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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Lucario EX

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 5, 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

Here's one of only a few Pokemon with 3 attacks to its name, and at the time he came out, the only better Fighting card than him was Landorus-EX from Boundaries Crossed. Think about that for a moment when you take another look at Lucario-EX. 

This card became the standard design for Fighting-Types in the TCG because of all the power ups they ended up getting - Fighting Stadium, Korrina, Focus Sash, and most importantly of all Strong Energy all came out in the same set, and that's not even taking into account Muscle Band! Lucario-EX starts out looking like he's all just low numbers, but considering what more can get added on, it becomes apparent that he's probably one of the most well-designed EX...ever!

Lucario-EX's first attack is Missile Jab, a 1-for-30 tap that doesn't get weakened by Resistance. Not bad, not phenomenal, but at least you don't have to worry about those stray birds preventing you from punching them out of existence. Then Corkscrew Smash does things better; at 2-for-60, not only is the attack more powerful, but it provides a rare bit of draw power in the midst of an attack, letting the player draw until they've got 6 cards. Finally, Somersault Kick is Lucario-EX's last attack, and it's pretty simple at a 3-for-100 vanilla hit.

Again, the stats look underwhelming for Lucario-EX, but when combined with the +20 from Fighting Stadium, +20 from Muscle Band, and even just 1 +20 from a single Strong Energy, these attacks become MONSTROUS!! Missle Jab ends up as a 1-for-90, Corkscrew Smash a 2-for-150, and...well, you get the idea. It's nuts! But then you consider how much faster the deck is these days - with Shaymin-EX and Professor Sycamore combined with Corkscrew Smash, it's easy to see how one can draw through most of their deck to search out all the cards they need for Lucario-EX to turbo punch his way to victory!! 

There's a lot that Lucario-EX had going for it, so it's a shame not only to see it didn't hold up after a while due to having to compete with better Megas with Spirit Links and decks like Night March and Flareon's Vengeance/Vespiquen's Bee Revenge. Shame too, cause Karen could easily be the tech card Lucario-EX needs to get the upper hand in such match-ups! I'd say he'll live on as a powerhouse in Expanded, but who knows how many folks will tap into that unknown potential.

Rating 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 4/5 (personally, it's hard to rate him lower than that solid 5 he deserves - and consider that he's also got Carbink BREAK as additional support from the newest set!) 

Limited: 5/5 (still, he's a gem out of the Furious Fists set, and it's a shame to see him go) 

Arora Notealus: Lucario-EX is definitely one of my favorite Pokemon-EX, and I hope that if we get a reprint set like with Legendary Treasures before the end of the XY era that he ends up coming back in it and showing everyone just how much stronger his training has gone. That, and maybe a Lucario Spirit Link would be nice for his Mega Evolution, if we get it reprinted as well. 

Next Time: A classic Ability on a new Type of Pokemon!


Otaku

So looking at The Top 20 Cards Lost To Rotation - specifically lost to the Standard Format due to the September 1, 2016 rotation from XY-On to PRC-On - 18th place goes to Lucario-EX (XY: Furious Fists 54/111, 107/111).  To provide a brief overview of the card, this is a Basic Pokémon-EX; being a Basic is the best due to how they interact with various game rules and mechanics, being a Pokémon-EX comes with drawbacks but means Lucario-EX is a Basic and not a Stage 1, should have better stats and probably better effects than most (possibly all) other contemporary “regular” Lucario cards.  Being a Fighting Type allows it to tap into an impressive array of support specifically for Fighting Types, plus a few things for which it is easier for Fighting Types to take advantage, suffer no real worthwhile Fighting Type specific counters, and exploit an abundance of Weakness while dealing reasonably well with the relatively high levels of Fighting Resistance in the game.  Having 180 HP is very good as it is the higher of the two common HP scores for Basic Pokémon-EX and somewhat difficult to OHKO for the average deck.  Psychic Weakness is quite bad for it as both before and after it released, there were Psychic Type attackers running around that went from 2HKO to OHKO (or possible OHKO to probable OHKO) territory.  Lack of Resistance is typical, as is a Retreat Cost of [CC], though the latter you’ll actually need to consider while building a deck involving Lucario-EX. 

XY: Furious Fists released before BW: Boundaries Crossed had left Standard play.  As such, even though Lucario-EX was one of the faces of XY: Furious Fists, Landorus-EX ended up stealing the spotlight.  Not at first, but I don’t recall a tremendous amount of success for Lucario-EX then, either.  Instead the best of all that Fighting Type support like Fighting Stadium, Korrina, and Strong Energy joined with Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119), Golbat (XY: Phantom Forces 32/119, Generations 31/83), Super Scoop Up and then a vast array of other potent cards joined behind Landorus-EX to form a vicious deck.  Fighting Stadium, Muscle Band, and a Strong Energy meant Landorus-EX could score 90 damage against an opponent’s Active while nailing the Bench for 30; next turn spam as many Golbat as you can and you might 2HKO the previous Active (if you hadn’t already) while taking another target on the Bench.  As Jirachi-EX was still legal at this time and Shaymin-EX (XY Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) weren’t on the scene, that might be four Prizes taking out an Active Pokémon-EX plus said Jirachi-EX.  Super Scoop Up did not only allow you to spam Crobat and Golbat, but also meant your opponent needed to either OHKO Landorus-EX or pray for “tails” or block Items. 

