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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Tyrantrum

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Sep. 15, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.38
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 2.50

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

Tyrantrum FFI 

Hello and welcome to the week of reviews on Pojo’s CotD. As is traditional, we follow up our top 10 countdown with a look at some cards which were nominated, but didn’t quite make the list. We kick off with Tyrantrum FFI – a card which I put at #10 on my submission. 

I know, I know, what was I thinking? Restored Pokémon have been virtually unplayable since their introduction, thanks to the bizarre, luck-based mechanic they have been lumbered with. But hey, the XY Restored Pokémon now have the Fossil Researcher Supporter, which can Bench Tyrunt and Amaura like they were Basics, turning their evolutions into virtual Stage 1 cards! Of course, not being able to get them into play via the standard methods of Ultra Ball or just drawing into them is a big disadvantage, but it’s certainly a step up from the awful Fossil mechanic or the luck-based Twist Mountain (which has rotated out anyway). 

So, what do you get in return for getting a Tyrantrum into play? A complete rampaging beast is what. This thing has a huge 150 HP and two monstrous attacks that can easily dispatch an EX with the right support. Chew Up may only have a base damage of 60, but if the Defending Pokémon has a Special Energy attached, that gets a massive boost of 90, taking the total to 150. Facing a Pokémon without Special Energy? Then you can use Giga Impact for the same 150 result. Being a Fighting Pokémon, it’s ridiculously easy to bring EXs into OHKO range: Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, Silver Bangle, Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym . . . that’s a lot of options! 

Drawback? Well, Restored Pokémon, as I mentioned, are still a lot more awkward to use than the regular variety, and Tyrantrum does have some pretty high attack costs, as you would expect. Nevertheless, it’s a powerful Pokémon that only gives up a single Prize and can go toe-to-toe with pretty much anything. It doesn’t care about Garbodor LTR, can function under Item Lock, and has a few handy partners such as Landorus FFI and Hawlucha FFI for Energy acceleration and early game damage respectively. 

Tyrantrum won’t be a mainstream deck, and may have trouble getting set up consistently . . . but once it does get going . . . your big bad EX Pokémon are in for a world of hurt. 

Rating

Modified: 3.75 (the best Restored Pokémon by miles)

Expanded: 3 (not so good in an even faster format)

Limited: 3 (only if you pull a couple of Fossil Researcher)


aroramage

Hey guys, welcome back to another week of power-packing cards! This time we're looking at cards that didn't quite make the Top 10 list, so let's see what kind of material we've got to...whoa.

First off is the mighty Tyrantrum, the first Rock/Dragon Pokemon in the games! Interesting typing, eh? I guess they decided to stick it with Fighting this time around because of Fossils or something, but for a set all about the Fighting, that's really good! And we haven't even taken a look at the attacks yet!

Chew Up and Giga Impact have pretty high costs at 3 (1F2C) and 4 (2F2C) respectively, but man can they dish it out! Chew Up does 60 damage normally plus an extra 90 if your opponent's Pokemon has a Special Energy attached. That's 150 damage on anything with Strong Energy, Herbal Energy, Plasma Energy, or even Rainbow Energy attached - and knowing the popularity of some of these cards, Chew Up will be hitting that number a lot! Throw in support like your own Strong Energy, Fighting Stadium, Muscle Band, or even Machamp, and you're instantly KO-ing Pokemon no sweat!

But what if they don't have a Special Energy attached and are just a regular basic Energy kind of 'mon? Fear not, because Giga Impact ALSO does 150 damage right off the bat, which with some of the damage boosters above means you'll STILL be KO-ing Pokemon easily! There's just one catch: if you do use Giga Impact, Tyrantrum can't attack next turn, so make sure you've got a Float Stone or Keldeo-EX handy to swap em around!

With such heavy-hitting attacks, you'd probably expect to see Tyrantrum a bit, right? But there is one slight disadvantage to consider: you won't be able to play it without Tyrunt, and you can't play that unless you've got either Jaw Fossil or - more reliably - Fossil Researcher. Fossil Researcher is a Supporter that can snag up to 2 of either Tyrunt or Amaura (or one of each even!) from your Deck and place them on the Bench, which while that's more advantageous than using Jaw Fossil, it does use up your Supporter for the turn. That's a lot of resources to devote to one Pokemon (about 3 cards for each Tyrantrum you're running), so it's going to want its own deck rather than sharing the spotlight with Lucario-EX or Landorus-EX.

