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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Primal Clash Cards

#7 - M Aggron EX

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 12, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.65
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 4.67

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#7 M Aggron EX 

Normal Aggron is no Miltotic when it comes to looks, but the Mega version is just a mess really. So many spikes and blades, I don’t see how he can even walk around without causing severe injury to himself and others. 

This card, however, is decent. First thing to note is that M Aggron has a Spirit Link card, so your turn doesn’t have to end just to get one of them into play. That makes all the difference, really. He also comes with a huge 240 HP, which means that even a Muscle-Banded Pyroar can’t OHKO, despite hitting for Weakness. That represents a substantial boost for Metal decks which otherwise get taken apart by the fiery lion. Speaking of Metal decks, they of course have Bronzong PHF and his Metal Links Ability for some very nice Energy acceleration . . . which is just as well. 

That’s because Megaton Slam requires a big four Energy to use, though the fact that it’s DCE-compatible eases the pain somewhat. For that cost, the base damage of 120 seems underwhelming, but you get a coin flip chance to do another 120 damage if you hit heads. Normally, I’m not a fan of flipping coins for damage, but when it offers you a 50% chance of a OHKO on almost every single Pokémon in the game (there is one exception), including Megas, then I’ll give it serious consideration. Victory Star Victini is a must-run with M Aggron, obviously, as he pushes the odds up to 75% in your favour. 

If you do hit tails with Megaton Slam, the real downside is not doing the 240 damage, and having to wait another turn for a KO. It does also mean that the attack hits you own Bench for 20, but that could be managed with Mr Mime PLF if you can find the Bench space. If you were that worried you could try the new Fresh Water Set Item, though I don’t think that’s necessary. 

M Aggron is one of those cards that I most likely wouldn’t play myself (there’s enough chance in the game as it is), but would hate playing against. If this thing gets set up, then it only takes a reasonable amount of luck for M Aggron to obliterate whatever he is up against. 

Rating

Modified: 3.5 (moderate risk, very high reward)

Expanded: 3 (I’d probably still prefer Rayquaza EX)

Limited: 4.5 (if you are lucky enough to be able to run it, I suggest you do . . . alongside 38 Energy)


aroramage

LOOK OUT!! IT'S A GIANT STEEL MONSTROSITY WEIGHING IN AT 800 LBS AND IS A LITTLE OVER 7 FEET TALL!! It's also really REALLY durable and loses its Rock-typing upon Mega Evolving, so RUN AWAY FROM BOSSGODORA!!

 

...I mean, AGGRON!!

 

Hitting out number 7 slot is the Mega Evolution of Aggron-EX, and as it is in the past, only really good Mega Evolutions have been known to make the list. Of course, this has expanded a bit more since Spirit Link cards became a thing, and M Aggron-EX is no exception with his own personal Aggron Spirit Link. Honestly, I'd play with M Aggron-EX whether or not he had a Spirit Link! That's just icing on the cake at this point!

 

That's all thanks to M Aggron-EX's BEAST of an attack! Megaton Slam (MAN that's a good name) starts off with 4 Energy and dealing a whopping 120 damage, which while it's hefty for a cost, it's easy enough to work with Bronzong in order to stack Energy quickly. Oh, but it gets better! There's a coin flip for this attack!

 

Now I know what you're thinking. "A coin flip? Being good? Come on, what's the catch?" Alright, well let's start with the tails side of it: it deals 20 damage to your Benched Pokemon. I'm sure you can count the ways that this can be prevented on a single hand, but yes, Mr. Mime (PLF) and Mountain Ring (FUF) will stop this damage no problem. So if you're worried about the repercussions of the attack, just run a copy of those or carry a Fresh Water Set to-pffftt, okay, no, that's a bad card in anything but Limited, run the other two. Alright, so tails isn't that bad, so what's heads' effect? 

 

IT DOUBLES THE DAMAGE.

 

...sorta. It actually tacks on another 120 damage - yes, you are reading that right, ANOTHER 120 DAMAGE - onto the attack. By itself, that's 240 damage to ANY Pokemon, effectively KOing anything in sight! In other words, M Aggron-EX has a 50/50 chance to just straight up DESTROY ANYTHING IN ITS PATH!! Throw a little Fliptini in, and you've got yourself a strange combination of elements that leads to a monstrous behemoth that can deal severe damage if not OHKO anything in the format!

