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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Top 10 Roaring Skies Cards:  #6 - M Rayquaza EX (76) / Rayquaza EX (75)

Date Reviewed:
May 8, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.95
Expanded: 3.95
Limited: 4.63

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

For those of you who saw the spoiler, participated at an early event of some sort, or otherwise have some access to some form of social media, you know very well then that there's not one Rayquaza-EX/MRayquaza-EX lined up in this set - there are TWO!! Not unlike the Charizard-EXs from Flashfire! Another comparison?! Don't worry, there are actual differences this time, but I'm blaming Otaku for bringing up the other parts of this puzzle. 

SO TO START, let's review the Rayquaza-EX. This is the one you want and the one I imagine everyone will be running - not because this one is that good, but because the other one is that bad. This Rayquaza-EX, you'll notice, is Colorless - as in, not Dragon-type, that's your clue that it's the good one. His costs are all Colorless too, so he's splashable in just about any deck! And that's pretty good for what he does. 

Dragon Pulse is an okay 3-for-100, but it does mill off the top 3 cards of your deck. Not terrible, but Intensifying Burn is where the value's at! 1-for-10 sounds pitiful, but if the opposing Active is a Pokemon-EX, you get to tack on another 50 damage for a 1-for-60 - which is fantastic! So needless to say, this Rayquaza-EX is pretty good - compared to his brother, who only has a vanilla attack and a coin flip to see if he can use the other attack on consecutive attacks. NOPE!!

So now we're gonna come to the meat of this review: M Rayquaza-EX...again. When I first saw this guy, I was...well, disappointed. I was hoping for something crazy berserk like the other M Rayquaza-EX - a powerful Ancient Trait combined with a really powerful attack! But recently it dawned on me, and truth be told, this is probably the stronger of the two. But why? 

First, take a look at his Ancient Trait: Delta Evolution. There are some other Pokemon in the set with this Ability, but the point is that you can evolve a Pokemon that this card evolves from on the same turn it's put in play or even on your first turn! In other words, you can EVOLVE before you're supposed to! While other Delta Evolutions are only okay, M Rayquaza-EX pulls a Primal Kyogre-EX by being the most EXEMPLARY example of the trait - and thanks to the Spirit Link card, not even the Mega clause can put a damper on this guy. 

Lemme show you a quick combo. Turn 1: Rayquaza-EX in hand? Put him down. Rayquaza Spirit Link? Equip it. M Rayquaza-EX in hand too? Congrats, you just played a Mega on Turn 1. Oh wait, you don't have either of these? Winona. You now have the quickest Mega Evo in the TCG. 

So what might turn you off of this M Rayquaza-EX? Probably the same thing that disappointed me about it when it first showed up: its attack. Emerald Break is cheaper than Dragon Ascent, costing only 3 compared to 5, but it only deals 30 damage for every Bench-sitter you've got. That's not bad though - fill up your Bench, put down a Muscle Band, and you're dealing a consistent 170 damage every turn. Granted, you're gonna be running Spirit Link, so that means you'll have to get rid of it first - but there is something else to make the damage go up. 

Remember one I briefly mentioned in Hydreigon-EX's review earlier in the week that there's only one Stadium in the set? Well that Stadium happens to be Sky Field, and it's got an interesting effect. As long as it's in-play, each player can have UP TO EIGHT POKEMON ON THEIR BENCH!! Know what that means for M Rayquaza-EX here? 240 damage - enough to KO anything short of Wailord-EX. 

So will this M Rayquaza-EX be played? Undoubtedly. Like his brother, he's got a lot of support, he's the fastest Mega Evo to get out EVER, and while his attack is significantly less impressive, it's got potential to do quite a bit on its own! Imagine the look on your opponent's face when by your third turn, you're already hitting them for 150 damage. 

Well played, Mega Rayquaza. Well played. 

