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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Rayquaza EX

- Roaring Skies

Date Reviewed:
June 30, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 2.75
Limited: 3.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Yeah. You knew this was coming. I didn't even hide the fact that we were reviewing this with one of my fun little cryptic "Next Time" hints. No, I just straight up told you, "We're reviewing the bad Rayquaza-EX today." You know it's the bad one because by now you've probably seen several different M Rayquaza-EX decks, and they're more than likely running the Colorless one. Why? Because it's BETTER!! 

But why is it better? Well, I'm glad you asked! 

Now lemme start by saying that Rayquaza-EX here is not Magnezone-EX levels of bad. That's right, the worst Pokemon-EX in history Magnezone-EX is getting cited, so you KNOW you're in for a treat! But regardless, Rayquaza-EX is not THAT bad. He's still bad though, and you can tell because he starts off dangerously similar: a 2-cost vanilla attack. Yes, Dragon Claw is a boring attack, and worse yet, it does 30 damage - that's 10 less damage than Magnezone-EX's Electro Ball!! 

But at least his second attack isn't Dual Bullet, which only sniped 50 damage on 2 Benched Pokemon for 3 Electric Energy, and that's the LAST you're going to hear of Magnezone-EX! Rayquaza-EX's is much better - at 4 Energy, he deals 130 damage with Dragon Strike! Already outdoing that...unmentionable EX that I've mentioned so many times, but here's the catch: you have to flip a coin. 

Coin flips are the bane of competitive decks for one simple reason: they rely on chance. That seems like a no-brainer, and with Rayquaza-EX here, his coin flip is...particularly chancy. If you flip Tails, you can't use Dragon Strike on your next turn. You get stuck with Dragon Claw until the turn AFTER that. *shudder* 

Okay, but in all seriousness, it's not as bad as it looks. The reason I imagine people will run this Rayquaza-EX in their builds is because of the damage output - 130 is a LOT of damage to deal, and throwing in a Muscle Band can alleviate the harsh Tails result from Dragon Strike by giving you something to KO most Pokemon-EX outside of Megas. On top of that, Rayquaza-EX has the benefit of Mega Evolving himself, meaning you can completely circumvent the effect of Dragon Strike and go straight for an even BETTER attack than before! It's certainly better than dealing with Dragon Pulse and milling three cards. 

So don't worry, you're not at fault for wanting to run this in your deck - far from it! But be wary of the risk you run - without the Mega Evolution option or Muscle Band, this Rayquaza-EX is a dangerous gambit. Milling 6 cards may be a hefty toll, but at least it guarantees you the KO - Dragon Strike will make you flip for it. So what's worse: a 50/50 coin flip, or losing 6 cards in your deck? 

And remember: Lysandre's Banned Card can't save you now. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (on his own merits, I'd put him lower at a 1.5, but since he's got outs to his Dragon Strike attack, he's alright in my book) 

Expanded: 2/5 (you should be running the more devastating variant of Rayquaza-EX over this or the Colorless one, honestly) 

Limited: 4/5 (again, 130 is a lot of damage in this format, and even with the risk, you've still got 160 damage over the course of two turns - that's pretty good stuff) 

Arora Notealus: You think we've got enough of these legendary dragons roaming around? I mean, don't get me wrong, Dragons are a rare and noble breed, but do we have to live under the rule of so many? We've got one in the skies, one for space and time, one in another dimension, one each for truth and ideals, another underground - maybe it's time we do something else, like what we did with Xerneas and Yveltal. I liked that! 

Weekend Thought: You think I should be more creative with these "Arora Notealus" bits? I mean, I just throw them in for fun most of the time, so maybe I should get a little crazier. Oh, yeah, are you also excited to play Dragons again? Like everyone was when Dragons Exalted came out, and now they seem pretty viable a deck again! 

