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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 15 Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

#9 - Rayquaza
- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
May 23, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 3.08
Limited: 4.88

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

Back to the main COTD Page


120 HP Colorless Basic that has Energy cycling. 

Rayquaza in a nutshell? 

Nuff said. 

Rayquaza just needs his 2-for-30 Turbo Claw to be considered useful in any deck. It's a generic move that just brings back 2 of any basic Energy to 1 of your Benched Pokemon. That's about as good as Landorus (FUF) or Volcanion (STS) in terms of Energy acceleration, and it doesn't have a specific limitation! As long as you have room for Rayquaza and a DCE, you've got room in your deck for an instant boost in Energy acceleration. 

Dragon Claw's not a bad follow-up either, though it is only a 3-for-80 vanilla strike. It can at least be boosted by something, so there's probably that to look forward to. Otherwise, it's just an underwhelming attack. But hey, I imagine Rayquaza Turbo's the more important aspect anyway, am I right? 

I wouldn't be surprised to see Rayquaza in several decks - most notably those that lack some means of Energy acceleration normally, which would benefit wildly from the attack being used. Such is the life of the Rayquaza player...not to be confused with the Rayquaza-EX or M Rayquaza-EX player, that's a different breed. 


Standard: 4/5 (great boost to any deck needing...well, a boost) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (might be a bit underpowered for the Expanded verse though)

Limited: 5/5 (but hey, any limited setting would love him) 

Arora Notealus: Rayquaza's a bit of a mixed bag. He's great for any deck that needs him, but there are a lot of decks that don't need him. There are decks that might run him, but they may not have the room to run him. Try Rayquaza out and see how he does though, if you find your deck's a bit slow! 

Next Time: All hail the great electric deity!


Rayquaza (Guardians Rising, 106/145) got another reincarnation in the Guardians Rising expansion set.  A 120 HP Colorless Pokemon, it has two attacks.  The one we will focus on, Turbo Storm, allows you, for two Colorless energy, to attach two basic energy cards from your discard pile to one of your benched Pokemon.  Its other attack, Dragon Claw, does a mediocre eighty damage for three Colorless energy.

I have seen Rayquaza used with Alolan Ninetales GX (Guardians Rising, 132/145), Tapu Koko GX (Guardians Rising, 135/145), and Solgaleo GX (Sun & Moon, 143/149).  The theorymon is that when these Pokemon discard energy after their attacks (or are KO’d), you can move Rayquaza into the active and use Turbo Storm to repower them.  The problemon is that if you hit for 160 on one turn and then 20 on the next, you’re really only hitting for 90 per turn.

I guess my biggest problem is that using Turbo Storm gives your opponent a turn of relief.  You’re giving him a turn where he doesn’t have to worry about getting KO’d.  In today’s meta, you just can’t afford to take turns off and do minimal damage to your opponent, you have to find some way to keep continually hitting your opponent for triple digit damage every turn.  If your base strategy involves only hitting your opponent for top damage every other turn, you’re probably going to only win half your matches at most.

Rayquaza didn’t even make my top twenty.  I will say that I could be missing something – it wouldn’t be the first time, I did after all have Tapu Koko as my number twenty card (D’OH!).  I’ve already discussed why I’m down on Ninetales, and Metagross GX (Guardians Rising, 85/145) is a much better pairing with Solgaleo GX.  I can maybe see why you’d want to play one copy of it with Koko, but you should only lose three energy at any given time.  Early game this might be an issue or if you’re going up against a deck that runs a lot of hammers, but mid to late game you should be able to get enough energy around the board so that if you Rescue Stretcher (Guardians Rising, 130/145) or use some other means to get your Koko back in your hand so you can play it down again, you should still be able to continue your attack.