Tyrantrum will hit hard, there's no doubt about that - it's probably going to KO something when it comes out - but he's just a little slow to work effectively. He'll show up for casual at least, so keep him in mind! And make sure he doesn't show up in the Training Center...

Rating

Standard: 3/5 (powerful POWERFUL attacks, but high Energy costs and general evolution resources will probably leave him in casual)

Expanded: 2/5 (not even all that Fighting and Evolution support can help Tyrantrum match up to the big names here)

Limited: 2/5 (will require Fossil Researcher and Tyrunt to even run, unless you're feeling lucky with Jaw Fossil)

Arora Notealus: Once upon a time, Tyrantrum was invincible. Then everything changed when the meteor attacked...

Next Time: Well aren't you just the cutest little...fox thing?


Otaku

Today we review Grimlock.  No, that isn’t right.  I mean Beast Wars Megatron.  No, still not right.  How about Beast Machines T-Wrecks?  If this seems like a strained opening gag, it is!  Nonetheless remember that in the United States (among other places) Transformers: Beast Wars actually shares the same anniversary as the Pokémon video games, and shameless fans like myself still want to see some sort of crossover because Pokémon with robots in disguise would be awesome.  Getting certain vehicles or pieces of tech from the series would be nice as well… 

So if you didn’t guess yet, today we look at Tyrantrum (XY: Furious Fists 62/111).  This is the first Tyrantrum to be printed in the TCG, so no worries about competing or potential to combo with a past (but still legal) iteration.  The same goes for its previous Stage, Tyrunt (XY: Furious Fists 61/111) and that is where I am going to start for this card because Tyrunt is a “Restored Pokémon.”  For better or worse (I tend to lean towards the latter), the Pokémon video games insist on having a few Pokémon that are prehistoric Pokémon that have been revived from their fossilized remains.  It was cool when it was first used in the original games, but by now feels almost as worn out as one of my jokes.  The TCG always tries to go the distance by introducing a mechanic that represents how these Pokémon are obtained in the video games (thank goodness they don’t do that with most other “special circumstance” obtained Pokémon).

Restored Pokémon were introduced in the BW-era sets and unfortunately, it has not been an improvement over the previous “prehistoric Pokémon” mechanics.  Tyrunt is labeled as a Restored Pokémon in place of being a Basic, and cannot be played directly from your hand.  To get it into play you must use Jaw Fossil, a Trainer that (like the corresponding Items for other Restored Pokémon) you look at the bottom seven cards of your deck and if you find any copies of Tyrunt in those seven cards, you get to Bench one of them (and shuffle your deck afterwards).  Copies of Tyrunt that reach your hand are effectively “dead” cards, unless you are playing in Expanded, in which case you could run Twist Mountain, a Stadium that allows you to Bench one Restored Pokémon per turn… but only with a successful coin toss.  The good news is that this set gave us Fossil Researcher, a Supporter that allows you to search your deck for up to two Restore Pokémon and Bench them, a significant improvement over the other options.  Don’t forget that since Restored Pokémon are not Basic Pokémon, you can’t open with them, and that means you can’t run a deck with just restored Pokémon, and despite the amount of space being dedicated to them they do nothing for lowering your odds of mulligans. 

Tyrunt is pretty much a filler card.  I had hoped it might retain the “Prehistoric Call” Ability seen on the Restored Pokémon from BW: Plasma Blast: it allowed you to bottom deck that Pokémon if it was in your discard pile.  Instead we get two attacks, Gnaw and Crunch, both familiar attacks.  Gnaw can hit for 30 with a cost of [FC] while Crunch can score 50 for [FCC] and with a successful coin toss discards an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.  It is good that Crunch can use Double Colorless Energy to be a bit faster, the attacks aren’t as complimentary as one would like; attach a source of [F] one turn and without Energy acceleration of another sort, you miss an attack and then would want to jump to Crunch with said Double Colorless Energy being attached the next turn… except as we’ll see Crunch actually risks clashing with Tyrantrum.  Note that the discard is required if you get “heads” on Crunch.  Tyrunt isn’t impressive in the Stats front either; all that work to get a 90 HP Fighting-Type with Grass Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of [CC].  The only thing really good about that is the Fighting-Type; in Expanded you can search it out with Level Ball, but the only reason to do that is if you’re feeling lucky enough to run Twist Mountain. 