Which was the forte of Seismitoad-EX, set-mate to Lucario-EX.  This is also where Lucario-EX proved itself an essential alternate/back-up attacker to Landorus-EX.  Landorus-EX was Water Weak so even that low damage “Quaking Punch” just needed Muscle Band to score 2HKOs.  Lucario-EX could pop Seismitoad-EX in the face, and if it didn’t successfully strip away that Energy used before the next turn (via the Trainers it ran), then you might be able to afford “Corkscrew” Punch to not only hit harder, but get some badly needed draw power.  Hawlucha (XY: Furious Fists 63/111) gave a second, hard-hitting, single Energy attacker with a Weakness other than Water, and the trio of fighters did well together along with their bats.  They weren’t the top deck for long, but they were always something to fear.  Things continued to progress, with Lucario-EX becoming even more important to the deck as XY: Primal Clash gave Water a leg up with some important releases, and once the previous year’s rotation brought us to XY-On, many expected Lucario-EX to keep the Fighting/Bats archetype alive and going.  So… how did Lucario-EX make the list? 

If what I just said sounds like a poor performance, please understand that it wasn’t.  It may not have been great, but it was at least “very good”.  In fact it may even have been at least a little great.  It was just up against some incredible competition including the time when Lysandre’s Trump Card was legal and the time after that when Night March was the deck’s natural enemy, scoring fast OHKOs against the Lucario-EX, usually have few targets for Hawlucha to pop, and no more Landorus-EX to try and KO two Night Marchers at once.  The deck had to rely on the Crobat line and maybe some anti-Night March extras to win.  We got many more attackers that could trade blows with Lucario-EX and come out ahead; non-Pokémon-EX attackers that just gave up fewer Prizes and Pokémon-EX (Basics or Megas) that could score a OHKO but were difficult to OHKO back.  Item lock decks, Ability lock decks, Energy denial decks, stuff that did all three at the same time… they didn’t just exist but we ended last format with multiple examples of these things, often in the same deck!  We did get some new support for the Fighting Type in XY: Fates Collide, but Lucario-EX was doing well to be the alternate attacker in decks built around a different Fighting Type, like Zygarde-EX.  So… why does it make the list of Top Cards Lost To Rotation? 

Though the Fighting Type lost a lot, but it kept a lot as well.  Perhaps even more important, a lot of what was frustrating Lucario-EX?  It too is gone or greatly diminished.  Dimension Valley so that Psychic Types can attack for less?  Gone.  Trevenant (XY 55/146) is no longer the heart of Trevenant BREAK decks; while there is Trevenant (XY: BREAKpoint 65/122) that deck seems to be done.  Seismitoad-EX is done.  Night March is gone.  Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) may be done when Karen becomes tournament legal this Friday.  Carbink (XY: Fates Collide 49/124) plus basic Fighting Energy gives you an out versus decks trying to discard your Energy, unless they also shut down your Abilities.  Plus like with everything else, Tools are now much harder to discard, and while there isn’t anything unique to benefit Lucario-EX the general options can do wonders.  It isn’t enough to make me go “Oh, Lucario-EX would be BDIF if it was reprinted!” but I have had some times when I wished it was still present for its typical role as my secondary Fighting Type beatstick.  Also to wonder what I could do with it as the focus of a deck, using Max Elixir to skip “Missile Jab” and go straight to Corkscrew Punch (fueling your hand).  I don’t think it quite lived up to the hype we gave it when we first reviewed it.  Or when we reviewed it again as our third place pick for XY: Furious Fists.  It is still a handy option to have in Expanded, and if you’re somehow using XY: Furious Fists for Limited events, it’s an awesome pull (maybe even something to run solo)! 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 3.35/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Lucario-EX still packs a punch, and could fill a niche in Standard if it was still here.  It isn’t, so enjoy it in Expanded where it is still a good card due to its HP, assortment of attacks, capacity to tap Fighting support and abuse Weakness but still deal with Resistance. 

Lucario-EX earned 15 voting points between our three reviewers.  It tied Manectric-EX and M Manectric-EX and one other card.  I think Manectric-EX and M Manectric-EX probably ought to have rated higher than Lucario-EX, but Lucario-EX showed up on two of three lists.  Not that I had time to apply my usual tie breakers.  Lucario-EX was my 18th place pick, and might have made 17th or 16th place if I had not suggested we combine all the Fighting Type support/Basic Fighting Pokémon together.  I abandoned the notion (it would have required about a five-in-one review) but didn’t communicate it clearly enough with both other reviewers.


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