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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 Charizard EX

- Promo XY-17

Date Reviewed:
July 28, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.75
Limited: N/A

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

Charizard EX (Promo XY-17) 

Hello and welcome to a week of Promo EXs here on Pojo’s CotD. The wise Otaku pointed out that we had given these a miss and that it would be a good idea to review them. 

We kick off with a look at Charizard. Yep, there were already two of these in Flashfire (one good, one not-so-good), but if you parted with your hard-earned cash for the Charizard EX Box, you got neither: instead you got today’s card which, compared to the other versions, is catastrophically bad. 

What makes it so awful? Well, just look at the first attack, which costs two Energy for the privilege of searching you deck for M Charizard EX. Why you would want to do that at all is a good question (to which the answer is probably Pyroar FLF), but even so, using Mega Ascension prior to a Mega Evolution means that you have to go two turns without using a damage-inflicting attack, and that would be a very silly thing to do when you have much better alternatives like Ultra Ball and Evosoda. Brave Fire is just as much of a joke too. For four Energy you do 120, plus 30 unwanted points of self-damage. Why you would use this over the the Charizard EX that does 120 without hurting itself, or (much better) the one that does 150, is beyond me. 

If you love collecting cool-looking Charizards, then this card is for you. If you enjoy winning at the TCG, avoid. 


Modified: 1.25 (keep the card in mint condition by never playing it)

Limited: N/A (Promo)


Hey, welcome back guys! This week we're taking a look at some of the Pokemon-EX promos that've come out recently, so get ready cause our first one is the mighty Charizard-EX! Now I know what you're probably thinking: "Oh man, ANOTHER Charizard-EX?!" Yeah, seems the Pokemon Company couldn't get enough of the OG fiery dragon-not-dragon-now-a-dragon-kinda! So let's take a look at this special promo of our favorite Gen I fire starter!
Now the most interesting thing about this Charizard-EX is that it's specifically designed to bring out its Mega form from your deck with its Mega Ascension attack. If nothing else, you are taking a card out of your deck and improving your chances of getting any other card you'd need, but the question at this point is, "Is it worth it to run either Mega Charizard-EX?" And for that, you need to look at both M Charizard-EXs.
There's of course the Dragon one that was reviewed a few weeks ago, which needs 5 Energy, at least two of which are Fire and one is Dark, in order to pull off an excessively strong 300 damaging attack that discards 5 cards from your deck. If you combined the power of Fire and Dark decks and incorporated stuff like Blacksmith and Dark Patch, you might be have been able to make this work in Modified, but since Dark Explorers is on its way out, that's only "viable" in Expanded.
Then you've got the Fire M Charizard-EX, which does the same 5-Energy 300-damage attack but with less Dark Energy and more damaging one's self. That kinda "works" thematically with this Charizard-EX's other attack, Brave Fire, which deals 120 damage and deals 30 recoil to Charizard-EX. This of course can be prevented using Protection Cube, which makes this one more viable in my honest opinion just cause you don't have to worry about attaching multiple types of Energy to your guys. Granted, you do have Darkrai-EX as an option in the other deck, but here we are talking about excessive attackers.
Needless to say, this Charizard-EX is good for Mega-Charizard decks, even if neither is particularly great in terms of Mega Evolutions. I'd have probably preferred the certainty of this Charizard's Mega Ascension on Charizard-EX's (11) Stoke attack so that you'd be able to get 3 more Energies instantly, but that would've made it too good, huh? In any case, if you plan on building a Mega-Charizard deck, I'd recommend throwing in this Charizard-EX in, but as for a regular Fire deck, you've got Charizard-EX (12) for a much better, less risky option.
Modified: 2/5 (don't get me wrong, he's good support, but it's what he's supporting that lowers his rating here)
Expanded: 2/5 (running a Dragon Charizard deck here could work, but I don't think it'd be worth it any more than it would be to run a Fire Charizard deck)
Limited: 2/5 (if you don't have the Mega Charizard-EX, he's only got Brave Fire, which still does a nice chunk of damage at least)
Arora Notealus: This Charizard, he is young, so he'll set the world on fire that he may burn brighter than the sun.
Next Time: Fully equipped with natural armor and ready to play some FOOTBALLLLLLLLLLLLLL


As a reminder September 3, 2014 will mark the official annual rotation, when the Standard format shifts from the 2013-2014 Modified (BW:Next Destinies to XY: Flashfire, BW Promo BW33+, McDonald’s Collection 2012, and all XY Promos) to the 2014-2015 Modified (BW: Boundaries Crossed and later, BW Promos BW55+, McDonald’s Collection, and all XY Promos); nothing from XY: Furious Fists will be legal for sanctioned Standard play until that time.  If I believe I can make a sufficiently educated guess, I’ll score for both Modified Formats and the new Expanded Format (Black & White and later sets, all BW Promo and XY Promo series cards, all McDonald’s Collection cards) that also begins then.