Rating 

Standard: 4.5/5 (can be fast to get out, has a good base form, doesn't require any specific Energy costs, and Spirit Link means you don't have to end your turn right away when you play him) 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (the shenanigans that will ensue here are just as high as his brother's - maybe even more or less so) 

Limited: 5/5 (no questions asked) 

Arora Notealus: You know, I wouldn't be surprised if people ran this Mega Rayquaza with Seismitoad-EX. Frog seems to be getting a LOT of partners these days, just from all the experimentation - can you imagine locking your opponent's Items down as you set-up Mega Rayquaza? It's a slower idea, but I wouldn't fault anyone for trying it - besides, when you've got something this quick on your side, the only thing stopping you is...well, Seismitoad-EX. 

Weekend Thought: Liking the new set thus far? Which Mega Rayquaza do you wanna build a deck around? Or are you thinking of building a Fairy or Electric deck to work on taking these guys down? Also, shout out to Emma for joining the review team! We welcome you with open arms...that are filled with DRAGONS!! 

Next Time: And now that one Item that could tip the scales...


Otaku

Welcome to a very, very big Friday CotD: not only are we looking at our sixth most promising pick of XY: Roaring Skies but it’s a triple feature.  We don’t do a combined review for something simple like a tie, though: we save them for cards that at least someone on the crew thinks is so closely related that it would be redundant to review them separately.  So today we look at M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108), Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 75/108, 104/108) and Rayquaza Spirit Link (XY: Roaring Skies .  Thanks to having looked at M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 61/108) here, I’ve touched upon all three before, and in my defense when I suggested doing them as a triple review, I didn’t think anyone would nominate that M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 61/108) for the Top 10.  Looks like I forgot that just because I think something, doesn’t mean it will be so.  I also expected the idea of doing a three-for-one review of these cards would be shot down.  I hope the other reviewers will forgive me since this basically forces them to adopt a review style closer to mine, and sometimes even I don’t like doing a review in my own style.  Sorry about that, fellow reviewers. 

*Ahem* 

We’ll start with Rayquaza Spirit Link; this Pokémon Tool allows you to Mega Evolve without ending your turn.  The other Spirit Link cards have been pretty important, at least for decks that plan to Mega Evolve.  There is some risk because Pokémon Tools are easy to discard and are affected by Item lock.  Otherwise it is a fairly simple deal which is why I figured we may as well include it alongside a compatible Mega Evolution.  When we explore today’s M Rayquaza-EX in more detail, I’ll acknowledge the obvious reason this Spirit Link is a bit more important than the average Spirit Link card. 

Now we’ll cover what today’s iterations of Rayquaza-EX and M Rayquaza-EX have in common.  Both are Colorless Pokémon, allowing them to be easily searched from your deck via Winona, and of course tap other forms of Colorless support like Aspertia City Gym (though that is not the best Stadium to run with M Rayquaza-EX).  Each are Pokémon-EX, so they give up an extra Prize when KOed, can’t make use of certain pieces of support and are subject to certain counter-cards.  The Lightning Weakness found on these cards is dangerous: while not as devastating as some other Weaknesses, that is because we haven’t had as many stand out Lightning-Type decks or big, Basic attackers as some of the worst (to have) Weaknesses can claim.  Yveltal-EX has given the metagame a major reason to foster strategies to exploit Lightning Weakness, much like how hitting Grass Weakness is so useful due to Seismitoad-EX.  Unlike hitting Grass Weakness, there has been much more success for hitting Lightning Weakness, perhaps most notably Raichu (XY 43/146).  This Raichu is a solid attacker: a Stage 1 glass cannon with a free Retreat Cost and splashable attack that probably would have gone ignored except that with an adequate set-up it could OHKO Yveltal-EX.  It takes a more substantial set-up for it to take down M Rayquaza-EX, though regular Rayquaza-EX is more vulnerable. Rayquaza-EX and M Rayquaza-EX are also both Fighting Resistant; it is just a small bonus, but it is against one of the best Types in the game and the two have the HP (especially M Rayquaza-EX) to leverage a little more advantage out of it than many cards with Resistance. 