 

...well except Wailord-EX, but Muscle Band or HTL will fix that easy.

 

M Aggron-EX is a beast of a card and a testament to just how far power creep has come in our little card game. Would you have ever thought you could deal 240 damage with a Pokemon WITHOUT manipulating Weakness back in Base Set times? That'd be insane! And that's why M Aggron-EX - though not a truly flawless being, he is reliant on a coin flip after all - muscles his way into resting at #7!

 

Rating

 

Standard: 4/5 (he's extremely powerful, with a 50/50 OHKO chance on anything! That's pretty ridiculous in its own right!)

 

Expanded: 4/5 (SO MUCH POWER IN THE PALM OF MY HAND...sometimes. Will probably be shunned in favor of consistent Rayquaza-EX)

 

Limited: 5/5 (OH YEAH, you're running this if get Aggron-EX, whether or not that Spirit Link is even with ya or not)

 

Arora Notealus: Mega Aggron is probably one of my favorite Mega Evolutions to come out just in terms of sheer raw power, but it's also the most curious evolution since rather than changing, replacing, or simply leaving the typing alone, it actually removes one. It's weird but effective!

 

Next Time: "I got it!" "No I got it!" "I saw it first!" "No I did!" "Wait, no..." "...we did it!"


Otaku

Welcome to our Top 10 list for XY: Primal Clash!  If you’re jumping around in the list, note that I’m not trying for a clever title for the list this time because I’m not sure how to specifically describe the list this time.  As usual cards can’t be a reprint, but other than that each reviewer had a lot of leeway over what criteria to follow.  A popular, powerful card worth running maxed out in every deck should be the pinnacle of picks… but (thankfully) we didn’t have 10 of those this set.  So it was our job to weigh the different aspects of the cards, even though it is often like comparing apples to oranges.  I took into account how strong a card was in general, how strong it was in a particular deck (or decks) and how popular I expected it to be (regardless of quality).  That last bit is important because sometimes a card sees disproportionate play relative to how “good” it actually is: sometimes people just run the Pokémon they like or what is easiest to obtain, especially when its “new”.  After realizing my criteria... I ran out of time so I kind of had to eyeball things.  That might be why my picks didn’t match-up very well to those of my fellow reviewers. 

M Aggron-EX (XY: Primal Clash 94/160, 154/160) is our subject for today.  This is a Metal-Type: XY: Phantom Forces gave us some good direct and indirect Metal-Type support and this set gives us Shield Energy (though I’ll tell you now, I was disappointed by Shield Energy).  Metal-Types hit some Water-Types and all Fairy-Types for double damage though they do have to mind Metal Resistance on many XY-era Lightning-Types.  All in all this is very good, not that there was a choice in Type: apparently in the video games Mega Evolving strips Aggron of its Rock-Type nature, turning it into a pure Steel-Type.  The other obvious thing about this card is that its a Mega Evolution; so all the downsides of being a Pokémon-EX (worth two Prizes when KOed, targeted by certain negative effects and excluded by certain positive effects) plus the Mega Evolution rule that ends your turn when you Evolve one of your Pokémon into one which is why being a Mega Evolution is also a bad thing.  What about the improved HP, attacks, Ability and (maybe) Ancient Trait?  Nothing has all of those (yet) and even if one does it just isn’t guaranteed.  People tend to forget that even among Basic Pokémon-EX, a lot haven’t seen any significant success in competitive play and most just a little; only a few reach the heights of Mewtwo-EX, Yveltal-EX, etc.  In fact some are just plain bad, with HP scores scarcely larger than their most recent “regular” counterpart; unless an effect in the game cancels out one of the drawbacks I just listed without a significant resource cost, everything I mentioned is inherent to being a Pokémon-EX Mega Evolution while all the good things are merely probable but ultimately at the whim of the designers. 

