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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Dragonite δ

EX Delta Species

 

Date Reviewed: 01.09.06

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Unlimited: 2
Modified: 3.85
Limited: 4

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


William
Hung
For practical purposes, my reviews are on the effectiveness on the current modifed format only. (Hidden Legends and on)

1/9: Dragonite d - 3.5/5 - I think it's good, especially combined with Metagross d. They work well together to fuel a powerful attack at least every other turn, if not every turn. However, it is a supporting Pokemon, and Dragonite d is certainly not the Pokemon of choice to deal with your opponent's strongest Pokemon. Battle Frontier can create major problems, along with Medicham ex decks.
 

Otaku

Skip straight to the scores and summary for a concise overview.

 

Name: Dragonite δ

Set: EX Delta Species

Card#: 3/113

Type: Lightning/Metal

Stage: 2 (Evolves from Dragonair)

HP: 100

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass, Fighting

Retreat: CC

Poké-Power: Delta Charge

Once during your turn (before your attack), you may attach a (L) Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched Pokémon.  This power can’t be used if Dragonite is affected by a Special Condition.

Attack#1: (LC) Agility [30]

Flip a coin.  If heads, prevent all effects of an attack, including damage, done to Dragonite δ during your opponent’s next turn.

Attack#2: (LMCC) Heavy Impact [70]

Name: Dragonair δ

Set: EX Delta Species

Card#: 41/113

Type: Lightning

Stage: Stage 1 (Evolves from Dratini)

HP: 70

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass Fighting

Retreat: C

Attack#1: (CC) Slam [20x]

Flip 2 coins.  This attack does 20 damage times the number of heads.

Attack#2: (LCC) Dragon Rage [40]

Name: Dragonair δ

Set: EX Delta Species

Card#: 42/113

Type: Lightning

Stage: Stage 1 (Evolves from Dratini)

HP: 70

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass Fighting

Retreat: C

Attack: (LC) Twister [20]

Flip 2 coins.  If both are tails, this attack does nothing.  Fore each heads, discard an Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon.

Name: Dratini δ

Set: EX Delta Species

Card#: 65/113

Type: Lightning

Stage: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass, Fighting

Retreat: C

Attack#1: (C) Hook [10]

Attack#2: (LC) Thunder Jolt [30]

Flip a coin.  If tails, Dratini does 10 damage to itself.

Name: Dratini δ

Set: EX Delta Species

Card#: 66/113

Type: Lightning

Stage: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: Colorless

Resistance: Grass, Fighting

Retreat: C

Attack: (L) Thunder Wave [10]

Flip a coin.  If heads, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT DESPITE HOW IT IS LISTED ABOVE, THE “δ DELTA SPECIES IS NOT ACTUALLY PART OF THE CARDS’ NAMES.  Yes, I am sure most of you knew that, but my spoiler seemed contradictory and I figured I’d better just say that now.  Let me point out that I will refer to Pokémon with this designation by calling them just “[Insert Pokémon Name/] δ” in my writings, as I did in the above text spoiler, even though δ isn’t actually part of their name.

 

Attributes: Dragonite δ is a Stage 2 Pokémon.  As I constantly tell people, this means that it needs many “bonuses” to offset the difficulty of getting it into play, as compared with a lower Evolutionary Stage.  Before we delve into that further, let us take a peek at this Pokémon’s lower Evolutionary Stages that showed up in this set.  There are two Dragonair δ and also two Dratini δ.  Just a reminder: since the “δ DELTA SPECIES” designator isn’t part of the name, you can go back and forth between non-δ Pokémon and “plain” ones, so long as there isn’t something like an owner in the name.  For example, you can start with a “plain” Dratini, Evolve to Dragonair δ, then Evolve into a plain Dragonite, and vice versa.  You may also start with a Dratini δ then Evolve into a Dark Dragonair, but then your only choice for Evolving after that is Dark Dragonite.  As for the actual lower Stages, they are all “okay”.  If you want damage, use numbers 41 and 65.  If you need stall/disruption/protection, go with the latter versions, use numbers 42 and 66.  Their attacks are reasonably priced and everything else is the same.

