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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 M Diancie-EX

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
July 17, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.17
Expanded: 2.15
Limited: Promo

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Wait a sec, I never got a Diancie-EX in MY Roaring Skies packs! Much less a M Diancie-EX!! What's all this noise about? Well it's probably because we've really touched on all the Fairies in the set, so unless you want us to really go over Togepi and Togetic......unlikely, M Diancie-EX it is! 

Now M Diancie-EX comes to us from the M Diancie-EX Premium Collection (ooooh, ahhhhh), in celebration of...well, Mega Diancie. You get this card as well as Diancie-EX in the same little bundle along with six booster packs, so you know they were gearing you to building a deck around this duo! So let's see how well they did by taking a look first at Diancie-EX. 

Diancie-EX is a pretty simple EX, though the biggest thing of note is her HP stat of 140 - not as high as the average EX, yet not as low as some of the smaller ones. It's odd how middle-of-the-road it is, but it's still relatively lower than normal, so be wary of that! That said, Diancie-EX only has Moonblast, a 2-for-20 strike that reduces damage from the Defending Pokemon by 20 (so in essence, a negator for Muscle Band), and Luminous Swirl, which for an extra energy does 80 damage with the possibility of flipping for up to another 80 damage (40 per heads flipped among two coins). Pretty straightforward, and not that exciting.

That's where M Diancie-EX comes in. Bumping up the HP score to 190, the lowest among Mega EX, M Diancie-EX trades off her "meh" attacks in favor of something new: Diamond Force. For the same cost as Luminous Swirl, M Diancie-EX deals 100 damage and simultaneously protects all of your Pokemon from damage by your opponent's Pokemon-EX. Note that it's not saying damage by the Defending Pokemon - it's saying ANY of your opponent's Pokemon-EX won't be able to harm your guys! That's a tremendous effect when most Pokemon-EX tend to be the main attacking force in a deck! 

There are a few problems with this strategy though, such as with Switching cards as the effect ends if M Diancie-EX is Lysandre'd away, and there is the trouble of regular non-EX attackers, but the most crippling part that would keep you from playing M Diancie-EX is the problem that plagued the earlier Megas: she doesn't have a Spirit Link card. Without it, M Diancie-EX loses a lot of speed, and you might need her fast if it's late-game and you're getting curb-stomped by the opponent. 

M Diancie-EX does have a fair bit going for her though, and her attack still does a hefty chunk of damage. On top of that thanks to the upcoming rotation, we're going to lose HTLBank, which means that's one less damage combo to worry about! At least until they introduce another Item to inflict status... 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (the lack of a Spirit Link card really hurts her, but she's got a lot of use with that attack) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (about the same here, I'd say) 

Limited: N/A (promos are as promos do) 

Arora Notealus: Diancie is a fascinating Pokemon in and of itself. A Rock/Fairy like Carbink from earlier, legendary status, has the power to Mega Evolve, and she's just fascinating to look at! Pretty neat if you ask me. I've even got one of those exclusive double-sided posters from ORAS with the Primal titans on one side and Mega Diancie on the other! 

Weekend Thought: You think Fairies are a viable deck at the moment, or do you think they need some more support? It's definitely a new archetype to have sprung up in recent memory, with the inclusion of its own Energy. Dragons didn't even get that much, they got some Blend Energy stuff and had to borrow from other types. That was interesting. Speaking of which, how about that rotation?


Otaku

M Diancie-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY44).  Yes, that is right; this is another promo being worked into XY: Roaring Skies Fairy-Type week.  So of course the card is a Fairy-Type; there have been no startling revelations to change my mind on the Fairy-Type.  It is a good-but-not-great Type, and since I say at least something like that quite often, it may be nearer the bottom than some others.  It can only hit XY-era Dragon-Types for Weakness and doesn’t have to deal with Resistance and it even has some pretty good support, so why so low?  Well while there are worse Types for Weakness (Dragon only on BW-era Dragon-Types, for example) and nothing better for Resistance, the former is much more significant than the other.  Now we look at the support and while it is there and not horrible, the best are things that work with sources of [Y] Energy or flat out work with anything at all.  This lessens the benefit of being an actual Fairy-Type, but it is still there. 

