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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Primal Kyogre-EX

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
October 12, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 1.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


...ah...I see. 

Well, this oughta be quick. 

Primal Kyogre-EX here is one of the Theta Reprints mentioned in last week's review of Primal Groudon-EX. I did a more generalized cover of my thoughts on the Theta Reprints, saying Primal Groudon-EX's was personally the best one.

Primal Kyogre-EX on the other hand is the worst. 

Yes, Theta Max heals all your health. Yes, that can be absolutely useful at a critical moment. No, it doesn't have synergy with Primal Kyogre-EX's Tidal Storm attack, and while you're not using up two Energy a turn to keep Primal Kyogre-EX powered-up, you're also not replenishing your Energy quickly without stuff like Mega Turbo hanging around. 

The original Primal Kyogre-EX was more designed around the Alpha Growth trait, which means if you're going to be running the Theta Reprint, you're going to have to use an equally fast and consistent means of circulating the Energy around each turn. Either that or you need to start running Shrine of Memories so Primal Kyogre-EX HAS an attack (borrowing it off of your regular Kyogre-EX's Water Pulse, most likely). 

Certainly, one could argue the disadvantages of either - Alpha Growth requires you to have more Energy in hand ready to go while Theta Max doesn't fuel up your Primal Kyogre-EX anywhere near as fast as Alpha Growth would on its own. So it really comes down to a matter of resources and what you're able to use to refuel Primal Kyogre-EX here. Mega Turbo's probably your best bet to do so, retrieving an Energy from the discard pile to Primal Kyogre-EX and working well enough in conjunction with your regular attachment, but that's only got 4 uses at most. 

So the real question is - can you afford having to use up to 4 Mega Turbos for one Primal Kyogre-EX? Chances are you could arguably get away with it, seeing as your opponent will probably be working just as fast to KO Primal Kyogre-EX than you will be powering it up, but keep in mind Theta Max only works on evolving rather than just being an active Trait like Alpha Growth. 

Arguable strengths and weaknesses, but compared to the original, this Primal Kyogre-EX is a mere imitation. 


Standard: 2/5 (the loss of Alpha Growth can be reasonably circumvented through stuff like Mega Turbo, but don't rely on it as your main attacker - that's what the original Primal Kyogre-EX is for) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (again, supplemented by things like Blastoise being prevalent)

Limited: 1/5 (once again, no Kyogre-EX means no play for this guy) 

Arora Notealus: Boy I hope people don't mistake the two of these guys. I mean, hopefully the Ancient Trait box being a different color makes it more obvious, but the two are remarkably similar in color and positioning, at least in terms of the Full Art version. Luckily, there's no regular version of the Theta Reprint, but that's always something that bugged me about the coloration for Primal Kyogre shiny - it's almost too similar to the original! At least the shiny Kyogre is an obvious purplish-pinkish thing! 

Next Time: Back to some more...um...well I can't really say "normal" legendaries.


We begin this week of reviews with another “not quite” reprint, Primal Kyogre-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 96/98) as it has only one significant difference from Primal Kyogre-EX (XY: Primal Clash 55/160, 149/160).  Our original review had it as the top card of its set; did it live up to that?  Being a Water-Type hits the Weakness on almost all Fire-Types and a chunk of Fighting-Types.  The Water-Type has some nice support but not as much as many other Types, at least of the exclusive support that only works for Water-Type Pokémon.  We haven’t seen actual Water Resistance on anything released in the XY-era but it was found on many Grass-Types in the BW-era releases and while it hasn’t seen much success, there are some anti-Water-Type cards.  I’d skip them for not being overly relevant but with embarrassment I realize that the example I know off the top of my head is Hariyama (XY: Furious Fists 52/111) which also is that example of an anti-Fire-Type card I was struggling to recall in three out of five reviews last week: its Ability (Thick Fat) reduces the damage it takes from both Water and Fire-Types by 30 points of damage.  Vaporeon (XY: Ancient Origins 22/98) is still new enough that I am uncertain how it affects the value of Water-Types: does it open up new combos with the Stage 1 Pokémon it can make into Water-Types or does it create more competition and thus lessen the value of “naturally” being a Water-Type (especially for Stage 1 cards, though that detail is irrelevant here). 

