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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Lapras-GX
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
March 17, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.0 
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

So now we come to Lapras-GX, one of the few GX we've not covered yet in this set. That's not to say it's no use, as we're about to find out! 

The great thing about Lapras-GX you'll notice right away is the 190 HP - just barely out of range of the Basic Pokemon-EX score we've come to know. It ought to be interesting to see where this goes, as this means other Basic-GX could have up to 190 HP, in a similar way that Stage 2 GX have up to 250 HP. It's gonna be interesting to see how this affects things going forward. 

So onto the attacks! First off is Collect, a 1-Energy move that lets you draw 3 cards. Not a bad start, but also not the most ideal first attack to have. On the plus side, early game should be slow enough that having Lapras-GX draw you 3 cards for a couple of turns ought to give you an early advantage with setting up your board, as it's not likely your opponent is going to OHKO it on their turn. You've probably got around 2-3 turns to make use of Collect before the opponent's board starts looking threatening, aside from a couple faster decks.

Blizzard Burn is a harsh 3-for-160 strike that's all in Water Energy. Right now, there's not a lot of Water acceleration outside of Palkia-EX (BKT), but rumor has it there's a card on the way that's the Water equivalent to Dark Patch. That said, the drawback of being unable to attack next turn strongly dissuades the usage of this attack, as it will keep Lapras-GX from doing anything - even Collect. That leads us into Ice Beam-GX, which costs 3 but only needs 2 Water Energy. It does 100 damage and completely Paralyzes the opponent. It's a pretty good move, but consider the low damage and the cost of your GX attack for the game, it ought to be a winning move to use this attack.  

So overall, Lapras-GX's best usage is as an early-game bulky Collect user to generate cards to fuel the rest of your deck. That's at least all I see out of it, which doesn't mean it won't see play. I've seen a few lists suggesting running it in Water Toolbox decks, which will probably be its best place - after all, Manaphy-EX can give it free Retreat and get it out of there so that Palkia-EX can start ramping up the Energies. It's all a matter of how you use it in the end, and Lapras-GX is a decent option to have. 

Rating 

Standard: 2.5/5 (a bulky option with Collect that works best in one deck) 

Expanded: 2/5 (unfortunately, that means it probably has limited playelsewhere)

Limited: 3.5/5 (hopefully it can make up for its weaknesses in other ways) 

Arora Notealus: In my opinion, Lapras-GX is on the lower end of GX at the moment. It's not the absolute worst one in a similar manner that Magnezone-EX is the worst EX in the game, but it's not exactly Tauros-GX levels of good either. It has its uses, and that's where you have to figure out the best spot for it. Is it worth running Lapras-GX in a deck for the Collect? Or does the space not account for that? 

Weekend Thought: What're your thoughts on this week's cards? Could Vikavolt-Dragonite decks become a thing? Is Ilima better or worse than N, or maybe about the same? Isn't Ultra Ball just dandy? Can you think of another use for Lapras-GX? I figure I might as well make my Weekend Thought questions more specific and provocative in terms of thought, so have fun with these ideas!


21times

Lapras-GX (Sun & Moon, 35/149), a 190 HP Water type Pokemon, has three very useful attacks.  It’s first attack, Collect, for a single Water energy will allow you to draw three cards after your attack (which your opponent hopefully won’t subsequently N (Fates Collide, 105/124) away from you).  For three Water Energy, Blizzard Burn does 160 damage, but this Lapras cannot attack on the next turn (very similar to Volcanion EX).  Finally, Ice Beam GX does only 100 damage but leaves the opponent’s active Pokemon paralyzed, and, unless your opponent can find a switch card, Blizzard Burn on the subsequent turn will almost certainly knock out the previously paralyzed Pokemon.  All three attacks combine to make Lapras-GX a good card.  Were we not in a meta currently dominated by Grass decks, or if it were weak to Metal like some other Water Pokemon, this would be a great card.  Maybe six months from now when we’re living in a non-Forest of Giant Plants (Ancient Origins, 74/98) world it will get a boost, but right now, like so many other Water Pokemon, I find it difficult to play a Water deck because the weakness mechanic so heavily favors the Grass deck. 

I have frequently seen Lapras-GX paired with Manaphy-EX (Breakpoint, 32/122).  This allows the player to attach a Fighting Fury Belt (Breakpoint, 99/122) to Lapras-GX, thereby giving it a boost of 40 HP to a very tanky 230.  It also increases attacks by ten damage, but people mostly play it for the HP boost.  At 230 HP, Pokemon that have base attacks of 100 or 110 damage now have to actually three shot Lapras-GX.  Moreover, with Manaphy-EX’s ability to allow free retreat, combined with Rough Seas (Primal Clash, 137/160), this combination can effectively allow you to rotate ­multiple Lapras-GX’s in and out of the active position and extend their life expectancy to outlast your opponent’s attacks. 

I have seen Lapras-GX decks several times, however, and I’ve gone 16-6 against it.  I played a Grass deck in only five of those sixteen matchups as well.  I have tried to pair Lapras-GX with Greninja Break (Breakpoint, 41/122) with mixed results.  I have six wins and six losses in twelve matches. 

Rating

Standard: 3 out of 5

Summary

Lapras-GX has good qualities, it just has the misfortune of living in a meta currently dominated by Grass decks.  However, I wouldn’t dump this card just yet.  With the upcoming item card Aqua Patch (Guardians Rising) in May and the imminent rotation out of Forest of Giant Plants, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lapras doesn’t become a much more successful card in the not too distant future.


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