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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Sun & Moon

#1 - Tauros-GX
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 17, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.50
Expanded: 4.42
Limited: 5.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Wouldn't you know it, it's a BASIC GX!! 

A quick reminder on the whole list: this was a very divided list of cards. I'm sure otaku's explained this, but given the three lists we collaborated on, there were some cards that definitely made some people's lists while it didn't make others. And this set's list in particular had a lot of division. Between the three of us, Tauros-GX here only scored 19 points out of a possible 30 - meaning somebody didn't have it on their list......it was me. Not that that should surprise you guys, you know what my top picks were...Primarina-GX narrowly made it cause of me.

But enough about technicalities - ONTO THE MAIN EVENT!! Tauros-GX doesn't seem like much, especially when compared to other GX, but he's got a lot of things going for him that the others don't. For starters, he's a Basic-GX, meaning he can be played down like a regular Pokemon-EX could be. He's also - and here's the real kicker - completely Colorless, meaning he can fit into any deck imaginable. Just consider the idea of facing a Volcanion deck or a Trevenant or M Mewtwo-EX deck - or heck, a Vespiquen build, a Decidueye-GX build, ANYTHING - and then suddenly BAM!! There's Tauros-GX. Teched in just to deal with you. 

And he can be for the low low price of DCE!! 

...no seriously, all of his attacks just cost 2 Colorless Energy. So let's get the boring one out of the way! Horn Attack is the second attack he's got, doing 2-for-60 vanilla damage. OKAY DONE NOW FOR THE FUN PART!! 

Both Rage and Mad Bull GX do very similar things based on the amount of damage Tauros-GX has taken - with Rage, it adds 10 more damage to the base 20 he starts out with for every damage counter he's got, and with Mad Bull GX, he delivers 30 damage for every damage counter he's got. Both of these attacks we've seen before on things like Zekrom and Reshiram in Black&White Base Set - yeah, those old Outrage decks are coming back with Tauros-GX! And if he's successful in pulling off a major stunt with Rage or Mad Bull GX, you can bet the trade-off for 2 Prizes will be more than worth it against an opponent who can't KO him! 

Tauros-GX may not have made my own list - you can see what I really admired in these GX - but it's no surprise he makes the others, and he'll be a prominent force in his own right. There may be decks running pure 4-ofs with just him - I can easily see that being a thing, remember those old Entei-EX 4-of builds? Strange decks, but they work. In any case, Tauros-GX is a welcome addition to the line-up of Pokemon-GX, and hopefully we'll see more prosperous examples of these Pokemon all around and about in the sets to come! 

Rating 

Standard: 4.5/5 (my only real gripe with Tauros-GX is honestly his Weakness and 180 HP score) 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (with Fighting Weakness, he'll be vulnerable against Fighting-heavy formats like when Furious Fists came out) 

Limited: 5/5 (and with 180 HP, he's basically working around the old 2HKO score - not that 120 doesn't still hit only for 2HKO) 

Arora Notealus: Needless to say that while he may not be the pinnacle of what GX Pokemon have to offer - it's hard to top an instant KO or Energy discard or mass damage spread - Tauros-GX does bring a lot to the table that's hard to ignore, and chances are there won't be too many Pokemon-GX that can top all of that. 

Weekend Thought: Do you agree with our Top 10 List? As always, think there ought to be a card on here that isn't? Think there's a card on here that doesn't belong? Think there are cards with potential? Think there are some cards that are gonna fade away quick? It's a whole new format, and a whole new world to explore! Hope you enjoy the Sun & Moon set, and hope you enjoy the reviews to come!


Otaku

Our countdown of the top 10 Sun & Moon cards comes to a close as we review our numbers one pick today.  If you’re rushing immediately to the end, we determined this list by having each current CotD reviewer (aroramage, Zach, and myself) each submitted our personal top 10 list.  Each individual first place card received 10 voting points, second place 9, third place 8, and so on down to each 10th place receiving one.  Reprints were not permitted for the list; hopefully, only the newest of players need to be told that Ultra Ball is a fantastic card that works in all decks, and more importantly, works as the best search Item in many, if not most.  This way we don’t have to debate things like whether or not a card should rank lower because it is already present or higher because it may prevent us from losing a card at the next rotation. 

