Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX
– Cosmic Eclipse
November 12, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Out 4th best card of Cosmic Eclipse contained 2 of the 3 creation trio as well as the creator itself. This makes me want to create a username based of that card “2Creation1Creator”. Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX has potential of being in its own deck or supporting others based on the card effects. If those attacks aren’t what the players need, then I don’t know what is.
Ultimate Ray costs a Water, Metal, and Colorless energy for 150 damage, and it lets you search your deck for 3 basic energy cards and attach them to your Pokémon in any way you like. I also want to bring up another Pokémon that did something almost exactly. Arceus Prism Star has an attack called Trinity Star, which costs C for 30 damage, but can only use this attack if you have a Grass, Water, and Lightning Pokemon in your Bench. You’ll do the same thing as Ultimate Ray afterward. It’s up to you to decide which one you would use: A single prize Pokémon that needs three more Pokémon in play, or a Pokémon worth three prizes that requires two different energy types but does more damage and not needing specific types of Pokémon in play. While the attack cost might contain different types, Zinnia can help accelerate two energy attachments. And your manual attachment finally fulfills the attack cost. Expanded also has Double Dragon Energy, which can provide 2 energy of all types, easily fulfilling part of the cost of their attacks. And that’s especially important to its next attack…
…which is Altered Creation, which costs a single metal energy to use. This gives a PERMANENT effect of dealing 30 extra damage to the opponent’s Active Pokemon. Depending on your attackers, this could help push the damage into OHKO range! Additionally, if this Pokémon has an extra water energy attached to it, then if any of your opponent’s Pokemon is knocked out by those attacks, then you take an extra prize card. The wording is a bit strange, but I can assume that it works for any Pokemon with any attack that you’ll use besides 2Creation1Creator. If that’s the case, this is a huge advantage! Any Pokémon that gets its attack boosted by that effect AND potentially take extra prizes. Perhaps the only way to get rid of permanent effects is only Pokémon Ranger in Expanded, and that completely makes your GX investment a waste! Channeler also removes permanent effects but…one wonders why you would use her if Altered Creation benefits you. Maybe if Giant Bomb from Unified Minds might concern you if you hit more than 180 damage and you take 100 damage in return?
Still, 2Creation1Creator has a lot of potential for any deck. You’ve got a potential energy accelerator and even two permanent effects that are unrestricted. So even the upcoming mechanic of Pokémon-V or V-Max will still get hit harder from these permanent effects. Definitely something to build a deck around! Recently, I did see a deck profile featuring today’s card and a Keldeo-GX, as they both share the water energy attack costs.
Permanent effects does have a place in any format. If Lucario & Melmetal-GX can do it with Full Metal Wall, so can 2Creation1Creator’s Altered Creation. It doesn’t end there as you can still further attach a damage boosting card to hit important numbers, though specific cards like Choice Band is going to be outdated due to retired mechanic. Only Muscle Band remains to be relevant due to being able to deal extra damage to ANY Pokemon.
Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX is another new TAG TEAM titan expected to carve out a big piece of the metagame for itself. Being a Basic makes it easy to run, and makes the already great 280 HP that much better; not only is it hard to OHKO for a lot of attackers, but if you can bounce it, you can then play it to the field again without much fuss. The [Y] Weakness is a concern right now, as Sylveon & Gardevoir-GX decks varies from good to great, depending on the tournament. No Resistance is typical and the Retreat Cost of [CCC] are disappointing, but only the latter is likely to matter.
Being a [N] Type could be very important to this card, but not because of Weakness or Resistance, as nothing is [N] Resistant and only BW-era [N] Types are [N] Weak. Instead, the power of Dragons is seen in their support: the obviously incredible Double Dragon Energy in Expanded, and N’s Resolve in Standard (and maybe Expanded). N’s Resolve is a new Supporter that discards the top 6 cards of your own deck – probably quite painful – but then you can attach any basic Energy from among the discarded cards to one of your Benched [N] Pokémon…
…and one decent use of N’s Resolve is all you need to get Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX up and running because of its attacks. “Ultimate Ray” costs [WMC] and does 150 damage, putting it into the solid 2HKO range. That wouldn’t be enough for a TAG TEAM Pokémon, so fortunately the attack’s effect lets you search your deck for up to three basic Energy cards and attach them to your Pokémon as you like. So you can attack while prepping your next attacker or attackers, depending on what all you’re running alongside this behemoth.