 

Returning to Dragonite δ itself, it both a Lightning and a Metal Type Pokémon.  This is a bane for many Water decks: only those blessed to have no Weakness or which have Grass Weakness won’t be taking extra damage.  Resistance exists but isn’t especially common for either type component either.  Best of all, being part Metal means Metal Energy reduces the damage you take by 10 for each copy attached; very nice.

 

100 HP isn’t so nice for a Stage 2.  It isn’t the worst, but it does indicate that there had better be some promising parts to this card.  The Weakness, Colorless, certainly doesn’t fit.  It is likely the worst Weakness in the game since the Pokémon Tool, Crystal Shard, allows any Pokémon to become Colorless for the turn.  This (rather than the low HP) explains the dual-Resistance.  Grass Pokémon aren’t too heavily played at the moment, and their attacks tend to focus on things other than straight damage, while Fighting Pokémon often have built in abilities to ignore Resistance (and if not, many cards can grant them that ability).  So while it is nice to have one Resistance, let alone two, neither will be especially useful.  Finally, for Attributes, we come to the Retreat Cost.  Two is neither large enough to be crippling nor small enough to be negligible, and obviously isn’t worth the lower than normal HP score.  Accordingly, the Abilities must be where the HP is offset.

 

Abilities: Delta Charge is essentially the same as the Firestarter Poké-Power that one Blaziken used to have.  The only difference, though it is significant, is that this affect’s Basic Lighting Energy cards instead of Basic Fire Energy cards.  Otherwise, it allows you to take one basic Lighting Energy card from your discard and attach it to a Benched Pokémon.  Even outside of specialized combinations, this is quite handy, allowing you to reduce the Energy lost to KOs and Retreating (eliminating it if you have enough Dragonite δ in play.

 

Agility is a well known attack.  This one yields 10 more damage than is paid for.  That isn’t huge, but it’s solid and a 50% chance of avoiding all effects of your opponent’s next attack during their next turn is quite nice.

 

The second attack, Heavy Impact, is also familiar.  This version requires two different Energy types.  So it should yield at least 60 points of damage, and that is if it were on a Basic.  At only 70 points of damage, it isn’t bad, just not especially good.

 

Overall, I’d say it’s apparent that Delta Charge is expected to be pretty potent.

 

Uses and

Combinations: Such would seem a safe bet, given the power of Blaziken with Firestarter.  Indeed Dragonite δ already has an established deck.  Like all decks, it has many names, but I prefer to call it Metanite.  The reasons are simple: the deck consists primarily of Metagross δ and (of course) Dragonite δ, plus it sounds like a character from the Kirby cartoon. ;)

 

The deck mimics the old BAR decks in set-up, except there is no need for something to transfer Energy: Metagross δ has Crush and Burn, an attack that does more damage for Energy cards discarded from any Pokémon.  This allows for constant cycling of Energy from your bench.  The main thing I seen as a slight difficulty for these decks is that Metagross δ, in exchange for flexibility where the Energy is attached, requires more Energy being cycled to hit as hard.  Yes, it was the Blaziken’s Firestarter Poké-Power that made BAR, but Rayquaza ex from EX Dragons hitting for at least 80 each turn was incredible, and later Blaziken ex Would just alternate between 100 to anything and 30 with Burn or 50 damage (or being benched to “recharge” while another attacker went up).  Even with a bench full of Dragonite δ, you can at most inflict 130 points of damage with each Crush and Burn, and that eats up your from hand Energy attachment as well.  That may sound like a lot, but as stated, its resource intensive: 5 Stage 2 Pokémon, four Lightning Energy cards in the discard pile, something providing (ML) attached to Metagross δ and finally a fresh Energy card each turn.  That is a lot of effort for maximum damage.

