OH MAN GOLEM GOT THE EX TREATMENT!!
THIS GUY'S GONNA FINALLY CRAWL OUT OF THE STONE WORKS IN
A BIG FASHION, CHISELING HIS SPOT IN THE META STATUE'S
SIDE AND CARVING A PATH THROUGH TO THE TOP, PIERCING
WITH HIS DRILL TO THE HEAVENS!!!
...is what I'd love to say, but
let's be honest, he wasn't even good enough to make our
Top 3 list on Generations. Not that I'm gonna say he's a
bad card...just a bad-EX. He does have a lot going for
him though, since Fighting-types have all that Furious
Fist support still. That being said, his first attack
Boulder Crush leaves a lot to be desired, being a
3-for-80 vanilla attack. Seriously needs a lot more in
his second attack to see play.
And to be fair, Megaton Fall
delivers!...sort of. It's a tremendous 4-for-180 hit -
more than the might of even some Mega Pokemon and able
to KO any other Pokemon-EX that lacks the resistance -
but it comes with a huge drawback of dealing Golem-EX 60
damage in return, cutting off an entire 1/3rd of his HP.
To be fair though, I'm sure there are people who will
combine Golem-EX with that one Tool from Flashfire that
can keep Pokemon from damaging themselves...what was its
name again? Protection Cube? I wonder why I forgot about
...oh right. Cause no one uses it.
So Golem-EX: terrible EX unless
you've got a Tool no one uses. Niche enough? Certainly.
Standard: 2/5 (his high attack
costs and lackluster attacks for those costs make
Golem-EX very niche - not to say the Fighting support
couldn't help him on his own, but don't expect him to be
the star of his own regional win)
Expanded: 2/5 (...well, then again,
maybe someone will come up with a way to take Golem-EX's
power seriously enough to drive it home)
Limited: 4/5 (but hey, until then
am I right?)
Arora Notealus: Golem hasn't been
terribly impressive in the long run, but throw in some
good stuff here and there, and you've got something
scary to deal with!
Next Time: From the stars in the
sky, he dives to us!
As a reminder, CotDs are written ahead of time and I’ve
seen few results from State Championships.
(Generations 46/83) is a Fighting Type, which
means it can strike Weakness against the majority of
Colorless Types, most Darkness Types and most Lightning
Types. It also encounters Resistance across those same
Types and periodically across others which is traced to
the video game Flying Type; as it is represented by
Colorless Typing in the TCG, it seems to be one of the
few places the designers are still comfortable blending
aspects of multiple Types. Fortunately while this
is either the most abundant or second most abundant form
of Resistance - I don’t have an exact count and when I
did it was only a few dozen cards apart - Resistance is
more a nuisance while Weakness creates a dramatic shift
in match-ups. Plus “No Resistance” is still the
most common. We see a similar relationship in
terms of Type support and counters. The Fighting
Type has some great cards that specifically benefit
their Type and some strong cards that might work
elsewhere but work best with that same support, which
bolsters the Type quite a bit, while the cards that
explicitly counter the Fighting Type for being the
Fighting Type just aren’t that good. Cards that
effectively counter common Fighting Type strategies are
probably more effective, but with three different forms
of Weakness for the Type and a tendency to be enhanced
but not truly dependent on almost everything, with
respect to Golem-EX it will have to be fairly
card specific (and thus covered elsewhere).
Being a Pokémon-EX comes with a lot of built in
drawbacks while the rewards are not set in stone.
No matter what, Golem-EX gives up an additional
Prize versus what is normally required when it is KOed.
It also can’t access certain beneficial effects and is
the target of specific detrimental effects, with
Silver Bangle being the dated but still simplest
example of both as it provides +30 damage when the
equipped Pokémon attacks a Pokémon-EX but said effect
states it does not work when the card is attached to a
Pokémon-EX. Pokémon-EX tend to have better
attributes and/or effects than their non-Pokémon-EX
counterparts but doesn’t seem to be guaranteed; at the
very least sometimes the benefits are far less
substantial. Golem-EX gets to be part of the
exceptions in that it does have one flat out benefit
from being a Pokémon-EX; when they are based on
something that is normally an Evolution and isn’t a Mega
Evolution, they get to be Basic Pokémon instead.
Being a Basic is the best; while I think the game could
be designed to balance things out, it requires
specifically designing the cards to better manage the
pace of the game so that the end results (fully Evolved
Pokémon) are on par with each other and the tradeoffs of
Basic versus Stage 1 versus Stage 2 versus anything else
added in (Restored?) ends up be different but balanced.
That is a subject for a whole other article though;
being a Basic is currently simpler and more effective
than being an Evolution, even when factoring in the
various forms of Basic and Evolution support and
180 HP is the higher of the two typical HP scores for
Basic Pokémon-EX. Nothing in this game is safe
from a OHKO, but this is enough to probably survive a
hit (though usually only by a small margin). Grass
Weakness is not good, though neither is it the worst.
