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Top 10 Fates Collide

#5 - Glaceon EX

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
May 16, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4
Expanded: 4
Limited: 4

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Running up to our #5 spot is Glaceon-EX, and that really says something about an Eeveelution EX that has managed to climb up this high on our list. And usually it's by this point that we get to some really, really good cards! 

So what is it that makes Glaceon-EX so good? Well as an EX with no Abilities, you'd expect it to be in her attacks, and to that point they're both pretty good in their own way! We've seen Second Bite on other Pokemon before, and it's always a neat little attack to have - for 2 Energy, Glaceon-EX only does 20 damage but can do an extra 10 damage for every damage counter already on the Pokemon it attacks. Effectively, it doubles the damage on the opponent's Pokemon and then tacks on another 20, effectively KOing most Pokemon-EX at around 80 damage and most Megas at around 110 damage. It's not too shabby for what it does, but it does require some effort being thrown in prior. 

One such way would be through Crystal Ray, which is pretty much the attack that sets Glaceon-EX on the list to begin with. It's a 3-for-70 punch that protects Glaceon-EX from any damage that would be dealt to her by any attack from an Evolution Pokemon. At first that might not sound impressive - protection from damage from Stage 1s and 2s? There's not that many to deal with competitively, but they're not the only Evolution cards out there any more. Nowadays, you've got Mega Evolutions as well as BREAK Evolutions to deal with, which broadens Glaceon-EX's utility to fight off against horrors like M Rayquaza-EX or Vespiquen or even Greninja BREAK! 

Course Glaceon-EX will still take damage against the strong Basics of the world, and Crystal Ray doesn't stop the effects of those attacks from going off, so it's not going to lock out things like Trevenant BREAK's Silent Fear or Greninja (BKPT)'s Shadow Stitching. But at the very least, Glaceon-EX will be pretty powerful as another member of the Water types varied and stellar line-up! 


Standard: 4/5 (a fairly good counter towards many Evolution cards that populate the game, but even Glaceon-EX won't be perfect) 

Expanded: 4/5 (she'll still end up facing some tough match-ups against the Basics in Night March or anything like Seismitoad-EX or Mewtwo-EX (NXD)) 

Limited: 4/5 (but for what she can do, she's very much worth it!) 

Arora Notealus: Arguably the best Eeveelution-EX to date, honestly, and that's considering it's got competition with Jolteon-EX! It'd be interesting to see a line-up of these different Eeveelutions all together in one deck duking it out against the forces of the metagame! 

Next Time: A cute and tiny Pokemon that hits the list hard!


We begin the top half of our Top 10 countdown from the latest set with an important update: Spring Regionals 2016 are underway!  These tournaments will not yet include XY: Fates Collide, as it has not yet been the required three weeks since the set released.  What matters though is that we finally get to see how Expanded (as Black & White through Generations) will differ from its last major exposure in the 2016 Winter Regionals, which only went up to XY: BREAKthrough.  At this point we have only a few results because it is only the first weekend and not the last and I am still firmly rooted in Theorymon for these reviews, but now we will be a little less removed from the reality of the situation, and the final two weekends of Regionals will include XY: Fates Collides cards as they finally become legal for Organized Play. 

Glaceon-EX (XY: Fates Collide 20/124, 116/124) takes fifth place.  It is, as you would expect, a Water Type.  In terms of Weakness this means double damage against a solid chunk of the Fighting Type (those that correspond to the video game Rock Type) and nearly all Fire Types.  Unless we see a major shakeup in the Types being used, this isn’t as good as it sounds; the Fire Type isn’t that hot right now and the main example I see being used - Flareon (XY: Plasma Freeze 12/116) - is small enough that most attackers can take it down in one hit without needing to exploit Weakness.  Resistance to Water seems to have been abandoned in the XY-era but it is still a common sight on BW-era Water Types.  Normally Resistance is just a nuisance, unless one is dealing with narrow margins for a KO.  There are a few specific counters to the Water Type but what I can find is defensive in nature, reducing the damage a Water Type attacker does or that specific card takes; the only one you are likely to encounter is Parallel City.  That is because people use Parallel City for its Bench shrinking effect, which they would have to apply to their own side of the field in order to use it to reduce the damage of an opponent’s Grass, Fire, or Water Type Pokémon by 20.  Unless combined with something else, much like with Resistance -20 damage is a nuisance but usually not a serious obstacle. 

