Welcome back to Dead Draw Gaming everyone, your one stop shop for everything Pokemon, and Burning Shadows! I’m glad to be back reviewing the newest Pokemon set, and hopefully you pick up a few things yourself along the way. As always, thanks to Bulbapedia's set page for the translations you’re about to read, and big thanks to them, also, for the card scans (albeit in Japanese). Today, I’ll be using a five-point scale, reflected in stars, to properly detail the value of each card. I won’t be covering lower Stages, unless they’re incredible, or any reprints of any kind. I hope you enjoy!
Vileplume 006 |
Time to start; here you have Vileplume! As a Stage 2 Pokemon, it’ll be hard to get out, normally, but with Forest of Giant Plants around for the time being, that’s a little bit easier. However, there isn’t much to note here, aside from the neat Ability. Basic Pokemon are a big part of the game right now, so stopping their attacks entire is pretty sick. The downside is Vileplume’s attack is very mediocre, and with most of the format being Evolution Pokemon, Unpleasant Pollen will likely wind up being useless in most matchups. This is a card you’d have to build a deck around to make work, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
Golisopod-GX 017 |
This card is one of my absolute favorites from the new set. Every one of its attacks are powerful, but the highlight of it all is First Impression. The capability of doing 120 damage for a single Energy is terrific, especially with how easy its prerequisite is to pull off. You can use Acerola, Guzma, or even Zoroark’s Stand In to “reset” Golispod-GX to your Bench. This card will be part of a new archetype of its own, so be on the lookout really soon.
Charizard-GX 020 |
Another mediocre Charizard card, sad day. Its first two attacks are pretty much unplayable, given the large costs. The only appealing thing about this card is the GX attack. In a mill deck, like Houndoom-EX, perhaps, you could use Raging Out GX to finish off the game and deck your opponent out, but getting Charizard-GX on the table first seems like a tough task to accomplish.
Ho-Oh-GX 021 |
Here’s another one of the first stars of the set, if you will. Ho-Oh-GX is going to be an immediate inclusion in Volcanion decks, since it has two great attacks. Phoenix Burn does more base damage than any other attacker available to Volcanion decks, and with just one or two Steam Up uses, you can take a one-hit Knockout on virtually anything. Another awesome part about this card is that it doesn’t have a Weakness to Water Pokemon. Against Water type decks, you can audible to Ho-Oh-GX now, and hopefully take your opponent down.
Heatmor 024 |
A poor man’s Sableye from Dark Explorers? I think not. With Victini from Guardians Rising, you could re-flip your coins after attacking, but statistically, you’re still more likely to just hit one heads, rather than two. While picking up one card from your discard pile is a nice effect, it’s not worth an attack for the turn, and a Double Colorless Energy attachment. Puzzle of Time is a much better way to go about recovering cards from your discard pile, if needed.
Salazzle-GX 025 |
Surprisingly enough, this card has received a little bit of hype up to this point, but it beats me as to why. Its first attack can do a lot of damage, but damage based upon the number of Prizes you’ve taken is never something to be too thrilled about. You should be looking for an attacker that can just take Prizes outright, not something that can finish the game after grinding through for the first few. Heat Blast is just a mediocre attack, and Salazzle’s GX attack is pretty abysmal, too. If you want to play a Fire type deck, stick to Volcanion.
Alolan Ninetales 028 |
This card is exactly what Alolan Ninetales-GX decks were waiting for! With Hex Maniac around, this card won’t be as good as it can be, but once the rotation hits, Alolan Ninetales decks are going to be getting a huge boost. Either way, currently, this card can be a nice wall to sit behind against decks that you normally would struggle with. I’m excited to try it out, and see if it takes Alolan Ninetales-GX builds to the next level.
Kingdra 031 |
This card is super Energy-efficient, but it’s a Stage 2 attacker with lower HP. While Stage 2 decks have certainly made quite the resurgence as of late, I still don’t think we’re to the point of allowing cards like this to have a place in the game just yet. Tornado Shot is a really great attack for a single Energy, no doubt, but it will be unreliable to set up multiples Kingdra in a game and rely on them for most of your attacking power.
