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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Dragonite #52

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
July 1, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.5
Limited: 3.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Whoa! Dang, Dragonite, punching through the lake to the bottom to crack the earth! Seriously, take some chill pills and call me in the morning. Oh wait, you can't, you're weak to Ice! :D 

......*er-hem* So as you probably guessed, this Dragonite has an Ancient Trait, this time it's back to Delta Plus. You know, the one that lets you take an extra Prize when you KO a Pokemon. And just looking at solid numbers, Dragonite seems to be a pretty heavy-hitter on it...but that's about it. 

Wrapped in Wind is the first attack, and it's just a lead-in to the second attack, Heavy Impact. Don't know why we gotta keep mentioning Dragonite's weight, but moving on. Wrapped in Wind only costs 1 Electric Energy, and it lets you attach 2 more Energy to Dragonite so you can go straight to 3 Energy. Chances are the idea is that you build up enough Energy using this and your regular attachment to use Heavy Impact. 

Which costs 5 Energy. And is vanilla. And does 150 damage. 

Not to say that's not impressive, but MAN is that expensive. I know I shouldn't compare Dragonite to the giant Pokemon-EX that are much better, but to give you an idea: 

-Landorus-EX (BCR) can do 150 for 3 Energy and discarding all his Fighting Energy

-Mewtwo-EX and Yveltal-EX each can hit 150 by having 8+ Energy on both Active Pokemon

-Keldeo-EX (BCR) can do that with 5 Water Energy attached

-Genesect-EX (PLB) can scrap that easily with G Booster attached

-both M Rayquaza-EX easily outdo that, the Dragon one DOUBLING the damage for the same Energy amount while the Colorless one does it for 3 Energy of any kind AND with a full Bench

-Primal Kyogre-EX does that damage by default at 4 while also hitting a lot of Benched EX

-while not his primary focus, Seismitoad-EX's Grenade Hammer can hit 150 with a Muscle Band boost for 3 Energy

-if you discard 3 Fire Energy in play, Camerupt-EX does that for 4 Energy 

The list goes on, but the idea is that Dragonite's Heavy Impact is...well, middle of the road. It doesn't have a lot of negative effects like discarding Energy, and it doesn't require a full Bench or tons of Energy, but it doesn't have anything more to offer at 5 Energy. And a lot of these Pokemon are able to do the same amount of damage for LESS Energy and LESS investment than it takes to get Dragonite out. 

He's a heavy-hitter, but he just needs to be a lot quicker. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (powerful when you can get him out, but he's budging folks out for his own deck) 

Expanded: 2/5 (about the same here; at least he's got 160 HP) 

Limited: 4/5 (150 damage here will KO most Pokemon here, and the extra Prize draw is amazing; just be wary of how slow he'll be coming out) 

Arora Notealus: I'M A DRAGONITE ROARING THROUGH THE SKIES LIKE PALKIA DEFYING THE LAWS OF GRAVITY 

Next Time: And now here's looking at the Rayquaza you DIDN'T want to pick up!


Emma Starr

Right after we witness the power of Dragonite from yesterday, the only Pokémon that could honorably follow its path would be…Dragonite! And if you thought the Dragonite from yesterday had a lot of HP, wait until you see the 160 on this guy! That’s just 10-20 away from most EXs! He also shares the nice weakness of Fairy, except this one hasn’t been trained in Speed as much, and thus has a 4 energy Retreat Cost, so make sure to bring out the Escape Rope or Switches if things get bad.

                Things already are looking pretty good for this Dragonite, but as you may be able to tell from the 3/4ish art, this Dragonite has an Ancient Trait, and man, is it a good one! He has Alpha Plus, which lets him take an extra Prize Card for every Pokémon he takes out (so 2 for a normal Pokémon, and 3 for an EX)! With this really nice bonus aside, his first attack, Wrapped in Wind, lets Dragonite attach up to 2 basic energy cards from your hand to it. This is actually very helpful, since his only damaging attack requires 5 energy! Unfortunately, that means it excludes Double Dragon Energy, which you’ll probably want to have on him, but if you attach Double Dragon Energy to him that turn, you could use this attack to attach a couple of Grass Energies to him, then when the next turn comes around, just attach one more Energy to him, and he’ll be ready to use his attack! So, even though that 5 Energy attack is huge, under the best circumstances, you could have him all powered up by his second turn.Well, enough with just talking about that Energy Cost, let’s move on to the rest of that attack!