I saved Water Type support for last because Water is one of the best supported Types, and yet I don’t know how well Glaceon-EX can make use of said support.  As we go through this review we’ll touch upon how some of the best examples of Water Type support like Archie’s Ace in the Hole, Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101), Dive Ball, Keldeo-EX, Rough Seas, and alternate Water Type attackers may not work the best with Glaceon-EX.  Up first is Archie’s Ace in the Hole because it is so obvious I’m just using it for a transition; Glaceon-EX is a Basic Pokémon, so it is already as easy as it can be to put into play.  If you have another reason to run Archie’s Ace in the Hole in your deck it is nice that Glaceon-EX is a legal target, but Glaceon-EX doesn’t need the trick.  Being a Basic is still the best Stage because of how little space they require to run, how easy they are to field, their natural synergy with many effects or game mechanics, etc.  It is made possible for Glaceon-EX because it is a Pokémon-EX.  For actual game effects, unless something specific were to released later to change this, the game doesn’t even recognize that Glaceon-EX is the powered up counterpart of other Glaceon inspired cards, but the designers know that.  So instead of being a Stage 1 Pokémon it gets to be a Basic because unless it is a Mega Evolution, Pokémon-EX are Basics. 

Being a Pokémon-EX comes with added baggage: extra Prize when KOed, dealing with anti-Pokémon-EX cards, excluded from a few helpful effects.  You may sometimes find workarounds for these drawbacks, but they are either baked into the card’s rule text or effects of cards already in the card pool.  We’ll see if Glaceon-EX gets the improved attributes and/or card effects often seen on Pokémon-EX, starting with its HP: 170 is the lower of the two typical HP scores found on Basic Pokémon-EX, but it is nearly double what you’ll find on contemporary Glaceon cards.  In the current competitive sphere it isn’t especially durable, but Glaceon-EX should often survive a single hit.  OHKOs will happen though; several decks specialize in them and beyond that there is Weakness.  In the case of Glaceon-EX is is to Metal Type Pokémon, which is a mixed blessing; if the status quo largely continues with respect to Pokémon Types after XY: Fates Collide officially joins the Organized Play card pool, the Metal Type has a presence but typically in a supporting role via Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119; XY: Black Star Promos XY21).  Many decks will use that Stage 1’s Energy “Metal Links” Ability for Energy acceleration, usually for a non-Metal-Type attacker that has all or mostly Colorless Energy requirements.  At the same time though, the Metal Type has some excellent Basic Pokémon and Pokémon-EX attackers and slipping them into such decks is pretty easy.  No Resistance is the most common so we’ll move on to the Retreat Cost of [CC]; this is low enough you can usually pay it if you must but high enough you really don’t want to so pack some alternative options to manually retreating at full price. 

Glaceon-EX has no Ability but does sport two attacks.  “Second Bite” has shown up before now and it is a useful trick; the attack does 20 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter on the opponent’s Active.  This doesn’t sound too impressive on its own because it isn’t; Second Bite is great for finishing off something already nearly halfway to being Knocked Out.  Specifically if something has at least [(maximum HP minus 20)/2] damage counters on it, Second Bite will finish off the target.  This version of Second Bite requires [WC], so while not super easy to pay, neither is it particularly difficult; you won’t be able to just slap down a Double Colorless Energy, but two manual Energy attachments or some of the other (even minor) forms of Energy acceleration can do the job.  So a Primal Groudon-EX with a Fighting Fury Belt attached can be finished off by Second Bite if that Primal Groudon-EX has 130 or more damage already on it.  On the other hand if your opponent has a Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 23/119) Active with no damage counters on it?  Unless Glaceon-EX gets a bump from elsewhere (like its own Fighting Fury Belt) Second Bite will fail to score a OHKO.  The name is thus pretty apt; you want this to be the follow-up attack, not your opener, which is a bit of a shame as in terms of pricing, it acts as the opening attack on Glaceon-EX. 

