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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Snorlax GX
- SM: Black Star Promos SM05

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 15, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.38
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

Wait a second, GX? What is this, Yugioh 2004?

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you - this is Snorlax-GX. No, he's not a Pokemon-EX, so he's unaffected by anything targeting Pokemon-EX. No, he's not a BREAK Evolution, he doesn't even evolve from anything. No, he's not legal yet, but he will be and that makes him relevant for next year (since he's technically legal on the 30th). 

So what is a Pokemon-GX then? Well if you've taken a look at some of the preview cards for the upcoming Sun & Moon set, you'll see that these are going to be replacing Pokemon-EX in newer sets. So far, they still have the 2-Prize clause (you KO a Pokemon-GX, you take 2 Prizes) that the EX had, but they also have a good amount of HP more. For instance, Snorlax-GX actually has 190 HP. There's also some variance in terms of what Stage the GX are at, but we'll save that for later. For now, Snorlax-GX operates like a Basic Pokemon. 

He's also got three attacks, one of which is a highlight of his Pokemon-GX status. Collapse starts off strong at 3-for-80, though it does put Snorlax-GX to Sleep. Luckily, Thunderous Snore can be used while he's Asleep! Unfortunately, it costs 5 Energy and can't be used unless Snorlax-GX is Asleep. But on top of that, he can deal 180 damage with that second attack - enough to instantly KO any Pokemon-EX that isn't a Mega or Wailord-EX! 

Then we get to the third attack, the GX Attack. Think of this as a TCG version of the Z-Moves from the games. In this case, it's Pulverizing Pancake-GX, which does 5-for-210 damage!! THAT'S CRAZY!! But what's the catch? Well, it does put Snorlax-GX to Sleep - nothing too different from Collapse, but then what's to prevent me from using it again? Well remember, these are like Z-Moves in the TCG - and that means that you can only use a GX Attack once. That's not once per turn, once while the Pokemon is in play, or once while you control a Pokemon-GX - that's ONCE PER GAME!! And you can only use one of these attacks PER GAME!! 

Right now, Snorlax-GX doesn't have much competition for Pulverizing Pancake-GX, but you can expect to be similar to the ACE SPEC cards from back in the Boundaries Crossed and Plasma sets - some will be powerful, and some will be underwhelming. For now, it's decent and does what Snorlax-GX wants, but once other Pokemon-GX come out, it'll pale in comparison as an overcosted beefy bit of nonsense. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (really, that's his biggest drawback - his attacks cost a LOT)

Expanded: 3.5/5 (but even so, they put out a lot of damage, even if Thunderous Snore needs Snorlax-GX to be Asleep) 

Limited: N/A (and besides, it's a promo, so ya know, not usable) 

Arora Notealus: Snorlax-GX is just the first of what will become the inevitable power creep'd shenanigans, the new era of powerhouses to be feared and admired like the Pokemon-EX before them. Of course it'll only be a matter of time before we find some strategy that either works better than anything these GX could produce, or else we'll find that they're so dominant in their choices that it'll be polarizing to pick between one or the other. 

Next Time: What are we reviewing this time around? Well how about we start by looking back...


Otaku

Welcome to our last promo for the week, Snorlax-GX (SM: Black Star Promos SM05).  Yes, not only is it a Sun & Moon series card, but it is even the (sort of) new mechanic, a Pokémon-GX!  So what does it mean to be a Pokémon-GX?  So far it seems quite similar to being a Pokémon-EX; Pokémon-GX give up an extra Prize when KO’d, and based on early reveals, are intended to be more potent than their regular counterparts.  There are some significant differences though; the most obvious is that Pokémon-GX are not Pokémon-EX.  Card effects that specify one should not apply to the other.  I am a bit concerned about this creating unintentional loopholes, but I was more concerned until I saw how in the Legacy Format the similar situation between Abilities, Poké-Powers, and Poké-Bodies ended up working surprisingly well.  Due to the “GX” in their names, Pokémon-GX are treated as distinct from their regular and Pokémon-EX counterparts.  This does bring up another significant difference though; Pokémon-GX can be any of the three core Stages (Basic, Stage 1, or Stage 2).  A Stage 1 Pokémon-GX Evolves from the same Basic as its regular Stage 1 counterpart, and a Stage 2 Pokémon-GX Evolves from the same Stage 1 (or Basic, if using Rare Candy), as its regular Stage 2 counterpart.  So far all Pokémon-GX have boosted HP scores and at least intended boosted effects as when compared to their regular counterparts, but unlike Pokémon-EX they have one other common feature that might help the improved stats stick better than with the sometimes awesome, sometimes awful, and often ambiguous Pokémon-EX: all Pokémon-GX have a GX attack… but more on that when we get to it.

As a Colorless Type Snorlax-GX doesn’t have to worry about Weakness or Resistance; being unable to exploit Weakness is actually a big drawback, while not having to worry about Resistance is only a minor benefit.  Almost all Colorless Pokémon have [C] Energy requirements, and there is no basic [C] Energy card because it would be pointless; [C] Energy requirements can be fueled by Energy of any Type but [C] Energy can only meet [C] Energy requirements, so even if it was present you’d almost always be better off using a different form of basic Energy, to tap into its support (including non-Colorless Type attackers).  Still it might provide some synergy in that certain Special Energy cards (like Double Colorless Energy and Plasma Energy) essentially lose their main drawback of not meeting any non-Colorless Energy requirements.  There are some good Colorless Pokémon but as they work equally well off Type unless the deck also features Colorless Type specific support, not sure how much of a bonus that actually is.  So moving onto the Colorless Type support, it exists but I’m also uncertain of how useful it is right now.  There isn’t much: Altaria (XY: Black Star Promos XY46; XY: Roaring Skies 74/108) to negate their Weakness, Aspertia City Gym for +20 HP (while it remains in play), and Winona to provide a three [C] Pokémon for one Supporter search, but the first two have enough work arounds that I don’t believe they are used much competitively (at least anymore).  Winona can be nice in certain decks, though.  There are also two explicitly anti-Colorless attacks, one found on Exeggcutor (XY: Roaring Skies 2/108) and the other on Haxorus (Dragon Vault 16/20).  So far they’ve never been worth it. 

