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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Pikachu-EX
- XY174 Promo 174

Date Reviewed:
Jan. 25, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.5
Expanded: 1.5
Limited: Promo

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

HE'S BACK AGAIN, AND BETTER THAN...well, he's an EX again.

Pikachu-EX is not the first of his kind, and he probably won't be the last. Don't be surprised if we see a Pikachu-GX either in the future, cause you know it's gonna happen. It'll also probably be a promo with 130 HP that costs 2 Prizes, so keep that in mind. 

Anyways, more on topic! Pikachu-EX has a couple of attacks that are similar to his first incarnation, only worse. His first attack is the coin-flip chancy Thundershock...excuse me, "Thunder Shock" with the space, and it's a 2-for-30 with the chance to cause paralysis. While the first Pikachu-EX (that's XYP-84 in case you're wondering) couldn't cause Paralysis, Iron Tail did allow you to do potentially loads more damage for 1 Energy. Course that still relied on you landing a lot of heads in a row, but I do feel the current "Thunder Shock" is a bit overcosted for the damage, even with keeping Paralysis in mind. 

Then there's Mega Thunderbolt, which is crazy powerful at 3-for-160. That's a lot like the potential damage in Pikachu-EX (84)'s Overspark - it costed 3 Energy and could do anywhere from 50-200 damage. Of course that really depends on how many Electric Energies you discard from him, and since he needs 3 Energy to use Overspark, he could be doing 150 damage if you toss them all out. Mega Thunderbolt on the other hand just tosses out all the Energy for its damage output, and that's what will kill it for this one. 

Cause at least with the old one you had the choice of how much Energy to discard. 

Rating 

Standard: 1/5 (while his attacks would've probably been fine on a normal Pikachu or heck a Raichu) 

Expanded: 1/5 (I'm not sold at all on having a low-HP high-risk Pokemon with a set high reward) 

Limited: N/A (such is the nature of promos) 

Arora Notealus: While they can be good sometimes, they can be a bit miserable at others. Pikachu-EX here is just a bit too much investment for not enough payoff. Sure, Mega Thunderbolt might let him see some play, but discarding all your Energies to use it isn't ideal, and Thunder Shock isn't made to keep Pikachu-EX in the fight after a Mega Thunderbolt's use. It's just set-up to losing 2 Prizes, so you better KO an EX with him! 

Next Time: Another promo...but is it something new or old?


Otaku

So looking at cards I thought we had reviewed but hadn’t, I saw Pikachu-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY174).  We looked at the other Pikachu-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY84, XY124) here, so we may as well cover the second version to complete the pair.  In fact, they are quite similar, only differing in attack selection, so until I get to those what I say for one applies to the other. 

Being a Lightning Type is very useful right now, mostly because exploiting Lightning Weakness is still a useful thing.  Being a Basic is still the best.  Being a Pokémon-EX can still be a serious issue, but they still define the format so it is obviously not crippling.  130 HP is about the point where surviving a hit is more likely than not, but it is a narrow margin, especially for a Pokémon-EX.  Fighting Weakness is dangerous; no Weakness is safe but it is a Type that specializes in hitting hard, hitting fast, and stacking small damage bonuses.  Even a lackluster Fighting Type has the potential of scoring a low Energy (possibly single Energy) OHKO against Pikachu-EX.  Metal Resistance is appreciated; -20 damage against a single Type only means so much, especially with 130 HP, but it is far better the typical lack of Resistance.  A single Energy Retreat Cost is low and easy to pay.  The card’s first attack is “Thunder Shock” for [LC], doing 30 damage and giving you a coin flip to inflict Paralysis on the opponent’s Active.  It is a bit overpriced, but still functional.  For [LLC] you can use “Mega Thunderbolt” to do 160 damage, but you must discard all Energy attached to Pikachu-EX itself.  This too is overpriced.  Reshiram (Black & White 26/114, 113/114; BW: Black Star Promos BW004, BW23; BW: Next Destinies 21/99; BW: Legendary Treasures 28/113, 114/113, RC22/RC25) gave us “Blue Flare” for [RRC], and with only a discard cost of [RR] it does 120.  A Pokémon-EX with a similar up front cost, but needing to discard all attached Energy, only does an extra 40?  Once again though, it may do enough to be adequate. 

The previous Pikachu-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY84, XY124) had “Iron Tail” for [C], allowing you to flip a coin until you got “tails” and do 30 damage for each “heads”.  For [LCC] you could use “Overspark” to discard all attached [L] Energy and do 50 damage for each.  This gave it some minor potential in certain decks capable of rapid [L] Energy attachment, but it was shown up by other cards.  The same is true of XY: Black Star Promos XY174; pretty much the same attackers outclass both of them: Raikou and Zapdos (XY: Evolutions 42/108) in Standard play, joined by several more cards in Expanded.  There may be some niche for them because of hitting key damage amounts for just three Energy… with a little boost.  The main interesting thing is that both Pikachu-EX seem comparable in quality.  Thunder Shock costs more than Iron Tail, but seems more useful.  Mega Thunderbolt cannot attempt to scale its damage, but we don’t have anything to make the finer points of Overspark relevant; you’ll be doing well to get [LLL] attached to use the attack, and thus do 150.  If you figure out a deck that can attack [LLLL], then Zapdos pops in as a non-Pokémon-EX still good for 170 damage (180 with Fighting Fury Belt).  So if you’re a Pikachu-EX fan, don’t give up hope on this card quite yet, but don’t expect much out of it for Standard or Expanded play.  It isn’t a legal option for Limited play, as I know of no official, sanctioned Limited Format that uses promos.  If this were reprinted in a set (unlikely as Pokémon-EX seem to have given way to Pokémon-GX), it would be a decent enough inclusion, just remember you only play with four Prizes here.

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: Both versions of Pikachu-EX avoid being pure, vanilla, filler but will be fortunate to find a use as a niche attacker; there are just better options already available for both Standard and Expanded play.  I am not bothering to draw a distinction between today’s Pikachu-EX and the former version we already reviewed because the above score goes for the older one as well; I was too generous the last time.  At the same time, I honestly am glad that at least they aren’t all bad; you can see how they almost could have been worthwhile.


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