Pojo's Pokemon news, tips, strategies and more!

Pikachu Anatomy

Pokemon Home

Pokedex

Price Guide Set List

Message Board

Pokemon GO Tips

Pokemon News

Polls & Trivia

Featured Articles


Trading Card Game
- Price Guide
- Price Guide
- Card of the Day
- Professional Grading
- Killer Deck Reports
- Deck Garage
- William Hung
- Jason Klaczynski
- Jeremy's Deck Garage
- Johnny Blaze's Banter
- TCG Strategies
- Rulings Help
- Apprentice & Patch
- Apprentice League
- Spoilers & Translations
- Official Rules
- Featured Event Reports
- Top of the World
- An X-Act Science
- Error Cards
- Printable Checklist
- Places to Play


Nintendo Tips
- Red/Blue
- Yellow
- Gold & Silver
- Crystal
- Ruby & Sapphire
- Fire Red & Leaf Green
- Emerald
- SNAP
- Pinball
- TCG cart
- Stadium
- PuPuzzle League
- Pinball: Ruby/Sapphire
- Pokemon Coliseum
- Pokemon Box
- Pokemon Channel


GameBoy Help
- ClownMasters Fixes
- Groudon's Den
- Pokemon of the Week

E-Card Reader FAQ's
- Expedition
- Aquapolis
- Skyridge
- Construction Action Function
- EON Ticket Manual


Deck Garage
- Pokemaster's Pit Stop
- Kyle's Garage
- Ghostly Gengar


Cartoon/Anime
- Episode Listing
- Character Bios
- Movies & Videos
- What's a Pokemon?
- Video List
- DVD List


Featured Articles

Pojo's Toy Box

Books & Videos

Downloads

Advertise With Us
- Sponsors
-
Links

Chat

About Us
Contact Us

Buy & Sell Pokemon Cards Here!

Magic
Yu-Gi-Oh!
DBZ
Pokemon
Yu Yu Hakusho
NeoPets
HeroClix
Harry Potter
Anime
Vs. System
Megaman



Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Roaring Skies Cards: #3 - M Gallade EX

Date Reviewed:
May 13, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.17
Expanded: 4.00
Limited: 4.40

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

It's funny to think that we'd rank a Mega higher than that of both versions of the most powerful Pokemon around. Today we've got another helping of cards like we did with the Colorless M Rayquaza-EX, only now we're centered around M Gallade-EX! The one and ONLY one! 

Let's start with Gallade-EX. Between the other Mega-Evolving Pokemon of this set - which is pretty much the Rayquaza-EX's and interestingly enough Latios-EX - I'd say this is the best one in the set. Swift Lunge is your basic 2-for-30 Pokemon Catcher - or a 1-for-30 strike thanks to Dimension Valley - which can be very useful early on to switch things around, though the phrasing on it leads me to believe that the opponent is the one who has the choice as for what actually switches. Maybe a ruling will confirm that? 

In any case, the real Prize (hehehe) of this card is his second attack: Piercing Prizes! On the surface, it's a 3-for-50 attack, which is pretty bad, but factoring in the effect text, it's far greater than it would first appear to be! Gallade-EX can deal an extra 20 damage for each Prize card that still remains on your board, and at a full 6 Prizes, that's an extra 120 damage - which means Piercing Prizes starts out dealing 170 damage! Not bad! 

Course the catch of that is if you do Knock Out other Pokemon with it, you start losing Prize cards and thus the Ability to KO hard. Granted, the damage reduction isn't that bad and can be circumvented with cards like Muscle Band and HTLBank, but once you start getting down to 3 or less Prizes, I'd say that's when you want to put down your Spirit Link and upgrade Gallade-EX to M Gallade-EX. 

Why that number specifically? Well at 3 Prizes, Gallade-EX's Piercing Prizes only does 110 damage - still a fair number - but coincidentally, that's the damage that M Gallade-EX's Unwavering Blade deals! You might even be able to get away with Mega Evolving around 2 Prize cards - considering the boosts you gain - but I digress. Unwavering Blades is the time limit: your opponent only has a few turns once M Gallade-EX starts swinging this around to win, and there are few things that can stand up to a couple of 110 strikes (most Megas have 230 HP, if you'll recall). 

