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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Audino-EX &
M Audino-EX

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
July 22, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 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

Finally wrapping up this week with a double dose of healing love! Audino gets the EX treatment, and she's so far the only Generation 5 Pokemon with a Mega Evo. I wonder why exactly though? 

Well I'm not gonna say Audino-EX is the best Pokemon-EX we've had. Probably one of the lesser ones. I dunno about you, but when my first attack is like Drain Slap, a 1-for-20 hit that heals a strict 20 HP, I'm not looking to be the very best. I'm certainly not looking to be some kind of Mewtwo-EX or Rayquaza-EX, I can tell you that much. 

And don't think that Do the Wave is gonna make me more optimistic over Audino-EX's chances. It's 3-for-60 and does 10 more damage for each of your Benched Pokemon, maxing out at around 110 damage (or 140 in decks running Sky Field). It's hard to really advocate a move like this, cause on the one hand it's got potential with a lot of Bench-sitters and back-up attackers to be good, but on the other it's got such low damage output that it's hardly worth using as the main event. 

Audino-EX is a very basic Pokemon-EX - and no, I'm not saying that cause she's a Basic. The reason for this is cause she was released in Japan alongside her Mega Evolution in a Mega Battle Deck, which is kinda like a pre-built starter deck for players new and old. So in short, Audino-EX is a starter Pokemon-EX, or "baby's first EX".  

I don't know what else you were expecting from Audino. 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (the healing's paltry, and Audino-EX isn't really a fighter) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (if her first attack was instead an Ability to heal off 20 damage on each of your Pokemon per turn, I'd take that over the Drain Slap) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (really should've been a Bench-sitting Rough Seas if you ask me)

------ 

Now does her Mega Evolution do much more for Audino-EX? Probably not, seeing as it was also released in the Mega Battle Deck. But maybe something to boost off of the extra bulk she's got will work just as well. 

Magical Symphony, aside from being a lovely name for anything, costs about the same as Do the Wave and already does 110 damage, which is all Do the Wave could've done at its best. I consider that to be an improvement already. On top of that, if a Supporter was played this turn - which in most cases, you probably will have played a Supporter - M Audino-EX will snipe away at a Benched Pokemon for 50 more damage.  

Honestly, this is a pretty decent Mega Evolution. She's even got the Spirit Link to work with, which is a massive boon for any Mega Evo. It's also a really nice power-up compared to Audino-EX, which I think makes her a good example of how powerful Mega Evolutions can be. What the deck and these two cards don't tell you though is how certain Megas are picked out more as options, considering they'll take up deck space and either need more to be devoted to them or else won't see play, and in M Audino-EX's case, I think she's going to see a little less play given the current environment of Mega Evos. 

Don't get me wrong, she's a fine Mega Evolution herself, and if you need to build a budget deck around her, I'm sure there's a way to do it. But in terms of competitiveness, I think she falls short of some of the more powerful Mega Evos, who in turn have lost out to decks like Night March and Vespiquen simply because of the format. She's a bit of a middle-of-the-road Mega - not too strong, but not too weak either. A solid one in her own environment. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (she's just the right amount of good to not be strong or weak) 

Expanded: 2/5 (and that's really a good spot for her) 

Limited: 3/5 (if you can get the regular Audino-EX as well, she'll be amazing in Limited) 

Arora Notealus: This little line-up really makes me want to have Mega Battle Decks in the States - not of course for their amazing cards or anything, but because of these little teaching moments. I think they'd be a big hit if the Pokemon TCG folk decided to build these more often than their traditional Starter Decks - make a couple of new cards up and then add on a few of the cards in the set and so forth to support them and go from there. It'd be neat! 

Weekend Thought: What do you think of this week's cards? Do you think things like the Mega Battle Decks ought to be sold off in America as well? Did you like seeing two cards being reviewed together over the last couple of weeks? I bet you did, really working you to the bone aching for more card reviews!


Otaku

We end the week with another doubleheader: Audino-EX (XY: Fates Collide 84/124) and M Audino-EX (XY: Fates Collide 85/124)!  This time I’m going to try covering what they have in common first, then covering the specifics of Audino-EX followed by M Audino-EX. 

