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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Dragonite #51

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 30, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.40
Expanded: 2.40
Limited: 3.13

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

IN ALLLLLLL OF HIS GLORY!! 

...dawwwwwwww 

Anywho, so this here is Dragonite - or more accurately, one of two Dragonite in the set. You can probably take a guess on why that is, and I'm pretty sure you'd be right. Dragonite here doesn't have an Ancient Trait, but don't be fooled; similar to Banette from last week, he's got an Ability that may help you out in a tight spot. 

On top of that, he's also got a decent attack in Mach Press. It's a little awkward applying G-E-C as a cost, but if you can make it work (probably using Double Dragon Energy and maybe Reshiram to cover for the Colorless part), you get a decent 80 damage strike and the chance to flip 2 coins. If both of those coins land heads, your opponent's Pokemon gets Paralyzed, effectively freezing them for a turn unless they Switch with a card effect of some kind. Not too bad, but it's only gonna happen 25% of the time (or 1 in every 4 Mach Presses, to look at it another way), making it rather unreliable. At least the damage output's fair.

As for the Ability, Max Wind, Dragonite takes on the role of a "fifth Max Potion" if you will - only without the Energy discard. You probably remember Max Potion from back in Emerging Powers; back then, you had stuff like Hydreigon (DEX) and  Klinklang (BW) to move your Energy around to avoid the cost. Outside of that, there were only mediocre ways to heal. Nowadays, depending on what deck you run, you've got a variety of ways to heal, just not quite all of the damage done. 

Picture this: you're struggling to fuel M Rayquaza-EX's Dragon Ascent, and your opponent is racking up the damage. One more turn, and you're gonna lose him! And all you've got is a Dragonair or Dratini on the Bench (with Rare Candy in the hand in the case of the latter). You draw Dragonite and evolve your Benched Dragon, using Max Wind to heal off M Rayquaza-EX, buying you another turn to clinch the match! It's crazy what you can do, and the best part is that it doesn't matter what Pokemon you target because Max Wind can work on ANY Pokemon!

On the other side of that coin, Dragonite is also really slow to get out. You'll have to devote a lot of deck space to him, and at best he's tech support, fixing up your Pokemon so that it can keep on powering through. Not every deck can run him well, and not every deck will be able to run him, but for those that can, he's going to lend a big helping hand! 

...well, unless you're facing a One-Hit KO from something like M Rayquaza-EX.

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (a bit slow, but he's got a decent attack and a handy Ability)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (same here) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (the attack will do great here with the overall lower scores, and the Ability is absolutely a savior!) 

Arora Notealus: You know, I think it would be nice to have some form of dual-accelerator Pokemon to work with. Kinda like what we have with Bronzong and Eeleketrik, only working for two Types instead of just one. It's great for the one Type, but stuff like Fighting and Grass don't get that much in the way of acceleration very often, and Water and Fire tend to explode from the hand. Just have like a couple of different Pokemon that can attach This or That Energy from the discard pile to a Bench-sitter. Might be something to consider for future Dragon-types in particular, though for now I suppose Double Dragon Energy covers the need. 

Next Time: Now tap into the ancient powers, and...


Emma Starr

Today’s card is Dragonite, who somehow keeps his Electric and Grass Energy requirements from Dragonite EX. But really, why would he need those energies to attack? In the games, he’s resistant to Grass, and neutral against Electricity, so it could be anyone’s guess, I guess. :/

                Dragonite sure seems to have a boatload of HP, as 150 is one of the best you’ll ever see on a non-EX Pokémon. The Fairy weakness is not too troubling, but that Retreat Cost sure is, so make sure you have a different backup plan. Unfortunately, he is of course a Stage 2, but thankfully his ability gives you a good reason to want to evolve him.

                Max Wind lets you remove all damage counters from one of your benched Pokémon, that is, if you evolve into Dragonite from your hand. Fortunately, it doesn’t specify that it has to evolve from Dratini or Dragonair, which means you are free to use Rare Candy to accomplish this. While that helps, and this certainly could be a very useful ability, you’ll probably want a useful attack as well, especially considering that horrid Retreat Cost…

                For one Grass, one Electric, and one Colorless, Dragonite does 80 damage, and lets you flip 2 coins, which lets you paralyze the opposing Pokémon if you get 2 heads (25% chance). Great. Well, the attack isn’t horrible, but if unboosted, you’ll be 3HKOing EXs, and while Dragonite might have survivability, it’s attack is just…pretty underwhelming, especially for a Stage 2.

                Standard: 2.3/5 (useful ability, but you’ll most likely have him as a bench sitting Pokémon, though with Sky Field, that issue isn’t as bad as it could be in the past, and it’s not the worst Pokémon to get Lysandre’d either, as he does have a lot of HP. But good luck retreating him, unless you have a Switch or Escape Rope handy.

