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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Gallade  

- Legendary Treasures

Date Reviewed:
Nov 18, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 3.25

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

Gallade (Legendary Treasures) 

Hello and welcome to a week on Pojo’s CotD where we will be rounding up all the cards that just missed the top 5 lists. We kick off with Gallade and I just want to say how much I LOVE the artwork on this card. Easily makes my top 5 of all time. 

As a playable Pokémon? Well it’s a Stage 2 and although they got a boost with the new rules (no first turn attacks and Catcher depending on a coin flip) it will still need to do some work to worth playing. The first attack, Nerve Shot, at least gives you something cheap and usable if you don’t have the Energy for anything better: 30 damage plus a Paralysis flip for a single Fighting Energy isn’t bad at all and could buy you a turn if your opponent can’t switch out of the Status Condition. It’s nowhere near enough to make the card worthwhile, but it is a decent bonus/option to have. 

The bigger attraction here though is Pandemonium Blade. The cost is do-able (one Fighting and a Double Colourless), but you need to work some combo magic to get the most out of it. This is because the base damage is a poor value 60, but it adds 20 for each of your Benched Pokémon that has damage counter on it. Now there are a few ways of achieving this that range from the just-about-achievable (Landorus LTR, Excadrill EX) to the utterly stupid (Seismitoad PLF). If you can pull off a complete Bench of damaged Pokémon, then Gallade will be doing 160 per turn. Use Hypnotoxic Laser or slap a Silver Bangle on him, and he can achieve the holy grail of the OHKO on an EX Pokémon. 

But that is honestly asking an awful lot. Keeping a full complement of Pokémon out while building up for expensive attacks from Excadrill or Landorus is very hard to do in an actual game, and in practice the deck plays like a slower, clumsier, more self-defeating version of a Round deck. Gallade might be a fun gimmick to try out in casual play, but if you really want to use a deck that gets powered up by a large Bench, then I suggest Empoleon DRX. Even the Exploud PLF/Meloetta EX Round deck will bring you more success than this. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.25 (if the card was as good as the artwork, it would win Worlds)

Limited: 3 (one of the more usable Stage 2s, thanks to Nerve Shot)


Otaku

Welcome to a week of “runner-ups”: cards that made at least one Top 5 list from BW: Legendary Treasures!  This means some will still be new cards, while others reprints: we begin with the former as we look at Gallade (BW: Legendary Treasures 81/113).

 

Gallade is a Stage 2 Pokémon.  Thanks to the recent rule changes, he stands a much better chance than it did 11 days ago, but being a Stage 2 is still not an easy sell.  He is a Fighting-Type, which results in favorable Type-Matching against most Colorless-, Darkness-, and Lightning-Types (though each of those, especially Colorless, includes some Fighting Resistant Pokémon as well): a good start.

 

The HP of Gallade clocks in at 140, which is well within OHKO range of available combos for many decks and definitely within 2HKO range.  Psychic Weakness exacerbates this; the traditional and still perhaps preeminent Psychic-Type attacker is Mewtwo EX; unless the Mewtwo EX player can’t spare a lot of Energy or Gallade is up front with no Energy (both unlikely) it will score a OHKO with X-Ball.  The card has no complimentary Resistance, but this is common and in the current metagame Resistance would is unlikely to be significant most matches.  The Retreat Cost of two is the worst to have right now – too low for Heavy Ball, and if you have to manually retreat still enough to matter; fortunately you shouldn’t have to manually retreat often in a well made deck.

 

Gallade has two attacks - Nerve Shot and Pandemonium Blade – which have a fairly appropriate “low cost – higher cost” pattern.  Nerve Shot requires just (F) to use, which means even if you rush a Gallade into play by your second turn (overall third or fourth turn of the game), you can use that turn’s manual Energy attachment to still get a hit in.  The damage and effect reflects this; 30 points and a 50% chance of Paralysis aren’t that bad but are definitely not good amongst the current card pool for Stage 2 Pokémon.  Given the new rules, slightly higher damage at a two Energy cost would have been better… and perhaps even at the current cost but without Paralysis – Special Conditions are easy to shake for most decks.

