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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Thundurus #97

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 3.75

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

Combos With:


Greetings, Pojo viewers! Today we are continuing our reviews of the new Emerging Powers expansion by reviewing another member of the Gen V genie trio. Today's Card of the Day is Thundurus.

Thundurus is a Basic Lightning Pokemon. Lightning-types are fairly common in today's Modified, with both Magnezone Prime and Zekrom seeing a lot of play; additionally, quite a few support Pokemon are Lightning-types as well, such as Pachirisu. 110 HP is great for a Basic, and although it can't compare to Reshiram or Zekrom's massive 130, it still should be able to survive a few hits. Fighting Weakness is a bit confusing due to Thundurus' Electric/Flying typing in the video game, but as far as cards go, this means that Thundurus easily falls to Donphan. No Resistance is unfortunate, and finally, a Retreat Cost of 1 is decent and can be paid if necessary.

Thundurus' two attacks, Charge and Disaster Volt, mirror Tornadus (yesterday's COTD) quite well. Charge allows you to search your deck for a Lightning Energy and attach it to Thundurus, which is more useful than Tornadus' Energy-moving ability, since you'll effectively accelerating your Energy and thinning out your deck at the same time. However, this attack should probably be avoided unless you're in the early stages of the game. Disaster Volt is also fairly similar to Tornadus' Hurricane, dealing a decent 80 damage for LLC, but you also must discard one Energy from Thundurus in order to use the attack. This attack, while not bad by any means, is somewhat outclassed by Zekrom's Bolt Strike, which deals 120 damage for the same cost. Therefore, when using Thundurus, make sure that it has its own specific niche, or chances are that Zekrom can do the job better. However, it is important to note that Thundurus can also work with Pachirisu CL and Shaymin UL to move Pachirisu's Energy to Thundurus, but again, Zekrom is often a better choice.

Modified: 2.75/5 Thundurus is altogether decent in Modified, although it's hard to make the case for it seeing a lot of play when Zekrom outclasses it on many levels. Zekrom has more HP, deals more damage for the same cost, and has a useful secondary attack in Outrage that Thundurus sorely lacks. However, not all is bad for Thundurus: Disaster Volt doesn't have Bolt Strike's recoil, and Thundurus' Retreat is one less than Zekrom's. The two could probably co-exist in a deck or Thundurus may work well as a secondary attacker, but if you want to build a deck around a powerful Lightning-type Basic, that would be better suited for Zekrom.

Limited: 3.5/5 Thundurus is a big, powerful Basic with Energy searching abilities and a strong, consistent attack. It's not quite as good as Tornadus in Limited due to its having an elemental type, but if you can afford splashing some Lightning into your deck, Thundurus should reward you.

Combos With: Pachirisu CL + Shaymin UL


Time to look at Thundurus, who is another member of the “kami” trio of Pokémon, as was yesterday’s CotD Tornadus. Given that “kami” translates to “god” in English (note the little “g” for those with a Judeo-Christian view of the divine) I probably won’t be using that term much for them.


Thundurus is very similar to Tornadus, so don’t be surprised when a lot of this review sounds familiar. By their nature Basic Pokémon are the easiest Pokémon to run, unless the card itself has some built in drawbacks. Thundurus has no built in draw backs with respect to basic play, so it is easy to fit into a deck, easy to play from hand, easy to search out from the deck, and easy to recycle from the discard pile. It is a Lightning-Type Pokémon, and that means I have to repeat myself yet again this review in case some of you are newer readers: there isn’t really much Pokémon-Type support this format. There are many cards to support Energy-Type, however, but as I like to remind people while the Energy a Pokémon uses is often the same as its Type it doesn’t have to be. So being a Lightning-Type mostly means facing a metagame that, due to the prominence of other Lightning-Type Pokémon (Magnezone Prime, Zekrom, Pachirisu, etc.) has developed minimizing Lightning Weakness and trying to maximize Lightning Resistance.

