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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Dark Dragonite - TRR

Date Reviewed: 01.18.05

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Unlimited: 2
Modified: 3.9
Limited: 3.5

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Johnny Blaze
Dark Dragonite – This week we are reviewing staples from the infamous Dark Heart deck that consists of Dark Dragonite, Dark Electrode, and Rockets Sneasal-ex. There are various builds on this deck and to read a nice article about the deck go to Ness’s review on this site.

Like its other Dragon counterparts, Dark Dragonite has a weakness to colorless. Don’t dismiss this because there are a lot of colorless Pokemon that are being played right now such as Pidgeot, Zangoose, Team Magma’s Zangoose, Rayquaza-ex, and our final COTD of this week Togetic. Dark Dragonite does have a nice dual resistance to Fighting (which is another weakness to this deck) and grass.

Unlimited: 2/5 – Colorless weakness will mean its death by Clefable. Too energy intensive in such a fast environment. You could use Rare Candy, Boost energy, and 2 Plus Powers for a OHKO on a 70 hp Pokemon.

Modified: 4/5 – Much better here as the Dark Trance Power lets its owner move Dark energies around as many times as they want prior to attack. Secondary attacker as you want to rely on Dark Trance the most.

Limited: 3/5 – Beefy HP if you can get the basic and Stage 1 that lets you search for the Stage 2. 3 for 50 is nice and resistance to Fighting and Grass will help out.

            Today’s Card of the Day is Dark Dragonite from the Here Comes Team Rocket Set.  First off, let’s look at the entire evolution chain.  Let’s start with the Dratini; I like the one with 50hp (53/109); you gain 10 hp over the other one and the ability to put your opponent to sleep which can slow down set ups early game, and stall for time late game.  You also gain double resistance--the only down side is you also gain a weakness to colorless. As for the Dragonair,  I prefer the one with Evolutionary Light (31/109) since it’s better for quick set ups.  Now for the Dark Dragonite itself—probably the only reason this is seen tourney play is the Poke Power (see combos). 

As for the retreat cost, two is about what you would expect for a stage 2; the weakness to colorless is really going to hurt this card especially with Pidgeot in a good number of decks these days. 

As for the resistance, the fighting resistance will come in handy since there are a lot of fighting decks in this format, for example, Tyranitar/Nidoking,Nidoqueen/Team Magma.  As for the grass resistance, this won’t be as good since there really doesn’t seem to be many grass decks in the format. 

On to the attacks-- the first attack, 1 water, 1 electric, 30, seems a little low for a Stage 2, and you need two different energy types, but most decks that play Dark Dragonite won’t be using that attack.  As for the second, 3 colorless for 50 damage is pretty good.

Combo’s:  Dark Dragonite + Dark Electrode, with a perfect opening hand you could be hitting for 80 damage turn 2 (Ness has a great article up about this.)

Bottom line = I heard this deck won a few Cities and it will probably hold its own at States.  So I would watch out for it.  Is it the best deck in the format, no probably not, but you will see it being played.

Unlimited = 2/5 (too many ER and SER to make good use of the attacks or Poke-Power)

Modified = 3.8/5

Limited = 4/5 (If you can actually get the evolution chain going, go for it!)


New Feature: If you think this review is too long to read, just skip straight to the scores and then read the summary for a concise overview!  Yes, the summary now lives up to its name.


Name: Dark Dragonite

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 15/109

Type: Darkness

Stage: 2 (Evolves from Dark Dragonair)

HP: 120

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass, Fighting

Retreat: CC

Poké-Power: Dark Trance

As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may move a (D) Energy card attached to 1 of your Pokémon to another of your Pokémon.  This power can’t be used if Dark Dragonite is affected by a Special Condition.

Attack#1: (WL) Double Wing Attack

Does 30 damage to each Defending Pokémon.

Attack#2: (CCC) Claw Swipe [50]

Name: Dark Dragonair

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 31/109

Type: Darkness

Stage: 1 (Evolves from Dratini)

HP: 70

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass, Fighting

Retreat: (C)

Poké-Power: Evolutionary Light

Once during your turn (before your attack), if Dark Dragonair is your Active Pokémon, you may search your deck for an Evolution card.  Show it to your opponent and put it into your hand.  Shuffle your deck afterward.  This power can’t be used if Dark Dragonair is affected by a Special Condition.

Attack#: (WL) Dragon Rage [30]

Name: Dark Dragonair

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#:32 /109

Type: Darkness

Stage: 1 (Evolves from Dratini)

HP: 80

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass, Fighting

Retreat: (C)

Attack#1: (WC) Double Tackle

Does 20 damage to each Defending Pokémon.

Attack#2: (LCC) Crushing Blow [40]

Flip a coin.  If heads, discard an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.

Name: Dratini

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: /109

Type: Colorless

Stage: Basic

HP: 40

Weakness: None

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)

Attack: (C) Pound [10]

Name: Dratini

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: /109

Type: Colorless

Stage: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: (C)

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)

Attack#1: (C) Dragon Song

Each Defending Pokémon is now Asleep.

Attack#2: (WL) Tail Strike [20+]

Flip a coin.  If heads, this attack does 20 damage plus 10 more damage.