Both are Colorless Type Pokémon; no enjoying Weakness, no worrying about Resistance, some solid support, some rarely used (and not particularly effective) Type specific counters.  Due to their nature, there isn’t any real bonus to running a “Colorless” deck apart from actual Colorless support; this is intentional by the designers as they wished for Colorless to work just as well with everything else as with itself (again, apart from actually running Colorless Type support).  Both are Pokémon-EX so they give up an extra Prize when KO’d (always matters), are the target of certain anti-Pokémon-EX effects (sometimes matters), and can’t access certain support effects (rarely matters).  Both are Fighting Weak, which can be quite dangerous as the Fighting Type often produces cards that hit hard for just a few Energy, with many notable examples needing only one.  This would be enough of a concern on its own, but the Fighting Type also specializes in damage bonuses, and stacking them with the more generic options available to all the Types.  Doubling all the damage bonuses can threaten Audino-EX (or less likely, M Audino-EX) with OHKO for one Energy!  Both Pokémon have no Resistance or Ability; the former isn’t a surprise and the latter isn’t unusual either.  Both have a Retreat Cost of [CCC]; high enough that sometimes you won’t be able to afford it up front and usually not in the long run either.  You’ll need alternatives to manually retreating at full price (preferably with some redundancy), though it means Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots work with this card.  Last for things in common, all Energy costs are [C]; typical of Colorless Types but some do change things up. 

Now for where the cards differ.  Audino-EX is a Basic Pokémon, which means it is as good as it gets for deck space needs as well as effort and time to hit the field.  It means Audino-EX lessens your chance of mulligans as it can be your opening Pokémon, naturally works better with certain effects (often by virtue of one of the traits I just stated) and can take advantage of Basic Stage support; there is specific support for almost all Stages but BREAK Evolutions (unless I missed something) but the Basic Stage support has proven to be among if not the best.  The only drawback comes in the form of useful effects that counter Basics.  Audino-EX has 180 HP, the higher of the two common amounts for Basic Pokémon-EX and one of the all-but-guaranteed benefits of being a basic Pokémon as this is about twice what you normally find on an Audino.  This is at the point where OHKOs happen because your opponent either got a proper setup for a deck focused on scoring KOs, got lucky in some way (weakness, coin flips, whatever), or both.  Happens often enough that you shouldn’t assume it won’t but not often enough you should assume it will.  The first attack is “Drain Slap” for [C], which lets Audino-EX (or something that copies this attack) to hit for 20 damage while healing 20 from itself; not great, but decent for a low Energy attack.  For [CCC] it brings back a classic from almost the earliest days of the game, “Do the Wave”.  Damage is 60 plus 10 more for each of your Benched Pokémon in play, so a range of 60 to 110 (or 140 with Sky Field).  The attacks work decently together; nothing brilliant but with tricks like Double Colorless Energy you can use Drain Slap once then jump to Do the Wave. 

M Audino-EX is a Mega Evolution; on top of the things that went with being a Pokémon-EX, Mega Evolutions have their own Stage specific support and counters.  They function like Stage 1 Pokémon except with the big burden of the Mega Evolution rule, which ends your turn when you Mega Evolve unless you have an Audino Spirit Link attached, of course.  M Audino-EX has 220 HP, the lowest of the three typical amounts (220, 230, and 240) found on Mega Evolutions, though there a few with even less.  The good news is 220 is still big enough that OHKOs are unlikely for all but the hardest hitting decks, tricky or impossible for those without good damage yields or which are not exploiting Weakness.  The only remaining unique trait is the card’s attack.  Like all Mega Evolutions, there is only one attack on the card and this time it’s “Magical Symphony”.  For [CCC] this attack does 110 damage, and if you played a Supporter this turn, you also select one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon and do 50 to it.  Good damage return for the Energy as Supporter usage is almost a given most turns, but splitting it up is a mixed blessing.  As is the attack can only score OHKOs against smallish targets, though at least Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/180) is among them.  It also can’t 2HKO larger Mega Evolutions or Wailord-EX without help, though thanks to the damage spread M Audino-EX may be able to help itself.  Still there is a good range where it will score 2HKOs against larger targets, and that could be enough to make it work in a deck. 

So how do Audino-EX and M Audino-EX work with each other?  Filling your Bench isn’t too unusual right now, as most decks will have a Shaymin-EX or two, maybe another Bench-sitter, and a spare attacker so we are already over halfway there.  Barring bad luck, you won’t get picky about playing a Supporter until end game, when you may need to conserve what you have left available so that means both conditions for the big attacks are present in most decks.  Less general is using Sky Field to up the damage for Do the Wave.  Many (perhaps most) decks can make use of a larger Bench, so the main reason this is narrows down the field is that there are many potent Stadiums various decks want or even need to keep on the field.  Audino-EX may be worth using alone, as I can think of at least two decks that want a larger Bench but might also need another attacker, and where its Colorless nature could prove useful.  M Audino-EX seems more like a tag along for Audino-EX; Mega Evolve so you can shift to a steady rate of damage against the opponent’s Active and try for some decent Bench damage.  For example, 110 is enough to take out any Night March Pokémon - as well as any Mew (XY: Fates Collide 29/124) or Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) which may be backing them up - while also taking out another Night Marcher on the Bench.  If you can use Lysandre to force up a Shaymin-EX, the Bench hit could take out a Mew or Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 26/119) for three Prizes all at once!  So the big problem is that while Audino-EX won’t be hard to slip into such decks, finding space for its Mega Evolution and Spirit Link card as well becomes demanding. 

