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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Giratina - XY184 Promo

Date Reviewed:
Jan. 27, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.75
Expanded: 3.00
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

And hitting my top spot on Greatest Names for Abilities in Pokemon TCG, Giratina comes along for the ride at the tail end of our promo week! What exciting powers does he bring to the table? 

...well, he's got more lockdown. 

Giratina has an expensive attack in Shadow Claw, a 4-for-110 that can discard a card in your opponent's hand at no extra cost! That's good, just wish it wasn't so expensive - probably would help if Dimension Valley is around. On top of that, he has the Ability DEVOUR LIGHT, which cancels out the Abilities of Pokemon BREAK. It's a fairly niche area to begin with, but what all does it include?  

Well, there's Greninja BREAK for starters, with Giant Water Shuriken getting rendered useless. You could negate Starmie BREAK's Ability too, but come on, why would that matter? Other than that, there's not too many Pokemon BREAK with Abilities...at least, not on their own. Trevenant BREAK and Carbink BREAK can both evolve from copies of their non-BREAK selves with Abilities of their own, and since the BREAK Evolution covers the name of the original up, technically it does adopt the Abilities of the Pokemon before it - which means Giratina's DEVOUR LIGHT will negate those Abilities as well! Wow! 

While he counters a very specific threat and thus is relegated to being regarded as tech at best, Giratina does what Giratina's been known for as of late - disrupting the opponent from playing a group of cards, and that makes him usable in the few decks that want him around. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (his relevant Ability will keep him in a couple of decks for now)

Expanded: 3/5 (but once the BREAK Evolutions are out of the spotlight, so will Giratina as a tech) 

Limited: N/A (such is the nature of cards designed to counter specific niche cards) 

Arora Notealus: Giratina's gonna be around in the format for a little while, but from what's been seen coming up on the horizon, there aren't that many BREAK Pokemon to counter. It would be nice if they stayed a little more relevant to the idea as a whole, but we'll see if Giratina does his job against the decks that need to pack counters to him or else fall by the wayside to him. 

Weekend Thought: What cards from this week will you be trying out in your own decks, if any? Think one of these cards will make it big or that they'll all fall by the wayside? Are the new ones great? Is the reprint outdated? Nah, I'm sure it'll be fine.


Otaku

We conclude our week with Giratina (XY: Black Star Promos XY184), yet another promo card released in the twilight of 2016, seems like we ought to cover it before the dawn of Sun & Moon.  This is another Psychic Type and I haven’t experienced a dramatic shift in opinion since yesterday; the best thing about the Psychic Type is exploiting Weakness in Standard, as the best Type support is in Standard play.  It is a Basic Pokémon, and that is still the best; the only drawback is artificial (Basic Stage counters).  Its 130 HP is 10 shy of the maximum we’ve seen printed on regular Basic Pokémon; it isn’t guaranteed to survive but based on my anecdotal experience, this is just a tiny bit more likely to survive an attack than be OHKO’d.  Darkness Weakness does Giratina no favors; while they hit hard and fast, it isn’t quite so fast that doubling damage won’t help Darkness Type attackers on your opponent’s first few turns.  Any Resistance is welcome and Fighting Resistance could matter with its 130 HP.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you probably can pay it but high enough you’ll prefer finding a workaround.  Giratina has an Ability and an attack.  The former is “Devour Light”, which shuts down the Abilities on Pokémon BREAK, be they from the BREAK Evolution or underlying Stage.  The latter is “Shadow Claw”, and for [PPCC] it does 110 damage while randomly discarding a card from your opponent’s hand.  The attack may be decent; the Energy cost isn’t easy to meet, the damage is a bit low for the investment, and a random discard can backfire somewhat easily, but with the right deck it could be functional.  What I want to draw attention to, however, is the Ability. 

Devour Light is one of the few effects that reference Pokémon BREAK, and a lot of them will not care in the slightest because neither they nor any of their prior Stages possess Abilities.  Then there are oddballs like Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119) and Crobat BREAK; as mentioned Monday Crobat BREAK technically has the “Surprise Bite” Ability if it Evolves from that Crobat, but the timing is wrong and it has officially been ruled that BREAK Evolving won’t re-trigger Surprise Bite.  There are two high profile cards that do care; Greninja BREAK due to its own potent Ability and Trevenant BREAK due to Trevenant (XY 55/146).  So is Giratina the new must-run TecH to crush those decks?  Depends on the kind of matchup you’re already facing.  A deck would have to have a surprising amount of spare room to justify Giratina if the matchup was already favorable, and it can only do so much if the matchup is already quite bad.  Still, I tested it out first hand, and while I didn’t rack up enough experience with it to make me an expert, it worked better than expected.  I’ve been using Bunnelby (XY: Primal Clash 121/160), Raticate (XY: Evolutions 67/108), and Houndoom-EX.  I refer to it as BRaH for short, because I have a horrible sense of humor.  It is a control/mill deck, discarding an opponent’s Energy in a supposedly strategic manner so that milling two cards per turn can actually deck an opponent out before he or she takes six Prizes. 

How is this relevant to Giratina?  I have been using the deck for Standard play, where I run into Greninja fairly often.  Prior to adding Giratina, it was what I consider an auto-loss; I could win but it required bad luck and/or decision making on my opponent’s part plus good luck and decision making on my own.  Without the “Giant Water Shuriken” Ability of Greninja BREAK, its “Moonlight Slash” attack falls short of scoring a OHKO against Houndoom-EX.  Oddly enough, Giratina has also been useful as a meat shield; due to the slow nature of the deck, a 130 HP Basic can help you win simply by sitting there.  So I know Giratina can work wonders in a deck that needs it, but I also doubt most decks need it in either Standard or Expanded play.  As a promo, it cannot be used at all for the Limited Format, but if it were surprisingly reprinted in a set, it would be a good inclusion for any deck that could work in Psychic Energy. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: This is a niche card, but it is one I was able to test first hand so I’m convinced.  I could even be lowballing Giratina; should an appropriate Pokémon BREAK dominate, it could become a common bit of TecH, even though Silent Lab is a ready counter for this counter.  So for being great in a few places and underwhelming everywhere else, I’m giving it an average score.  Expanded does its usual thing: more competition for deck space, but added uses for the card.  Not a bad way to end the week, I think.


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