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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Golurk #35

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
November 2, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.65
Expanded: 2.75
Limited: 4.08

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Hope you all had a great time on Halloween! Got lots of candy, partied with all the peeps, and most importantly of all stayed safe! After all, there are a lot of spooky Pokemon around...*shudders* 

In any case, we're reviewing a mix of cards this week, starting with Golurk here! There are actually two Golurks in the set, but the other one isn't that exciting compared to this one. Honestly, there's a lot of neat ideas with this guy too! He not only gets an Ancient Trait, but he gets an Ability too! Sweet! 

So yeah, he has the Theta Stop power, which you may know from M Sceptile-EX notably. With that, he won't be affected by the Abilities of your opponent's Pokemon - which is great, cause in Expanded that means he's immune to Garbodor's Garbotoxin! Which is even better, cause he's got the Ability Double Type, which gives him Psychic AND Fighting typing! Not too shabby, actually, cause that means he can be run in a Fighting deck and still benefit from things like Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium. Pretty crazy, right? 

Actually, there could be even more coverage to be had - why stop at just two types? Golurk could gain another Type from one of the Eeveelutions - Vaporeon could give him Water, Flareon with Fire, and Jolteon with Electric! This could lead the way to a new deck type of Weakness-annihilating Mega Golurk - THE RAINBOW GOLURK!! What can he do? What will stop him? WHAT'S HIS ATTACK?!

...it's Superpower. A 4-cost strike that does 80 damage, with an additional 40 damage if he takes 20 damage himself. 

So effectively, Golurk's a glass cannon, probably taking advantage of his multiple Types (and maybe even some other ones) to hit for Weakness, dealing 160 damage before (let's say) Muscle Band or Strong Energy KOs most non-Mega EXs, with the extra 40 letting the damage stack up to 240 - enough to then KO any non-Wailord-EX! So he could be very effective! 

...buuuuuuuut let's face it, how likely is that to happen and be consistent? 


Standard: 3/5 (I think there's potential, so I'll give him the extra half-point for possibilities!) 

Expanded: 3/5 (I'm sure there's something to help Golurk be AMAZING) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (there's a fair portion of the set that Golurk can hit for Weakness, and on top of that he's got Eeveelutions to potentially do more for more! He could be the start of something beautiful) 

Arora Notealus: Seriously though, Rainbow Golurk sounds just as awesome as Golurk blasting off into the sky to use Fly. GET ON THAT, GAMEFREAK!! 

Next Time: The king of the jungle, or the king of the EX?


Last week ended with a Dark/Ghost-Type, so I thought I’d begin this week with a Ground/Ghost-Type, Golurk (XY: Ancient Origins 35/98)!  It is represented as a Psychic-Type in the TCG, at least with this card, which means it can hit a decent chunk of the Fighting-Type and Psychic-Type for double damage, but crashes into Resistance against nearly all Darkness- and Metal-Type Pokémon.  The Type has Type support but as per usual, it isn’t as abundant as some other Types, though it definitely as a few nice tricks like Dimension Valley.  All in all, I think it’s a good-Type.  Golurk is a Stage 1 card, which is not entirely dissimilar; the best is being a Basic but being a Stage 1 isn’t crippling (at least not automatically).  In fact, being a Stage 1 is probably better than anything but being a Basic in the current metagame; I can’t say the same for being a Psychic-Type.  It’s 130 HP continues the trend of not being the best but being good.  I can find five Stage 1 cards that exceed this amount and all are best described as “exceptional” as they are Wailord (BW: Dragons Exalted 26/124) plus four Stage 1 Pokémon that Evolve from Restored Pokémon (as opposed to conventional Basics).  The Darkness Weakness breaks the streak because it's not good and infact is pretty dangerous thanks to Yveltal-EX being such a strong, popular play.  The Fighting Resistance that accompanies it is most welcome; with 130 HP it has a better chance of making a difference.  Then with the Retreat Cost we are back to “bad” as it is [CCCC]. 

Golurk sports the Ancient Trait “Θ Stop”, which protects it from the effects of an opponent’s Abilities.  This is handy for a few different reasons, but the main one in Expanded is probably how Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) or more accurately its “Garbotoxin” Ability cannot affect Golurk… which itself matters because Golurk has an Ability.  “Double Type” works how you might expect, allowing Golurk to simultaneously count as being both its native Psychic-Type as well as being a Fighting-Type (the two types that correspond to its video game Types).  The Fighting-Type is one of the best in the game right now due to hitting Weakness against a good chunk of the Colorless-Type as well as most Darkness- and Lightning-Types, though Fighting Resistance is quite common as well.  It also means Golurk can access things like Strong Energy and Focus Sash.  All in all, pretty sweet.  Golurk also sports a single attack, named “Superpower”.  It requires a hefty [CCCC] and only hits for 80 damage against the opponent’s Active, but it has an effect that states you may make Superpower do another 40 damage against the opponent’s Active if you elect to have it do 20 damage to Golurk itself.  This is a good attack made potentially great by the rest of the card, such as how while Double Type is in effect, the card’s own Resistance will block the self-damage, giving you a great 120 damage for four. 

