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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 M Charizard EX

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
April 13, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2
Limited: 3.5

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Well now we've got another M Charizard-EX to work with here in the game. What a time we live in, eh? And this time it's Mega Charizard X getting treated to the Fire treatment! Nifty! 

So what can Fire-type M Charizard-EX do? Well for starters, his attack is actually cheaper than the other M Charizard-EXs from Flashfire, being 4 Energy instead of 5. For that 4 Energy, you get Heat Typhoon, which deals 100 damage and lets you flip a coin for every Fire Energy attached to him. And every time you get a heads? Add on an extra 50 damage. 

So the immediate thought is, "Whoa, he can hit for 300 damage!!" Which is true, if you're lucky with your coin flips (50/50 every flip), you can hit for 300 damage. It's not guaranteed like the other two, but it's a little cheaper for a little more viability. On average, you're probably aiming to hit 200 damage (2 Heads, 2 Tails),  which is still hefty chunk of most Pokemon's HP. In theory, this means M Charizard-EX can beat out any Pokemon-EX and most any M Pokemon-EX that's weak to Fire - rip M Sceptile-ex, am I right? 

But that's just on his own merits. You do have room for Muscle Band on him, and combined with the 200 damage (Average) he's dealing, that's enough to KO the smaller M Pokemon-EX. But aside from that, that's really about it. You could attach more Fire Energies onto him to increase his output by that much more, but there's one thing you're not gonna be able to account for...well, two things: the actual results of a coin flip, and the lack of a Spirit Link. 

There is potential for you to hit 100 damage as much as 300 damage, for starters, and the fact that M Charizard-EX continues to lack that Spirit Link means he won't see much play if any. It's just not going to be worth it! It's the same with M Blastoise-EX, the original M Venusaur-EX, M Heracross-EX, M Kangaskhan-EX - all these Megas without Spirit Links just don't see as much play as these newer ones. 

Spirit Links are great man. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (that being said, if you were to run M Charizard-EX, I'd run this one over the other two) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (it's arguably the most viable way to hit 300 damage) 

Limited: 4/5 (I mean, who wants to pay 5 Energy for that?) 

Arora Notealus: Mega Charizard X sure is getting a lot of representation. Two cards in the TCG, Smash Bros, Pokken...it's like he's Nintendo's favorite or something. Not to complain except on maybe Mega Charizard Y's behalf, since that guy is just as powerful, you know? 

Next Time: An innocent ring of flowers. What's the worst that can happen?


Otaku

Time to finish what we started.  Yesterday we looked at Charizard-EX.  Officially it was just Generations 11/83 but I did my usual thing and ran through all of them.  Today we look at its set-mate and Mega Evolution M Charizard-EX (XY: Generations 12/83) but once again I’ll also be comparing it with the other versions.  This time though, I’ll be reverting back to my usual review style. 

At the risk of sounding like an idiot by stating the obvious, M Charizard-EX is a Mega Evolution.  I stress this because what it means can be easy to gloss over or forget, especially when at a glance it is impressive.  Megas have all the drawbacks of being a Pokémon-EX (extra Prize when KOed, target of certain counters, inability to use certain card effects) plus the baggage of Mega Evolution (extra card, turn to Evolve, turn ends when you Mega Evolve, targeted by certain specific counters).  There is the slight benefit of Mega Evolution support like Mega Turbo, but that only does so much to offset the rest.  Then of course they have better attributes and effects than they would otherwise, but many Mega Evolutions aren’t competitive.  There is no Charizard Spirit Link.  There is no Fire-Type version of Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick.  Doing everything the mundane way means a turn to Bench Charizard-EX, a turn to then Mega Evolve into M Charizard-EX which ends your turn, and at last after a minimum of three turns you have an M Charizard-EX (hope you powered it up as you went).  The only shortcut of which I am aware is not worth it: Clefable (BW: Plasma Storm 98/135) has an Ability called Moon Guidance that searches your deck for a Pokémon that can Evolve from one you already play, then Evolves one into the other, but requires a coin flip to work (tails fails).  As Clefable is a Stage 1 you’ll have to use Wally on it if Clefairy and Charizard-EX hit the field on the same turn.  Preferably on a turn you cannot attack like your first turn if you go first, as your turn will still end without an attack. 

So what do you get for such an investment?  M Charizard-EX is a Fire Type, so it hits nearly all Grass Types and Metal Types for double damage via Weakness.  The Type has very little support that explicitly works for them: Blacksmith and Burning Energy with the former often being well worth it but the latter not so much.  Something I’ve been forgetting lately is that there is actually a lot of support not restricted to Fire Type Pokémon but which works with Fire Type Energy.  When I start naming them you can understand why.  Once per turn, Chandelure (BW: Plasma Flare 16/116) can attach an [R] Energy from your deck to one of your Pokémon for the small price of placing a damage counter on the recipient: I don’t recall it ever being used successfully in competitive play.  Emboar (Black & White 20/114; BW: Black Star Promos BW21; BW: Next Destinies 100/99; BW: Legendary Treasures 27/113) was huge when it was new but has never really reclaimed what it so quickly lost.  Entei-EX at one time was so strong it even had a quad-style deck where players just ran four of it and used its Energy attaching attack to take KOs while building up a replacement.  So most of these are has-beens or never-weres.  The chief exception is Scorched Earth, a Stadium that allows you to discard [R] or [F] Energy from hand in order to draw two cards and works reasonably well with Blacksmith.  At least the anti-Fire Type cards aren’t so great; the only one you’ll likely run into is Parallel City and most run that to use the Bench shrinking side.  If your opponent wants to use it against M Charizard-EX, it will just drop the damage it does by 20 but that player will limit his or her own Bench to three. 