This week we’re covering XY Promo series cards, and we begin with Charizard-EX (XY Promo XY17).  In Japan this apparently came with an issue of “CoroCoro Comics”, and if you haven’t ever heard of them… yeah its a separate thing from Pokémon however its success and the success of Pokémon are closely related as they tend to cross promote each other.  Outside of Japan it was released in the Charizard-EX Box released on May 7, 2014 in both regular and (not legal for play) jumbo size.


Charizard-EX is a Fire-Type like all the others; as it is part Flying it could have been a Colorless-Type but given that nothing currently legal resists Fire-Types while several key cards (like Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX) are Fire Weak, and we just got a heaping helping of direct and indirect Fire-Type support (the former wouldn’t work for a Flying-Type), this is definitely the better deal.  It is of course a Basic Pokémon-EX: being a Basic is (sadly) still the best as most Evolving Pokémon are pretty bad; since they end up being little more than deck filler, it makes Evolution decks inherently slow unless they include yet another Basic Pokémon to do something before they Evolve… and the first turn rules can make that awkward.  Being a Pokémon-EX in game terms is purely a disadvantage; making a Pokémon give up two Prizes when KOed, unable to access certain pieces of support, and vulnerable to certain intentional counters.  Of course while it isn’t a text based rule, it also is what justifies the higher than normal HP scores and often better than usual Abilities and/or attacks that the better Pokémon-EX possess.


Speaking of HP, so far it doesn’t get any better for Basic Pokémon-EX than 180.  For the rest of Standard-legal card pool, you’ve got to be using an Ability or card combo (which is rarely successful in competitive play), be a M Pokémon-EX, or be Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124.  I just realized an unintended benefit of the pending rotation is I won’t feel the need to keep mentioning that card when discussing HP scores.  Water-Type Pokémon can fairly easily cut through said HP; fortunately for Charizard-EX finding a good Water-Type to splash into a deck can be tricky, so there are usually only a few key match-ups to fear.  The lack of Resistance is nothing to fear as it would have only been a small bonus; I still miss it and no Resistance is the worst Resistance.  A Retreat Cost of three is just one under the highest seen on contemporary cards, but its far from the worst, at least until the next set rotation; Heavy Ball provides such Pokémon easy search and the metagame is such that most competitive decks pack an alternative to manually retreating, usually zeroing out the cost or bypassing the mechanic completely.


Charizard-EX has two attacks; for [RC] you can search your deck for a copy of M Charizard-EX and add it to your hand.  This is not entirely useless, but is definitely overpriced.  As an Ability it would have merely been “okay”, but as an attack a cost of more than [C] seems unnecessary.  Unless a method of bypassing the turn’s attack lost to Mega Evolving is released or you dedicate a Blacksmith or similar combo to powering it up in a single turn while going second, it is really too slow.  The second attack, Bravefire is overpriced but not terribly.  For [RCCC] you score 120 points of damage with 30 points of self-damage, which is about 30 points (to the Defending Pokémon) below or above (to itself) where it needed to be in order to prove competitive.  Still, if you’re running M Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 13/106, 107/106) there is an odd synergy as it too has an attack that does self-damage, so the resources to combo with it should be there.


Where this card really suffers is… there are just better choices.  Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 11/106, 100/106) and Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 12/106) have the same stats except for a Retreat Cost of two (which will be better than a cost of three once Heavy Ball is gone) but their attacks are better.  The former can use Stoke, an attack just requires [C], to provide badly needed Energy acceleration; the drawback is that it is “tails fails”. Its Fire Blast has the same Energy requirements as Brave Fire, but instead of self damage you merely have to discard one Energy for the 120, which would allow you to spend more resources pumping up damage instead of dealing with self-damage.  Japan is slated to get an XY Promo version of this one, so we might as well, but it isn’t a huge deal because the 12/106 is the real deal with its Wing Attack that does 60 for [RCC] (overpriced but better than nothing) and Combustion Blast that requires [RRCC] and states you can’t use Combustion Blast the next turn; some fairly standard combos can get Charizard-EX using Combustion Blast over and over again, and begin the assault as early as the second (overall) turn of the game.  Just top it all off with Muscle Band to OHKO anything with more than 150 HP but less than 180.  Hypnotoxic Laser (either with Muscle Band or Virbank City Gym) can cover targets with 180 HP, meaning very few things can survive attacks from it.