                Heavy Impact does 150 for three Grass, one Electric, and one Colorless. As mentioned before, unless you run Grass-Electric (and even if you do, really!), I would strongly suggest using a Double Dragon energy for this guy, since not only will that cover for the odd Electric energy cost, but it provides 2 Energy in one turn as well, obviously. Anyway, as you can probably already tell, a 150 damage attack on a non-EX is something that you rarely see. Couple that with his Ancient Trait, the 1 prize-giving Pokémon that has the power of an EX without the extra prize penalty, and there’s a good reason you’d want to run this EX (of course, Rare Candy will also help a lot). I mean, 150 is enough to brutally injure most EXs, but not quite knock them out completely in one hit. Solution? You guessed it – Muscle Band. Now Dragonite will be hitting for a whopping 170 HP, which is capable of 1HKOing about half of the EXs (you know, aside from Megas, and the annoyingly 180 HP ones)! You really can’t ask too much more from an amazing non-EX Pokémon like this Dragon!

                Standard: 3/5 (Although he has amazing power, he still requires 5 energy, and is a Stage 2. Still definitely worthy of running in Grass Decks, but just know you’ll be spending 2+ turns powering him up. Good thing he has all of that HP…)

                Expanded: 3/5

                Limited: 3.5/5 (Alpha Plus Pokémon are always amazing to have on-hand in this format, but make sure you pulled enough Dratinis and Dragonairs as well, since you obviously won’t have access to Rare Candy here. Although you may be spending a good amount of time powering him up, the game will be over pretty quick once you manage to take down an EX for 3 prizes.)


Otaku

Shock of shocks: as we look at Dragonite (XY: Roaring Skies 51/108) I’ll be repeating myself a lot from yesterday, because while the cards are distinct in the details (and artwork), they have very similar attributes access to the same support.  Also if you didn’t catch it in the last two CotDs, this is a very, very late review (by about eight weeks) that I wanted to finish and get up.  Why?  Because I’m obsessive.  I’ll try to cover how Dragonite works in the current Standard and Expanded Formats even though there is only a week left (give or take a few days depending on exactly when this was posted).  I will then touch briefly upon what might happen when September 1st rolls around and XY: Ancient Origins becomes legal for both formats, while Standard loses sets prior to XY: Kalos Starter Set.  Also, yes I will be copy and pasting some bits from yesterday’s review.  I’ll try to revise most of those sections so they aren’t complete rehashes but even I only wish to dedicate so much time to rewording things I’ve said in the previous review (or reviews for things that apply to Dragon-Types in general). 

Dragonite (XY: Roaring Skies 52/108) is… a Dragon-Type.  Right, kind of the theme for the week and as I’ve been stating, that means it can only hit BW-era Dragon-Types for Weakness but doesn’t have to worry about Resistance (mostly a perk) and has a solid support base with cards like Double Dragon Energy.  There are a few counter-Dragon effects in the game, but they haven’t been all that great and perhaps more important, haven’t been on otherwise good cards that would see play for other reasons, and Dragon-Types aren’t strong enough to justify running a lot just to deal with them.  So at worst I’d consider this a solid, middle-of-the-road type and at best it could be really good.  Being a Stage 2 however is not very good right now; it takes more time and cards to get into play than the Basics that dominate the format and while I think this could be balanced out (by improving the Evolving lower Stages of Evolution lines and pacing “big, Basic” Pokémon a little slower), that shows almost no signs of happening. 

Today’s Dragonite clocks in with 160 HP, which is as good as I’ve seen printed on a Stage 2.  Most Pokémon-EX (and all Mega Evolutions) as well as good ol’ Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124) beat this and it still is within OHKO range of multiple decks, but so is everything else: Dragonite is likely to survive a hit and when it can’t you’ll almost certainly see it coming.  The Fairy-Type Weakness isn’t good (only “No Weakness” is) but as far as they go, it isn’t terribly bad mostly because it isn’t an easy Type to splash into otherwise off-Type decks and there aren’t that many Fairy-Type decks doing well competitively.  The ones we do see will score a OHKO though.  No Resistance is the worst Resistance and while it is also the norm I have to wonder if it might be more significant on something with 160 HP… or less.  The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is massive and you do not want to have to pay it; run something to decrease it, bypass manually retreating entirely or prepare to tank. 

