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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Reshiram

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 29, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3
Expanded: 3
Limited: 3.5

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Welcome to another week of Roaring Skies! And now to show off why the skies are roaring in the first place - and no, it's not because it's the 4th of July this weekend, although we are going to be taking Friday off because of it. No, this is for the DRAGONS!! So many Dragons, so many that we're taking these next couple of weeks to review them all! Starting with some new Dragon support in the form of Reshiram! 

Take a wild guess why we're looking at Reshiram. Go on, I bet you'll never get it. Like how it's probably not Bright Wing, which is a hefty 4-for-110 strike that requires a discard of Fire Energy from him to work. Not to say 110 isn't a pretty interesting number to hit, considering with Muscle Band that would basically KO anything like Reshiram. Strange. 

No, but Reshiram's Turboblaze is definitely the Ability that marks a new era of Dragon-based support (and an era of great disappointment that Zekrom did not get a similar Ability, but maybe that'd be just too excessive). Turboblaze allows you to attach a Fire Energy from your hand to one of your Dragon-type Pokemon as long as Reshiram is the Active Pokemon. 

Alright, so it's not the most universal of Abilities, like how Eelektrik's Dynamotor or Bronzong's Metal Links are, but it's still very useful for any Dragon-types that use Fire Energy. Of note, this includes Rayquaza-EX (DEX) and more notably M Rayquaza-EX (the Dragon one) from this set! Both benefit greatly from Reshiram's acceleration, and while the same can't be said for every Dragon-type Pokemon in the TCG, the extra attachment can work out for a variety of Colorless Energy costs. 

Some of the downsides to this is that Reshiram is required to be Active, and getting him out of the Active slot requires at least either paying two Energy for the Retreat Cost, using a Switch card of some kind, or just letting him get KO'd. You also have to have the Fire Energy in your hand to attach it, which makes drawing cards pretty important rather than simply discarding them into the discard pile in order to draw more cards - so Sycaper is important, but without Lysandre's Banned Card, you have to be much more judicious in how you play him. 

Still, Reshiram will prove to be a valuable asset to anyone in need of Fire-based Dragon-support power, so stock up on any you can! Who knows what future Dragons we'll get that can benefit from Reshiram! 

Or at least we'll see what new Dragons end up being better. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (a fairly powerful support card for powerful Dragon cards) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (you should consider running him alongside your Eels here for ridiculously faster and more powerful Rayquaza-EX strikes on consecutive turns!)

Limited: 3.5/5 (really just depends on if you get Dragons that work well with Fire) 

Arora Notealus: You know, I gotta admit, after Gen IV came around and gave us dragons for time, space, and then gave us the Creator Pokemon - oh excuse me, the "Alpha Pokemon" - it seemed like Gen V was going to have a tough time coming up with something to impress us. And then out comes Reshiram and Zekrom for truth and ideals. It was quite a turnaround, but for what it was going for, I think it worked very well. Now if they could just do that but make the team conflict less centralized around the legendaries like with Lugia and Ho-oh...

Next Time: Behold the mightiest of dragons in all his glory!!


Otaku

Welcome to the first week of our Dragon-Type coverage for XY: Roaring Skies (give or take a promo).  Granted, this review is actually being posted for your perusal nearly eight weeks late.  Being an obsessive otaku, I decided to finally finish it, as it was about half written already.  As such my review obviously enjoys the benefit of having had a lot of time to see how this card actually fared. 

We’ll start with Reshiram (XY: Roaring Skies 63/108), a Basic Dragon-Type Pokémon; being a Basic is still the best but what about being a Dragon-Type?  It hurts that the only thing with Dragon Weakness in the TCG are BW-era Dragon-Types but most decks are merely enhanced by their Weakness-exploiting match-ups, not made by them.  Nothing is Dragon Resistant which is a small bonus and Dragon-Types have some good support (though so far I’m not convinced they are better than my usual reference point: Fighting-Types).  There is at least one example of an “anti-Dragon-Type” card - Bisharp (BW: Plasma Freeze 73/116) but it isn’t very good and it took me these eight weeks to remember it even existed in the first place.  All in all, I’d say at worst being a Dragon-Type is a good but not great Type, though given that XY: Ancient Origins (released but not legal for tournament play since this review went up late but not quite that late), sometimes I wish this was a Fire-Type (whether or not it that altered its own Ability). 

