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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 XY: Evolutions Cards

#10 - M Pidgeot-EX
& Pidgeot-EX
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 18, 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

Okay, well technically it's M Pidgeot-EX that really made #1, but you can't play him without Pidgeot-EX anyway, so there's that. All things considered, the two of them are okay to start with, but hey, we're not here solely to talk about why one's maybe a little better than the other, eh? 

That said, let's start with Pidgeot-EX, the base form. With 170 HP and a Retreat Cost of 1, things are looking up for him outside of his Electric Weakness. So what's the appeal? Well his first move is Mirror Move, a classic attack from ye olden days where in the games it would copy whatever move was used last as your own. Here in the TCG, it works more like a "reflective" attack, where it deals the same amount of damage Pidgeot-EX took back to the opponent. This could be really devastating if your opponent tries rushing Pidgeot-EX but misses the OHKO - definitely a risk not worth taking, especially since it only costs 1 Energy. On top of that, Feather Lance is a Night Spear variant that's just a little bit weaker, at 3-for-80 hitting a Bench-sitter for 20. Not too bad, but still not the absolute pinnacle of attacks either - it's got its usage! 

So now that we know what can be combined with Shrine of Memories to be used, let's talk about the real star between these two: M Pidgeot-EX. It might seem a bit odd that a 220 HP Mega Evo takes the top of the list, but I'd like to think that's mainly due to the shenanigans of his attack, Mach Cyclone. At 3 Energy, it deals 130 damage and gives you the option to switch your opponent's Active Pokemon with a Benched Pokemon. Let's take the basic consideration of this attack into account: by attacking, you deal 130 damage AND get to Lysandre out whatever you want. That can really mess with your opponent, putting up a Pokemon that they haven't powered up at all or that they'd much more strongly prefer to be on the Bench - ideally, both! By messing with your opponent's formation, you can easily take away their main advantage in the game, and that alone should give you incentive to be wary of M Pidgeot-EX. 

Course, the other thing might be more of a ruling issue, depending, but if I'm correct about the way Mach Cyclone works, you can actually to deal enough damage to KO your opponent's Active Pokemon, use Mach Cyclone to switch around to whatever you want with Mach Cyclone, and then you claim your Prize AND they then technically have an Active Pokemon and have to stick with it. If it does work this way, then M Pidgeot-EX is FAR from mediocre - it's downright scary! Because while having the ability to switch around your opponent's Pokemon almost freely is already a scary effect, having control over what Pokemon they send out AFTER you take a KO is a whole other beast. 

M Pidgeot-EX could very well dictate the pace of a game with just Mach Cyclone. That should be some food for thought. 

Rating 

Standard: 4.5/5 (combined with the Spirit Link, a few of the support cards in Roaring Skies, and his generally Colorless Energy requirements, he's definitely a major threat) 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (buuuuuut he's not gonna be frequently dishing out OHKOs, and that's where I think the chink in his "armor" is) 

Limited: 5/5 (but don't be fooled - a great player could easily take advantage of M Pidgeot-EX, and that can lead to a lot of problems if you're unprepared) 

Arora Notealus: Seeing as how a lot of Mega Evolutions and EX in general have grown gradually weaker since their debut back in Next Destinies - or heck, ever since the end of the BW era - it's still a gracious wonder when you can see potential in cards like this. Then again, if M Audino-EX can get someone the World Championship, anything's possible, huh? 

Weekend Thought: Do you agree with our Top 10 list for Evolutions? Any cards you think ought to have been on the list? Maybe there's a card or two that you think shouldn't have made the list. I'm not gonna say Evolutions is the absolute best TCG set ever - probably more on the side of "meh" - but it's definitely one of the most nostalgic, and it's gonna be interesting to see if these cards continue to see play as we move into the next generation of Pokemon...which just came out today, so GUESS I'M GONNA BE PLAYING THAT FOREVER!! *poof*


Otaku

At last we get to the number one card for XY: Evolutions and it is actually a combination of two cards: Pidgeot-EX (XY: Evolutions 64/108, 104/108) and M Pidgeot-EX (XY: Evolutions 65/108, 105/108).  I know a certain user on multiple message boards who has been rather vocal about wanting a Pidgeot-EX and M Pidgeot-EX; looks like today’s he’s living the dream. 

Both are Colorless Pokémon, and we’ve covered two others this week so you already know what I’m going to say.  Nothing in Expanded or Standard play is naturally Colorless Weak or Resistant, and I’m not sure if there are any tricks to even fake it unnaturally.  Weakness is a crazy powerful mechanic in the TCG while Resistance is pretty well balanced, only mattering when the numbers line up just right (or an effect references Resistance).  So being “neutral” is a net drawback in that regard.  There isn’t a huge amount of support explicitly for the Colorless Type, but it’s there and unlike the even less numerous Colorless Type counters, some of it has proven worthwhile at different times.  Most Colorless Type can make use of any of the basic Energy Types, as they mostly have Colorless Energy requirements; this means there isn’t some Colorless Energy support or major synergy from using the same Energy Type.  Fortunately just being able to use most Energy cards and forms of Energy acceleration is advantage enough, and is having enough of a Colorless presence in a deck to justify working in the aforementioned Colorless Type support. 

