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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Cards of 2013

#10 - Giratina

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
December 18, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.10
Limited: 4.50

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


HEZ

10. Giratina

Modified.
The use of Basic, non-EX Pokemon as main attackers has declined since the days of quad Terrakion and ZekEels but this is another card that can stand on its own without evolving or giving up an additional prize. Of course it does need some support but it's not hard to find the obvious combination the designers included in the set - Hypnotoxic Laser. A card that frankly, combos with any Pokemon aiming to do damage, it works especially well with Giratina's Hex attack allowing you to do 100 base damage for 3 energy or just 2 energy cards utilising a Double Colorless Energy! Then you must take into account the Poison damage from the Laser and adding Virbank Gym seems obvious, the deck builds itself!
Of course it's not without its weaknesses. To start there's the Weakness to Dark Pokemon, especially bad considering the continued pressence of Darkrai EX in the format. There's also that huge retreat cost combined with quite expensive attacks meaning you can get Catcher stalled whilst you opponent sets up.
Overall, a very solid card, but it requires support to deal with Darkrai EX.

Limited.
Not too much extra to say here as the main combination mentioned for Modified also exists in Limited. You don't get Double Colorless Energy to use but you also don't have to worry about Darkrai EX. If you can get stall long enough to get 4 energy on it, Shadow Claw can begin taking KOs whilst destroying you opponent's hand, even more deadly considering they won't be able to recover as easily without a deck full of Trainers.

Unlimited 150.
Due to the Japanese printing of this card it's classed as Pokemon ex in U150. Does this hurt its playability? Not at all, in fact I'd hate to see it running rampant in this format as a regular Basic as it plays an important and powerful role as it is. What is this role? Gardevoir slaying! Being a Ghost Pokemon (i.e. a Psychic type with a Darkness weakness) isn't such a drawback like it is in Modified. This allows it to go toe to toe with one of the most popular and powerful decks in the format hitting for weakness but not taking it back like many other Psychic types would.

The usual Hypnotoxic Laser combination exists along with many other viable Special Condition inducers such as Magmortar Lv.X, Blaziken (Platinum) and Beedrill (Skyridge). In fact, this is how I personally run this card, in a Beedrill deck as a way to abuse all the Poison effects available, as a counter to Gardevoir decks and a powerful Basic that can operate effectively under a Muk (Fossil) lock. I've also seen it played in Gardevoir decks for the mirror match!
The second attack, Shadow Claw has its uses too. The format is a bit slower and more set-up orientated so a 4 energy attack isn't impossible to set up (though it is vulnerable to Energy Removal). But because of the importance of set-up, particuarly reliance on draw Pokemon like Claydol (Great Encounters), a discard effect can be very powerful once the draw Pokemon has been taken out. Being able to Level Up into Giratina LV.X is incredible combined with Shadow Claw considering the LV.X's Poke-Body forces the opponent to discard a card whenever they attack, that's going to be a lot of cards discarded!

A defining card of the past year, it's a Pokemon any deck running Psychic energy or even just many Special Conditions should at least consider.

Ratings.
Modified - 3.5
Limited - 4.5
Unlimited 150 - 4.5


Otaku

Welcome readers!  As 2013 draws to a close, we are going ahead and reviewing the Top 10 cards for the year, as determined by the review crew through us providing our own lists that Pojosama averaged out.

 

We begin the week with Giratina (BW: Plasma Storm 62/135), first reviewed here.  Giratina is a Team Plasma Pokémon, allowing it to tap their ample support.  It is a Psychic-Type Pokémon, meaning it clobbers things like Mewtwo EX with double damage, but has to deal with Psychic Resistance from both Darkness-Type and Metal-Type Pokémon (sometimes both, always at least has been popular since BW: Dark Explorers) and the main piece of Psychic-Type support has been Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99; BW: Dark Explorers 109/108) that people tried to build decks around but so far which haven’t had any lasting success.

 

It is a non-Evolving Basic Pokémon, sporting what for the non-Pokémon-EX variety is the maximum printed HP: 130.  This isn’t enough to keep it from being OHKOed, but it makes it so that the average deck has to pull off a specific combo unless exploiting Weakness… and Darkness Weakness is pretty bad to have in the current (and previous two) formats as Darkrai EX has been potent since it debuted and it just keeps getting new friends.  The lack of Resistance is a common thing, but still the worst a card can do; the bittersweet aspect is that Resistance isn’t all that potent to begin with so having it is just a nice bonus and not a major advantage.  The Retreat Cost of three is hefty; most decks already run at least one way of lowering/bypassing manually retreating, and that makes this sting less.  Plus the Retreat Cost makes Giratina a legal target for Heavy Ball.

