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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 BREAKpoint Cards

#6 - Palkia EX

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
February 12, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.55
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 4.95

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, time for a card I'm hype about! But then again, I like Water generally as a Type - there you go, my personal favorite Type. Glad we could all be here to listen to that. Anywho, ONTO PALKIA-EX!! 

So of the two Palkia-EX in existence, this follows in the steps of his brother Dialga by reverting to his other type of Water, like how Dialga-EX became Steel-type in Phantom Forces. That being said, there are some big differences; whereas Dialga-EX aimed to be a main attacker in your deck, Palkia-EX lends himself to a bulky supportive role. Let's get right to what I mean. 

Aqua Turbo is Palkia-EX's first attack, and it's a great attack to have. At 2 Energy, it only deals 40 damage but accelerates 2 Water Energy straight out of your deck onto a Bench-sitter. This can easily power up another Palkia-EX on your Bench to keep attacks pumping out and Energy flowing, or you can use it with Gyarados-EX/M Gyarados-EX to power them up faster than ever before! That's pretty nice to me! 

And Pearl Hurricane's not a bad attack either - a bit excessive in cost, since all the Energies need to be Water, but for 4 Energy, you get to deal 120 damage plus another 30 on a Benched Pokemon. That's a nice leg-up on the competition, if you ask me, so Palkia-EX has decent moves as a back-up attacker if need be! 

So what all does this mean for the Space Dragon? Well I'd say he's got a spot in several Water decks now, but Aqua Turbo is only really good in the early game to get a head start on your opponent while Pearl Hurricane, while a bit expensive, can be a solid finisher if need be. You may be able to build around the first attack, but the trick would be to balance out the amount of Energy in your deck to have a good amount with the rest of your deck such that you don't overburden yourself with Energy and end up with more dead draws - that's what Palkia-EX is here for! 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (while deck builds will need to accommodate to utilize Aqua Turbo more often than not, the Energy acceleration and deck thinning prowess will lend a major helping hand to any Water deck!) 

Expanded: 4/5 (I'd say he's arguably better than Blastoise, though while he's got the advantage of being a big Basic, Blastoise does provide that explosive force with Deluge, so it's really more dependent on what deck you're running)

Limited: 5/5 (yeah, you can definitely benefit from powering up your Bench or essentially weakening your opponent's, even with his pure-Water cost)

Arora Notealus: Space dragons, man. They're pretty hardcore...granted Palkia always did have a bit of a funky design, but I ENDURED PEARL FOR YOU!! 

Weekend Thought: Agree with our list so far? Think some cards should be higher up? Think some should be lower? Think there's an overrated card we haven't hit yet, or maybe you're in the camp of waiting for that one card to show up! Who knows? Maybe it's on its way... 

Next Time: It's a riddle tied up in a mystery wrapped in an enigma...


Otaku

Now for the top of the bottom half, our sixth place pick is Palkia-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 31/122)!  This is our third Water-Type Pokémon-EX this week, and our second that is also a Basic Pokémon.  Being a Water-Type is still handy for striking the Weakness of nearly all Fire-Types and a solid chunk of Fighting-Types while having to deal with Water Resistance only on some BW-era Grass-Types.  There are some cards that mess with Water-Types specifically because they are Water-Types; but it seems like they just reduce the damage done by attacks from Water-Types.  I’ll give an example since it is the end of the week: Heliolisk (XY: Black Star Promos XY47) has the Ability “Dry Skin” which reduces the damage done by attacks from your opponent’s Water-Types by 30 (after applying Weakness and Resistance).  You’ve rarely if ever seen this card being played competitively because the rest of it is poor, even though reducing damage by 30 - even against a single Type - is actually pretty good.  Water-Type Pokémon enjoy direct support that is restricted to Water-Types; it isn’t a huge amount but it sports fantastic cards like Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Dive Ball.  There are also cards like Manaphy-EX that are more likely to help Water-Types than others, but aren’t expressly restricted to the Water-Type (or the Water-Type plus another Type) by the card’s text. 

Being a Pokémon-EX is purely a disadvantage in terms of inherent qualities; a Pokémon-EX is guaranteed to give up an extra Prize when KOed, be the specified target of certain detrimental effects already in the card pool and unable to use certain beneficial effects that exclude Pokémon-EX from their user base.  Unless a Pokémon-EX or another card effect provides a workaround, those are happening.  Usually though being a Pokémon-EX enables a card to have better attributes and effects than they otherwise would enjoy.  Palkia-EX is a Basic and that is the best Stage a Pokémon currently can be: Stage specific support, even if there are also a few Stage specific counters, but a natural synergy with various card effects because Basic Pokémon can be put into play immediately and (barring card specifics) don’t require any additional cards to be put into play.  The first example of how being a Pokémon-EX benefits this card is its HP: 180 is the higher of the two common HP scores seen on Basic Pokémon-EX with a good chance of surviving a hit.  Nothing is immune to being OHKOed (even cards with built in protection against it can find that protection bypassed), so this is reasonably good.  The Grass Weakness is not good:  my big concern comes from something like Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) even if it is mostly an issue of being OHKOed more quickly as said Vespiquen can build up its “Bee Revenge” attack to reach 180 damage before Weakness anyway.  No Resistance is typical and I already ranted on it earlier this week, so we’ll address the Retreat Cost.  [CC] is also a fairly typical cost, but we can say a bit more: it is high enough you’ll often be able to pay but low enough you’d prefer not to do so. 

