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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Aegislash-EX

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 7, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

S
ee 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

And now we come to Aegislash-EX, a fan favorite Pokemon that gets the glorious EX treatment! Sadly though, he's only in his Shield form, as you can tell by the artwork and a little bit from the Ability, but we'll get into that in a moment. 

For now, let's start with Slash Blast!...which aside from being a generally silly name, it is essentially a Metal Hydro Pump, costing 3-for-40 and then adding an additional 20 for each Metal Energy. Combined with something like Bronzong from the same set, Aegislash-EX could do some real damage, but there are generally some other better attackers in the game. That being said, those attackers don't come with the protection that Aegislash-EX is blessed with, and it's one of the reasons he's on our list today! 

Mighty Shield is the Ability in question, and it's a pretty powerful one. You know how Safeguard protects some Pokemon from Pokemon-EX? Well Mighty Shield is a lot like that, only instead of Pokemon-EX, it's with anything that has Special Energy attached. That's actually an amazing Ability to have, given all the Special Energy around and about - it can deflect Strong Energy Fighting decks, the DCE from Vespiquen and Night March, and anything that even touches Rainbow Energy won't lay a finger on him! He made it so your opponent had to play around him, and while they did that, you could set up the rest of your guys and even deal damage to them with Slash Blast! 

Aegislash-EX would become a cornerstone in various decks as a means of dealing with such decks, but ultimately there's only so much he can do. Blocking attacks from specific sources only goes so far, since it doesn't counter everything (then again, can you imagine if there was a Pokemon with that kind of nonsense Ability? You can't even stand Regice's Resistance Blizzard), but in the right hands and against the right deck, he can pay off big. And now he'll have to sign off to Expanded for the time being. 

Rating 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 4/5 (I can already imagine Aegislash-EX taking up arms against the likes of Rayquaza-EX and more in the format) 

Limited: 4/5 (considering there's DCE, Strong Energy, DDE, Mystery Energy...)

Arora Notealus: You know, I wonder if they'd ever consider making another Aegislash-EX but more centered around his Sword form. Like, just give him RIDICULOUSLY powerful attacks but also a lower HP score or an Ability or effect that adds more damage to attacks made against him. It would be a neat transition from the Form Change cards that were printed out in the XY set. Ooh, I know! An Ability that's like "+50 after making an attack, -50 when you don't attack"!...ehh, could get complicated. 

Weekend Thought: What do you think of this week's cards? Think some deserve a higher spot? Think there are cards that haven't made it on the list that should be seen? We've got 3 more weeks of these cards, so strap yourselves in cause it's gonna be a loooooong ride! 

Next Time: It's in your head and binding you down!


Otaku

Our 16th place finisher is Aegislash-EX (XY: Phantom Forces 65/119).  You can read its original review  here.  Did anything change?  I may have underestimated Aegislash-EX as an opening wall, but otherwise, I think I got it right.  For those who don’t want to go back and read it, I’ll run through the card.  Being a Pokémon-EX means Aegislash-EX gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, cannot take advantage of certain beneficial effects, and is the target of various counters.  It also means better stats and usually better card effects, though the former is often just an HP bump and the latter is definitely not guaranteed.  It also means that instead of being its usual Stage, the Pokémon in question is a Basic (barring Mega Evolutions).  So instead of being a Stage two like other Aegislash, Aegislash-EX gets to be a Basic Pokémon, the best Stage because the core game mechanics as well as specific card effects just reward this Stage the most; the only drawback comes from cards with specifically anti-Basic effects.  Aegislash-EX has 170 HP, the lower of the two typical Basic Pokémon-EX scores but still fairly hardy.  Fire Weakness has waxed and waned in seriousness since the card’s debut: not the absolute worst Weakness to have right now, but it’s problematic at the moment.  Psychic Weakness is handy; it won’t save Aegislash-EX often, but it has a chance to do so some of the time.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is a pain, high enough you might not be able to afford it up front and even if you can, too much to afford in the long run.  It does make it a legal target for Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots but that hasn’t proven particularly useful.