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO ALL YOU INDEPENDENT AMERICANS!! GO CELEBRATE THE ACCEPTANCE OF LEGAL GAY MARRIAGE WITH YOUR LOVED ONES - OR BY MARRYING YOUR LOVED ONES!! :D


Emma Starr

                Today, we have the return of a Pokémon who’s been a big part of two sets – Dragon’s Exalted and now, Roaring Skies. Is this one as great as the other two from this set that we’ve talked about? Well time to take a look at this card I accidentally first reviewed during the day where we reviewed the three Rayquaza-related cards. But since I never actually saved that review, looks like I’m starting from scratch. :P

                With 180 HP and a weakness to Fairy, things are already looking pretty nice, although for such a fast Pokémon, the Retreat Cost of 2 is a bit disappointing, so make sure you have another way of switching out easily, especially if the coin flip for Dragon Strike doesn’t go well, which I’ll get to soon enough.

                Its first attack is Dragon Claw, which does 30 for two Colorless, and is a lot less impressive of a move than it is in the games. And really, the only times where you should even consider using it is if the coin flip for Dragon Strike failed, or Rayquaza EX doesn’t have enough Energies attached to it yet, which could be a problem if you get Lysandre’d, which it could very well be, since Rayquaza EX needs to have 4 energies on it until it can become useful, which, I guess is the case for a lot of EXs, really.

                The real attack, Dragon Strike, does 130 damage for two Fire, one Electric, and one Colorless. Obviously Double Dragon Energy will help power Rayquaza EX up quicker to use this attack, and so he can be more useful in Fire decks, without them needing to be Fire-Electric to fully support him. But now, let’s talk about that dreaded coin flip. Every time you use this attack, you have to flip a coin, and if it’s tails, you can’t use the attack next turn. You could attach a Trick Coin to lessen the impact of this downside, lowering the chance of failure from the usual 50% to 25%.  If you do get tails, you’ll either want to switch out in some way, or use the horrid Dragon Claw attack, which is probably the biggest downside to this Rayquaza.

                Standard: 3.5/5 (Somewhat consistently powerful, but Double Dragon Energy and Trick Coin can really help it.)

                Expanded: 3.5/5

                Limited: 2.5/5 (obviously EXs are always nice to pull, but the lack of Trick Coin isn’t actually too bad, since most threats can usually just be taken out with one Dragon Strike, and one Dragon Claw if need be. The lack of effective switching can be worrisome, though.)


Otaku

A quick note: this review is being posted about eight weeks after it was scheduled to go up.  It was about half-written on time but I failed to finish it and noticed it again recently; due to the generous policy Pojo has about late work, I was able to complete and submit it at this time.  As such, there may be some odd places where I didn’t update it properly.  Also, though there is only about a week left of the current format, the review will still discuss the cards accordingly; at this point these CotDs are more likely to serve as historical footnotes than cutting edge strategy, anyway. 

We wrap this week up with Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 60/108), this sets Dragon-Type option for the Pokémon.  As you’ve read me write all week (the downside of this kind of theme week), the Dragon-Type can only hit BW-era Dragon-Type cards for Weakness, but doesn’t have to worry about Resistance and enjoys some good (though not the best) Type support: definitely a net positive.  Being a Basic is the best while being a Pokémon-EX is more complicated than it looks.  Some of the best Pokémon in the game right now are Pokémon-EX, however the only thing guaranteed (well, unless the designers specifically take pains to counteract them) by being a Pokémon-EX are that the Pokémon in question gives up an extra Prize when KOed, faces certain anti-Pokémon-EX cards and certain supporting cards won’t work with Pokémon-EX.  It usually is accompanied by better attributes and effects but there are Pokémon that don’t get enough of either to any good. 

Rayquaza-EX has 180 HP, the third highest value we’ve seen printed on a Basic Pokémon-EX and the highest common value (the exceptions are unusual cases).  No amount is safe from a OHKO, but this should survive a blow from all but the hardest hitting decks… except against Fairy-Types due to Weakness.  Silverlining to this dark cloud is that Fairy-Types tend to only show up in Fairy Transfer decks and the ones doing the attacking were either close or already hitting OHKO level; you’ll just save them a little extra effort.  No Resistance is the worst but also is normal; no sense docking Rayquaza-EX for that.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is also pretty typical and at the point where you can often afford to retreat at full price but aren’t going to want to if you can avoid it.  Importantly for Dragon-Types, it is still low enough that Hydreigon-EX and its “Dragon Road” Ability can zero it out. 

