaries Crossed 151/149), specifically its latest printing as a Secret Rare.  We’ve looked at this card once before here; hard to believe it but it missed that year’s top 10 so it only has that one review, and as I missed the one review we did do, I’ve never covered this card. 

Time to rectify that! 

Stats

Terrakion is a Basic Fighting-Type Pokémon, starting off on a good foot (hoof?): minimal deck space, maximum speed, and good Typing.  It isn’t perfect, but being a Fighting-Type more than makes up in lacking Type or Energy Support (and having to deal with Resistance) by hitting Weakness on many Colorless-, Darkness-, and Lighting-Type Pokémon. 

130 HP is enough to survive one hit from most attackers this format, and even the Weakness is about as good as it gets right now: Grass-Types, few of which see serious play and even then, mostly for the purpose of striking Weakness.  The lack of Resistance is not unexpected; I wish they would have had something but the Types (and relationships between them) always get distorted by the differences between the video games and TCG, and since it is so common to lack Resistance it is just a missed opportunity for the card. 

The four Energy needed to Retreat is a serious flaw; this is so big you will seldom if ever actually have that much Energy attached to the card to discard, and even if you did it would set you back too much to be worth it… unless the entire game was on the line of course.  You’ll need something to significantly reduce it, or pack something to bypass retreating entirely (like Switch).  There is some consolation; this hefty Retreat makes the card a legal Heavy Ball target. 

Effects

Terrakion has two attacks.  The first is Retaliate; for (FC) Terrakion hits for 30 points of damage; pretty weak by modern standards.  Fortunately it has an effect clause; if something of yours was KOed by damage from an opponent’s attack the previous turn, Retaliate does 30+60 points of damage.  90 points is enough that, after Weakness (and assuming no other mitigating effects) you can OHKO unprotected Pokémon-EX. 

As long as the target in question isn’t Resistance, 90 is a solid amount to begin with and excellent for finishing off whatever just KOed one of your own Pokémon.  For (FFC), you simply hit for 90 points of damage; less impressive for more Energy, but still a good, solid attack.  The two attacks together are great when you can exploit Weakness, and generally useful otherwise. 

Usage

Terrakion quickly became and has remained that Pokémon you run to help you bounce back from KOs and often pull ahead in the case of Weakness.  Retaliate is just that useful.  Couple it with appropriate forms of Energy acceleration, and it is quite common to see decks add Blend Energy WLFM, Prism Energy, or even actual basic Fighting Energy cards just to make it an option.  This card works well even with lesser forms of Energy acceleration, such as those that merely move Energy already in play around. 

Simply put, any deck that can meet the Energy requirements will usually have at least a single copy of Terrakion as back-up, and many decks work hard to meet that requirement.  Lacking it is rare, usually indicative of an oversight or questionable build. 

In Unlimited, even after allowing for decks that win or lock a player on the first turn, the damage output is much less impressive.  Coupled with Focus Band, it can be hard to strategically use Retaliate.  In Limited, though, this card is a must run… barring pulling the right Pokémon-EX. 

Ratings 

Unlimited: 1/5 
Modified:
4/5 
Limited:
4.9/5  

Summary

Terrakion remains a great Pokémon.  I am glad this re-release finally resulted in me reviewing it, since I missed it the first time.  Everyone should own at least a few copies, and many if not most are probably running one in a deck even now.  It isn’t quite as powerful as it originally was, but it is still a most excellent card.


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