We start with the promising Ancient Trait “Δ  Plus”; though I’m not sure if any of the attackers with it have “made good” yet, the promising of taking an additional Prize when scoring a KO is quite tantalizing; taking out two Pokémon-EX would yield six Prizes!  “Wrapped in Wind”, the first attack, requires [L] and allows you to attach up to two basic Energy cards from hand to Dragonite itself which is… less promising.  Energy acceleration is often a powerful thing, but less so when it is part of an attack and this one has enough restrictions and doesn’t accelerate from someplace more useful like the deck or discard pile, not does it ensure you’re ready for the next attack (you’ll still need to attach two more Energy if you started with a lone [L]).  “Heavy Impact” has a massive cost of [GGGLC] you see, so you’ll almost certainly want another form of Energy acceleration available (Hello Double Dragon Energy!).  The payout is 150 damage, which is takes out a lot in one hit but not most commonly played Pokémon-EX (Hello Muscle Band?).  It isn’t a perfect combination of effects, but they enough synergy to entice. 

Got to go through the lower Stages to get a Dragonite into play, though.  First up is 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 51/108, all three being Stage 2 Dragon-Type Pokémon with 150 HP, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of [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. 

Yesterday we covered XY: Roaring Skies 51/108, which sports the modern Fairy-Type Weakness, an Ability, no Ancient Trait and one attack.  The Ability is “Max Wind”, which appropriately enough is kind of like a Max Potion in that when it triggers, it allows you to select a Pokémon of yours in play and remove all damage from it.  Unlike Max Potion, no Energy is discarded; instead its cost is that it only works when you Evolve something into Dragonite from hand.  Be careful with that last bit; you won’t get the effect if you use something like Evosoda or Wally.  A Stage 2 is a lot to run but the healing is quite potent.  Its attack, less so: for [GLC] “Mach press” hits for 80 damage and has you flip two coins.  If both are “heads” the opponent’s Active is Paralyzed; anything else means the attack just does the 80 damage.  Not something I’d build a deck around, but not worthless.  I have seen people work this into a deck just for the healing, but it is hard to find the space and only worth it for attackers that aren’t easily set back up after a card like Max Potion or Super Scoop Up does a similar job.  The first two aren’t worth it but this one might make sense to back up today’s version; XY: Roaring Skies 52/108 has the HP that might allow it to survive a hit and every additional attack it survives to make is another chance to cash in on its Ancient Trait. 

Should you try this in Standard or Expanded?  This might be one of those cards that is too strong for more “casual” play but not strong enough to hack it in the “competitive” scene.  Effects like that of Δ  Plus can be brutal to face in a tournament even when they are so tricky to pull off and Lugia-EX (BW: Plasma Storm 108/135, 134/135; BW: Black Star Promo BW83; BW: Legendary Treasures 102/113) - or simply Lugia-EX [Plasma] - was once a powerhouse in the format, though it has more recently just been another older archetype that isn’t as strong as the current crop but which will pound you if you aren’t ready for it (mentally, if not in terms of your actual deck).  Lugia-EX [Plasma] has its own resource issues but still is a lot faster.  I don’t see Expanded differing significantly; all the same pros and cons apply only there are more examples of them.  Once September 1st rolls around, things change and yet stay the same; XY: Ancient Origins adds some new options but mostly remixes of what you can already do.  I’m not sure if anything being cut from Standard play at that time will really impact Dragonite; Fairy-Types didn’t start up until the XY block, BW-era Dragon-Types aren’t that big of a presence right now and the same goes for Lugia-EX [Plasma].  If you have enough other cards to still build your deck while running on mostly Grass Energy and Lightning Energy, this is another great pull even if you can only manage a 1-1-1 line.  Yes getting it out will be a challenge but remember, Limited only has players set aside four Prizes, not six! 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.75/5 

Expanded: 2.75/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: At a glance Dragonite (XY: Roaring Skies 52/108) looks like it should be at least one of the top attackers in the game, but it takes a lot to get it into play and attacking, and that leaves less room for what you need to make sure those attacks count, be it something to improve Heavy Impact’s capacity for OHKOs or speed out Dragonite.  With how many decks are running multiple Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) or trying out more non-Pokémon-EX attackers, you could be looking at a very fast win, if only you can manage the set-up.  I’m thinking that is what gets this card but perhaps something like an M Manectric-EX/Dragonite deck will make a surprise showing at Worlds and prove me wrong. 


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