Welcome back, in case you missed yesterday, today's card
of the day is Flygon! He evolves from Vibrava (somehow)
who evolves from Trapinch (somehow) and is
Dragon/Ground! Here in the TCG, he's just Dragon, but
that's been an interesting mix since its introduction,
and Flygon has been featured before in terms of his
Ability, Sand Slammer (the BCR version).
But that's not what we're talking about today. Today's
Flygon works differently, but as I mentioned yesterday,
he works in tandem with what Vibrava does with Energies.
Vibrava adds them to the hand 2 at a time, and Flygon is
meant to take off with them - literally! His first
attack is Rainbow Shower, and it might as well have
said, "Vomit your hand onto the field," because that's
basically all it is. You get to attach as many Energies
as you can onto Pokemon you've got. This can work well
with Vibrava from before, but I imagine you'd rather
pair it with something like Juniper/Sycamore or N,
allowing you to draw a lot of cards and thus have a lot
of Energy available!
This also helps Flygon charge up for his second attack,
Sand Sweep. Since he's a Dragon-type, he can't really
take advantage of the Fighting acceleration, and there's
not a whole lot of Grass acceleration out there, but
Flygon solves his own problem with his Rainbow Shower.
And then he heals 30 damage from each of your Pokemon
that has Energy on it while dealing 70 damage out to the
opponent's Pokemon! Not too shabby, eh?
Still, Flygon is not without his disadvantages; aside
from Stage 2 troubles, Flygon needs to first use his
Rainbow Shower to even hope on getting out Sand Sweep,
and even then I doubt he's sticking around terribly long
to use it. In slower matches that don't involve
gratuitous amounts of damage, Flygon can make a decent
staller with the 30 points of recovery, but nowadays
it's not gonna help him. Even recovering 30 damage from
what may have once been an Active Pokemon isn't much;
it's like the Resistance argument from Klefki, where
having to deal 30 more damage isn't that much in the
grand scheme of things. Sure, it takes a Muscle Band and
Hypnotoxic to catch up...but all it takes to catch up is
Muscle Band and Hypnotoxic.
Luckily for Flygon, his Rainbow Shower only costs 1
Colorless, so he can still fit into a lot of decks that
don't have much acceleration, and as long as Sycaper
(Sycamore/Juniper) is around, Flygon can boost your guys
quickly to be ready to take on anything. Maybe there's a
super special deck that runs mostly Pokemon that don't
require specific Energy for certain attacks like Flygon,
Charizard-EX, and Seismitoad-EX, and you just splash a
few of each Energy in to throw down with the Shower!
...well, not the Special Energies. There is a limit
Standard: 2.5/5 (good Energy accelerator for decks
lacking Blastoise, Blacksmith, or Landorus)
Expanded: 2/5 (ehhhh, I'd stick to another Energy
accelerator honestly like Dark Patch or Eelektrik)
Limited: 3/5 (not bad personal Energy acceleration, but
also the best Energy accelerator for any deck in this
environment that isn't Fighting)
Arora Notealus: Hmm, I wonder what he and Hariyama in
the back there are fighting over...come to think of it,
that beach looks oddly
Weekend Thought: Any combos you can think of for a group
of guys like these?
Yesterday we looked at Vibrava (XY: Furious
Fists 75/111), so it seems quite natural that we
look at Flygon (XY: Furious Fists 76/111).
Being a Dragon-Type is still kind of “meh” as there
isn’t much Weakness or Type support to exploit. Being a
Stage 2 is still a negative; it isn’t impossible but
they need to be the best of their ilk to warrant
competitive play right now. 130 HP isn’t promising but
it isn’t a deal breaker while Fairy-Type Weakness is one
of the easier ones to manage and no Resistance is
regrettably not a very important trait anymore, so
lacking it isn’t really a detriment. Finishing off the
Attributes is a Retreat Cost of one; this is easy to pay
and handy, though of course a free Retreat Cost would
have been significantly better.
has two attacks. For [C] its Rainbow Shower attack
allows you to attach as many Basic Energy cards from
your hand to your Pokémon, and in any way you like.
This would have been mind-blowing even as a
one-use-ever Ability, or as an attack on a Basic
Pokémon, but on a Stage 2 it seems like a poor fit; sure
you get to power up a lot of stuff all at once (if
you have the Energy in hand to do so) but it has
to be Basic Energy and Flygon is likely to either
be OHKOed or near KOed… and as you need to put a lot of
work into getting Flygon out quickly, having the
basic Energy in hand you want to attach when you attack
and having something worth attaching to in play, that
doesn’t leave a lot of room for additional combos.
It has one other attack, Sand Sweep, which requires
[GFC] and does 70 points of damage while healing 30
points of damage from each of your Pokémon with an
Energy attached. I am glad that it combos with its own
attack, but the damage requires boosting (in a deck that
will likely be desperate for space) get to the point
where it 2HKOs Pokémon-EX, and while healing can be
helpful, this is extremely niche. After all, you need
Energy attached to something for it to be healed, and
then its just the equivalent of a Potion.
Either Trapinch (BW: Boundaries Crossed
83/149) or Trapinch (XY: Furious Fists
53/111) should be an adequate stepping stone that on
extremely rare occasions might come in handy for their
respective first attacks, while yesterday’s Vibrava
seems a better fit than Vibrava (BW:
Boundaries Crossed 98/149) though odds are you’ll
want to use Rare Candy when at all possible.
For Standard, this might be okay for a fun deck; there
are plenty of cards that can make use of massive amounts
of Energy, even Basic Pokémon. I don’t expect it to
prove competitive, as your opponent is likely to take
out whatever is more of an issue for you; Flygon
or whatever you were powering up. The turn it loses due
to “set-up” time is quite precious. It fares marginally
better in Expanded; it gains access to things like
Level Ball and Rayquaza-EX will likely be
present as an attacker in this format. In Limited play,
it is probably worth running. While not brilliant, each
Stage has at least one attack that can use any Type of
Energy, and the lower damage yield and decks with high
basic Energy counts and using two to four Types of basic
Energy really allow Rainbow Shower to shine.
1.75/5 - Attacking for Energy acceleration with a Stage
2 is expensive and slow, which ends up being
self-defeating, at least this format.
1.8/5 - Slightly better due to the different card pool.
3/5 - A slower format with lower damage output is just
what Flygon needed. Still, being a Stage 2 hurts
it even here.
76/111) definitely does
some interesting things, but not well enough to bother
with it in competitive play. Energy acceleration that
requires attacking with with a bunch of basic Energy
cards in hand isn’t going to speed up a lot of
strategies. If you like Flygon, you could use it
in a fun deck, though Flygon (BW: Boundaries
Crossed 99/149; BW Promos BW53) has seen some
competitive play and still seems like quite the novel
Pokémon. Of course, both Flygon resemble some of
its past TCG iterations.