Fortunately, M Aggron-EX does get the HP boost; its printed maximum HP score is 240, just 10 shy of the new record set by Wailord-EX (released this set) and 10 above the previous maximum set by some older Mega Evolutions.  There are still decks that can score a OHKO, but its going to be really hard for the average deck; the ones that can bring M Aggron-EX down in one hit (or effectively in one attack) are either combos like Gourgeist (XY 57/146) using its Spirit Scream attack (drops both it and the Defending Pokémon to 10 HP) after hitting the opponent with a Hypnotoxic Laser (so that Poison scores the KO between turns), huge attacks like you’d find on either M Charizard-EX or from pumping up a scalable attack like Evil Ball to extreme levels or by exploiting Weakness.  Fire Weakness isn’t as bad as it could be - the Type enjoyed a brief flare-up in popularity when XY: Flashfire was released but that seems to have nearly burned out by now - but it turns the often massive Fire-Type attacks that would half-KO M Aggron-EX instead score a OHKO.  Not only will this allow all three versions of Charizard-EX (yes, even the two “bad” ones) to score OHKOs with their big ([RRCC] for cost) attack, out the old standard of Reshiram (last printed as BW: Legendary Treasures 28/113, 114/113 and RC22/RC25 just to make things complicated): can use its Blue Flare attack (costs [RRC] with a two [R] discard cost) to hit for 120 before Weakness.  Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) does fall short, though. 

Resistance is normally a small bonus, but with 240 HP it becomes a lot more significant.  Its a decent sized bonus, and if Psychic-Type decks that relied on straight damage was more significant, it’d be a big bonus.  Instead its going to make Mewtwo-EX and the few other similar Psychic-Type attackers whiff on OHKOs and maybe even on 2HKOs.  Just remember that for Psychic-Types, usually you expect something a little “trickier” like the earlier referenced Gourgeist or (relevant to competitive play) Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119) that uses an Ability to place damage counters.  Most decks will just shift to a non-Psychic-Type attacker.  Similar to how the Resistance is good but something your opponent will usually work around, M Aggron-EX has an awful Retreat Cost of [CCCC] but you’ll either be running cards to reduce it, bypass manually retreating entirely or the support needed for M Aggron-EX to endure as an Active until it is KOed. 

So all in all M Aggron-EX has solid stats; like all other Mega Evolutions (excluding Primal Reversions) the only other thing on this Pokémon is a single attack.  For [MMCC] M Aggron-EX brings Megaton Slam which does 120 points of damage and gives you the option to flip a coin: if “tails” you hit everything on your own Bench for 20 points of damage while “heads” gives you an extra 120 damage for a total of 240 to the opponent’s Active Pokémon.  So ignoring effects, only Wailord-EX would survive on a “heads”.  Of course plenty of Pokémon have effects to reduce (or totally block) damage, boost HP, etc. that mean a lot more cards have a chance to survive.  For four Energy, 120 is actually a solid return and since the flip is optional, you don’t have to risk hurting your Bench when hitting small targets.  When you take the risk and get “heads”, it is of course awesome so overall, I’d say its at least very good if not great, but I know the coin flip is going to scare some players away, and not without reason. 

Before we move onto combos, let’s look at what we need to use to get M Aggron-EX into play; Aggron-EX and Aggron Spirit Link.  In terms of attributes, Aggron-EX is just like M Aggron-EX except with 180 HP and being a Basic Pokémon-EX.  That’s a pretty solid foundation.  Its first attack is Steel Headbutt, which requires [MCC] and does 50 with a coin flip for another 30 damage; 80 for three is solid but 50 or 80 is poor (though not abysmal).  Its “big” attack is Raging Hammer, which does 60 damage plus another 10 per damage counter on Aggron-EX.  This is also a poor attack though it has some potential; if you had a better attack to go with it, then once you’ve taken a hit or two Raging Hammer can become a devastating final shot before Aggron-EX falls.  Having taken about 60 damage, it becomes a solid attack where the damage is finally worth the Energy.  With 120 to 170 it is actually pretty potent.  Steel Headbutt isn’t particularly worth it though.  Aggron Spirit Link is why M Aggron-EX has a shot; having no choice but to lose a turn anytime you Mega Evolve would have torpedoed (or at least most) hope of getting a decent return out of M Aggron-EX, but even though it eats up the Pokémon Tool slot, once you avoid that you’ve got good odds of keeping pace with your opponent in terms of Prizes and decent odds of pulling ahead. 