Rayquaza-EX has neither an Ability nor an Ancient Trait but does possess two attacks.  The first is “Dragon Claw” for [CC] and it hits for 30 points of damage.  It also has “Dragon Strike” for [RRLC], which does 130 damage but requires you flip a coin; if “tails” Rayquaza-EX can’t use Dragon Strike on the next turn (this effect can be reset by Benching Rayquaza-EX or removing it from play completely and playing it down again).  A good word for these attacks is “mediocre”; not good, but not truly bad, especially as this Pokémon has both a Mega Evolution and a Spirit Link card.  Still, even among those that do have both of those, you can still find attacks that are better, such as on Latios-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 58/108, 101/108). 

So before we move on, what other Rayquaza-EX are there and what are the Mega Evolutions like?  There are three other versions of Rayquaza-EX: BW: Dragons Exalted 85/124, 123/124 and BW Black Star Promos BW47 are… all the same multiple releases of the same iteration, while XY: Roaring Skies 75/108 and 104/108 are also two variants of the same version with the final being XY: Black Star Promos XY66.  All are Basic Pokémon-EX with no Ability or Ancient Traits, like today’s option.  BW: Dragons Exalted 85/124 (and its other printings) is available in Expanded only.  Besides its two attacks, the other differences between today’s Rayquaza-EX and this one are that it has 10 less HP, Dragon Weakness and [C] less in Retreat Cost.  Its first attack (Celestial Roar) needs just [C] and discards the top three cards of your deck; any Energy cards among the discarded are attached to Rayquaza-EX.  Then for [RL] you have the big attack (Dragon Burst) which has you select either all [R] or [L] basic Energy cards attached to Rayquaza-EX, doing 60 damage per Energy discarded.  We have reviewed it here the first time as part of our BW: Dragons Exalted Top 13 (yeah, top thirteen) and then again here as part of our Top 10 of 2012 (you’d think we’d have done a Top 12) and finally here as a part of our Top 10 list of cards lost to last year’s rotation!  Overall its a great card so long as it has sufficient Energy acceleration backing it (Celestial Roar is a desperation move). 

XY: Roaring Skies 75/108 (and 104/108) is a Colorless-Type instead of a Dragon-Type, meaning different (and fewer) Type based support options.  Again it has 10 less HP than today’s Rayquaza-EX and a different Weakness (this time Lightning) but unlike the Expanded only option, this version still has a Retreat Cost of [CC].  Its first attack is “Intensifying Burn” for [C], which does 10 damage plus another 50 if the opponent’s Active is a Pokémon-EX.  For [CCC] it can use “Dragon Pulse” for 100 damage, with the attack also discarding three cards from your own deck.  These are good but not great attacks, though I was quite impressed when I first saw them.  We reviewed it not too long ago here, alongside a few related cards. If you were building a deck around a card named Rayquaza-EX, the oldest option ( BW: Dragons Exalted 85/124, 123/124 and BW Black Star Promos BW47) is superior.  XY: Black Star Promos XY66 differences are that it is also a Colorless-Type, has “only” 170 HP with Lightning Weakness and Fighting Resistance and unsurprisingly, two different attacks.  For [CC] it can use “Mega Ascension”, allowing you to search your deck for M Rayquaza-EX and add it to your hand while for [CCCC] it can use “Aersoscream” to hit for 130 damage, but has to flip a coin and if it is “tails” you then discard two Energy from it.  Since this went up so late, I can link to its review here. 

If you don’t wish to Mega Evolve, the original (BW: Dragons Exalted 85/124, 123/124 and BW Black Star Promos BW47) looks like the best, probably because it was designed before Mega Evolution was a “thing”.  If you want a Dragon-Type Rayquaza-EX to Mega Evolve (as opposed to be the main attacker), today’s is probably the best but not the only option.  We should take a look at the Mega Evolutions for a better idea about that, though. 

