2 (Evolves from Dragonair)
Call for Power
As often as you
like, during your turn, you may move an energy card attached to
1 of your benched Pokémon to Dragonite ex. This power can’t be
used if Dragonite is affected by a Special Condition.
(WL) Dragon Wave 
Discard a (W)
and a (L) Energy card attached to Dragonite ex.
(CCCC) Giant Tail 
Flip a coin. If tails, this attack does nothing.
1 (Evolves from Dratini)
(LC) Dazzle Blast 
Flip a coin. If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Confused.
(WCC) Healing Wave 
Remove 1 damage counter from each of your active Pokémon.
(W) Dragon Dew.
Remove 2 Damage
counters from 1 of your Pokémon (remove 1 if there is only 1).
(L) Tail Slap 
Attributes: First and
foremost, this is a Pokémon ex. As such, you must remember that
this has to be twice as good as the next best thing (unless
that’s also a Pokémon ex) since you lose two prizes instead of
one if it is KO’d. This is also a Stage 2 Pokémon, so a lot is
needed to offset the difficulty of getting it into play (when
compared with a Basic or Stage 1 Pokémon). Dragonite ex has 150
HP, which is… tolerable. Given that it is normally a beefier
Pokémon to being with… oh wait: it isn’t, despite being fairly
solid in the video games. I think it could stand a little more
HP, but given the other Dragonite clocking in at 100 on average,
then this does have a 50% increase. You basically have 2 80HP
Pokémon (remember, it’s easier to heal the more HP you have,
hence my little bonus). It is Colorless, which is awkward in
Unlimited: if anything Colorless becomes extremely good, people
will play Sprout Tower and Unown N to counter it. However, most
decks prefer not to have to run those cards (especially Unown
N), so it’s a concern, but not crippling. In Modified, being
Colorless is just fine: nothing is Resistant, and there are even
a few things Weak to it now. Sadly, this is one of the cards
that is Weak to Colorless Pokémon, and that can hurt, primarily
because this is a an Evolution card and a Pokémon ex: Zangoose
will smack it down, doing 120 for just (CCC)! Other than that, a
few other “Dragons” will cause problems, and Delcatty and
Linoone (who I see being used more frequently). In Unlimited,
it gets worse: you face the wraths of Jungle Clefable, Jungle
Wigglytuff, and Erika’s Jigglypuff. Now we come to Resistance:
as a Pokémon Weak to Colorless types, this thing gets not one
but two! Fighting and Grass are appropriate, as Dragonite is
actually a Dragon/Flying type. Both types are Resistant to
Grass in the video games, and Flying is Resistant to Fighting
(and immune to Ground but Weak to Rock). While Fighting
Resistance is not especially useful in Modified right now, Grass
is commonly seen as part of the Blaziken/Exeggutor combo, and
other Grass decks are just waiting for something to cool down
Fire, in my estimation. Fighting and Grass are nice for
Unlimited: Grass shuts down Jungle Scyther and Fighting Neo
Discovery Tyrogue. Those two are common support Pokémon. Last
for the bottom stats is Retreat. Dragonite ex has a decent
retreat cost of two. This is enough you want to avoid it when
you can, but where you can pay it with little difficulty when
needed: sort of the “average” (in terms of good/bad) retreat.
Backing up a
bit, I said this was a Stage 2: it evolves from Dragonair.
Possibly the best Dragonair is the Base Set version: it still
gets played on its own in some decks. For Eon, you don’t have a
lot of choices: either the version from Dragons (shown above),
or the Expedition version. The Expedition version has a flip
until tails attack that does 20 per head, but also costs LW. As
we’ll soon see, we can leave flippy damage to Dragonite ex
itself, so that is not a good reason to use it. It does possess
neither Weakness, nor Resistance, and that might be needed (Zangoose
OHKO’s the Dragonair that is in this set). Otherwise, the HP
and Retreat are the same as the Dragons version. The Dragons
versions attacks aren’t bad: Healing Wave might be good for
2-On-2. The Dragons version of Dratini has the best HP to date:
50! Sadly, that is a high for it. Other than a retreat of 1,
it has the same bottom stats as its brethren. Given that most
of the basic Colorless Pokémon can KO the other versions with
ease, this one still might be choice. Its first attack is
pretty good (given its status): basically a free Potion. The
second offsets this though: (L) for 10 is waaaaay over-priced.