Without further ado, I present our first place finisher: Tauros-GX (Sun & Moon 100/149, 144/149, 156/149).  After making such a big deal about overestimating Pokémon-GX, only three cards in our top 10 were not this retread of the now iconic Pokémon-ex introduced in the EX-series (or Gen III) sets released just over 14 years ago.  Plus we already had a revision of that mechanic in the form of Pokémon-EX, such a major presence in the BW- and XY-series of releases, which we have been contending with for the last five and a half years; Pokémon-GX are just even closer to the original Pokémon-ex in their execution.  When both of these mechanics were introduced, many overestimated the first wave.  We didn’t have top 10 lists for sets with the release of EX: Ruby & Sapphire (the specific introduction of Pokémon-ex), but we do for BW: Next Destinies, the first set to contain Pokémon-EX (also the first set to receive its own top 10 in the general CotD reviews).  BW: Next Destinies contained six then new Pokémon-EX and five of them made the top 10; Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113) lived up to the hype, none of the rest did.  This is why I keep stressing that just because something is a Pokémon-GX, enjoying a significant HP bump over plain counterparts, likely stronger effects, and the new GX attack mechanic, remember they are still worth two Prizes and soon will face competition (more Pokémon-GX) and counters. 

Tauros-GX is a Colorless Pokémon, which means no exploiting Weakness or dealing with Resistance unless we mess with the Unlimited Format (and we’re not!).  There are some bits of Colorless Type support and a deck or two where cards like Winona may matter.  Colorless Types only really gain synergy with one another due to external effects like the aforementioned Supporter and how most of them possess all Colorless requirements for attacks, but that pricing structure is not unique to them, so apart from that Type specific support, they are just as comfortable going completely off-Type.  Ultimately this probably is an entirely lateral move; Colorless Types don’t possess the added bonuses of working together as most other Types do but do gain important feature of working better off-Type, which is quite valuable.  Speaking of valuable, Tauros-GX is a Basic Pokémon.  Basic Pokémon are still the best in terms of game mechanics: barring a few exceptions, they take less space in your deck, less time to hit the field, can function as your opening Active, and because of these things tend to work better with various other game mechanics (search, bounce, etc.).  While there are anti-Basic effects, there are some fantastic bits of Basic Pokémon Stage support; the net result is most definitely in the favor of Basic Pokémon.  Many new Evolutions (Pokémon-GX or not) have more power, but we do have similar Evolutions already in the competitive metagame.  TPC has tried this approach to game balance before, and if it doesn’t collapse under its own weight, we’ll just be able to enjoy a tiny percentage of each Stage being competitive, with the rest as filler.  Can I get a sarcastic “Yay.”? 

Tauros-GX has 180 HP, the higher of the two typical amounts for Basic Pokémon-EX, but how does it stack up against other Basic Pokémon-GX?  The lowest we have in English, though peeking at some already revealed in Japanese, Basic Pokémon-GX may be in line or only slightly higher on average than Basic Pokémon-EX, and regardless, this is still enough to frequently be able to survive a hit, but probably not two unless the opponent has a weak offense.  Fighting Weakness isn’t as dangerous as I would expect, given the Type specializes in hitting hard and fast; there are a lot of great Fighting Types that can easily OHKO Tauros-GX (and for low Energy costs) but they aren’t as popular as they once were, and the main Fighting Type that is - Passimian - needs a perfect setup to do the deed itself.  Lack of Resistance isn’t good, but it is so typical I hesitate to call it bad.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is chunky, so you may need to include a few extra tricks to get a stranded Tauros-GX out of your Active slot.  I can actually speak to this from firsthand experience, as it has cost me a few games. 