Being a Pokémon-EX means giving up an extra Prize when KO’d (majorly significant), dealing with anti-Pokémon-EX effects (quite significant), and being excluded from certain beneficial effects (sometimes significant).  Pokémon-EX have always enjoyed at least a small HP bump over their “regular” counterpart, may enjoy other improved stats, and may enjoy improved effects.  Pokémon-EX are either Basics or Mega Evolutions; as such Pidgeot-EX enjoys being a Basic Pokémon instead of a Stage 2 while M Pidgeot-EX enjoys being a Mega Evolution instead of a Stage 2 (or however else the mechanic may have been handled).  Being a Basic is the best as it has a natural synergy with many card effects and game mechanics and there is even Basic Stage support.  The drawbacks to it are external; it cannot access Evolution support (though this may be mitigated if it can Evolve) and there are cards that punish a player for having Basic Pokémon.  Being a Mega Evolution includes additional Stage based support and counters, and as long as the Evolution line in question has a Spirit Link card (and Pidgeot Spirit Link is in this set), then its like a slightly trickier Stage 1 to play; again, an improvement over being an actual Stage 2 card. 

Pidgeot-EX has 170 HP, the lower of the two amounts typically seen on Basic Pokémon-EX, but still sturdy enough to often survive an attack.  The most recent non-Pokémon-EX version of Pidgeot is XY: Flashfire 77/106, and it has only 130 HP, so +40 is a good boost even before we consider the difference between being a Basic with 170 HP versus a Stage 2 with 130 HP.  M Pidgeot-EX has 220 HP, making it likely to survive a hit but also a reasonable 2HKO for your opponent; this is the lower of the three typical Mega Evolution HP scores, but it is still a solid deal.  We also discussed Lightning Weakness and Fighting Resistance yesterday, and today we will mention a card in relation to them: Zebstrika (XY: BREAKpoint 49/122) a Stage 1 Lightning Type with an Ability useful to Lightning Type decks and an attack useful in most decks; the latter specifically does 50 damage plus another 60 if the opponent’s Active is Fighting Resistant, and all for just [CC].  So how does this card not make Lightning Weakness one of the worst?  Make Fighting Resistance a bad thing?  Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) is already in most decks.  Yveltal-EX and several other attackers that have Lightning Weakness and Fighting Resistance aren’t what they once were, but are collectively are a common presence as well.  So far this has not been enough to entice most decks to work in Zebstrika.  It’s nice for Lightning Type decks with the space, but we don’t have a Lightning Type deck dominating either the Standard or Expanded metagame, and when a Stage 1 glass cannon is your best splashable Lightning Type attacker it could definitely be worse.  The Retreat Cost for Pidgeot-EX is [C] while M Pidgeot-EX has a perfect free Retreat Cost; at least these are good and great (respectively) and need no further explanation. 

Pidgeot-EX has two attacks.  The first is “Mirror Move” and it costs only [C].  It does damage based on however much damage “this Pokémon” took from attacks during your opponent’s previous turn.  This variable output would be bad if this was the cards only real purpose, but as a budget move it’s pretty nice.  It mostly hits a snag when your opponent has a real useful effect tacked onto an otherwise weak attack, such as “Quaking Punch” on Seismitoad-EX.  It is fantastic if your opponent just misses KOing Pidgeot-EX; 160 for one Energy is a steal.  What is more, notice how the attack actually works; though the text determines how much, Mirror Move still does damage, so a card like Giovanni’s Scheme or Muscle Band can boost that damage.  It doesn’t care how injured Pidgeot-EX is either; you can Max Potion away all the damage, but it was still done.  As you can tell this creates some real combo opportunities.  “Feather Lance” does 80 for [CCC], with a bonus Bench hit of 20.  This is about 10 shy in either direction of being a great attack, where it would 2HKO an opponent’s Active with 180 or less and be able to OHKO the smallest Benched Pokémon… but it’s still a nice move.  Plus since the Energy cost is all Colorless, a Double Colorless Energy and successful Max Elixir covers the entire thing in a single turn.  The attacks only have synergy in how they are priced, the first turn rules hurt Mirror Move since it means going second you may as well have gone first because Mirror Move can’t do anything if your opponent didn’t attack the previous turn, but all in all these are some good, solid attacks. 

