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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Kyogre EX

Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.13
Limited: 4.37

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

Kyogre-EX (Dark Explorers)

Sooo . . . you’re all excited because you’ve just got your hands on a box of Dark Explorers, you open a pack, glimpse the giveaway border and know you’ve pulled an EX . . . then you discover it’s a Kyogre and now you are a very sad Buneary indeed.

So, why are people so unhappy about getting Kyogre, and why has it earned the reputation as being the worst EX? There’s certainly nothing wrong with the 170 HP, even though I don’t understand why Darkrai – basically a ghost wearing a skirt – has more than a giant sea-monster. The Lightning Weakness isn’t good with so many Eelektrik decks being played, but hey, Tornadus-EX is weak to Lightning too and everyone thinks that card is just great. As for the Retreat cost, it’s bad, but what do you expect? Run Switch and search Kyogre out with Heavy Ball.

Moving on to the attacks, we get a better idea of why no-one rates this card. Smash Turn costs one Water and one Energy of any Colour, does a mere 30 damage, but does give you the option of Switching Kyogre for one of your Benched Pokémon. Admittedly, I can’t think of any overwhelming reasons to use a hit-and-run attack for just 30, except if you really wanted to get Kyogre out of the active slot (well, at least you will force your opponent to use a Catcher that way). The second attack is more interesting. For Two Water and one Colourless you get Dual Splash (hands up if you remember Empoleon MD), and this attack does 50 damage to two of your opponent’s Pokémon. Is that good enough? Clearly not if we are looking at Kyogre in terms of a main attacker. There have been formats where Dual Splash would have been amazing, but this is not one of them. With high HP Pokémon dominating, it just takes too long to even take a Prize with Kyogre, which is unlikely to last more than a couple of turns itself.

Does that mean that poor Kyogre is doomed to sit in the binder for all eternity? Hmmm . . . maybe not. Already some players are finding a use for him as a ‘finisher’ in Klinklang BLW/EX Pokémon decks, where a few hits from Darkrai set Kyogre up nicely for some late game sweeping. That’s a very niche role, but it’s nice to see that Kyogre is not considered completely useless. Who knows? Future decks may have a place for him as well. For now though, Kyogre probably just about deserves the title of ‘worst EX so far’, but that’s partly because the bar has been set so high.


Modified: 2.25 (a poor Weakness, coupled with the inability to 2HKO other EX make him difficult to choose for a deck)

Limited: 4.25 (massive HP and he can probably sweep most Benches in this format)


Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing an EX that most Pokemon players dread, as they don't want to pull it in their boxes and packs. Today's Card of the Day is Kyogre-EX.
Kyogre is a Basic Water Pokemon-EX. Water types aren't common at all right now, presumably due to the overabundance of Lightning types in the format. Pokemon-EX are fairly good no matter their type, and they have to be since the opponent takes two Prizes for a Knock Out. 170 HP is great for an EX, even if it falls short of the current maximum of 180. Kyogre should be able to take one major hit or a few smaller ones before going down, unless it is hit for Weakness. Lightning Weakness is absolutely terrible right now, as Zekrom, Zekrom-EX, and other Lightning-types make short work of the Hoenn legendary. To finish Kyogre's awful bottom stats, it has no Resistance, and a huge Retreat Cost of 4. You won't want to pay the Retreat Cost in any case, but Kyogre's bulk means that it can be searched out with Heavy Ball.
Kyogre has two attacks, and unfortunately, neither of them are that impressive. Smash Turn does 30 damage for a Water and a Colorless, as well as allowing you to switch Kyogre out with one of your Benched Pokemon. Each of the Pokemon-EX in this set have an attack for one Energy of their type and a Colorless, and as far as this cycle of attack is concerned, Smash Turn isn't bad. However, it doesn't have much of a niche in the metagame, as it doesn't deal a whole lot of damage. The upside, however, is that the switch is optional, so you don't have to more Kyogre from the Active Position if you don't have to.
Dual Splash is Kyogre's money attack, and it's very underwhelming. For two Water and a Colorless, the attack does 50 damage to two of your opponent's Pokemon, ignoring Weakness and Resistance for those on the Bench. While having a powerful snipe attack is good, Kyogre is simply underwhelming compared to other high powered Pokemon-EX, such as Mewtwo, Darkrai, Tornadus, and Zekrom, all of which have higher damage outputs for a similar cost.
Modified: 2/5 Kyogre can be best summed up as a giant waste of potential. Both of its attacks are underpowered for their costs, which is absolutely devastating for a Pokemon-EX. A horrible Weakness and huge Retreat Cost don't help its case, either. Kyogre's two closest comparisons are Kyurem and Kyurem-EX, the two most common Basic Water Pokemon seen in Modified. Kyurem's Glaciate is better than Dual Splash most of the time, and while Kyurem-EX still has many problems of its own, it still can carve a niche for itself. It may become decent eventually, but will probably never see top-tier play due to its underwhelming damage output and awful bottom stats.
Limited: 4.5/5 All Pokemon-EX are great in Limited, and Kyogre is no exception. However, this Water legend isn't nearly as dominant as some of its other Water-type brethren. Smash Turn is a decent first attack which can be used while waiting for something better or to get Kyogre out of the Active spot, as you'll never want to pay Kyogre's massive Retreat Cost in this format. Dual Splash's sniping damage can often take out evolving Basics fairly easily, but falls up short against other Pokemon-EX and Lightning-types. Still, if you draft Kyogre, it's worth running some Water to make use of its large body and useful, albeit underpowered, attacks.