Tauros-GX sports three attacks, each of which cost [CC].  We have the familiar “Rage” attack that does 20 damage plus 10 per damage counter on Tauros-GX, the straightforward “Horn Attack” which does 60 damage, and “Mad Bull-GX” the Pokémon-GX attack, doing 30 damage for each damage counter on Tauros-GX.  Ignoring the other attacks, each of these is solid, if not good.  Rage is a proven quantity, so long as the Pokémon in question has a good chance of surviving at least one hit; I normally want to do at least 40 damage for [CC], and this can reach various 2HKO levels if hit by most typical attacks.  Quite obviously, an opponent does not want to leave this card nearly KO’d, but still capable of using Rage because that Base 20 damage means the 170 to 190 HP crowd becomes a simple retaliatory OHKO.  Horn Attack is easy to underestimate because so many decks built around similarly priced attacks set up elaborate combos that lead to OHKOs, vicious Item lock, etc.  This actually is good damage for the Energy invested, because it works without said complications; and we’ll eventually discuss how important it is to Tauros-GX.  Mad Bull-GX hopefully needs little explanation for why it works so well, even disregarding how it compliments the previous two; even 30 damage on Tauros-GX translates to 120-for-two, which seems like a waste given how hard this card can hit before it has lost even half its total HP.  Both Rage and Mad Bull-GX can be played around by a savvy opponent, either going for a full on OHKO or a lop-sided 2HKO where the first hit just barely dents Tauros-GX.  This is where Horn Attack comes in; you can still press your opponent. 

So how did this take first place?  Timing.  Tauros-GX is easy to work into most decks, with simple Energy acceleration like Double Colorless Energy, Max Elixir, etc. rapidly readying it.  That means established decks have a relatively easy addition to still employ the GX-attack mechanic, while also gaining what would be a good, big, Basic attacker.  Ninja Boy has been trying to work its way into decks since it released, and the combo with Tauros-GX makes a strong case for including them both into many decks.  I have crashed into this combo multiple times because it is just such an easy play.  When do you take the chance that your opponent doesn’t have the all the combo pieces handy, or is not running it at all?  Even decks with other Pokémon-GX can benefit from this trick.  Besides only getting one shot with a GX-attack, this is another reason I prefer not making it central to my deck.  Having access to two worthwhile GX-attacks keeps your opponent guessing.  Your opponent has to OHKO all of your Basics, or 2HKO them in a manner that you can’t pull off a powerful reversal.  Even just facing off against Tauros-GX regularly, this is a problem.  We also have a new deck that should look very familiar; back Tauros-GX with Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122) and pack in a nice mix of Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer, Team Flare Grunt, and (maybe) Team Skull Grunt.  With Fighting Fury Belt on your Tauros-GX, no Abilities to help with Energy acceleration, and your opponents struggling to use attacks that cost more than one Energy, all three attacks can do their thing. 

So I think I’ve spelled out how Tauros-GX fares in Standard play; what about Expanded?  Unfortunately, I’m still lacking in first-hand experience, or large amounts of secondhand data.  Overall I don’t think Tauros-GX loses anything here, and may even benefit from some of the compatibility hiccups that arise from the older and newer cards interacting.  For sure Battle Compressor is a blessing as, even though you’ll also be dealing with more Item denial, having easier access to a clutch Ninja Boy should be terrifying.  Just remember Fighting Fury Belt isn’t as likely to stick around.  Of course, Muscle Band and Silver Bangle are options here.  Lastly, this is a must run for Limited play.  If you pull it, you definitely have the option of just running it on its lonesome; remember that most forms of Limited Format play involve building a deck from the contents of freshly opened boosters, building a 40 card deck, and only playing with four Prize cards.  Horn Attack will probably take your first Prize, Rage your second and third, with Mad Bull-GX taking the fourth… unless your opponent is really slow, in which case Horn Attack is just used for the first two Prizes.  If you don’t want to risk a loss should Tauros-GX actually be KO’d quickly, just slap it into a more fleshed out Limited deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.5/5 

Expanded: 4.35/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: At least for now, Tauros-GX is the best card in the set.  Maybe as we work things out, and probably as more SM-era sets release, it will diminish, but for present, show your opponents what happens when they try to grab a bull by the horns. 

Tauros-GX earned 19 voting points, tying the almost as impressive Decidueye-GX we looked at yesterday.  It was my number one pick, so 10 of those points came from me.  It didn’t win the tie because of that, however; it both of these Pokémon-GX showed up on two lists, and there wasn’t another tiebreaker option, so it all came down to a roll of the die… which Tauros-GX won.  I hope you’ve enjoyed our countdown, and we’ll be looking at more Sun & Moon cards next week!  Well, maybe not all Sun & Moon


Zach Carmichael
Had this at #2 on his Top 10 List


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