Palkia-EX has two attacks.  The first is “Aqua Turbo”, which requires [WW] and does 40 damage; its effect requires you search your deck for two [W] Energy cards and then to attach them to one of your Benched Pokémon, however as it involves searching the deck it is possible to fail the search if you wish.  You can’t elect not to search at all though (and you must shuffle your deck afterwards).  The damage is decent and the acceleration is good but not great.  The second attack is “Pearl Hurricane” and costs [WWWW].  It does damage plus 30 to one of your own Benched Pokémon (as usual, don’t apply Weakness or Resistance for the Benched damage).  The damage is a bit low considering it costs not just four Energy but specific Energy; even though they are all the same and on Type, it is still steep… and that is before adding in Bench damage.  The only reason I’m going to call this (just barely) acceptable because the first attack accelerates Energy and Water-Types may use Rough Seas to heal 30 damage from all Water- and Lightning-Types in play. 

There is already a previous Palkia-EX in the form of BW: Plasma Blast 66/101, 100/101); fortunately it is a Team Plasma Pokémon so I will just refer to it as Palkia-EX [Plasma].  It is still a Basic Pokémon-EX with 180 HP, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], no Ancient Trait (predates them), no Ability and two attacks.  It is a Dragon-Type with Dragon Weakness.  Its first attack is “Strafe” which requires [CCC] and does 50 damage while giving you the option of Benching itself.  This allows it to use Double Colorless Energy as well as Colress Machine and Plasma Energy to power up in a single turn.  It also was good enough to get Palkia-EX [Plasma] some competitive play, but not any recent success.  Its second attack is “Dimension Heal” for [GWCC], which does 80 damage to the opponent’s Active while healing 20 damage from itself for each Plasma Energy attached to itself.  Even though nowadays you can use a Double Dragon Energy with two Colress Machine (and two Plasma Energy) to hit for 80 while healing 40 in a single turn… that isn’t actually good.  You have to stack four Deoxys-EX (and their “Power Connect” Ability) on the Bench for +40 damage as well as a Muscle Band for another plus 20 damage and finally a Hypnotixic Laser with Virbank City Gym to at last hit an effective 190 damage and the OHKO needed to be competitive.  If you can’t tell, that is rather difficult, and you’d be better off using some of those resources with Strafe in a hit-and-run deck. 

So Palkia-EX [Plasma] shouldn’t affect the new Palkia-EX as they don’t serve even remotely the same purpose and thus shouldn’t be showing up in the same deck.  The new Palkia-EX seems like a potential new opening Pokémon for Water-Types but I’m not sold on it.  You need to attach two Energy before you can attack with Aqua Turbo, so unless you go first and have both of your manual Energy attachments go well or use Energy acceleration you’re losing an attack.  You aren’t ahead on Energy until you get off two attacks, though you may have the advantage of doing 40 damage and having a different meatshield take the hit instead of whatever you really want to be using to attack.  With the right deck, this will work, but I don’t think it is the new staple for Water-Type decks.  I’ve heard many try to compare Palkia-EX to Virizion-EX, because that card has the attack “Emerald Slash” for [GC] can hit for 50 damage while searching the deck for two [G] Energy and attaching them to a Benched Pokémon.  Sounds quite similar, but besides having a slightly more open attack cost and a slightly better damage output on slightly different attributes… but it also has the Ability “Verdant Wind” which protects any Pokémon with a [G] Energy attached from being affected by Special Conditions.  Two sets after Hypnotoxic Laser was introduced.  Virizion-EX used to be seen everywhere but not so much now even though it is still legal in Expanded.  The former powerhouse deck known as VirGen (which paired Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX) is still showing up in Expanded, but it isn’t what it once was and is now kind of obscure. 

So go ahead and test Palkia-EX in Standard and Expanded, but be aware that it is not something that automatically goes in Water-Type decks (or decks that can make use of Water Energy cards).  It may end up going into most, but it isn’t a given.  Many decks will have alternate options, like Mega Turbo for Mega Evolutions or Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) for almost anything in Expanded.  In Limited play you almost certainly will be using Palkia-EX, either on its own or to setup something else that you pulled.  Thankfully many cards will have Colorless Energy requirements you can fuel with Aqua Turbo even if you need to manually attach other Energy cards of different Types.  You can use this card completely on its own with 39 non-Basic Pokémon cards, to ensure you open with it and just power it up and try to take your four Prizes (Limited play usually involved 40 card decks and only four Prizes, instead of 60 and six) before your opponent can overwhelm it, but you’ll not be able to attack first turn even if you go second because you need two Energy to use Aqua Turbo, and another two turns before you can get to Pearl Hurricane.  Once you do get to Pearl Hurricane, your opponent should fall swiftly; it will just be a race to do so before you take too many hits. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.1/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 4.9/5 

Summary: Palkia-EX provides yet another way to accelerate Energy, but it is through an attack in a format where a 180 HP Pokémon-EX is less durable than it used to be.  Certain cards will still be able to make the trade off work but I am thinking most decks have no use for it and even most Water decks should see if anything else fills the role better.  This is why the rating might seem a bit off; I expect it to be great in a few decks but only so-so in others and awful in most.

Palkia-EX didn’t make my Top 10, my Top 15 or even my Top 20.  It looks like a solid addition to Standard, less so for Expanded, but I don’t expect great things from it.  Given that it tied with the fifth place card, I was quite alone in thinking this way!


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