For now, being a “Primal Reversion” has no game significance.  Being a Mega Evolution does have a lot of significance and includes being a Pokémon-EX, so I’ll start with what that entails: Pokémon-EX are allowed (but not guaranteed) to have better attributes and effects than their non-Pokémon-EX counterparts at the cost of giving up an extra Prize when KOed (the main drawback), being negatively affected by other cards specifically because of being a Pokémon-EX (matters often enough, especially in Expanded) and being unable to use certain beneficial effects because they specifically exclude working for Pokémon-EX (which so far has almost never mattered).  Being a Mega Evolution seems to increase the allowable benefits for attributes and effects but adds the drawback of needing cards cards to get into play (the usual Evolution versus Basic problem) with the additional problem of your turn ending when you Mega Evolve.  There are ways around both; as a Water-Type you can use Archie’s Ace in the Hole to bypass Mega Evolving, Benching a Primal Kyogre-EX directly from your discard pile.  That usually requires a deck built around it as Archie’s Ace in the Hole states it must be the only card in your hand in order to be able to use it (plus you need a legal target in the discard pile and open spot on your Bench).  The other bypass is to use Kyogre Spirit Link, a Pokémon Tool with the lone effect of preventing your turn from ending when you Mega Evolve, which isn’t a huge hurdle but has the usual Pokémon Tool drawbacks: showing up at the right time, getting discarded before it can be used, taking up a Pokémon’s “tool slot” and potentially being negated. 

Primal Kyogre-EX has 240 HP; the only thing with a higher printed HP is Wailord-EX with the next highest non-Mega Evolution plunging to 190.  Nothing is safe from being OHKOed, but 240 is fairly resilient; if an opposing deck can score a OHKO it probably won’t be able to do so rapidly, reliably and repeatedly.  Grass-Types will find the OHKO much easier due to Weakness.  You can click here to see the results of the the Top 8 finishers for each age bracket at each of the first weekend’s regional championships (I assume the results for the second weekend will also eventually be added).  I bring it up because if the second weekend is similar, the Grass-Type presence is far less than I expected, though it does also not non-existent.  So if this holds true it is a pretty “average” Weakness overall.  Primal Kyogre-EX lacks a Resistance which is technically the worst but quite common.  Its Retreat Cost is [CCCC], which is quite expensive; make sure your deck packs alternatives to manually retreating it at full price or is capable of dealing with being up front, potentially when otherwise totally unprepared. 

Primal Kyogre-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 96/98) has the Ancient Trait “Θ Max”, which removes all damage counters from it when you Mega Evolve one of your in play Pokémon into it.  So for starters, that means it won’t work with Archie’s Ace in the Hole; not a deal breaker also not without consequence.  Otherwise it seems to be a solid Ancient Trait; not the best but far from useless.  Primal Kyogre-EX (XY: Primal Clash 55/160, 149/160) has “α Growth”, which triggers when you attach an Energy card from hand to itself; it allows you to attach another Energy card immediately to itself.  That is most useful because this card has an expensive attack, requiring [WWWC], called “Tidal Storm”.  It hits the opponent’s Active for 150 damage and each Pokémon-EX on the opponent’s Bench (if there are any) for 30 points of damage as well plus you must move two Energy cards from Primal Kyogre-EX to one of your Benched Pokémon unless you have no Bench; if you only have something immune to the effects of attacks like Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast 20/101) you still have to move the Energy, at which point Safeguard blocks its attachment and the Energy is discarded.  Tidal Storm can make for a pretty solid “streaming” of Energy once it gets going, but it needs to because it isn’t creating some sort of fast lock effect or doing enough damage to steamroll the opposition (like most currently competitive decks).  While healing is nice, without α Growth you’ll need other forms of Energy acceleration like Mega Turbo or run something like Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149, BW: Plasma Storm 137/135, BW: Plasma Blast 16/101).  In fact even with α Growth you’ll likely want one or the other. 

