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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Pokémon Cards of 2012

- #10 - Keldeo EX
Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
December 17, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.13
Limited: 5.00

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

#10 Keldeo-EX (Boundaries Crossed)


Hello and welcome to our countdown of the top 10 cards of the year here on Pojo’s CotD. This includes all the sets from Next Destinies to Boundaries Crossed and will run over the next three weeks (because even Pojo reviewers are allowed time off at Christmas!).


We kick off the countdown with a Pokemon that is propping up the list at #10. I had it a little higher than that, but fair enough: the card hasn’t been out all that long, so its impact hasn’t been fully felt at tournaments yet. But make no mistake, this card is well worth a place on our list.


See Keldeo-EX is good in two ways. Firstly you have the attack, Secret Sword, which does 50 damage for three Colourless Energy, but 20 more for each Water Energy attached. Paired with Blastoise for Water Energy acceleration, Keldeo has the potential to take out absolutely anything in one hit. To a certain degree, the Colourless cost also makes Keldeo a splashable tech in other decks too, particularly if they can up the damage a little with Prism or Blend Energy. With Water Typing providing a good answer to the popular and powerful Landorus-EX, Keldeo is more effective in this way than many players seem to think. But the attack is only half the story: Keldeo’s Rush-In Ability is incredibly useful and versatile, and pretty much means that you will see Keldeo in a lot of decks that won’t even really consider attacking with it. Being able to just move Keldeo from the Bench to the active slot with an Ability is great for getting Pokémon out of the active slot if they are affected by a Status Condition such as Paralysis or Sleep. Combine Rush In with Darkrai-EX’s Dark Cloak Ability and a Dark Energy, and you have the equivalent of a free Switch that you can use every turn.


Right now, Keldeo techs provide an answer to the fairly rare Paralysis Lock decks like Accelgor and Vanilluxe, but also counters Paralysis stall tactics from Tynamo and Raikou-EX. In the future, these tricks will become even more important when we get Hypnotoxic Beam in our next set. This is a Trainer which Poisons the Defending Pokémon and can inflict Sleep on a coin flip. Looking even further forward, it seems that we will get a Pokémon Tool that will allow Keldeo to Retreat for free without needing Darkrai, so every deck can benefit from the ‘free’ Switch.


Keldeo is already part of a top tier archetype and is going to see increasing play as a one-off tech that will only get stronger over the next few months. Luckily for player’s wallets, it will be out in a tin in February: if you don’t already have a few copies, I suggest you pick some up then.




Modified: 4.25 (main attacker and anti-Lock tech all in one)


It's that time of year again, Pojo readers! Today is the start of our Top 10 Pokemon Cards of 2012, and this year's list is really nice. We'll be reviewing our Top 10 cards that came out this year that have impacted the game in meaningful ways over the next three weeks, so be sure to check back to see if you favorite card made the list! Today we're kicking things off with a somewhat new EX that has gained a lot of popularity in the last few weeks, and should stay strong for a while. Today's Card of the Day (and #10 on our countdown) is Keldeo-EX.
Keldeo-EX is a Basic Water Pokemon-EX. Along with Blastoise, Keldeo-EX is one of the very few Water-types played, but its high usage makes up for the relative lack of others. More recently, Keldeo has also been finding into its way in decks that don't utilize Blastoise, such as in Darkrai-EX or Eelektrik variants. 170 HP is fairly good for a Pokemon-EX, allowing Keldeo to likely take multiple hits before going down (which is good because as a Pokemon-EX, your opponent gets two Prizes for Knocking out Keldeo). Grass Weakness is a problem against the Shaymin-EX or Virizion you'll randomly see, but these threats are still relatively uncommon. Keldeo also has a Retreat Cost of 2, which is payable if you need to, but if you're running a dedicated Keldeo deck, you usually won't have to worry about it.
Keldeo has an Ability, Rush In, and a single attack, Secret Sword. Rush In allows Keldeo to replace your Active Pokemon if the Colt Pokemon is on your Bench, immediately going to the Active spot while ignoring Retreat Costs. Rush In is very powerful on its own, as it greatly hampers your opponent's Pokemon Catcher usage, as well as the ability to create really interesting plays through careful Rush Ins and things like Super Scoop Up or Pokemon Center. Rush In's ability for changing the game is so good that Keldeo has now started seeing play in decks that aren't based around it, which shows how powerful the Ability really is.
Secret Sword is Keldeo's attack, dealing 50 damage plus 20 more damage for each Water Energy attached to Keldeo for the price of three Colorless Energy. In dedicated Blastoise/Keldeo decks, this attack will almost always be hitting for 110 or more damage, and as such, is a very big threat against most of the metagame. In decks that don't utilize Water Energy, 50 damage is only decent, but in things like Darkrai/Hydreigon or Klinklang variants that can manipulate Energy movement, Keldeo can be powered up quickly to have use in these decks as well.
Modified: 4/5 Keldeo-EX is a very powerful Pokemon that will be terrorizing Modified for the near future. Rush In can lead to some very skillful plays as well as endless frustration for your opponent, and Secret Sword's capability for crazy amounts of scaling damage is also very powerful. I'm sure you've seen a lot of Keldeo already at your local City Championships, and don't expect it to go away any time soon.
Limited: 5/5 Keldeo-EX is a huge Pokemon with Colorless Energy requirements, an amazing Ability, and opportunities for scaling damage. In a dedicated Water deck, Keldeo should be able to rip through opponents by itself, and it's still a great team player if you decide to diversify. Absolutely use it!
Combos With: Blastoise BCR