But that's not the only pressure your opponent will feel. Remember Swift Lunge? The attack that wasn't so great? Well Unwavering Blade makes it much better than it was before! The two compliment each other, as Unwavering Blade strikes down other weakened opponents for an extra 30 damage! If you've already hit something with Swift Lunge, then it's only a matter of time before your opponents fall to M Gallade-EX's blade! 

...granted, that can take a while, and you're probably gonna finish off whatever's in the Active slot much faster than anything on the Bench, but still! It's the thought that counts! And M Gallade-EX and his line-up have gotten a fair bit of thought behind them. 

Rating 

Standard: 4.5/5 (strong early game from Gallade-EX combined with a good late-game finisher from M Gallade-EX; really the only problem that comes up would be if Gallade-EX gets KO'd before you can play M Gallade-EX, in which case it's probably better to build its own deck...or maybe combine it with Gengar-EX or the Zubat line-up?) 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (still a very strong duo here) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (if you get them, you should probably run them, and if you get the Spirit Link on top of that, DEFINITELY a 5/5 must-run!) 

Arora Notealus: It's a shame Mega Gallade in the games got a bit shafted with Inner Focus for an Ability. Sure, he's got better stats otherwise, but he really could've benefited from another Ability. Oh well, at least he's making up for it in part with the TCG here! 

Next Time: DRAGON DRAGON ROCK THE DRAGON


Emma Starr

Today’s cards all relate to Gallade EX, who, IMO, isn’t the most awesome-looking Megas out there. I mean, he just has a cape (so Pokémon can grow capes when they Mega Evolve?) and longer blades on his arms. And despite this, the artists still never made a Mega Flygon just because of artist’s block?!

                Enough with wasted opportunity, let’s start the reviews. I guess it’s only reasonable to start with Gallade EX himself. Average 170 HP, and weak to Psychic, which is okay really, since Psychics aren’t used to heavily right now for the most part (except Mewtwo EX, but I’m trying to keep reviews centered in the Standard format).  Assault Sword does 40 for 3 energy, unless the defending Pokémon has no energy, than it does 80. The energy cost here…is really sucky. 3 for 40 is absolutely awful, so unless you have a Crushing/Enhanced Hammer, or you’re playing this guy on your first turn, or you Lysandre a Pokémon that was freshly benched into being active, you’re stuck with a 3-for-40 attack. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get around it as I just mentioned, but if you don’t have those cards on you, good luck…          

                The second attack, Cross Slash, is a more standard, EX-level attack, 4-for-130, and can’t attack next turn. Although quite a few Megas have this kind of attack, when you can’t attack next turn, that is always bothersome, as, if you don’t switch out, barring attaching energy or using Trainer Cards, you’re essentially skipping your turn, and you can’t even use your 3-for-40 or 80 attack.

                Standard: 2.5/5 (Psychic decks haven’t gotten very much support at all lately, compared to Fighting Decks, whom the TCG Gods seemed to be biased towards currently…)

                Expanded: 3/5 (We have better Psychic Support back there, with help that Gardevoir (ND57) can provide, and even Gardevoir (RC10) can be useful.)

                Limited: 4/5 (high-damaging EXs are always nice, no matter the drawbacks, as long as you have some other Pokémon to support it if things go bad.)