Barring effects that prevent damage from occurring or prevent Knock Outs from actually happening, nothing can survive an attack from either M Charizard-EX.  M Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 13/106, 107/106) is the better choice; 220 HP is solid (though less than the other version) and the single Energy Retreat Cost is easy to pay (the Type, Weakness and lack of Resistance are identical to all Charizard-EX) and the attack deals a massive 300 points of damage.  Of course, 100 points of that will almost always be overkill, it requires [RRCCC] to attack and it does 50 points of damage to itself so its mostly only used if you want to just attack with Charizard-EX and want to get around Intimidating Mane on Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106).


Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 69/106, 108/106) enjoys 10 more HP and (again, until we lose Heavy Ball with rotation at which point it becomes a drawback) a Retreat Cost of three, but is a Dragon-Type which is not as well supported as Fire-Types, though at least Weakness and Resistance are irrelevant as it too hits for 300 points of damage.  I am not sure if Fairy-Type Weakness is better or worse than Water-Type (for now probably better) and the lack of Resistance is still insignificant but not good.  The attack discards five cards from your deck… which honestly isn’t that bad unless your opponent can avoid Benching Pokémon-EX and/or you’ve got no choice but to use Wild Blaze for every attack.  What kills it is the Energy cost: [RRDCC] is just ugly and there still is no real synergy with today’s CotD.


So for the current Standard format, I can’t see bothering with it unless you can’t get one of the other versions and either are focused on using M Charizard-EX it works.  I was going to add that it isn’t like it has significant competition outside of other Charizard-EX for the role of “big, Basic Fire-Type Pokémon-EX” but Reshiram-EX also outclasses it: same stats (so also a legal Heavy Ball target) with arguably better attacks: [RCC] buys a 50+30 on “heads”, a straight 50 on “tails” and [RRCC] buys 150 with 50 points of self-damage on a failed coin flip.  How about post rotation?  This card actually loses Heavy Ball then, so its prospects become a bit worse, not better.  For Expanded, my early prediction is that it will perform more or less the same as it does now; if you have a deck where being Heavy Ball compliant is a major factor that also needs a Charizard-EX, it… still might not be worth running over one of the other versions, but its less inferior.


You shouldn’t actually be able to use this in Limited, but if you hypothetically could (say it was reprinted in a set or someone was crazy enough to create a Charizard-EX Box set event) it would be worth running in most decks but not in the infamous “+39” build.  Even if you pulled M Charizard-EX, it wouldn’t be worth it because all three are too slow to survive long enough to be powered up, and their respective drawbacks become fatal here; you do not want your only Pokémon inflicting self damage or deck discard.  As that thing you build when you can while still attacking with other Pokémon, it becomes a good deal to take the last two (maybe three) Prizes you need rapidfire, and its Energy requirements are easy enough for most decks since its just one Fire Energy and three of anything else.  All four Prizes should rarely work, as after the fact your opponent just needs to hit it for 60 points of damage to KO it… which more than likely means even in Limited, you’d find Charizard-EX in a position where you were attacking for the draw or even the loss.




Modified (NXD-On): 2/5 - Other Charizard-EX do it better, and what this version does do isn’t quite worth the cost.


Modified (BCR-On): 2/5 - As above, though newer decks and combos aided by XY: Furious Fists become legal; due to the nature of this Charizard-EX coupled with the few things we lose due to rotation, I do not believe it will make a dramatic difference.


Expanded (BW-On): 2/5 - I am probably being too generous, but I could maybe see using it here, perhaps alongside Hydreigon (BW: Dragons Exalted 97/124; BW: Legendary Treasures 99/113) and M Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 69/106, 108/106) if you really wanted to abuse Heavy Ball and Max Potion, but considering no one is trying such a thing while the combo is still Modified legal I have to wonder why it would be attempted here?


Limited: N/A - If reprinted in a set, probably a 4/5 but as back-up to the rest of your deck and not in the conventional +39 deck.


Summary: Today’s Charizard-EX shows the risk of printing too many versions of a card, coupled with how imbalanced the format really still is; 120 for four even with 30 points of self-damage, shouldn’t be “bad” in a format where that is either a OHKO or a “half-KO” of pretty much everything… and yet it certainly isn’t “good”.  Considering the other two Charizard-EX are better but themselves not equal, its hard to label this one as anything but “the bad one” in comparison.  At least it proved to me that I can type it out as “M Charizard-EX” and not wonder if there needed to be an extra hyphen in the name between the “M” and the “Charizard”: still annoys me that even though its no where in the names on top of the cards there is supposed to be one between the Pokémon’s species name and the “EX” designator.

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