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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Blastoise EX

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
March 30, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.17
Expanded: 2.17
Limited: 3.88

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Ahhh, Blastoise, getting more of that EX treatment. Shame about the Spirit Link though, but maybe this one will be able to see some play that the other Blastoise-EX didn't? Let's see if it can work. 

So the only other card to compare this with is Blastoise-EX from the XY expansion. A lot of their stats are the same - 180 HP, Weak to Grass, Retreat Cost of way too high to pay for without some form of compensation - but there are some notable differences in their attacks. Blastoise-EX (XY) has Rapid Spin, a 2-for-30 strike that can push Blastoise-EX back to the Bench and the opponent's Active Pokemon as well, and Splash Bomb, which is 3-for-120 and a coin flip to maybe hurt himself a bit. So that's the kind of stuff Blastoise-EX (GEN) has to beat out. 

His first attack though doesn't help, starting off at 3 Energy already. Hyper Whirlpool though can end up being more useful than just switching things around, dealing a larger 60 damage and even offering a coin flip to discard an opponent's Energy card on their Active Pokemon. This actually gives Blastoise-EX some viability as a disruption card, and combined with stuff like Head Ringer, Xerosic, and the Hammers, there could conceivably be a good deck for this. The trick though is actually getting up to 3 Energy so fast, and that's not solved by his second attack. Hydro Press ends up at 4-for-100, which isn't that great in the grand scheme of things, but on the plus side he can also deal 20 damage to a Benched Pokemon. It's not much, but it's something more than what Blastoise-EX (XY) can do with his second attack. 

So what's the verdict? Do we run XY's EX or Generations' EX? Well while Blastoise-EX (GEN) does have more expensive attacks, his Hydro Press beats out XY's Splash Bomb for a better second attack. You get effectively the same output without the risk of damaging yourself, and that alone is noteworthy. Not to mention Hyper Whirlpool does a lot more for Blastoise-EX than Rapid Spin does, even if it is reliant on a coin flip. Sure, Rapid Spin has the advantage of switching things around and getting rid of any Status Conditions affecting Blastoise-EX, but it's more of a defensive option, and this has been a gradually more offensive format. 

That being said, would I run either of them? Maybe not on their own... 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (hefty costs for attacks, but coming from this Blastoise-EX, I'd say they're worth it more than the other one) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (if you combine him with the right cards, he could even deal with a lot of your opponent's threats) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (just...try not to pair him up against Grass-types) 

Arora Notealus: A thought did occur to me that maybe the two Blastoise-EX could work well with each other. You know, Rapid Spin around with XY to bring out Generations and then Hydro Press and Hyper Whirlpool them to victory! Or worst case, well, they both do have a back-up option. 

Next Time: AND THAT BACKUP IS MEGA EVOLVING


Otaku

Today we look at Blastoise-EX (Generations 17/83).  Being a Water Type definitely falls on the happy side of the “good” versus “bad” divide, but I am uncertain exactly how good.  Exploiting Weakness is a major factor in determining how well a Type performs and the Water Type hits nearly all Fire Type Pokémon and a chunk of the Fighting Types for it.  Glancing through recent States results over on The Charizard Lounge, it looks like such targets are pretty scarce right now.  Mostly just the odd Entei (XY: Ancient Origins 15/98) decks, at least in Standard.  The Water Type enjoys a good amount of support, but the quality varies.  Some like Dive Ball are good but often outclassed because it competes for space against more general support like Ultra Ball.  Others like Archie’s Ace in the Hole are amazing but just don’t do Blastoise-EX much good; in fact as the Basic of a Mega Evolution it may cause this card to see less play, not more.  The support that is not exclusive to the Water Type (merely part of it) are often better when they are in a Water Type deck, such as Keldeo-EX; its Ability is almost always welcome but its attack is often saved for desperation plays without a source of [W] Energy (preferably with some Energy acceleration as well). 