Gyarados 033 |
In the Expanded format, this card could be decent, or even in a Standard Gyarados deck, but that’s less likely. In Expanded, you can use a Battle Compressor to toss three Magikarp, and play Ditto from Boundaries Crossed. That way, once an attacking Gyarados is knocked out, you have a placeholder “Magikarp” to transform (after using a Rescue Stretcher to retrieve a Magikarp). The deck would be completely unplayable against Item lock decks, so it's probably not going to work out, but hey, if Trevenant or Vileplume see a ban… who knows?
Tapu Fini-GX 039 |
I wanted to like this card, but it’s found all sorts of ways of being just a little worse than it needs to be to be playable. Aqua Ring is nothing to talk about, but Hydro Shot is pretty neat. I dislike the requirement of having to discard two Water Energy at once, though. You can pick off a Shaymin-EX in one attack with Hydro Shot, also, but with Shaymin-EX not being played as often, I don’t know how great this attack is outside of that. In a pinch, Tapu Storm GX seems really solid, even if you were to play this card as a one-of in a deck that includes Rainbow Energy. Against a deck like Gardevoir-GX, you can really set your opponent’s setup back a few turns by putting all his or her hard work back into the deck.
Raichu 041 |
Here’s a cute way to Paralyze your opponent, but not much else. I can’t think of a way this would be too useful right now, but since Super Scoop Up is seeing a reprint in this set, who knows…
Eelektross 046 |
I don’t believe this Eelektross is any better than the other ones available in the Expanded format already, but it becomes an option for anyone thinking about running an Eelektrik deck with Dynamotor.
Seviper 050 |
This card is incredible, but it has to wait a little bit to see its full potential. That’s because I think it truly shines in the Expanded format with Hypnotoxic Laser. As it stands right now, there aren’t too many good ways to Poison an opponent, outside of Ariados from Ancient Origins, but you’d need multiple Seviper to really rack up the damage with this card. I think a Seismitoad-EX deck with Seviper and Hypnotoxic Laser would be pretty scary, especially with Virbank City Gym.
Dusknoir 053 |
I was originally excited about this card, thinking it was a little better than it was, but after more thought, it’s quite dreadful. Not only does your opponent need to have a Basic Pokemon in his or her hand for Dark Invitation to even do anything, but he or she also has to have less than a full Bench of Pokemon! I wouldn’t play this card, as it will likely be discard fodder in most of your games.
Meowstic 060 |
This card seems like a solid Garbodor counter to me. With a six card hand, you can use Hand Kinesis for 120 damage, exactly enough for a one-hit Knockout on a Garbodor with Trashalanche. It also could be great against Espeon-GX decks, but you’ll likely need some help from Choice Band. While I don’t think a straight Meowstic deck would be any good, this is just a nice tech in decks that also play Double Colorless Energy, since you can hit the exact numbers you want to simply by playing an N for six cards, or a Professor Sycamore, give or take a few cards played.
Necrozma-GX 063 |
There’s definitely potential for this card to be solid, but I think in the end it’s going to be overlooked. Its glaring Weakness to Psychic is very unfortunate, especially with Garbodor running around. Light’s End isn’t too useful, either, since there aren’t many mono-Colorless decks out there right now. Prismatic Burst could be awesome in a Metagross-GX deck that plays a few more Psychic Energy than normal, but I can’t see this card being any better than the already-legal Genesect-EX from Fates Collide. Black Ray GX has been way too overhyped in my opinion, since it’s a very predictable attack if you’re powering it up, and your opponent can just avoid playing down too many Pokemon-EX/GX. In a format with many Shaymin-EX, though, the attack could be downright amazing. In the Expanded format, look out for this card, since it gains the assistance of Dimension Valley.
Rhyperior 067 |
In the current format, there isn’t much hope for poor Rhyperior. After the rotation, though, it could see some play! Super Scoop Up is back in the game, and you can also play Devolution Spray to keep reusing Toppling Wind. With a thick line of Rhyperior and many ways to search it out, before long, it doesn’t seem very hard at all to deck your opponent out.
Lunatone 068 & Solrock 069 |
I’m going to pair these together since they’re very bad on their own. Together, with both in play, you could help yourself out against healing decks, like Metagross-GX, for instance. Outside of that, Heal Block won’t be particularly useful, and there’s not much reason to play either of these for anything other than that.
Lucario 071 |
It probably isn’t very viable, but at some point in the future where Hex Maniac isn’t legal in the Standard format, this card could be part of a stall deck that constantly picks Lucario up and re-Evolves it to use Stance. It’s probably pretty gimmicky, though.