M Diancie-EX is a Mega Evolution so basically everything that applies to being a Pokémon-EX applies to it, except it is its own Special Stage and your turn ends when you Mega Evolve into it.  That’s pretty painful; there is no Spirit Link or to bypass this and the loss of momentum can be quite dangerous in our fast paced game.  The only out is a first turn Wally and that only applies when it would truly be the last thing you’d have done anyway; if you’d rather Mega Evolve and then play something else, you still lose out.  The rest is pretty straightforward; as a Pokémon-EX the card can’t tap certain pieces of support, will be the target of certain counter-cards and is worth an additional Prize when KOed.  Being a Pokémon-EX usually comes with better attributes and effects, but sometimes it seems to be one or the other (I don’t think we’ve ever gotten one that lacked both).  M Diancie-EX sets a record with HP, unfortunately in the wrong direction.  Contradicting some of my other CotDs (oops) it has the lowest printed HP score for a Mega Evolution, clocking in at 190 HP.  While higher than all but three Basic Pokémon-EX, its Basic Pokémon-EX counterpart (more on that later) and of course its non-Pokémon-EX, mechanically unrelated Basic Pokémon counterpart, this hurts the card a bit.  I am not sure how much though; how many decks hit for 190 easier than they hit for 210 (the next lowest Mega Evolution max HP)?  10 more than 180 seems to still be useful, just not something to rely on: after all there are decks that can OHKO anything and more that can OHKO most things. 

M Diancie-EX has the typical Metal Weakness and Darkness Resistance of the Fairy-Type so I’ll echo what I’ve been saying all week: the Metal-Type proved more popular (and potent) than anticipated at the U.S. Nationals, with some great finishes by decks using Bronzong (BW: Phantom Forces 61/119) for Energy acceleration.  Some of these decks were mostly Metal-Types, others were using non-Metal-Type main attackers with Colorless Energy costs but the latter still used Metal-Type attackers to supplement their heavy hitters.  As such a Weakness that I would (and did) say wasn’t too bad not long ago has proven dangerous, though not the worst.  Any form of Resistance is welcome and the Darkness-Type hosts some popular attackers… however the -20 of Resistance is far less significant than the damage doubling of Weakness.  When staring down a Yveltal-EX Resistance could save you or it could just get blown through via raw damage: enjoy it but don’t rely on it.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is borderline - low enough you often will have the Energy attached but high enough you’ll prefer to find a workaround because you’ll feel the discard.  The good news is that as a Fairy-Type, you have an additional, effective way of dealing with it in Fairy Garden. 

As a Mega Evolution without an Ancient Trait, M Diancie-EX has just a single effect to consider: its attack “Diamond Force”.  For [YYC] it hits for 100 damage and protects each of your Pokémon (itself included) from damage done by attacks from your opponent’s Pokémon-EX during your opponent’s next turn.  The text of the attack also clearly states that its effect goes away if M Diancie-EX is no longer Active (or rather “this Pokémon”).  The damage is solid and the effect is amazing… so long as your opponent can’t force M Diancie-EX out of the Active slot.  Or hit you with an attack that bypasses effects on the Defending Pokémon.  Or is employing a strategy where the damage from attacks isn’t the main focus.  On second thought, “amazing” is a bit strong.  Still it is a good attack as at the very least it forces the opponent to resort to additional measures to damage your Pokémon while still having a solid damage return for the Energy invested. 