Now for the first thing (besides the name) that screams “Pokémon-GX”: the HP!  Snorlax-GX has 190 HP, 10-20 above the typical score for a Basic Pokémon-EX, though 60 below the record-setting Wailord-EX.  This is enough to survive a hit most of the time, though one of the exceptions comes from its Weakness, which is to the Fighting Type.  Fighting Types have a nasty habit of stacking multiple, smaller damage bonuses onto a solid, single Energy attack.  What starts as something like 20 or 30 for [F] can balloon into 90 for [F] pretty quick.  Good thing for Snorlax-GX is that at least for now, some of those bonuses won’t apply because they came from cards like Fighting Stadium and Silver Bangle that specifically targets Pokémon-EX.  OHKOs by Fighting Types will still happen, but at least they probably need a more complex combo.  Lack of Resistance is typical; -20 damage against a single Type isn’t a huge benefit, but with 190 HP it would have been nice.  The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] is typical, at least for cards based on “Snorlax”.  Either you plan on having Snorlax-GX tanking in the Active slot or you’re including multiple cards in multiple counts to assist in getting it out of the Active slot. 

Snorlax-GX sports three attacks.  The first is “Collapse” for [CCC], which hits for 80 damage but leaves Snorlax-GX Asleep.  Three Energy for the “budget” attack means Snorlax-GX will be a bit slow (good for game balance, bad for it), though a Double Colorless Energy from hand, a successful Max Elixir, and a means to promote it to the Active slot can ready it in a single turn.  Ignoring that this is a Pokémon-GX for a second, this is a solid return for the Energy invested; a minor boost (like a Fighting Fury Belt) bumps it up to 90 damage, which means a 2HKO on most Basic Pokémon-EX (or smaller) targets.  Of course in the case of said Basic Pokémon-EX, you’ll need to hope they don’t also have a Fighting Fury Belt.  Putting itself to Sleep isn’t great, but unless your opponent has an effect that needs your Active to be Asleep, you’ll get not one but two coin flips for it to go away before it can truly affect your gameplay.  For [CCCCC] Snorlax-GX busts out the attack “Thunderous Snore”, and shows why you want to fail those Sleep Checks; this attack does nothing (not even damage) unless Snorlax-GX is Asleep, but when Snorlax-GX is Asleep it scores 190 damage!  That OHKO’s a lot, and even more with some damage buffs.  Now for five Energy and needing to be Asleep, it isn’t any great shakes, but with Hypno (XY: BREAKpoint 51/122), you just need to supply the Energy (and hope your opponent can’t shut down your Abilities).  Lastly we have 

Well, if you want to get technical it is a GX attack in the TCG.  “Pulverizing Pancake GX” also requires [CCCCC] but it hits for 210 damage.  That means with something like a Fighting Fury Belt and Giovanni (or the soon-to-be-released Professor Kukui) you can score a OHKO against even most Mega Evolutions.  It also leaves Snorlax-GX Asleep, but once again that is probably a good thing as you might need it for Thunderous Snore.  Why wouldn’t you use Pulverizing Pancake GX again?”  Because you may only use one GX attack per game.  Think of it like a more severe version of the Supporter restriction.  Still a bit early for me to be sure, but I assume that means you may run multiple Pokémon with GX attacks, it is just that you may only ever use one of the attacks in a game.  At least in a multi-game match, you’ll get one shot per game.  Requiring five Energy already means this attack should be hitting hard, but as the cost are all Colorless and it’s on a Basic (instead of a space consuming Evolution) this might be worth the cost of being a GX attack.  Until we see it (and its kin) in action it is a bit hard to judge.  A big mark in all their favor?  All have two other attacks or an attack and Ability as well; the GX attack is basically treated like it’s an “extra”. 

This card isn’t even legal yet, as it just officially released today.  As such I have no proven deck ideas.  Seems like the obvious choice is to find some decent, compatible Energy acceleration, then focus on Snorlax-GX as an attacker while Hypno puts it (and the opponent’s Active) to Sleep.  Snorlax (XY: Fates Collide 77/122) provides a likely partner; not because it is also a Snorlax card but because it also has an attack that hits harder when it is Asleep.  That seems decent, but you’re using some very Energy heavy attackers and there are a lot of Pokémon like Yveltal-EX that specialize in hitting Energy hogs hard.  Snorlax-GX isn’t great, but it seems like it has a decent chance of making a functional deck, something that probably won’t win a tournament, but can take wins even against competitive decks.  Expanded provides more partners, but more competition… but this time I do think it is a net positive, giving it a bit of a bump in the score.  Unless we get Snorlax-GX re-released in a set, it isn’t Limited legal.  If it were, it would be an easy inclusion even though it takes so much time and Energy to build. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: Massive Energy costs and the need for combos to reliably use the second attack will probably keep Snorlax-GX from having a serious presence in the format, but it brings just enough that sometimes you will run across a serious Snorlax-GX deck… and it will have a legitimate chance of winning.  Which is good news for Snorlax fans like myself.  Of course right now we don’t have any Pokémon-GX support or counters, and such a thing could vastly shift this card’s usefulness.


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