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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


 Rayquaza EX

- XY66 Promo

Date Reviewed:
August 20, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.10
Expanded: 1.30
Limited: Promo

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


That’s right: today we look at yet another Rayquaza-EX, this time XY: Black Star Promo XY66!  This is another Colorless-Type offering, meaning it doesn’t have to worry about Resistance and can tap some solid support but also that it can’t exploit Weakness in any match-ups.  The main reason I think that is a strong net positive is because I’m already assuming this is a Rayquaza-EX we’ll Evolve and not one we’ll run as our main attacker.  Being a Basic on the other hand is unambiguously good; minimum time and card requirements to get into play.  Being a Pokémon-EX can lead to some serious benefits (better attributes or effects than non-Pokémon-EX counterparts plus Mega Evolution) but most of these are not guaranteed (Mega Evolving is since we already have two different M Rayquaza-EX to choose from).  The 170 HP is solid, probably enough to survive a hit but the harder hitting decks will be able to take it down in one hit (after all the hardest hitting can take down anything in one hit).  Lighting Weakness is pretty dangerous due to some solid Lightning-Type attackers like Raichu (XY ) and the fact that some other popular cards already make hitting Lightning-Type Weakness rewarding to have Lightning-Type attackers splashed into more decks than one might expect.  The Fighting Resistance isn’t a huge amount of it is greatly appreciated to blunt the damage from Fighting-Types.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can often afford it (both up front and recovering from the Energy loss) but is high enough you’ve got enough incentive to try and lower or bypass it. 

Rayquaza-EX sports two attacks, Mega Ascension and Aeroscream: I like the name of the last one.  For [CC] the first allows you to search your deck for a card named M Rayquaza-EX and add it to hand.  Given that hand disruption is currently still a common thing for most decks and you’re paying [CC] to use it and one version of Rayquaza-EX has an Ancient Trait that allows it to Mega Evolve the same turn Rayquaza-EX hits the field (even if it is the first turn of the game), that’s disappointing.  Perhaps it would have been too powerful but being able to attack to search and Mega Evolve would be more useful… and if that was too powerful, then forget searching at all and give it a different attack.  The second attack needs [CCCC] to hit for 130 damage.  That is a solid amount that could be pumped up to an effective 180 damage with Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym.  Not recommending that though, especially because the attack requires you flip a coin and if it comes up heads, you have to discard two Energy.  Sometimes, I think the “coin flip determined discard” is worse than a mandatory one, as it means you might have to plan to pay more next turn but you might not and you might reduce the risk to Rayquaza-EX from attacks that do more damage based on the Energy attached to it or… you might not.  If the cost would have been one Energy instead of two were it guaranteed each turn instead of averaging out to one every other turn, then I definitely would have preferred that. 

As stated, this is one of several Rayquaza-EX.  The first and oldest is Rayquaza-EX (BW: Dragons Exalted 85/124, 123/124; BW: Black Star Promo BW47) and we’ve reviewed it three separate times.  Differences are that it is a Dragon-Type with Dragon-Type Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of [C] and two different attacks (of course).  The first (Celestial Roar) required just [C] and milled your own deck for three cards, but you could attach any Energy cards revealed therein to itself.  What made it once one of the top attackers in the game was that for [RL] its “Dragon Burst” attack allowed you to discard either all basic [L] or [R] Energy attached to it to hit for 60 damage times the amount discarded!  This card is only legal in Expanded, however and without good Energy acceleration to load it up at least once it doesn’t make much sense as a lead in to M Rayquaza-EX.  As such it isn’t likely to be competition for this version.  Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 60/108) differs from today’s by being a Dragon-Type with 180 HP, Fairy-Type Weakness, still no Resistance and again, two different attacks.  This time the first (Dragon Claw) requires [CC] to hit for a flat 30 while the second (Dragon Strike) requires [RRLC] to hit for 130 but requires a coin flip; on “tails” you it can’t use Dragon Strike during your next turn.  We reviewed it before here and again, it isn’t much competition as it tends to be used in decks that use Dragon-Type support incompatible with today’s version. 

Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 75/108, 104/108) was reviewed alongside M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108) here in one of my ill conceived ideas, and it was even as our sixth place pick on the XY: Primal Clash Top 10 list.  This Rayquaza-EX only differs from today’s in terms of attacks, sporting “Intensifying Burn” for [C], which hits for 10 (plus 50 against opposing Pokémon-EX), and “Dragon Pulse” for [CCC], which hits for 100 but also mills the top three cards from your deck.  Not quite good enough to use on its own (though at the time I thought it might be), it is primarily used as a lead in for the also Colorless-Type M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 76/108, 105/108).  This 220 HP Mega Evolution also has Lightning Weakness and Fighting Resistance, but the Retreat Cost drops to [C] and it has an Ancient Trait plus a single attack.  The former is Δ Evolution which allows you to immediately Mega Evolve one of Rayquaza-EX in play into itself even if Rayquaza-EX just entered play that turn, even if it is the very first turn of the game.  You’ll still need Rayquaza Spirit Link if you don’t want Mega Evolving to end your turn though and if it is a turn in which you can attack you usually want to take the shot as for just [CCC] M Rayquaza-EX can use “Emerald Break” to hit for 30 damage times the number of your Benched Pokémon.  Needless to say, it has become a strong deck thanks to Sky Field.  This would be the deck to run today’s Rayquaza-EX in but it seems kind of silly to search out the M Rayquaza-EX partially special for being able to Evolve so quickly… but have to wait until your next turn to actually do the Evolving. 