There is no way to put this card into play directly so let us take a look at Diancie-EX as you’ll have to run it in order to reach the Mega Evolution.  It has the same Type, Weakness, Resistance and even Retreat Cost as M Diancie-EX.  It doesn’t set a record for low maximum HP scores, but I do believe it is the first Pokémon-EX to have 140 HP.  This is 50 points more - and more than a 50% increase over - Diancie (XY: Phantom Forces 71/119) which is in line with the kind of upscaling we typically encounter in Pokémon-EX.  In fact, it is on the high end of things.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t a low score; while normally I’d consider 140 into the “more probably to survive a hit than not” camp by 10 to 30 points, the added incentive to push one’s resources for two Prizes (instead of one) pushes this back into the fairly even odds category.  For [CC] it can use its first attack “Moon Blast” to hit for 20 damage while reducing the damage it takes from the Defending Pokémon by 20.  This reduces the likelihood of being OHKOed, but not by a staggering amount as -20 isn’t much on its own and your opponent can void the effect by simply changing out to a different attacker.   “Luminous Swirl” requires [YYC] to hit for 80 damage and have you flip two coins; each “heads” is worth an additional 40 damage: half the possible outcomes hit for 120 with the low of 80 and the high of 160 each being one-in-four.  On something bigger this might do as 120 for three is solid for a Mega Evolution, but it’ll need help to OHKO most other Pokémon-EX. 

As such, I cannot recommend using M Diancie-EX or Diancie-EX; the investment is just too much for what you get.  If you insist on it, you’ll need to prioritize whether to focus on one or the other.  M Diancie-EX needs either an empty Bench, one that isn’t easily forced Active or else one where you can accept whatever it is that your opponent will try to force up front and KO in the stead of M Diancie-EX.  Diancie-EX needs Victini (latest printing BW: Legendary Treasures 23/113) to skew the odds of the coin flips more in your favor; you could use Trick Coin instead but I’d rather reserve the Pokémon Tool slot for Muscle Band so you can try to OHKO anything with 180 HP or less (and of course no defensive effects).  Expanded doesn’t add much in the way of direct competition as the Fairy-Type didn’t exist in those older sets, so it is only competing against additional other decks. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.7/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary:  M Diancie-EX desperately needs a Diancie Spirit Link card at which point it would still be a less Mega Evolution but far more useful to competitive play.  Of course as the-powers-that-be insist on releasing promos that exist only as promos (instead of just being a “special” version alternate release of a card from an actual set) we kind of need the promos to be on the poor side.  When they aren’t it causes issues (Tropical Beach anyone?).  The protective effect is good, almost too good which is why likely you just need to burn a Lysandre or Escape Rope to switch it back off. 


Emma Star

            And now, to end the week, we’ll look at a card that was a promo for both Japan and the US, and is a Fairy that isn’t useless! :D

            With 190 HP, Mega Diancie is about 30-40 HP lower than most other Megas already. Like most Fairies, it has a Steel weakness, which is okay since Steel is pretty uncommonly played, but can still be deadly if you’re playing against a Steel deck, obviously. The two Retreat Cost actually isn’t too bad for a Mega, but is still pretty meh. So, let’s hope her attack is better than her average attributes we’ve seen so far.

            For two Fairy and one Colorless Energies, Diamond Force does 100, and prevents Mega Diancie from all damage from your opponent’s EXs in the next turn. I personally really enjoy attacks like this. Sure, they could switch out to a non-EX if this happens, but it’s going to be hard to get a 190 HP Pokémon out very quickly. It’s actually best used if you manage to get all of your opponent’s Pokémon knocked out first, possibly via Lysandre, then force your opponent to keep their EX active for the 2HKO (or 3HKO for most Megas). Thus, I do really enjoy the somewhat-gimmicky that cards like this and Dialga EX (PF 62). However, it’s not all sunshine and flowers for Mega Diancie. It loses one of the key support cards that most Megas have these days – a Spirit Link card. So, you WILL have to go a turn without attacking if you play her. And, as noted, her HP is lower than any other Mega so far, and 100 damage isn’t very much, especially if you’re not playing against an EX-heavy deck. And although opposing EXs can’t damage it, things like Seismitoad EX can still item lock you for a couple turns (not that I would consider that the best strategy in most cases, since they’ll be giving up two Prizes after the two turns ends, but it’s still something to note). So, I have pretty mixed feelings with Mega Diancie EX. I will give her the credit that she’s definitely up there as one of the best Fairy-types in the TCG right now, along with Xerneas EX and Xerneas (XY 96), it still has a few flaws that could hurt it, though I actually do love that evil, trollish effect. :P           

            Standard: 2.7/5

            Expanded: 2.7/5

            Limited: Mega Diancie would never let herself be limited!! She becomes all she can be!!


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