Reshiram has 130 HP; it doesn’t get any better unless you’re an Evolution or Pokémon-EX.  This has a decent chance of surviving a hit, but as a reminder this is my general perception; a “guesstimate”, not a carefully reasoned or calculated figure.  The only good Weakness is no Weakness, but Fairy Weakness might be one of the less problematic ones to get stuck with when you’re sitting at 130 HP; the reason being that most of the Fairy-Type attackers you’ll have to worry about are going to score a OHKO regardless plus Fairy-Types usually don’t show up splashed into other decks.  No Resistance on the other hand is unambiguously the worst though it also seems to be the default and Resistance as a whole is not especially powerful so it doesn’t especially hurt the card.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is also pretty typical; it isn’t low enough to be especially easy to pay (up front or for the long term) but it isn’t so high that you won’t be able to in most builds. 

Reshiram has one Ability (Turboblaze) and one attack (Bright Wing).  The former is heavily restricted Energy acceleration: it requires Reshiram be Active, only works with a specific Energy-Type (Fire) for a Specific Pokémon-Type (Dragon) and is once-per-turn, but it is the kind of once-per-turn that can stack (a bit trickier here due to the “only while Active” clause).  Energy acceleration can be incredibly potent, though when heavily restricted even it can misfire, but on a Basic Pokémon it still looks promising.  Bright Wing requires [RRLC] to hit for 110, plus requires you discard a [R] Energy from Reshiram.  This is one of those attacks where I can’t bring myself to call it “bad”, but neither am I comfortable calling it “good”… because it isn’t, at least if viewed in isolation.  Four Energy is steep (even with Turboblaze) and the requirements are three-fourths specific Energy with two different specific Energy Types.  With the discard added in, if this was being run primarily as an attacker it would be lackluster at best, but with the Ability added in it seems… adequate.  I still wouldn’t build a deck around attacking with this Reshiram but it seems a plausible attack option for a deck already using it for the Ability. 

There are only two other versions of Reshiram: both are Basic, Fire-Type Pokémon with 130 HP, Water Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], no Abilities, no Ancient Traits and have two attacks.  The first Reshiram released has many reprints available so that you have a total of seven versions of the exact same card (just with different art) to pick from: Black & White 26/114, Black & White 113/114, BW Black Star Promos BW004, BW Black Star Promos BW23, BW: Next Destinies 21/99, BW: Legendary Treasures 28/113, BW: Legendary Treasures 114/113 and BW: Legendary Treasures RC22/RC25.  It features “Outrage” for [CC], allowing it to hit for 20 damage plus 10 per damage counter on itself.  Its big attack is Blue Flare for [RRC] that hits for 120 but then makes you discard two [R] Energy attached to Reshiram.  This card has been reviewed three times by the CotD crew; I encourage you to read those but not to know what the card is like now, but instead to learn what the metagame was like back then.  While it is still a great Fire-Type attacker, though it has long since stopped being one of the top attackers in the format.  Now it is usually the “go-to”, non-Pokémon-EX Fire-Type attacker in Fire-decks, but skipped if the energy acceleration is lacking or space is truly absent.  Outrage is good enough to get it splashed into decks that need a Fire attacker that can use any Energy, even though it has to survive a hit to do major damage, but again not all the time.