So with all of that baggage, what does Tyrantrum itself bring to the table?  It is also a Fighting-Type, which you would hope for given we just got a mess of Fighting-Type support.  For the record though, it could have been a Dragon-Type as well: in the video games Tyrnatrum are Rock/Dragon-Type hybrids.  That wouldn’t have been as good given - in addition to the recent surge in support -  Fighting-Types hit the most likely Weakness for three different Types (Colorless, Darkness and Lightning) while Dragon-Types currently only hit BW-era Dragon-Types for that double damage so ultimately Fighting was clearly the way to go.  Tyrantrum also counts as a Stage 1 Pokémon; I don’t believe anything currently references Stage 1 Pokémon without also affecting Stage 2, and compared to a Stage 1 Evolving from a “mundane” Basic Pokémon (as opposed to a Restored Pokémon like Tyrunt), Tyrantrum is definitely better being compared to Stage 2 Pokémon. 

Fortunately, it seems to stack up reasonably well with such comparisons; 150 HP (as a printed maximum) is amazing on a Stage 1, only equaled by Steelix (BW: Plasma Freeze 79/116) and surpassed by Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124), the latter of which is only legal in Expanded.  Since I stated we should look at it more like a Stage 2, 150 HP… remains impressive; only a few Stage 2 Pokémon equal or surpass it.  Despite hitting big numbers, it is important to remember that Pokémon-EX, while being worth two Prizes, usually clock in at 170 or 180 HP (220 or 230 for Mega Pokémon-EX) and even before combos and Weakness, most attackers are going to clock in with at least 90 points of damage (average) each turn in competitive decks.  150 is sturdy, but still at risk for a OHKO; it beats out how most Pokémon are at an even higher risk.  Its Grass-Type Weakness isn’t “good” to have, but it also is far from the worst right now.  The three most likely Grass-Type attackers are Genesect-EX, Virizion-EX and Leafeon (BW: Plasma Freeze 11/116) and even without Weakness, they were going to hit Tyrantrum hard.  It isn’t good to move into OHKO range but it is better that it is against cards that already had the chance with their usual combos. 

The lack of Resistance is a bit disappointing, though perhaps it was feared that it would overpower it for key match-ups.  The Rock/Dragon-Typing of the video games would justify (in TCG terms) Colorless Resistance (as it resists both Normal- and Flying-Type attacks), Fire Resistance and Lightning Resistance.  The first two don’t currently exist in the TCG while the latter would make any matches against most Lightning-Types even more lopsided.  The Retreat Cost of three is a small benefit… in Expanded, where you can use Heavy Ball to get it (unlike Tyrunt you actually want to get this into hand).  For Standard it is a potential vulnerability but one that most decks will end up covering to some degree as much for its own sake as for the need to shed Special Conditions and attack effects.  In fact, the latter will be quite relevant. 

Tyrantrum has two expensive but amazing attacks.  For [FCC] it can use Chew Up to hit for 60 points of damage… plus 90 if the Defending Pokémon has a Special Energy card attached!  Almost anything that isn’t one of the larger Pokémon-EX or enjoying some form of protection is OHKOed… in many decks.  It is important to remember that while Special Energy cards are heavily used, most decks can be made to include at least a few Basic Energy to give an attacker that is just taking the base 60.  This is by no means a silver bullet that slays the beast’s chances, but it is a tactic the Tyrantrum player must be prepared to deal with… which brings us to its second attack.  For [FFCC] it can use Giga Impact for 150 points of damage, the same amount as if it was using Chew Up against something with a Special Energy.  Four Energy is hard to get on a card and it is even harder to keep something that already has four Energy alive (so many popular attacks feed on the amount of Energy your opponent has in play).  The Mewtwo-EX or Yveltal-EX you are trying to take down on one hit has good odds of taking you down just as quickly; you come out ahead in Prizes but they might come out ahead in resources and field presence, because prepping Tyrantrum is so difficult.  Still if you can manage it is is impressive, and it gives you another good reason to pack a trick to easily change out your Active, possibly multiple times so that a Tyrantrum that uses Giga Impact and survives can use it again (Benching resets the effect). 

