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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 #5 - Landorus

- Furious Fists Top 10

Date Reviewed:
Sep. 1, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.13
Expanded: 3.88
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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

#5 Landorus 

Hello, and welcome to the second part of Pojo’s CotD countdown of the top 10 cards from Furious Fists. Expect to see a lot of Fighting-related cards over the next few days. 

We kick off the week with a look at Landorus, a card which bears more than a passing resemblance to the non-EX Yveltal from XY. Like that card, Landorus has an attack (Shout of Power) which does damage and lets you attach an Energy from your discard pile to a Benched Pokémon. Also like Yveltal, it has a vanilla second attack (Sky Lariat) which does reasonable damage if you need it. Other things the cards share are decent durability for a non-EX Basic (120 HP in Landorus’ case), and an easy-to-pay retreat cost. 

Despite the similarities, I think there will be subtle differences between how the cards are used. Yveltal is often a good starting option for Dark decks, providing acceleration for EX big hitters like Darkrai and Yveltal. Landorus can certainly be used that way, but most Fighting decks are going to prefer to open with Landorus EX’s Hammerhead or even Lucario EX’s Missile Jab, for the increased damage and early game pressure. Landorus can perform a role in these decks, but it may be more about providing mid-game acceleration after a KO, and offering itself up as a sacrifice to force an opponent into a seven-Prize game. With all the Fighting support available, Landorus can hit fairly hard for a single Energy (Strong Energy and a Muscle Band means 60 damage), so it’s a great Pokémon to promote to finish off a damaged EX and help prepare your next big attacker. 

Some Fighting decks (ummm . . . Tyrantrum FFI?) will definitely like this card as a starter, but other than that, I see one or two copies being a great addition to more conventional Landorus EX-based lists. For relatively little investment, it’s a handy and versatile Pokémon. 


Modified: 3.75 (a useful Pokemon in any Fighting deck)

Expanded: 3.75 (see above, plus it’s a Tynamo killer)

Limited: 4.5 (durable basic with a cheap attack. Almost always a ‘yes’)


Hello once again and welcome back to another week of card reviews, featuring our Top 5 from the Furious Fists set! Today's card comes as another large piece of support in the form of Landorus! Is he going to rock the world with his power-packing strikes, or will his attacks fall short?
While it remains to be seen what he can do, what we see he can do is pretty huge. And no, I'm not talking about Sky Lariat, though even a vanilla 90 damage is pretty good for a non-EX Basic, never mind that it can benefit from all the Fighting support that came out in this set. I'm more focused on his first attack, the Shout of Power!
1 Energy for 20 damage is...meh, in general, but this also gets boosts from stuff like Fighting Stadium and Machamp, giving it a similar damage range to Lucario-EX's first attack (when considering all the potential boosts). Shout of Power may not ignore resistance like Lucario-EX's Missile Jab, but it does something that Fighting decks have needed for a while: Energy acceleration, in the form of an offensive Dark Patch for any basic Energy.
And that's another thing, Landorus' first attack makes it so that he can be teched into any deck, and while he won't be nearly as effective as he would be in a Fighting deck, I don't think anyone will complain with a little extra acceleration in anything not revolving around Blastoise (PLS). In a Fighting deck, Landorus will be able to inflict hefty damage given the right set-up AND provide Energy acceleration for Benched fighters. Sure, it's not as abusable as Dark Patch combined with Sableye, but it's a powerful attack that can do a lot of good!
Landorus is going to bring a heavy shift towards Fighting decks, amongst the rest of the set's support, so don't be surprised if you see players combining a deck with even just Landorus and Lucario-EX - now there's a team that could devastate the TCG outside of Pyroar decks, though a nifty Garbodor (LTR) thrown in will make a nasty power-packed deck for sure!
Standard: 4.5/5 (he's incredible support to a Type that just got a lot of support, and he's a lot more splashable with Rainbow Energy hanging around)
Expanded: 4/5 (still pretty solid here, all things considered, but Dark Patch is a bit faster given its Item status; Landorus does have Type advantage against most of the Dark-types though)
Limited: 4.5/5 (if you have Fighting types, you're going to run Landorus, and if you're tempted to get a head start on a Lucario-EX/Landorus build, you could try them out here too!)
Arora Notealus: HE'S-A CHARGING HIS FIST!!...wait, isn't this supposed to be a shout of power?
Next Time: Spunky and raring to go!