-----             

With 220 HP, Mega Gallade EX still has the standard amount of Mega HP, and same weakness. His attack, Unwavering Blade, does 3-for-110, along with 30 to any of your opponent’s benched Pokémon who have damage counters on them. So, unlike with Gallade EX, you actually WANT your opponent’s Pokémon to be around for awhile, unlike Gallade EX’s first attack, which wants them to be fresh and energy-less. So, while Gallade EX should most preferably be used in the very early game, you’ll only want to use Mega Gallade EX very late in the game…now THAT is very contradictory, talk about a double-edged sword (wait, but Mega Gallade has two attached to his arms! Now I see where the card designers got this idea from!). In all seriousness, the Mega actually ends up doing less damage than normal Gallade EX will be doing most of the time, because, as stated, it might be until pretty late in the game until most of your opponent’s benched Pokémon have damage on them (or you could use Mega Blastoise EX to do it quicker, but that would mean running Water as well, and using a Mega without a Spirit Link), but once a few of them do get some damage on them, Mega Gallade can be quite bothersome to take down.

                Standard:  3/5 (better in the late-game, but be aware of the contrasting usefulness with Gallade EX.)

                Expanded: 3.5/5 (Again, more support from the past than what exists lately. Psychics really seemed to have been forgotten for awhile, until now.)

                Limited: 3.5/5 (if you pull this and Gallade EX, may as well use it! You may want to hold on with Mega evolving until later in the game, though…) 

                And let’s not forget the Spirit Link! As always, Spirit Links are an important card for any Decks with Mega Evolutions in them, and Gallade is no exception, although he should be fine with staying a normal EX for awhile, unless the game has been going on for awhile, and he just got on the field. But have fun trying to quickly find the Spirit Link by then. :P

            Standard: 3/5

            Expanded: 3.5/5 (Skyla is handy for looking for it if you’re hard-pressed to find it, especially later in the game.)

            Limited: 4/5 (Again, if you have both Gallade EX and Mega Gallade EX, feel free to use it.)


Otaku

Our third place finisher is appropriately enough another triple review!  Okay, so it isn’t very appropriate since as I said before, this ended up forcing the others to do the review my way (sorry fellow CotD reviewers!) plus it isn’t fair to the readers as it means I didn’t really narrow down the list to the Top 10 cards of XY: Roaring Skies (this is technically a combo even if it is a fundamental one).  So my apologies to you the readers!  Today we will look at Gallade-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 34/100, 99/100), Gallade Spirit Link (XY: Roaring Skies 83/108) and M Gallade-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 35/108, 100/108). 

Again I’ll begin with the obvious; the Gallade Spirit Link exists just to keep the Mega Evolution rule from all-but-crippling the line, the same as it does for all the other Mega Evolutions with their own Spirit Link card.  Unlike M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108), there is no feature of Gallade-EX or M Gallade-EX that would make it more effective than other Spirit Link cards.  While I regret forcing the three card review, much like when we began covering custom Ace Specs alongside the Pokémon for which they functioned, I am thinking we might as well start doing Spirit Link cards alongside their Mega Evolutions because we end up talking about them anyway and they really aren’t worth their own review. 

Gallade-EX is a Psychic-Type.  Being a Psychic-Type is reasonably good; this is one of those areas where I just can’t find adequate information nor do I think I can get a proper feel via “Theorymon”.  The short version is that besides the games’ designers actually bringing back dual-Type Pokémon for the TCG, the other appropriate option is to make it a Fighting-Type and the Fighting-Type has only one thing going against it: Resistance (while still scarce overall) is more common against that Type than most others.  Otherwise it has great direct support, indirect support and hits Weakness on many Colorless-Types and both most Darkness-Types and Lightning-Types.  The Psychic-Type doesn’t have quite as good of support (both direct and indirect), hits fewer Types for Weakness (many Fighting-Types and Psychic-Types) and may actually hit Resistance more often (many Darkness-Types and Metal-Types, as it is now their default Resistance).  Unless some of the specific Psychic-Type combos pays off, this thing may have been better off as a Fighting-Type. 