So one deck that might consider Audino-EX is the infamous M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) decks.  They already want to fill their fields to fuel its “Emerald Break” attack and are also Colorless, so the deck will have Sky Field and possibly some Colorless Type support like Altaria (XY: Roaring Skies 74/108, XY: Black Star Promos XY46) or Winona.  This is where deck space probably hurts M Audino-EX as it would otherwise seem like a good fit.  There is also Rainbow Road, the deck built around Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough 107/162) and its “Rainbow Force” attack, which does more damage based on how many Types of Pokémon you have in play.  It runs Double Colorless Energy and often a few other tricks to accelerate that should work for Audino as well, while running Sky Field and wanting to fill its own Bench.  Unfortunately such a deck is likely to be using Shaymin-EX for the Colorless role, and again space is likely to be too tight for M Audino-EX at all.  You can also try to focus on Audino-EX and M Audino-EX for a deck as well, but I didn’t notice such a deck taking any big wins or even making top cut in recent major events.  If you try this approach, Sky Field is still a must because the best way to enhance M Audino-EX (yes… the Mega Evolution) is a Bench full of cards that help with damage spread.  Exactly which ones are worth it I can’t say, but you’ve got Absol (XY: Roaring Skies 40/108), Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119), Dusknoir (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast 104/101), Forretress (XY: Flashfire 60/106), and others that inflict or move around damage counters but are not so good that you need to just use them instead (like Trevenant BREAK).  You might also include Energy acceleration, added draw, or many other bits of support on your Bench. 

I’m not seeing a huge difference for these two between Standard or Expanded play.  The biggest factors are Night March and deck space, especially for M Audino-EX, and those don’t really change between Standard and Expanded.  In Limited even with the Fighting presence in this set Audino-EX is a great pull; whatever else you run you can include it.  Just don’t be silly and try to run it on its own, since then it will be… actually not terrible, but thanks to being Fighting Weak in a set with a big Fighting presence, it would be a bad idea even if it had a stronger solo attack.  Instead just slap it into a deck built around your next strongest pulls and enjoy having a “boss monster” to throw at any non-Fighting Types (or slow Fighting Types).  M Audino-EX will not get many Bench hits here as most Supporters you will be running probably came from your Evolution pack (...why are recent announcements treating the Evolution pack as a new thing when they advertised it for this set?  I miss something?).  If you’re at an event without the Evolution pack, you’ll probably be lucky to have one Supporter.  You’ll need a lot of luck already to get two Ultra Rares (Audino-EX and M Audino-EX) and hopefully an Audino Spirit Link, though of course the latter is not required since this is a slower paced format.  Because of that slower pacing, even the flat 110-for-three will be worth the card investment.  With both of these cards, just remember that when they go down, you are giving up half your Prizes as Limited Format events start with four Prizes, not six. 

Ratings 

Audino-EX 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

M Audino-EX 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Audino-EX and M Audino-EX are pretty solid cards, but in a format full of monsters that lead you to assume the designers play favorites or were instructed to intentionally violate game balance when designing certain cards because strong cards sell packs.  Audino-EX backed by Sky Field can Do the Wave for 140 damage, but that means even if you skip Audino Spirit Link and slap a Fighting Fury Belt or Muscle Band on it, Do the Wave won’t OHKO opposing Pokémon-EX; you’ll need additional help.  Change the specifics but M Audino-EX is in the same boat with its Magical Symphony; while it wouldn’t be trying for a OHKO, it might be trying for a muti-KO every few turns. 

Basically these two do what they do well, but there are cards that just do it better; why Do the Wave when you can Emerald Break with M Rayquaza-EX?  Well, being a Basic that can fill a support role versus a Mega that takes over the deck is a legitimate reason, but there isn’t a huge demand for that.  Audino-EX didn’t make any of our Top 15 lists, even though this seems like a case where the Evolving Pokémon ought to be the focus and the Evolution just a useful trick.  M Audino-EX did however snag four voting points, showing up low but making it onto more than one list.  So had we not capped the collective Pojo list at a Top 10, it would have clocked in as our 22nd place finisher.  Not overly prestigious, but better than missing out entirely.  It tied with Genesect-EX (XY: Fates Collide 64/124, 120/124) and thankfully, I realized I should break the tie in the favor of the card we later discovered we had badly underrated (…Genesect-EX!).  It beat Omastar (XY: Fates Collide 18/124) and Wormadam (XY: Fates Collide 44/124) by one point.  21st place finisher here, 23rd place finisher here, and 24th place finisher here.


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