For many of our readers, today is a
it is Veteran’s Day; a day to remember
and show appreciation to both fallen and
surviving members of our armed forces.
According to Wikipedia (a phrase
that always makes me nervous) it is also
Remembrance Day in the Common Wealth of
Nations, which has the same purpose.
Closely related to both is
Armistice Day, which commemorates the
agreement that officially ended the
hostilities between the Allied Forces of
World War I and
are also celebrating their Independence
Welcome to the Top 5 Reprints of BW:
Legendary Treasures countdown!
As this was a reprint heavy set,
a Top 10 list of newly released cards
was going to come out skewed while
ignoring impact of several cards that
had just rotated out but were restored
The rule change that went into
November 8th, 2013
also is likely to shake up the format,
so it seemed quite justified.
While selecting my picks, I chose to
focus on cards that were not already
Normally I wait until the end of
the review before I comment on whether
or not a card was part of my list, but I
just confirmed that
Keldeo EX didn’t make my list; it
had not rotated out.
That does not mean the card is
not worth looking at – like many cards
the changes mentioned above will have a
significant but perhaps subtle impact.
remains and impressive, Basic Water-Type
Pokémon-EX; nothing has happened to
diminish the significance of its Stats,
though that is not all good.
Its Weakness, which was once
negligible, finally has some impressive
Pokémon exploiting it (Genesect
Virizion EX), though at least the
primary strategy for the VirGen deck
built around the two means the Weakness
wouldn’t matter (G
Booster is used to deliver an attack
that ignores Weakness but is still a
So while Weakness now matters, it
still isn’t crippling.
remains a solid attacker (in general)
and a great attacker for
Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed
31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135;
BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) decks,
Black Kyurem EX (BW: Plasma Storm
95/135) is often used as the primary
Even without it,
Keldeo EX usually shares the
spotlight with something else:
Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast
Rush In (its Ability) is what
causes it to see wide spread use now;
Keldeo EX debuted, you still needed
something to get it out of the way
unless you wanted to attack with it
instead; there were options but all
tended to be a bit clunky (Darkrai
EX and a source of Darkness Energy)
or finite (Switch).
BW: Plasma Freeze
Float Stone two sets later.
As long as you can keep a
Keldeo EX with a
Float Stone attached on your Bench,
you get a “free
Switch” once per turn.
The quotation marks are because
it is not truly free (I just stated you
needed a Pokémon-EX and a Pokémon Tool)
and it isn’t really a
Switch (you’ll have to give up your
manual Retreat for the turn unless you
want to leave
Keldeo EX active or play an actual
Each part of the combo is
vulnerable – Pokémon can be KOed,
Abilities can be negated, Items can be
blocked, and Pokémon Tools are
This at last brings us to the changing
format and how it impacts the usage of
Virizion EX provides an alternative
to dealing with the Special Conditions
we used to rely on the
EX combo to deal with in many decks.
This won’t affect most decks, but
it does affect a few, and the prominence
of VirGen decks could impact how much
Hypnotoxic Laser is played overall;
again, not a huge difference, but still
More pressing is the erratum to
Pokémon Catcher; now that it is less
reliable so even if everyone continued
to try and run it as much as they one
did you’ll need an answer to it less.
The way people adjust could actually
Keldeo EX less useful.
Some decks may shift focus; if
you can’t reliably hit the Bench, just
dedicate those slots to something almost
Just building your deck to be
more aggressive, so that you can push
for the win without worrying about what
you’re attacking, is an option.
Other decks may use the space to
work in counters for other concerns, to
try and gain advantage in other areas as
compensation for being unable to
reliably disrupt the Active/Bench
Tool Scrapper is one such
Lastly there is one of the things
prompting the rise in
Tool Scrapper use;
Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted
54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze
119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures
68/113) was already a good partner for
many Pokémon, winning some events.
