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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Dragonite
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
March 20, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.5
Expanded: 1.5
Limited: 2.0

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 since last week we talked about Dragonair, let's talk Dragonite!

Dragonite is pretty simple - he's a powerhouse of a Stage 2 with some big drawbacks. That becomes evident right away with Dragon Wave, a 2-for-130 hit that requires you to discard 1 Grass and 1 Electric Energy. If Vikavolt weren't a thing, this attack would probably be useless, but as it stands, you've got a Stage 2 supporting a Stage 2 to deliver an onslaught of constant damage from your deck - mitigated by recovery cards like Brock's Grit and Super Rod - to smack 2HKOs all over the dang place. 

And then you get to Giant Tail, which is a HUGE 5-for-200 strike...that only hits 50% of the time. If you flip Tails, it does nothing. Ironic, isn't it? There's some appeal to Dragon Wave at least, but Giant Tail is a huge bust - you'll never want to use it, you'll never want to put 5 Energy on Dragonite to use it, and how would you even be able to use it if you're constantly discarding Energy for Dragon Wave? It really feels like the essence of a tacked-on attack, like they didn't want to give Dragonite an Ability, so instead they gave him a really bad attack. 

Which relegates Dragonite to a one-trick pony in a one-trick deck, and it's not looking optimistic for him. Granted, his pre-evolution Dragonair does provide some good incentive to play him with the Energy boost, but Dragon Wave is the only thing that would drive people to even pick up Dragonite for their own Vikavolt-Dragonite decks. 

...cause he ain't getting run in anything else. 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (a very niche card with niche appeal, which is a shame) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (he's got potential, but he needs another Stage 2 to do it) 

Limited: 2/5 (which just limits what he can do) 

Arora Notealus: Dragonite has had a hard-knock life as of late, and I think part of it stems from his Energy costs, and another bigger part of it is the cards he comes in on. At least the Colorless Dragonite-EX could be playable, but Dragonite-EX (FUF) didn't see that much play for Busting In, the Dragonites from Roaring Skies either didn't do enough or took too long, and when was the last time you even heard of there being a Dragonite deck? Exactly. 

Next Time: The lonely Grass Pokemon shines a light to its friends.


21times

Dragonite (Sun & Moon, 96/149) is a tanky 160 HP Stage 2 Dragon type Pokemon.  We reviewed its prior evolutionary Stage 1 card Dragonair (Sun & Moon, 95/149) last week because of its potentially game changing attack Dragon’s Wish.  Dragonite has two attacks, Dragon Wave, which for a Grass and Lightning energy does 130 damage, and Giant Tail, which costs five energy of any type but does a whopping 200 damage. 

Both attacks have a significant condition attached to them, however.  Dragon Wave mandates that you discard both energy.  Giant Tail requires a coin flip to do any damage at all.  If you flip tails, you do no damage to your opponent’s active Pokemon. 

Keeping in mind last week’s review of Vikavolt (Sun & Moon, 52/149), I decided to pair that with Dragonite.  Vikavolt’s ability, Strong Charge, seemed to have a logical synergy with Dragon Wave in that you could potentially replace the energy discarded each turn.  Strong Charge also makes that five energy cost of Giant Tail much more reasonable.  Optimistically, I threw them together in a 4-4-4 line of Dragonite and a 3-3-3 line of Vikavolt, tossed in a couple of Super Rods (Breakthrough, 149/162), a couple Energy Recyclers (Ancient Origins, 72/98), a Brock’s Grit (Evolutions, 107/108), 6 Grass Energy, 6 Lightning Energy, and a whole lot of hope that this might actually come together to make up a somewhat competitive deck. 

In one game it was.  I had an enjoyable, fluid, comfortable match against a Mega Mewtwo EX (Breakthrough, 64/162) deck.  I managed to get a full bench full of Pokemon, got them evolved early, perfectly used Vikavolt to complement Dragonite, and basically dominated one of the best decks in the format.

In pretty much every other game, though, it was barely competitive.  I did manage to win two out of ten matches.  The other match was against a mill deck, but my opponent only got out a single Pokemon - Bunnelby (Primal Clash, 121/160).  I donked it easily, but I think almost every other deck in the game right now would have had the same success in this position.  I will say that Dragonite went up against stiff competition: in only one of the ten matches I had the advantage.  My opponent had the advantage in five of the ten matches, and neither of us had the advantage in the other four.  Still, beyond the wins and losses, the overall performance of the deck simply did not put forth a consistent, competitive effort. 

Rating

Standard: 1.5 out of 5

Summary

Much like many of the other Stage 2 Pokemon in the Standard rotation right now, Dragonite simply can’t compete with many of the other high powered EX and GX Pokemon.  Maybe if the meta slows down in the future it will become more  competitive, but I would not recommend playing it right now.


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