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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 Heracross EX

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
July 25, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.50
Limited: 4.25

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Heracross EX (Furious Fists) 

If Lucario is too good to need it’s Mega Evolution (except Pyroar), then with Heracross EX, things are the other way around. Mega Heracross is a very interesting card with massive potential, but a whole lot of problems, while the regular Heracross EX is . . . well, kind of underwhelming to say the least. 

Of course it has decent HP and some nice Grass support from Virizion EX and the forthcoming Herbal Energy, but that can’t make up for the fact that its attacks are sub-par for an EX. Guard Press is the kind of thing you get on theme deck Steelix cards: low-ish damage plus a bit of damage reduction next turn. Although Giga Power is capable of doing 120 for three Energy (decent but not spectacular), this card really doesn’t need to take self-damage for all sorts of very good reasons. If it doesn’t, it only hits for 80. 

I think some players will try and make something of M Heracross (good luck to them!), and this means they will have to use this card. By itself though, it offers a lot less than you would expect from an EX, and that’s a disappointment. 


Modified: 2 (poor, but the Mega may work on some level)

Limited: 4 (you could use the EX/Energy strategy, but you will wish you had Lucario instead)


Oh hey, look at it! Another review for the upcoming Furious Fists set! Ain't that something? Welcome back guys, let's get right to it! Since this is a twofer, it's only natural that we leaf off with a Grass-type!
...okay, bad jokes aside, it's Heracross-EX, and as much as I want to say that he's the best Grass-type Pokemon-EX so far, I would be insulting Virizion-EX (PLB) by saying that, so let's just take a look at what he's gonna offer to Grass enthusiasts everywhere! And the answer is-!!
Not that much. His first attack, Guard Press, costs you 2 Energy, one of which must be Grass, does 40 damage and prevents 20 during the next turn. Not bad, but not good either, and given that this set brings a bunch of damage-boosting items for Fighting-types, that 20 damage is looking pretty negligible. Never mind that any deck running Charizard-EX - you know the one - is going to be dealing 120 damage to Heracross-EX by default, toning that damage down to 100 (since the reduction takes place after Weakness/Resistance) isn't much of an improvement. Does Giga Power fare any better? Modestly. For an additional Grass Energy, Heracross-EX does 80 damage. That's okay, but you get the option to deal an extra 40 while dealing 20 recoil to himself. 
You know, I think they might've made a mistake releasing Heracross-EX at this time. A little earlier, and he coulda been a contendah! But with what's on the way - heck, with what's already here - his chances of fighting in the ring aren't too high. Sure he gets support from Virizion-EX, and there's even another Special Energy for Grass-types in the set (you didn't think it was all Fighting support, did you?), but honestly Heracross-EX would've been so much better if only he were a Fighting-type instead! The way he is now...he's okay, but he falls short of the other EXs around.
Heracross-EX is a cool Pokemon that makes an okay EX with good support, but the format's not looking too good for him. He'll live, sure, but he won't get far.
Modified: 3/5 (he's a decent card, but he's in the wrong part of town)
Limited: 4/5 (hey, just cause everyone and their mother wants Lucario-EX doesn't mean they'll get it, and that's where Heracross-EX comes in to take em down!)
Arora Notealus: Is there a trend amongst Pokemon-EX where their attacks don't need to be represented in their pictures? Where's that horn attack I was looking for so desperately?
Weekend thought: What cards from a new set have you been excited for?


We end this first week of the latest set with Heracross-EX (XY: Furious Fists 4/111, 105/111).  Could this be a force in its own right, or will it be lucky to serve as a stepping stone to M-Heracross-EX? 

Being a Grass-Type still exploits Weakness on some oft played cards, mostly Water-Types like Blastoise, Keldeo-EX, and Suicune, and allows it the option of running Floette (XY: Flashfire 64/106) to bump up its HP and the ability to use the new Herbal Energy.  Being a big, Basic Pokémon is still the best, while being a Pokémon-EX means it is allowed higher than usual HP (and possibly better attacks) but also means it gives up two Prizes when KOed, as well as being the negative target of certain effects like Safeguard or the damage boosting of Silver Bangle.  The “higher than usual” HP is 170 is just 10 below the printed maximum for Basic Pokémon-EX, which is great. 

The Fire Weakness is not-so-great, in fact its pretty bad right now as Fire decks in general are still popular from XY: Flashfire buffing them, with Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 12/106) and Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) being especially popular and competitive!  The lack of Resistance isn’t huge but its a missed opportunity; especially with 180 HP, -20 damage could have been useful.  The Retreat Cost of three is a drawback, but not too serious as most decks are going to include workarounds for any Retreat Cost due to the usefulness of such things. 

Guard Press requires (GC) and does 40 points of damage, plus reduces the damage Heracross-EX takes from attacks on the opponent’s next turn by 20 points… an effect that rarely proves important but is better than nothing.  For (GGC) Heracross-EX can use Giga Power, hitting for 80 points of damage with an optional +40 on top of that if it does 20 points of damage to itself.  All in all, not bad attacks, but not overly good.  There is some synergy between the two if you run Eviolite; now its -40 to the opponent’s damage when using Guard Press or hitting for 120 (no self-damage) with Gigapower and still reducing damage from attacks by your opponent’s Pokémon by 20 points.  Unfortunately the Energy costs are not friendly to “easy” Energy acceleration, and that is going to hurt this card. 

