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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
Top 15 Sun & Moon:
- S&M: Guardians Rising
May 25, 2017
& Reviews Summary
Ratings are based
on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.
3 ... average. 5 is awesome.
Back to the main COTD
HEY LOOK IT'S NINETALES-GX!!
Just kidding, it's just Turtonator-GX.
But let's be honest, for a moment there, you thought
there was a Ninetales-GX and forgot Alolan Ninetales-GX
was a thing. Yeah? No? Alright then.
So Turtonator-GX is a Basic Fire GX
with nothing but attacks - the first of which costs 2,
and the second of which costs 3...huh...that does sound
like Alolan Ninetales-GX already. In fact, looking
closer, that's a 2-Colorless Energy and a 3-Energy,
2-Type-specific Energy and a third generic attack in a
row. I wonder what else is similar? Shell Trap starts
out as a 2-for-30 move with an effect - okay, that's
different. The effect is that it does 80 damage - yes, 8
DAMAGE COUNTERS - onto your opponent's Pokemon that
attacks Turtonator-GX during their turn after Shell Trap
is used. That's 110 damage if you're counting at home.
But let's say they don't attack -
they just take 30 damage. Now what? Well that's where
Bright Flame comes in - as a 3-for-160 strike that
discards 2 Fire Energy from Turtonator-GX. That's pretty
much Alolan Ninetales-GX's Blizzard Edge in a nutshell,
granted that the latter's Edge discards any 2 Energy
against Flame's discard of 2 Fire. But that's 190 damage
between Shell Trap and Bright Flame - unboosted, I might
add, and already KOing most Basic-EX and Basic-GX,
including itself. Add on the 80 damage if your opponent
made the mistake of attacking and not finishing off
Turtonator-GX, and that's a KO on anything in the game.
So how to pump up that Turtonator-GX
with all that Fire Energy...well, there's Volcanion
(STS) - the basic one, not the EX version - that can
attack and charge Turtonator-GX with Energy, but there's
also another method, and this is where cards like Hala
could see play in this deck - Nitro Tank GX. For but a
single Fire Energy, Turtonator-GX will heat things up
and charge out 5 Fire Energy from your discard pile to
your Pokemon in any way you like. If you get 5 Fire
Energy into the discard - really though, if you get ANY
Fire Energy into the discard - and use Nitro Tank GX,
Turtonator-GX gets charged, your other Pokemon get
charged, you use your GX Attack for the game, and Hala
draws 7 cards forever.
Turtonator-GX and Volcanion - a
match made in the fiery volcano on Akala Island.
And note: Volcanion-EX's Ability?
Yeah, that works with Turtonator-GX, since he's a Basic.
Think about that.
Standard: 4.5/5 (a strong contender
with Volcanion decks, probably even a must-run)
Expanded: 4/5 (and definitely a
strong vote of confidence for other Fire decks as well)
Limited: 5/5 (and definitely a
powerhouse in a limited environment)
Arora Notealus: Really, the only
things I could knock about Turtonator-GX are his
weakness to Water - which will be a thing, given the
presence of some recent Water support - and his Retreat
Cost of 3, which would make moving him out difficult
without Switch or Float Stone or the like. But
considering he's as much a self-serving engine as he is
a tank of a GX at 190 HP, chances are you're not
retreating him...even with that Water weakness.
...although if you didn't use Nitro
Tank GX earlier, maybe the retreat to get rid of some to
use for another Nitro Tank GX or Volcanion's attack is
Next Time: The grace and aura of
(Guardians Rising, 18/145), a brand new Pokemon
out of the Guardians Rising expansion set, has
190 HP and three attacks.
Its GX attack,
allows you to attach five Fire energy cards to your
Pokemon from your discard pile in any way you’d like.
Flame does 160 damage but forces you to discard two
attack that I’ve exclusively used, however,
does only twenty base damage.
have only used an attack that does twenty damage in the
times you’ve played
Yes, you only need to use his double Colorless
The effect of this attack almost makes
You see, after playing
if your opponent attacks this
your opponent’s active Pokemon has eight damage counters
placed on it.
It essentially functions the same as a
(Breakpoint, 97/122), only it does twenty more
damage, eighty instead of sixty.
Shell Trap really does 100 damage to your opponent’s
active the majority of the time.
Furthermore, if you have a couple
(Steam Siege, 26/114) on your bench, all of a
sudden Shell Trap
actually hits for 130, 160, or even 190!
becomes a very good complement to
IMO, it’s actually a better pairing than baby
I don’t run baby
my Volcanion EX
builds any more.
& Moon, 23/149), and
These Pokemon don’t give your opponent a turn off
In today’s meta, you’ve got to hit for triple
digit damage pretty much every turn.
If you only do twenty or fifty or even eighty
damage, it doesn’t matter that you can attach two energy
to your benched Pokemon.
