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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Primal Clash Cards

#2 - M Gardevoir EX

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 19, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.25
Expanded:
Limited:

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

#2 M Gardevoir EX 

When the new Fairy Type first appeared in XY, it came with a lot of great support: Xerneas XY for Energy acceleration; Aromatisse XY for Energy manipulation; and Fairy Garden for free Retreat. Both Slurpuff (XY for Status immunity and PHF for draw) should probably get a mention here too, though Fairy decks have never used them much, if at all, due to space considerations. 

The one thing that Fairy lacked was a proper heavy-hitter: the kind of Pokémon that could dish out OHKOs to the format powerhouses. Yveltal EX and Florges EX came up a bit short, forcing players to use some off-Type EX Pokémon like M Kangaskhan, Yveltal, or Mewtwo. M Gardevoir is the card that fixes that problem. 

Yes, she’s a Mega, but she does have a Spirit Link so evolving doesn’t have to mean ending your turn. Yes, the 210 HP is a bit short of the Mega Maximum, but it’s still decent enough for Gardy to tank with Max Potions and Aromatisse against most decks. Yes, she’s weak to Metal and will likely get destroyed by M Aggron EX and company, but every deck has an autoloss, right? The one big thing that M Gardy does bring to the table is her attack, Brilliant Arrow: for a cost of three energy, it will do 30 times the amount of Fairy Energy you have in play. That may not sound too impressive, but bear in mind that six Energy means a KO on any Basic EX, while eight is enough to bring down any Mega. With Baby Xerneas and Aromatisse, you have the means to get the Energy you need into play quickly, and make sure it stays there. 

Any Pokémon that has the capacity to OHKO anything in the format, and the support to make that happen, needs to be respected. M Gardy is going to take Fairy decks to the next level. 

Rating 

Modified: 4.5 (prettyful and powerful)

Expended: 4.25 (works here too, though there is more competition)

Limited: 4.75 (unlikely you will pull this and the EX, but if you do, you’ll likely win)


aroramage

Wait, another Mega on the list? And at the #2 spot? Oh yeah, this is a first for us here at Pojo, but we've got yet another Mega on the list in the form of M Gardevoir-EX! And there's a very VERY good reason for that too! 

Let's start off with the main reason we tend to put Megas on our Top 10 Lists: there is a Spirit Link card for this gal. That's one of those cards that allows you to skip over the "end your turn" clause of Mega Evolving that was such a big detriment for earlier Megas, so that makes her playable. All things considered though, you could play her without the Spirit Link card, and while people will look at you like you're crazy, you can STILL get away with it.

And that's mainly because of Brilliant Arrow. It's a 3-Energy attack that does around 30 damage for each Fairy Energy attached to your Pokemon. Alright, 30 damage per Energy? Pretty big. Attached to your Pokemon and not just M Gardevoir-EX? INSANITY!! Restrict it to just Fairy Energy? Oh that's not so bad...wait, doesn't Xerneas (XY) have an attack to attach Fairy Energy straight from the deck? You get the idea. 

Think about it: assuming all of M Gardevoir-EX's Energies are Fairy, she's already dealing 90 damage on her own! All you need is 3 more Energy in play to OHKO most any Pokemon-EX; add 2 more to that, and there's only one Pokemon you can't OHKO without a slight boost! That's 8 Energy in play, and if you manage your resources right, you'll hit that in no time! 

M Gardevoir-EX is sure to be the lead in the new Fairy deck, and combined with all the Fairy support from XY on, she may prove tough to handle!...well, unless M Aggron-EX comes out against her. 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (a super-strong attack that can devastate with ease) 

Expanded: 4/5 (same deal here) 

Limited: 5/5 (of course you'll play her if you get Gardevoir-EX, regardless of Spirit Link) 

Arora Notealus: The Gardevoir line has always been...interesting. She appears to be rather feminine, but in Gen III in their initial release, they could be male or female; it wasn't till Gen IV when Gallade was introduced as a male-only evolution to it...so...maybe M Gardevoir-EX is male? 

Next Time: And the titan taking the #1 spot on our list is...!!


Otaku

Welcome to the second week of our Top 10 list for XY: Primal Clash.  In case someone is joining us late or only cared about the top three, the Pojo Top 10 list is compiled from individual Top 10s submitted by the CotD crew members.  We are trusted to set our own criteria apart from no reprints being allowed.  I was working on a comprehensive system, ran out of time, and so out of the 2-3 dozen cards that caught my eye I narrowed it down to 10 that seemed like they either should be good, popular or both.  For better or worse, I feel like popular cards need coverage because if its played heavily its still a significant part of the metagame.

