If Lucario is too good to
need it’s Mega Evolution (except
Pyroar), then with Heracross
EX, things are the other way around. Mega
Heracross is a very
interesting card with massive potential, but a whole lot
of problems, while the regular
Heracross EX is . . . well, kind of underwhelming
to say the least.
Of course it has decent HP and some nice Grass support
from Virizion EX and the
forthcoming Herbal Energy, but that can’t make up for
the fact that its attacks are sub-par for an EX. Guard
Press is the kind of thing you get on theme deck
Steelix cards: low-ish
damage plus a bit of damage reduction next turn.
Although Giga Power is capable of doing 120 for three
Energy (decent but not spectacular), this card really
doesn’t need to take self-damage for all sorts of very
good reasons. If it doesn’t, it only hits for 80.
I think some players will try and make something of M
Heracross (good luck to
them!), and this means they will have to use this card.
By itself though, it offers a lot less than you would
expect from an EX, and that’s a disappointment.
Modified: 2 (poor, but the Mega
may work on
Limited: 4 (you could use the EX/Energy strategy, but
you will wish you had Lucario
Oh hey, look at it! Another review for the upcoming
Furious Fists set! Ain't that something? Welcome back
guys, let's get right to it! Since this is a twofer,
it's only natural that we leaf off with a Grass-type!
...okay, bad jokes aside, it's Heracross-EX, and as much
as I want to say that he's the best Grass-type Pokemon-EX
so far, I would be insulting Virizion-EX (PLB) by saying
that, so let's just take a look at what he's gonna offer
to Grass enthusiasts everywhere! And the answer is-!!
Not that much. His first attack, Guard Press, costs you
2 Energy, one of which must be Grass, does 40 damage and
prevents 20 during the next turn. Not bad, but not good
either, and given that this set brings a bunch of
damage-boosting items for Fighting-types, that 20 damage
is looking pretty negligible. Never mind that any deck
running Charizard-EX - you know the one - is going to be
dealing 120 damage to Heracross-EX by default, toning
that damage down to 100 (since the reduction takes place
after Weakness/Resistance) isn't much of an improvement.
Does Giga Power fare any better? Modestly. For an
additional Grass Energy, Heracross-EX does 80 damage.
That's okay, but you get the option to deal an extra 40
while dealing 20 recoil to himself.
You know, I think they might've made a mistake releasing
Heracross-EX at this time. A little earlier, and he
coulda been a contendah! But with what's on the way -
heck, with what's already here - his chances of fighting
in the ring aren't too high. Sure he gets support from
Virizion-EX, and there's even another Special Energy for
Grass-types in the set (you didn't think it was all
Fighting support, did you?), but honestly Heracross-EX
would've been so much better if only he were a
Fighting-type instead! The way he is now...he's okay,
but he falls short of the other EXs around.
Heracross-EX is a cool Pokemon that makes an okay EX
with good support, but the format's not looking too good
for him. He'll live, sure, but he won't get far.
Modified: 3/5 (he's a decent card, but he's in the wrong
part of town)
Limited: 4/5 (hey, just cause everyone and their mother
wants Lucario-EX doesn't mean they'll get it, and that's
where Heracross-EX comes in to take em down!)
Arora Notealus: Is there a trend amongst Pokemon-EX
where their attacks don't need to be represented in
their pictures? Where's that horn attack I was looking
for so desperately?
Weekend thought: What cards from a new set have you been
We end this first week of the latest set with
Heracross-EX (XY: Furious Fists 4/111,
105/111). Could this be a force in its own right, or
will it be lucky to serve as a stepping stone to M-Heracross-EX?
Being a Grass-Type still exploits Weakness on some oft
played cards, mostly Water-Types like Blastoise,
Keldeo-EX, and Suicune, and allows it the
option of running Floette (XY: Flashfire
64/106) to bump up its HP and the ability to use the new
Herbal Energy. Being a big, Basic Pokémon is
still the best, while being a Pokémon-EX means it is
allowed higher than usual HP (and possibly better
attacks) but also means it gives up two Prizes when KOed,
as well as being the negative target of certain effects
like Safeguard or the damage boosting of Silver
Bangle. The “higher than usual” HP is 170 is just
10 below the printed maximum for Basic Pokémon-EX, which
The Fire Weakness is not-so-great, in fact its pretty
bad right now as Fire decks in general are still popular
from XY: Flashfire buffing them, with
Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 12/106) and
Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) being
especially popular and competitive! The lack of
Resistance isn’t huge but its a missed opportunity;
especially with 180 HP, -20 damage could have been
useful. The Retreat Cost of three is a drawback, but
not too serious as most decks are going to include
workarounds for any Retreat Cost due to the usefulness
of such things.