Focusing on just Rayquaza-EX, it is a Basic Pokémon, the easiest Stage to fit into decks and to get into play, which in turns means it doesn’t have to perform as well to provide a good return.  It has 170 HP which is the lower of the two commonly seen scores for Basic Pokémon-EX; this is high enough that it will probably survive a hit (though far from guaranteed).  The Retreat Cost of two is high enough you’ll want to avoid paying it but low enough you can probably recover from the Energy loss.  It has no Ancient Trait or Ability and sports two attacks.  For [C] it can use Intensifying Burn for 10 points of damage, plus another 50 if the opponent’s Active is a Pokémon-EX.  For [CCC] Rayquaza-EX can use Dragon Pulse for 100 damage, though you must discard the top three cards of your deck.  Intensifying Burn is a very good attack because Pokémon-EX are so important to the metagame; there are enough non-Pokémon-EX attackers in the competitive scene, however, that this attack alone wouldn’t have justified including Rayquaza-EX on the Top 10.  Dragon Pulse is a good, solid attack capable of 2HKOing most things that aren’t Mega Evolutions or protected in some manner; the self-mill is painful, though Lysandre’s Trump Card can help with that.  The two attacks combined with the rest of the card meant that if the combined review was shot down, this would have been my #11 pick (I like to include a few extras in case of ties).  If Intensifying Burn hit for just 10 more points (so that Muscle Band would bump it up to 90 instead of 80) then it would have been my #10 (on the list without combined reviews). 

M Rayquaza-EX is of course a Mega Evolution, which means your turn ends when you Mega Evolve into it and you’ll need at least one other card to get it into play… or as we have established, two others to do so without losing an attack.  It boasts 220 HP; not the lowest we’ve seen on competitive Mega Evolutions but 20 below the maximum printed on this Stage.  Still it should rarely be OHKOed (outside of the usual exceptions) and has decent odds of being a 3HKO.  It sports a nice and low Retreat Cost of [C].  Though it lacks an Ability, M Rayquaza-EX sports an Ancient Trait; though it is not unique to itself (unlike what was found on the other M Rayquaza-EX), this is the first time we’ve seen Δ Evolution in our reviews.  This is a simple but potent Ancient Trait because it allows you to play that Pokémon from hand to Evolve immediately: it works for a Pokémon the first turn it is in play, including a player’s very first turn!  This is why the Rayquaza Spirit Link is perhaps more valuable than other Spirit Link cards; you can go from nothing in play to a Mega Evolution in just a single turn.  Its lone attack is Emerald Break, for which the Japanese counterpart to this set is named: at a cost of [CCC] M Rayquaza-EX can hit for 30 damage times the number of your Benched Pokémon.  This is the kind of “not quite there” attack you would expect on something able to hit the field so quickly… I mean how devastating would it be if it could hit harder? 

Yeah, it can hit harder.  We were spoon fed a deck for this card.  I don’t just mean that it combos with multiple cards from the current set: check out this video from the PokemonCoJp Youtube channel.  If you don’t feel like watching it basically just shows you what I’m about to tell you, but with a fun Japanese announcer. Mega Turbo and/or Double Colorless Energy provides Energy acceleration, Shaymin-EX provides draw and Winona provides search.  Plus of course Skyarrow Bridge; this new Stadium allows you to have up to eight Pokémon on your Bench! 30 x 8 = 240, enough to OHKO even Mega Evolutions.  Thanks to Δ Evolution you even have a shot (though odds are low) of pulling off a T2 Emerald Break for a OHKO.  Even without a perfect open, it just seems like a good, aggressive deck.  It also seems quite open to partners; with Skyarrow Bridge you can either look for valuable Bench-sitters, spare attackers or even just “filler”.  Besides the multiple Shaymin-EX you are likely using for draw power and spare Rayquaza-EX, some of the better suggestions I’ve heard for partnering with this card are Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) because you’ll have such a large Bench to protect, Ninetales (XY: Primal Clash 21/160) to try and lock Sky Field into play, Exeggcute (BW: Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW: Plasma Blast 102/101) because if Sky Field is knocked out of play you have to discard your excess Bench, Robo Substitute because its great filler when you need it, and even entire other attacking lines like the earlier mentioned Raichu (its Circle Circuit could now hit for up to 160 before Weakness or buffs).  Also remember that it is okay to have to set the combo back up again between hits; play another Sky Field, fill your Bench again, take the OHKO against a 2 Prize attacker. 