The second attack (Crystal Ray) requires [WCC] to do 70 damage, which is a bit low but adequate (a Muscle Band means a 2HKO for targets with 180 or less HP) and we haven’t gotten to its effect yet.  When Glaceon-EX (or anything that can copy attacks) uses Crystal Ray, that Pokémon won’t take damage from attacks by Evolution Pokémon during your opponent’s next turn.  “Evolution Pokémon” is a bit of an awkward phrase; the designers are probably a bit gunshy by now when it comes to potential new mechanics and future-proofing card text owing to the changes we’ve seen over the course of the game’s lifespan and the Expanded format keeping cards active several years past when they would have normally rotated out of competitive play.  Right now this means only Basic Pokémon can damage a Glaceon-EX protected by Crystal Ray.  The designers couldn’t just say “Evolved Pokémon” because not only are you protected from those, but also when such cards are played directly to the field as unevolved Pokémon, such as by Archie’s Ace in the Hole.  With this wording, not sure what would happen if you had a Basic that was actually an Evolved Pokémon; that might sound silly but only because the Unlimited Format is so insane as Baby Pokémon as well as Basics with the Baby Evolution Poké-Power actually could do just that.  Blocking damage from Evolved Pokémon is good but not great; attack effects can still get through and even if the Basic form of the Evolution in question isn’t a good attacker, a deck would have to lack any back up Basic attackers as well. 

The Energy costs for these attacks almost feel a little misaligned.  Second Bite - as stated - isn’t going to be a good opening move anyway, but since it is designed for the 2HKO on the cheap it isn’t like it would be better to up the attack’s cost and (presumably) damage output.  With just manual Energy attachments Glaceon-EX will have to wait two turns to use Second Bite and three for Crystal Ray.  A Double Colorless Energy can let you wait one turn to then jump directly to Crystal Ray, while minor forms of Energy acceleration like Max Elixir can help to ready Second Bite in a single turn and Crystal Ray in two.  Together a Double Colorless Energy and something like Max Elixir can have Crystal Ray online in a single turn, which is important because Crystal Ray only places its protective effect on the Pokémon using it.  If you had something like Blastoise on your Bench, your opponent could Lysandre it up and attack it instead.  Even a second copy of Glaceon-EX is vulnerable to this trick.  Though unlikely, if your opponent has a way of both Benching then forcing the Glaceon-EX that attacked back into the Active slot (Escape Rope followed by Lysandre, for example), that protective effect should be reset. 

We also shouldn’t assume your opponent has to worry about the effect of Crystal Ray; besides attacks which state they ignore effects on the Defending Pokémon or attacks that are about their effects and not doing damage, a lot of popular attackers are Basic Pokémon right now.  Crystal Ray is a pain for Mega, BREAK, and the few regular Evolutions still seeing competitive play as attackers, but unlike Jolteon-EX walling against Basic Pokémon with its “Flash Ray” attack, it’s going to be rare that a deck lacks an answer to Crystal Ray.  That doesn’t mean Glaceon-EX is bad, it just means it won’t have the same role.  Jolteon-EX is main attacker material, potentially including Archeops (BW: Noble Victories 67/101; BW: Dark Explorers 110/108) to prevent your opponent from Evolving even if Evolutions are a part of his or her deck.  It can, however, also a TecH attacker, splashed into a deck to help with its matchup against mostly or mono-Basic decks.  There it doesn’t matter that the effect of Flash Ray can be bypassed, you just need Jolteon-EX up there to help deal with specific threats.