Jebulous Maryland Player

Keldeo EX
So for the the top 10, I'm just going to give some thoughts about the cards.  I've done the review before, so you can always check it out.
Keldeo EX has taken its place high up in the ranks after being just released in the newest set.  When the set was about to be released, there was much hype about it pairing with Blastoise.  If you don't know the combo, Blastoise allows you to attach as many Water energy from your hand per turn.  Keldeo syncs with it because you can easily drop Keldeo, 'Rush In', and the 'Secret Sword' for 110+.  Some thought the deck wouldn't succeed because it was mainly a counter for Landorus EX, and if that didn't see much play, then Keldeo/Blastoise wouldn't either.
Well City Championships started and things went crazy.  There wasn't just one deck winning all the tournaments.  You have a good variety of decks that topped, and one of the most prominent decks was Keldeo/Blastoise.  Not only does it mop the floor with Landorus, it also hits for high damage.  Also, Energy Retrieval and Cilan play their roles of bringing lots of energy to your hand.  Super Scoop Up is a really nasty card when you flip heads.  All the damage goes away and you get all the energy back, just to 'Deluge' again.  Status effects also get thrown out the window.  Keldeo is pretty much a Switch (not fully), enough to get rid of Paralysis and effectively bid farewell to Accelgor decks (at least I didn't see any since after Regionals).
During the Cities that I went to, I faced the deck twice (if memory serves me correct).  I went 50-50 against them.  I enjoy playing with the deck (using a friends), but it just doesn't have that feel of being the deck I want to play with.


Hello readers!  Today we begin our Top 10 Pokémon Cards of 2012 Countdown!  Just making the list in the #10 slot is a fairly recent card that has made a big splash, Keldeo EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 49/149, 142/149)!  We reviewed this card just over a month ago here, so I’ll use this article to explain why it was picked and if anything has changed.


Before that, let me explain the criteria for the list.  Pojo trusts the reviewers and values our different opinions, since we all have differing qualifications.  He gets our individual lists, and uses this to design a single “master list” for us to review.  He doesn’t set out specific requirements for the list besides actually being a Top 10 of 2012 list, and excluding reprints.


I tried to consider several factors, and weigh them against each other.  If I found a card that was played both in a variety of decks, was played at high counts within said decks, and shaped the format, it was ranking high on the list.  If it merely was critical to a single deck, or was run lightly but in a lot of decks, or if it wasn’t run heavily or run widely, but its mere existence shaped the format… it could still make the list.  I also balanced current usefulness versus historical usefulness, since we are concerned with this year, not this format or last format.  This also avoids making things too favorable for newer cards or older cards.


Keldeo EX is a Pokémon-EX with impressive Stats, with a good Ability and attack.  If you are informed or experienced with the current format at all, you know that one of the top new decks is built around Keldeo EX and Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149).  Still, is that enough to make the list?


It wasn’t for me, but there is more to Keldeo EX.  Its Ability, Rush In, can be combined with Darkrai EX (BW: Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108) to allow the Rush In/Dark Cloak combination to function almost as a free Switch every turn (provided you have a source of (D) Energy attached to Keldeo EX).  Not quite as good as actually having a free Switch each turn (you still are burning your manual Retreat), but for the purposes of ditching attack effects or getting the right Pokémon Active, wonderful.


Secret Sword, the only attack on Keldeo EX, was also crafted so that it mattered beyond a deck where it was the main attacker.  50 for (CCC) is not impressive in isolation, but just as Rush In goes from “okay” to “great” with a fairly common partner, Prism Energy, Blend Energy WLFM, and even a clutch Basic Water Energy  card allows Keldeo EX a competitive attack.  Two such sources of Energy allow it to trade blows handily with most other Pokémon-EX.  Once you start factoring it what a deck may already bring and hitting Water Weakness, just like the Ability Keldeo EX can deliver in many decks.


Keldeo EX isn’t something you should run in every deck, at least not in 2012.  If you aren’t running the right backing, you can’t optimize the effects, and that is why it doesn’t rank as high as other cards on the list.  You won’t need to worry about “Keldeo EX wars”, and as far as I can tell only with Blastoise do both the Ability and the attack truly shine.


