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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Tyranitar (Prime) #88/96

HS Unleashed

Date Reviewed: 04.21.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.40
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Tyranitar (Prime) Unleashed


Our third and final new Prime this week is one of the coolest Pokémon around – Tyranitar.


Even for a Stage 2, Tyranitar Prime has huge HP of 160. Even with double Weakness, most Fighting Pokémon will be unable to OHKO it without using expensive attacks or an Expert Belt. Psychic Resistance is great too, making Tyranitar a very difficult KO for Psychic Pokémon like Gengar and Gardevoir. The Retreat cost of three isn’t pretty, but Dark Pokémon can use Moonlight Stadium to get around these problems. Finally, Dark is one of the best types in the game. True, it doesn’t hit many playable Pokémon for Weakness (Gengar being the obvious exception), but on the other hand it gets all the benefits from Special Darkness Energy: each one coming with a permanent built-in PlusPower effect which means that Tyranitar will very often be doing significantly more than the base damage of its attacks.


Speaking of attacks, Tyranitar has three! The first, Darkness Howl is an incredibly cheap spread attack(for a single Dark Energy) that hits every Pokémon in play that isn’t Dark (including yours) for 20 damage. The 20 spread is excellent, and even the drawback isn’t as bad as it seems: you can still safely play your non-Dark support Pokémon such as Claydol and Uxie if you have a Weavile SW on your Bench and use its Dark Engage PokePower to make all your Pokémon Dark type on your turn. Weavile SW’s Shadow Charge attack is also great for accelerating Special Dark Energy on to Tyranitar, so it seems a very good partner for this Prime.


Power Claw, Tyranitar’s second attack, is nowhere near as interesting. For [D][C][C] you get a base damage of 60 and the ability to ignore any Powers, Bodies, or effects that may modify that damage in some way (such as Shuckle SW’s PokeBody or Lucario LV X’s Stance Power). Add another Colourless Energy to Tyranitar though and things start to get interesting once again. Megaton Tail does a massive 120 damage, which makes it powerful enough to KO most things, especially if a couple of Special Dark Energy are attached. It does come with a fairly steep drawback though, as it forces you to discard the top three cards of your deck to use it. This could put you at risk of losing something vital, or even cause you to deck out late in the game, so use with care.


Really, my feelings about Tyranitar Prime are similar to my feelings about Tyranitar SF. I don’t think it would disgrace itself in tournament play and may even do quite well. However it is also slow and requires a lot of support to work properly. It may well be that faster, more versatile decks, and a few bad match ups (Donphan Prime, for example) will keep it from being a top tier Pokémon.




Modified: 3 (big, slow, cumbersome heavy hitter – quite appropriate really)

Limited: 3 (powerful, but hard to get out and doesn’t have the needed support in the set)


I've always been of the belief that the Darkness type has been grossly underrepresented in the Pokemon TCG. While Sneasel was tearing everything apart back in the days of Neo Genesis, not much else has really risen to the top with the same dominance and power. Today's Card of the Day is Tyranitar Prime, and it might be able to change all of that.

Tyranitar is a Stage 2 Darkness Pokemon. Darkness Pokemon aren't played very often, but when they are, they have some very useful features: Many commonly played cards like Gengar and Dusknoir are weak to Darkness, making it a pretty good offensive type. Additionally, Darkness Pokemon have access to special Darkness Energy, increasing the power of all of their attacks. Tyranitar has a monstrous 160 HP, which is incredibly high for a Stage 2, and it will definitely be able to withstand a few hits. Double Weakness to Fighting is going to give Tyranitar a problem with Donphan, but isn't too bad otherwise. Psychic Resistance stops pixies and ghosts from irritating you too much. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 3 is pretty high, so be sure to use Switch or Warp Point.

Tyranitar Prime has three attacks. The first attack, Darkness Howl, deals 20 damage to each non-Darkness-type Pokemon in play for a single Darkness Energy. When Tyranitar is used effectively in an all Darkness-type deck, this has the potential to be quite useful as a sniping move, barring an appearance by Nidoqueen.