M Pidgeot-EX brings another attack priced at [CCC].  This time it is “Mach Cyclone” and it does 130 damage, with the option of forcing the opponent to switch out his or her Active.  130 for three is a good return, especially when it has an optional bonus effect.  Forcing your opponent to change out his or her Active is not a thrilling bonus effect on a “main” attack; typically you want to score a OHKO or setup or the 2HKO, and forcing your opponent to change out his or her Active doesn’t usually help with either of those.  Still, the damage is enough for a 2HKO and - with a lot of work - a OHKO in Expanded play.  It also has some synergy with both of the earlier attacks.  While not much, you can force something that is a bad match for Mirror Move out of the Active slot in the hopes your opponent can’t simply re-promote it.  Feather Lance can spread some damage around, so using the two together might enable some multi-KOs.  Of course you have to have a way to enable M Pidgeot-EX to use those attacks - this isn’t a BREAK Evolution so that requires something like Celebi-EX or Shrine of Memories. 

Which brings us to using Pidgeot-EX and M Pidgeot-EX.  This is all speculation; I have not tested the two out.  I believe the real winner here is Mirror Move; with a Fighting Fury Belt your opponent has to manage 210 damage in one turn to score a OHKO, while the Celebi-EX/Shrine of Memories combo requires 220 damage be done to M Pidgeot-EX.  Max Potion away the damage and (if you had any attached) a single Energy, attach a new Energy, and swing away if the damage is even remotely worthwhile.  Judicious use of Lysandre gives you a solid chance of forcing up something you can OHKO with Mirror Move as well.  If you aren’t needing Lysandre, Ninja Boy may enable some great (even if simple) combos.  Surprise your opponent with that first Mirror Move by leading with something other than Pidgeot-EX, but taking advantage of Ninja Boy to switch into the bird.  After that, your opponent will have to deal with an added variable for the matchup; weak attacks to avoid feeding Mirror Move can allow something else to more or less safely setup, while big hits that aren’t OHKOs enable massive Mirror Move maulings.  For those matchups where Mirror Move just won’t be hitting hard enough, fall back on Feather Lance and/or Mach Cyclone; 2HKOs for three Energy on a 220 HP Mega Evolution ain’t bad. 

Is this enough to win a tournament?  Not on its own, so it is a good thing we are dealing with somewhere between one-third and two-thirds of a deck.  Energy accelerating Pokémon are probably not the answer; they’ll enable superior attackers and might make for a great deck, but not a great Pidgeot/M Pidgeot-EX deck.  You can experiment with Stage 1 supporting Pokémon; neither Pidgeot-EX nor M Pidgeot-EX need an Ability, so locking them down is a good way to bring an opponent down to (or below) their level.  Golbat (XY: Phantom Forces 32/119; Generations 31/83) can be used with Mirror Move, Feather Lance and/or Mach Cyclone for surprise KOs against your opponent.  In Expanded play don’t forget you’ve got Tool Scrapper; surprise your opponent by ditching Pidgeot Spirit Link after it has done its duty and then slapping on Muscle Band or Bursting Balloon to enable OHKOs (or effective OHKOs) again with any of the attacks in question.  Your options are pretty well open, though if you use something like Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) you’ll need to speed out your Pidgeot Spirit Link cards, Mega Evolve without them later on, or have another work around for your lack of Items from hand.  Basic Fighting Types (especially with Ω Barrier) can pull off nasty tricks using Focus Sash and the earlier mentioned Ninja Boy combo. 

Do I expect M Pidgeot-EX or a dedicated Pidgeot-EX to be the next top deck?  No.  Then again I also didn’t expect that much out of Audino-EX and M Audino-EX, so I don’t want to rule it out completely.  I actually am quite fond of Ninja Boy into Pidgeot-EX for Mirror Move mayhem, but that is just on paper.  It affects my review scores, but I am not telling you I’ve had any success with all of this; I’ve never tested it.  At all.  Still this gives the duo a decent amount of promise for Standard and Expanded play, and they look to be a fantastic pull for Limited play; just mind that Weakness as this set has some solid Lightning Types for Limited play. 

Ratings 

Pidgeot 

Standard: 3.35/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

M Pidgeot-EX 

Standard: 3.25 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: If you cannot tell, I really like Mirror Move, and the rest of Pidgeot-EX and M Pidgeot-EX aren’t bad.  They aren’t great, but they seem reasonably good, and for the final set of this generation, a set with a precedence as being a catch all reprint/Japanese-promos-we-never-got-before experience, the nostalgia bomb that is XY: Evolutions has it moments.  Perhaps instead of me being down on the set for having comparatively weak cards throughout its top 10, I should be thankful it allowed some lesser cards the limelight?  Could that be all they need to have a noticeable impact; a chance to not be overlooked like they would have in another set?  Pidgeot-EX has potential in more than just an M Pidgeot-EX deck after all. 

The tag team of Pidgeot-EX and M Pidgeot-EX scored 19 voting points, and I actually had it as my first place pick (so 10 of those came from me).  Normally I favor general usage cards, but Pidgeot-EX actually borders on being just such a thing.  These are the two cards most likely to give us a new(ish) deck as well.


Zach Carmichael
Coming Soon


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