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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
October 28, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.30
Expanded: 2.67
Limited: 4.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page



...well, except without the whole "destroyer king" bit. 

All things considered, he's...well, an okay EX. You're mostly aiming to get him into M Tyranitar-EX, but if you do need some help (no Spirit Link or more importantly no M Tyranitar-EX), we might as well review what the original can do. Which doesn't start off well when your first attack is a 3-for-60 vanilla strike. Yeah, Hammer In is hardly anything to write home about - there are much cheaper attacks that can do WAY more damage (see: Sceptile-EX, M Absol-EX, etc.) or even have better effects to go along with it (see: SEISMITOAD-EX).

Break Ground is really more of a temper tantrum over how bad Hammer In is. Adding on another Energy does gives you 130 damage, but it can also damage your Benched Pokemon by 10 points - that's 10 less damage your opponent's Pokemon need to KO you! Yeah, no thank you, I'll take that with a side of Mountain Ring to prevent that from happening to me! Maybe Mr. Mime if I'm working in Expanded, ya know? 

Needless to say, your aim isn't really to use Tyranitar-EX as much of a back-up attacker - you're using him for the same way you'd use the newer Groudon-EX or the newer Kyogre-EX: EVOLVE THEM TO THE NEXT BEST THING!! 


Standard: 2/5 (he gets outclassed by a few other EXs, really he's better off evolving into M Tyranitar-EX) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (...at least the Dark support helps) 

Limited: 4/5 (oh yeah, now HERE'S where you can use him! more damage and a bulkier body makes him worth using!) 

Arora Notealus: Crushinating the countryside, crushinating the peasants!


Next Time: And now for something completely contrary.


If “Godzilla” doesn’t say “Halloween” to you then… you’re probably pretty normal, unlike myself.  So film production, Halloween, convention cosplay… same difference.  Today we look at Tyranitar-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 42/98, 91/98).  If you haven’t been reading the last few CotDs, the Darkness-Type is reasonably good, but mostly due to the power of Yveltal-EX and a few pieces of older support (namely Darkrai-EX and Dark Patch); it only hits Weakness on a subset of the Psychic-Type, faces Resistance on all currently released Fairy-Types and there are also some anti-Darkness-Type cards (though they aren’t particularly useful themselves).  Being a Pokémon-EX normally comes with no guaranteed benefits, just the possibility of better attributes and effects and the threefold burden of giving up an extra Prize, inability to access certain beneficial effects and the presence of certain Pokémon-EX counters (several of which actually are quite useful).  When the Pokémon in question is normally an Evolution (like regular Tyranitar are) then you get the bonus of being a Basic Pokémon; Basic Pokémon are the dominant Stage right now and have been for some time owing to being faster and less demanding to run and put into play, a natural synergy with various card effects due to the previous and in Expanded there are even pieces of Basic-only support like Prism Energy. 

Tyranitar-EX has 180 HP; 70 below the record setting Wailord-EX but the higher of the two typical HP scores for Basic Pokémon-EX and sturdy enough that most decks won’t be scoring rapid, reliable, repeated OHKOs against it.  The exceptions will be decks designed to steamroll the competition (either via raw damage or combos/effects) or those exploiting Weakness, which is why the Fighting Weakness is so dangerous.  Powerhouses like Landorus-EX and Lucario-EX can score a OHKO for a single Strong Energy if they also have Muscle Band and Fighting Stadium while Landorus (XY: Furious Fists 58/111) or other non-Pokémon-EX Fighting-Types that can do 20 for [F] just have to swap in Silver Bangle for the Muscle Band.  While not perfect, if you don’t need a different Stadium then Shadow Circle can try to neutralize its Weakness.  Tyranitar-EX does have Resistance at least; -20 to the damage from Psychic-Types isn’t in anyway equal to the danger caused by the Weakness but it is better than the typical lack of Resistance.  The massive Retreat Cost of [CCCC] means you either run something to lower the cost/bypass manually retreating entirely or pack what you need to help an Active Tyranitar-EX tank.  In Expanded, Darkrai-EX seems like a pretty obvious help here. 

Tyranitar-EX keeps it simple: no Ancient Trait, no Ability, just two attacks and the first one doesn’t even have any effect text.  “Hammer In” requires [DCC] to hit for 60 damage; this is either overpriced or underpowered, perhaps even both especially after you realize that you need at least three Energy to attack at all!  Needless to say, I consider it a bad attack, though at least it still clears the low, low bar of being better than nothing.  “Break Ground” requires [DDCC], so at least the costs are staggered as such that both can use something like Double Colorless Energy and without making the first attack easily skipped (which would make Hammer In even less useful).  Break Ground hits for 130 damage, which seems reasonable for a four Energy investment.  It has the drawback of hitting everything on your own Bench for 10 damage; this is fairly easily dealt with in Expanded through Mr. Mime (BW: Plasma Freeze 47/116) and soon will be in Standard with the pending release of Mr. Mime (XY: BREAKThrough 97/162).  Currently you could use Mountain Ring but if you’re focusing on Tyranitar-EX then I am assuming you’ll need to try for a OHKO with Break Ground, at least against all but the biggest targets (like Mega Evolutions).  So tack on a Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym and you can hit the needed 180 damage, except against Resistance or those unaffected by Poison. 