Since I do like to look to the future, while this shouldn’t really affect its ranking for this list, Keldeo EX will likely remain a presence next year.  If you don’t want upcoming releases already out in Japan spoiled, skip the rest of this paragraph.  It doesn’t look like we’ll get anything that will ruin its usage with Blastoise, and we will in fact gain a useful Pokémon Tool; Pumice Stone (English name will likely be Float Stone, based on the video game Item that inspired it).  It is a Pokémon Tool that allows a Pokémon to Retreat for free, so instead of needing a Darkrai EX and (D) Energy to abuse Rush In, you’ll just need a Tool.





Unlimited: 3/5

Modified: 4.25/5

Limited: 5/5


Keldeo EX is certainly deserving of making the Top 10, despite being only available to players outside of Japan for the last two months of the year.  For those paying attention, you’ll notice I bumped its Modified score up by a quarter point: besides Blastoise decks still seeming strong (as opposed to some hyped decks that did well in Japan) Keldeo EX has proven more useful as a one-of Bench-sitter and/or adequate Water-Type splashed in attacker.


I was so impressed with it I ranked it at #8 on my own list.  However, my bottom two picks didn’t make it, so you’ll get to decide if my list was off by a little or a lot!

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Hello all, we're gearing up to Christmas and the new year, soon to be followed by Cities tournaments and the Plasma Storm release in February, so there's plenty of excitement ahead. Here's to a good time for all and not sweating the small stuff!
Typically, the end of another year at www.pojo.com means that we run through our collective Top 10 (this is the sixth year so far) so prepare for three weeks of festivity and power reviews. However, I'd like to change up my usual formula for this year.
Instead of focusing on the power levels of the cards in question, I'm going to look at the fun. And Keldeo is lots of fun!
For starters, it's a My Little Pony joke. Take a serious look. Sure, the hat-like mane and fancy horn call Dar'tan'gan the Musketeer to mind, but it still looks like it escaped from a different TV series altogether. Sure, Black & White were released more than a month before the latest MLP craze started, but is too much to suppose that the powers that be played up the art to poke some subtle fun at another franchise? Harmless jokes are the standard fare of Poke'mon, after all.
So the art on both versions is a little laugh from the designers, but the card itself is also quite entertaining to play. Rush In is a great Ability for speeding up gameplay (no soft lock from Poke'mon Catcher) and Hydro Pump is one of the beloved 'stack energy and stomp face' attacks that make energy acceleration gratifying for players. Add the massive HP to ensure you get your Rain Dance on, and Keldeo has become the go-to Poke'mon EX for players who want fast action.
Modified: 4 (drop lots of energy and lay waste to all in your path, with tag team efforts to keep up the momentum)
Limited: 5 (it's pretty, it nullifies retreat costs, the attack is colourless and it justifies Water energy all by itself. What more do you need?)
Now that I've finished the review, I'd like to ask all of you for your help. As regular readers will have noticed, my writing has been somewhere between sporadic and non-existent over the last few months, and the quality of my work has taken a dip. While I could blame a busy schedule and lack of recent playing experience (both of which have played a part), the true reason is that I am simply no longer having fun with the Poke'mon TCG.
I've been playing with old cards for over a decade (Base Set Charizard and Rocket's Zapdos are among my most treasured possessions) and the for the last 2-and-1/2 years I've been a fixture at the local League, terrifying the newbies and veterans alike with rogue decks (Zoroark/Hammer Spam is my current weapon of choice), but I'm just not enjoying myself like I used to.
Recent attempts to break out of the rut include rebuilding my old Gengar SF/Poke'mon SP hybrid deck for an impromptu Unlimited day at the league (and it is every bit as fun as it was two years ago) and building a draft cube to play with (a stack of 480 cards that form a custom Limited environment from across several years of collecting, dealt out to 8 players a pack at a time so they can choose a card each, pass to the rest to the next player and repeat). It helped alleviate some of the boredom, but not all.
I know Poke'mon is still a great game, as I've had some very memorable matches in the past 2 months. A close finish in the Boundaries Crossed Prerelease reminded me that winning coin flips feels awesome. more dramatically, I broke an even second match in a truly nail-biting comeback to take six Prizes in three turns just as time was called. At 6 Prizes each, the opponent used Darkrai's Night Spear into my Zoroark DEX, which I followed with a Dark rush for 180 damage and the KO. Suddenly deprived of energy, the opponent's Hydreigon came up and passed, then I dropped Catcher to KO the previously benched Giratina for another 2 Prizes. Hydreigon is promoted again, and I topdeck another Catcher for the Mewtwo kill. I lost the Sudden Death, but that match was easily the highlight of Canberra's Battle Roads tournament. Yet that exact same tournament is when I realised that I don't really want to play any more.
So I am asking you, our precious audience: please tell me what it is you love about this game. Send in your favourite cards ever, quirky decks you've never been able to try, special rules to mix things up, whatever it is that keeps your passions burning hot. I'm all out and I don't want to be.
Please send any and all suggestions to mattezhion@y7mail.com. The crazier, the better. And thanks for reading this far.

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