We begin the top half of our the Top 10 Promising Picks of XY: Furious Fists with Landorus (XY: Furious Fists 58/111).  As a reminder, each reviewer compiled his own separate Top 10 list, submitted it, and Pojo compiled the “master list” or review by averaging out those individual lists.  Since my review is late, we are now officially past the rotation point, with Standard being BCR-On (plus various promos), Expanded officially existing and Limited… well rotation doesn’t affect Limited. 

So why did this Landorus snag the fifth place position?  For starters it is a Fighting-Type released in a set full of Fighting-Type support and other Fighting-Types; that is going to be relevant as to why it isn’t lower or higher.  The majority of Colorless-Type Pokémon and nearly all Darkness- and Lightning-Type Pokémon have Fighting Weakness, so unless the metagame can radically shift to eliminate it, it is an amazingly strong bonus.  No Resistance is the most common form of Resistance, but Fighting Resistance is a close second (I think - hate to admit it but I lack hard numbers here or the time to calculate it all by hand).  As Resistance is relatively balanced while Weakness is not, combined with the new Type support being a Fighting-Type is awesome. 

Being a Basic Pokémon is also still the best; requiring minimal deck space and time to get to the field.  Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) forced many decks to either run at least a few Evolved attackers or Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) or some other “trick” (Hypnotoxic Laser spam, basics that inflict Special Conditions or place damage counters, etc.) to deal with Intimidating Mane, however no Pyroar deck made the Top 4 of any age bracket for the 2014 World Championship.  It is still too early to count it out (especially given the propensity we see for “comebacks” among former powerhouses)... but that is basically the only drawback to being a Basic Pokémon: an external counter in the form of a somewhat Energy specific Stage 1! 

120 HP is just 10 under the maximum printed score we’ve seen for a Basic Pokémon that is not a Pokémon-EX; this isn’t safe from being OHKOed but is still somewhat durable and as we are only giving up a single Prize, is still great (in more than one sense of the word).  Currently (I’m not even trying to make puns) the Water Weakness is flowing (okay, that one was intention) back and forth between “somewhat problematic” to “tolerable”.  The reason is Landorus-EX and Pyroar have incentivized players to work in solid Water-Type attackers. 

The good news is that outside of these counters, only a few Water-Type attackers like Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116) a.k.a. Kyurem [Plasma] and Seismitoad-EX have proven strong enough to be used for their own merit (as opposed to exploiting Weakness).  Even fellow Top 10 list finalist Beartic (XY: Furious Fists 22/111) needs a lot of help to OHKO Landorus, and it is being run specifically to KO Water Weak Pokémon.  Dealing with TecH or at least a lesser line is much easier than dealing with a “main attacker” striking your Weakness.  The lack of Resistance is disappointing but as usual, not especially damaging.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is very good, making it far easier to retreat than its Pokémon-EX counterpart, and while unlikely to be run specifically for it, in Expanded this works nicely with Skyarrow Bridge. 

Landorus has two attacks, and the first one is the main reason to run it… but also means it works out better if I explain the second attack first.  For [FFC] Landorus attacks using Sky Lariat (probably the attack shown in the artwork) for 90 points of damage.  For the Energy going into it, 90 isn’t good but it isn’t really bad either; for three Energy 90 points of damage is a decent amount.  I would clearly be on the happy side of “adequate” if the cost had been [FCC] and thus able to make use of tricks like Double Colorless Energy.  As is it can OHKO almost all Fighting Weak Pokémon without any boosting, 2HKO almost anything that isn’t Resistant, and would need minimal boosting (like a single Muscle Band or Strong Energy) to score a 2HKO against anything I can think of that is Fighting Resistant.  Of course, this ignores additional effects on those cards like Pokémon Tools or Abilities. 