I don’t think Expanded detracts from this card; I’d be a little concerned about Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) as RayEels has been a long established deck and can easily include Lightning-Type attackers to score a OHKO.  For that matter, mind the Lightning-Type Weakness in all formats, including Limited.  In Limited, despite all the praise I have been giving the cards, Rayquaza-EX is a decent choice for a +39 deck: Intensifying Burn will be weak but once you get Dragon Pulse up and running, you likely can take four quick Prizes before you deck yourself out or Rayquaza-EX is KOed.  M Rayquaza-EX is of course useless without a Bench, though as both are Colorless Pokémon they should easily fit into any deck that is not a +39 build.  Don’t count on having all the other combo pieces though; I am talking about M Rayquaza-EX just swinging for 150 for [CCC] with a regular five Pokémon Bench. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.25/5 - Collective score for the three cards; if specifics are needed 

  • Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 75/108, 104/108) - 3.5/5
  • M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) - 4/5
  • Rayquaza Spirit Link - 3/5

 Expanded: 4.25/5 - A little worried about more competition, but I suspect it balances out with additional support options.  Again if individual scores are desired 

  • Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 75/108, 104/108) - 3.5/5
  • M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) - 4/5
  • Rayquaza Spirit Link - 3/5

Limited: 4.9/5 - The collective score goes up because even without all the dedicated support, the raw power of the card is likely to help it power through

  • Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 75/108, 104/108) - 4.9/5
  • M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) - 4.8/5
  • Rayquaza Spirit Link - 2/5

Note: Yes the collective score is greater than the average of the individual scores - I really believe the entire package improves the others and if any one of these three hadn’t been printed, the others would have suffered.

Summary: M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) and Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 75/108, 104/108) are great, potent cards though a little overhyped as some forget how hard it really is to pull off the full set-up in just a turn or two.  Rayquaza Spirit Link is a niche card that serves its singular but important purpose.  This is the next big deck though exactly how good it will prove is uncertain. 

I actually had this as my number two pick.  I think this should have been a bit higher on the list, but I’ve seen enough hype over M Rayquaza-EX that I suspect this card is going to have a hard time living up to it all, so perhaps it is appropriate it didn’t quite make the Top 5.


Emma Starr

Hoo my, do we have a review(s) for you today! Today, we’ll be reviewing all of the other Rayquaza cards from Roaring Skies, minus the M Rayquaza EX that was reviewed a couple days ago. So, let’s get started! 

    First, we have the Rayquaza Spirit Link. As always, Spirit Links are an important card for any Decks with Mega Evolutions in them, and Rayquaza is no exception. Even if you only have one Mega in your deck, I still recommend you have 1 or 2 of these in your deck, regardless of which Mega Rayquaza you’re running. 

    Now, let’s cover the new Rayquaza EX. The old Rayquaza EX was a force to be reckoned with back when he was still in Standard, but even in Expanded, he can still be viable, with Emboar/Eelektrik support. But does this one hold up as well?

At 170 HP, he’s right on par with many other EXs, and Electric Weakness isn’t the best, but they’re not too terribly popular right now, so Rayquaza EX shouldn’t have any trouble keeping up with most other EXs, as long as his attacks are good.

His first attack, Intensifying Burn, does a mere 10, but if the defending Pokemon is an EX, you suddenly get a 1 for 60 attack!! How’s that for Turn 1 damage output?! Virtually unbeatable, especially in the very early game. His second attack, Dragon Pulse, is what seems like a boring 3 for 100 attack. However, this is when you realize this guy is colorless. Which means if you Winona, you can get him and Mega Rayquaza in your hand in one turn! Which means if you have this or Winona in your hand at the start of the match, you have a guaranteed chance of hitting an opposing EX for 60 right off the bat! Talk about incredible! But really, his 3 for 100 attack doesn’t offer too much, especially since you’re forced to discard 3 cards from your deck every time you use it. So, you’ll most likely want to stick with his first attack in most cases.

Standard: 3/5 (can’t get a much better early attacker than this guy!)

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 4/5 (chances are you pulled a Winona at some point, which means you can have even access to Rayquaza EX!)


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