Like Tornadus, Thundurus enjoys 110 HP, currently the third highest possible score for a Basic Pokémon. Only the strongest attacks will OHKO it, and only the fastest, hardest hitting decks have a chance of taking it down turn one. The Fighting-Type Weakness will allow Donphan Prime to do just that, as well as a few other Fighting-Type decks waiting in the wings. To put that into perspective, yesterday’s CotD (Tornadus) was Lightning-Weak and most Pokémon of that Type who see play already could OHKO it. It lacks Resistance, which is unfortunate but fairly common, although it is more noticeable here because Tornadus actually had a Resistance. Thundurus does finish solidly in this area by having a single Energy Retreat Cost. This cost is fairly common on Basic Pokémon, but becomes less common when you hit this high of an HP score, and functionally it is the second best Retreat Score possible: although often inconvenient, rarely will you struggle to get that much Energy onto Thundurus in order to retreat.


Thundurus has two attacks. The first requires just (C) but if you want it to do you any good you’ll need a Lightning Energy card in your deck: Charge has you search your deck for said Lightning Energy card and attach it to Thundurus. This is not a brilliant attack, but it is useful if you actually open with Thundurus, unlike Tornadus card which requires a combo to not be a waste first turn. This allows a solo Thundurus to be able to move onto his second attack by your second turn, barring an opponent’s intervention. The second attack is Disaster Volt for (LLC). It hits for 80 points of damage and requires you discard a single Energy from Thundurus. While you would be forfeiting setting up any other Pokémon, this can allow a Thundurus to be fairly self-sufficient, with a first turn Energy attachment and Charge allowing subsequent manual Energy attachments to keep a steady barrage of Disaster Volt attacks (and thus 80 points of damage) hitting your opponent each turn. The attacks work well together, although I believe we do get one of those odd moments where something “costing more” might have been better if it in turn justified a better return. By that I mean if Charge had required (L) and snagged two Lightning Energy to attach to Thundurus, it should have opened up some more combos and at the very least allowed you to get “a turn ahead” on Energy attachments; very important when you’re dealing with an attacker that will subsequently require your future Energy attachments.


Say “Hello!” to Zekrom’s little brother for all intents and purposes. As I discussed yesterday, I believe we have enough large Basic Pokémon to build a functional “Haymaker” style deck, although not in the strictest sense since the deck will be packing an Energy acceleration combo and the deck won’t be attacking first turn without it. We will also lack as much Type-matching as the original Haymaker was capable of, but still between ZPS decks now have several alternative attackers with which to stabilize the build while retaining a build consisting of only Basic Pokémon. Zekrom (Black & White 47/114, 114/114), Pachirisu (Call of Legends 18/95), and Shaymin (HS: Unleashed 8/95) can now be backed up not only by Bouffalant (Black & White 91/114) for Revenge fueled KOs, but by Tornadus and Thundurus for a weaker but easier to sustain assault.

Zekrom inflicts self damage with Bolt Strike and that is why I believe the deck has a good use for Tornadus and Thundurus. The deck functions now because of the massive 130 HP on Zekrom (which it cuts down to 90 from its first Bolt Strike) and the fact that Outrage lets it stop hurting itself once it has sufficient damage counters already on it. That first Bolt Strike is impressive (120 points of damage first turn!) but it’s also usually overkill. Few Basic Pokémon will have 120+ HP, and more importantly many will have 80 or less. Enter Thundurus; using the same set-up it can hit for 80 points of damage each turn, though at the cost of your manual Energy attachment. You have the option of letting it go down swinging while setting up the proper ZPS combo so that Zekrom can one-shot anything large your opponent does get going, setting up a Tornadus in case of Fighting or Lightning-Resistant Pokémon, or readying a Bouffalant quickly the turn Thundurus does go down for a probable Revenge KO. You even have the option of sucking the Energy off of a Thundurus to fuel one of the others (Shaymin isn’t picky) though you’d better have a method of getting your half KOed Thundurus out of the Active slot. By no means does this more diverse approach make this deck easier to run than ZPS, it just provides it with the ability to better adapt to whatever your opponent is doing, and avoid burning itself out too quickly from Zekrom and its self-damaging attacks.

