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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Thundurus EX

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 18, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.35
Expanded: 2.40
Limited: 4.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

You ever see one of those cards that's just pretty good but not that great by comparison to all the other great cards in the set? I'm not talking about Magnezone-EX levels of bad, but maybe more like DEX Kyogre-EX levels of ehhhhh. Thundurus-EX is an oddball in this set, and he's certainly not like his counterpart in Plasma Freeze. 

See the thing is, Thundurus-EX has this attack, Headlock. You get to flip a coin and either do more damage, going from 2-for-30 to 2-for-60 before boosts, or you Paralyze them. That's not too bad, not the most reliable thing, but hey you make things much more difficult for the opponent, and on Weak Pokemon you're doing upwards of 120 damage on a high or 60 and Paralyzing on low - all unboosted! That's pretty good! 

And then you get to Voltage Rush. 

First off, it's 3 ELECTRIC Energy, no exceptions. It does a fair chunk of damage, 150, which is only a few small counters from OHKOing Pokemon-EX. There's just one small problem: he does 50 damage to himself. Yes, 50 DAMAGE to HIMSELF!! 

Just...why?! Why have such a debilitating hit to him?! The last time we saw something like this, it was on M Charizard-EX - AND HE GOT TO DO AT LEAST 300 DAMAGE!! Never mind that he's got MUCH more HP than Thundurus-EX, just...the DAMAGE!! It's so much better!! If he was taking only 30 damage, that'd be okay, but 50 damage is just WAY too much for dealing 150. Seriously, M Charizard-EX isn't even that good thanks to all the Megas with Spirit Links.

He's not Magnezone-EX bad, but maybe in the next few sets Headlock will let him see play like Kyogre-EX (DEX). And then he'll be swept under the rug in favor of much better Pokemon-EX. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (Headlock is his only saving grace, cause no way are you using Voltage Rush) 

Expanded: 2/5 (I guess he'd do better, but you know Eels are around at least)

Limited: 3.5/5 (Headlock's great, but Voltage Rush is still way too risky) 

Arora Notealus: Thundurus is just so weird. Really, the genie trio are weird - what with their similarities and yet they're different enough to be their own Pokemon. My question though is why didn't they just use the Therian designs for the three? It couldn't just be they wanted to sell off the Dream Radar - there's gotta be a reason!! 

NOTE: Yesterday I made the note that Zapdos does damage to an opposing Pokemon. That's wrong, as it is when I'm reading cards at 3 in the morning, but there ya go. It's 40 damage to a Benched Pokemon on YOUR side, so be careful with that. There are ways to circumvent it, but be careful! 

Next Time: Now maybe my wish will come true.


Otaku

For our next-to-last review of the week we have Thundurus-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 26/108, 98/108).  As our fourth Lightning-Type of the week you know the drill: it can tap the (almost non-existent) current Lightning-Type support and has to deal with some pesky Resistance (that even shows up on some important cards like Landorus-EX) but in exchange you can exploit the currently quite valuable Lightning Weakness you find on things like Yveltal-EX and M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108; 105/108).  As a Basic Pokémon Thundurus-EX is the easiest Stage to run (minimum space count, maximum speed) and as the name makes obvious, this is a Pokémon-EX so you’ll be giving up two Prizes when it is KOed, be unable to use certain supporting cards and be a target of certain counter-cards due to this status.  Usually being a Pokémon-EX comes with some perks, like better HP and attacks/Abilities.  Can’t speak to the latter (yet) but the HP is 170; not even close to record setting but good and well above what its non-Pokémon-EX counterparts possess.  Weakness is a concern: the Fighting-Type is in a pretty good place right now and while not guaranteed, has the potential of sending something up front with enough buffs that Weakness turns it into a OHKO.  Thundurus-EX sports Metal Resistance, which isn’t going to come in handy all that often but is definitely better than nothing.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is big enough you won’t want to pay but low enough you can, without taking too long to recover from the diminished resources. 

So what does this Thundurus-EX do?  It lacks an Ability or Ancient Trait, instead going the “traditional” route of having two attacks.  The first - Headlock - requires [LC] to use and hits for 30 damage with a coin flip determining what else happens: on “heads” the attack does an additional 30 damage (so 60 total) while on “tails” it Paralyzes the opponent’s Active.  For [LLL] his second attack (Voltage Rush) slams the opponent’s Active for 150 damage while hitting itself for 50 as well.  These attacks are best described as “borderline”.  Headlock alternates between a solid hit or a slightly weak hit but with Paralysis, at least for the Energy being invested.  It actually would be a bit scary if it was even a little less expensive, like [CC] or did a little more damage but with where it is at, it might not be enough as even with a Muscle Band it is missing certain key numbers, except when used as a direct lead in to Voltage Rush.  Requiring three specific Energy (at least they aren’t different Types) means some form of acceleration for Voltage Rush to be a serious option.  The reward is that Pokémon-EX in the 170 HP range could be OHKOed if they aren’t Lightning Resistant and you have a Muscle Band slapped onto Thundurus-EX.  Again, this isn’t bad but it isn’t great, especially as Thundurus-EX will slam itself for 50 points of damage, likely dropping it into OHKO range for the opponent. 

There is one other Thundurus-EX currently both Standard and Expanded legal: BW: Plasma Freeze 38/116 and 110/116.  It is a Team Plasma Pokémon, so I’ll just be referring to it as Thundurus-EX [Plasma] for the rest of the review.  Thundurus-EX [Plasma] has a lot in common with the new Thundurus-EX: same name (as far as the game is concerned), same Stage, status as a Pokémon-EX, HP, Fighting Weakness, lack of an Ability, lack of an Ancient Trait and also having two attacks.  The differences are the lack of Metal Resistance, a Retreat Cost of only [C], being a Team Plasma affiliated Pokémon and what its attacks cost and do: the first (Raiden Knuckle) requires only [L] but hits for 30 while allowing you to attach an Energy card from the discard pile to a Team Plasma Pokémon on your Bench.  For [LLCC] its second attack - Thunderous Noise - hits for 90 and if you have a Plasma Energy attached to it, Thundurus-EX [Plasma] gets to discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active Pokémon as well.  It was reviewed here, snagging the #3 slot for our Top 10 Promising Picks of Plasma Freeze.  Like the Plasma cards as a whole it has slipped in usefulness making it quite a niche card but if you’re looking for a nasty, small attack it might have today’s beat so long as you’ve got something on the Bench that can receive Energy.  The big attack is pretty iffy as even with things like Colress Machine and Plasma Energy you’ll need a second manual Energy attachment or source of acceleration to reach Thunderous Noise and if your opponent can cope with the discard, you’ll at best be setting up for a 2HKO (barring Weakness exploitation). 

This gets us to why Thundurus-EX might actually have a niche: Lightning-Type Pokémon-EX are kind of light on the raw damage front.  There are some great ones but not when you are focused on damage.  Thundurus-EX isn’t that great at it either, but it hits for more than any other Lightning-Type, tying with Zekrom-EX.  I’m not sure how much of a demand there is for this, but it might be an okay one-of to back up M Manectric-EX or (in Expanded) in your Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) deck.  It works best - no surprise - in Limited play.  If you pull it there, take your chance on running it in a +39 deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.7/5 

Expanded: 2.8/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Thundurus-EX is too good to easily dismiss but not good enough to really warrant usage outside of Limited play, but if one underestimates it they could easily pay since a quick and dirty 150 (170 with Muscle Band) can go a long way.  Something to keep an eye on as it might be a key card or two away from shooting up in power.


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