Golurk has five options for its lower Stage “Golett”, at least in Expanded: BW: Noble Victories 71/101, BW: Dragons Exalted 58/124, BW: Plasma Blast 45/101, XY: Furious Fists 42/111 and XY: Ancient Origins 34/98.  For Standard, only those last two are allowed.  As a reminder, Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick isn’t an option because Golurk isn’t a Fighting-Type while not in play.  All Golett are Basic Pokémon with at least 80 HP, a Retreat Cost of [CCC], no Ancient Trait or Ability and all but BW: Noble Victories 71/101 are Psychic-Types with Darkness Weakness.  BW: Noble Victories 71/101 is an 80 HP Fighting-Type with Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance and a single attack - “Dynamic Punch” - that costs [FC] and does 20+ damage, where the “plus” is a mandatory coin flip that results in an extra 20 damage and Confusion being done to the opponent’s Active.  BW: Dragons Exalted 58/124 has 90 HP, no Resistance and two attacks: “Nap” for [CC] which heals 40 damage from itself and “Pound” for [PCC] that hits for a flat 40 damage.  BW: Plasma Blast 45/101 drops back down to 80 HP, also has no Resistance and two attacks.  The first (Beat) does 10 damage for [C] while the second (Mega Punch) does 50 for [PPC]. 

Moving onto the Standard legal options, we have XY: Furious Fists 42/111 and it is back up to 90 HP, but with Fighting Resistance.  It still has two attacks: “Pound” for [PC] and doing 20 damage as well as Rock Smash for [PCC] which does 30 damage plus has you flip a coin, doing another 30 (so 60 total) on “heads” (still does just 30 on “tails”).  XY: Ancient Origins 34/98 keeps up the 90 HP with Fighting Resistance but has just one attack - Smash Punch - for [CC] which does 30 damage but requires a coin flip and “tails fails”.  Which one you use depends on which format and what approach you’re taking with the deck.  If you really want to tap Fighting support, BW: Noble Victories 71/101 it is (unless it is Standard, in which case consider a different aspect to evaluate).  None of them have particularly good attacks so mostly this boils down to HP; I am thinking either XY: Furious Fists 42/111 and XY: Ancient Origins 34/98 works because of the 90 HP and Fighting Resistance, even for Expanded.  If you really can’t decide which to run, you can mix them or consider how likely you are to be able to afford attack costs; if going without a source of [P] Energy, XY: Ancient Origins 34/98 clearly wins even though it is unreliable at attacking. 

There are six other Golurk to consider, though two are alternate versions of the same card: BW: Noble Victories 72/101, BW: Dragons Exalted 59/124 (reprinted as BW: Boundaries Crossed 150/149), BW: Plasma Blast 46/101, XY: Furious Fists 43/111 and XY: Ancient Origins 41/98.  Only the last two are Standard legal, but all are Stage 1 Pokémon with 130 HP, Retreat Cost [CCCC] and two attacks.  BW: Noble Victories 72/101 has Water Weakness, Lightning Resistance, “Hammer Arm” for [FFC] doing 60 damage and discarding the top card of your opponent’s deck and “Hurricane Punch” for [FFFC] which has you flip four coins and does 50 damage per “heads”.  BW: Dragons Exalted 59/124 (and BW: Boundaries Crossed 150/149) have Darkness Weakness and no Resistance. The first attack (Devolution Punch) costs [CCC] to do 60 damage and sure enough Devolves the Defending Pokémon (the highest Stage Evolution card returns to the opponent’s hand).  The second attack (Ghost Hammer) requires [PPCC] to hit for 90 damage while removing Weakness from Golurk (that is, itself) during your opponent’s next turn.  BW: Plasma Blast 46/101 also is Darkness Weak with no Resistance. Its first attack has the awesome name “Iron Fist of Justice” and needs [CC] to hit for 60 damage but does nothing if you have any Team Plasma Pokémon in play while the second (Shadow Punch) needs [PPCC] to hit for 90 damage while ignoring Resistance. 