Standard: 2 out of 5


Unfortunately, I don’t think Rayquaza will be an impact Pokemon.  I doubt you’ll see it as a tech in any top tier deck, and you certainly can’t make it a feature Pokemon.  Being able to attach two energy per turn is potentially good, but I think it will lead to inconsistent attacks which will allow your opponents time to regroup or continue their attacking strategy.


We are in the middle of counting down the top 15 cards of SM: Guardians Rising.  The Pojo site list is based on individual lists submitted by the review staff; reprints are excluded to avoid highlighting cards we already know are quite good. 

Our 9th place finisher is Rayquaza (SM: Guardians Rising 106/145).  Being a Colorless-Type means no Weakness or Resistance to worry about (we won’t worry about Unlimited), a few bits of Pokémon-Type specific support that might come in handy, and even fewer bits of Colorless-Type specific counters that even less likely to matter.  The big strength is as much due to its Energy costs as its actual Typing; as a Colorless-Type with all [CC] Energy requirements, it can slip into many (if not most) decks.  Further aiding Rayquaza in this feat is its status as a Basic Pokémon; minimum space and time requirements plus a natural synergy with many card effects and even the game rules tend to favor it (can be your opening Pokémon).  The only real drawback comes in the form of anti-Basic Pokémon effects.  Rayquaza has 120 HP, 20 below the max we’ve seen printed on Basic Pokémon lacking a special mechanic, and enough to survive weak and medium range hits; decks shooting for reliable 2HKO’s of the meta will probably manage a OHKO, though.  Lightning Weakness is hard to read; Tapu Koko-GX makes it dangerous, but then again it scores a OHKO without it.  Any Resistance is appreciated, though we’ll see how useful Fighting Resistance actually proves.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is good; easy to pay and to recover from paying, most of the time. 

For [CC] Rayquaza can use “Turbo Storm” to do 30 damage while attaching two basic Energy cards from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon, and for [CCC] it can use “Dragon Claw” for 80 damage.  80-for-three with no beneficial effect is on the weaker side, but especially with Choice Band and/or Professor Kukui, it should be decent enough for 2HKO’s.  The real deal here is Turbo Storm; while 30 damage isn’t great, it is decent when accompanied by an effect like attaching multiple Energy from the discard.  Attaching from the discard requires a little prep work, but means Energy (in this case, only basic Energy) can be reused over and over again.  While it requires two Energy to use, many other forms of Energy acceleration (like Double Colorless Energy or Max Elixir) can help with that.  While sometimes a questionable strategy, on a solid body while scoring even a little damage, you’ll come out a tiny bit ahead in the deal (though just breaking even in terms of raw Energy count).  As it can be any Type of Basic Energy, you can even handle some of the awkward mixed Energy costs. 

So where should we use it?  I wish I had a specific deck in mind, but its somewhat open nature means it could be something to try in most decks, Standard or Expanded.  I don’t expect it to work in all of them, but in at least a few, a generic beatstick that can accelerate basic Energy from the discard can be a nice fallback.  Two might be a way to guard against Energy discarding tricks, even, though I am thinking more along the lines of supplementing other Energy attachments… especially if they are from another, more easily blocked method.  Unless you pull a Basic Pokémon-GX you feel is worth running solo, run this in your Limited Format deck! 


Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.75/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 


I wish I could say more about Rayquaza, but it looks like it is just a very good, general use Basic Pokémon.  The only real surprise is most of those tend to be Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX, and aren’t likely to have universally useful Energy acceleration.  If your opponent tries to ignore it, you can shift gears for a decent-ish attack, or get really crazy if you’ve got Ninja Boy and the right dance partners; the options aren’t endless, but they are robust. 

Rayquaza earned two more voting points than yesterday’s Hala and only fell short of tying tomorrow’s eighth place finisher by a single voting point.  My own list had it as my 11th place pick, but I’m okay with it slipping in a bit higher.  I’ve seen it referred to as a potential sleeper hit, but I think I’ve seen that pop up too often to remain true (meaning people are noticing it).

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