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Yu Yu Hakusho
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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


M Garchomp EX
- XY: Evolutions

Date Reviewed:
Jan. 19, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.88
Expanded: 1.88
Limited: Promo

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Wow...alright, so this guy and the guy before him...how do I even describe this... 

Well Garchomp-EX isn't too terrific an EX to start with. Shred isn't really worth it at 1-for-30, and Hyper Beam is...just overcosted at 4-for-100, even with the added on coin flip for discarding Energy. But hey, in this era where Mega Evolving EX aren't designed that great, usually the Mega-EX they Evolve into is made better than ever, right? Hahaha 


As much as I appreciate the consistency in cost to M Garchomp-EX's signature Crimson Edge attack, and as much as I like the fact that it's 4-for-180, I do have one teensy little problem with the effect that basically says, "Hey you see how much damage M Garchomp-EX has on himself? Yeah...double that." Because that's effectively what you're doing - you add 10 damage for every damage counter on it, aka every 10 damage he's already taken, and you deal that damage right to M Garchomp-EX. 

This is about as recklessly suicidal as M Heracross-EX's Big Bang Horn attack, and at least that attack had the decency to let your opponent damage M Heracross-EX first! 

Sure, the attack won't lose any damage value, so combined with the right cards it can still KO some big Pokemon, but if you're not careful, M Garchomp-EX will just as easily knock itself out with its attack as much as claim your opponent's Pokemon. The absolute raw power is tempting, but I don't think people are going to be inclined on running something that, in a format where 2HKOs are a standard to hit, this Pokemon can deliver the second hit free of charge. 

I mean at least take them out to the discard pile first, man, geez. 


Standard: 2/5 (I'm not optimistic on M Garchomp-EX here) 

Expanded: 2/5 (like he may have a lot going for him in raw offensive power)

Limited: N/A (but in terms of self-preservation? yeah, no) 

Arora Notealus: Credit where credit's due, at least, it's probably gonna show up as a deck of its own just to see how crazy powerful it can be. When you've got a potential sweeper on your hands for almost nothing, it can be a bit intimidating. I imagine running a lot of healing cards to mitigate the recoil - and in Expanded probably running Protection Cube on this guy - but I think at the end of the day he's mainly going to be limited to just a few casual reckless runner decks.

Next Time: Offering a little token of appreciation!


Yesterday we looked at Garchomp-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY167); if you skipped it you might want to go back and read it because today we will be covering M Garchomp-EX (XY: Black Star Promos XY168).  Then again, I’ll briefly cover Garchomp-EX anyway, so I guess it won’t matter too much. 

The most obvious thing looking at this card is that it is a Dragon Type.  Only BW-era Dragon Types are Dragon Weak, which is unfortunate for modern Dragon Types because exploiting Weakness is usually is usually a significant bonus for an attacker.  The lack of Dragon Resistance is a small benefit; appreciated, but far less significant than exploiting Weakness (as a comparison).  The Dragon Type boasts some solid support, plus the amazing Double Dragon Energy; that Special Energy alone makes it one of the top Types.  It means that many Dragon Types that shouldn’t work well due to requiring multiple Energy Types and often high costs not only work well, but can work together in the same deck.  The most obvious thing from reading the card’s name is that it is a Mega Evolution; if you don’t use Garchomp Spirit Link on your Garchomp-EX when you Evolve, your turn will end.  Prior to Spirit Link cards, Mega Evolutions struggled; it is hard to gauge as there weren’t that many in the first place, so perhaps having only one or two prove competitive just meant the those first few were that bad, but I still believe a lot (if not most) of it was the Mega Evolution penalty.  It was on top of the drawbacks of being a Pokémon-EX as well; not only do Mega Evolutions have to deal with Mega Evolution counters, but also Pokémon-EX counters, beneficial effects that specifically exclude Pokémon-EX, and giving up an extra Prize when KO’d.  Mega Evolutions do enjoy some added pieces of support (namely Mega Turbo).  Pokémon-EX also tend to have better stats and effects than their regular counterparts; at the very least M Garchomp-EX gets to Evolve from the Basic Garchomp-EX instead of a Stage 2 like the regular Garchomp. 