Hopefully you’ll be seeing this, because my home computer may have just completely “died” last night! I am trying to quickly type this up at the local library before seeing if there is anyway to salvage my home computer. It is about 10 years old (though the hard drive is only about five), so it doesn’t look too good. I lack funds to buy a replacement computer (if it is bad, not even enough to get it fixed), so my already sporadic CotDs may dry up completely again.

So now onto Kyogre EX!

Kyogre EX is a Pokémon EX, and just like yesterday that will prove quite crucial to its performance; when you’re worth two Prizes you need to be that much better than the competition. It will enjoy the ample support Basic Pokémon currently enjoy this format (easy search/revival being the most applicable) on top of the usual benefits of being a Basic Pokémon (one card = one Pokémon, easy to put into play). Being a Water Type doesn’t do a whole lot for it; by now even I am have stopped holding out hope for a strong “Rain Dance” deck built around Feraligatr (HeartGold/SoulSilver 108/123, HGSS Promos HGSS07), and Fire decks are no longer the force they were in the early days of the format; about the only consolation is that the sometimes Water-Resistant Grass-Type Pokémon aren’t seeing a whole lot of play.

Kyogre EX does enjoy 170 HP; this is the second highest printed on a Pokémon EX and only 30 below the largest printed HP score in the history of the Pokémon TCG (barring some non-playable promotional materials). This should easily survive a single hit outside of big combos or exploiting Weakness. I do want to point out that of the twelve Pokémon EX currently available outside of Japan, only one has a lower HP score and seven have the current maximum score of 180 HP; the Pokémon EX that clock in at 170 HP are considered amongst the most powerful, so that would seem to indicate that Kyogre EX is expected to be potent.

Coming back to the Weakness, it is one of the worst to have this format: Lightning. While it seem that Fighting and Darkness-Type decks are on the rise (plus the occasional rogue deck or at least lesser played archetype), Lightning-Type Pokémon are still quite a common sight and during a tournament you should expect at least one (and probably several) match-ups to be against Lightning-Type decks… which will have Energy acceleration and damage outputs that easily OHKO Kyogre EX. There is no Resistance to provide a slightly favorable match-up in compensation, but as I regularly lament the card designers seem to avoid including Resistance; I can’t really penalize the card for it so much as point out it was a missed opportunity (unless Kyogre EX proves to be phenomenal already). Finishing off the bottom stats is the massive four Energy Retreat cost, the highest currently printed Retreat Cost. You never want to pay this and more often than not you wouldn’t be able to anyway; peeking ahead this costs more than either of the card’s attacks! Make sure you either build the deck so that Kyogre EX can go down swinging, has an alternative means of vacating the Active slot, or both. There is a small upside; this means Heavy Ball can target a Kyogre EX, easily fetching it from your deck.

