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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Kyurem EX  

- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
September 12, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.00
Limited: 4.88

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-EX (Plasma Blast) 

We end the week with the kind of card that frustrates me no end when it comes to reviewing. Fun fact: this is our 11th Kyurem card and our sixth Kyurem-EX if you include the Black and White versions. I guess someone in Japan really loves this guy. 

The frustrating this is that I like this Kyurem-EX a lot, but I can’t really see a way to make it work in the format. It’s a shame because this is a card with so much going for it: 180 HP and an Outrage attack? That’s . . . ummm . . . outrageous (sorry). Giga Frost is very good too: two Water and two Colourless for 150? That’s great, even if you factor in the double discard cost. 

So, why isn’t this Pokémon all that playable? Well, when it comes to Outrage, you have to remember that this Pokémon gives up two Prizes, so it needs to take two just to keep up. That would mean having 150 damage on it vs another EX and opponents just aren’t going to be that stupid (mostly, anyway). Against non-EX Pokémon, Kyurem is at risk of only taking one Prize before it is two-hit KO’d, and that is just a terrible trade off. Giga Frost, sadly, is completely outclassed by Black Kyurem-EX’s Black Ballista. They both work well with Blastoise BCR for acceleration, but one gives you a guaranteed OHKO on an EX and one doesn’t. And that is a really big deal: the fact that Kyurem-EX doesn’t need off-Type Energy in no way compensates for the fact that it could leave you 30 damage short of a couple of Prizes. 

Outclassed and outgunned by other cards, I just can’t find a place for Kyurem-EX in competitive play at the moment, and that’s a bit of a shame. 

Rating 

Modified: 3 (close . . . but still falls short)

Limited: 4.75 (if an opponent even tries to hurt this monster, they’ll be sorry)


Otaku

We end our short week with Kyurem EX (BW: Plasma Blast 30/101).  Speaking of “short”, I am short on time and short on patience as I am writing this while ill and while trying to figure out a better way of organizing my reviews.  You know I like to be very detailed so that my train of thought is obvious and my articles are accessible to all levels of players, but this also means a “proper” article usually takes me an hour (or more) to write… and I haven’t been able to reliably spare that much time since before my last hiatus.  On the bright side, readers, I’ll be leaving out a massive rant on Pokémon-Typing/Weakness/Resistance due to all of this!

 

I will still take a few sentences to remind you that you have to be careful when evaluating a Pokémon-EX; the best have defined this format while the rest are largely forgotten, with every new “good” Pokémon-EX released reducing the usefulness of the periphery.  The additional Prize given up when a Pokémon-EX is KOed is starting to feel like a real “thing” again; BW: Plasma Blast brought us enough that several non-Pokémon-EX are worth serious play again, or at least appear to be that way.  Keep an eye out for anti-Pokémon-EX cards, both new and old.

 

Kyurem EX is a Water-Type Pokémon; support is lacking and Resistance is out there, but so is Weakness.  Overall, it’s a good Type to be because few Types have support (let alone support worth running) and exploiting Weakness generates a lot more damage than blocking with Resistance can soak.  It sports 180 HP, the most a Pokémon-EX can have and much higher than almost all Pokémon apart from fellow Pokémon-EX.  Metal Weakness isn’t good but it isn’t as bad as several other possibilities; the loss of Klinklang (Black & White 76/114) set them back and the best Metal-Type attacker I can think of is Cobalion EX, and its “big” attack doesn’t apply Weakness.  The chunky Retreat Cost of (CCC) makes it a legal Heavy Ball target, and fortunately most decks will be packing a Retreat alternative or method of zeroing the cost out.

 

The first attack is Outrage, a great attack: for (CC) it does base damage of 30 plus another 10 for each damage counter on Kyurem EX.  Before combos, this means a passable return even if uninjured (30) and a maximum yield of 200!  With its 180 HP it is much harder even for fellow Pokémon-EX to push for that OHKO that would allow Outrage on a smaller Pokémon to be skirted, and the slightly higher starting point means a minor hit still gives solid damage back (imagine if it had had any form of Resistance).  Giga Frost is not as impressive: for (WWCC) and discarding two (W) Energy from Kyurem EX, the attack hits for 150 points of damage.  This isn’t enough to OHKO most Pokémon-EX but just about everything else will be, and a “no damage” Outrage can then lead to a 2HKO with Giga Frost.  It seems a bit overpriced due to the specific Energy discard cost, but it works.

