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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Cards of 2013

#6 - Black Kyurem EX

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
December 26, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 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

#6 Black Kyurem EX (the good one from Plasma Storm) 

Another EX Pokémon takes the #6 slot in our countdown, and it is a very different proposition from yesterday’s card. 

Whereas Genesect EX has quite a few tricks up its sleeves, Black Kyurem EX is good for one thing only: sheer, unsubtle, brute force. No Abilities, no sniping, no manipulation, just a big face-smashing 200 damage Black Ballista attack that will get you a OHKO in 99% of the situations you could face during a game (Colourless EX Pokémon with Eviolite and Aspertia Gym out really aren’t very common). 

Black Kyurem is really the card that put Blastoise/Keldeo decks over the top. It combos so nicely with the unlimited acceleration from Blastoise and the Energy recovery provided by (Super) Energy Retrieval. It meant that the deck could take guaranteed OHKOs without committing absurd amounts of Energy to a single Pokémon (Keldeo EX) and risk losing board position if it was KO’d next turn. 

There’s not a lot else to say about Black Kyurem: it’s just not that sort of card. If 230+ HP Mega Pokémon become a thing in future, then it will lose some of its appeal, but for now it’s pretty much the ultimate in heavy hitting. 


Modified: 4.25 (if you like no-nonsense kick-butt Pokémon, then this is for you)


I hope you enjoyed Christmas, because now it’s back to our Top 10 Cards of 2013 list.  Today we look at our number six pick, Black Kyurem EX (BW: Plasma Storm 95/135); be careful not to mistake it for the “other” Black Kyurem EX that has been released three different times.  You can see our original reviews for this card here, done much earlier this year.  There Black Kyurem EX took the 10th place slot for our Top 10 Promising Picks of Plasma Storm.


So what makes this card so great?  I suggest reading those old reviews, because I just want to cover what has changed… and I am going to resist going into exacting details because the odds are low that readers will neither become overwhelmed nor bored by the information overload that is a bit redundant because most of what I said in my original review still holds true.


The new first turn rules make it easier for slower decks (most notably Evolutions) to compete while most players have been scared off of using Pokémon Catcher (due to it now requiring a successful coin flip to work) which makes it harder to force up Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101).  Other Bench-sitters received the same benefit, so now more than ever Blastoise focuses on steamrolling the opposition; I know some have tried but I am unaware of any major success with working in the more space intensive but reliable alternative to Pokémon Catcher, and as far as I can tell Pokémon Catcher has been dropped to make room for more important counters like Tool Scrapper.


So Black Kyurem EX is better than ever, right?  Actually no; we have more Pokémon-EX counters for it to deal with, more Dragon-Type attackers are being experimented with, and while Deluge decks haven’t gotten any better “main” attackers, it already had access to great ones like Keldeo EX and Mewtwo EX.  Deluge decks thankfully aren’t the unstoppable Juggernauts I feared the change in rules would bring us, but it did make the deck better… it just also made enough other cards/decks better (or failed to make them worse) so that Deluge decks have just a little more competition.


For Unlimited, they have a lot more competition because Deluge decks are just the latest possible iteration of Rain Dance decks, and while they were once one of the best options for Unlimited even after the rules change, they aren’t better than First Turn Win decks.  For Limited Play, I would definitely run Black Kyurem EX but unlike some Pokémon-EX, I would not run it on its own as it takes too long to attack (your opponent would get off a minimum of two attacks before the first Slash).  You would need to save Black Ballista for a final attack, because you won’t even be able to Slash the turn after you use it.  As a “secret weapon” in a fleshed out Limited deck it can work well; either attack is great as long as you’re building to it on your Bench.




Unlimited: 1.5/5


Modified: 3.5/5


Limited: 5/5




If you didn’t bother to check out the older review, I scored Black Kyurem EX the same as before.  If you’re wondering how I can score the top attacker of one of the best decks in the format so low, you weren’t paying attention; Black Kyurem EX is entirely dependent upon a pre-existing deck.  Deluge decks were a big deal before Black Kyurem EX, and while it improved them they would still be almost as big a deal without it.


For my personal list, I put Black Kyurem in the number seven slot, one below Genesect EX; Genesect EX may require an Ace Spec on top of Energy acceleration to become a OHKO machine, but without all that its still a solid attacker that exploits Grass Weakness in addition to functioning as a replacement for Pokémon Catcher in some decks; Black Kyurem EX is pretty much nothing without Deluge.  I also probably scored both a place too high, low balling a different card that thankfully the other reviewers ranked more appropriately as we will be reviewing it higher up on the list.

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