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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Top 10 BREAKthrough

#10 - M Glalie-EX

- BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
November 17, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 3.13
Limited: 4.85

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

FINALLY, FINALLY we have made our stand and gotten around to reviewing the BREAKThrough set! Though it's not nearly as exciting as what Ancient Origins was (imo), it's still got its fair share of good cards. Here we start off today with M Glalie-EX! 

M Glalie-EX is...well, he's quite the card. He evolves from Glalie-EX, who starts off with only 170 HP and a Metal Weakness for a Water-type, which is always nice if only cause it's different from the Grass/Electric Weakness most Water-types have. That does make me realize that Water-types have the most diverse set of Weaknesses in the TCG...moving right along! 

Glalie-EX is nothing spectacular, brandishing a coin flip for Paralysis on a 1-for-nothing attack in Ice Breath and a chancy 3-for-50 Instant Freeze that does another 100 damage if you have the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent. Not saying that that couldn't happen, but it's not always gonna be possible to overextend yourself to match your opponent - whether that's playing more cards down or by holding back plays just to even it out. Needless to say, Glalie-EX isn't that great. 

Which leads us to M Glalie-EX. For 3 Energy, M Glalie-EX can already do better than Glalie-EX's Instant Freeze with Cryo-Mouth, dealing a decent 100 damage. In fact, Cryo-Mouth almost runs on the same mechanic as Instant Freeze, as in they both add more damage by fulfilling a certain condition. While Instant Freeze only does an extra 100 damage by matching your opponent's hand though, Cryo-Mouth does something a bit more easily obtained - TAKE at least 100 damage, or as the effect text puts it "10 or more damage counters," and Cryo-Mouth will add an extra 150 DAMAGE!!! 

Quick math: 100 + 150 = 250 = Wailord-EX's HP. 

In short, M Glalie-EX can KO ANYTHING in the game, so long as he's taken 100 damage. 

And that's why he's only at #10. M Glalie-EX does a big bold OHKO maneuver that reminds me of M Tyranitar-EX from the last set. The only differences I see though are that 1) Cryo-Mouth is cheaper, and 2) it's MUCH riskier than M Tyranitar-EX's Destroyer King's condition to meet the OHKO. M Glalie-EX requires the hefty total of 100 damage to do anything that M Tyranitar-EX can do by NOT risking his health and already having dealt a mere 20 damage to any target he wants to KO - NEVER MIND THAT HE GETS THETA DOUBLE TO DO MORE WITH, BUT STILL!! 

So on the one hand, M Glalie-EX is a riskier version of M Tyranitar-EX, but on the other hand, he's also nearly guaranteed to at least KO something before he gets taken down. Sure, M Tyranitar-EX has a little extra bulk compared to M Glalie-EX, but last I checked, there were still few Pokemon that could OHKO Basic Pokemon-EX regularly, let alone the Megas. So he gets a slight pass since he's guaranteed to at least break even with the opponent - and if he takes out the main threat on an opponent who's not fully aware of what's happening, well then that's practically an auto-win for the M Glalie-EX player! 

High risk, high reward, and no doubt a fun deck people will try and make competitive by some means. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (he's a bold endeavor to say the least, but I can imagine there will be a few successful people with his power) 

Expanded: 3/5 (something about this seems like I'd rather rate this lower, but I'm not quite sure why aside from the presence of Rayquaza-EX...which, ya know, that really doesn't matter to M Glalie-EX, cause he'd just get one-shot by that sort of thing. BUT NOT GENESECT-EX, AHAHAHAHAHA) 

Limited: 5/5 (though it's doubtful that you'll get all the pieces to make a M Glalie-EX, but if you do and your opponent tries to KO fast, you could easily end up winning pretty handily) 

Arora Notealus: Can I just say Glalie was probably one of the last Pokemon I'd expect to get a Mega Evolution? I mean seriously, all they really did was give him a bigger mouth - and now he's just freaking scary!! Granted, he's still not too terrifying even with the stat boosts and Refrigerate, thanks to his Ice-typed body, but hey, he's nothing if not memorable! 