Attributes: Dark Dragonite is a Stage 2 Pokémon.  Let’s start with its lower Stages then.  There are two options for both its Stage 1 (Dark Dragonair) and Basic form in this set alone (one more Dratini is available from EX: Dragons).  I would go with the 50 HP Dratini from EX: Team Rocket Returns.  It has a dual Resistance and the ability to put both Defending Pokémon to Sleep with its first attack for one of any Energy.  Even though it is Weak to Colorless Pokémon, at 50 HP, only Sandstorm Dunsparce will be a problem-everything else you would likely encounter would OHKO the 40 HP version anyway.  As for Dark Dragonair, as you can see, they are a pretty even split.  Because the new version of Evolutionary Light only works while Active, it is scarcely useful.  So the slight HP increase is almost as good.  Test and find out what works for your, though skipping it with Rare Candy is also an option.  As you can see, we’ll need some serious compensation for having to go through that mess.  Also, remember that it can’t Evolve from any Dragonair except Dark Dragonair.  Goes with the whole Dark thing.  Speaking of which, I will state the obvious: Dark Dragonite gets all the cool Rocket/Dark combos that come from its name.


Dark Dragonite has 120 HP.  This is as good as it gets without being a Pokémon ex.  It has the relatively recent Colorless Weakness.  This makes it easy for Rayquaza ex and Fire Red/Leaf Green Pidgeot to put the hurt on it.  On the bright side, it gets a dual Resistance: both Fighting and Grass Pokémon do less damage.  This can come in moderately handy against Monarchy decks and a few lesser seen Tier 2 decks.  The last of the bottom stats is a Retreat of two.  For something this big, it isn’t too bad.  Still, overall, it’s an “average” retreat cost: you’ll be able to pay it without too much trouble most of the time, but avoid doing so if at all possible.


Overall we have some good stats.


Abilities: Dark Trance lets you move cards that provide (D) type Energy as you wish.  This includes Darkness Energy, obviously, but also less obvious things like Double Rainbow Energy.  It’s a great Poké-Power, but it does have its downside: it’s hard to run a lot of (D) Energy, at least without some painful side effects like limited application (Double Rainbow Energy) or self damage (Rainbow Energy).


The attacks are mixed.  Double Wing just breaks even unless it’s 2-on-2, and that’s before factoring in things like this being a Stage 2 or the attack requiring two different types of Energy (in which case it just breaks even for 2-on-2).  Claw Swipe is good though.  You pay for 30 damage but get 50.  Plus, it’s all Colorless cost allows you to easily exploit Darkness Energy’s damage bonus.


All in all, these are some fantastic abilities.


Uses/Combinations: Here’s where it gets good: you can use this with Mr. Briney’s Compassion for something of a “Dark Venucenter” style set: as long as your attacker isn’t OHKO’d, you can move the Energy to another Pokémon, then use Mr. Briney’s Compassion (possibly Super Scoop Up as well).  The reason to consider Super Scoop Up is that it can affect Pokémon ex… like Rocket’s Sneasel ex, which has had some success with this deck.  People have also suggested using Pidgeot, but I just can’t find the room for it myself-I don’t like running Stage 2 Pokémon at 1-0-1 lines since a) Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] is commonly played as it deserves to be, b) depending on two cards for such an important task isn’t happy, and c) you lose the joy of a mono-Team Rocket deck.  Why does C matter so much?  Rocket’s Poké Ball has to be replaced by Celio’s Network, which means I can’t freely play my draw Supporters, which ends up slowing my deck down in the initial burst.  Still, it you can safely run at least a 2-1-2 line of Pidgeot and can fit four Rare Candies as well, then I would of course say to do so.  If you can’t tell, Ness’s article kinda stole “our thunder” for this week’s CotDs… I’ll focus on the combo with Dark Electrode, also important to this deck, in Thursday’s CotD.




Unlimited: 1.85/5-I can’t think of a way to protect the Energy from being nailed by Energy Removals that would be reliable enough, not eat up a gross chunk of the deck’s space, or not impede your own Trainer usage.  Still, I can think of an insane deck or two to run with it that would be fun and occasionally effective.


Modified: 3.75/5-Perhaps even better than that.  Had they not weakened Evolutionary Light on the new Dark Dragonair (when compared to its old version); there would be no doubt of its potency.  As is, you have a good shot at creating reasonably good “OHKO” deck.


Limited: 3/5-Its just a large Stage 2 with a potentially useful Stage 1s.  This assumes you get a playable line, or are using the James Theme Deck (which contains the line).



This could possible be a new Tier 1 deck for Modified, and at least another Tier 2 deck.  If you don’t know what I mean, Tier 1 decks are the best of the best, and Tier 2 are those decks better than the rest but not quite as strong as Tier 1 decks.  Dark Dragonite will allow you to pull some pumped up (in terms of damage) “Energy Trans” tricks.


Dark Dragonite has definitely proven it's worthiness in modified. It's Stage 1, Dark Dragonair, helps develop its useful combos, such as Dark Electrode, and also gets the Dark Dragonite itself out quickly. It's Dark Trance Poké-Power is extremely powerful when combined with Mr. Briney's compassion. Being 120 HP and non ex makes the card one of the most dominant cards in modified at the moment, with its worst downside being weakness to colorless.
Rating: 5/5

Dragonite can be played the same way it unlimited as it is in modified - that is, with Dark Electrode. The deck has speed and it's Dark Trance power makes it unstoppable with Pokémon Center. If your opponent cannot stop you from playing Pokémon Center, they are forced to one hit KO the Dark Dragonite or give up.
Rating: 4/5 is here to provide guidance to all Pokemon trainers out there.  Whether it's the Gameboy Game, N64 or the Trading Card Game, provides all the wisdom you desire. 

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