Aerodactyl-GX (Unified Minds UNM 106)
Aerodactyl-GX (Unified Minds UNM 106)

– Unified Minds

Date Reviewed:
October 11, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 3.50

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

Reviews Below:

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Wrapping up this week is Aerodactyl-GX, and no matter whether it’d be a colorless or a fighting type, Aerodactyl has at least something fun to utilize. This is a Fighting type Stage 1 GX with 210 HP, weak to Grass, and free retreat. Primal Winds only works when it is in the Active position. When it does, then it makes your opponent’s Basic Pokémon’s attack costs cost one more colorless energy. Boulder Crush costs FCC for 120 damage, which can be increased via Martial Arts Dojo by either 10 or 40, or Diancie Prism Star. Wild Dive costs F and does 50 damage times the amount of energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon.

Those effects may not be special on paper, but there’s applications of when to use them. Primal Winds is a good ability as it makes most attackers needing one more energy to attack. Full Blitz and Kaleidostorm now needs four energy; Flare Strike now needs five energy to use; and even Greedy Crush needs six energies to use, just to name a few. But why settle for one when you can put another one? Wondrous Labyrinth further adds the attack cost of non-Fairy Pokémon by one more colorless energy. Put the two together, and you have most Pokémon needing CC more to pay in order to attack. While evolved Pokémon won’t care about Primal Winds, and even evolved Fairy Pokémon don’t care about both, the majority of big basics that are used in a variety of decks are hurt by this effect. However, it’s not that hard to overcome. It takes a switching effect to make Aerodactyl leave the Active, disabling the ability. Green’s Exploration can grab two copies of Custom Catcher to immediately use both of them at once to utilize the switching effect. This is a temporary distraction that costs resources and eventually Aerodactyl gets switched back to the Active, enabling the ability once more. Meanwhile, it’s free retreat lets you send out a different attacker to punish those that had too many energies attached to them.

Boulder Crush is Aerodactyl’s repeatable attack, and while this seems decent with the energy invested, one wishes that it does more, which it can barely do in Standard, but more than possible in Expanded. For Standard, Martial Arts Dojo’s small boost plus Diancie Prism Star makes Boulder Crush deal 150 damage, or 180 if you are behind on prizes, barely 2HKO the game. In Expanded, however, Strong Energy, Choice Band, Martial Arts Dojo, and Diancie Prism Star adds to a combined 80 extra damage (or 110 more if you’re behind of prizes), which makes Boulder Crush deal 190 or 220 damage, OHKOing more targets than without them. However, if you feel you want to do something else than Boulder Crush, then it’s free retreat lets you use another Pokémon that employs the “hit and run” strategy. Two weeks ago, we looked at Accelgor, and it’s Deck & Cover instantly poisons and paralyzes the defending Pokémon, so Aerodactyl would be almost safe from any assault unless your opponent shakes those Special Conditions off. It’d be redundant, however, as a Paralyzed Pokémon can’t attack anyways, making the increased attack cost pointless. I guess that the off-chance of your opponent that actually shakes those off is now having to pay more for their attack costs. Ultimately, I just can’t think of other hit and run attackers that aren’t redundant. Wild Dive, on the other hand, can only be effective against TAG TEAMs that just used their GX attack AND paid extra energy for additional effect, only for Wild Dive to grab a surprise OHKO and take three prizes. This is very will worth using up your GX attack for the game. Single prize Pokémon suffers a similar fate for those with three or more energies, but I doubt you exhaust one as Boulder Crush can OHKO most of them. Wild Dive synergizes well with Primal Winds.

As a Pokémon that’s revived from a fossil, it is of no surprise that it has to evolve from Unidentified Fossil, which couldn’t even be used during setup since it is an item card due to card templates. And you also have to search for those fossils, whether it from Green’s Exploration or Order Pad. This makes it somewhat harder to play because item lock can keep you from playing it, so only Ditto Prism Star can give you one more chance. If you do get Aerodactyl out, then you can enjoy what it has to offer. Overall, this is one Pokémon that’s worth experimenting.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2/5
  • Limited: 3/5
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Aerodactyl-GX (SM – Unified Minds 106/236, 224/236, 244/236) closes out this week. There is only one Aerodactyl-GX card, though it does belong to a larger card family. Being a Pokémon-GX doesn’t guarantee a card is good, and they’ve almost become the norm for the metagame; don’t let it scare you away but do remember things like giving up an extra Prize when KO’d should still be a concern. Aerodactyl-GX is a Stage 1, slower and more demanding than a Basic but still quite reasonable to run. Though not an official video game designation, Aerodactyl-GX is a “Fossil” Pokémon, evolving from Unidentified Fossil. This makes it part of a massive split Evolution line with support specific to them, but which has to deal with the awkwardness of Evolving from a Trainer-Item that acts as a Basic Pokémon once it is in play.

