– Dragon Majesty
September 10, 2018
Limited: N/A (see below)
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We are here with another countdown of another expansion in a similar manner to XY Generations and Shining Legends. This time, the set that came out in the past week is Dragon Majesty. You can’t get packs itself, but rather you have to buy promotional boxes that contains these packs. As of right now, there would be three pack blisters with either a promo card of Latios and Latias, but when more products come out, you’ll get even better promos, like the premium collection that has rainbow rare Dragonite and Kingdra, elite trainer box that has Nagandel-GX, or even the Ultra Necrozma-GX box. I am in no hurry to wait for those boxes. Also, I decided to re-review older cards from October 2017 onwards. So far, I did Field Blower, so you can see two reviews from me, one that the crew chimed in and one from last week as an extension.
With intros out of the way, our fifth place goes to Blaziken! You can read older reviews of this card when it was first printed.
The modernized print retains the effect text and some attributes, but with an improved 150 HP instead of 100 HP and Fire Stream doing 90 instead of 50 on the opponent’s Active Pokemon and doing 20 damage instead of 10 to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. This can make Blaziken double as an attacker and a support Pokemon whose ability does the same as Eelektrik/Bronzong/Malamar for fire types. But being a Stage 2, Blaziken would have to be the focus of the deck instead of just sitting there because it has a better attack than the stage 1 trio.
I am sure you can make a Blaziken deck that does a similar thing in the past because the older Blaziken card did appear in one of the World Championship decks in 2004. Heck, it even has Dunsparce in it, the same exact one with Strike and Run! You won’t be able to host a Prerelease of Dragon Majesty, so I can’t apply a score there.
I had this as my fifth place pick.
Standard: 3/5 (this should still work)
Expanded: 1.2/5 (did not account for Blacksmith, my bad!)
Limited: N/A (would be 3.5/5. The heart of the matter is getting it out and fueling that attack, and DCE isn’t in the set.)
Blaziken (DRM 6) heats up the Standard format from the brand spanking new Dragon Majesty expansion set. This Stage 2 150 HP Fire type Pokemon has ignited interest in players because of its ability Firestarter, which allows you to attach a Fire energy from your discard to one of your benched Pokemon.
Sorry Fire types – I guess the designers of the card game just like Psychic types more than you. Malamar does the same thing and it’s a Stage 1. Considering Blaziken is a Stage 2, shouldn’t you be able to get two Fire energy from your discard? Because it’s proportionally harder to evolve a Stage 2 than a Stage 1, shouldn’t there be some additional bonus for Blaziken? Vikavolt gets to attach two energy per turn AND those are from the deck. Blaziken is kind of getting screwed a little bit in comparison to other similar Pokemon.
Still, this is a great ability, and I have no doubt that it will see a TON of play. And running a Fire deck is very favorable right now, at least on PTCGO. I’ve played 154 matches since the beginning of the new rotation, and 29% of them have been against Fire weak Pokemon. IRL, I’m sure you won’t see nearly as many Fire weak Pokemon, but Blaziken will almost certainly facilitate many Fire archetypes – but not all of them… and maybe not even the best of them.
There are a number of Fire types that will greatly benefit from Kiawe, and many of the new Pokemon we’re getting accelerate energy as an effect of their attack and from your hand. While there’s no doubt in my mind that there’s a successful archetype in the meta that includes Blaziken, I’m kind of thinking that the best Fire Pokemon coming out of DRM will wind up being the ones that accelerate as part of their attacks. There are a lot of ways to get energy in hand for that acceleration, and we all know that attempting to attach early on out of the discard can be iffy and inconsistent. And with the new Prism Star Victini, pulling energy from the discard potentially has some counter synergy with that card, so there are just a lot of different indicators that, to me, seem to favor other Pokemon over Blaziken.
Standard: 3 out of 5
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to test any Dragon Majesty cards yet. I thought with 30 CES packs I’d be able to trade for a playset of something decent, but initial prices this weekend on PTCGO were astronomical, and there were a lot of DRM Pokemon I was interested in that I couldn’t even find existing trades for, so I couldn’t really gauge the value of what to offer. Hopefully, they’ll become more reasonable and available soon for trades because there are a few of these that I’d like to try out.
As you’ve already been told by Vincent, we’re counting down the Top 5 Cards of Dragon Majesty, the latest bonus “mini-set”, which is not available in the usual manner of simply buying packs. Instead, certain giftsets and the like will contain Dragon Majesty packs, which is good for some and not-so-good for others. I’m going to continue experimenting with my review style this week, to see if I can be a bit more concise. For example, it would probably be better if I didn’t worry about “voting points” and the like in these individual articles; if you enjoy reading about such things, perhaps I could just do a separate article at the end of the countdown?