So how to run this card?  I’d love to be creative but its pretty obvious this needs Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/1149,  XY Promos XY21).  You also probably want Double Colorless Energy as that means less copies of Bronzong in play still result in a quickly readied M Aggron-EX, and having even a simple, secondary form of acceleration can be a lifesaver when Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) shows up and you can’t discard its attached Pokémon Tool to deactivate Garbotoxin.  In addition to this, Victini (latest printing BW: Legendary Treasures 23/113) gives you the option of re-flipping your coin for any attack, giving you a second chance at getting “heads” on Metagon Slam.  That will probably already fill your Bench but if you can squeeze out another slot, also consider Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) to protect your Bench or perhaps some of the Pokémon like Reshiram that have Outrage to take advantage of missed flips and some extra Type-matching.

There are some Trainers to consider as well.  The Stadium is probably going to be Steel Shelter to prevent Special Conditions, though Silent Lab (deals with Safeguard Pokémon; doesn’t mix with Mr. Mime), Shrine of Memories (to access Raging Hammer, since its no more expensive than Megaton Slam but a lot more impressive when you’ve got 240 HP to soak hits) and Mountain Ring (another way to protect your Bench) are all options and remember… you can mix and match Stadiums when reliability isn’t as important as versatility.  If your set-up allows you to keep up the pressure while you reload (or Bench and re-promote in the same turn), Max Potion becomes a very unpleasant play for your opponent.  Notice that manually retreating is only an issue if you don’t have a spare attacker ready to go for that turn: you’re discarding four Energy to retreat that would have been discarded for Max Potion anyway and at least half of which you can re-attach with Bronzong.  Trick Coin (probably alongside Tool Retriever unless you’re going to use it when Aggron Spirit Link is a no show) and/or Float Stone and/or Hard Charm seem like the best backup Pokémon Tools.  Running all three is almost certainly overkill, but having either a non-Ability based means of manipulating your attack flips (remember, doesn’t stack with Victini), a means of retreating to the Bench for free, or soaking 20 damage to extend your massive HP even farther would be automatic if not for said Spirit Link card.

For Energy, I already mentioned Double Colorless Energy.  If you don’t fancy Steel Shelter then basic Grass Energy or Rainbow Energy (and squeezing in a Virizion-EX) are likely in order.  Rainbow Energy won’t make sense in the Bronzong build but maybe you can risk using this in a Fairy Transfer deck thanks to it.  So what about Shield Energy?  Not really thinking it is worth it; Bronzong can’t attach it so its soaking 10 damage to be incompatible with one of the key effects in the deck and also being vulnerable to Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic. 

Ratings

Standard: 3.35/5 - Though I think its a deck that can be played and should be played, relying on coin flips can be a huge turn off in tournament play and more relevant, this is just providing another attack option for Bronzong decks, an option that doesn’t appear to be “superior” but simply “different”.

Expanded: 3.5/5 - Heavy Ball can get Bronzong, Bronzor (BW: Next Destinies 75/99), Aggron-EX and M Aggron-EX.  I value that.  A lot.

Limited: 4.5/5 - Most of the time, if you pull Aggron-EX and M Aggron-EX, you’re going to run both of them.  That being said, there are just enough [M] Energy requirements as well as giving up a turn to Mega Evolve (unless you’re really lucky and also get Aggron Spirit Link) and the Bench damage likely being more serious here that knock the score.

Summary: M Aggron-EX is a card that I’ve had to take a second look at.  Then a third look.  Even a fourth, fifth and then I lost track of how many looks I’ve given it.  When I think I’ve got to rule it out as being too “flippy” and/or resource intensive, I remember that if you can build a deck to set-it up, you’re probably also building a deck to shoot for a OHKO of a Pokémon-EX (they aren’t exactly rare in competitive play).  If you get “tails” on the first attack, you’ll probably survive long enough to finish it next turn and break even in Prizes.  With “heads”, you take a OHKO (and two Prizes) and thus gain the chance to pull ahead.  With the potential durability of M Aggron-EX, that seems like it could actually work.

This was my 10th place pick, though finishing in 7th place seems at worst overly optimistic and could be spot on.


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