Guard Press requires (GC) and does 40 points of damage,
plus reduces the damage Heracross-EX takes from
attacks on the opponent’s next turn by 20 points… an
effect that rarely proves important but is better than
nothing. For (GGC) Heracross-EX can use Giga
Power, hitting for 80 points of damage with an optional
+40 on top of that if it does 20 points of damage to
itself. All in all, not bad attacks, but not overly
good. There is some synergy between the two if you run
Eviolite; now its -40 to the opponent’s damage
when using Guard Press or hitting for 120 (no
self-damage) with Gigapower and still reducing
damage from attacks by your opponent’s Pokémon by 20
points. Unfortunately the Energy costs are not friendly
to “easy” Energy acceleration, and that is going to hurt
Is Mega Evolving an option for this card? Certainly! M-Heracross-EX
is quite similar to Heracross-EX in everything
but its attack, which hits for 180 less 10 for each
damage counter on M-Heracross-EX… which clashes
with Giga Power, meaning a deck running both is going to
probably focus on M-Heracross-EX and not use
Heracross-EX for attacking outside of key moments.
So what should use this card? You could try to speed
it up with Virizion-EX, but as you’re no Energy
ahead unless Virizion-EX gets off multiple
attacks and powers up multiple targets. If you can,
pack some healing so that you don’t have to “fire and
forget” with each M-Heracross-EX; it is just too
complicated for such an approach. If you can avoid
taking any damage before your first shot, you’ll
probably have enough left for your second shot to still
hit pretty hard. If you are very lucky, a Super
Potion and your Energy attachment for the turn may
even suffice to keep up the pressure.
If you’re not lucky, you may want to try it with both
currently legal Dusknoir. The Sinister Hand
version (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW:
Plasma Blast 104/101) can do its normal trick of
avoiding overkill, though probably only when M-Heracross-EX
is injured (it is a better deal for regular Heracross-EX).
The Shadow Void version can move damage counters off of
either Heracross-EX or M-Heracross-EX to
keep them alive and hitting hard. Or you can do it the
easy way and just stick it into a Fairy Transfer deck
and play it in a manner similar to how Kangaskhan-EX/M-Kangaskhan-EX
have been run; both are going to suffer for their
respective Weakness being popular and well supported.
Again almost everything else you can just move Energy
off of them and heal up with Max Potion between
attacks. Unlike M-Kangaskhan-EX you can only
fuel Heracross-EX/M-Heracross-EX with
Rainbow Energy for two of its three Energy
requirements. I suppose if you’re feeling daring and/or
nostalgic, you could also use Hydreigon (BW:
Dragons Exalted 97/124; BW: Legendary Treasures
99/113, but unless its the Expanded Format (so that
Blend Energy GRPD makes it easier to fuel [G] Energy
requirements) I don’t see why you would.
3.25/5 - Heracross-EX itself is good but not
great; 120 needs Muscle Band plus Hypnotoxic
Laser/Virbank City Gym to score a OHKO and
still falls short by 10 against Pokémon-EX with 180 (and
of course anything bigger). It is still “functional”
and M-Heracross-EX adds adds to its uses
significantly. Just mind that Weakness, as it will make
5/5 - This set has a Stage 1 Evolution line and a Stage
2 Evolution line for Fire-Type attackers, so the
Weakness isn’t crippling. Though some Pokémon can hit
hard and fast regardless, in the end odds are heavily in
favor of giving it a try with Heracross-EX. Its
HP and attacks are much better here, and while it is
hardly an autowin, your opponent will more than likely
struggle to take it down before you take four Prizes
Though Heracross-EX could do its own thing and
function competently, its primary purpose is to get
M-Heracross-EX into play. Still, to give credit
where credit is due, Heracross-EX is a solid
example of card design. It might even be a little too
good, its just that the average competitive deck is made
up of cards that are beyond “too good”.
Hollywood Chicago, IL
Heracross EX from Furious Fists will be the second
card in our COTD today.
First I will take a look at its stats. It has a not so
stellar 170 HP and a weakness to Fire. Just those two
put in account would put this card in OHKO range of a
Pyroar Scorching Fang if the opposing chooses to discard
an energy which of course is worth the trade off. The
retreat cost of 3 is rather atrocious, it could have
been ok if it wasn't for Heavy Ball being rotated out.
All of that given makes this EX pretty subpar.
The first attack Heracross EX has is Guard Press. For a
Grass and a Colorless Energy, it does 40 damage and can
reduce 20 incoming damage the following turn. It's a
subpar attack that you would expect on a Stage 1 pokemon.
Would've been a bit better if it wasn't for the one
Grass Energy requirement so that you could at least play
a Double Colorless Energy on this early game as you
would set up other cards. All in all, not so impressive
especially with its low HP for an EX pokemon.
The second attack it has, Giga Power, does 80 for two
Grass and one Colorless Energy. It has the effect where
you can make it do 120 instead but Heracross EX does 20
to itself. Again, not impressive especially since the
additional damage it does is just not enough.
What sucks for this card is that there is not much
support for this card except for Herb Energy and Floette
w/ Flower Veil. Hopefully other than it's Mega
Evolution, this card will have more potential down the
road. But until then, this card will seldom see play
with way more popular choices being played.
Modified 1.75/5 (With Pyroar being around, I just don't
see this card being played sadly.)
Limited 4/5 (The only place where this card can do some
real damage but I would still hope for a Lucario EX
Have a great weekend everyone!
I will also be doing a personal deck garage if anyone is
interested! If so, just email me at