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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Golurk #59

Dragons Exalted

Date Reviewed: Oct. 30, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.33
Limited: 3.90

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

Golurk (Dragons Exalted)

Today’s Pokémon is one of the handful in Generation V created by James Turner, a British artist who became the first (and so far only) Westerner to design Pokémon. That’s pretty awesome, and seeing as I’m from the UK myself, it makes me like Golurk just a little bit more than I probably should.

That’s not the only thing this Golurk has in its favour though. For a start it has 130 HP, which is massive for a Stage 1 and makes it quite hard to OHKO. Unfortunately, it also has Dark Weakness, so that will not be a problem for Darkrai-EX (which isn’t going away any time soon). The Retreat cost of four is also stupidly huge, but then there’s always Switch and at least you can search out Golurk with Heavy Ball.

Golurk also has two pretty good attacks. Well, at least they are good in terms of what they can do. The first, Devolution Punch, costs one Psychic and two Colourless. For this you get 60 damage, which isn’t at all great for the price, but this is balanced by the effect: you get to devolve the Defending Pokémon and send the highest Stage Evolution back to the opponent’s hand. This is good because it means a OHKO on more or less any playable Stage 1 (Eelektrik) or any Stage 2 that has evolved with Rare Candy (Hydreigon, Empoleon) as it leaves the Basic with enough damage counters on it to knock it out. The trouble is though that, aside from the examples I gave, Evolved Pokémon are just not that common right now. Devolution Punch won’t do anything much against Darkrai, Rayquaza, Terrakion, or any other high HP Basic. So I guess we should take a look at the second attack and see if that is any help. Ghost Hammer costs two Psychic and two Colourless Energy and hits for 90 damage. That’s a nice number right now as it will get a two-hit KO on anything playable unless they have an Eviolite attached (which is why decks run Tool Scrapper, of course). The attack also has the useful effect of removing Golurk’s Weakness during the next turn so, provided it attacks first, it is actually capable of trading with a Darkrai-EX.

As I’m sure you have noticed though, nice as they are, there is a big problem with both of Golurk’s attacks: the cost. Even with Double Colourless Energy, you are looking at two or three turns of attachment minimum before it can attack, and that’s just not good enough. One possible solution is to pair it with Gardevoir NEX, whose Psychic Mirage Ability makes Psychic Energy count double. The trouble with this though is that relying getting out a Stage 2 to attack with Golurk is less than ideal, and Gardevoir is a low HP Stage 2 which becomes an instant target for Pokémon Catcher.

Golurk isn’t a bad Pokémon – it has relatively high HP and its attacks do good things – it is just a bit too slow and a bit too support dependant to really make it as a competitive deck. Being Weak to the most powerful Pokémon in the game doesn’t help its cause either. If you’re looking for something a bit different to play casually then Golurk has a lot to offer, but if you are trying to win a premier tournament, he really isn’t up to the task right now.


Modified: 2.25 (if only those attacks were a bit cheaper)