[F] Typing should be useful for exploiting Weakness and taking advantage of Diancie {*} (and more in Expanded), though you’ll also bump into Resistance more than most other Types. Aerodactyl-GX has 210 HP, a solid amount for a Stage 1 Pokémon-GX, though it won’t seem like it if you face a [G] attacker due to the card’s Weakness. No Resistance is a bit disappointing as the last few Aerodactyl-based cards have enjoyed it, but it wouldn’t make a huge difference is present. The free Retreat Cost is wonderful and thankfully did make a return after having appeared on the last two Aerodactyl cards released! 

Aerodactyl-GX has the Ability “Primal Winds”, which increases the attack cost of your opponent’s Basic Pokémon by [C] while this Pokémon is your Active. Its regular attack is “Boulder Crush” for [FCC], doing 120 damage. “Wild Dive-GX” is its GX-attack, and it costs [F] to do 50 damage per Energy attached to your opponent’s Active. Primal Winds will range from annoying to crippling, depending on what deck you’re facing. Boulder Crush poor if you lack compatible Energy acceleration, but competent otherwise. Wild Dive-GX is a niche GX-attack; good if you’re punishing something that is Energy laden and/or [F] Weak, awful if it is neither, and mediocre if it is just one or the other.

As mentioned earlier, this Evolves from Unidentified Fossil, a Trainer-Item that behaves as a [C] Type Basic Pokémon with 60 HP but has no attacks and cannot retreat. It can, however, be discarded from your field during your turn whenever you like so long as it is before you attack. It doesn’t give up a Prize if you discard it from the field via its effect but it does if it is KO’d. Fossil Excavation Map is a Trainer-Item that lets you either add a copy of Unidentified Fossil from your deck to your hand or from your discard pile to your hand. You can skip Unidentified Fossil entirely by using either Ditto {*} or through Pokémon Research Lab. Pokémon Research Lab lets you snag not one but two Pokémom from your deck and Bench them directly but it ends your turn, and as a Stadium, your opponent could theoretically use it.

I don’t think Aerodactyl-GX could carry a deck, but it does look pretty handy for frustrating an opponent’s Basic-centric strategy or punish an Energy-hog. Thanks to Ditto {*}, it is plausible to add Aerodactyl-GX to many decks. You’ll also need some [F] Energy to attack, but that isn’t too hard to do, either. I don’t think there’s enough of a payoff to justify this; if only some decks had performed well enough at tournaments.  Oh wait, some have.  We don’t have anything magnificent, like a Top 8 finish, but we do see Aerodactyl-GX in the Top 30 of events with over 700 players, specifically both the Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Cologne, Germany Regional Championships Interestingly, both used other Pokémon that either Evolve from Unidentified Fossil or something that Evolves from Unidentified Fossil; I think I know some cards we’ll be looking at next week.

Expanded means Aerodactyl-GX faces a lot more competition, but I’m not sure how diverse the attackers in the Format currently are. What I do know is that suddenly Aerodactyl-GX has access to Double Colorless Energy, Strong Energy, Choice Band, etc. As for the Limited Format, you can’t afford to run this solo – literally, as Unidentified Fossil doesn’t count as a Basic while in your deck – but unless you have something else worth running in a Mulligan (+39) build, make room for some basic Fighting Energy and Aerodactyl-GX, because it should be pretty great due to the Typing, the HP, the attacks, and the Ability.


Standard: 3/5

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 4/5

Aeroactyl-GX is one of those cards I looked at, though it might do something eventually but it turned players were already doing that and more. Aerodactyl-GX isn’t something that you have to have, but if you’re interested in a Carracosta (SM – Unified Minds 45/236) and/or Rampardos (SM – Ultra Prism 65/156) deck, you probably should have one or two.

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