 

Pandemonium Blade is what I believe gets players excited; for (FCC) you score 60 points of damage plus 20 for each of your Benched Pokémon with a damage counter on it.  If it was “per damage counter”, this would easily be at least a fringe deck, and as is it still allows for an impressive 60-160 point spread.  I do wish it had counted itself because you will need space a Stage 2 deck will struggle to produce to get the last bit needed to OHKO Pokémon-EX, even when you’ve got the ideal single damage counter on each of your Pokémon.  You’ll need at least two of your Benched Pokémon to have some damage counters on them if you want damage that isn’t “bad”, as well.

 

This is a card that begs for combos, but the question is “what”?  Reuniclus (Black & White 57/114; BW: Dragons Exalted 126/124) is a second Stage 2 Pokémon, but would make OHKOs (or shutting off Abilities) the only way to take down Gallade, and a Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) then protects Reuniclus until your opponent gets off a lucky Pokémon Reversal, uses an Ability to disrupt your Bench, or again shuts off Abilities.  Sadly, that 140 HP, even if boosted, isn’t going to be that hard of a OHKO, and especially doesn’t seem worth it for a deck with two Stage 2 Pokémon.

 

You could just run something that damages your own Pokémon for a good benefit, simultaneously prepping Pandemonium Blade.  It is important to note, though, that you’ll either need an attacker which does this and survives or some sort of Ability because if not, you’ll only hit 140 damage… which isn’t bad, but falls short of OHKOing most Pokémon-EX without help, and this deck won’t have room for help.  I am not seeing any such Pokémon likely to survive.  The two biggest brutes most likely to work with this strategy are Excadrill EX and Landorus (BW: Noble Victories 74/101; BW Promo BW43; BW: Legendary Treasures 85/113)… but they need four or three Energy, respectively.

 

I could see trying to get one or both of these working in a deck with Gallade – both of those Basic Pokémon accelerate Energy via attack, which is better than nothing, but not by much for these purposes.  Landorus also hits your opponent’s Bench (unless they play Mr. Mime, which going by current chatter is likely) while delivering a solid hit, while Excadrill EX just hits your own.  Honestly, you would be better off just focusing on one or both of these two in a deck without Gallade – just setting them up will take enough resources!

 

So Gallade looks to fall flat.  I know when I first saw him I started thinking “What could I use to make this work?” and… without even getting to the deck testing stage, I’ve run aground.  Of course, if I a missing something with a nifty effect that damages yourself and can be used easily, I’ll be happy to be wrong (that is basically what this card needs, especially if it accelerates Energy).  As I do not like ignoring this completely, I will just comment that the lower Stages are, as usual, almost totally filler with only a few that look like they are trying (still failing, but trying) to actually be more than a placeholder from which to Evolve Gallade.  The Gardevoir angle doesn’t work because neither Modified legal version combos with Gallade.

 

For Unlimited, you could probably find a combo for him but you’ve got much better Gallade to choose from unlike in Modified, where there is just a “technically better but not by much” option.  I am of course going out on a limb commenting on this format at all because I just can’t seem to find the information for it (and personally lack means of significant testing).  Limited is probably the only real shot for Gallade to shine – it will still take some doing, but you can slowly build to where it is scoring OHKOs, and even if that doesn’t work out the rest of the card is a solid deal here.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1.25/5

 

Limited: 3.5/5

 

Summary

My apologies for the less detailed (than my usual) review… and for making this my number five pick for the new cards’ list.  I don’t recall if I misread the card or was simply overly optimistic about its prospects; it requires far too much to get to the OHKO level an attacking Stage 2 needs to reach.  Excadrill EX was definitely a much worthier pick, but I only had it as an unlisted honorable mention.  Excadrill EX should have replaced Gallade or placed in an even higher slot to lower other picks and still removing Gallade from the list.

 

To spare the curious from digging through my previous reviews to construct what was revealed of my personal picks so far, Elesa was my top pick followed by Meloetta EX and Spiritomb.  That means we haven’t looked at my number four pick… but we’ll remedy that tomorrow.


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