So what can we do to help Tyrantrum out?  I think the most important thing is Landorus (XY: Furious Fists 58/111), which may come as a bit of a surprise since the attacks are so close to scoring the vaunted OHKO against commonly played Pokémon-EX.  Landorus both scores an easy 20 points with slight Energy acceleration and while safely soaking hits of under 120 damage (60 if the attacker is a Water-Type).  Even if it is OHKOed, that is likely enough for Tyrantrum to do its thing the next turn, and even if Tyrantrum goes down right away, if you took out a Pokémon-EX you’ve broken even two Prizes to two prizes.  If your opponent manages to get around Landorus and start hitting Tyrantrum, Landorus itself is a decent spare attacker… and of course has synergy with the usual other supporting Fighting-Type attackers: Hawlucha (XY: Furious Fists 63/111) and Terrakion (latest printing BW: Legendary Treasures 84/113).  If you’re trying to avoid running any Pokémon-EX, Stunfisk (BW: Dragons Exalted 70/124, BW: Legendary Treasures 83/113) is useful for setting up or finishing a 2HKO by attacking the Bench and Active at the same time. 

Of course, you should still be employing Strong Energy and Korrina, though your choice of Stadium and Pokémon Tool can vary.  You could try to shut down Abilities with Garbodor (latest printing BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) and if you are not worried about giving up your “no Pokémon-EX” edge, Landorus-EX and/or Lucario-EX should fit into the deck with ease, while Virizion-EX (obviously not with Garbodor) can use Grass Energy accelerated from the deck to fill the [C] costs in the attacks while enabling Virizion-EX to protect Tyrantrum from Special Conditions.  In the end what prevents this card from being higher is that this is a lot of effort and no matter how good you get the deck, the Restored Pokémon mechanic is going to keep it clunky and the more you add to avoid this, the closer you get to just having a different deck saddled with Tyrantrum. 

Do I think this card has potential?  Absolutely!  Do I think it will become a dominant player in Standard?  No; the restored Pokémon mechanic is that much of a burden, and to be fair the fast pace of the format makes it hard to get buy on three and four Energy attacks.  In Expanded, I am still uncertain as to what to expect.  If the format ends up being mostly “Standard+”, I think it will mostly be a wash with the added goodies and targets versus the added potential counters and unfavorable match-ups.  In fact, the only way it is worse is if VirGen decks reign supreme by a significant margin and/or basic Energy focused decks somehow become dominant.  As for Limited play, this is not recommended; you need Jaw Fossil or Fossil Researcher to get Tyrunt into play anyway, making Tyrantrum cumbersome even if you do get what you need.  Tyrunt is dead if it hits your hand or don’t have a Maintenance handy. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.5/5 - Tyrantrum brings significant OHKO potential and without being a Pokémon-EX and possibly without needing an Ability, but still needing a massive investment and utilizing the clunky Restored Pokémon mechanic. 

Expanded: 3.5/5 - We might see Lightning-Type decks make a comeback and Tyrantrum gains access to Heavy Ball, but we may see more competition in general and decks that are less vulnerable to Tyrantrum and its tactics. 

Limited: 1/5 - It might be amazing if you could get it out and powered up, but doing so requires legitimate luck you then you need to have started prepping it on the Bench or risk it being overwhelmed before it can attack. 

Summary: The recent Fighting support makes Tyrantrum, with its impressive but expensive set-up, a little more impressive and a little less expensive, but not to the point where I would expect this to become a major tournament presence.  I do expect it to be a presence; one of those decks that rarely win an entire event due to periodically collapsing under its own weight or from crashing into one of its bad match-ups… but especially if you aren’t one of those bad match-ups you always have to be careful, especially if you can’t easily ready a back-up attacker.

 


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