Wait, there’s more! “Altered Creation-GX” is quite the GX-attack, requiring just [M] for its base effect off permanently increasing how much damage the attacks of your Pokémon do by 30, barring attacks that do no damage in the first place. If you can afford just one more [W] on top of that [M], Altered Creation-GX also lets you take an extra Prize when you KO your opponent’s Pokémon via attack damage from your own Pokémon. Both these effects are placed on the field or player, not the individual Pokémon, so they stick around the rest of the game.
On its own, the +30 damage from Altered Creation-GX suddenly lets Ultimate Ray OHKO small-to-medium-sized Basic Pokémon-GX, and if you get the bonus effect, you’d also reap the same Prize payout as for OHKOing a TAG TEAM! That damage bonus means almost all single-Prize Pokémon are in OHKO range and now have the payout of a non-TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX.
Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX should spawn at least one competitive deck in the Standard Format and maybe also show up in some existing decks. Variants of both are also likely. The Expanded Format actually looks pretty similar, though with supporting players and likely opponent’s changing around a bit. If you’re lucky enough to pull Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX in the Limited Format, definitely run it… but do you run them solo or backed by other Pokémon? Either route is acceptable, though with the Mulligan a.k.a. +39 approach, be wary of the [Y] presence this set. It isn’t as strong as it could be, but neither is it lacking.
Initially, Acreus & Dialga & Palkia-GX did not make my Top 11 but the others made me see reason. It isn’t like they missed out because I didn’t think they were good. Rather, I wanted to focus on N’s Resolve because there are some other notable new [N] Types it could (should?) help out and I didn’t realize that Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX should be great! I ultimately made it my 8th-place pick but only because there were seven other cards of similar quality in this set; I’m perfectly content to have it take 4th place instead of of one of those.
I gotta admit, when I first read this card’s effects, I think I speak for the others when I say that this card is insane. Like wow, this is something else entirely.
Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX, aside from being the second trio to be featured all at once on a card, is a Basic Dragon-Type Tag Team-GX, 280 HP, with a Fairy Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Ultimate Ray is a 3-for-150 that lets you search out 3 basic Energy from your deck and attach them to your Pokemon any way you’d like. That’s great for pushing in with more power into the later stages of the game. But if we’re being honest, it’s the other attack that’s got our attention – Altered Creation-GX. For 1 Metal Energy, your Pokemon get to deal 30 more damage to the Active Pokemon for the rest of the game, and with another Water Energy attached, whenever your opponent’s Pokemon gets KO’d by the damage from these attacks, you get to take another Prize card.
Imagine being able to take 2 Prizes off of anything – 3-4 Prizes on any GX, depending on if it’s a Tag Team or not. And to make it even easier, you’re dealing 30 more damage. That’s absolutely insane! And that’s not even getting into the Ultimate Ray helping to charge up your other Pokemon in play so you can keep up the pressure. The only real trick is getting into that max benefit of Altered Creation-GX feeding into Ultimate Ray, and luckily this set gives us a good answer with N’s Resolve. Milling through the top 6 cards of your deck, N’s Resolve can let you attach any basic Energy you find to one of your Benched Dragon Pokemon, which can lead to a really powerful Tag Team-GX set-up right away! Of course this does mean you’ll need to have these guys benched for a bit, but that can be done in a number of ways midway with Lance <Prism> and powered up with Zinnia as well!
There’s no denying it, whether it becomes a meta deck or not: Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX is a powerhouse, and it’s going to have a strong impact one way or another.
Standard: 4.5/5 (with the exception of its own Energy requirements to achieve all of its attacks and their effects, this is a solid card)
Expanded: 4.5/5 (and being Dragon-type, it’s got solid support too!)
Limited: 5/5 (no question really, you can easily run this here and benefit even off of just the 30 damage)
Arora Notealus: Time, space, and creation itself…what a crazy triad to work with. It does make you wonder what other trios the game could use. I guess I shouldn’t think of dismissing the possibility that there will be more Tag Team-GX in the future, but considering the set after this is going to start us off with Sword & Shield, it’s hard to say that we’re going to see more of this mechanic, even as they introduce Tag Team Supporters into the mix. But hey, wouldn’t be the first time they introduced an interesting mechanic into the game just before a generational shift.
Next Time: Speaking of team-ups, it’s the power of a Sinnoh duo!
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