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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Flygon

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
April 20, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.5
Limited: 4.0

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Flygon cards continue to intrigue me in ways I didn't think they could. It's like the designers are just TAUNTING us with how good Flygon COULD be, and yet THEY STILL WON'T GIVE US A MEGA FLYGON, COME ON!! 

Lost potential aside - at least until Gen VII inevitably rolls around - Flygon does get some love when it comes to his cards. There was the one from Boundaries Crossed with Sand Slammer, the curious Rainbow Shower one from Furious Fists, and now we've got this one from Primal Clash - should we expect more in the next set? Who knows, but for now, let's take a look at what this Flygon does! 

Here's a hint: Sand Tomb's not it. Sure, it's a 3-for-80 strike that keeps the opposing Pokemon from manually switching out, but, well...ya know. Still, with HTL, that's a 2HKO - and that's just on its own! So not bad, definitely not terrible, but I guess it could be a little better. They definitely could have given him a worse attack - like, say, a vanilla strike or something. In any case, the effects not the worst, there are outs to it, and the damage unboosted is decent enough if Flygon can last 2 turns. 

But why let Flygon out into the open when you can have him using Sand Flap constantly? In fact, consider this your free "Draw 4 cards" card if you want! Okay, so you shuffle cards into your deck if you have any, but still! Combined with Sycaper, Flygon provides a lot of draw power to any deck! The only problem, of course, being that he's a Stage 2, so it'll take more investment than he's worth... 

At the very least, Flygon adds onto the list of interesting cards that just aren't quite competitive enough for the scene. At least he's trying though! 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (a Pokemon with draw power is nice, and he's got a decent attack, but ultimately once again crippled by being a Stage 2) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (about the same here...no really, all the legal Flygon in Expanded are all the legal Flygon in Standard, it's all he's got) 

Limited: 4/5 (draw is draw, even if it's a little slow) 

Arora Notealus: I wonder what Mega Flygon would be like. Or even just Flygon-EX, let's start with that! Maybe have Sand Slammer from Boundaries Crossed combined with some super-strong attack or something. Then again, EX seem to be getting...weaker? Is that just me? 

Next Time: How many references can we make with guy? Aside from the obvious one.


Otaku

Welcome to a very special week of reviews.  What makes them so special?  Every single one of these reviews is over a week late (with this one hopefully “only” being two weeks late if it is posted the Monday after I submit it).  Yes I am most fortunate the Pojosama tolerates my tardiness, but I still wish to apologies to readers that were eagerly anticipating these articles.

 

I’m allowed to pretend that at least some people out there enjoy reading this. ;)

We begin this week with Flygon (XY: Primal Clash 11/160).  The Dragon-Type was officially added to the TCG about halfway through the BW sets, but after its initial introduction it hasn’t gotten much new support, though XY: Roaring Skies will give us Double Dragon Energy once it is legal.  Otherwise the older Dragon-Type what support has half-rotated out of Standard, though the half that is left is worth remembering: Altaria (BW: Dragons Exalted 84/124; BW Black Star Promos BW48; BW: Boundaries Crossed 152/149) is a Stage 1 but its Ability provides a +20 buff to the damage done by Dragon-Types to the Active Pokémon (before Weakness/Resistance).  Of course Weakness to the Dragon-Type is currently only found on BW-era Dragon-Type Pokémon: it might not exist past the next rotation but for now there are a still a few in Standard with it.  At least there is no Dragon-Type Resistance to worry about.  Until XY: Roaring Skies is legal, this seems like poor Typing, but Double Dragon Energy should beef the Type up substantially: it has the attachment restrictions similar to what we’ve seen on other Type specific Special Energy like Strong Energy but it provides two units of Energy that count as all Types at once! 

Being a Stage 2 is pretty rough right now.  While I’ve questioned the wisdom of a universal shortcut like Rare Candy, most Stage 2 Pokémon seem reliant on it (the few that aren’t are the ones currently seeing competitive play) and as Evolutions are inherently combos, they are more reliant upon draw and search effects in general… so Seismitoad-EX and its easy Item lock in addition to a format that already favors big, Basic Pokémon makes things that much more difficult as you suddenly have to rely on natural draws and likely hand shuffling or discarding Supporters to set-up your field.  The 140 HP is enough to (probably) survive one hit, but most decks can ramp things up to score the OHKO (they just may not be able to do it rapid fire six times in a row).  As any sort of Weakness is undesirable so I can’t call Fairy-Type Weakness “good”, but its definitely not the worst to have as it just isn’t common outside of Fairy-Type decks.  No Resistance is disappointing but not overly detrimental because its the norm; at worst it is a missed opportunity for the card to have a small bonus in certain match-ups.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is very good; you’ll rarely have an issue with paying it (and recovering from the loss of said Energy). 

