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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Landorus EX

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 7, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.17
Limited: See Below

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Landorus EX (BCR) 

Not saying this card isn’t good (it obviously is), but it kind of embodies a lot of the things I am not too fond of in today’s game. A high HP EX with a very cheap and effective attack, it spawned the ‘Big Basics’ deck which has been so powerful over the last couple of years. I admit, I have used it myself quite a few times and, although it is undeniably good, it’s also just about the most dull and skill-free thing I’ve played in all my years in the game. 

And it’s probably going to get worse. Landorus EX benefits hugely from all the Fighting support in the Furious Fists set. What this means is that Landorus’ Hammerhead attack can do 70 + 30 to the Bench for a single Strong Energy and a Muscle Band. That’s enough to OHKO evolving Basics and techs like Mr Mime and Victini. Chuck in a Fighting Stadium (or stick with the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank combo), and Landorus threatens two-hit KOs on every EX Pokémon . . . for a single Energy. Is that great? For the card, sure; for the game? I have my doubts.

Fighting decks seem destined to be very strong in the near future, with Lucario EX taking centre stage. I fully expect to see them make ues of Landorus EX as well though: Hammerhead is now an even more ridiculous attack, and the fact that he diversifies Weakness away from Psychic (so Mewtwo EX can’t threaten a whole Fighting deck), makes him a valuable inclusion. 

Rating 

Modified: 4.5 (monstrous)

Limited: N/A 


aroramage

Hey, I remember this card! I mean, I could've said that about any card this week, but...well it's not important, welcome back to today's card of the day! Here we've got the mighty Landorus-EX, and knowing what's coming up in the future, he's only going to get better, but let's take a look at what makes him so good right now!
 
You'd probably be surprised to hear me say that when I follow that up with, "Brandon Salazar was the only person in the Top 12 that ran Landorus-EX in his deck." So wait, what does that mean? It means that the Masters Division Champion ran Landorus-EX in his deck, so that should show you just how far Landorus-EX can take you! But why, you ask? Well, let's take a look at Landorus-EX and how he fit into Brandon's ultimate strategy!
 
First off, Landorus-EX doesn't have an Ability like the other Pokemon we've reviewed this week. I know, surprising isn't it? But that's because he's got this one attack on him that makes him a strong lead. See, Landorus-EX came into the format during a time when the first turn player could attack on the first turn, and that meant that you could attach your Energy and then go right into attacking with Hammerhead. Now 30 damage may not seem like much, even to the Benched Pokemon that it can also hit, but on the first turn, that could be devastating. Say you're running Duskull in your deck, setting up for a Dusknoir on your next turn. Back then, your opponent would go first, attack your Active with Landorus-EX, and hit your Benched Dusknoir for 30. That's already half of its health - and you can't evolve him on your first turn, so you're already down a Prize on Turn 3!!
 
Alright, so Landorus-EX has a strong leading attack, though nowadays it's slightly nerfed for the first turn player since they can't attack on their first turn. Second player can attack, but the opponent can at least evolve their Pokemon on their next turn, so they don't lose that advantage (or they were running Squirtle with Shell Shield or Mr. Mime with Bench Barrier). Now what does Landorus-EX do? His only other attack, Land's Judgment, only does 80 damage for 3 Energy. Although there's that little paragraph saying that if you dump the Fighting Energy on him, he does an extra 70-waaaaaaait a minute.
 
That's right, Hammerhead not only sets up the potential to KO Bench-sitters later on down the line, it also sets up the Active Pokemon to get wrecked by Land's Judgment. Sure it takes a couple turns to work your way up to that 3 Energy cost, but the fact remains that Landorus-EX can lay the smackdown with 150 damage - which combined with the 30-60 damage already on the Active Pokemon, that's 180-210 damage, enough to KO most Pokemon easily! Combine those numbers with Hypnotoxic Laser and Muscle Band, and you may not even need to bother boosting Land's Judgment to KO an Active Pokemon!
 
So why did Brandon run Landorus-EX as his main attacker? Well the answer lies not only in his deck but also on another card from earlier in the week: Garbodor. Landorus-EX can now run over the mighty Pyroar (FLF) (no doubt his biggest threat in the format with that Intimidating Mane) by having his buddy Garbodor use his Garbotoxin to cancel the Ability and lay the smack down! Brandon also ran Pokemon like Mewtwo-EX, Raichu (XY), and even Druddigon (FLF) to avoid suffering from Garbodor's Ability while simultaneously dealing hefty damage to his opponent's Pokemon. In fact, no doubt Brandon had to utilize that very combination of Garbodor and Landorus-EX to beat out the runner-up Michael Pramawat's Pyroar deck!
 