You need to hit for a lot more than that while
simultaneously using resources other than the effect of
an extremely underpowered attack to power up Pokemon on
That’s just the way it is – I’m sure we’re all coming
across (and playing) very high powered Pokemon that set
up quickly and hit for a ton of damage every turn.
If you want to compete at the highest levels in
today’s game, you can’t waste a couple of turns dinking
your opponent for twenty damage.
In full disclosure, I only have a single copy of
I have only teched him into decks where other
Pokemon are the feature Pokemon.
I have no doubt, however, that you could use him
as a feature Pokemon, the main attacker, and run a four
count of him in a deck.
Also, I could definitely see situations where you
Turtonator’s other attacks as well, and when I get a
couple more copies and make a full
deck, I’ll have the opportunity to employ his other two
far I’ve just used him as a tech in, a bonus attacker,
and Shell Trap
has worked very well for me in the situations I’ve used
Flame with three
does enough to one shot any Pokemon in the game, and
then you will most likely be able to follow this up with
Shell Trap in
the next turn.
Tank-GX also opens up a world of possibilities to a
variety of EX and Mega Fire Pokemon who have devasting
attacks with such ridiculously high energy costs that
had previously made them unplayable.
definitely say that
other attacks could prove quite valuable in a
featured deck, but as I’ve only used him situationally
as a tech in one of,
has served quite well in
Standard: 4 out of 5
makes one of the best decks in the format even better.
If you run a
deck, this has now become at least a one of in those
decks, and I don’t doubt that we won’t see some
featured decks even though right now he is mostly being
used as a tech in one of in most builds.
One final thought: I have heard recently that the
prevelant thought is that
will no longer be competitive in the meta against
Rising, 51/145) and
Sylveon GX (Guardians
Rising, 92/145), but I am 3-3 with
decks against these Pokemon.
I do believe that
are tough matchups for
decks… but they are tough matchups for virtually
every deck in
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 seventh place finisher is Turtonator-GX.
Yes, I’m going to remind you of the obvious; as a
Pokémon-GX it is worth an extra Prize when KO’d, should
have more HP than its regular counterpart, will have
three effects (one being a GX-attack), and has to deal
with anti-Pokémon-GX cards like Choice Band.
As a Basic Pokémon, it requires minimal deck space and
time to run, enjoys a natural synergy with various game
mechanics, and even enjoys some nice
Stage-specific support. There are Basic Pokémon
counters, but even with several of them, this is the
best Stage. As a Fire Type, it can hit most Grass
Types for double damage (because they’re Fire Weak) and
doesn’t have to deal with Resistance (because we aren’t
worried about the Unlimited Format). There are a
few anti-Fire effects, with Araquanid surprising
me by proving useful even though it is so specialized.
I didn’t think a Stage 1 Water-Type that could wall (via
Ability) against only the Fire-Type would matter, but
it’s already seen successful tournament play! The
Fire-Type has some nice attackers, but the big standout
is Volcanion-EX, for both its attacks and its
“Steam Up” Ability. As a Basic Fire-Type,
Turtonator-GX can join in on the damaging boosting
shenanigans. Expanded has Blacksmith, some
brilliant Energy acceleration from the discard pile
(even if it costs you your Supporter for the turn).
While it actually is support for basic Fighting
Energy and Fire Energy, not caring what
Pokémon you’ve got in play, Scorched Earth
provides relatively painless extra draw for many Fire
Type decks… and now we have Mallow create a
double unrestricted search combo.
has 190 HP; about what you’d expect for a Basic
Pokémon-GX, and 60 or 80 HP more than its non-Pokémon-GX
counterparts Turtonator (SM: Black Star Promos
SM27) and Turtonator (SM: Guardians Rising
17/145), respectively. Since it is worth an extra
Prize, it needs the extra HP, but this gets it to a
point where, outside of Weakness, it takes some real
effort for most decks to score the OHKO, especially
doing so rapidly, repeatedly, and reliably (most
competitive decks will manage just two of the three).
Water Weakness is the bane of most Fire-Types, and it
means Turtonator-GX is all washed up if it gets
hit by an attack that does at least 100 damage before
Weakness. If it wasn’t for Aqua Patch, that
wouldn’t seem like a low threshold to clear, but now
that Water-Types can easily get two or three Energy
attached in a turn, 100 damage happens. Lack of
Resistance is typical; the worst a card can have, but
the most common “Resistance” you’ll see. Given
this card’s HP and first effect, any Resistance would
have been a nice bonus, but the Resistance mechanic
actually seems fairly balanced, so unlike Weakness, it
doesn’t tend to create dramatic shifts in deck
capability. The Retreat Cost of [CCC] means it is
hard to get Turtonator-GX out of the Active slot
without some help, so build your deck accordingly.
