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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Tyrantrum-EX

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
November 3, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3
Expanded: 3
Limited: Promo

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Alright, so here's the deal with Tyrantrum-EX here. 

1) You're taking 190 damage from his Dragon Impact no matter what. 

2) Despotic Fang is the reason for that, since it prevents any effects on the opponent's Active Pokemon from affecting the damage. 

3) No, Despotic Fang itself isn't protected from getting negated by things like Garbotoxin or Silent Lab 

4) You are losing 3 Energy from using Dragon Impact 

5) The fastest Energy engine to use would be with Bronzong Metal Links, and even then thanks to all the Energy you're losing, Tyrantrum-EX isn't worth running - and yes, that's including things like Double Dragon Energy 

On the plus side, you're practically guaranteed to KO any non-Mega non-Wailord-EX Pokemon out there! Even stuff like Suicune and Regice can't block this thanks to Despotic Fang, though again it can get negated by some cards and Abilities. Could make for a quick surprise if you've got three Bronzong in play and a Switch ready to roll, but otherwise, Tyrantrum-EX isn't as ridiculously powerful as one might expect. 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (a powerful expensive attack and a moderately useful Ability that combo together to make a super-slow OHKO-er that's okay at best. 

Expanded: 2/5 (very niche and very nice) 

Limited: N/A (this was a promo after all) 

Arora Notealus: KIIIIIIIIING OOOOOOOOOOOF THE JUNGLLLLLLLLLLLE 

...what? I got nothing. 

Next Time: DRAGON DRAGON IT'S A...dragon?


Otaku

Time for Tyrantrum-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY70)!  This is a Dragon-Type which means there isn’t a lot of Type-related support for it in Standard, but at least it has access to the potent Double Dragon Energy; in Expanded it also has access to Gabite (BW: Dragons Exalted 89/124) and Altaria (BW: Dragons Exalted 84/124; BW: Black Star Promos BW48; BW: Boundaries Crossed 152/149), the latter of which may matter.  There is actually is one anti-Dragon-Type card in the form of Bisharp (BW: Plasma Freeze 73/116) and if you didn’t recall its existence don’t worry; like many such cards it is pretty easily forgotten because it is an underwhelming card.  In terms of relationships, currently the only things Weak to Dragon-Types are BW-era Dragon-Types, though nothing currently is Resistant to them either.  The Dragon-Type lacks any Trainer based support entirely, so combined with hitting so few cards’ Weakness, the Type leaves much to be desired, though individual examples of Dragon-Types have proven quite formidable.  If I didn’t know the direction that this card was going, I might lament it not being a Fighting-Type (to represent its video game status as being a Rock/Dragon dual-Type), as that is probably the best supported Type in the game spoiler alert, I don’t think it would do Tyrantrum-EX much good. 

Being a Pokémon-EX agrees with Tyrantrum-EX; you’ll have the usual issues (gives up an extra Prize when KOed, can’t access certain pieces of support, has to deal with anti-Pokémon-EX cards) but the promise of better attributes and effects includes a change in Stage.  Other Tyrantrum are Stage 1 cards that Evolve from a Restored Pokémon, the hardest Stage to get into play and one no game mechanic specifically recognizes as being distinct from other Stage 1 cards: Tyrantrum-EX gets to be a Basic, which is (and has been) the best Stage a Pokémon can be for much of the game’s history.  Basics are easy to play, easy to run and not only enjoy a better natural synergy with some game mechanics but there are even a few Stage based support cards for Basic Pokémon!  Yes, I’m using an exclamation point even though I say it often and most know of it; it is just so baffling for the designers to have done such a thing.  Tyrantrum-EX also cashes in on being a Pokémon-EX through its 180 HP, a 30 HP increase over its “regular” Stage 1 counterpart; while not a huge bump it is the higher of the two common HP scores for Basic Pokémon-EX.  This is enough to often survive a hit and is pretty good for the current metagame. 