 

Giratina has two attacks, both of which require a good amount of Energy.  The less expensive attack is Hex, which does 50 points of damage plus another 50 if the Defending Pokémon is afflicted with a Special Condition.  The (PCC) cost means you’ll need some serious Energy acceleration to get this off in a single turn, but this card does have options to do just that.  The thing to remember is that even an “easy” three Energy cost is still a three Energy cost, and most attacks that expensive need to average about 90 points of damage per hit to be competitive… so ultimately it’s an underpowered attack.  For an additional Psychic Energy you can use the “big” attack, Shadow Claw.  It hits for 90 points of damage and discards a random card from your opponent’s hand.  This is overpriced; while discarding can backfired, that isn’t the issue; the problem is by the time you’re investing four Energy into an attack, you need to be hitting triple digits for damage.  It isn’t impossible bad, though, as the damage is still in 2HKO range.

 

Giratina must rely heavily on its Team Plasma status; access to things like Colress Machine and Plasma Energy and possibly Deoxys EX for pumping up damage.  While also technically Team Plasma Support, Hypnotoxic Laser is a must and Virbank City Gym a pretty obvious follow up.  I wonder if the new rules have led some to more success with this card.  Overall this card has a lot going for it because of synergy; four Deoxys EX jacks the damage from Hex to 90/130, and since you should be using Hypnotoxic Laser at least on its own, now it’s an effective 90/140 unless facing Weakness, Resistance, or an effect that blocks Special Conditions.  140 for three Energy on a 130 HP body isn’t too shabby, even if it requires a lot of set-up, and if we can add in Virbank City Gym for an extra two damage counters and top it all off with Silver Bangle even Psychic Resistant Pokémon-EX are in OHKO range.  Of course, that is what it could do now.  I don’t know if it is being used now… but what about the rest of 2013?  It was still one of the first Team Plasma big, Basic Pokémon we received and Hypnotoxic Laser debuted in BW: Plasma Storm (alongside the initial allotment of Team Plasma support), so this was a card that made an impression and saw some play.

 

For Unlimited, I would stick to something simpler (for raw damage) or something more complex (if we are trying to abuse Special Conditions); and of course this is after deciding not to go the route of a First Turn Win or Lock deck.  Probably not something I would bother with because other cards “do it better”.  For Limited play, this was (is?) a good pull even a little support makes even better.  Yes, you weren’t guaranteed a good way to inflict Special Conditions, but in Limited play everything else about this card becomes better, including the second attack, easily justifying running this in a deck; just don’t get cocky and try to run it with just 39 Energy on its own.  Unless you just can’t afford to run some Psychic Energy cards, this should be in your deck (unless you pulled a big Basic worth running with 39 other non-Pokémon cards).

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1.5/5

 

Modified: 3.25/5

 

Limited: 4.5/5

 

Summary

Giratina is a card that didn’t make a huge impression, but apparently it made an impression on some.  It is an example of good card design… not for making something super-competitive by modern standards, but for how a more balanced format might look.  If it wasn’t for tricks like Colress Machine you would have a big Basic Pokémon that needed some time to come online… meaning we could have our first turn attacks back if that kind of “designed speed limit” was practiced.

 

Despite (sort of) illustrating a card design concept I’ve been trying to communicate, this card didn’t make my own Top 10 list, nor did it make my expanded Top 20 list (I had a lot of honorable mentions).  I was honestly surprised to see it, but I did forget that it was significant in a least a few early Team Plasma builds.

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#10 Giratina (Plasma Storm) 

Hello and welcome to our annual countdown of the best new cards to be released during the year. The Pojo reviewers submit their own top 10 and Pojo himself works out the final list based on the submissions. 

We kick off with Giratina from Plasma Storm. Ok, I admit, I was somewhat surprised to see this make the list at all and never really considered it myself. I don’t even recall seeing it played very much but . . . well, perhaps there is something I’m missing here. For sure, it’s not a terrible card. Giratina is a Plasma Pokémon and so well supported by the likes of Deoxys-EX and Colress Machine. It has a very healthy 130 HP for a non-EX Basic and the attacks are at least decent, if somewhat expensive. Hex in particular can be a very effective attack when used with Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym, and Shadow Claw does the ‘magic’ 90 (two-hit KO on an EX) with a nice hand disruption bonus.

On the other hand, being reliant on the Laser/Bank combo to make a relatively high cost attack work isn’t ideal, and neither is that Darkness Weakness considering how prevalent Darkrai EX has been and continues to be. There’s definitely material there to work with but for one reason or another it hasn’t made that big of an impact this year. Even after another look at the card, I’m still not convinced by it. 

Rating 

Modified: 2.5 (Honestly? I think there are much better cards that missed out on the top 10)


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