Being a Basic is unambiguous. it is great.  Even in Standard where there aren’t Basic-specific-support cards, the pacing of the format as well as the metagame favors the Stage highly over the others.; in Expanded (though we’ll have to see if it matters to Gallade-EX) it is the same only with some cards specifically designed to help Basic Pokémon!  Being a Pokémon-EX carries one hardwired advantage, a few implied benefits and then some unavoidable drawbacks.  First Gallade-EX gets to be a Basic instead of a Stage 2, and as already stated that is as good as it gets right now.  Usually Pokémon-EX gain access to more HP, a better Ability and attack or better attacks and (if available) can Mega Evolve. We have had some Pokémon-EX that lacked most of these though I don’t think any has lacked all of them even if it wasn’t still worth playing in the end.  The third is what I’ve repeated so often though I’ve gotten so used to it I find it easy to “forget” in the heat of decision making: you give up an extra Prize when Gallade-EX is KOed, it can’t take advantage of certain support cards and there are many counter-cards that specifically punish Pokémon-EX usage.  All in all though, this is a net gain as it is really hard to be a Stage 2 right now and Mega Evolutions have really gained in both popularity and potency (the two are usually but not always go together). 

170 HP is good; Basic Pokémon-EX can be bigger and it definitely isn’t what it once was, but it is still enough to often take a hit.  Just remember that as it is worth two Prizes, there is more incentive for your opponent to push their deck and use up resources in taking this Prize than there would be for something smaller, especially if it is also no more resource intense (a distinction I confess I have failed to make apparent in my reviews before).  Most decks anymore can score a OHKO against a 170 HP Pokémon, it is just they require a proper set-up and even when they have it, they may prefer to save it for something bigger, though since this has the potential to Mega Evolve I would not count on that saving Gallade-EX.  Psychic Weakness is still one of the worst to have; while Psychic-Type support doesn’t strike me as being as good as Psychic-Type support, it is still good and you’ve got Mewtwo-EX, Mew-EX, some Night March attackers, etc. that can all exploit Weakness for an unexpected OHKO.  A quick note: based on the video game Type relationships and how those are tweaked for the TCG, I think I might have preferred Fairy-Type Weakness as both a bit less dangerous and more faithful to the source material.  Gallade-EX has no Resistance, which is typical in the TCG (though I kind of wish it had Fighting Resistance as two of the three video game Types that make up the TCG Fighting-Type do half damage to Gallade in the video games).  The Retreat Cost of two is a functional average; low enough to pay without crippling your set-up (most of the time) but high enough you’ll really want to avoid it.  Fortunately most decks already have incentive to pack tricks to lower it or bypass manually retreating entirely; the Psychic-Type specifically has Warp Energy that will zero out the cost while attached. 

Gallade-EX has two attacks.  The first is Swift Lunge for [PC]; it does 30 points of damage and forces your opponent to switch out his or her Active for one of his or her Benched Pokémon (opponent’s choice, like the old Pokémon Circulator Item).  This attack first showed up (in English and with its current effect) on Gallade (BW: Plasma Storm 61/135), where it costs an additional [C] but hits for 80: I like it better less expensive even though technically three for 80 is better than two for 30.  Good thing Dimension Valley exists (there is also a matter of M Gardevoir-EX…)!  It isn’t a brilliant attack but it deals some damage and can disrupt your opponent.  The real star for this card is Piercing Prizes, which requires [PPP] and does 50+ damage: the “+” in this case is 20 more damage per Prize card you have left in play.  [PPP] isn’t cheap, but if you haven’t taken a Prize that is a flat 170 damage; if you don’t plan on Mega Evolving or making use of Dimension Valley, that is enough to buff up to 220 damage (and thus threaten the smaller Mega Evolutions with OHKO) via Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym (at least while those last two remain in the format; probably only a few months left for that).  Even if you do plan on Mega Evolving, this is a great attack… until you take too many Prizes.  Once you take even one it goes from “very good” to simply “good”, with each Prize knocking it down a notch.  All in all, I don’t think this will be the best Pokémon-EX that can Mega Evolve but it is one of the better ones (and may be the best one still worth Mega Evolving). 