So how about regular Kyogre-EX?  In Expanded you have two options: BW: Dark Explorers 26/108 (and 104/108) or XY: Primal Clash 54/160 (or 148/160 or XY: Black Star Promo XY41).  Both are Water-Type Basic Pokémon-EX with no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCCC], no Ability, no Ancient Trait and two attacks.  BW: Dark Explorers 26/108 has 170 HP with Lightning Weakness.  Its first attack is “Smash Turn” for [WC], hitting for 30 damage with the option of moving Kyogre-EX to your Bench.  Its second attack is “Dual Splash” for [WWC] and it allows you to select two of your opponent’s Pokémon and hit them for 50 points of damage. Here is the old review for it: we were not kind.  We also were not correct: in the super-short-run, it proved quite useful to the Klinklang (Black & White 76/114) decks of the time.  It gave them a Water-Type attacker (covering its Fire Weakness) and something to hammer the Bench, but eventually that deck lost steam and even though some still use it, I don’t think you’d see either Kyogre-EX in there… but apparently Jonathan Paranada took second place in the Masters Division of the Phoenix, AZ 2015 Autumn Regional Championship so I guess I am missing something.  Maybe setting up for Articuno (XY: Roaring Skies 17/108)? 

In Standard you don’t have a choice but to use XY: Primal Clash 54/160.  It has 180 HP and Grass Weakness.  It’s first attack (Water Pulse) costs [WC] and hits for 30 while leaving the Defending Pokémon Asleep; damage is a bit low for the price but the effect may help you avoid getting attacked on the next turn (if the opponent’s Active doesn’t wake up on its own or with help).  For [WWCC] it can use “Giant Whirlpool” for 140 damage, though the effect of the attack bounces two [W] Energy cards from itself back to your hand.  This is a good but not great attack; bouncing Energy can be a huge drawback though thankfully we’ve covered on some options (α Growth or Mega Turbo to attach it to Primal Kyogre-EX or using “Deluge” from Blastoise to attach to anything) that can actually turn it into a bonus as you can avoid losing the Energy to the discard pile and reduce damage from attacks like “Evil Ball” (Yveltal-EX is back to being a major player).  In fact what keeps it from being all that great of an attack is that for the investment the damage falls in an awkward place for something planning to Mega Evolve (and thus wanting a Spirit Link attached).  Even with a Muscle Band it would have missed OHKOing most other Basic Pokémon-EX, but even slamming into a Wailord-EX using Giant Whirlpool is overill. 

So the original Primal Kyogre-EX did not live up to the hype; right now it is an existing deck but hasn’t met with much success, though enough not to completely count it out.  Even though I would have thought it a poor fit, I’ve encountered people using it with Blastoise; maybe they have nothing better to run with Blastoise or don’t know what they are doing. Maybe these people want a fallback option that won’t be crippled if Abilities are disabled.  Maybe they want the damage spread against Pokémon-EX.  I might risk XY: Ancient Origins 96/98 in the deck, crazy though it sounds.  Between Tidal Storm, Deluge and Mega Turbo, it is possible you’ll be able to power this version of Primal Kyogre-EX up quickly enough to still be okay.  However while I said something similar about Primal Groudon-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 97/98) the case is stronger there.  The short version is that it is exactly how the two decks work that makes the difference: healing up a Primal Kyogre-EX shouldn’t be as big of a deal as for a Primal Groudon-EX, and even with the alternate forms of Energy acceleration available in the Primal Kyogre-EX deck, α Growth just seems more important than Θ Max.  Note that once again in Limited play, XY: Ancient Origins lacks a method of getting Primal Kyogre-EX into play. 


Standard: 2.5/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 1/5 

Summary: Primal Kyogre-EX isn’t pointless, but this is probably the least useful of the Θ Max alternates.  The original Primal Kyogre-EX hasn’t had anywhere near the success expected by reviewers like myself (ouch!) so a tweaked version of it needed to improve on the original, not just be a potential niche alternate you consider as a single alongside the original (if you run it at all). 

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