Overall, run this Dratini, Rare Candy, and one or two Dragonair
of whatever version works for you.
Abilities: Call for
Power is nice: you can power up your other Pokémon until you are
ready to attack with Dragonite, then just move them to Dragonite
when needed. Well come back to this in Uses/Combinations. Next
up is Dragonite ex’s first attack: Dragon Wave. As you know, I
treat a discard as an additional energy requirement for the
attack (and in the long run, it becomes much, much more), so the
effective cost is (WWLL). As you may recall, I tend to add 5-10
damage for off/multi-Color requirements, so that would be 15
+15+15+15+10=70. So more or less fair… though as a Stage 2
Pokémon ex, we hope for more. Let’s move onto Giant Tail (and
attack first seen on Dark Dragonite): for (CCCC) you flip for
120. You pay for 40, but average 60, not too bad. Still, while
this would be great on a basic, good on a Stage 1, it is more or
less what we paid for (more or less) on a Stage 2. Thankfully,
we have decent Power and two more or less fair attacks (given
the Pokémon’s status as a Stage 2), so it also makes it
acceptable as a Stage 2 Pokémon ex.
Uses/Combinations: Well, the
best ways to use this are either a) team it up with Harvest
Bounty Venusaur (allowing you to constantly refuel it so long as
you got the energy), and b) to go crazy with Giant Tail as your
main attack. Averaging 60 in this manner is nice: most Pokémon
will be OHKO’d. Why does that matter? If you did a straight
60, they could heal, and you’d end up having to do more damage
in the long run. With this, either you KO them, or you do
nothing. A nice trick with this Pokémon would be Pokémon Nurse
(and Pokémon Center in Unlimited): use your discarding attacks
to clear your energy while doing solid, reliable damage, then
Nurse to heal all damage. Or, if you are in Unlimited, and have
an uninjured Dragonite ex, you can move all energy to it,
Pokémon Nurse, and then use Switch to move it to the active.
You can make use of most Special Energy with ease, given that
your second attack is all Colorless. Definitely use Recycle and
Double Colorless Energies in Unlimited, and Boost will live up
to its name since it will allow a turn 2 Giant Tail! Fisherman
can help you recycle that discarded Energy with ease.
3/5-If you want to, you can build a deck around it, and even win
some! I don’t think it’s on the same level as most Sneasel
derivatives, or even Raindance, but possible a “third tier”
deck, or at least a strong “for fun” deck.
3.5/5-I see potential here. It doesn’t look to be in the same
league as Gardevoir/Gardevoir ex or Blaziken/Exeggutor, but
looks can be deceiving. Besides, those two decks dominate
because nothing seems particularly strong against them, other
than certain generic counters. I’d go with the Harvest Venusaur
combo, but there are likely others. I wouldn’t bother with
Swampert, as I have heard talk of: if you are going to use a
Stage 2 line to attach extra Water Energy, just use the Venusaur!
Use that kind of logic when trying to find partners for this
card… what, I find a lot of people don’t, okay? Even me at
times… one could plug it into my (and I use the term loosely,
others probably beat me to it) Gojira style decks (something bit
with SS Xatu for mass healing).
3.65-Just a teensy bit better since you can have Dragonair to
give a little extra healing while you wait a turn to re-power
Dragon Wave… but then again, most versions of the deck will
either have more healing (Gojira) or have ways around the
discard (Harvest Bounty)
4/5-If you can draft it, its nice: evolve on the bench
while powering everything else up, then make it active, Call for
Power, and let the slaughter commence! Dragonair isn’t as bad
either, since that tiny bit of healing will be more useful, as
3.5/5-Colorless Weakness stinks here, since it’s easy to include
Colorless in most decks and of course you have to survive two
shots between turns. Still, with good help (you run the
Venusaur, your partner focuses on healing), it could be nice.
So in the end I guess it balances.