 

Fortunately, that’s not what appears to be the “proper” manner in which one runs the deck.  For one thing, I was comparing to damage involving Pokémon-ex, and they required extra effort to shunt the Energy to the “proper” target.  The players I checked with don’t expect to maintain more than two of Dragonite δ on their bench.  Their goal is to control the game a steady 70 or so damage each turn, while building up an Energy reserve for big hits when needed.

 

Set-up is aided by Delta Control, Magcargo with Smooth Over, and Delta Ruins.  I must confess, almost missed exactly how helpful Delta Ruins can be: it allows you to dump an extra Lightning Energy early on when you likely need it most, and as soon as you have Magcargo ready, you now can use your Supporter and Delta Control for additional speed.  For some reason, at first my brain couldn’t process that I was both getting to dump extra Energy and abuse Smooth Over at the same time, plus being able to use other resources that I would have been expended for the same purpose.

 

I have heard of some variants include the EX Hidden Legends Metagross and then use the Holon Research Tower Stadium as well: this combo allows you to move any Lightning Energy attached to Pokémon δ as the Stadium lets them count as providing Metal Energy in addition to their normal type.  I haven’t seen a version like that which accomplished anything especially useful with it, and it means less room for other Stadiums: the builds I have seen at least claim to do well using Desert Ruins (as there aren’t any Pokémon-ex in the deck) and Holon Ruins (as already stated).  Others forgo the Magcargo, finding Delta Control to provide enough Pokémon-based support; though I must wonder if Battle Frontier usage – or rather the lack of it – is the reason that technique works so well (Magcargo with Smooth Over provides double protection).

 

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 2/5-There are many significant Colorless “attackers” here as the focus of their own deck, and fact that Raindance basically does this better hurt its score here.  It is aided by having Raindance main Weakness.

 

Modified: 3.85/5-This card will at least be the cornerstone of one good deck.  How good that deck is depends on what we are given.  We saw how good Blaziken was: this card merely needs the right partners to bring it to full power.  I am torn scoring it, as memories of Blaziken abuse make me think it deserves at least a “4/5”, but then I remember that running this successfully, at least at the moment, requires more patience than Blaziken did.

 

Limited: 4/5-It’s best attack requires a Metal Energy, or rather something to provide it.  This set actually has quite a few options for Metal Energy, and the number of Colorless Pokémon in this set is lower than I’d expect (but there are still three Stage 1 lines).  Best of all, you have twice the chance of getting a Dratini or Dragonair.

 

Summary

Dragonite δ appears to be the foundation for at least one potent deck, maybe more.  It lacks the “raw” power of BAR and its ilk, but more than likely that just means this isn’t a deck for those who won’t take time to really learn it.  Also, unlike BAR, it trades reliance on a Basic and Stage 2 Pokémon-ex for just a normal Stage 2: other prominent Pokémon-ex based decks may lead to a rise in “anti-ex” decks, which would suit “Metanite” just fine.  Just remember to plan for Battle Frontier and Crystal Shard; just because they aren’t at their zenith now doesn’t mean players won’t start packing them again.

~R Pac~ Today's card is Dragonite from Delta Species

Dragonite is just one of those Pokes that are never really that great. He's got a 100 HP here, but the weakness to colorless might pose a problem. His power allows you to grab a L energy from the discard pile and stack it on a bench Poke which could be helpful. We don't see many lightning decks anymore though. His first attack is the basic agility, but his second one does 70 for 2 colorless, a lightning and a metal :-\. Sorry, but that is just too pricy. If anything, I would use this guy for the power and try to get enough of him on the bench to recycle energy quickly and efficiently. No real possibilities are coming to mind, but thinking of the many electric Pokes that discard energy, I'm sure there are some possibilities floating around. Still, I'm thinking he would be way too slow for the unlimited world.

Unlimited Rating 2/5

~R Pac~


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