Is Mega Evolving an option for this card?  Certainly!  M-Heracross-EX is quite similar to Heracross-EX in everything but its attack, which hits for 180 less 10 for each damage counter on M-Heracross-EX… which clashes with Giga Power, meaning a deck running both is going to probably focus on M-Heracross-EX and not use Heracross-EX for attacking outside of key moments.  So what should use this card?  You could try to speed it up with Virizion-EX, but as you’re no Energy ahead unless Virizion-EX gets off multiple attacks and powers up multiple targets.  If you can, pack some healing so that you don’t have to “fire and forget” with each M-Heracross-EX; it is just too complicated for such an approach.  If you can avoid taking any damage before your first shot, you’ll probably have enough left for your second shot to still hit pretty hard.  If you are very lucky, a Super Potion and your Energy attachment for the turn may even suffice to keep up the pressure. 

If you’re not lucky, you may want to try it with both currently legal Dusknoir.  The Sinister Hand version (BW: Boundaries Crossed 63/149; BW: Plasma Blast 104/101) can do its normal trick of avoiding overkill, though probably only when M-Heracross-EX is injured (it is a better deal for regular Heracross-EX).  The Shadow Void version can move damage counters off of either Heracross-EX or M-Heracross-EX to keep them alive and hitting hard.  Or you can do it the easy way and just stick it into a Fairy Transfer deck and play it in a manner similar to how Kangaskhan-EX/M-Kangaskhan-EX have been run; both are going to suffer for their respective Weakness being popular and well supported.  Again almost everything else you can just move Energy off of them and heal up with Max Potion between attacks.  Unlike M-Kangaskhan-EX you can only fuel Heracross-EX/M-Heracross-EX with Rainbow Energy for two of its three Energy requirements.  I suppose if you’re feeling daring and/or nostalgic, you could also use Hydreigon (BW: Dragons Exalted 97/124; BW: Legendary Treasures 99/113, but unless its the Expanded Format (so that Blend Energy GRPD makes it easier to fuel [G] Energy requirements) I don’t see why you would. 


Standard: 3.25/5 - Heracross-EX itself is good but not great; 120 needs Muscle Band plus Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym to score a OHKO and still falls short by 10 against Pokémon-EX with 180 (and of course anything bigger).  It is still “functional” and M-Heracross-EX adds adds to its uses significantly.  Just mind that Weakness, as it will make “tanking” difficult. 

Limited: 5/5 - This set has a Stage 1 Evolution line and a Stage 2 Evolution line for Fire-Type attackers, so the Weakness isn’t crippling.  Though some Pokémon can hit hard and fast regardless, in the end odds are heavily in favor of giving it a try with Heracross-EX.  Its HP and attacks are much better here, and while it is hardly an autowin, your opponent will more than likely struggle to take it down before you take four Prizes with it. 


Though Heracross-EX could do its own thing and function competently, its primary purpose is to get M-Heracross-EX into play.  Still, to give credit where credit is due, Heracross-EX is a solid example of card design.  It might even be a little too good, its just that the average competitive deck is made up of cards that are beyond “too good”.

Chicago, IL

Heracross EX from Furious Fists will be the second card in our COTD today. 
First I will take a look at its stats. It has a not so stellar 170 HP and a weakness to Fire. Just those two put in account would put this card in OHKO range of a Pyroar Scorching Fang if the opposing chooses to discard an energy which of course is worth the trade off. The retreat cost of 3 is rather atrocious, it could have been ok if it wasn't for Heavy Ball being rotated out. All of that given makes this EX pretty subpar. 
The first attack Heracross EX has is Guard Press. For a Grass and a Colorless Energy, it does 40 damage and can reduce 20 incoming damage the following turn. It's a subpar attack that you would expect on a Stage 1 pokemon. Would've been a bit better if it wasn't for the one Grass Energy requirement so that you could at least play a Double Colorless Energy on this early game as you would set up other cards. All in all, not so impressive especially with its low HP for an EX pokemon. 
The second attack it has, Giga Power, does 80 for two Grass and one Colorless Energy. It has the effect where you can make it do 120 instead but Heracross EX does 20 to itself. Again, not impressive especially since the additional damage it does is just not enough. 
What sucks for this card is that there is not much support for this card except for Herb Energy and Floette w/ Flower Veil. Hopefully other than it's Mega Evolution, this card will have more potential down the road. But until then, this card will seldom see play with way more popular choices being played. 
Modified 1.75/5 (With Pyroar being around, I just don't see this card being played sadly.)
Limited 4/5 (The only place where this card can do some real damage but I would still hope for a Lucario EX instead.)
Have a great weekend everyone! 
I will also be doing a personal deck garage if anyone is interested! If so, just email me at joemesropian@gmail.com.

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