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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Pokemon Cards of 2015

#4 - Giratina EX

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
December 23, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.05
Expanded: 4.00
Limited: 4.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Well now that I've had some sleep and more daylight to work with,
GIRATINA-EX!! 

Objectively better than his original EX version printed back in Dragons Exalted, Giratina-EX is basically one giant roadblock for all sorts of cards your opponent can play. He's even become the headliner of his own decks, combining with other lock-cards like Seismitoad-EX in Expanded and Vileplume in Standard! Together these cards can make things for your opponent very, very difficult. 

And that's been proven in several regionals that have cropped up over the last few months! And why wouldn't it? Giratina-EX is practically anti-meta! From Renegade Pulse which keeps him from taking damage from any Mega-EX's attacks, to Chaos Wheel which locks the opponent's usage of Tools, Special Energies, and Stadiums, Giratina-EX is quite the force to be reckoned with! You keep your Stadium in play longer, your opponent can't boost their attacks with Muscle Band, and they can't power through with Special Energies! That's a lot of aid in just one attack! 

Granted, Giratina-EX is not without flaws. The main chink in his armor is attacking with non-Megas, which there are still a great variety of despite what recent sets have come out with. Vespiquen can, with the right set-up, one-shot Giratina-EX with ease, and Jirachi (you know, that promo that came out?) can discard a Double Dragon Energy you attached to him and not have to suffer any repercussions for it, given the opponent a chance to fight back. 

He may not be as potent or as dominant as Seismitoad-EX once was, but there's no denying his niche locks have a major effect on any deck that faces Giratina-EX!! 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (he's still got a lot of power against Megas and other decks, and given the different combinations he could be with, he'll be around for a while!)

Expanded: 4/5 (he's got less protection with less Megas forcing their way in, but Chaos Wheel is still a dangerous threat to maintain) 

Limited: 5/5 (Rule 1 of drafting a Pokemon-EX in Limited: ALWAYS run your Pokemon-EX in Limited)

Arora Notealus: Giratina-EX is one scary dude, and I'm not just saying that for appearances - if you're not prepared to face off against it, he'll dominate the match! And that could be scary... 

Weekend Thought: On that note, hope those of you who do celebrate it have a Merry Christmas! And for those who celebrated Hanukkah already, hope it was a good one too! And as for the rest of us...merry Festivus! 

Next Time: We're gonna take this TO THE SKIES!!


Otaku

Our fourth place pick and last review for this week is Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98), originally reviewed here as our third place choice for the Top 15 Cards of XY: Ancient Origins a little over three months ago.  We’ll talk about how the card has performed since its initial review but to begin with, we will actually run through the card again because some people really don’t want to (or for irritating technical reasons can’t afford to) go read what we already said last time. 

Being a Dragon-Type proved important to Giratina-EX because Double Dragon Energy makes its “Chaos Wheel” attack much easier to use (more on that in a moment).  Being a Basic keeps it easy to get into play and while being a Pokémon-EX means giving up an extra Prize when KOed, being unable to use certain beneficial effects and being the target of certain detrimental ones your opponent might use, this card does possess appropriately elevated HP with both a useful Ability and attack.  Speaking of the HP it is 170, the lower of the two common scores and 10 less than the other Giratina-EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 92/124, 124/124) but 40 higher than the most recent non-Pokémon-EX Giratina (BW: Plasma Storm 62/135; XY: Black Star Promos BW74); it isn’t going to have an advantage when trying to trade Prizes (at least before other considerations) but it is on solid ground in terms of HP versus Prizes alone.  The Fairy-Type Weakness is relatively safe unless XY: BREAKthrough finally got Fairy-Type decks competitive again (and even if it did, that would only apply to the last month or so).  Lack of Resistance is typical so not holding that against Giratina-EX but that Retreat Cost of [CC] makes it chunky; sure Heavy Ball can target it that isn’t worth Hydreigon-EX and its “Dragon Road” Ability not being able to zero out the Retreat Cost on Giratina-EX without additional help. 

There are plenty of non-Mega Evolution attackers in the game, but they are still quite the force to be reconned with so “Renegade Pulse” keeping their attacks from doing damage or having any other effects on today’s Giratina-EX is still pretty good and as we’ll soon see, ends up being great once everything else is considered.  “Chaos Wheel” has the steep price of [GPCC] but it isn’t as bad as it looks: Double Dragon Energy can cover both specific Energy requirements while a Double Colorless Energy or most other Energy acceleration handles the Colorless requirements.  For this investment you hit for 100 damage which I would normally consider a tad low but the effect is well worth doing 20-30 less than I like for four Energy: your opponent cannot play Pokémon Tools, Stadium cards or Special Energy cards from hand during his or her next turn.  Not only are all of these things common sights in the metagame, but once you restrict something to attacking without their aid it probably needs to be a Mega Evolution to manage a OHKO… and Renegade Pulse has that covered.  Even if it didn’t, the rest of the card pool also weighs in, with Giratina-EX showing up in multiple decks as either their main form of control/disruption or as one of their main attackers, supplemented with other control/disruption cards so that your opponent can do little back to Giratina-EX. 

Being a significant part of a couple different decks, some of which perform quite highly easily gets Giratina-EX onto the list.  The main thing we have learned now versus back then is that Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) and its set-mate Giratina-EX are not the ultimate Giratina-EX deck.  It has performed well with Seismitoad-EX, with the latter often opening for Giratina-EX while cards like Enhanced Hammer strip away Special Energy cards that were played before Giratina-EX could enact its lock.  It also shows up alongside Tyrantrum-EX and Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119; XY: Black Star Promos XY21) can back up Double Dragon Energy to quickly fuel both, alternating between big, almost unavoidable damage or solid damage backed by control elements.  This means it is an excellent choice for Standard or Expanded though merely a good pull for Limited as you won’t be blocking as much  Special Energy or as many Stadiums and Pokémon Tools.  If you are lucky (unlucky for most other folks) your opponent will try to rely on a Mega Evolution, but most of the time Giratina-EX will simply function as a large, vanilla beatstick because the effects won’t matter (though the Energy-Type requirements will still likely affect you). 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.15/5 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Giratina-EX exceeded my expectations for it; before it released I made the case for why it might not be as fearsome as it looked and I was simply quite wrong.  Both its own assets and the decks which use them are more effective than I expected as even though you are often losing access to only part of one of the three kinds of cards, what is left will likely have trouble scoring a OHKO (sometimes even a 2HKO) again Giratina-EX. 

For my own Top 10 list I had Giratina-EX as my sixth place pick; I’m okay with it ranking fourth place (but probably not any higher) plus now I don’t feel so bad for ranking it as my third place pick when we covered XY: Ancient Origins.  In terms of voting points, Giratina-EX tied with yesterday’s Forest of Giant Plants; the tie was broken because while Forest of Giant Plants made all three Top 10s, Giratina-EX placed so highly making only two of them outright but being an honorable mention for the third.  If it had taken even 10th place on that third list it would have been a clean fourth place finish. Last Friday's double feature of Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick fell short of this tie by only a single point, but also made all three lists.  Giratina-EX fell six voting points shy of the third place pick that we’ll be reviewing next Monday after we are all back from some time off for Christmas.


Jason Klaczynski
(Three time
World Champ)
Jason didn't have this in his Top 10, but had this as an honorable mention.


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