M Charizard-EX has 220 HP, enough to usually survive a hit.  That is about as good as it gets (so far no Mega Evolution has had more than 240).  Being higher would be better but more for 2HKO purposes.  Water Weakness is what you expect on Fire Types and M Charizard-EX is no exception.  Water Weakness isn’t the worst right now but it is dangerous.  You’ve got Seismitoad-EX decks enduring even though people keep saying are going to die off in Standard.  Greninja BREAK is doing reasonably well.  You’ve got Keldeo-EX either as a main attacker when backed by Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) or splash in mostly for its Ability in other decks.  You have Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast 20/101) and Regice to punish Pokémon-EX in general and prove quite problematic for the Water Weak ones by M Charizard-EX.  No Resistance is typical so onto the Retreat Cost of [CCC]; this is high enough you’ll want to avoid paying it either at all or at least at full price, or what you would need to just endure M Charizard-EX being stuck up front.  As M Charizard-EX has no Ancient Trait, all that is left is its attack called “Heat Typhoon”.  For [RCCC] it does 100 damage plus you get to flip a coin for each [R] Energy attached to it; “tails” changes nothing but each “heads” adds 50 damage.  Really not digging the flips but the attack should at least be splitting between 100 and 150 damage as the attack cost requires a minimum of one [R] be attached.  For the effort involved, you’ll want as many [R] Energy as possible because you really need to be OHKOing at least Basic Pokémon-EX reliably. 

How many Energy does it take to reliably OHKO anything?  There will always be a chance of failure, so maybe we better just look at how many possible outcomes match the criteria up to a slightly above reasonable amount of [R] Energy attached.  As stated, if you stick to the minimum lone [R] Energy with three of any other Type, you aren’t breaking either goal.  With [RR] and two of any other Type attached, one in four possible outcomes does 200 damage, with 250 or higher not being possible.  If you have to go from zero Energy to enough to attack in a single turn, this is a reasonable amount as a Double Colorless Energy and a Blacksmith can do it.  With [RRR] and one of any other Energy Type attached, half of the eight outcomes will score 200+ damage, while only one will clock in at 250.  If we attack using [RRRR] then we get four total flips for 16 possible outcomes.  68.75% will score 200+ damage, while 31.25% will manage 250+.  So even with nothing but [R] Energy fueling it, there is still almost a one in three chance the attack won’t be able to OHKO your typical Basic Pokémon-EX and just over a two in three chance it won’t take down Mega Evolutions or Wailord-EX in one shot. 

Okay, so what about the other M Charizard-EX?  In terms of game relevant aspects, XY: Flashfire 13/106 (also available as XY: Flashfire 107/106) has the same everything but Retreat Cost and attack.  Its Retreat Cost is just [C] which is a bit improvement as lowering the Retreat Cost at all makes it free, and paying a single Energy is usually easy.  You’ll still need an alternative to manually retreating in case of things like Paralysis but it is a definite improvement.  The attack is “Crimson Dive” and requires [RRCCC] to do 300 damage to the opponent’s Active and 50 to M Charizard-EX itself.  This might be an improvement but it might not.  Five Energy is massive.  You do get massive damage, but it will rarely all be needed: even a Wailord-EX with Fighting Fury Belt only has 290 HP.  Doing just 250 and needing only four Energy, getting rid of the 50 points of self damage, let alone both, would have been more useful.  That self damage really is easy to underestimate; just one Crimson Dive leaves this M Charizard-EX with an 170 HP left, obliterating what you might call its “Mega Evolution bonus” to HP and leaving it within range of an effective OHKO for more decks.  Sure you can use Protection Cube to soak this but that means you can’t use anything else that may have been useful on more than just M Charizard-EX.  Even with Protection Cube, you still need to manage five total Energy for enough to score OHKOs against most everything plus overkill.  This card was never reviewed by the crew. 

M Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 69/106, 18/106) was reviewed by the CotD reviewers of the time and you can see it here.  Differences between it and today’s version are that it is a Dragon-Type, sports 10 more HP, has Fairy Weakness, and its attack is “Wild Blaze”.  Wild Blaze costs [RRDCC] and still hits for 300 damage with a big drawback, discarding the top five cards of your deck.  Perhaps they thought the massive discard cost wouldn’t matter because Lysandre’s Trump Card was already in the pipeline, but even if that was plan that card is banned now and losing five cards from the top of your deck is a huge risk.  The Energy cost is a bit worse here as well as we suddenly see a [D] Energy slip in there.  It isn’t as painful now thanks to Double Dragon Energy, but even with that and cards like Reshiram (XY: Roaring Skies 63/108) that isn’t going to be easy to setup.  Don’t use this one unless it is purely for the challenge of doing so.  That means by default… M Charizard-EX (XY: Generations 12/83) is the best of the M Charizard-EX options! 

It is a hollow victory; whether Standard or Expanded you shouldn’t waste time with M Charizard-EX.  If you insist, you’ll probably want Emboar or something else backing it that can accelerate Energy but you need [RRRR] so that Heat Typhoon has a decent chance of taking out threats in one hit.  We covered the Charizard-EX yesterday and since I recommend another source of Energy acceleration in the deck, just use Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 12/106) for its strong “Combustion Attack”.  Even I am not going to run through them all over again the next day… this time.  As we’ve said with Generations cards before, their release nature makes a chance at using them in the Limited Format unlikely, but if it somehow happens then maybe include this should you pull the Charizard-EX as well.  Yeah, I’m not sure if it adds enough to be worth the effort even here. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 3/5

 

Summary: Another M Charizard-EX, another card you shouldn’t be playing unless it is as a personal challenge.  It can hit hard but unreliably and for a massive investment.  At the same time, it is still the best of the M Charizard-EX we have received so far, because the first two were even worse.


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