Limited: 3.5 (good HP and this format is more forgiving on slow cards)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Golurk is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokemon with 130 HP.  It is weak to Dark and has a retreat of 4.  It is searchable by Heavy Ball.
'Devolution Punch' costs 1 Psychic and 2 Colorless energy.  It does 60 damage and then it devolves the Defending Pokemon.  When I saw it I wanted to use it so bad.  The only problem is the top decks of the meta aren't running a lot of evolutions.  Eels run Eelektrik, when hit by this attack, would be KOed.  Unfortunately, pretty much anything can KO an Eel, so why would I spend time setting this up?  Hydreigon when hit by this would still survive, unless it was Rare Candied.
Looking at smaller decks, Empoleon and Zorark would both survive after the attack (minus Rare candy).  The problem is that all of the decks run big Basics, and smart players would play around evolutions until they knock this card out.  Which, by the way, won't be too hard since it has a weakness to one of the most played types.  If there were decks that ran all/mostly evolution lines, this card would be more useful.
'Ghost Hammer' costs 2 Psychic and 2 Colorless energy.  It does 90 damage and removes this card's weakness during your opponent's next turn.  This is pretty much a Mewtwo EX killer.  Mewtwo EX knocks out something of yours, then you return KO it.  Your opponent can't return KO it easily since it doesn't have a weakness.  This would be great had Cresselia EX not been made.  That card does the same, has a healing ability, and is a Basic.
Probably reading my review makes it sound like I think this cad sucks.
 It doesn't.  It's just that the type of format right now doesn't really allow this guy to shine.  Maybe someone has gotten it to work, I don't know.  I just know I haven't tried yet (I actually don't have a copy of this card).  But I do know he has a shining version in Boundaries Crossed, so I might go after a copy of that.
Modified: 3/5
Limited: 3.5/5
Combos With:  ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Greetings, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing another card from Dragons Exalted with quite a bit of potential, but is probably just a little too slow to see some Modified play. Today's Card of the Day is Golurk.
Golurk is a Stage 1 Psychic Pokemon. Mewtwo-EX is still probably the most common Psychic-type played right now, and as such, is probably the gold standard for what a Psychic type should be going into most decks, meaning that Golurk has some heavy competition. 130 HP is simply amazing for a Stage 1, as Golurk should be able to take at least one unboosted hit from heavy hitters in the format. Darkness Weakness is a problem with the popularity of Darkrai, as Night Spear will always OHKO. To round out Golurk's bottom stats, no Resistance is unfortunate, and a Retreat Cost of 4 is huge, so be sure to use Switch or something like it to move Golurk from the Active position.
This version of the Automaton Pokemon has two attacks. Devolution Punch does 60 damage for a Psychic and two Colorless, and as the name implies, returns the highest Stage Evolution card of the Defending Pokemon to your opponent's hand. Normally 60 damage wouldn't be very useful for this cost, but since the opponent is devolved, chances are 60 damage will deal the Defending Pokemon a significant blow, if not Knocking it Out entirely. In Modified, where most main attackers are Basics, this attack vastly loses its usefulness. However, it can have a niche against some deck due to their reliance on evolving support Pokemon, such as Eelektrik and Blastoise. In Limited, where the format is much slower and more friendly to Evolutions, Golurk will really pack a punch (pun intended).
Ghost Hammer, Golurk's second attack, does 90 damage for two Psychic and two Colorless Energy while removing Golurk's Weakness during your opponent's next turn. 90 damage is just about average for four Energy, and the added effect, while useful, likely won't come into play that much, as Darkrai-EX will probably hit Golurk first in Modified, and there are very few notable Darkness-types in Dragons Exalted Limited. Even still, this attack is better for the Limited format, where a steady 90 damage will easily dent most of your opponent's Pokemon.
Modified: 2/5 Golurk's Devolution Punch is really interesting, but sadly, this is not the format for the Automaton to see play. Very powerful Basic attackers are far too prevalent in the format for Golurk to make a splash. Golurk may become useful with a set rotation in future years, but until then, Modified is still going to be dominated by Basics, greatly impacting Golurk's niche.
Limited: 5/5 Like Ampharos yesterday, Golurk does a fantastic job of punishing the opponent. 130 HP is fantastic in this format, and Darkness Weakness isn't quite so bad here, either. Devolution Punch is amazing here despite its somewhat high Energy cost, as your opponent won't enjoy Golurk Knocking Out the devolved Defending Pokemon. Ghost Hammer does its job admirably in this format as well, dealing a good amount of damage with a sometimes beneficial effect. If you're running Psychic in Dragons Exalted Limited, you can't go wrong with Golurk.


If you’re reading this, then I forgot to write an actual intro.


Golurk is a Stage 1 Psychic-Type Pokémon. Good news is this isn’t as hard to work with as a Stage 2, but the bad news is Basic Pokémon are still far easier to play and better supported to boot. Psychic-Types do have some actual support, but it doesn’t seem to do well enough at tournaments (Gardevoir BW: Next Destinies 57/99, BW: Dark Explorers 109/108). Psychic Resistance is somewhat common since many Darkness-Type Pokémon sport it and Darkrai EX (BW: Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108) is one of them. The good news is this would allow you to hit Psychic Weakness, which will likely remain valuable until Mewtwo EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99) rotates out.

Golurk has 130 HP, which is good for a Stage 1 Pokémon; it can take a hit from all but the biggest attacks, and of course when it is hit by its Weakness, Darkness-Types. As already stated (and frankly hard to miss), Darkrai EX and its kin are still pretty popular and pretty potent. There is no Resistance to help compensate for this, but since lacking Resistance is so common lets not hold it against Golurk.

We finish this section with the Retreat: for Golurk it is four. This is so high not only does it hurt, but often you just can’t pay it and so you’ll need to dedicate some slots to working around it. There is also the slight bonus that this card is Heavy Ball, and peeking ahead, this is one of the few Pokémon where that also applies to its Basic form (Golett) as well.


Golurk has two attacks. The bad news is the “fast” attack is Devolution Punch, and it is bad news because the attack still requires (PCC) to use. This makes Golurk somewhat slow; not impossibly so with the right combos, but there is no single form of Energy acceleration that can power it up in one turn (multiple forms can, but no single form).

The attack hits for 60 points of damage (a bit low for three Energy) but then follows up with semi-potent effect: it Devolves the Defending Pokémon, sending the highest Stage of Evolution back to your opponent’s hand. If this was a format dominated by Evolutions (especially Stage 2 Pokémon Evolved via Rare Candy), this would be amazing. As is, it is useful but requires building a deck around it that also handles all the mostly and mono-Basic Pokémon decks.