Sawk 072 |
I’m not sure I really understand how this card is good, but Takuya Yoneda played it in his Japanese National Championship Top Eight list. Quick Guard could buy you some time to set up, but Brick Break is not a good attack at all. This card is interesting, at the least.
Lycanroc 075 |
Aren’t there enough Lycanroc already? I guess not, Dangerous Claw is a solid attack, though. In a Lycaroc-GX deck you might want to play one of these, but other than that, in a deck that has trouble with Drampa-GX, or a deck that plays Rainbow Energy, you could play a thin line of this Pokemon to use Dangerous Claw. With a Choice Band, you can do 180 damage after Weakness to a Fighting-weak Pokemon, like Drampa-GX.
Passimian 079 |
If only Punch did a little more damage, then this card might have seen the light of day. Again, this card could be decent against something like Drampa-GX, or even Zoroark if you had a Professor Kukui to play for your turn. It’s just a little jab out of nowhere for a Double Colorless Energy, which seems nice.
Marshadow-GX 080 |
Here’s another all-star from Burning Shadows, but I don’t think it will be that useful right away in the Standard format, at least. Its attacks aren’t great, but that’s not to say that your Basic Pokemon in your discard pile have bad attacks, too! Shadow Hunt is going to be very nice to have access to in Night March decks in the Expanded format, for sure. Aside from that, it might have some niche use in countering decks that have a Weakness to the Fighting type. I wish Tapu Lele’s Energy Drive could hit for Weakness, because then this card could be teched into pretty much anything! Now it’s a struggle to find a Pokemon that can do enough damage to be formidable enough to hurt an opponent enough to be worth playing alongside Marshadow-GX.
Alolan Raticate 082 |
If you have a Choice Band attached to this guy, you can use Reinforced Fang for 90 damage, for no Energy! While I think that’s great and all, it’s unrealistic to think that you can stream Alolan Raticate to victory with such a low damage output against non-EX/GX Pokemon. This one will probably wind up in a binder, even though it has a cute attack.
Alolan Muk-GX 084 |
Call to mind Salazzle from Guardians Rising and the Hot Poison Ability. With it, you can leave your opponent’s Active Pokemon both Burned, and Poisoned. Alolan Muk’s Chemical Breath will be doing 150 damage before the actual Special Conditions affect the defending Pokemon. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be doing 180 damage with both Conditions applied. That’s before damage modifiers too, like Choice Band. Alolan Muk-GX has some serious potential, I’m just concerned about the attack cost against decks that can take you down in one attack. I don’t think you’ll be able to effectively trade against those archetypes. Crunch is a bad attack, but Tri Hazard GX is pretty fantastic. Since it can Paralyze any of your opponent’s Pokemon, provided your opponent doesn’t have a way to switch out of it, you’ll have a “free” two Prizes (if you chose a Pokemon-EX/GX) right like that. I would save this GX attack until later in the game when you can also use an N to put your opponent down to a lower hand size so that he or she has a lower chance of drawing an out to switch out the defending Pokemon.
Weavile 086 |
Lots of Pokemon have Abilities these days! This card could set up a lot of Knockouts at once with Dark Law. I’ve been hard at work looking for a good partner for this card, but haven’t found anything solidified just yet. Garbodor seems like a decent cohort, since you can set up Knockouts with Weavile and then finish things off with Garbodor’s Trashalanche. All I know is if your opponent plays down three or more Pokemon-EX/GX with an Ability, you can pretty much win the game single-handed with Rule of Evil, so that’s especially something to watch out for.
Darkrai 087 |
There was supposed to be a Tapu Bulu in this set with an attack similar to Dark Raid, but it got cut. Anyway, Darkrai’s Dark Raid is the only reason I’m mentioning this card. In a deck that plays Darkness Energy, it’s a solid way to get a Prize or two with a non-EX/GX Pokemon after your opponent has used his or her GX attack. A card like this might put an opponent on edge, too, and hold them back from using a GX attack when it otherwise would have been wise.
Darkrai-GX 088 |
I think this card has an incredible effect, but I don’t believe that it makes Darkrai-EX good enough, even still, to be playable once more. In order to make room for Darkrai-GX on your Bench, you’ll have to play Sky Field. Resurrection is the main draw to this card, obviously, since it can power up Darkrai’s Dark Pulse. Its other attacks are alright, but without a way to inflict a Special Condition on your opponent like Salazzle, you won’t get any use out of Dead End GX in the average game.