Kyogre EX has two attacks: Smash Turn and Dual Splash. The former requires (WC) and the latter (WWC), meaning the card is most definitely not Double Colorless Energy compliant and is incredibly hard to power-up and attack with first turn. Some of the other Pokémon EX have potent enough effects that they should have been priced in such a manner; do Smash Turn and Dual Splash warrant it? Smash Turn deals 30 points of damage and then gives you the option of Benching Kyogre EX (provided you have a different Pokémon bring up in its stead). It is good that a Pokémon with such a massive Retreat Cost has an effect to get it to the Bench, but an attack that requires two Energy and only deals 30 points of damage is in the “better than nothing” category; it certainly beats the card having only one attack, but not much else. If a Kyogre EX with absolutely no Energy was forced Active, you’d still need two Energy attachments (and thus probably a second turn) to use this attack to get it to the Bench… and then you’re a single Energy away from using the second attack. The damage isn’t very good either, considering this is a Pokémon EX; I wouldn’t want it to hit too much harder, but if anything Smash Turn should have been something “else” (an Ability or a different attack) or at least only required (W).

Dual Splash delivers 100 points of damage for its massive Energy investment, but the catch is that it isn’t a single total but rather 50 points of damage to two of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. That is really not good; you must use Smash Turn to hit your opponent’s Defending Pokémon, which is bad enough, but if your opponent is in the normally weak position of having no Bench, you can’t hurt them with Dual Splash at all! If they have just a single Benched Pokémon, you only get to do 50 points of damage. Even without comparing to specific “rivals” Kyogre EX would face for deck space, this is a poor return for a Pokémon EX and this much, specific Energy. So both attacks are bad, and the Stats weren’t overly impressive either.

The absolute best use I can come up with for this (in terms of actual play) would be running it as your “fifth” Kyurem (BW: Noble Victories 34/101). Considering Kyurem is a Basic Pokémon and thus easy to search or revive from the discard pile, it really is unlikely you’d need it as even that. Kyurem has 40 less HP but has an uncommon Weakness (Metal), only needs two Energy to retreat, and has two far better attacks: Outrage for (CC) and doing 20 + 10 per damage counter on Kyurem, and Glaciate which has the same Energy requirements as Dual Splash but hits all of your opponent’s Pokémon for 30 points of damage. It requires some seriously convoluted set-up to find a situation where Kyogre EX is going to perform Kyurem. Yes 40 more HP means it will probably last two turns, but Kyurem still has a sturdy 130 HP and is only worth a single Prize. You’ll save on Energy in the long run but against an empty or full Bench you won’t hit as hard.

Even being a big, Water-Type Pokémon EX is already taken by Kyurem EX (BW: Next Destinies 38/99, 96/99, BW Promos BW37); it is one of the less impressive Pokémon EX, but it can make use of Double Colorless Energy for its attacks (and any other Energy acceleration Kyogre EX can use, Kyurem EX and even a plain Kyurem can use better) and has 10 more HP. Its Frozen Wing attack only needs (WCC) and does a reliable 60 damage before discarding a Special Energy from the Defending Pokémon (if one is present), and for (WWCC) Kyurem EX does a straight 120 (though with a frustrating “you can’t use this attack next turn” clause that was wholly unnecessary). Whether in a focused Water-Type deck or trying to “splash” it in off Type, I’d rather be dealing with those two attacks, though the “plain” Kyurem still has them both beat.

Unlimited is no kinder: even ignoring that the format currently is dominated (at least to the best of my knowledge) by decks that win or lock you down first turn, even ignoring the next level of decks that rapidly set-up and slam you but that still give you a chance to fight back, anything that can really use this well should still pick one of the above two alternatives (or something else from the extensive Unlimited card pool) instead. Only in Limited play does Kyogre EX shine; here its magnificent HP makes it seem almost immortal, and if you find yourself up against something too strong (or are forced Active) Smash Turn actually proves effective. Average lower HP scores and damage output means the attacks perform better by comparison, and lastly in a format like Limited building something on the Bench or retreating an injured Pokémon is a crucial part of common strategy, so that makes both attacks more useful. The set represents all Types and some better than Lightning-Types, so the Weakness is less of a concern than in constructed formats (though still shouldn’t be ignored); the only things lowering the score is that Kyogre EX will need a solid amount of Water Energy (even if it is the only Pokémon using it in the deck) and that you play with only four Prizes in Limited. A KOed Kyogre EX is halfway to loosing even if you’ve lost no other Pokémon!