Speaking of which, M Gallade-EX retains the same Type, Weakness, lack of Resistance, Retreat Cost, lack of Ability and lack of Ancient Trait as Gallade-EX.  Its HP goes up to a sturdy-for-a-Mega-Evolution 220 and it loses its two old attacks for one new one: Unwavering Blade.  This attack requires [PPC] and hits for 110 damage while also doing 30 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon that are already damaged.  The damage output versus the opponent’s Active is enough to 2HKO all but the bigger (230+ HP) Pokémon-EX (so some Mega Evolutions plus Wailord-EX) and some cards with protective effects.  This isn’t the kind of attack where you can put your brain in neutral and still dominate, but it is a good one.  M Gallade-EX has great synergy with Gallade-EX and what is nice is that this gives multiple potential strategies to using the cards. 

Piercing Prizes is reminiscent of the Psychic Cut attack on Gallade (DP: Secret Wonders 6/132); though it is harder to appreciate an old attack from a format so different from our own, trust me when I say at the time this was a good attack with its cost of [PCC] for 60 damage plus another 20 per Prize card of your own that you choose to flip over.  The revealed Prizes stay face-up so you could get some fast, hard hitting damage relatively quickly, but as you might have guessed that alone wasn’t enough.  This card rose to prominence during a period when I was either barely able or unable to keep up with (let alone actually participate in) competitive play so I am uncertain if the first attack was worthwhile, but fortunately we have one of the best examples of how this Gallade was used preserved for posterity: it was part of Jason (Ness) Klaczynski’s 2008 World Championship winning deck.  This was not the only attacker present and while I lack the space and knowledge to go into detail over the strategy, the deck also ran Gardevoir (DP: Secret Wonders 7/132) and Gardevoir (DP: Secret Wonders 131/132), better known as Gardevoir Lv.X.  The confusion caused by the Level-Up mechanic is part of the reason why I use italics for card names: Level-Up cards don’t count the “Lv.X” as part of the card’s name: Gardevoir Lv.X is considered to be the same as Gardevoir so you can only run total copies of both in the same deck.  Relevant to this review, once Gallade was no longer a strong enough attacker (or when either of these two could do a better job) they changed out. 

There are many methods to run Gallade-EX and M Gallade-EX that echo that older deck, with varying levels of complexity.  They are also all largely intertwined; you likely won’t be able to run “a bit of everything” very well but multiple elements will be present each your deck.  You can pace yourself, letting your opponent deal with a Sigilyph (BW:Dragons Exalted 52/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 118/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 66/113), Wobbuffet (XY: Phantom Forces 36/119), Robo Substitute or other appropriate sacrifice while you power up Gallade-EX, then use Piercing Prizes (ideally for a OHKO) and if Gallade-EX survives, either Mega Evolving or use Piercing Prizes again (whichever is better).  Spreading damage counters is great for Unwavering Blade but also Piercing Prizes, allowing it to take down larger targets (those in excess of 170 HP at first and to offset the Prizes you have taken as time goes on).  Something simple like Spinda (XY: Primal Clash 115/160), for which I did eventually submit a late CotD could be your opening sacrifice instead.  If you turn to Abilities, there is the successful (although space consuming) Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119), the formerly successful Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast 104/101) or the not successful (yet?) Forretress (XY: Flashfire 60/106). 

There are a few tricks to speed the deck up though they aren’t useful to all attacks.  Dimension Valley is an obvious one; it won’t help Piercing Prizes but it makes Swift Lunge a solid attack and Unwavering Blade an even better deal.  It can become a bit clunky, but Mega Turbo can also help all these attacks.  Directly of course it only works with Unwavering Blade, though two copies of it or one copy and a Dimension Valley can take M Gallade-EX from zero to fully powered in a single turn.  Indirectly you can use Energy Switch to simply move the Energy from M Gallade-EX to a Gallade-EX or you can make use of either Shrine of Memories (clashes with Dimension Valley) or Celebi-EX (an easy Prize) so that M Gallade-EX itself can use Piercing Prizes.  In Expanded you can take the risk of running Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108) to further speed up the deck, it’s Psychic Mirage Ability causing basic Psychic Energy cards attached to your Psychic-Type Pokémon to provide [PP].  If you do, Gallade (BW: Plasma Storm 61/135) may actually be worthwhile; I reference it earlier for bearing Swift Lunge, but it actually has a pretty good attack called Powerful Storm that requires [CC] and does 20 damage times all the Energy you have in play.  Psychic Mirage doesn’t stack, but if you’re using it you likely want a robust line of the lower Stages anyway to make it easier to get Gardevoir into play; this means adding Gallade could be as simple as adding one more card (instead of an entire Evolution line). 