                Expanded: 2.3/5

                Limited: 2/5 (you’ll definitely want to have some Double Dragon energy if you want to use this one, unless you plan on running Grass-Electric. Again, the ability is useful, along with the attack probably being more useful here, however, you won’t have access to Rare Candy here, so good luck evolving it effectively…)


Otaku

Catching up on some CotDs I missed; most were at least partially done but I just ran out of time (and one actually was done but there was a miscommunication).  So yes, this is being finished and posted about eight weeks after it was due; I’ll try to cover its brief remaining time for the current Standard and Expanded Formats, and then touch lightly upon what might happen when September 1st rolls around, Standard faces set rotation and both Standard and Expanded gain XY: Ancient Origins for tournament play. 

Dragonite (XY: Roaring Skies 51/108) is our subject today and I think we’ll just dive right in: being a Dragon-Type has… not changed since yesterday.  There are some “counter cards” that target the Dragon-Type but… they are so obscure I keep forgetting that they exist.  Only hitting BW-era Dragons for Weakness is means there aren’t likely to be as many opportunities for that sweet, doubled damage that can make some decks, but considering there is no Resistance to worry about on top of some good Type support (some from this set), it is still a fairly good Type.  Being a Stage 2 means Dragonite can be tricky to get into play; you’ll need room and time for the lower Stages, plus you need to get them in the right order as well, though at least being spread out over multiple turns is almost a blessing in that respect.  150 HP is good; you aren’t safe from a OHKO (nothing is) but Stage 2 Pokémon don’t get much bigger and plenty of competitive Pokémon-EX clock in at only 20 more. 

The Fairy-Type Weakness will allows a few key cards to OHKO you when they’d normally miss (sometimes only just miss) or need an extra resource, but even that isn’t as bad as it could be.  That is because Fairy-Types rarely show up outside of Fairy Transfer decks, and Fairy-Type decks aren’t all that heavily played.  The lack of Resistance is a bit of a bummer but also the norm, so it seems inappropriate to dock Dragonite for that deficiency; it can be hard to tell when Resistance will really matter.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] does hurt a bit though; it is enough that paying to retreat may simply not be an option, either due to the upfront cost or the difficulty in recovering from chucking that much Energy.  It also is one over what a single Hydreigon-EX can zero out (though it would still be dropped to a much more manageable [C], and a second copy would still make it free). 

Dragonite sports an Ability (Max Wind) and an attack (Mach Press).  Max Wind is basically a Max Potion without the Energy discard clause, triggered by Evolving one of your Pokémon into Dragonite from hand.  That last bit means you can’t trigger this Ability by using Wally or Evosoda since they Evolve from your deck.  Though a one time thing, it is a pretty good Ability even with the difficulty of accessing it.  Its main drawback is… well, being on a Stage 2 but it would probably be broken on anything less, so its main relevant drawback is external; this is a format where OHKOs as well as asymmetrical 2HKOs are pretty common.  In the case of the former you’ll get no chance to heal and in the case of the latter, if the smaller hit comes first you’ll have read the situation correctly or risk wasting the healing on a small amount of damage (when was not actually a 2HKO set-up) or fail to heal (and thus get 2HKOed).  For [GLC] you can use Mach Press to hit for 80 and flip two coins; if both are “heads” your opponent’s Active is Paralyzed.  The bonus effect is unlikely but at least it exists, and with Muscle Band or Silver Bangle or another buff it could 2HKO most things less than a Mega Evolution or Wailord-EX. 

Before you get to Dragonite though you’ll need to at least go through Dratini; our options are BW: Dragon Vault 1/20, BW: Dragon Vault 2/20, BW: Plasma Freeze 81/116 and XY: Roaring Skies 49/108, with the first two being Expanded only.  All are Basic Dragon-Types with at least 40 HP, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ability and no Ancient Trait.  BW: Dragon Vault 1/20 is Dragon Weak with a single attack (Wrap) that does 20 with a coin flip to Paralyze but costs [GL].  BW: Dragon Vault 2/20 is also Dragon Weak but has two attacks; for [G] it can use “Hypnotic Gaze” to put the opponent’s Active to Sleep, while for [L] it can use “Tail Whap” to hit for 10 damage.  BW: Plasma Freeze 81/116 has 50 HP but is still Dragon Weak and again has two attacks: for [G] it can heal 20 damage from itself with “Shed Skin” and for [LC] it can hit for 20 with “Tail Smack”.  XY: Roaring Skies 49/108 also has 50 HP but is Fairy Weak and its first attack (Hook) does 10 for [G] while its second attack (Slam) has you flip two coins good for 20 per “heads” at a cost of [LC].  None of these are overly great; I’d go with the newest (XY: Roaring Skies 49/108) because of the Fairy Weakness and 50 HP, but the 40 HP versions have better attacks. 