 

Rejoice, as we come to the runner up for our Top 10 list and we have so much to cover that I am not going to try and use aroramage’s “next time” hint from yesterday to work in a Fairy Tail reference!  Seriously I was going to try and it was not only painful, but took more words than I just used referencing it.  So our subject today is M Gardevoir-EX (XY: Primal Clash 106/160, 156/160) and the most obvious thing even from a blurry scan is that it is a Fairy-Type.  The Fairy-Type is still pretty new and in terms of Type-Matching, it is still disappointing.  Nothing yet Resists it (a small bonus) but the only cards weak to Fairy-Types are XY-era Dragon-Type Pokémon.  Looking ahead, this issue might be solved as soon as our next set but for now, you’re not often enjoying double damage.  Actual Type support is strong in the indirect department as you’ve got Fairy Garden to provide a free Retreat Cost to anything with a source of [Y] Energy attached, Xerneas (XY 96/146; XY Black Star Promos XY05) for Energy acceleration from the deck (via an attack) and Aromatisse with its tried and true Energy transferring Ability.  The direct Fairy-Type support is less impressive: Wonder Energy provides a Special Energy that protects against the effects of attacks but only works for the actual Fairy-Type while Klefki (XY: Furious Fists 73/111) makes Resistance for Fairy-Types worth -40 damage instead of -20.  These cards aren’t bad but are vulnerable to counters for better cards and kind of narrow on the benefits list.

 

Being a Mega Evolution is a drag; its got the baggage of being a Stage 1 combined with a rule (as opposed to something like an Ability that is easy to switch off) that causes your turn to End when you Mega Evolve one of your Pokémon in play into M Gardevoir-EX.  It also means you’re also a Pokémon-EX and while being a Pokémon-EX usually means better HP, attacks and sometimes a good-to-great Ability, none of that is guaranteed while all the drawbacks (being worth an extra Prize when KOed, being unable to use certain support cards and being a target of certain counter cards) are.  Fortunately M Gardevoir-EX does get Gardevoir Spirit Link to help it avoid that nasty turn ending clause for Mega Evolving and as you can see from the scan, its HP is 210; that is as low as we have seen on Mega Evolutions, but still means it is bigger than anything current other than other Mega Evolutions, Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124) and Wailord-EX.  If it is starting out uninjured, an M Gardevoir-EX is hard to OHKO for most decks, sometimes impossible.  Being small for its kin is a potential hazard though; simply put while it isn’t a major concern there will be times (other than being hit by Weakness) when something like Primal Groudon-EX is going to survive the hit and M Gardevoir-EX is going to come up shy.  As for Weakness, M Gardevoir-EX gets the typical Metal-Type Weakness for Fairy-Types.  The good news is that Metal-Types aren’t as popular and potent as Fighting-Types, but XY: Phantom Forces bolstered Metal-Type support and simply put, you’re probably going to run into at least one Metal-Type deck during any larger event.  M Gardevoir-EX does get to enjoy Resistance though; while being Darkness Resistant isn’t a major boon, its actually a pretty good Type to Resist; 20 points of damage difference can really goof up a scaleable attack like Evil Ball, and Yveltal-EX is the Darkness-Type right now.  The Retreat Cost of two finishes off the card’s attributes; it is low enough that you can pay it if you must without being a major setback but high enough that its worth avoiding when you can (and with Fairy Garden, you should be able to avoid it often enough).

 

M Gardevoir-EX, like all Mega Evolutions we’ve seen so far, has just one attack: it is called Brilliant Arrow and requires [FCC] to use.  This isn’t too bad a cost to meet and the reward is 30 damage per [Y] Energy you have in play.  While you won’t get the benefit of your opponent’s Energy like you would with Mewtwo-EX and its X-Ball or Yveltal-EX and its Evil Ball, you will be able to spread the burden throughout your whole Bench, only risking three of those Energy cards while delivering potentially massive blows… damage big enough to OHKO anything lacking protective effects or boosted HP.  Of course, it takes nine [Y] Energy in play (or eight plus some other source of the last 10 damage) to take out Wailord-EX, while seven or eight Energy will handle any other Mega Evolutions (again, assuming no defensive buffs).  All Pokémon-EX need six [Y] or less in play, while most everything else requires five or less.  It takes some effort and time to set up, but it seems quite plausible to turn M Gardevoir-EX into a OHKO machine.