M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 61/108) and M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) are both Mega Evolutions available to Rayquaza-EX, but besides that lacking an Ability and having a single attack they don’t have a lot in common.  XY: Roaring Skies 61/108 is a Dragon-Type with 230 HP, Fairy Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of [CC].  It has an Ancient Trait known as Δ Wild, which reduces the damage it takes from attacks by [R], [G], [L] and [W] Pokémon by 20 points (in the case of a multi-Type Pokémon, I do not know if the damage reduction stacks).  For [RRRLC], its “Dragon Ascent” hits for 300 damage and also discards two Energy from M Rayquaza-EX.  Soaking even a little damage with so much HP is useful and 300 easily OHKOs anything without some sort of protective buff, though most of the time anything over 240 (and often anything over 180) is going to be overkill, and the massive five Energy cost involving two different Energy-Types and mostly requiring specific Energy and on top of all that discarding two Energy is quite difficult to fuel… and by the time you do you likely can power up some other hard hitting attackers.  It is a decent option to have, but not mindblowing.  We already reviewed it here, where it managed to make the Top 10 list for this set. 

M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) is a Colorless-Type with 220 HP, Lightning Weakness, a Retreat Cost of [C], no Ability but the Ancient Trait Δ Evolution, which allows you to immediately play this card from hand to Evolve a Pokémon in play into this M Rayquaza-EX, even if that Pokémon just entered play and even if it is the first turn of the game.  You still have to follow the “Evolves from” guidelines (unless another effect can override this - I know of none) and it can’t stack with certain other effects: I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t already fail to apply for another reason, but as an example we’ve seen with Stage 2 Pokémon that Δ Evolution, it doesn’t work with Rare Candy.  It also doesn’t get around the Mega Evolution Rule ending your turn: you’ll need Rayquaza Spirit Link for that.  The “Emerald Break” attack requires [CCC] and hits for 30 damage times the number of your Benched Pokémon.  This card is quite potent and has seen successful competitive play, though the Lysandre’s Trump Card ban was a net negative for it.  We reviewed it here, same place where we reviewed the Colorless Rayquaza-EX from XY: Roaring Skies.  Not tournament legal at the time of even this late, late review but having officially released is something a bit odd: XY: Ancient Origins 98/98; it is another oddball in that everything game relevant about the card except its Ancient Trait is the same as XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108.  Instead of Δ Evolution it has θ Max, which heals all damage from itself when your in play Pokémon Mega Evolves into it. 

So… where would you use today’s card - Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 60/108) - and why?  Well, either M Rayquaza-EX could consider it.  With the Dragon-Type version M Rayquaza-EX it shares the synergy with the rest of the support, which means if you can’t get M Rayquaza-EX out or are in a situation where attacking with it is a bad idea (like at the point where you don’t need the damage and/or can’t afford to pay the five-Energy-up-front-plus-two-discard cost), potentially going from “zero” to “Dragon Strike” (and thus 130 damage) isn’t bad.  The coin flip can be an issue, but in this particular deck you may already have an out: though I haven’t had the best luck with it myself, Reshiram (XY: Roaring Skies 63/108) can be included for Energy acceleration, usually in conjunction with Hydreigon-EX and some additional switching cards (like… Switch) so that you can Turboblaze for extra Energy attachments more than once per turn.  That also means you have a decent chance of manually retreating or using said switching card to Bench Rayquaza-EX (resetting the effect of Dragon Strike) and then the other to get Rayquaza-EX Active and attacking again.  With the Colorless M Rayquaza-EX, you could use it in order to try and allow it to tap the previously mentioned support, or perhaps to diversify one’s Weakness within the deck.  Mostly, I would use it for the former, in Standard and Expanded, though XY: Roaring Skies 61/108 isn’t a major deck right now.  For Limited, it is big enough you might go with it in a “+39” deck, where it is your only Basic (ensuring it is your opening Pokémon but that you lose if it is KOed).  It isn’t too slow and it has decent HP, but Dragon Strike might be too risky if your opponent has a good start.  Otherwise it looks like a solid inclusion for a deck that can make use of basic Fire Energy and Lightning Energy. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Rayquaza-EX isn’t impressive, but this one is pretty clearly just meant to be a decent “placeholder”; not helpless but also not especially helpful.  Still you can attack with it if you need to for a good, solid hit; it just isn’t worth running all the damage boosting tricks you’d need for it to pull off a OHKO because said support works better with other attackers.  XY: Ancient Origins doesn’t seem to really change this, unless something makes XY: Roaring Skies 61/108 a lot better (and I don’t see anything likely to do that). 


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