Now what did I mean by Landorus-EX getting better? Really, you shouldn't be asking that, as Landorus-EX is a Fighting-type, and that means he's gonna run alongside Lucario-EX and Machamp in the new Furious Fists expansion! That means he gets access to that damage-boosting Energy, the Machamp power Ability, and even the Stadium designed for Fighting-types! He'll even have a Supporter supporting him all the way - and that means in a format where Landorus-EX is still very much legal, he's going to be a top tier threat!
 
Rating
 
Modified: 4/5 (I'm really tempted to put him over Lucario-EX, simply for the damage output in tandem with the new stuff, but that wouldn't be fair to Lucario-EX's drawing support and such)
 
Expanded: 4/5 (you'll find that he works even better with those new cards despite the inclusion of those older BW sets)
 
Limited: 4.5/5 (in his own set, what's going to stop you? You can literally smash your way through anything! Just don't get overzealous with Land's Judgment, Fighting Energy still doesn't have any huge Energy acceleration here)
 
Arora Notealus: Interesting how the tiger-esque form of Landorus has proven to be so potent in our TCG. It's almost like the designers were...putting him on the prowl~
 
Next Time: More greenery, less punnery, with no guarantee!


Otaku

This week we’ve been looking at some of the cards that played role at the U.S. Nationals, as a precursor to the pending World Championships.  We’re on the downward slope now, with the next to last of these picks: Landorus-EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 89/149, 144/149).   As this was partnered with Tuesday’s review, it may seem like I favored just one deck in my picks… and I kind of did; Masters’ Division U.S. Nationals winning deck and all.  Still, like Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) its a card that can be used in quite a few decks, so I feel the attention warranted regardless.  We originally reviewed Landorus-EX here.

 

Even though Landorus-EX is overly familiar for most of us, let’s run through it: some readers are very new and it helps the more experienced (myself included) avoid missing the forest for the trees.  Landorus-EX is a Fighting-Type; this is already great for hitting most Colorless-Types and nearly all Fighting- and Lightning-Types for Weakness, and while they are light on support (especially worthwhile support) right now, XY: Furious Fists should give them a huge boost.  In fact part of the timing for this review is to get one last, good look before that support is legal, maybe make a few predictions, and then have some time before we might need to review it again if it dominates the City Championships.  It isn’t all perfect, of course; Fighting Resistance is one of the most abundant, though Resistance as a whole isn’t a major concern.

 

Being a Basic is obviously great; easy to run, easy to play; there is and even will still be some Basic-only support left in the card pool after the coming rotation.  Of course, Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) is a counter to Basic cards, something I glossed over when looking at Jirachi-EX yesterday because you really shouldn’t be attacking with that card anyway, and why you’re likely to see Landorus-EX paired up with Garbodor.  Being a Pokémon-EX has its usual drawbacks; most important is giving up an additional Prize when KOed, but being unable to tap certain support cards can hurt and the various Pokémon-EX counter cards can be a serious threat.  The benefits of being a Pokémon-EX aren’t hardwired into the actual game; they usually get great HP and at least one good-to-great attack and either a second decent attack or good-to-great Ability… but that’s a card-by-card design decision, and there are some well known exceptions.

 

180 HP is the maximum we’ve seen printed on Basic Pokémon-EX and makes it likely (though still not guaranteed) that Landorus-EX can take a hit.  Many - perhaps most - decks have at least some sort of a combo that can score an effective 180 in a single turn, and some decks are built around OHKOs, but only the latter are likely to be able to OHKO Landorus-EX reliably and repeatedly… with the exception of Water-Type attackers, which can exploit Weakness.  The Water-Type Weakness is not a good thing, especially for Pokémon-EX.  Suicune posses Safeguard and just needs to tap some of the common damage boosting tricks like attaching a Silver Bangle to score a OHKO.  Many Plasma decks can make good use of Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116) a.k.a. Kyurem [Plasma], but at the same time this still isn’t as bad as dealing with Darkness Weakness and Yveltal-EX, Dragon-Type Weakness and Druddigon (XY: Flashfire 70/106), Psychic Weakness and Mewtwo-EX, etc.

 

Landorus-EX has Lightning Resistance; any Resistance is welcome, but to give you an idea of how important it is, I forgot the card even had it.  It will come in handy from time to time, mostly to make the match up with Lightning-Types even more lopsided.  The card sports a hefty Retreat Cost of three.  As the set before it, BW: Dragons Exalted, gave us Heavy Ball, this has in some ways been a benefit, but BW: Dragons Exalted and thus Heavy Ball are getting the axe, so soon the downside will be all that remains; that is a difficult cost to pay and even if you can, it will set you back quite a bit.  This is somewhat mitigated by how most decks will be packing retreat reducing effects or even cards to bypass manually retreating all together, though my personal experience is Landorus-EX still gets stuck up front at least some of the time, to its user’s detriment.