The other other Reshiram is BW: Plasma Freeze 17/116.  Yes, this one just gets a single release.  As stated it matches up to the older version in almost every way, with the only game relevant differences being its attacks.  For [RCC] it can use “Purifying Flame” to hit for 50 points of damage while removing all Special Conditions form itself, while for just one Energy more ([RCCC]) it can hit for 80 damage, plus another 40 (so 120 total) if you have a Zekrom.  That would be any iteration of Zekrom so long as its name is only “Zekrom”: Zekrom-EX won’t work for this.  You can read the old review here: unfortunately I got it wrong.  It never caught on in the decks that could accommodate the massive requirements (Energy plus Zekrom) without also being able to accommodate the Energy demands of the (at the time only) other version.  At least I got that Purifying Flame didn’t seem well thought out: there five Special Conditions and of them, Burn is almost non-existent in competitive play, Confusion has a 50% chance of preventing either the damage or effect from being done (while placing three damage counters on Reshiram), Paralysis prevents the attack from happening (before going away at the end of your turn), Poison will have already hit you once and outside of lock decks is usually used to secure an effective OHKO and Sleep will also prevent you from attacking (though it may or may not go away on its own).  Even if the attack hit harder, the effect would be negligible. 

So all this proves that today’s Reshiram… probably isn’t competing with either of its predecessors.  I’d have skipped covering them but how I review is by thoroughly going over the card and showing why something is or isn’t a good idea.  The true competition for Reshiram will be other forms of Energy acceleration compatible with the appropriate Dragon-Type Pokémon, but the other options may compliment each other instead of compete, namely Double Dragon Energy and Mega Turbo (obviously only when dealing with Mega Evolutions).  If you’ve got room for one (or both) of these alongside Reshiram, you can do some pretty sweet tricks.  Even just two can make almost any three Energy attack on a Dragon-Type a reasonable, single turn play.  Of course those attackers that actually have [R] Energy requirements are going to enjoy Turboblaze more.  Reshiram appears to have been intentionally designed to combo with Hydreigon-EX or Float Stone or pretty much any other “switching” card that allows you to at least promote it after something was KOed, attach an extra Fire Energy and then get it out of your way; Switch provides the usual benefit while acting a bit like a Dark Patch when combined with Reshiram and a spare Fire Energy in hand.  Turns when you can’t attack (including first turn) you can throw Reshiram up front even if you can’t get it out of your way, still enjoying Turboblaze while Reshiram soaks an opponent’s attack or two.  You’re still out a Prize, but usually that is better than a Pokémon-EX or something you are trying to power-up. 

So what attackers work well with this?  That is the (potentially) tournament winning question.  So far I haven’t seen any compelling finishes with anything yet to clue us in.  This Reshiram is useful to itself; that massive four Energy cost is only made manageable thanks to Turboblaze (and usually a second Turboblaze, a means of changing out your Active, and a Double Dragon Energy).  Hydreigon-EX becomes a much better attacker, though still a secondary one: with Double Dragon Energy and a Turboblaze you can use its “Shred” attack without any previous prep to hit for 80 damage while ignoring protective effects on the opponent’s Active.  M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 61/108) seems to be the intended beneficiary with not only a massive attack cost of [RRRLC] but an effect that discards two Energy from itself, it hits hard (300 damage) but requires a lot of resources to keep going.  I’ve encountered the deck on the PTCGO and it seems like one of those decks that is brutal to beat when it gets set-up but getting set-up is its Achilles’ Heel.  It might be worth poking and seeing what other Dragon-Types (maybe even the odd card that Evolves from a Dragon-Type) could work with it.  So experiment with it in Standard and Expanded, and unless you pull something around which you can build a good +39 deck or you can’t justify running about half (or more) your Energy as Fire Energy with a source of [L] Energy, you’ll want to include this.  That… is actually a bit more narrow a usage in Limited than it sounds. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.25/5 

Summary: The benefit of being tardy is that I know this Reshiram still hasn’t found a compelling home, but it isn’t going anywhere so every new Dragon-Type released brings a new chance.  The almost-here rotation for Standard and addition of XY: Ancient Origins is a bit too far removed for me to predict; this is a support card and I’m still working out where I think the “big name” cards are going to fall.  Hazarding a guess though, I don’t think it will get better and may become even less plausible.


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