Fifth place is Blaziken (Dragon Majesty 6/70), and it might have placed higher if not for two big, big problems: it is a [W] Weak Stage 2. While Stage 2 Pokémon aren’t as difficult to field as they were even in the recent past, most still require a significant commitment of time and resources and Blaziken is no exception. I’m not seeing a lot of [W] decks right now but as long as Aqua Patch is still a thing, I’m going to assume there is one lurking in the waterwings. If I’m wrong… being a Stage 2 is still a major hurdle for Blaziken to clear. Fortunately, it might be able to clear those hurdles thanks to the rest of the card. The focus is the Ability, “Firestarter”. gives you a once per turn [R] Energy attachment from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon, though that is per copy of Firestarter. This is the same trick Malamar (SM – Forbidden Light 51/131; SM – Black Star Promos SM117) does for [P] Energy, so it should be great for [R] Energy users, right? Maybe. Blaziken is slower because it is a Stage 2, but has 150 HP so it is much harder to pick off while on the Bench and even has decent odds of surviving an attack while it is Active.
Blaziken might even warrant being Active some of the time of your own volition. “Fire Stream” is like the HP in that it isn’t overly good but neither is it bad: [RCC] for 90 with a mandatory [R] discard but you also hit all of your opponent’s Bench Pokémon for 20 as well. Even being a Stage 2 that requires three Energy to attack, that might just barely be worth… streaming. However, the obvious trick is to look for attackers that compliment Blaziken. While these kinds of decks don’t require sticking strictly to the same energy Type as you’re bonus attachments, as you can run a few Energy off-Type or even use the acceleration just to meet [C] Energy costs, the latter would be better served by Malamar unless you really do want to attack with Blaziken.
[R] Energy fueled decks already have Kiawe and a few solid attackers that attach Energy while doing at least a little damage, though Kiawe’s turn-ending clause means it is best utilized as a T1 technique. To get you started, here are some that caught my eye: Blaziken-GX, Turtonator (SM – Dragon Majesty 50/70), and White Kyurem-GX. Blaziken-GX means running a split Stage 2 line, but repeated uses of “Explosive Kick” can quickly win the game. So can Turtonator’s “Explosive Jet”, with the mixed blessing of using a Basic [N] Type that has to discard even more Energy instead of a Stage 2 [R] Type. White Kyurem-GX requires a source of [W] Energy to use its “Raging Blade” or “Dragon Nova-GX” attacks but if you use a Rainbow Energy, then Raging Blade can swing for 160 damage before other buffs, due to its own effect. Based on Malamar decks, a variety of attackers is probably for the best… which means including a Ho-Oh-GX or Turtonator-GX is not out of the question, either.
So that covers the Standard Format, what about Expanded? Blacksmith is still an option for Supporter-based Energy acceleration. Max Elixir is still an option for Item-based Energy acceleration. Volcanion (XY – Steam Siege 25/114; XY – Black Star Promos XY145) is still an option for attack-based Energy acceleration. Volcanion-GX is still an option for beefy up the attacks of [R] Type Basic Pokémon. Pretty compelling reason for skipping Blaziken here; it seems impossible to find a worthwhile attacker that doesn’t already have a better partner. Limited is technically an option so long as you’re playing in an unsanctioned event… unless there are rules for sealed play using gift sets. Pulling the entire Evolution line will be a pain, and if you pull a good, Basic Pokémon-GX or just not enough stuff that can make use of [R] Energy, you shouldn’t run a Blaziken even if you can… but a lot of this set can run on [R] Energy, at least in part, so quite often Blaziken will become the backbone of your deck.
Limited: N/A (if legal 3.75/5)
Amidst the lieu in-between the big sets, we have a smaller set in the works! Dragon Majesty is a lot like the Dragon Vault that came out after Dragons Exalted a few years ago, filled with cards centered around strengthening Dragons…but then it’s different cause it has some other stuff too, as you can see. So this week, we review the Top 5 cards we think are the best in the set!
Blaziken is a Stage 2 Fire Pokemon, 150 HP, with a Water Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. He’s actually an upgraded version of the Blaziken from EX Ruby & Sapphire…ahhhh the days of old. Firestarter is an Ability that can, once per turn, attach a Fire Energy from the discard pile to a Benched Pokemon. Fire Stream then is a 3-for-90 move that discards a Fire Energy and then deals 20 damage to all your opponent’s Benched Pokemon.
Firestarter alone would’ve likely been enough for Blaziken to be considered for the list at least. Energy acceleration is a big part of the game at large, so having an Ability like that is already great, even on a Stage 2. But on top of that, Fire Stream is actually a really strong attack. Capable of 2HKOing Basic EX/GX, and it deals more damage to the opponent’s Benched Pokemon, making them overall easier to beat later! Definitely a pleasing sight to behold!
Of course there’s still drawbacks to him, like the discard and the fact that he’s a Stage 2, but ultimately a lot of his positives can outweigh the negatives. Needless to say, Blaziken certainly deserves a spot on this list.
Standard: 4/5 (classically, these kind of Pokemon see a lot of play)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (I’d say he falls a little behind some of the other Stage 1 Pokemon that do the same thing)
Limited: 3.5/5 (really depends on what you get, though with the set being so small, it’s not unlikely that you’ll not have all the pieces)
Arora Notealus: Blaziken definitely has a lot of promise in his own right, and it’s probably good that he made it onto the overall list. All of us actually had him somewhere in our listings, and I think personally that it’s appropriate that he ends up near the bottom of the list. He’s a great Pokemon for sure, but there are definitely some really good cards in the set to grab; I even had a hard time coming up with a Top 5, opting for a Top 10 instead!
Next Time: A returning Gym Leader calls for a rally!
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