 

Of the two attacks, Hammerhead has proven much more important; for [F] you get 30 damage to the opponent’s Active and 30 to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon (assuming there are any on the Bench).  60 for one is a great deal, even if it is being divided out.  Factor in Weakness and its 90 for one, and throw in common boosting tricks and Hammerhead alone quickly moves into 2HKO territory of Fighting Weak Pokémon-EX.  Land’s Judgment tends to be hard to use as there so far isn’t a good way to acceleration basic Fighting Energy.  With a cost of [FFC] the acceleration that does work, like multiple Energy-Type providing Special Energy coupled with an Ability to move your own Energy around, is the best bet, but that doesn’t mesh too well with the effect of Land’s Judgment.  While it is totally optional, you can choose to discard all sources of [F] Energy to jump the attacks damage from 80 to 150!  This is actually a very impressive attack and it complements Hammerhead quite well; the Bench hits can set-up so that Land’s Judgment can OHKO just about anything by the time its ready to go… and if Landorus-EX doesn’t survive after attacking anyway, the Energy discard ends up being meaningless.

 

So what has changed since the last time?  In a weird way, the more things change the more they stay the same.  The main thing is that we’ve gotten to a place where once again, the best approach is a mostly straightforward damage deck that is quick, relatively reliable, and exploits Weakness as much as possible.  Its own Weakness will be an issue, but fortunately most of the Water-Type attackers that are popular right now either have or rely on an Ability as part of their tactics, so by backing up Landorus-EX with Garbodor, they are less of (though definitely still) a threat.  It is just the subtle shifts in the metagame, which may change again before Worlds, that made Landorus-EX such a great play for U.S. Nationals.  When not partnered up with Garbodor, remember how many things can be an issue for Landorus-EX; there’s even Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) to block Bench damage!

 

Looking ahead, past Worlds, once we shift to BCR-On Landorus-EX should get even better, though it may become a victim of its own success; notice how Darkness Weakness is so crippling that only the very best Darkness Weak Pokémon Bench sitters have seen successful competitive play.  XY: Furious Fists may do the same thing to Fighting Weakness, especially as Darkness-Types are losing their BW: Dark Explorers exclusive support like Dark Patch.  Do I think that will happen?  No, but there is enough of a chance to warrant broaching the subject and while the odds are low for the general metagame or events in general, for some non-specific tournament I do expect it will happen.  In general I expect Landorus-EX to get even better.  For Expanded, I similarly expect it to get a bit better, because Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) was a popular and successful  backer for attackers that could use Lightning-Type Energy, so unless it fails to make a comeback there, the low HP of it (and Basic form Tynamo) should make Hammerhead a serious counter whether Active or Benched… and indeed that is how it was when the two were both Standard legal.

 

Lastly for Limited… if you pull this, you run it.  You’re fortunate enough to be able to use BW: Boundaries Crossed for a Limited event to begin with, and if you pull this, you run it.  If you’re not willing to risk it in a +39 deck (even with several solid Water-Types in this set, I believe it is worth it), then work some Fighting Energy into your deck.  If it shows up when early, use Hammerhead.  If it shows up late, try to build it on your Bench for Land’s Judgment or send it up to finish Pokémon your opponent is trying to hide on the Bench.

 

Ratings

 

Modified (NXD-On): 4/5 - This is awkward; I actually scored Landorus-EX higher when we first reviewed it.  Why is it lower?  Back then you could attack with it first turn, and use Pokémon Catcher without a coin flip to reliably force up the most appropriate targets: now you’d have to give up a Supporter for Lysandre or Ability to do the same (and never on the first turn of the game).  It is as much Landorus-EX as the cards it was partnered with that created a U.S. Nationals winning deck.

 

Modified (BCR-On): 4.25/5 - I expect Landorus-EX to become better when it gains access to the new support in XY: Furious Fists, but it gains some more competition and again, it isn’t like it can attack first turn like it used to.  Plus so far its success has been being the Fighting-Type in decks that are at most partially Fighting; only some of the new support will be flexible enough for such strategy.

 

Expanded (BW-On): 4.25/5 - As with BCR-On, it gains more support but more rivals, in this case either foes from the past, the “new stuff”, or both: whatever proves strong enough to rise to the top in this format.

 

Limited: 5/5 - Run it!  Even if you pulled one of each Pokémon-EX from this set, its likely the best one for a +39 build; only Keldeo-EX has a chance at being better, and I am uncertain of that.

 

Summary: Landorus-EX is a strong Fighting-Type that has proven itself more than once, however by that same token it has also experienced the lows of being out of step with the metagame.  It seems most likely that XY: Furious Fists will make it stronger, but that isn’t guaranteed.  Likewise, its performance at the U.S. Nationals suggests it is a strong presence in the current metagame, but even that might shift before Worlds actually happens.  Overall, this is a potent card that should be trying to get a hold of, though perhaps only if prices come down at least a little bit from where they are now or you’re better than me (not a unlikely), on your way to Worlds (excludes most) and convinced that this is the best card to play (no idea on the exact odds there).

 


Joe
Hollywood
Chicago, IL
Joe


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