Although we have seen more Evolved Pokémon serving as main attackers in the most recent Regionals, most of those decks also pack Basic Pokémon which can be used to attack instead or already have options to get around Crystal Ray.  Primal Groudon-EX had a good showing this weekend, while Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins) and/or Flareon [Plasma] decks are still a thing, but that isn’t enough for make a Glaceon-EX focused deck competitive.  Many Mega Evolutions have solid Basic Pokémon-EX to attack with while the worthwhile BREAK Evolutions already have built in alternatives.  Trevenant BREAK can still use its “Silent Fear” attack because that places damage counters, and if that wasn’t enough could consider running Seismitoad-EX to attack with a Basic while maintaining the Item lock.  You won’t be able to keep up an Ability lock with the “Shadow Stitching” attack of Greninja (XY: BREAKpoint 40/122) and still do damage, but Greninja BREAK has its “Giant Water Shuriken” to place six damage counters on the target you want per turn.  At least some builds split their Greninja between two versions; the aforementioned one plus Greninja (XY 41/146).  That gives Greninja BREAK decks another damage counter placing Ability (the regular Water Shuriken), plus if necessary access to “Mist Slash”, a 50-for-[W] attack that ignores Weakness, Resistance, and effects on the opponent’s Active. 

The only kind-of Glaceon-EX focused deck I can think of is to tag team it with Jolteon-EX, with Glaceon-EX being the alternate for when your opponent does get an Evolved Pokémon into play (Second Bite can also be handy).  Otherwise it is a solid choice for slipping into a deck that can meet the attack costs for Second Bite and Crystal Ray relatively easily.  When you aren’t making it your deck’s focus, it becomes a handy distraction or hurdle for your opponent to expend resources dealing with, and if you are really fortunate they may not even have those resources handy.  This is where we run into issues with the rest of the support.  Even in Water Type decks, Dive Ball may be better off replaced by Ultra Ball and Rough Seas by another Stadium.  If you’re not running other Water support, then Keldeo-EX doesn’t get any synergy bonus, and in fact may reduce the need for Glaceon-EX as Keldeo-EX can somewhat function as a totally off Type attacker and becomes better the more actual [W] Energy it has attached.  For Limited play it’s a great pull but you’ll have to choose whether you run it alongside other Pokémon or try to use it alone (the latter ensuring you open with it).  The former means you’ll have to draw into it or a search card for it, so it may not show up in time to matter, while the latter carries the risk of Glaceon-EX being overwhelmed before it can take four Prizes (Limited only uses four Prizes instead of six).  Against other Pokémon-EX, it will depend on exactly what it is facing; some like Zygarde-EX probably can take out Glaceon-EX before Second Bite/Crystal Ray can build to a KO, but others like Umbreon-EX shouldn’t have the chance. 


Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 4.25/5 

Summary:  Any deck that can reasonably meet the cost of Crystal Ray ought to consider working in a Glaceon-EX; it can really frustrate decks reliant upon Mega or BREAK Evolutions.  Unlike Basic Pokémon decks versus Jolteon-EX and its Flash Ray, many Evolution decks can more easily work around the protective effects of Crystal Ray.  Still both Crystal Ray and Second Bite are useful, so Glaceon-EX is still a solid card. 

As you may have gathered, I didn’t rank Glaceon-EX very high on my list.  In fact, it didn’t make my own Top 10 or even my Top 15.  I do think it does something useful, just not well enough to warrant being ranked so highly.  Hopefully if it really is as good as its placement suggests, someone else can explain why it should be worth it.  Glaceon-EX managed to get 28 voting points, tying with our fourth place finisher.


It's good to see Glaceon finally get some recognition. Both of Glaceon's attacks have uses. The first attack, Second Bite, costs (WC) and does 20 damage, plus an extra 10 for each damage counter already on the defending Pokémon. While nothing spectacular, it is a decent finisher attack to take those last prizes. The real draw is the second attack, Crystal Ray does 70 damage for (WCC) and prevents all damage from Evolution Pokémon during your opponent's next turn. Yes, Evolution Pokémon. Not Evolved Pokémon. This means that Pokémon put into play through Archie's Ace in the Hole and Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick still can't damage Glaceon. This is extremely powerful against the right decks, as the Pokémon Company seems to be in favour of giving evolving basics mostly useless attacks. This means that your opponent has to Lysandre or Escape Rope around Glaceon to deal damage that turn. This won't shut down every deck, but in tandem with Jolteon-EX and Mew, you can switch between the two and lock your opponent whenever you need to. The only thing that stops Glaceon from being higher on the list is that Giant Water Shuriken and Silent Fear still hit through Crystal Ray.
I had this as my number one pick!

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