Next Time: And now for a beautiful blooming BREAK!!


Otaku

Welcome as we count down our Top 10 picks for the latest expansion, XY: BREAKthrough!  This was a tough set to review in my opinion; a lot of “interesting” cards but I’m not sure how many will really be standouts… except for the reprints but they weren’t eligible for the Top 10 (as per usual).  The CotD crew were given the chance to submit their own personal lists I averaged them out to get the official site list as well as our review schedule for the next two weeks.  Then after sending it out remembered that we needed to skip Monday this week and would be taking Thanksgiving and Black Friday off next week.  Things are going to be rather crowded so we can get through this top 10 before it is time to do the countdown for the entire year! 

Clocking in at tenth place is M Glalie-EX (XY: BREAKthrough 35/162, 153/162), a new Water-Type Mega Evolution for us to enjoy.  Being a Water-Type means hitting Weakness on some Fighting-Types and nearly all Fire-Types, though BW-era Grass-Types may be Resistant.  There are a few card effects that specifically counter Water-Types, but they seem to just be damage absorbing Abilities and haven’t proven worthwhile.  Water-Type support includes some real winners like Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Dive Ball in the “Type exclusive” category, the handy Rough Seas in the odd “specific to two Types” category and some more excellent cards like Keldeo-EX, Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast 20/101) and Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) in the “works better with but not actually Limited to Water-Types” category.  Overall, the Water-Type is potent and my typical refrain of “good but not great” may have been selling the Type short.  In my defense what I think of as the overall best Type is Fighting, which hits even more Types for Weakness and has similar (sometimes even the same) tricks as Water-Types plus Type exclusive damage buffs. 

Being a Mega Evolution includes the drawbacks of being a Pokémon-EX: giving up an extra Prize when KOed, being excluded from certain beneficial effects and being countered by certain other card effects.  In addition is the infamous drawback of not only Evolving from a Basic Pokémon-EX, but having your turn end when you Mega Evolve unless you have the correct Spirit Link attached.  While not guaranteed, being a Mega Evolution usually promising better attributes and effects, surpassing even some of the best Basic Pokémon-EX.  220 HP is middle-of-the-road for Mega Evolutions, but it isn’t an easy OHKO for a lot of decks and makes good on that promise.  Metal Weakness most recently been a legitimate concern due to secondary attackers in Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119) decks.  Sometimes  the main attacker(s) are also hard hitting Metal-Types, but the basic set-up has been used successfully with non-Metal-Type primary attackers… so things can be going quite well until suddenly a Pokémon like Heatran (XY: Phantom Forces 63/119) hits the fields, gets powered up that same turn and swings for a OHKO… and that assumes I’m not simply forgetting something major.  No Resistance is typical and lacking it is more of a missed opportunity than some kind of flaw, so let us just move onto the Retreat Cost of [CCC]; definitely include something to get around that or tank. 

M Glalie-EX lacks an Ancient Trait, having the typical single attack of Mega Evolutions; this one is “Cryo Mouth” for [WCC], an easy to meet cost for a Mega Evolution with Mega Turbo and a Double Colorless Energy.  Initially it buys 100 damage, which is not bad for three Energy but would be unimpressive if that was all the attack did, but instead it has a clause that boosts the damage by 150 when M Glalie-EX has 10 or more damage counters on it.  Smacking something for 250 damage is generally a OHKO; exceptions require the target boost its HP, reduce/prevent damage done or utilize some less common effects that simply prevent a KO (like Focus Sash).  That is amazing for just three Energy, but as it only does that once M Glalie-EX falls under 55% of its printed maximum HP it is likely to be KO’d afterwards: 120 point hits aren’t super easy, but once a deck gets going they are pretty typical.  You can of course attack something while you are less damaged, just be careful not to set up for massive overkill.  The clause does have one very minor benefit; it can be difficult (even impossible) for certain Pokémon used specifically to copy attacks to get the secondary effect because with 10 damage counters on them, they would already have been Knocked Out! 