While the ship has pretty much sailed for Heavy Boots
now that Choice Band and Field Blower are
here, Heavy Ball might still be a small upside to
having to deal with this Retreat Cost.
has three attacks, the first of which is “Shell Trap”.
For [CC], this attack does 20 damage and places an
effect on Turtonator-GX; during your opponent’s
next turn, if this Pokémon is damaged by an attack, you
place eight damage counters on the Attacking Pokémon.
20 damage isn’t much, but 8 damage counters is pretty
sizable. For two of any Energy, it’s a good but
not great attack; your opponent can get around it by
attacking something else (whether hitting the Bench or
forcing you to change Actives) or through Pokémon
Ranger. There is also my usual caveat; while
eight damage counters is quite a bit (and usually
includes 20 damage from the attack itself), it has
to shift the turn count for KOs or trigger some effect.
I expect it to matter the vast majority of the
time, especially if we combo with Steam Up and/or
Choice Band so that the attack is actually doing 40
to 130 damage. Now those eight damage counters can
finish off even many Pokémon-GX. For [RRC]
Turtonator-GX can use “Bright Flame” to do 160
damage, but you also must discard two [R] Energy from it
as well. As we just established a 20 to 110 damage
boost is likely, this attack ends up being pretty great.
It is tricky to use over and over again in Standard
(Expanded has Blacksmith). Remember to fall
back on Shell Trap if you run low on Energy, and be
aware that Energy manipulating opponents can capitalize
on your discards.
This brings us to the GX-attack “Nitro Tank-GX”, and it
only costs [R]. What it does is attach five [R]
Energy from your discard pile to your Pokémon in any way
you like. That is a lot Energy Energy
acceleration, though you do need to remember you’re
giving up your GX-attack to do it: a one-time deal that
potentially costs you an easy OHKO later on (depending
on the deck). Of course, this is enough Energy to
potentially prep you for the rest of the game. Not
100%; you’ll still need your manual Energy attachments,
and if your opponent is waiting to assault you with
cards like Crushing Hammer and Team Flare
Grunt, you could still run dry. You also need
to be wary of dropping all that Energy on a single
target for what obvious reason; your opponent has an
entire turn to try and seriously damage, maybe even
OHKO, that Pokémon. Given the amount of attackers
that hit harder based on the amount of Energy attached
to the Defending Pokémon, even some of the larger
Pokémon-GX aren’t totally safe. Of course, I don’t
have any really good partners to suggest that would
require you attach all the Energy to them, anyway.
Instead, before we even think about the rest of a
potential deck, just with two other Turtonator-GX
this can leave you with three that each have [RR]
attached, one away from what they need for Bright Flame.
When we do start thinking about full-on decks, I don’t
have any creative new insights; this is at least the new
costar for Volcanion-EX decks. Turtonator-GX
just fits in too well as a decent defensive attacker,
alternate big hitter, and alternate Energy accelerator.
I don’t run Volcanion-EX decks often enough (or
with enough success), so I don’t know how necessary this
card really is for them. From facing it, I think
Turtonator-GX will be a nice addition, but it is
just taking something already good and making it better.
I don’t want to drop Possibly, it will become the
primary attacker and Energy accelerator, but I don’t
think it should completely replace Volcanion (XY:
Black Star Promos XY145; XY: Steam Siege
25/114); Nitro Tank-GX is a one-time trick and it
is nice having a single Prize attacker. Expanded
gets Blacksmith, and then I start to think we can
make do without Volcanion: Hex Maniac and
Pokémon Ranger were already options to deal with
protective effects, and now we’ve got a solid alternate
Energy accelerating option. Both formats suffer
a bit because of the metagame. Water was already
strong, and it just got better. Decidueye-GX and
Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) is
still going strong (I think) so actually being able to
OHKO the former is a big deal. For Limited play,
I’d definitely be happy to see Turtonator-GX in
one of my packs. You can risk running it solo,
though an opponent running Water Types will likely ruin
your day, while Shell Trap allows it to slip into any
deck if you don’t want to focus on it. Of course,
an actual fire deck featuring more than just
Turtonator-GX gives you the most options; all three
of its attacks remain potent, really becoming even
is a strong new addition to Volcanion-EX decks,
so why didn’t I score it higher? Well,
Volcanion-EX decks already have a lot going for
them, so even if it is a must-run for the deck it isn’t
changing the deck or the metagame all that much.
Tapu Koko-GX by a single voting point but missed
tying tomorrow’s sixth place finisher by nine points.
Past this point, the scores really start jumping. Turtonator-GX
didn’t make my Top 20… what? Yeah, mea culpa
folks; my brain just locked onto “Volcanion-EX
decks get a bit better. So?” So it ended up being
my 21st place pick. It should have rated better,
but I’m fairly comfortable where it ended up on the