Probably the big concern is Vespiquen (XY:
Ancient Origins 10/98) still being a popular and
potent deck choice; while such decks still build enough
damage to start taking OHKOs, Weakness means they need
just a little less than half as many Pokémon in the
discard pile. No Resistance is disappointing but
as stated earlier, the most common and Resistance is
usually not a huge benefit even when it is present.
The Retreat Cost of [CCCC] matters, though; gaining
access to Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots does
not compensate for such a massive cost. You will
only be able to afford to retreat manually at full price
with a Golem-EX when you’ve got the same amount
of Energy you need for its biggest attack, so if you’re
using the first attack you won’t even be able to afford
it up front and losing that much Energy can be fatal in
a deck that doesn’t carry easy Energy recycling.
Be sure to pack something that dramatically lowers
Retreat Costs, bypasses manually retreating Golem-EX,
or both unless your deck is set-up to leave Golem-EX
up front no matter what.
has no Abilities and no Ancient Trait (I don’t think
they bother with the latter anymore), so it all comes
down to its attacks and any useful combos they might
enjoy. “Boulder Crash” requires [FFC] and does 80
damage. “Megaton Fall” requires [FFFC] and does 180 but
also does 60 to Golem-EX itself. Just
looking at Boulder Crash, three Energy (and two of them
being Type specific) is below the going rate. We
are used to costs of [XCC] - where “X” is a
non-Colorless Energy Type) doing 90 to 120 damage.
Lower amounts still work but need a beneficial effect or
something special about the rest of the card.
Megaton Fall is a bit better; while 60 points of
self-damage is serious, so is hitting for 180 damage
with no coin flips, discards, etc. even at a cost of
four mostly specific Energy. Somewhat
disappointing is the lack of synergy between the
attacks. Boulder Crash hits a turn faster than
Megaton Fall assuming no well timed Energy acceleration,
but with the amount of damage Megaton Fall does the lead
in may not even be necessary. Mostly it helps when
you can use two Boulder Crash in place of any
uses of Megaton Fall since you avoid self-damage in this
way. The self-damage from Megaton Fall may be fair
to a bit high (for the Energy alone I’d want 120 to 150
damage). For Fighting-Types, with their access to
Focus Sash, the self-damage seems extra painful,
though more decks are prepared for such things than they
were a few months ago. A Strong Energy, a
Muscle Band or Fighting Fury Belt and a
Fighting Stadium put most Mega Evolutions into OHKO
range, at least.
There are no other Golem-EX and despite what I
just said, you may have to resort to Protection Cube
instead of other Pokémon Tools, give or take a
Bursting Balloon to ward off opposing attacks and
Pokémon Tool F cards. As such it means I now wish
that the card hit itself even harder with Megaton Slam
but for some other benefit, be it opposing Bench
damage/damage counter placement, lowered Energy costs,
even more raw damage so that Strong Energy was
totally unneeded. Boulder Crash really just needs
to be a different attack; costing less is good and/or
having at least one useful effect, even at the cost of
some damage is fine. Golem-EX makes me wish it
had Θ Double so that I could attach both a Focus Sash
and a Protection Cube to it; even with the risk
of various discarding effects when they didn’t happen
you’d be able to build something that could take two
OHKOs without other hassles. Then again getting
the needed Energy on it is also a problem; there is a
reason Primal Groudon-EX works and that is
because its Ω Barrier protects it while it is on the
Bench, plus it has Mega Turbo. Golem-EX
will need three Mega Elixir that actually work
plus an Energy from hand to go full on Megaton Slash in
a single turn and that might be all the time you have!
Grass Weakness and being Energy heavy can get you badly
punished right now.
The laments and the Create-A-Card sidetrip tell you that
I don’t have much to recommend with or for this card.
Skip it in Standard and Expanded. On the unlikely
chance you can play in some sort of Limited Format event
using Generations cards, it is a great pull, but
its self-damage and slow start-up make me leery of the
typical +39 tactic of running it no other Basic Pokémon
to ensure you start with it. If you’re not
familiar, Limited Formats usually involve a 40 card deck
and four Prizes instead of 60 and six, so +39 comes from
having only that one, single Basic Pokémon in your deck.
Golem-EX has a higher risk of being overwhelmed
before it takes four Prizes, because again, you’ll have
to wait three turns to start attacking and if you use
its big attack you take out 60 of your own HP.
Backing several other Pokémon should be fine, though
needing so much Fighting Energy in a format where you’ll
be relying on basic Fighting Energy cards makes
it more difficult. You may not pull any other good
Fighting-Types or even Pokémon that have mostly or all
Golem-EX had my hopes up largely because in
Standard I really want an alternate Fighting-Type
Pokémon-EX to tag team with Lucario-EX, not
unlike what I tend to do with Landorus-EX in
Expanded (Lucario-EX being the alternate for
Landorus-EX). Golem-EX doesn’t do that, nor
does it do the “massive tank” trick like Primal
Groudon-EX well enough to bother. Any
complicated strategy I can come up with to make it
somewhat functional is just that - complicated - plus
works better with other cards (like Primal Groudon-EX).