Welcome readers; as you have probably
noticed by now, I seem to be missing a
lot of reviews lately.
This is in part because I have to
move soon, and so I simply can’t justify
the time it takes me to write one of my
reviews very easily.
For those who enjoy my reviews,
sorry to disappointment.
For those who don’t like my
writing, guess at least one thing will
be going your way.
For those that just don’t care…
well either you skipped this or you
really do just not care one way or the
The actual card we are looking at today
Latias EX (BW: Plasma Freeze
Let’s see if we can work out
whether or not this card should have
made the Top 10, or was wisely left
behind by the collective review crew.
Pokémon-EX is Pokémon-EX; obvious and
yet so easy to forget when evaluating
the specifics of a card.
The number of Pokémon-EX counters
has also increased, though most of the
“new” stuff isn’t overly impressive, and
as we’ll see several won’t apply to this
Latias EX is a Dragon-Type – this
Type has some support, but said support
hasn’t held up well; still better some
Dragon-Type Pokémon never have to
worry about (natural) Resistance but all
share the same Weakness to each other,
at least on everything released so far.
This can create some interesting
scenarios based on a Dragon-Type; some
hit so hard (or soft) that Weakness
seldom if ever matters, while others
enjoy hitting a sweet spot where 2HKOs
become OHKOs or the like.
Latias EX, again taking into account
factors we haven’t discussed yet,
unfortunately won’t benefit from hitting
Weakness and wouldn’t have had to worry
about Resistance anyway, so it doesn’t
seem to take advantage of its Typing.
Basic Pokémon still seem to rule the
roost, though Evolutions have started
making some progress again.
to tell how much of that is due to the
shifting metagame and how much is due to
players choosing to keep back their
decks for Nationals and Worlds and
either not play in the Spring Battle
Roads at all, or enjoy trying out
Regardless, that doesn’t change
that Basic Pokémon are still the most
efficient to run plus enjoy added
support that is almost totally lacking
160 HP is a bit unusual for a
Most have 180 HP with 170 HP
being the next most common.
Only one other has 160 HP -
Ho-Oh EX – and the rest have had
even lower scores (which have made them
very difficult to use).
Yet 160 HP is the maximum printed
on Stage 2 Pokémon, and will often
survive a hit.
So overall it is adequate or a
little good, but compared to similar
cards it is a bit low.
Plus… once again a later part of
the card will skew this, so read on.
I touched upon this under Type since for
Dragon-Type Pokémon, the two are
intertwined; Dragon-Type Pokémon are all
Weak to Dragon-Types.
The ones that see the most play
tend to be heavy hitters like
Rayquaza EX and
Black Kyurem EX (BW: Plasma Storm
95/135), where the Pokémon in question
is likely scoring a OHKO before Weakness
Most other Dragon-Type Pokémon
either follow suite or else hit for
smaller amounts that won’t be quite so
drastic, though it can be troublesome if
your opponent can “sacrifice” two Basic
Dragon-Types to evenly trade for
(Dragon Vault 11/20; BW:
Dragons Exalted 128/124) can do that
with its first attack, plus its second
attack is a rare example of something
that jumps from 2HKO to OHKO range.
No Resistance is the worst Resistance; I
understand that this seems to be an
intentional design decision, but I don’t
have to like it and neither do you.
It does keep things simple, so
some may prefer it.
A single Energy Retreat Cost is still
very good; this is low enough to usually
be affordable, and any form of Retreat
Cost lowering effect will zero it out
Nothing seems to have changed to
make getting the right Pokémon into and
out of the Active slot less important,
so it is useful having a Pokémon that
won’t require you run more than the
“usual” amount of cards to aiding with
or bypassing your manual retreating.
Bright Down, which I just realized I had
been misreading for about the last month
as “Bright Dawn” (ouch) is the best
reason this card gives to play it; if a
Pokémon with an Ability attacks
Latias EX, Bright Down blocks not
just damage, not just effects, but
This is huge, because we have a
format where several important decks are
going to struggle to get around Bright
It doesn’t elevate the card to
the top of the food chain, though, as
there are several primary and secondary
attackers that lack Abilities.