Gardevoir-GX 093 |
Here’s the ultimate gem of Burning Shadows. Everything about Gardevoir-GX is amazing, from top to bottom. Secret Spring can help you get to higher Infinite Force numbers for Knockouts, while Twilight GX can smash Garbodor decks by putting all of your Items back into the deck. Metal types are pretty obsolete right now, and Darkness type Resistance is a good one to have. When you get multiple Gardevoir-GX into play, you’ll be able to accelerate tons of Energy and hit for full potential. This deck is going to thrust itself into the limelight, and looks to be the most popular deck choice for the World Championship.
Diancie 094 |
I prefer Alolan Vulpix as a starter in Gardevoir-GX decks, but Diancie can serve the same purpose when setting up. Sparkling Prayer is cool to use to go from Kirlia to Gardevoir in the same turn, or to immediately Evolve a Ralts into Kirlia. I don’t like the fact that it costs an Energy to use the attack, since with limited switching cards in a Gardevoir-GX deck, it’s hard to actually pull the attack off on your first, or even second turn. It has some awesome potential, though.
Ribombee 096 |
The Ability on this card is the main attraction. A “Professor’s Letter”, if you will, you can do it every single turn. In conjunction with Gardevoir-GX, or something else that lets you attach extra Energy from your hand, this can be very powerful and set up some big attacks. Starmie from Evolutions can effectively do the same thing, but from the discard pile, so it’s kind of up to the user to determine which of the two cards is better for a certain deck.
Noivern-GX 099 |
I think people have rightfully put this card in its place, which is not really a place at all. With Gardevoir-GX living up to the hype, Noivern-GX will not see its day in the format. While it is a great card on paper, it cannot stand up to a Fairy type Pokemon, and there’s nothing realistic that a Noivern-GX deck can do to counter Gardevoir-GX. In addition, I’m afraid its damage output is not nearly enough to contend, either. Many decks are playing high Supporter counts, and can do damage for very minimal effort. If a deck can two-shot a Noivern-GX, then the Noivern’s going to be in for a hard time.
Zygarde 100 |
Dare I say it, this card could be a decent inclusion in a Dragonair / Darkrai-EX Deck? After a terrible showing with that deck, I wouldn’t play it. Other than in that archetype, I don’t think Zygarde will be seeing much action. If something with a Dragon Weakness ever arises, this is a splashable tech to counter it, however.
Porygon-Z 105 |
As a Stage 2, this card has limited playability. However, it’s Ability is pretty nifty. There’s a Porygon-Z from Ancient Origins that can Devolve as many of your own Pokemon as you like, and with that, you could continually use Format. In Expanded, if you paired it with something like Forretress from FlashFire, you could have an effective spread deck idea.
Bewear 111 |
Here’s yet another Bewear, and this time, it’s a gimmicky deck out card. If you played Victini from Guardians Rising, you could get two chances to flip heads and discard three of your opponent’s cards. Tantrum isn’t great, either.
Acerola 112 |
Remember AZ from Phantom Forces? Acerola is that, but even better! AZ made you discard all cards attached to a Pokemon after use, while Acerola doesn’t. The only “downside” is that your Pokemon has to be damaged in order to use it, but that’s not a huge problem since you won’t usually be using it unless your Pokemon is damaged anyways.
Bodybuilding Dumbbells 113 |
This card is interesting, but disappointing overall. I like cards that help you during your turn, not just in your opponent’s turn, especially with Field Blower around. Bodybuilding Dumbbells might increase your HP for a turn, only to be taken off with a Field Blower shortly after. A card like Choice Band is much better than this card in the long run, since you’ll get the damage addition immediately, rather than having to wait around to see if the extra HP even sticks.
Guzma 115 |
Ever want to fit an Olympia in a deck, but just couldn’t find the space? Well, now you can, along with a Lysandre built right in! Guzma combines the best of both worlds into one card. It’s going to be a staple in most decks that have a way to either attack for a limited cost, or have a way to easily switch back into the Pokemon they want to attack with. Some decks might opt to run a split of Guzma and Lysandre, in many cases.
