Charizard & Braixen-GX
– Cosmic Eclipse
November 4, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Our tenth best card is another Tag Team Pokemon based on Starter Pokemon after Blastoise & Piplup: Charizard & Braixen. Charizard gets another partner in another Tag Team Card. ReshiZard is still the deck focus of Fire decks as their goal…is to pretty OHKO anything in sight without much repercussions. Could Charizard be better off pairing with another starter Pokémon or a Legendary Pokemon? Let’s find out!
Brilliant Flare costs RRRC, which can be fueled significantly by Welder and maybe Volcanion from Unbroken Bonds. 180 damage is also good enough to OHKO mostly against smaller EX/GX Pokemon and 99.9% of single prized Pokémon. This attack also searches your deck for 3 cards and put them onto your hand. While this is a fantastic effect because it can search for anything, it also sends a message to your opponent to try and quickly play any hand-shuffle based effect in hopes to randomize your hand. Judge seems to be the only option I can think of, as Marshadow from Shining Legends is banned from Expanded. And if they don’t, then you have exactly what you need to use in your next turn.
And then there’s Crimson Flame Pillar, which costs R and lets you attach 5 Basic energies from the discard pile and distribute in any way you like onto any of your Pokemon in play. And if they have an extra energy attached to it, then your opponent’s Active Pokemon is Burned and Confused. Every little bit of inconvenience helps, I guess. While this GX attack seemed like it’d work better with Fire energies, being flexible enough to use multi-colored basic energies is almost unheard of in the competitive scene. You can easily fuel up attacks that require THREE or more different types of energies (looking at you ZapMolCuno-GX and Rainbow Burn Ho-Oh).
So the goal would be to use Crimson Flame Pillar followed by repeated use of Brilliant Flare. While it doesn’t bring in destruction of OHKOs (Tag Teams are well beyond that HP), it is actually resourceful. You could use this with ReshiZard, as Charizard doesn’t clash with deck construction due to both cards containing an different partner. Expanded does bring problems for them: Water weakness, N/Judge, and board control (undo some of your setup).
As though we needed a reminder that Charizard exists. Although this does add in the less-represented Braixen.
Charizard & Braixen-GX is a Basic Fire Pokemon Tag Team-GX, 270 HP, with a Water Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Brilliant Flare is a pretty strong move, a 4-for-180 that lets you search your deck for 3 cards and add them to your hand. And to help set that up, there’s Crimson Flame Pillar-GX, a 1-Energy move that attaches 5 basic Energy in your discard pile to Pokemon you have in any way you’d like, with an additional Energy letting you Burn and Confuse the opponent’s Active Pokemon.
I think of this as less of a competitor to Reshiram & Charizard-GX and more of as a potential partner-in-crime. While Crimson Flame Pillar-GX can set you up nicely, it does require Energy to already be discarded, so it’s not exactly an early-game move. Rather, it’s a mid-game push that lets you power through the end game with Brilliant Flare, which on its own doesn’t seem like it would be capable of carrying you through to the end. That’s where that “search 3 cards” part comes in real handy, since you can add whatever you will need for the endgame into your hand and start playing it out onto the field.
In this way, you can start out with Reshiram & Charizard-GX, then use Charizard & Braixen-GX midway through the battle to power up another Reshiram & Charizard-GX fresh and raring to go so you can power through to the end, with Brilliant Flare being used maybe once or twice just to grab what you need. All things considered, it’s an option in such a deck, but it’s a powerful and beefy option that’s hard to get past without a lot of Water.
Standard: 3.5/5 (good searching and good power-up for the fuel you need)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (and with Fire support, it can be even harder to maneuver around)
Limited: 5/5 (again, can’t really argue with it being so powerful here)
Arora Notealus: Just below Blastoise & Piplup-GX, I had Charizard & Braixen-GX at #7, more so for its supporting role rather than its potential as a headliner. It’s definitely got the potential to be fairly strong, but I think it’s more suited to supporting an already strong archetype available, which let’s face it, does the Fire deck really need any more help right now?
Next Time: And now for something completely different, with a fan favorite dragon!
Charizard & Braixen-GX seems like a good addition to Reshiram & Charizard-GX decks, and probably Mewtwo & Mew-GX decks as well, but probably just as a single. It gives you another good [R] Type TAG TEAM Pokémon that doesn’t hit quite as hard as Reshiram & Charizard-GX, but provides valuable search while still delivering solid damage. Just remember cards like Reset Stamp spoil that benefit. It also functions as an alternate opener, especially if your setup is otherwise slow; if you must, you can sacrifice your GX-attack to get Energy onto your Pokémon.
I’m curious if a control/beatdown deck might actually emerge for Charizard & Braixen-GX in Expanded or Standard, but have seen no signs of such a thing. For the Limited Format, remember there’s a good chance you’ll have little to no basic Fire Energy in your discard pile to use with Crimson Flame Pillar-GX unless you slap it into non-Mulligan build… which means Charizaard & Braixen-GX may never show up!
Charizard & Braixen-GX takes 10th-place by being a new trick for two of the most popular and potent decks from before SM – Cosmic Eclipse released. Which got it into my own Top 20 or 30, but not my Top 11. We’ll see if that was a mistake on part or not.
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