Nearly all of these tricks work with Mew-EX and Mewtwo-EX.  I only have them separated out for clarity; they aren’t intended as some super-special-awesome trump cards.  Mew-EX is often paired with Dimension Valley so while it remains a glass cannon as always, though in a build with Gardevoir or some of the less usual suggestions (Spinda, Forretress) it may gain some tricks that are hard to see coming… including being a stand-in for Gallade-EX and M Gallade-EX.  No, I don’t see it doing that last bit too often (nothing makes Mew-EX easier to power-up under these circumstances while it remains far easier to KO).  Mewtwo-EX brings its well known raw power, even if it isn’t the titan it once was.  Since this is an actual Psychic-Type deck, especially in a version running Dimension Valley or Gardevoir, you may catch an opponent off-guard due to the oft-forgotten Psydrive: the two together allow Mewtwo-EX to hit for 120 for a single basic Psychic Energy, regardless of whatever is attached to the opponent’s Active. 

I’ve thrown a lot out there; odds are the simplest (and thus most reliable) approach will work best, but you do have a lot of options nonetheless.  When it comes to Limited play, one should be careful.  Can you build a +39 deck around these cards?  Absolutely.  Should you?  Probably, but temper your expectations.  Swift Lunge isn’t quite as underpowered here and forcing your opponent to promote something different could be more useful as it will be harder for your opponent to get something unwanted out of the Active slot.  On the other hand if they have a full Bench doing so is likely to give them time to peck away at the HP of Gallade-EX.  Piercing Prizes maxes out at 130 damage here so you’ll need to win the “race” in attacking.  The good news is that the 50 points of damage Swift Lunge does will soften up a rival, Basic Pokémon-EX, putting it into 2HKO range (and leaving it Active if it has no Bench, such as in a +39 deck).  The bad news is that if your opponent can feed you enough Pokémon, whether they are small attackers or meat shield while building something “big” on the Bench, Gallade-EX could be too easily overwhelmed.  Of course, if you also get Gallade Spirit Link and M Gallade-EX into play in a timely manner, you’ve pretty much sealed your win unless they can get Beautifly (XY: Roaring Skies 5/108) into play (its Ability prevents damage from Pokémon-EX).  So basically, if you’re careful and not unlucky/opponent isn’t lucky, it is yours, but that last factor isn’t in your control. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.25/5 

Expanded: 4.5/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: I went ahead and did a composite score for all of them; Gallade Spirit Link would score about 3/5 across the board because it exists just to make Mega Evolving less painful but if you must, you can make do without it.  Gallade-EX and M Gallade-EX should come pretty close to the above scores in a deck that focuses upon them; a minor but important distinction as if you’re running a deck that is all about Piercing Prizes or all about Unwavering Blade, the other attack (and thus attacker) becomes less useful (though still a good back-up).

I had these three as my fourth place pick.  Maybe it is simply because they simultaneously appeal to my inner Timmy (big attacks on a big Pokémon-EX, with a previous Gallade having once dominated the format), my inner Johnny (look at all the at least semi-creative play options!) and not-so-inner Spike (also remembers the glory days of a past Gallade and more importantly, the fundamentals to the cards are strong), but I’m pretty comfortable with it scoring this high.  Had my “three-for-one” review been shot down, my alternate list placed Gallade-EX as my number 12 pick and kept M Gallade-EX as my fourth place finisher. 


Copyright© 1998-2015 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.