Barrier Break is good, but not great;
Latias EX can hit for 70 points of
damage, about 20 below the “going” rate
for three Energy and it even requires
two different Energy Types.
The effect is worth it… some of
Barrier Break ignores Weakness,
Resistance, and other effects on the
As a Dragon-Type, ignoring
Resistance is useless and not hitting
Weakness hurts, but bypassing effects
like Safeguard and Plasma Steel is very,
Bright Down and Barrier Break work
together to turn
Latias EX into a decent tank; the
damage output isn’t huge but it is
reliable and the protection is either
obviously going to apply or it won’t.
As having anything else in play allows
the opponent to attempt to bypass Bright
Down by simply using
Pokémon Catcher, it is risky to
Latias EX with other, Bench-sitting
If you are still using
Hydreigon (BW: Dragons Exalted
97/124) it might make for a good
Blend Energy GRPD and
Prism Energy would both meet either
specific Energy requirement of the
card’s attack but still count as (D)
while in play so that Dark Trance could
move the Energy about.
Otherwise I would go with a minimalist
approach, and maybe pair the card with
Sigilyph (BW: Dragons Exalted
52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze
118/116); the goal would be to keep
whichever Pokémon in play that your
opponent couldn’t damage.
Unfortunately Energy acceleration
would then be limited to
Energy Switch, and
which doesn’t sound promising.
Decks recently have diversified
in the attacker front, making it
unlikely you’ll be able to wall the
entire game, or even restrict an
opponent to weaker attackers.
Latias EX will be greatly enhanced
next format; the reason for this is that
there is an upcoming Pokémon Tool that
blocks damage done by Team Plasma
Combining that with
Sigilyph (and its Safeguard Ability)
will wall off all but a few attackers we
currently see or expect to see then.
Pokémon Powers (as well as Poké-Powers
and Poké-Bodies) don’t count as
Abilities, so right there the bulk of
the older card pool is unaffected by
This is before factoring in that
we wouldn’t be using
Latias EX as part of a
first-turn-win deck, other than a
questionable “donk” style deck shooting
for a FTKO.
A bit of a shame, as this format
would have allowed you to block Trainers
and thus include Bench-sitters to help
Latias EX out.
Abilities show up often enough that I
won’t write this card off, but the
influx of Team Plasma Pokémon have given
most decks a solid attacker to fall back
on to get around Bright Down, as well as
Hypnotoxic Laser combos.
The card definitely needs
partners, because the decks that get
around Bright Down do so thoroughly.
You could choose to run this card with
just 39 Energy but I don’t recommend it;
160 HP will last for a bit, but remember
it will take three turns to build up
Even if the lower average HP
scores cause Barrier Break to score
OHKOs, your opponent will have at least
five turns to attack… meaning they need
to average just a little over 30 points
of damage per shot to win.
Sometimes it will work, sometimes
it won’t, plus as you’ll have to run two
Types of Energy you might also lose
because all of one Type is buried in
Run backing something else, and even if
you don’t have the right Energy
Latias EX serves as a good
“emergency wall”; something you can
throw up when your opponent drops that
lucky pull of their own with an Ability.
As there isn’t
Pokémon Catcher in the set and the
Retreat Cost is just one, you shouldn’t
have to worry about
Latias EX getting stuck up front.
Latias EX can actually attack, that
is even better.
shows promise, but BW: Plasma Freeze
shifted the metagame to the point that
more and more decks will get around
Sigilyph and its Safeguard became so
important when players assumed no one
would run something like Quad Sigilyph
at an event, and it was considered more
important to run other cards than make
sure decks had a non-Pokémon-EX
That seems less likely here, but
After we get the next set, my
Theorymon prediction is that we’ll see
at least a few “Wall” decks for which
this is a major component.
I actually had
Latias EX as my number 10 pick, and
it is good the others must have rated it
It is a good card, just
outclassed by at least 10 others in the
I will also mention that I have
resumed selling off my various
collectables on eBay again, some of
which is Pokémon.
here to see what is currently
Pojo.com is in no way responsible
for any transactions, and merely kind
enough to let me link to my auctions in