No Weakness is the best Weakness but Fairy-Type Weakness may be a close second, at least for now.  Fairy-Type decks aren’t as prominent as others, nor do you see a lot of Fairy-Type attackers being splashed into decks built around other Types.  When you look at the good Fairy-Type attackers, Weakness will mostly save them requiring a better set-up for a OHKO, but without said Weakness you would still be in OHKO range.  Still there are a few that will go from 2HKO to OHKO, so be careful.  The lack of Resistance is the worst, but also so common that it isn’t worth worrying about; the Resistance mechanic seems relatively balanced, at least compared to Weakness, which means even when present it isn’t all that significant.  Could have been interesting though given its Type combination means could justify two forms of Resistance not currently available in the modern card pool (Colorless and Fire) or the one that seems to have been phased out in the XY sets (Lightning).  Tyrantrum-EX has a chunky Retreat Cost of [CCC]; high enough to be at least awkward to pay and usually painful to recover from having paid, pack something else to help get it out of the Active slot or to endure being up front. 

Tyrantrum-EX has an Ability alongside a single attack.  The former is “Despotic Fang”, a nice name that plays upon the Pokémon’s name and nature and actually somewhat fitting for the effect: when Tyrantrum-EX attacks something, it gets to ignore any effects upon that Pokémon.  Resistance is not an effect (unless that has been revised), but again nothing is Dragon Resistant so you’ll need some Unlimited Format shenanigans for that to even matter.  It won’t help you against effects done to Tyrantrum-EX or effects that just don’t alter damage done, either.  So Confusion will still cause Tyrantrum-EX to do no damage to the opponent’s Active while placing three damage counters on itself for a failed check and Focus Sash will still save something from being OHKOed because it doesn’t reduce the damage done but stops the KO process from following through before restoring the equipped Pokémon to 10 HP.  Also be aware of the rare scenario when an effect on the opponent’s Active would boost damage done to it; that is ignored as well.  “Dragon Impact” is the name of the attack and it requires [FMMC] to use, plus its effect text states you discard three Energy attached to itself.  This buys 190 damage which is a solid deal, in fact good enough to make the name meaningful instead of “It is a Dragon-Type so just add ‘Dragon’ to another attack name!”.  Not as good as “Black Ballista” on Black Kyurem-EX (BW: Plasma Storm 95/135), but only 10 less, and Despotic Fang is a far better compliment than a filler “Slash” attack. 

When I first saw this card, I was inclined to write it off.  After a second glance, it looked like it might have some potential.  Actual tournament results proved me wrong… it has a lot of potential!  Tyrantrum-EX, supported by Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119) and Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98) was piloted to first place in the Vancouver, BC Autumn Regional Championship by Jonathan Paranada, with Paul Johnson using it to snag a sixth place finish.  A single event - even at this level - doesn’t prove a deck will remain a viable strategy for the long run, but when we look at how this deck work, it will require a significant metagame shift to keep it from at least remaining viable.  Bronzong is used in several decks for Energy acceleration; what this deck enjoys is alternating between an overwhelming attack with Tyrantrum-EX or a still strong 2HKO that includes control elements with Giratina-EX.  While the two Dragons rely on Double Dragon Energy (Tyrantrum-EX has a lone basic Fighting Energy as a fallback option), familiar faces Cobalion-EX and Aegislash-EX are there to help pick up the slack.  As for why Tyrantrum-EX can be overwhelming when it only hits for 190, besides ignoring effects that would otherwise prevent damage, the solid and simple combination of Muscle Band and Faded Town means a Mega Evolution needs 240 HP to survive (and if Faded Town remains in play and the damage is not dealt with, it will still be KO'd during the next between turns phase). 

This looks like a great deck for Expanded or Standard; the latter requires adjustments for cards lost but the core strategy remains both intact and relevant.  You can’t enjoy Tyrantrum-EX in Limited play, but if it were to be reprinted in a set it would not be a good +39 candidate; sure you’d score a OHKO whenever you attacked but except against other decks running a single Basic and 39 other non-Basic Pokémon cards, that wouldn’t be good enough.  Four turns before you can attack once with a three turn “recharging” period from your discards means a lot of small attacks would add up fast and overwhelm Tyrantrum-EX against the typical Limited deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4/5 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: For an attacker that needs support, I am scoring Tyrantrum-EX quite highly, but even though it’s an Energy hog that cost goes to just high enough damage, an effect that deals with counters before they happen and a very solid frame.  Now if we can only get it reprinted as a secret rare so it will be in its “shiny” colors.  Blue is close enough to purple, yesssss. 

 

Beast Wars Megatron, not Barney.  Though now that I think of it, both are probably fun ways to defeat your opponent.


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