 

I don’t think this has much of a chance of replacing Black Kyurem EX (BW: Plasma Storm 95/135); while Kyurem EX would allow Deluge decks to stick to just Water Energy, unless that makes room to include something to bump up damage, you’re not ahead.  Black Ballista and its 200 points of damage overwhelms so much, it can discard any Type of Energy, and while three is more than two will it be more significant?  Still, it does provide something that can attack (and sometimes quite well) for just two Energy which is useful when the deck falls through, and if you had another card to efficiently spread damage like Kyurem (BW Promo BW44) and its Glaciate attack, you couldn’t quite pull off the brute force technique but you could come close.  You also could tap its smaller-but-not-on-a-Pokémon-EX version of Outrage.

 

I am actually curious as to what can be done with this card.  Older Pokémon Tools like Eviolite and Giant Cape aren’t as good as they used to be (in general), but when helping to feed Outrage might be.  We still have Max Potion and Double Colorless Energy, allowing someone to flush away all damage from Kyurem EX (or the regular Kyurem) at the drop of a hat… you loose your offensive capacity but have accomplished some impressive stalling.  If we want to get really creative (and risky), there is Team Plasma Badge and Umbreon (BW: Plasma Freeze 64/116) or of course Deoxys EX.

 

Using the former you could get a Kyurem EX with up to 260 HP, increasing maximum possible damage for Outrage (before things like Iris or Hypnotoxic Laser) to 280 but more importantly, giving you enough HP to attack for larger (100+ damage) hits without Kyurem EX being a likely KO for your opponent.  Using the latter would be easier, but provides just the usual +10 to +40 points of damage... but while that isn’t a big deal for Outrage, it could be for Giga Freeze. 

 

Either trick means the Colress Machine/Plasma Energy combo could quickly power/re-power Outrage and Giga Freeze (though not in one turn for Giga Freeze).  I’ve proposed similar tricks before and no one met with a lot of success using them, so this is another long shot, but at least it sounds kind of fun even if it is fragile (discarding Team Plasma Badge and all).

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: While not part of a First Turn Win or lock deck, if you’re trying for more traditional beatdown tactics or an old school Rain Dance or Deluge deck, you have Focus Band here plus lower HP scores to KO (as older but powerful cards just weren’t as big).  Probably not “competitive” enough, but it sounds fun and might even work. 3/5

 

Modified: While it might fit into Deluge decks, it doesn’t fit well enough to replace anything in said deck so it probably isn’t going to become a major force from that.  This is offset by actually having some interesting “general” use tricks or kooky combo decks. 3/5

 

Limited: A must run, whether you’re just running it with 39 other non-Pokémon cards (slight risk, as Outrage isn’t available until your second turn) or running it in a “real” Limited deck (it can fit with anything as Giga Freeze is optional then).  I might even consider running it with another Pokémon-EX if you had such insane luck.  Not one like Jirachi EX that couldn’t carry itself, but… you know rethinking the various Pokémon-EX in this set, this was probably the only one safe to run as a +39 style deck, anyway as the others all have “hang-ups”. 5/5

 

Summary

Kyurem EX would probably have been amazing had it replaced its oft ignored older sibling, Kyurem EX (BW: Next Destinies 38/99, 96/99; BW Promo BW37).  With all the variants on Kyurem I almost forgot that one existed… but it has badly overpriced attacks (even when it was amongst so little Pokémon-EX competition) that it shouldn’t be a surprise.

 

With the current competition, the new Kyurem EX may be in for the same fate, but it has enough potential to play around with and experiment; I originally had it as my own 10th place choice for Promising Picks of Plasma Blast, and it might actually rank a bit higher as some of my other choices seem less likely to pan out.


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