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1.5/5

Limited: 3.25/5


Though I loathe being wrong about a card, perhaps someone will point out the combos that can make Kyogre EX worth running, but everything I can think of favors running Kyurem or Kyurem EX instead. Otherwise this card is indeed the worst Pokémon EX we currently have, though considering how amazing most have been, that isn’t as bad as it sounds… which is why we have numerical scores. With the competition it faces, Kyogre EX ends up getting such a low score because first turn it is mostly dead weight, and even with acceleration you’re hard pressed to deal with your opponent’s actual attacking Pokémon. Shredding support on the Bench is important, but the average competitive deck will break even for Prizes and I’ll say it again, you just have better choices available.

Please check out my eBay sales by clicking here. It’s me whittling away at about two decades worth of attempted collecting, spanning action figures, comic books, TCGs, and video games. Exactly what is up is a bit random. Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions; Pojo is merely doing me a favor by letting me link at the end of my reviews.

Mad Mattezhion

Kyogre EX (Dark Explorers)
For our last card of the week, we have the behemoth known as Kyogre, one of the few Poke'mon that properly evokes a sense of both power and graceful beauty. Compared to much-loved but essentially ugly Poke'mon like Feraligatr, Sceptile and Dragonite, Kyogre is a Michelangelo statue surrounded by garden gnomes.
Which all begs the question of why Kyogre gets so little respect in the TCG. I'd be embarrassed to see these low power attacks on a normal Basic, and the double penalties of a massive retreat cost plus the less-than-the-maximum-possible-HP make Kyogre less attractive than any other EX yet printed. Throw in the Lightning Weakness and you know that Rain Dance is officially dead. No last minute reprieve, no chance of beyond brutal Poke'mon EX appearing with a hunger for [w] energy. Just a stable full of snipers and spread attacks that are routinely obliterated in format defined by full frontal assaults.
I suppose I'm being a little harsh on Kyogre, but I'm just so disappointed. We had a tiny taste of what Rain Dance could be when Kyurem came out with Noble Victories, but once Durant and Zekrom/Eelektrik asserted themselves it was back to playing League with no chance of a high finish at any tourney. For the chance that was lost!
If you ignore Modified where Feraligatr Prime gets laughed at, Kyogre is the best of the Poke'mon EX for Limited. Smash Turn is weak at only 30 damage for [w][c], but the free switch is great for escaping Special Conditions or conserving your Prizes if the 170 HP is close to finished, something that no other EX can boast.
Dual Splash is much stronger, costing a very reasonable [w][w][c] for 50 damage to 2 of your opponent's Poke'mon (don't apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Poke'mon, yadda yadda yadda). Hitting Entei and Groudon for Weakness and a 2HKO while simultaneously smashing vulnerable evolving Basics is as good as it gets!
Kyogre missed the boat in the competitive arena, much like every other halfway exciting Water Poke'mon released in the past 2 years. I suppose I'll have to content myself with making a monstrous Unlimited deck where Feraligatr shines brightly as a 50 HP upgrade for Base Set Blastoise.
Modified: 1 (Smash Turn is nearly irrelevant as an escape when Poke'mon Catcher is everywhere, and Dual Splash suffers from Eviolite poisoning with the maximum potential damage being a 2HKO against Reshiram BW or Eelektrik NV. Throw in easily exploited flaws like Lightning Weakness and a massive retreat cost to completely ruin a player's day and you have successfully completed the design for a Kyogre card)
Limited: 4.5 (Heavy Sniping and freedom of movement plus a low chance of Lightning opposition means this card is awesome, at least for the day. Stay clear of Raikou and you should be fine!)
Combos with: some love from the design team

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