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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Garchomp #90

Dragons Exalted

Date Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.90
Limited: 3.25

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

Garchomp #91 (Dragon’s Exalted)

We finish the week by looking at two Dragon Pokémon that we missed out when reviewing Dragons Exalted (there really isn’t anything else in Dragon Vault worth writing about). They are both Pokémon which are given two cards in the set and, yes, whenever that happens one is significantly better than the other. So let’s take a look at the card that sometimes gets called ‘Badchomp’.

Actually, it’s not all that bad. Like the other version, it’s a Stage 2 with a solid 140 HP and Dragon Typing. This means Weakness to its own Type, and that it gets some support in the shape of Altaria (for attack boosting) and its own pre-evolution Gabite (for searching). The free retreat (which the other Garchomp doesn’t have) is great too.

The attacks are kind of similar to the other Garchomp too. Just . . . not quite as good. Jet Headbutt may represent good value, doing 40 for a single Colourless Energy, which is great for an early attacking Basic, but a Stage 2 needs a bit more: Garchomp #90 offers 60 for one Fighting Energy, plus you get to discard a Special Energy from the Defending Pokémon. It’s the same story with Sand Tomb. 80 damage and retreat lock for Water/Fighting/Colourless isn’t terrible and retreat lock plus Pokémon Catcher can be a very effective combo against decks which don’t play Switch (most Darkrai decks don’t). However, the other Garchomp does 100 damage and doesn’t need the Colourless Energy to do it.

If the other Garchomp didn’t exist, we would be looking at today’s card and thinking ‘hmmmmm . . . it’s not completely horrible, but it doesn’t really do enough to be worth playing a Stage 2 for’. Truth is that if you want to do 40 for 1, then you have the non-EX Rayquaza, and if you wanted Retreat lock, there’s always Stunfisk DRX. Both of these cards are Basics, and therefore much easier to get in play than Garchomp.

Fact is though, that even the superior version of this Pokémon has really struggled (and mostly failed) to fulfil the expectation that it would be a top tier card. That’s reason enough in itself to conclude that the one we are looking at today falls short of being competitive.


Modified: 2.25 (It’s better than mediocre . . . but Stage 2s need to be amazing these days)

Limited: 3.25 (Using Stage 2s isn’t easy, but with Gabite Support and the cheap attack, this isn’t a bad option)


Greetings once again, Pojo viewers! Today we're taking a break from Dragon Vault to review another Dragon from Dragons Exalted. Today's Card of the Day is Garchomp (#91).
Garchomp is a Stage 2 Dragon Pokemon. As a Dragon, Garchomp has competition with the other Garchomp, Hydreigon, Rayquaza, and Rayquaza-EX to see play in Modified, so it will have to do something that those other Dragons can't to warrant a deck slot. 140 HP is fairly standard for a Stage 2 these days, with Garchomp being able to take a solid hit before going down. Dragon Weakness is a major problem, as Dragonblade Garchomp and Hydreigon will easily OHKO, and Garchomp will also take major damage from Rayquaza's Dragon Pulse. Like the other Dragons we've reviewed this week, Garchomp has no Resistance. However, it has free Retreat, which is quite excellent.
This version of the Mach Pokemon has two attacks. Jet Headbutt does 40 damage for a single Colorless Energy, which is good in Limited and outclassed by the other Garchomp's Mach Cut in Modified, as a vanilla 40 damage attack won't cut it on a Stage 2 in the latter format. Sand Tomb is Garchomp's second form of offense, dealing 80 damage for a Water, a Fighting, and a Colorless, while also preventing the opponent from retreating during your opponent's next turn. Once again, the other Garchomp's attack tends to be better, as if you opponent wants to Retreat, they'll probably just use Switch, since most decks seem to be running high numbers of that card anyway. However, Sand Tomb is quite solid in Limited, as you're able to trap and KO an enemy quite easily.
Modified: 1.5/5 Free retreat and a cheap attack are nice, but this Garchomp is greatly outclassed by the other one from the set. If you really want to use a Garchomp, use that one.
Limited: 4/5 Garchomp is great in Limited. Jet Headbutt does great damage for its very low cost, and while Sand Tomb has crazy Energy requirements, Garchomp can make great use of Blend WLFM. Overall, Garchomp is incredibly solid in Limited, and will give your opponent a very difficult time if you manage to get it out.

Jebulous Maryland Player

Garchomp (DRX 91/124)
Garchomp is a Stage 2 Dragon Pokemon with 140 HP.  It is weak to Dragon and has a free retreat cost... really?  I didn't know that.
'Jet Headbutt' costs 1 colorless energy and does 40.  Not too bad for an energy of any type.  Though it is nothing spectacular (I would think this attack would be on the Stage 1).
'Sand Tomb' costs 1 Water, 1 Fighting, and 1 Colorless.  It does 80 damage and makes the Defending Pokemon unable to retreat.  I never liked the effect (I think I wrote about how it could be a better mechanic).  Anyway, it's another one of those specific energy cost attacks, so that  makes it much less playable (no acceleration for either, except Terrakion EX).
So this is really just a comparison with the other Garchomp (tends to happen when the same Pokemon gets 2 different cards).  This one isn't as good.  The free retreat is nice, but the other has a 1 retreat cost, which isn't a hefty price to pay.  Also, the other does 20 more for each attack and has better effects.  Unfortunately the other Garchomp hasn't been successful, so I would expect this on to be.
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 2.5/5
Combos With:  ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com

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