The second attack, Power Claw, deals a straight up 60 damage without having to worry about Powers, Bodies, or any other effects on the Defending Pokemon for the cost of [DCC]. Flygon used Sand Wall last turn? Hit it anyway. To make things even better, the Energy cost is such that the attack can be powered up by Double Colorless for second turn use, or even multiple special Darkness Energies to raise the attack damage.

Tyranitar's final attack, Megaton Tail, deals 120 damage for [DDCC] while discarding the top 3 cards of your deck. First of all, 120 is a huge amount of damage, and losing 3 cards from the top of your deck isn't so bad if you're going to win in a few turns anyway, and can be offset by cards like Night Maintenance and Palmer's Contribution. This also has some combo potential as well: Honchkrow from the Japanese Reviving Legends set (probably to be printed in HS Unleashed) has an attack that is based on the number of Darkness Energies in the discard pile, so in this way Tyranitar could be part of a combo, even though Tyranitar is a very potent attacker on its own.

Modified: 4/5 I see great things for Tyranitar Prime here. While Donphan Prime sees a lot of play and will only keep seeing more, a 160 HP monstrosity for an attack for 120 damage will definitely find its way into a deck. Even better, it has spreading potential, can be powered up by Double Colorless, and can do even more damage with special Darkness Energies.

Limited: 3.5/5 I think Tyranitar is slightly worse off here, but only by a slight amount. Darkness Howl is great for spreading in Limited, but chances are you'll hurt yourself considerably as well. Additionally, even though Megaton Tail will probably OHKO most things in this format, losing 3 cards per turn in your 40-card deck could mean that you deck yourself quickly.

Willy G

Hey guys! Today we are reviewing the Prime version of Tyranitar, which I'm pretty sure is the undisputed champion of hardcore Pokemon. I mean if you could own one real Pokemon, just based on size and beastliness, i think Tyranitar would definitely take the cake. Anyways... on to the review.

160 HP is always great, even for a Stage 2. Double Fighting weakness is really a bummer though, making Tyranitar Prime susceptible to FTKOs by an average Hurricane Punch or a belted Donphan. This is really an unfortunate weakness in this format. Psychic resistance is always appreciated, but a retreat cost of 3 is not comforting, yet easily remedied with Moonlight Stadium.

Tyranitar Prime's first attack, for D, does 20 to all non-Dark Pokemon. This is a really great early game attack, if you somehow manage to get Tyranitar Prime set up in the first few turns. It's amazing to think that essentially this same attack was on Tyranitar SF for DDDDD... and was still good!

Tyranitar Prime's second attack is less impressive. DCC for 60 that isn't effected by any effects on the Defender. Except for Donphan Prime, which would practically be an auto-loss anyway, I personally can't think of any widely played cards to which this effect would apply.

Tyranitar Prime's third attack does DDCC for 120, with the huge downside of discarding 3 cards off the top of your deck. While this attack is powerful, the risk of discarding something useful is just too high.

Combos: Not many options for this rock monster. Manectric PL is an obvious choice to prevent damage to your own Bench, in which case Spiritomb LA could provide good spread damage. The best combo that I could conjure up for Tyranitar Prime's main attack was using Delcatty PT to make sure at least 2 Energies are in the discard from Megaton Tail, and only one unknown card is discarded. Lopunny AR can alleviate damage on Delcatty, Tyranitar Prime, and anybody else while discarding another Energy. Electivire FB Lv.X can then transfer these three energies to Tyranitar Prime, and Darkrai Lv.X makes them each increase damage output by 10. Although this combo sounds good, it's pretty difficult to get out.