There are quite a few potent
decks that were established before the
rules change that are diminished if not
crippled without access to Abilities,
and the lack of attacks first turn
coupled with the erratum to
Pokémon Catcher makes it likely
we’ll see even more, be they new or
improved Stage 2 decks or just
Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze
So for Modified,
Keldeo EX remains a strong card but
its exact future is uncertain; what I’ve
mentioned could send its general usage
into a cyclical pattern (counters rise
and its usage falls, its usage falls so
counters fall, its counters fall so its
usage rise, repeat) or there may not
even be enough variance to justify a
cycle and it will be a deck-by-deck
Some of those counters even
balance each other out –
Garbodor decks don’t like
Tool Scrapper either.
Keldeo EX won’t lose its place in
Blastoise decks regardless, and I am
only allowing for a slight downturn in
general usage with more “Oh, you are so
lucky you could
Tool Scrapper my
Float Stone!” scenarios.
For Unlimited, things probably haven’t
No attack first turn eliminates
some First Turn Win decks and diminishes
all of the ones I can think of… but
probably not enough to eliminate them.
No more using Overconfident from
Sableye (DP: Stormfront
48/100) to finish off something you’ve
whittled down by spamming Flash Bite
Crobat [G] (Platinum 47/127).
You still have access to
Broken Time-Space to Evolve first
Porygon2 (DP: Great Encounters
49/106) and its Download Poké-Power to
Seeker (clearing your opponent’s
backfield while bouncing
Super Scoop Up,
TEAM GALACTIC’S INVENTION G-105 Poké
Turn (all three for more spamming of
Flash Bite), and the Trainer
infrastructure of Unlimited to get all
of those cards to hand.
All of which means… if you don’t
go the (now less dominating) FTW route,
it remains one of the best attackers for
Rain Dance/Deluge style decks.
For Limited… is this a must run?
Yes, though it isn’t quite as
simple or foolproof as you might expect.
If you’re fortunate enough to get
some BW: Boundaries Crossed to
play with, or only slightly less
fortunate to be playing in a Limited
event with BW: Legendary Treasures,
both sets have enough “good for limited”
Grass-Type Pokémon to punish you for
trying the “+39” strategy with
Even under the new rules, your
opponent gets at least two attacks in
before you can hit back, unless you are
crazy lucky (theoretically you might
pull, run, and successfully use
Double Colorless Energy, depending
on the set).
Even without Weakness and
assuming your opponent has nothing large
enough to avoid being OHKOed, your
opponent can get off up to five attacks
before you take four Prizes.
I would still do it and just realize I
am not invulnerable and that I auto-lose
if my opponent drops
Golduck (BW: Boundaries Crossed
35/149) with its Amnesia (and the single
Water Energy it needs to use it) or
Sigilyph (BW: Legendary Treasures
66/113) with its Safeguard Ability.
If you end up actually building a
fleshed out deck,
Keldeo EX works with anything and
everything, at least that you should
While these concerns are indeed
unlikely, they are still legitimate (who
doesn’t try and run
Sigilyph if they pull it but not a
big Basic worth going the +39 route?) so
I am shaving off a one-twentieth of a
will remain “very good” unless I
completely missed something about the
shifting metagame, and likely remain
“great” and a must play for several
This status comes through combos
with other cards, be they
Float Stone or
Blastoise, and as we receive more
and more potent cards (and most avoiding
rotation via reprint) I am reluctant to
score it that much higher.
It has many peers and even
several superiors in the attacking
department, with even the deck that
allows it to hit the hardest still using
it more for the Ability than the attack.
If you weren’t paying attention, this
card didn’t make my Top 5 because I made
the conscious decision not to include
cards that hadn’t been cut by rotation,
as their reprinting was less significant
even if such cards weren’t necessarily
as “good” as some of the other reprints.
Ignoring that completely and
purely considering how effective a card
is in the current environment and
Keldeo EX would likely have placed
no lower than third.