Kiawe 116 |
This card is going to set Volcanion off! Kiawe is now the number one option for a Volcanion player on the first turn of the game. That player can get a fully powered attack in just one drop of a Supporter card. Along with Volcanion’s Power Heater, Max Elixir, and just playing an Energy every turn, you’ll be sure to have tons of attackers powered up in a flash.
Lana 117 |
This card was a surprise in this set, since its inclusion wasn’t originally predicted. It’s a huge healing card for Water decks, but I’m afraid Water isn’t the greatest type to be right now. In the future, this card along with Rough Seas could fully heal multiple Pokemon with a Water Energy on them at once! While it probably won’t matter, keep in mind that this card works with Rainbow Energy, too, and could heal Pokemon with a Rainbow on them, also.
Mount Lanakila 118 |
Team Aqua’s Secret Base already does the same thing as this card, basically, but better, since it’s not limited to just Basic Pokemon. While that card has seen some play before, it’s died down since, and I don’t expect Mount Lanakila to see much more play that Team Aqua’s Secret Base ever did.
Olivia 119 |
I really like this card, another shocker when the set list dropped. It’s a good way to get two Decidueye-GX out at once, and of course, it’s fetchable with Tapu Lele’s Wonder Tag, too! This card should only see play in Evolution GX decks, not Basic Pokemon-GX. Basic Pokemon-GX are grabbable with Brigette or Pokemon Fan Club for the time being, so there’s no reason to opt to play Olivia over either one of those cards.
Plumeria 120 |
Team Flare Grunt, on steroids? Plumeria can reach anywhere on your opponent’s field and discard an Energy. I really like this card, since it can see play in just about any deck. This card could also be what disruption decks were waiting for to put them over the edge, as well.
Po Town 121 |
This card seems to have so much potential, but there’s not really a good way to play it. You’d think it would work well with Decidueye-GX decks, in a spread-crazy deck with Espeon-EX, but you have to be playing Forest of Giant Plants, so that wouldn’t work too well. Tapu Koko with Flying Flip can spread some damage and you can use Po Town to add to that total, but spread decks are generally quite gimmicky, and it’s hard to pull them off. At some point, though, I’m sure this card will see some play, as the effect is pretty solid.
Rotom Dex Poke Finder Mode 122 |
Why do cards like this even get printed? Pokedex from Evolutions is probably a better card than this is, and that card will never see play. Items like this are far too underwhelming to ever see play in a format where playing Items is punished, too (Garbodor with Trashalanche is always lurking).
Sophocles 123 |
This is another solid Supporter card, and I’m glad we’ve been getting more draw Supporter options. Discarding cards from the hand is always a useful effect, and having a way to do it without playing an Item card is useful too when trying to combat Garbodor decks. This card could see play in Darkrai-EX decks with Yveltal, Metagross-GX decks, Volcanion decks, and maybe a few others.
Tormenting Spray 125 |
This card is dreadful. I can’t believe how bad it is. The odds of you hitting a Supporter card randomly in selection are so low, and even if you do, you only discard it. You opponent will likely have other ways to draw cards, or he or she could just drop a VS Seeker and play you for a complete fool.
Wicke 127 |
This card is decent, but I don’t think it will be played much. I prefer cards that either have a stronger effect on the opponent (N), or advance your draw past what you already had (Professor Sycamore). Wicke is basically just a gamble by hoping you draw better cards than what you previously had. Most times, you want to play down your hand, using all the cards that help you do things, but with Wicke, you might even want to hold some of them so you draw more cards. Wicke is just a strange card, and I don’t think it’ll see much play.
Wishful Baton 128 |
This card is a Field Blower target, just like Exp. Share is. While that’s the case, I think it might be just as good as Exp. Share. I could see this card being solid in Darkrai-EX, or Volcanion decks. There’s one deck that I think this deck is broken in, and that’s Primal Groudon-EX. I still don’t think Primal Groudon-EX has what it takes to be a competitively viable deck right now, though, so I’m not sure what Wishful Baton really means to the deck. It’s something I haven’t properly tried out yet, though, so time will tell.
This set is jam-packed with playable cards! I did my best to pull out everything that’s even remotely interesting, and I hope you enjoyed it. Remember, you’re here on an online Pokemon card shop, so take a minute to check the site out! Burning Shadows is right around the corner, and Dan, Danny, or Darrin will be happy to help you out with any product you might need right here at Dead Draw Gaming. That’s going to do it for today, folks. Catch you later, and thanks for stopping by and reading!