Now perhaps this build will prove inferior to the classic, despite being better able to adapt: reliability is king, after all and you have to make room for several more Basic Pokémon. I still see Thundurus making an impact because Lightning-decks have a second big, Basic Pokémon that hits hard, but while this one isn’t quite as big and doesn’t hit quite as hard, he also doesn’t take himself out. If I am running a mutli-Type deck, I might still prefer Zekrom for its raw power and the fact that in the worst case scenario, I can let it take a hit and hit fairly hard back without any Lightning Energy or substitutes, thanks to Outrage. Still if it truly is a multi-Type deck and is running Lightning Energy mixed with something else, there is something to be said for attacking with a big Basic that doesn’t blast itself along with the opponent. Yes Thundurus requires an Energy discard, but the type isn’t specified. If I am already running an Emboar (Black & White 20/114) and Magnezone (HS: Triumphant 96/102) “Prime” deck, what does that single generic Energy discard mean to me? I’d already be running Reshiram (Black & White 26/114, 113/114) so I’d already be covered for a high maintenance Basic that hits for 120, I’d have a huge Lightning-Type attacker available from Magnezone Prime if 80 just wasn’t enough, so why make your Lightning-Type Energy demands even worse by running something that hits itself? Thundurus even aids the deck by as an opener: do you take out the Tepig, the Magnemite, or the Thundurus that just manually attached a Fire Energy card and used Charge to attach a Lightning Energy card from the deck? Can your deck take down a 110 HP Pokémon on your first/second turn?

In Unlimited, this card requires too much of an investment to set-up, even though it has a solid return. So even if you aren’t playing a super-cutthroat match where both players are spamming each other first turn for game, the next level of “classic” Unlimited decks will probably shred a Thundurus deck. For Limited play, this is a must run as long as you can run a handful of Lightning Energy with it. Thanks to Charge that shouldn’t be too hard, though you don’t want to have to use that attack twice before you can Disaster Volt. Still even if you did, 110 HP will probably be the biggest score to hit the field most matches, and 80 HP will OHKO a lot of what most players can field.


Unlimited: 2/5

Modified: 3.75/5

Limited: 4.5/5


Like Tornadus, Thundurus is going to be a presence, but it still won’t completely replace Zekrom and unlike Tornadus isn’t as easy to work into a variety of decks. If Zekrom didn’t exist, this card might still be strong enough to support the ZPS deck (though obviously we’d have named it differently): hitting only a little softer but without the hassle is a great option to have. As such he scores just a little lower than Tornadus; Zekrom will usually be better than Thundurus but not always, while Tornadus can be used in far more decks even if in specific scenarios he is outclassed.

