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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 M Blastoise-EX
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 2, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 3.15

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Otaku

Today we look at a card that is not an update of a Base Set classic.  Nor is it an update of a card from the early days of the game.  It is a reprint, and of a card that first released not even three full years ago, M Blastoise-EX (XY 30/146; XY: Evolutions 22/108, 102/108).  Why are we looking at it again?  Blastoise Spirit Link (XY: Evolutions 73/108) is why.  So what does being a Mega Evolution really mean?  Without a Spirit Link it means your turn ends when one of your Pokémon Mega Evolves.  Such a huge drawback is very hard to offset, even though Mega Evolutions typically enjoy having a substantial amount of HP, and even for the ones that have a pretty good attack.  There have been a few though.  Mega Evolutions do enjoy their own Stage support but also have to deal with Mega Evolution counters.  I also consider it a bonus as Mega Evolving seems easier than being a Stage 2 (at least with access to a Spirit Link); regular Blastoise are Stage 2 cards, so if Mega Evolutions had worked like BREAK Evolutions, M Blastoise-EX would have acted like a “Stage 3” card, instead of a trickier version of a Stage 1.  It is also important not to forget that Mega Evolutions carry all the baggage of being a Pokémon-EX; giving up an extra Prize when KO’d, having to deal with Pokémon-EX counters, and being unable to access certain beneficial effects. 

M Blastoise-EX is a Water Type, which gives it access to some nice pieces of support like Dive Ball and Rough Seas.  It makes it more likely they can make use of effects like the “Aqua Tube” on Manaphy-EX or work with strong, fellow Water Type attackers like Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast 20/101).  Nearly all Fire Types and some Fighting Types are Water Weak, while only BW-era Grass Types are Water Resistant (and even then, only most and not all).  M Blastoise-EX has 220 HP; while not one of the higher scores for Mega Evolutions, it is still enough to not be seen as “low”; most of the time M Blastoise-EX can take a hit, with some chance of even surviving two.  Grass Weakness cancels out that edge, of course, and M Blastoise-EX has no Resistance.  Its Retreat Cost of [CCC] is chunky enough to need assistance, either lowering the cost or bypassing manually retreating at all or allowing it to tank while up front.  M Blastoise-EX, like all Mega Evolutions, has just a single attack.  “Hydro Bombard” costs [WWW] and does 120 damage, plus it hits two of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon for 30 damage.  So a total of 180 damage, but distributed in a specific way among three targets; not great, but pretty good.  Soften up some targets on the Bench while 2HKOing other Mega Evolutions (or typical your Basic Pokémon-EX sporting a Fighting Fury Belt). 

M Blastoise-EX has to Evolve from Blastoise-EX, and we have two choices there: XY 29/146 (also available as XY 142/146, XY: Black Star Promos XY30, XY: Black Star Promos XY122, and XY: Evolutions 21/108) and Generations 17/83.  Both are Basic Water-Type Pokémon-EX with 180 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC], and two attacks.  XY 29/146 has “Rapid Spin” for [CC], which does 30 damage, forces you to change out your Active, then forces your opponent to do the same.  For [WWW] this Blastoise-EX can use “Splash Bomb” to do 120 damage, but you also have to flip a coin; “tails” means Splash Bomb does 30 damage to Blastoise-EX itself.  It was reviewed on its own here.  Generations 17/83 can use “Hyper Whirlpool” for [WCC] to do 60 damage and flip a coin; if “heads” you discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active.  For [WWCC] it can use “Hydro Press” to do 100 damage, plus 20 to one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon.  We looked at it here.  We also have another M Blastoise-EX to consider, Generations 18/83.  It has the same stats as M Blastoise-EX (XY 30/146; XY: Evolutions 22/108, 102/108) but its attack is “Dread Launcher”.  For [WWCC] Dread Launcher does 180 damage and has you flip a coin: “tails” means you must discard two [W] Energy from itself.  This too was reviewed (here).  Blastoise-EX (XY 29/146, 142/146; XY: Black Star Promos XY30, XY122; XY: Evolutions 21/108) can get itself out of the Active slot while Hyper Whirlpool is overpriced, though both Blastoise-EX have solid second attacks.  M Blastoise-EX (Generations 18/83) has a really solid attack, capable of OHKOing your typical Basic Pokémon-EX (sans stuff like Fighting Fury Belt).  At first I thought I might prefer using it, but odds are you could run the two together, using Hydro Bombard against targets that Dread Launcher can’t OHKO (or when some bonus Bench hits are worthwhile). 

M Blastoise-EX (XY 30/146; XY: Evolutions 22/108, 102/108) didn’t even get a review from its prior release, and M Blastoise-EX (Generations 18/83) didn’t score too highly when it was reviewed earlier this year: is Blastoise Spirit Link really enough to change things?  No, but fortunately that is not the only change.  The cardpool and metagame have significantly changed since either of these two M Blastoise-EX first released.  It may seem odd, but perhaps the most important thing is that Water lost some of its useful support.  Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) fueled a lot of attackers, including but not limited to Keldeo-EX.  Sure you could run M Blastoise-EX (either) totally separate as their own thing, but it just seemed like Blastoise would do it better.  Now however we’ve seen Blue Box (Water Toolbox) decks do quite well and really leverage the remaining Water Type support.  We have Mega Turbo and/or Max Elixir to speed Energy onto your M Blastoise-EX, and a format shifting to be a bit less Basic dominant, and with HP scores rising.  There is still more competition to consider; like I said Blue Box is already a “thing”, and some of the reasons I’m giving would apply to M Kyogre-EX as well.  Still it is enough for me to contemplate giving M Blastoise-EX a try in Standard.  Expanded, not so much (Deluge decks and a stronger Blue Box build are still options there).  Whether it is with XY boosters or XY: Evolutions boosters, M Blastoise-EX is a nice addition to Blastoise-EX.  That is a lot of luck to have, though. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 3.15/5 

Summary: Perhaps it is somewhat fitting; M Blastoise-EX was there for the beginning of the XY-era and it’s here for the end of it as well.  Thanks to Blastoise Spirit Link and the loss (or weakening) of prior competition and threats, M Blastoise-EX is a solid Mega Evolution; not mindblowing, but showing at least some potential.


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