 

Of course you’ve got to Evolve from a Gardevoir-EX first, so let’s take a look at our only option there: a Basic Pokémon-EX Fairy-Type with 170 HP and the same Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance and Retreat Cost of [CC] as M Gardevoir-EX.  The elements that are the same serve Gardevoir-EX as well as it does its Mega Evolution; being a Basic is still best and 170 HP is usually going to survive a hit (though its a much easier number to hit in than even just a few sets ago).  It sports two attacks with staggered pricing for what its worth.  For [Y] Life Leap is good for 20 damage, plus however much damage said attack does is healed from Gardevoir-EX.  Given how much we have come to expect from single Energy attacks, this is a bit underwhelming; for something probably being used just to Mega Evolve, its decent and either prevents or reduces the effectiveness of using weaker attackers to wear down Gardevoir-EX.  Shining Wind requires a steep [YYY] but delivers a good 100 points of damage with a beneficial effect; Gardevoir-EX is treated as having no Weakness during your opponent’s next turn.  Unless I missed the exception, all Fairy-Type Pokémon have Metal Weakness so this provides a decent option to counter that; not the best option but a decent one.  Plus the damage is enough to 2HKO anything that isn’t protected/buffed, a Mega Evolution or Wailord-EX.  So Gardevoir-EX is a decent card in its own right, creating a solid foundation for Mega Evolution.

 

There are really only two ways to run M Gardevoir-EX effectively, and the one is unverified and might actually turn out to be pretty bad.  The first is obvious; plug it into a Fairy Transfer deck, allow the Xerneas mentioned earlier use Geomancy to flood your field with Fairy-Type Energy (even if you have to give up a Prize or two while doing so) and then once you get to OHKO levels for Brilliant Arrow, do just that.  As long as M Gardevoir-EX isn’t OHKOed, Fairy Transfer plus Max Potion remains a viable, devastating defensive combo.  A few turns of this and you’ll probably have your win.  Of course you’re dependent upon Fairy Transfer to a large degree; losing that Ability not only means you can’t abuse Max Potion but if your [Y] Energy in play is too concentrated at that point, your opponent might win by focusing on whatever is housing said Energy instead of M Gardevoir-EX itself.  The other option trades the risk of Abilities being shut down for simply focusing on filling your field with [Y] Energy via Xerneas and its Geomancy.  M Gardevoir-EX won’t be your only attacker either as you’ll likely have a Bench full of other big, Basic Fairy-Type Pokémon ready to follow it up.  You might even still make use of Max Potion; while you’ll have to power-up the slow and steady way, it will still force your opponent to go with OHKOs.  Again, not really sure about that second strategy, but I felt it worth mentioning; both will benefit when Regirock XY Black Star Promo (sorry, don’t know the actual number) that will release with the XY: Roaring Skies 3 booster blister pack.  All that really matters about it is that it is a 110 HP Basic Pokémon with Ω Barrier Ancient Trait, which unless we get a ruling that seems contrary to what we’ve heard in the past, should allow said Regirock to safely sit on your Bench with an Exp. Share and soak up basic Fairy Energy cards as your other Pokémon are KOed.

 

Ratings

 

Standard: 4.25/5 - Deck specific rating, of course.  M Gardevoir-EX needs a deck more or less built around it, but the reward is a most impressive offense.  I would have scored it higher except 210 HP and even fantastic damage output aren’t as rare as they used to be.

 

Expanded: 4/5 - It can be easy to forget, but there are some great Metal-Type decks that come back in Expanded.  Weakness really is a major issue for M Gardevoir-EX; even with off-Type attackers, there isn’t a good Fire-Type (major Weakness of Metal-Types) that can be fueled by mostly [Y] Energy.  Fairy Transfer decks get Prism Energy back, but that won’t work on M Gardevoir-EX.  There are counters that aren’t Fire-Types but still work in this kind of deck, but they all have their own drawbacks (like Weakness) to manage.

 

Limited: 5/5 - This rating assumes you pulled Gardevoir-EX (and preferably Gardevoir Spirit Link).  Gardevoir-EX itself is better here; that tiny bit of healing is much more useful and once you get [YYY] onto it, 100 damage means its pretty reasonable for a +39 deck; you might even be fortunate and get Shining Wind going before your opponent with a Metal-Type attacker in deck can get one into play and powered up.  M Gardevoir-EX is then reserved for a final, massive strike, ignored if you haven’t gotten enough Energy in play for it to be worth it or if you can’t spare the turn to Mega Evolve and haven’t gotten Gardevoir Spirit Link equipped.

 

Summary: M Gardevoir-EX received a lot of hype at first but then it died down a bit as we saw more and more of the set.  I’m thinking that means most saw this card for what it is; the new face of Fairy-Type decks that want a Mega Evolution as their main (or at least “big”) attacker.  It requires some set-up and it is by no means invincible, but it does what it does well in the current card pool.

 

I had M Gardevoir-EX as my number five pick but three of the four cards I ranked above it have already been reviewed for our master list, and those were all Trainers, two of which were (more or less) general use Trainers.  So in the end, I’m fine with M Gardevoir-EX ranking so high; at this point I am thinking it has earned it.

 


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