Deck Garage
8/16/11: Thundrus(Emerging Powers)
Today, we have the other elemental genie/Lakitu card printed in English so far. Let's get into it.
To start, I don't see how you can look at Thundrus without comparing it to Zekrom, so I'll be making plenty of comparisons. The problem is, most of them make Thundrus look pretty mediocre. Zekrom has more HP, a stronger 'energy discard for big damage' attack, and a first attack that takes advantage of its massive HP. These advantages, especially the damage, mean Zekrom is the superior card. Let's look at Thundrus' advantages, though.
1.      The discard is one energy, not two.
2.      It has a smaller retreat cost.(1 vs. 2)
3.      Its first attack provides energy.
Is this enough to merit playing Thundrus over Zekrom? Probably not. Is the energy acceleration enough to have Thundrus see play? I believe so. Right now, Zekrom decks rely on using Pachirisu CL to get energy on the field quickly, to move around with Shaymin. The problem is, Pachirisu can be inconsistent at times, because it only attaches energy from your hand. Thundrus' acceleration takes an attack, but being able to search your deck instead of your hand is such a benefit that I could see some, if not most Zekrom decks to remove all(or all but 1) copies of Pachirisu to make way for Thundrus as a starter Pokemon.
Modified: 3.25/5
Limited: 4/5
Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Thunderus (Emerging Powers)
Hello Pojo readers, I hope your week is going fine. Today we continue with our special guest today, Thunderus!
Thunderus is continuing the new tradition of Legendary Poke'nmon in Black & White by having (relatively) powerful attacks coupled with massive HP. Thunderus is a Lightning type non-evolving Basic with 110 HP, Fighting weakness, a retreat cost of 1 and two attacks.
The HP is impressive and will keep Thunderus alive for at least a couple of turns against anything except a fully powered main attacker. The weakness is a severe drawback if you face Donphan Prime or Krokorok/Krookodile but it isn't surprising so you'll just have to work around that (maybe with Tornadus from yesterday?). The retreat cost is unexpected however, as we have come to expect that high HP results in high retreat costs of at least 2 energy at the minimum. Thunderus may not have the damage potential of its cousins but it is much easier to open with because you can run away easily to make room for a different attacker if you are low on HP or facing a bad matchup. All in all, a great set of stats if you have a Fighting counter you can pair up with Thunderus.
Now the attacks. Thunderus has 2, both of which promise decent return for your investment. The first is Charge, which costs [c], meaing you can drop any energy in order to use it first turn. It does pretty much what it says, charging Thunderus up by searching the deck for a [l] energy and attaching it to Thunderus. This is quite useful for getting Thunderus set up to attack from the second turn onwards (generally what all current competitive decks aim for) but it is also full of combo potential. Magnezone Prime loves having lots of energy in play for Lost Burn and suffers from having a very weak pair of pre-evolutions, so Thunderus fits well as a both a wall and energy sponge in any deck Magnezone calls home.
Charge is nice enough but it won't carry the card alone (especially with Pachirisu CL around) so a workable second attack is a must. Thankfully, the strangely named Disaster Volt delivers the goods. For [l][l][c], you deal 80 damage and have to discard an energy attached to Thunderus.
At first glance, this attack seems over priced. The energy cost and drawback are roughly equal to the main attacks of the Dragon Twins and Musketeer Trio, but the damage is lower by 20-40 points. The difference is made up by the fact that Thunderus is both quick and self-sufficient. With nothing more than a few [l] basic energy in your deck you can use Thunderus quite easily and provide an opening wall to protect your more vulnerable evolving Basics while punishing your opponent. If you think Tornadus is too weak for your metagame and you are willing to make the space for the energy then Thunderus is your legendary of choice, especially if you fear Water Poke'mon (I think Typhlosion Prime users will love Thunderus).
However, Thunderus does have to compete against that other big Lightning legendary, Zekrom. With more HP, higher damage and the ability to abuse DCE, Zekrom is rightly feared. Also, Zekrom fits well into multi-type decks since it can use Rainbow Energy to great effect, and Outrage works beautifully with Zekrom's role as a wall in off-type decks. Most people I know play Zekrom as a sacrifical lamb and then drop a DCE for a major whacking with Outrage before letting it die, giving plenty of time to set up less beefy Poke'mon (or if Zekrom gets taken out in one shot, Twins is used to grab the really important pieces from the deck). Tornadus doesn't have nearly as much potential in this regard  because of the lower HP (giving Reshiram and Donphan the OHKO they need) and the lack of Outrage, which is currently the single best scare tactic in the game.
If you are looking for a little insurance for a Fire deck (keeping Armourott and Blastoise UL off your back) then you'll have to pick one or the other but if you want to run mono Lightning (alongside Magnezone or in the Zekrom/Pachirisu/Shaymin deck) then I would recommend using both cards. Thunderus gets the ball rolling by being able to power itself up if you can't get the energy you need for the Pachirisu/Shaymin trick while Zekrom brings the big guns and can survive the hits that Thunderus might not be able to take. Also, using both cards allows you to use as many as 8 big Basics rather than being restricted to 4 by the deck building rules. The card designs seem to complement each other beautifully, at least on paper.
In the end, I think Thunderus will be the card that takes the 'Zekrom Donk' up to the level it was hyped to be before the release of Black & White. There are more powerful Lightning cards avaialble and there are stronger  Basic Poke'mon to build a deck around, but a splashable Lightning type with stats like these is a gift form the Gods of Gaming and I thank them on bended knee for their generosity. Major Kudos to the Poke'mon design team!
Modified: 4.5 (since the only support you need to run are Poke'mon Collector [which is a staple in all decks without exception] and [l] energy you can put Thunderus into a lot of decks to hit a pretty common weakness. The ability to  deal 80 damage by Turn 2 is just beautiful since most decks can only deal 60 damage on the second turn of the game, giving you a critical advantage in the early game where Thunderus really shines)
Limited: 5 (Thunderus can power itself up reliably even in a rainbow deck so the only good reason for not running it is beause you want to protect your full-art Ultra Rare and don't have any cards sleeves available. Just watch out for the discard of Disaster Volt though, your energy will run out eventually)
Combos with: Typhlosion Prime, Magnezone Prime, Shaymin UL and other energy-loving beasts.

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