That just leaves M Rayquaza-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 61/108), previously reviewed as our number eight pick for that very same list.  A Dragon-Type Mega Evolution with 230 HP, Fairy Weakness, no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of [CC], it also had both an Ancient Trait and an attack.  This time the Ancient Trait is which reduces the damage taken from [G], [R], [W] or [L] Pokémon by 20, allowing it to fake Resistance in multiple match-ups.  Its attack (Dragon Ascent) requires a hefty [RRRLC] investment to hit for 300 points of damage, plus then you have to discard two Energy from itself.  This hasn’t been nearly as impressive as its set-mate but can still be a powerhouse when it gets going.  It also is probably the only one where today’s Rayquaza-EX makes some sense; not as the main Rayquaza-EX, but as an alternative to whatever Dragon-Type Rayquaza-EX you were thinking of including (and avoiding the self-mill of the other Colorless-Type Rayquaza-EX).  This might not even be a specialization worth considering as the versions I can think of that would have non-Dragon-Type-specific Energy acceleration would likely would just try to squeeze in a totally different, compatible attacker into the deck, probably something that could get around protective effects like Safeguard. 

So for Standard play, there is little use for today’s card and it doesn’t look like it will get any better with rotation… in fact it might get worse as we are getting some more Lightning-Type attackers and support while losing one of the strongest Fighting-Types, Landorus-EX.  This means that rotation should affect it worse in Expanded as cards like Landorus-EX remain legal but so do the newest cards from XY: Ancient Origins.  This one isn’t legal for Limited and even if it was, it would be one you’d avoid for a +39 build; while running it as the only Basic Pokémon in your 40 card deck guarantees you’d open with it if it were re-released as part of a set, you’ll have to wait four turns to attack and if you hit “tails” even once, your opponent would likely overwhelm Rayquaza-EX before you could take four Prizes. 


Standard (Pre-Rotation): 1.4/5 

Standard (Post-Rotation): 1.35/5 

Expanded (Pre-Rotation): 1.3/5 

Expanded (Post-Rotation): 1.25/5 

Summary: I hate to be so hard on Rayquaza-EX but there are two other options (three in Expanded) and they all can do things it can’t while it has one inadequate searching attack and a decent but hardly good “big” attack with a variable Energy discard. 

Emma Starr

            Oi, the Rayquaza EXs never stop coming, do they? I bet by the time the world ends, Rayquaza will have the most EXs of any Pokémon out there! Well…that got kind of dark, didn’t it? Well, I guess I can counter it with good news, and that is that Rayquaza EX does have a Spirit Link, thankfully, for to all of its incantations! (Seriously, just imagine if it didn’t have a Spirit Link, with all the different EXs and two Mega cards!)

            With 170 HP, an Electric weakness, and a Fighting resistance, so far this Rayquaza EX seems like the other Colorless Rayquaza EXs, complete with the disappointing Retreat Cost of two, especially since in the games, he’s shown to be a crazily fast dragon who could give Sonic the Hedgehog a run for his rings.

            Although Rayquaza EX does indeed have a Spirit Link, GF still decided that he could use the move they gave Charizard EX (Promo XY 17), which is Mega Ascension. For two Colorless, you can search your deck for a Mega Rayquaza card, and then shuffle your deck. Although it’s definitely a convenient way to find a Mega Rayquaza if you’re being item locked by a Seismitoad EX, there are better ways to find it as long as you’re not being barraged by Quaking Punches. Ultra Ball and Evosoda/Wally are all much better alternatives, as you won’t be going two turns without doing any damage. But Seismitoad EX is pretty popular, so it is nice to have this move as a backup plan.

            Aeroscream does 130 damage for four Colorless Energies, and you have to flip a coin. If tails, you have to discard two Energies. That’s…not good. You could always attach a Trick Coin to it, but even then, there’s still a 25% chance that you’ll have to spend a turn or two powering it up again, with a Double Colorless (if you run them) or two basic energies. So…I would just try to Mega Evolve this guy into Mega Rayquaza EX (76) as soon as you can. 

            Modified: 2.75/5 (Provides a situational move that could help you Mega Evolve if a Seismitoad EX is harassing you, but otherwise, steer clear of it for its better Rayquaza EX brothers)

            Limited: N to the O to the P to the E.

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