Modified: This card doesn't have much potential in tis fast-paced format. It needs certain cards to make it as strong as it needs to be for its Stage and Energy cost, and these cards are unfortunately vulnerable to discard via Tyranitar Prime's strongest attack. This is not very promising.
Rating: 2.5/5

Limited: Very difficult to draft the line, but if you can get this 160 HP tank out, even its first attack makes victory much easier. The difficulty is in getting it out in the first place.
Rating: 3.5/5


Name: Tyranitar

Set: HeartGold & SoulSilver - Unleashed

Rarity: Rare Prime

Card#: 88/96

Type: Darkness

Stage: 2 (Evolves from Pupitar)

Hit Points: 160

Weakness: Fighting

Resistance: Psychic -20

Retreat: CCC

Attack#1: (D) Darkness Howl

This attack does 20 damage to each Pokémon in play (both yours and your opponent’s) (excluding any Darkness Pokémon).  (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)

Attack#2: (DCC) Power Claw [60]

This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Poké-Powers, Poké-Body, or any other effects on the Defending Pokémon.

Attack#3: (DDCC) Megaton Tail [120]

Discard the top 3 cards of your deck.


Attributes: Tyranitar “Prime” is a nice, large 160 HP Stage 2 Darkness Pokémon.  Even for its Stage, 160 HP is great: only 18 Pokémon meet or exceed that… in Unlimited!  In Modified, it’s only Pokémon Lv.X. X and Wailord that top it.  Being a Darkness Pokémon is great: no Resistance to worry about but a decent amount of Weakness.  Of course being able to utilize Special Energy Darkness Energy cards for extra damage is great as well.  This is important because traditional damage doubling Fighting Weakness will make your HP advantage null and void.  I am pleased to see Psychic Resistance, even if it’s only at the -20 level.  Rounding out the attributes is a three Energy retreat cost: you don’t want to have to pay this, so pack some cards to switch out Tyranitar out of the Active slot.


Abilities: Three attacks give you some options.  The first is Darkness Howl, and especially if you’re running a mono-Darkness deck, it’s a great way to open the game.  Current versions of Larvitar and Pupitar are Fighting so unless they fudge the new ones that won't be possible.  Be careful not to take your own bench out, but if you can Evolve fast and/or properly support Tyranitar, then its tempting to let your first go down swinging with this attack alone: the three or four you should get off will tenderize the opposition and set a second Tyranitar up for multiple KOs.


The second attack is Power Claw.  For the three Energy that goes into it, it’s a decent attack; at least when you factor in that it can use a Double Colorless Energy for two-thirds of the cost and it has an effect to bypass damage reducing effects on the Defending Pokémon.  Still, I don’t expect it to be used except against problem Pokémon with annoying Poké-Powers/Poké-Bodies or until you can drop that fourth Energy.  That brings us to the third attack.


Megaton Tail is a nice, large attack made better by being on a Darkness Pokémon.  With two of the Special Energy version of Darkness Energy, you’ll be able to OHKO almost anything in the game.  Yes, you’ll have to discard the top 3 cards of your deck, but that is well worth a Prize.


So while a Poké-Power or Poké-Body might have been flashier, Tyranitar has two great attacks and one good one and that could be enough.


Uses and

Combinations: Simple a behemoth meant to have its own deck.  Focus on getting Tyranitar out and hitting hard and fast with Darkness Howl.  By the time your first Tyranitar goes down, your opponent should be in serious trouble: you’ll have another Tyranitar ready to hit with more than just Darkness Howl and several of their Pokémon should be within OHKO range of Power Claw… or even just another Darkness Howl.  If they have injured enough Evolved Pokémon, a few copies of Technical Machine TS-2 will let you simultaneously wreck their set-up and score a Prize per attack.




Modified: 4/5 – This seems to be a straightforward strategy: widespread damage early on and punishing blows later.


Limited: 4/5 – Unless Pupitar and Larvitar are awful (or absent) from the set, or good Fighting Pokémon are abundant, then this is a must run: the slow set up means an early Tyranitar is practically game.  If Tyranitar shows up late, it’s still a fantastic brute to go for your last few prizes.  Just be careful not to deck out – it is an honest risk here.




This new Tyranitar looks to have trained under Godzilla: he can slam opponent’s straight on or cause widespread damage.  A little strategy on your part will allow you to guide its rampage and make sure it hits your opponent harder than yourself.



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