Ghost Hammer is the big attack clocking in at (PPCC). While only a single (P) more expensive, most of the time it will be significant since that is four turns to power up without Energy acceleration, and making it highly improbable you can pull it off in one turn. Your reward is also less impressive: 90 points of damage and your Weakness is temporarily ignored. That effect is valuable, but for four Energy I expect triple digit damage, plus your opponent always has the option of using Pokémon Catcher to get around it (and two copies would allow said opponent to still take down an energized Golurk).


Golurk can evolve from Golett, and there are two versions: BW: Noble Victories 71/101 and BW: Dragons Exalted 58/124. The former is a Fighting-Type Basic Pokémon with 80 HP, Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance, and a Retreat of three. It has a single attack for (FC) that does 20 points of damage plus (if you get “heads” on a mandatory coin toss) another 20 with Confusion to the Defending Pokémon (so total 40). If you get “tails”, it still does 20. The latter is a Psychic-Type Basic Pokémon that has 90 HP, Darkness Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat of three and two attacks. The first attack requires (CC) and heals 40 from Golett while the second requires (PCC) and does 40 damage to the Defending Pokémon.

Both Golett have pros and cons: I like the idea of running the Fighting-Type since its significantly different stats allow better Type-matching (both offensively and defensively) than sticking with Psychic-Type. Unfortunately the attack is slow for an Evolving Basic Pokémon; if costs more than (CC) it usually isn’t going to happen, especially without losing said Basic Pokémon. Plus you’ll need to include a source of (F) Energy and the best option here is actual Fighting Energy.

The second Golett has better HP, and easier to pay for attacks. The healing attack is pretty worthless; most decks will OHKO or 2HKO Golett, so if you have a chance to heal that means you’re almost certainly getting OHKOed next turn. The second attack doesn’t have a good damage return, but it isn’t so awful as to be completely useless… at least if your deck is capable of powering up Golurk itself quickly since this cost is the same as for Devolution Punch. If you can power-up one fast, you can power-up the other. If not, you have the same issue of being too slow as the other Golett has.

There is also one other version of Golurk: BW: Noble Victories 72/101. It is a Stage 1 Fighting-Type with the same HP and Retreat Cost as today’s version, but Water Weakness and Lightning Resistance instead of Darkness Weakness and no Resistance. Unfortunately its attacks require significant amounts of Fighting Energy: (FFC) for Hammer In and (FFCC) for Hurricane Punch. Both attacks are also overpriced with the Hammer In just doing 60 and discarding the top card of your opponent’s deck and Hurricane Punch giving your four coin flips good for 50 points of damage per “heads” result. Sadly the expense and poor return makes combining the two unlikely, which also means one might as well stick with the Psychic-Type Golett.

So, how do we run Golurk in Modified? I wish I had a clear answer. For now I am thinking you don’t: Evolutions are doing something in the current metagame, but not enough. Almost every supporting strategy I can think of suffers against the best Pokémon-EX beatsticks. I’ve considered the Gardevoir mentioned earlier, since it would allow you to access both attacks with just two actual basic Psychic Energy cards, but the first attack would still require a second Energy attachment. Plus Gardevoir is very vulnerable.

I thought about using Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124) to shut down Abilities, since without them most Evolved Pokémon (who are played mostly for Abilities) are easier pickings, but this does nothing to protect against the mostly and mono-Basic Pokémon decks that barely use Abilities. I would end up with two Stage 1 lines, one which is nearly worthless as an attack and the other which is weak unless smashing Evolutions.

Lastly I considered backing Golurk with Restored Pokémon. Aerodactyl (BW: Dark Explorers 53/108) can pump up your attacks while Archen (BW: Noble Victories 66/101) can lead to Archeops (BW: Noble Victories 67/101, BW: Dark Explorers 110/108) which allows you to block Evolving from hand. The latter is good because it means something Devolution Punch doesn’t OHKO isn’t able to re-Evolve next turn, and smaller Basic Pokémon would be more vulnerable, but you really want your opponent to use Rare Candy to Evolve into a Stage 2 and hopefully waste some resources so a Devolution Punch KO is really worth something… and again we aren’t really doing much with this painful to manage concept against big Basic Pokémon.

For Unlimited, even ignoring the “lock” and decks that flat out win first turn, we have Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] (EX: Hidden Legends (85/101) is simply the better Devolution option. Limited is where this card shines, as Darkness Weakness isn’t as painful and Ghost Hammer is better protection here, and the usual benefits of Limited apply: the HP goes further and the damage becomes more significant. On top of that, the Energy costs shouldn’t be too hard to work into a deck built around other Types, even if Golurk and Golett are the only ones Psychic Energy.


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1.75/5

Limited: 3.75/5


Golurk is another card to keep in mind for the future; if other Evolutions become more widespread or we get a dance partner for Golurk that can help it against Basic Pokémon, I believe we could get a solid, competitive deck from it. For now though, it is best saved for Pokémon League. Since I actually do enjoy Devolution strategies, I actually encourage experimenting it with an eye towards fun.

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