Moving onto Standard legal options, XY: Furious Fists 43/111 has Darkness Weakness but also Fighting Resistance.  Its first attack is “Wreck” which requires [PCC] and does 60 damage, plus another 60 damage if there is a Stadium in play, which the attack then discards.  For [PCCC] it can use “Golurk Hammer” to hit for 100 damage.  Finally we come to XY: Ancient Origins 41/98) which is Grass Weak and has no Resistance.  Its first attack is Dig Out for [C], which hits for 20 damage and has you discard the top card from your own deck, though if it is a [F] Energy card then you may attach it to Golurk.  For [FCCC] it can use “Double Lariat” to flip two coins and score 90 damage per “heads”.  BW: Dragons Exalted 59/124 was originally reviewed here, then its reprint BW: Boundaries Crossed 150/149 received a review and finally BW: Plasma Blast 46/101 was reviewed for Halloween of 2013.  Some of them have a solid trick or two, but none of them ever panned out; it is unlikely they would be a major help to today’s option as none provide an inexpensive attack that is also “good”. 

So the big idea for running Golurk (XY: Ancient Origins 35/98) is to combine the best of Psychic Fighting support, though again the Fighting support must exclude effects that work on Fighting-Types in the hand, deck or discard pile.  Thanks to Dimension Valley and/or Double Colorless Energy (usually both) you can get swinging at a reasonable pace and hit a good chunk of cards for Weakness.  I’ve seen (and even played) some versions that also run Flareon (XY: Ancient Origins 13/98, Jolteon (XY: Ancient Origins 26/98) and Vaporeon (XY: Ancient Origins 22/98) so that Golurk can hit five different Weaknesses all on its own, and I even tried a build that included Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) to also hit Grass Weakness as I thought it needed it.  So far, I haven’t had any luck with any of these as while they are amazing when they work, they tend to need so many cards that I can’t get them to reliably work, let alone quickly.  If any of these placed in the recent Autumn Regional Championships I’m drawing a blank.  As such the best place to enjoy this card is probably in Limited play where it can work into any deck other than a +39 deck built around a single Basic Pokémon.


Standard: 2.75/5 

Expanded: 2.75/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: I really do like this card, but it as stated I haven’t been able to work, hence the actual scores.  I don’t think Expanded adds or loses enough to really alter the score, mostly because I can’t find room for Heavy Ball alongside everything else (it works all available Golett and Golurk).  Limited only suffers because it is a Stage 1 and thus a bit trickier to pull.  If someone knows how to streamline this deck, they’ll have a formidable weapon.  Until then, mostly something to play for fun.

Emma Starr

Golurk is a pretty interesting Pokemon, and not only because he’s some sort of ghost robot, either! With his ability, Double Type, he gains the ability to have access to both of his typings in the game, which not many Pokemon get to take advantage of, here in the TCG! Being a Ghost-Ground type in the games, he certainly has one of the most unique typings in the series so far, and the TCG has realized this too, and decided to pay homage to it!

130 HP is pretty okay for a Stage 1, though that Dark weakness should be enough to cause him to shy away from all the Pokemon from last week. That Retreat Cost is just…terrifying, though. He does have a rather nice Ancient Trait, though!

Omega Stop stops your opponent’s Pokemon’s abilities from working on Golurk! The best uses for this I can find is stopping Garbodor’s Garbotoxin or Wobbuffet’s Bide Barricade from cancelling out Golurk’s ability (which I’ll get to next), but really, there aren’t that many abilities out there that are focused on hurting Stage 1 Pokemon…perhaps it may be beneficial to you in a very specific way, but don’t count on it becoming relevant in too many matches, especially because Hex Maniac still works.

Double Type, Golurk’s redeeming Ability, lets Golurk be the Psychic and Fighting type he was truly born to be! Along with that, comes all the fun boosts that all Fighting types get – Fighting Stadium, Strong Energy, and Machamp – just note that Golurk has to be in play for the Ability to activate, so you can’t search him out of the deck with Korrina.

Being the fighting type he was destined to become, he can use Superpower, which for four Colorless(!) energy, he can do either 80, or even 120, but at the cost of doing 20 to itself. Splashabilty is key, as any deck can play this, and with it’s dual-typing, it’ll be hitting a lot of Fighting and Electric types hard. The question is, although this thing can do all kinds of damage (especially with the help of Strong Energy!), is it worth it just for the potential to hit two different types for Weakness? …Probably not, honestly. Sure, Fighting types and Mega Manectric and Mega Ampharos EX are pretty big threats, but you’re still relying on your opponent running these, and if they aren’t, you’re just running (at least) 2 cards taking space in your deck that could have been used for either cheaper attack-costing EXs, or Pokemon with better abilities. Golurk is a novel-concept at least, and the attack honestly isn’t that horrible, but I question the mileage he can bring to the table.

Standard: 2/5

Expanded: 2.5/5 (Hitting Mewtwo EX can be quite fun!)

            Limited: 3/5 (Splashability can be fun, and so is hitting Ampharos EX, Tyranitar EX, and many others for Weakness! Kill two types with one Pokemon!)

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