You either have to use Rare Candy or Dragonair: your options are BW: Dragon Vault 3/20, BW: Dragon Vault 4/20, BW: Plasma Freeze 82/116 and XY: Roaring Skies 50/108, again with the first two being Expanded legal only.  All are Stage 1 Pokémon with at least 70 HP, no Resistance, no Ability, no Ancient Trait and two attacks.  BW: Dragon Vault 3/20 and BW: Dragon Vault 4/20 both have 70 HP, Dragon Weakness, and a Retreat Cost of [CC].  The former has “Tail Whap” for its first attack, which requires [CC] to hit for 20 while the second (Dragon Pulse) requires [GLC] to hit for 70, plus it discards the top card of your own deck.  The latter can use Healing Melody for [G] to heal 10 damage from each of your Pokémon or Slam for [LC] to flip two coins and hit for 30 per “heads”.  BW: Plasma Freeze 82/116 also has 70 HP and Dragon Weakness, but its Retreat Cost is only [C] while its first attack (Wrap) requires [L] to hit for 20 plus flip a coin to try for Paralysis, with its second attack (Tail Smack) needing [GCC] to hit for 50.  XY: Roaring Skies 50/108 tops the others with 80 HP and Fairy Weakness.  It can use Shed Skin for [G] like its set-mate, but this time it heals 30 damage, while it also repeats Slam from older cards, only this time it requires [GLC] to flip two coins and does 60 per “heads”.  Purely for the HP I’d go with XY: Roaring Skies 50/108 but once again, I’m not sure if it makes much of a difference. 

There are three other Dragonite to consider: BW: Dragon Vault 5/20, BW: Plasma Freeze 83/116 and XY: Roaring Skies 52/108, all three being Stage 2 Dragon-Type Pokémon with at least 150 HP, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of at least [CCC].  BW: Dragon Vault 5/20 has Dragon-Type Weakness, no Ability and no Ancient Trait, with two attacks: “Hyper Beam” for [LCC] hits for 50 and gives you a coin flip to try and discard an Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon while “Hurricane Tail” requires [GCCC] to flip four coins good for 60 damage per “heads”.  If you need details, you can check out our older review of it here and just know I was probably too nice to it its potential is even less now.  BW: Plasma Freeze 83/116 also has Dragon-Type Weakness, no Ability, no Ancient Traits plus two attacks: “Deafen” for [CCC] does 60 damage and Item locks the opponent for a turn while “Healwing” for [GLCC] does 90 damage while healing 30 from itself.  This one also has a review and also some past success, though it was almost totally abandoned even before Seismitoad-EX did the same thing but better.  Last up is XY: Roaring Skies 52/108, with 160 HP, Fairy-Type Weakness, Retreat Cost [CCCC], an Ancient Trait and two attacks.  We’ll cover it in detail tomorrow, but the short version is that the Ancient Trait (Δ  Plus) is why people want to give this a shot, as when it KOs something you take an extra Prize.  Its first attack (Wrapped in Wind) requires [L] and allows you to attach up to two basic Energy cards from hand to Dragonite itself, while for the massive cost of [GGGLC] you can use Heavy Impact to try and crush something, preferably with enough of a boost for a OHKO. 

So… what about today’s version?  How and where should we use XY: Roaring Skies 51/108?  The older Dragonite cards just can’t seem to cut it, but you might consider working in one of these alongside XY: Roaring Skies 52/108 as its 160 HP means it has a decent shot at surviving some attacks; if you can keep it alive long enough to attack multiple times, you can pretty quickly win the game (not that quick though as you’ll need a few turns to get the set-up right).  As bizarre as it may sound, in the right deck a 1-0-1 or 1-1-1 line of XY: Roaring Skies 51/108 might make sense because the healing is so extensive.  I have bumped into a few individual decks trying this but I’m not sure if it has seen any high level play (let alone successful high level play).  For Limited, as long as you aren’t running a +39 build (which run just one Basic Pokémon to ensure starting with it), then even if you’ve only got a 1-1-1 line, include this as the healing is amazing and worth the space even if you kind of have to “luck into it” (draw into things in the right order in a timely fashion).  If you are running Grass Energy and Lightning Energy, even better. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.75/5 

Expanded: 2.75/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Dragonite (XY: Roaring Skies 51/108) is hard to fit into a deck but that healing is amazing; in a slower paced format this card might be run and spammed like Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119) but as there are many decks that can at least shoot for a OHKO against most other Pokémon and a few that can OHKO anything, it isn’t worth the hassle in general.  There might be a few decks where it works, though.  I’m not thinking rotation will affect it much if at all. 


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