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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Zygarde #52 & #53

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
July 12, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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, looks like we've got a double review today, and it's...well, for the same Pokemon actually! Zygarde has been receiving a lot of attention thanks to his new forms popping up (BUT IN MY GAMES WHEN???), and today we're gonna look at the smaller non-EX versions to see how well they'd fit in any build. 

Zygarde (52), or as he oughta be called "Zygarde 10%" or "Zydog", is the first one we look at, and he's pretty simple. Non-evolving Basic, 90 HP, pretty standard I suppose. His first attack is Lookout, though it's not really as much of a "lookout" move as a "GIVE ME THE POKEMON I'M LOOKING OUT FOR". See, it acts like a free Pokemon Catcher or Lysandre, switching out one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon for their Active. The lack of targeting makes it pretty cool too, but no damage output is a little risky, especially if your opponent just switches it out again. 

Aura Break isn't a terribly great attack to use either. It's 3-for-70 which is okay, but at the least if the opposing Active Pokemon is Dark or Fairy Typed, it won't be able to attack during your opponent's turn. That's a pretty nice plus, but it's also very niche and not that applicable when your opponent can switch it around again. Thus Zydog becomes a bit of a touch-and-go kind of Pokemon whose main use would be for switching things around to set up, only for your opponent to potentially undo it in a moment's notice if they've got the card for it. 

Never mind that 90 HP is still a magic number. 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (pretty underwhelming for the "first form" of Zygarde)

Expanded: 1.5/5 (he's got niche potential at least, and the Fighting support should even things out a little) 

Limited: 3/5 (but aside from that, I don't see him seeing much play) 

------

With all that in mind, let's talk about Zygarde (53), or "Zygarde 50%".  

This one's got 120 HP, the other "magic number" of sorts but for Megas. That's okay, at the least he may last a little longer than Zydog, but I'm sure we'll see about that. In the meantime, he's got two attacks, one of which is Rumble. At 2-for-30, Zygarde can deal some damage and keep the Defending Pokemon from Retreating. This would be great to combine with Zydog's Lookout, if it was a little more like Lysandre to be used during your Main Phase and what not.  

Then there's Geostrike, which is 3-for-120 that deals 10 damage to your Benched Pokemon. While there are ways around the negative recoil, such as Mr. Mime and Mountain Ring, it's a big mediocre in the first place, and in this day and age it's better to push that damage output to be higher than ever. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do that for Zygarde. 

The obvious is Muscle Band of course, but Fighting Fury Belt is probably a better Tool for Zygarde 50%. It'll push his HP to 160, making him rival other Pokemon-EX while dealing out 40 damage on Rumble and 130 damage on Geostrike. Strong Energy can also stack on top of that to push Geostrike into potentially OHKO range, making Zygarde more powerful than before. Course the investment may or may not be worth it, but Zygarde can at least do more than...well, Zydog.

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (the drawback to Geostrike makes Zygarde a little dangerous to use recklessly) 

Expanded: 2/5 (but if you use him smartly, you can get the edge in a match pretty easily) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (it'll do some good in even these formats) 

Arora Notealus: One of these days, they'll give us the forms...BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!! 

Next Time: DOUBLING UP YOUR ENERGY POWER!!


Otaku

Time for a double dose of action as we look at not one but two Zygarde.  Specifically XY: Fates Collide 52/124 and XY: Fates Collide 53/124 since they have so much in common.  XY: Fates Collide 53/124 actually has two reprints available: XY: Black Star Promos XY129 and the soon to release XY: Black Star Promos XY152.  Both Zygarde are Fighting Types so they enjoy access to the overall best Type support in Standard and Expanded, while the Fighting Type counters are so forgettable.  Literally, I have forgotten said counters even existed before, though by now I do tend to remember them.  Exploiting Fighting Weakness is fantastic as many Colorless Types and nearly all Darkness and Lightning Types are Fighting Weak; Resistance is also plentiful but Resistance just isn’t as important as Weakness in terms of Type matching.  Being a Basic is the best due to the decreased time and card investment required as well as the natural synergy many effects have allowing them to just function better with a Basic.  There are anti-Basic effects but Basic Stage support more than offsets it.

We finally hit a difference as XY: Fates Collide 52/124 has 90 HP while XY: Fates Collide 53/124 has 120.  90 is a probable OHKO but at least it is big enough to avoid being absolutely guaranteed; your opponent still needs to land a solid shot.  Also it is low enough for Level Ball to fetch it should that prove relevant.  The 120 HP is at the border between still being ambiguous about survival versus being at least a little more likely to survive a hit than not.  Both are Grass Weak and that isn’t too bad; it mostly means established Grass Type attackers other than Virizion-EX just have an easier time scoring the OHKO they probably had coming.  No Resistance.  The Retreat Cost on XY: Fates Collide 52/124 is just [C], making it easy to Retreat while the [CC] found on XY: Fates Collide 53/124 is low enough you can pay but high enough you want to avoid if you can. 