Basic Pokémon are still the best.  Even with counters like Jolteon-EX out there the inherent benefits of being a Basic versus the inherent drawbacks of being an Evolution outweigh both Stage counters and support.  180 HP is the higher of the two typical HP scores for Basic Pokémon-EX and enough to usually survive a hit.  As nothing is truly safe from OHKOs that is very good.  Its Grass Weakness can be a problem, mostly due to helping Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) take an even faster, more reliable OHKO; better than elevating something lesser into a real threat but still a problem.  The lack of Resistance is typical even if it is technically the worst, and Resistance is usually only relevant under select circumstances even when it is present.  The Retreat Cost of three means Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots are an option, but like Resistance those aren’t particularly relevant most of the time.  If Blastoise-EX needs to retreat you’ll have to lose a good chunk of Energy and may not even have it available in the first place; pack something to allow Blastoise-EX to more easily vacate the Active slot or to tank while up front. 

Blastoise-EX has two attacks but no Ability.  For [WCC] “Hyper Whirlpool” hits for 60 damage and gives you a coin flip to try and discard an Energy from the opponent’s Active.  [WWCC] pays for the second attack, “Hydro Press”, does 100 damage to the opponent’s Active and 20 damage to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon (your choice which).  These are definitely overpriced in terms of damage and effects for the Energy required.  As an Evolving Basic Pokémon-EX I don’t expect much, but this is a bit less than that.  The one upside is that the attacks both have a [CC] cost so Double Colorless Energy is an option for speeding things up, but even that comes with the caveat that we have a three Energy and four Energy attack and nothing more affordable.  So why did we look at this card? 

Well of course there is more; I keep mentioning that this can Mega Evolve so we have another Blastoise-EX as well as two M Blastoise-EX to look over as well.  Of the game mechanic relevant bits of the card, Blastoise-EX (XY 29/146, 142/146) is the same as today’s Blastoise (Generations 17/83) other than its attacks.  Blastoise-EX (XY 29/146, 142/146) still has no Ability but for [CC] it can use “Rapid Spin” for 30 damage and force both players to change out their Active Pokémon.  For [WWW] it can use “Splash Bomb” for 120 damage and a coin flip; “tails” means 30 points of self damage.  While the attacks don’t have the best synergy, overall they are solid attacks and better than today’s Blastoise-EX.  Don’t mistake that for glowing praise of Blastoise-EX (XY 29/146, 142/146) though: here is the CotD for it and while I wasn’t one of the reviewers, their scores look about right. 

Unless we find a combo for a M Blastoise-EX.  Emphasis on “combo” even if something made M Blastoise-EX the top card in the format, it would likely just use Archie’s Ace in the Hole as sadly Generations wasn’t used as an excuse to give old Mega Evolutions their own Spirit Link cards.  M Blastoise-EX (XY 30/146) is a Mega Evolved Water Type with 220 with Grass Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC] and single attack.  For [WWW] “Hydro Bombard” does 120 plus 30 to of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon.  I can’t find a previous CotD for it, but it wasn’t a good enough card to earn a spot in competitive play and apart from lacking a Spirit Link it would simply be mediocre.  M Blastoise-EX (Generations 18/83) is again the same as its XY counterpart except for the attack: instead of Hydro Bombard it has “Dread Launcher” for [WWCC].  It does 180 damage and has you flip a coin: “heads” the attack does the damage and nothing else while “tails” simply adds a two [W] Energy discard cost.  We’ll cover it in more detail tomorrow but the short version is that even though the Energy costs align with both Blastoise-EX, today’s version doesn’t have enough synergy to justify using it instead of the original or just jumping directly to M Blastoise-EX with Archie’s Ace in the Hole. 

So don’t bother with this card in Standard or Expanded play unless it is just for run.  Limited Format play usually requires a Pre-Release event and Generations doesn’t have though, but if your local card shop or you and some friends decide to do one anyway, Blastoise-EX is actually a pretty good pull, either run on its own or backing something else. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.75/5 

Limited: 4.25/5 

Summary: Blastoise-EX may have useful attack effects like discarding Energy or doing Bench damage alongside hitting the Active, but even as a stepping stone to M Blastoise-EX it is outclassed by two other options.  Even the parts of the attack I like, the card just doesn’t do very well.  Enjoy this for collecting or casual play to celebrate the franchise’s anniversary.


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