Of course, there is M Tyranitar-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 43/98, 92/98).  It shares a lot in common with regular Tyranitar-EX so we’ll focus on the differences.  As the different name indicates it is a Mega Evolution; all the baggage of being a Pokémon-EX carries over and is joined by having to wait a turn to Mega Evolve plus your turn actually ends the instant you Mega Evolve unless you had Tyranitar Spirit Link equipped to the Tyranitar-EX you used.  There are also some anti-Mega Evolution effects with which you’ll need to contend.  There is the potent Mega Evolution support of Mega Turbo and it looks like M Tyranitar-EX does cash in on the expected benefits of Mega Evolving as it has 240 HP (maximum seen on a Mega Evolution so far) and an Ancient Trait in addition to a single, massive attack.  “Θ Double” allows M Tyranitar-EX to have two Pokémon Tools attached to it at once; it is better here than on many other cards simply because this allows you to have something attached to it apart from the (by then unneeded) Tyranitar Spirit Link, though otherwise it would be a bit bittersweet; deck space is probably going to be quite tight for a Mega Evolution that needs four Energy to attack like it does.  “Destroyer King” has the same [DDCC] Energy cost as Break Ground but but only hits for 110 damage; a little less than I’d like but the attack has an effect and this time it is a beneficial one.  For each damage counter already on the opponent’s Active, Destroyer King does an extra 60 damage!  The only reason that is not more amazing is because past two damage counters, you’re usually in overkill territory. 

We reviewed M Tyranitar-EX here as our 13th place finisher for our Top 15 list based on XY: Ancient Origins.  I’m not sure how well M Tyranitar-EX has lived up to that but it really seems most likely that a deck built around M Tyranitar-EX is where you’d see Tyranitar-EX; after all even if you do focus on Break Ground you’re going to require the level of resource investment that makes many cards viable.  The good news is that some of the potential partners for M Tyranitar-EX can assist regular Tyranitar-EX.  Thanks to Θ Double you might actually be running Muscle Band already, Dark Patch may be run alongside or instead of Mega Turbo (really not sure which is best here, all things considered) and there are a few options for placing damage counters via Abilities that could replace the Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym combo (possibly even the need for Muscle Band) when it comes to turning Break Ground into a OHKO.  So overall, I’d say Tyranitar-EX is decent; even though you could try to base a deck around it, it isn’t promising enough for that to seem worthwhile to me, at least in Standard and Expanded play.  In Limited it is another story; the slow build time for attacking makes me hesitant to recommend it in a +39 build where it is your only Basic Pokémon, but once you do reach four Energy attached you’ll likely score rapidfire OHKOs.  Certainly run it in just about anything else; you’ll need to run a third to half your Energy as Darkness Energy and it might not show up in time to dance, but when it does you’ll enjoy it.  Just don’t forget you’re hitting your own Bench as well. 


Standard: 2.35/5 

Summary: Tyranitar-EX isn’t a great launching platform for M Tyranitar-EX, but at least it could function as a back-up attacker and Tyranitar Spirit Link exists, so it isn’t too bad.  Its Mega Evolution has always struck me as “good but not great” and it didn’t make any of the top cuts for the Autumn Regionals that I recall, but that is still an improvement over the previous two days so I’ll take it.

Emma Starr

            I think it’s safe to say many of us know how much of a monster Mega Tyranitar EX is by now, especially aided by Golbat and Crobat from PHF. However, it seems we have neglected to take a proper look at his base form, Tyranitar EX.

            Just like the previous Absol’s Tyranitar is cursed with Fighting weakness as well, meaning that just one attack that will do 90+ damage from a Fighting type will OHKO him…like Lucario EX’s Somersault Kick...oh dear. Thankfully, Mega Tyranitar does have a Spirit Link, which will help him survive that unfortunate attack. But if you can’t get that all-important Spirit Link, what else can Tyranitar EX do?

            His first attack does a mediocre 3-for-60 damage, which is just…meh. With a DCE you could use it on your second turn, or first (if you go second) by using a Dark Patch (DEX 93), but only in Expanded. His second attack, Break Ground, does 130 damage, and costs 2 Dark and Two Colorless, so thankfully, you can still make use of the previously-mentioned DCE. However, it does do 10 damage to each of your Pokemon, which may not be ideal, but can help in some strategies (Mew EX and Shedinja come to mind, but I’m sure there are others, too. Perhaps the other reviewers may touch upon some?). Otherwise, 130 damage is pretty much par for the course in most EX’s second attacks, so nothing too crazy here. Except his Mega form.

            Standard: 2.5/5 (Worth it at least for the Mega, but he can hold his own if needed, as long as he doesn’t stare down any Fighting types!)

            Expanded: 3/5 (Again, older Dark support never fails to help!)

            Limited: 4/5 (Even normal EX power is good power here. Just try not to let him get KOed! Thankfully, there aren’t many Fighting types here…)

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