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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Dark Explorers Countdown

#4 - Tornadus EX
Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.50
Limited: 4.75

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Dark Explorers Countdown

#4 Tornadus-EX

This was actually my #1 card from the set, so I’m mildly surprised to see it place as low as fourth on our compiled top 10.

Tornadus-EX is a Colourless Type Basic EX with a very solid 170 HP. It has one of the worst Weaknesses in the game right now (Lightning) but it also has one of the best Resistances (Fighting). The Retreat cost of one is very good for such a high HP EX and can be removed completely with the aid of Skyarrow Bridge. That’s just one of the cards in the format that give Tornadus a helping hand: Eviolite and Double Colourless also come to mind.

Blow Through is Tornadus-EX’s first attack, and it’s pretty good too. For the cost of a single Double Colourless Energy, it gives a base damage of just 30, but when a Stadium card is in play, that is boosted to 60. Skyarrow Bridge would be the obvious thing to run with Tornadus, but the new Twist Mountain Stadium is another candidate: it can be used to try and Bench copies of Aerodactyl DEX which boost Tornadus’ attacks still further. This ability to hit for 60 on the very first turn of the game is amazing. It will OHKO most evolving Basics and, if you have a PlusPower or an Aerodactyl, even some non-evolving tech cards like Shaymin UL and Smeargle UD. It’s certainly enough to set up most Pokémon for a two-hit KO when followed up by Tornadus’ second attack, Power Blast. This delivers a big 100 damage for just three Energy of any Colour, with the only downside being that you flip a coin and discard an Energy from Tornadus on tails. Of course even this downside can be turned to your advantage when played in a deck that uses Dark Patch or Eelektrik NV for Energy acceleration.

Tornadus’ attacks are solid enough but maybe not quite up to the standard we expect from an EX in terms of damage output. However, Tornadus has two very big things going for him which overcome this drawback. Firstly, his Colourless Energy needs mean that he is splashable into just about any deck. This makes him incredibly versatile. Secondly, the Fighting Resistance makes him the ideal partner for Fighting-Weak Pokémon such as Darkrai-EX or Zekrom/Eels. A Tornadus with an Eviolite attached is very difficult for something like Donphan or Terrakion to knock out and can take multiple Prizes before it goes to the discard pile itself.

The Lightning Weakness balances things out a bit and means that dropping him when playing against Zekrom/Eelektrik is a pretty bad idea. Nevertheless, Tornadus has the speed and the splashability to make him a solid Fighting counter and a great opening play in decks running Stadiums and Double Colourless Energy. For these reasons, I expect Tornadus to be used in competitive decks now and for the foreseeable future. In fact, he might well remain playable for longer than any of the other EX Pokémon that we have seen so far.


Modified: 4.5 (a splashable, very efficient attacker that counters the dangerous Fighting Pokémon)

Limited: 4.75 (can win games on its own, especially if you pull the Stadium in the set)

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