Shout of Power requires [F] and does 20 points of damage while attaching a Basic Energy card from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon.  Unfortunately the attachment is not optional so (as has happened to me on occasion) you may find yourself attaching to something that just doesn’t need the Energy… and in a format where so many attacks do damage based on the Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon or all Pokémon you have in play, it can be both a waste and risk.  The vast majority of the time it is a welcome form of Energy acceleration, especially as Fighting-Types don’t really have anything that isn’t generic or that has proven successful in the past.  In fact this could be used to accelerate basic Energy from the discard to any Pokémon-Type, so other than requiring [F] Energy to use it is in fact generic itself.  The 20 points of damage on a 120 HP body makes it a solid way of buying time, even though a single Shout of Power won’t actually put you any Energy ahead. 

So for decks running a decent chunk of basic Fighting Energy (or a means of easily searching it out), this is a good opener.  It does have to share the limelight with Landorus-EX and the new Lucario-EX, who also each have excellent single Energy attacks.  Everything about this card gives it a protected niche in Fighting-Type decks, though if you plan to go aggressive or lose, you would leave it out; it is for building something else on the Bench while still doing damage or as a backup attacker (such as to get through Safeguard), not a deck’s focus.  Fighting decks focused on buffs will really appreciate the damage as well; going second against an opponent’s opening, Fighting Weak Pokémon-EX can’t be relied upon, nor can having a Strong Energy, Silver Bangle and Fighting Stadium, but the chance for a surprise OHKO is still nice to have. 

I am still unsure of what to expect for Expanded; as this went up late I already found out that unfortunately, the PTCGO has not added an official Expanded Format option (still being limited to its very incomplete Unlimited, its Standard, and its Theme deck formats).  I am still operating on pure conjecture, and right now I think that this card is about as useful here as in Standard.  Like many, I expect Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) decks to return, and all versions of Tynamo (its Basic Stage) have 40 HP (or less), meaning you might be able to Lysandre or Escape Rope or simply luck into an easy but strategic OHKO while still scoring your Energy acceleration.  On the other hand, this format will likely have most (if not all) of the competitive decks found in Standard, plus a few older ones now unique to Expanded or simply whatever few decks (old or new) that will swallow up the competition.  For Limited things are much easier; run it unless you get a better Pokémon for a +39 (1 Basic Pokémon plus 39 non-Basic Pokémon cards) deck or the highly improbable chance you can’t run at least a few FIghting Energy in order to use Shout of Power reliably.  For everything else you should be able to make room, and you can even risk using it in its own +39 deck, though I do not recommend the latter. 


Standard: 4/5 - A good score, though it is not a general score; it requires some effort to get this working in decks that don’t run a good source of [F] Energy (and I’d be leery of committing a Rainbow Energy to it) and sufficient basic Energy cards to accelerate. 

Expanded: 4/5 - As above, but with different opportunities; in some ways it will be a bit better (OHKOing Tynamo!) in others, not so much (probably a lot more generic competition). 

Limited: 4.9/5 - Almost as good as it gets, though there is just enough of a chance you shouldn’t run (better card for +39 deck, can’t make room for enough Fighting Energy cards) to dock a tenth of a point. 

Summary: This is a very well made card, with almost every aspect contributing, to the point it scores very high even though it provides only modest Energy acceleration, its big but not the biggest, it isn’t a Pokémon-EX and its Retreat Cost is a lot nicer than most other Fighting-Types.  Landorus is something to snag if you plan on running any Fighting decks, even if they aren’t all Fighting… though there is so much competition for an opener/low Energy attacker that it might not always make it to your final build for such decks.


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