For attacks, XY: Fates Collide 52/124 brings “Lookout” and “Aura Break”.  For [F] Lookout lets you forcibly promote one of the opponent’s Benched Pokémon.  Aura Break requires [FCC] does 70 damage and if the Defending Pokémon was either a Darkness or Fairy Type it can’t attack during your opponent’s next turn.  XY: Fates Collide 53/124 has “Rumble” and “Geostrike”.  Rumble hits for 30 while keeping the Defending Pokémon from retreating during your opponent’s next turn, while Geostrike does 120 for [FFC] but does 10 damage to each of your Benched Pokémon.  Lookout is bad; it is just too easy to undo the effect before you can attack again.  Aura Break is somewhat useful but only if you’re dealing with a deck that needs to attack with Fairy or Darkness Types and can’t change them out easily enough to mitigate the effect… which many of them can do.  Rumble is solid; a bit pricey to easily make use of but especially with Fighting Type damage bonuses you can try and 2HKO something that isn’t good at hitting back.  If that seems unfair given what Lookout can enable, if Lookout did any base damage then it would be much better.  Geostrike is alright; three for 120 is good and 10 damage to your entire Bench isn’t too hard to deal with, and in some cases can set up other combos. 

So should you use either of these?  XY: Fates Collide 52/124 is a no go, unless we get an unusual shift that makes it attack effects worthwhile.  XY: Fates Collide 53/124 on the other hand might work, if you can find a Fighting heavy deck that can make use of stranding something with Rumble or the Bench damage from Geostrike.  There are some cards I’ve brought up more than once which might actually do just that: Kyurem (BW: Noble Victories 34/101; BW: Black Star Promos BW44; BW: Legendary Treasures 43/113), Reshiram (Black & White 26/114, 113/114; BW: Black Star Promos BW004, BW23; BW: Next Destinies 21/99; BW: Legendary Treasures 28/113, 114/113, RC22/RC25), and Zekrom (Black & White 47/114, 114/114; BW: Black Star Promos BW005, BW24; BW: Next Destinies 50/99; BW: Legendary Treasures 51/113, 115/113) all have Outrage so let them soak it up.  Rotom (XY: Fates Collide 24/124) can take two damage counters from across all your Pokémon and slap them onto your opponent’s Active with its attack.  If you want just want the big damage, there might be other Fighting Types better suited but Mr. Mime (either BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116 or XY: BREAKthrough 97/162) can block the Bench damage.  Rumble can actually work pretty well with things like Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym. 

So maybe XY: Fates Collide 53/124 has some shot in Standard or Expanded, but XY: Fates Collide 52/124 is a no go.  In Limited play both are fantastic pulls.  XY: Fates Collide 52/124 will enjoy its attack effects actually mattering.  Dealing with the Bench damage from Geostrike is more difficult but everything else on XY: Fates Collide 53/124 is going to be even better here.  If I understand this whole Evolution Pack thing (...yeah, haven’t been able to make a Pre-Release in quite some time).  So if the list I’m looking at is accurate one pack does contain XY: Black Star Promos XY129, which is hardly a bad thing since if you pull an XY: Fates Collide 53/124 your deck is just that much more reliable.  In fact, the normal 4-Copy Rule doesn’t apply to a Sealed Deck Event like a Pre-Release (at least I think that is what a Pre-Release officially counts as) so if you have insane luck and pull more than four copies from your boosters, you can still run the promo in your deck as well.  What is more, XY: Fates Collide 53/124 is in the “Battle Ruler” Theme Deck at not just one but two copies, which makes for a pretty fierce attacker.  Again you have to cope with the Bench damage but the deck has a lot of nice support getting behind Zygarde.  Unfortunately I’ve been busy so I haven’t put it through its paces on the PTCGO before now as I had planned.  So I think it looks pretty good there. 

Ratings 

XY: Fates Collide 52/124 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.25/5 

Limited: 3.25/5 

XY: Fates Collide 53/124 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 2.8/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Theme Deck: 4/5 

Summary: As much as I was hoping I’d come up with something to prove XY: Fates Collide 52/124 worthwhile, for now its attack effects just don’t justify running it.  XY: Fates Collide 53/124 on the other hand seems solid.  Not brilliant, but it does enough to be worth considering when you’ve got the right kind of support behind it.  Probably going to be skipped over for another Fighting Type Basic Pokémon, however.  At by being so similar we were able to cover them in a single review without too much hassle.


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