Flygon has an Ability and an attack.  The Ability is Sand Flap; once per turn you can select either player and force that player to shuffle his or her hand back into his or her deck, then draw four cards.  While it says “Once per turn…” the wording is such that each copy you have of a card in play with Sand Flap can be used if you wish.  For [GFC] Flygon can use Sand Tomb to hit for 80 damage, as well as preventing the Defending Pokémon from manually retreating during your opponent’s next turn.  This is an odd one; the Ability doesn’t provide enough draw that you’ll want to rely on it for setting up but its too much draw for it to be overly effective at disrupting your opponent.  In fact I’d assume players would learn to play their hand down both ways; if you’re on the receiving end its the standard strategy used to brace for an expected N.  When you’re using it as a draw aid for yourself, its what you do when you’re stuck trying to draw into something good with N and you’ve already taken two Prizes.  So on your side, its some (but not a lot) of insurance coverage while using it offensively it will mostly disabuse your opponent of relying on their hand to survive between turns.  It is nice to have even mild draw power from an Ability and unlike say Electrode (BW: Plasma Freeze 33/116) you don’t have to worry about your hand being too large to make use of it; even if you use Sand Flap once and draw dead, you can use additional instances of the Ability (if you have them in play) to try again.  The attack is mostly saved by just barely hitting hard enough (with something to boost it) for a 2HKO against most Basic Pokémon-EX.  The effect is a very slight bonus as plenty of decks don’t do a lot of manual retreating anyway. 

So what is your path to Flygon?  You’ll need to start with Trapinch and we have three options: BW: Boundaries Crossed 83/149, XY: Furious Fists 53/111 and XY: Primal Clash 82/160.  All three are Basic Fighting-Types with 60 HP, a single Energy Retreat Cost of [C], no Ability and no Ancient Trait.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 83/149 has Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance and two attacks: Smithereen Smash requires [C] and gives you a coin flip to discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active Pokémon and Bite for [FC] which hits for a flat 20.  XY: Furious Fists 53/111 and XY: Primal Clash 82/160 are both Grass Weak and have no Resistance: the former can use Mountain Munch for [F} to discard the top card of the opponent’s deck or Mud Slap for 10 damage while the latter can use Gnaw for [C] to also hit for 10 or Mud-Slap for [FC] to hit for 20.  Though they aren’t all vanilla they are still largely interchangeable unless you have a metagame or specific build reason for including a particular version.   

For Vibrava your options are  BW: Boundaries Crossed 98/149, XY: Furious Fists 75/111 and XY: Primal Clash 109/160.  All three are Stage 1 Dragon-Type Pokémon with 80 HP, no Resistance, a single Energy Retreat Cost, no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and two attacks.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 98/149 is Dragon Weak and for [G] can use Quick Turn for two coin flips (each “heads” is good for 20 damage) or Sand Pulse for [FCC] to hit the opponent’s Active for 50 and 10 to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon.  XY: Furious Fists 75/111 is Fairy Weak and for [C] it can use Charge Energy to search your deck for up to two basic Energy cards to add to your hand while for [GF] it can use Vibration to hit for 30 points of damage.  XY: Primal Clash 109/160 also carried Fairy Weakness, and for [C] it can use Sand Attack for 20 damage plus the current Defending Pokémon (until the end of your opponent’s next turn) has to flip a coin and get “heads” or else its attack does nothing.  For [GFC] its Super Vibration hits for 60 points of damage.  This time I do favor a version: XY: Primal Clash 109/160 because while its not a strong attack, Sand Attack is easy to power and throws up one more obstacle to your opponent scoring a KO… hopefully buying time for Vibrava to Evolve! 

There are two other options for Flygon: BW: Boundaries Crossed 99/149 (re-released as BW Black Star Promos BW53) and XY: Furious Fists 76/111.  Both of these cards have already been reviewed here and here.  Both are Stage 2 Dragon-Type Pokémon with no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [C] and no Ancient Trait.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 99/149 has 140 HP, Dragon Weakness an Ability and a single attack.  The Ability is Sand Slammer; if you leave this particular Flygon Active between turns you place a damage counter on each of your opponent’s Pokémon.  For [GFCC] it can use Flying Beatdown for 80 damage, and if you discard a [F] and a [G] Energy attached to itself (it is optional) the opponent’s Active is Paralyzed.  This card saw success in some Accelgor (BW: Dark Explorers 11/108) decks and perhaps a few others I am spacing off.  XY: Furious Fists 76/111 has just 130 HP, is Fairy Weak and has two attacks: Rainbow Shower costs [C] and allows you to attach as many basic Energy cards from your hand to your Pokémon in any way you like and Sand Sweep for [GFC] for 70 and heals 30 damage from each of your Pokémon that has an Energy attached to it.  Some people had high hopes for this, but attack based Energy acceleration especially  on a Stage 2 is just too hard to use effectively right now.  Either could work alongside today’s version if a deck has sufficient room and the strategy allows enough wiggle room. 

So how should we use today’s version?  Honestly, I don’t know.  Maybe it could fit into the aforementioned Accelgor deck in Expanded but I don’t know if said deck has room on the Bench for an extra Flygon.  In Standard I wish I had an answer but nothing plausible springs to mind.  I guess with Altaria boosting damage, after Double Dragon Energy is available you might build a deck where you just use Sand Flap as emergency draw power/mild disruption against your opponent, hopefully hitting just hard enough to outpace your opponent.  The only place this card is awesome is Limited; unless you’re running a +39 deck, if you pull even just a 1-1-1 line you should try to squeeze it in. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.5/5 

Expanded: 2.75/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: Ignoring how difficult it is to build a competitive Stage 2 deck, it is hard to think a card that offers draw power or disruption doesn’t have a deck waiting.  Flygon isn’t something I’d bank on but it is a card that looks like it is worth snagging for fun and/or experimental decks.  It is good enough that I’m glad it was printed, unlike some of its set-mates.


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