What has proven particularly useful is the card’s Ability, “Mighty Shield”.  As long as an opponent’s Pokémon has a Special Energy attached, its attacks do no damage to Aegislash-EX.  Other effects of attacks get through, just no damage.  Special Energy was important to many decks when Aegislash-EX first released, and they may be even more important now.  Once again, this has fluctuated since the card’s initial introduction and the true high may be in the past, but for the most part decks like Special Energy.  Most don’t run purely on it (a few do or did), and cards like Double Colorless Energy tend to be important for speedy starts, aiding Aegislash-EX in its early game walling.  Aegislash-EX also has an attack - “Slash Blast” - for [CCC] that does 40 damage, plus another 20 damage per [M] Energy attached to Aegislash-EX.  This means totally off Type, Aegislash-EX can still try to attack using whatever Energy actually is in the deck; usually not worth it for that low of damage output, but if you’re walling well and/or able to exploit Metal Weakness, it can work.  Otherwise you’ll want two or more [M] Energy cards attached, preferably three or more so that the damage output becomes 100+ for three Energy.  Aegislash-EX isn’t really enough to be the main attacker of a Metal Type deck, but it’s usually a valuable auxiliary attacker. 

Even when Aegislash-EX was new, there were counters to it.  Obviously if you can build an attacker sans Special Energy, Mighty Shield does nothing.  Some attackers have effects to punch through it even if they are using Special Energy, and since before it released, there have been tricks to shut down Abilities.  Of note is that after we got Aegislash-EX, we received Silent Lab to shut down Abilities on Basics, but the best counter to Mighty Shield is Hex Maniac.  There are also rivals to the role of Aegislash-EX.  Of course there are other walls, some of which compliment Aegislash-EX as you can run both in a deck and throw whichever one is worse for your opponent up front.  There is also Assault Vest, a Pokémon Tool that allows anything to soak 40 damage from Pokémon using Special Energy.  There is also Fighting Fury Belt; +40 HP does wonders, but unlike Assault Vest it also can complement Mighty Shield allowed almost anything a taste of being like Aegislash-EX (defensively).  Then Fighting Fury Belt came along and could be tossed onto our anti-Special Energy wall so that it was a hard OHKO even when Mighty Shield is bypassed (with a +10 bonus to damage should you use Slash Blast).  All in all, players seemed to adjust their usage of Aegislash-EX to the changing format pretty well. 

So… why is Aegislash-EX a significant loss for Standard?  Its walling ways would have required tweaking, but it could still work.  No more AZ or Super Scoop Up to bounce it out of your way, but you can still use Switch or attach a Float Stone to Retreat with ease.  You can even build it while it is Active (assuming Mighty Shield is offering its protection), then use a Ninja Boy to swap into a more suitable attacker.  Seems like Xerneas BREAK and Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough 107/162) are seeing more use and not in the same deck; more Fairy Type attackers might mean more Metal Weakness to exploit.  While we are all worried about there being no easy answer to Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122), Hex Maniac is no longer an easy Battle Compressor plus VS Seeker away; if you’re going for early game stall, your opponent not only needs to draw into what is probably his or her lone Hex Maniac, but also has to time it around Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) usage.  I might rate it higher, but that Fire Weakness I mentioned was sometimes a problem, sometimes not?  Still seeing a lot of people using Volcanion with Volcanion-EX; even if no other Fire Type deck gains a foothold, this one leaves Aegislash-EX a puddle of melted goo. 

In Expanded, things are still pretty good for Aegislash-EX.  The greater variety can leave it a pointless inclusion, as some strong decks here eschew (or at least run few) Special Energy cards.  This is a great pull for Limited; while you might be fortunate and your opponent drops a Double Colorless Energy or Mystery Energy on something important, the main thing is that you can build Aegislash-EX into a sweeper with a little support.  You could also risk running it solo, but your opponent will get two attacks in before you can start swinging yourself; you can probably still steamroll anything he or she has in that time, but that 170 HP may still be overwhelmed before you take four Prizes. 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 3.65/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: Aegislash-EX impressed by not just being the solid secondary attacker for many Metal based decks, but by being a great wall for a variety of decks.  It will be missed though you can still enjoy it in Expanded.

Aegislash-EX claims 16 place by amassing 22 voting points.  It showed up on each of our lists, exactly in 16th place on my own Top 20.  14th and 15th place are another tie, and each only beat Aegislash-EX by a single point.  Writing this review I was starting to worry I lowballed it, but a quick glance reminds me that we’ve got enough great cards still coming that 16th place is probably spot on.


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