You could use Archie’s Ace in the Hole to put M Glalie-EX into play directly, but let us take a look at Glalie-EX and see what it offers.  Same Type, Weakness and Retreat Cost as M Glalie-EX but on a basic Pokémon-EX with a solid but less impressive 170 HP, still lacking any Ancient Trait or Ability but with its own two attacks.  The first is “Ice Breath” for [W], which just let’s you flip a coin; “heads” means the opponent’s Active is Paralyzed, “tails” means the attack did nothing.  I’d write it off as pure filler, but that does buy time to Mega Evolve or even just set-up for the card’s second attack, “Instant Freeze”, which has an attack cost identical to that of Cryo Mouth on M Glalie-EX.  This time the [WCC] can’t access Mega Turbo and only hits for 50 damage before the effect.  Said text indicates that if you and your opponent have the same hand size as your opponent, Instant Freeze does an additional 100 damage, so 150 for three and some effort or luck.  If you are not focused on Mega Evolving or don’t mind including something like Tool Retriever you can slap a Muscle Band onto Glalie-EX and take advantage of the current pacing of decks to build up and then whittle down your hand until it matches your opponent, scoring a OHKO against anything with 170 HP (usual exceptions apply).  This set gave us back Judge, a Support that forces both players to shuffle and draw four cards, so this might be even easier to perform.  Glalie-EX seems to be a pretty solid card in its own right, maybe even strong enough to operate without its Mega Evolution. 

The focus of this review is M Glalie-EX though and it seems pretty straight forward; use some common tricks to quickly set it up and try to take out something small with your first use of an unboosted Cryo Mouth, try and survive while losing enough HP so that Cryo Mouth can slam something new for 250 damage the next turn.  At that point, the question is whether or not there is a good way to get the 10 damage counters onto M Glalie-EX yourself and the answer is… no, at least not that I have found.  Concerns beyond Metal-Type attackers for the card would be the usual problem plaguing Mega Evolutions; trading well with certain attackers.  While 220 HP is going to make it pretty hard for a Night March or a similar deck to score the OHKO, it can be done.  Attacks that score a OHKO or an effective OHKO against 220 HP are also out there and that can be a real problem for profiting off of Cryo Mouth.  Still this looks like a solid addition for Expanded play and a good one for Standard, where a lot of the go-to Water decks/attackers of the last few years just aren’t available anymore. 

In Limited play, should you pull Glalie-EX and M Glalie-EX, go ahead and run them, especially if you also snag Glalie Spirit Link.  I would be hesitant to try a +39 build (where Glalie-EX is your only Basic, guaranteeing you open with it); even if you have Glalie Spirit Link the lack of draw/search power (plus your opponent likely drawing a lot off of your mulligans) will make it hard to synchronize hand sizes for Instant Freeze.  If your opponent has any decent pulls or set-up, it will be challenging to win with just Glalie-EX doing 50 per turn.  once it actually hit M Glalie-EX would be impressive, so just use it in a more fleshed out build where Glalie-EX only has to take hits because you want it to.

Ratings 

Standard: 3.5/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.7/5 

Summary: M Glalie-EX can deliver devastating OHKOs against even the largest Pokémon in the game (Wailord-EX)... provided your opponent can’t play around it.  Your opponent may be able to play around the effect of Cryo Mouth, preventing it from scoring the card’s selling point, a massive 250 HP whack for [WCC], including of course those attackers that just score a OHKO in the first place.  This card is both better and worse than I anticipated… 

…but mostly better as on my personal list, I only ranked it in 14th place.  Yeah, the slot that usually is just there in case we need some tiebreakers.  M Glalie-EX and its fans may have even more of a reason to be cross with me; it actually tied with the 9th place pick and I am the one that selected which officially became the 9th and 10th place picks.


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