M Garchomp-EX has 210 HP, the lower of the three typical Basic Pokémon-EX scores, but still 70 to 80 HP more than a regular Garchomp; at this size it will usually survive an attack.  Fairy Weakness is not a good thing to have right now; if M Garchomp-EX is lucky then the fact that I keep running into decks built around M Gardevoir-EX (XY: Steam Siege 79/114, 112/114), Xerneas (XY: BREAKthrough 107/162), and/or Xerneas BREAK.  In particular, M Gardevoir-EX could not score a OHKO against M Garchomp-EX without a complicated combo except due to Weakness.  Lack of Resistance is typical; -20 Resistance against a single match-up is a nice little bonus, but that means lacking it is almost a non-issue.  The free Retreat Cost is great; it doesn’t get any better!  M Garchomp-EX has a single attack, like all Mega Evolutions; “Crimson Edge” costs [WFFC] and does 180 damage, but also does 10 damage to the Pokémon using it (usually M Garchomp-EX) for each damage counter already on itself.  As Mega Evolutions are in part popular for being one of the few Stages that usually survives a hit (sometimes two), self-damage that hits harder the more damage is already present is a serious drawback.  It isn’t a complete deal breaker, but I think it comes close.  Now for an attack that not only costs four Energy, but with three of those Energy requirements being Type specific and one of the Type specific requirements being a different Type than the other two… 180 damage seems about right.  So either the self-damage makes the attack overpriced, or it ends up being about fair. 

Okay, now for the recap from yesterday.  There are two cards named Garchomp-EX: XY: Black Star Promos XY09 and XY: Black Star Promos XY167, with the former being Expanded-only while the latter may be used in either Expanded or Standard play.  Both are Dragon Types like M Garchomp-EX with Fairy Weakness and no Resistance, but also have Retreat Cost [CC] which is irritating in light of the free Retreat Cost on M Garchomp-EX; there are plenty of ways to bypass or reduce the cost of retreating, but for M Garchomp-EX it will be redundant.  Still better for M Garchomp-EX to have a free Retreat Cost than not, of course.  XY: Black Star Promos XY09 has 170 HP, the lower of the two typical amounts for Basic Pokémon-EX but still enough to often survive an attack.  Speaking of attack, this card has two attacks: “Dual Chop” and “Power Blast”.  Dual Chop requires [FC] and has you flip two coins, good for 30 damage per “heads”.  Power Blast requires [WFC] and does 120 damage, but also requires you discard an Energy attached to Garchomp-EX itself.  XY: Black Star Promos XY167 has 180 HP, the higher of the two typical scores for Basic Pokémon-EX; 10 more HP is nice, but not a major improvement in terms of survival (good thing 170 was already enough to be viable).  Its first attack is “Shred” for [F] doing 30 damage and ignoring effects on the opponent’s Active that would change the amount of damage done, while for [WFFC] it can use “Hyper Beam” to do 100 damage plus flip a coin; if “heads” the attack discards an Energy from the opponent’s Active.  The stats for these cards are okay, but the attacks aren’t great.  Besides having a less expensive attack that can lead into a larger one, they lack synergy with each other.  These won’t cripple M Garchomp-EX, but neither will be be much help. 

So what would help M Garchomp-EX?  Honestly I’m not sure much can; the big issue is that it has too high of a chance of KOing itself when using Crimson Edge.  Can it be done?  Absolutely!  Clawitzer (XY: Steam Siege 34/114) springs to mind; two of them could allow you to attach a Double Dragon Energy, a Rainbow Energy (replace with Blend Energy WLFM in Expanded), and then your manual Energy attachment for the turn can provide the last of the needed Energy.  You could even include some healing options in either Trainer or Bench-sitting Pokémon form to deal with the self damage I just inflicted and/or to try and avoid a self-KO the next turn.  The issue?  With Abilities and Special Energy I’ve just added more “moving pieces” to assemble and for your opponent to negate.  Many Basic Pokémon-EX will use Fighting Fury Belt to bump their HP scores up high enough that Crimson Edge will whiff on the OHKO, and Mega Evolutions are already out of range.  You could include cards to compensate for this, but that is more moving pieces.  In the end you get something that should it work, might work better for another Pokémon.  So I can’t recommend it for Standard or Expanded play, but I’ll score it the same for both because (as usual) I am guessing the increased card pool for Expanded helps M Garchomp-EX as much as it hurts.  M Garchomp-EX isn’t even legal for Limited as it is a promo, but should it ever be reprinted I would only include it on the hopes you could build it up on your Bench and save it to take your last KO or two. 


Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.75/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: The self damage from “Crimson Edge” isn’t an automatic dealbreaker, nor is the Energy cost, but together they are just too much.  You can’t afford to flush away damage with tricks like Max Potion, and even with 210 HP, once M Garchomp-EX has 110 (or more) damage on itself, its own Crimson Edge will finish it off… and it’s worth two Prizes when KO’d!  If you can figure out a cost effective way to heal between attacks as well as quickly power-up, not only will you get to laugh at my blindness for not seeing it, but you’ll probably have a new archetype, as that 180 per turn is quite good.

Zach Carmichael

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