– Burning Shadows #87

Date Reviewed:
October 17, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Standard: 2.37
Expanded: 2.50
Limited:  3.75

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

Reviews Below:


Continuing this week is DARKRAI, the guy that’s been in and out of the competitive talk for many reasons but has always been ever-present in it. This is just another Basic non-EX/GX version of Darkrai to throw around, and he’s got some interesting utility.

Hypnoblast isn’t anything too special. It’s a 2-for-30 hit that guarantees putting the opponent to Sleep. Sleep can be useful to stalling out an opponent, but it doesn’t deal damage, and it can be flipped out of if the opponent lands Heads before their next turn. This makes Hypnoblast “okay” rather than “great” or “amazing”.

Dark Raid though is the bigger attack of interest. It’s a 3-for-80 move that can suddenly jump up out of NOWHERE if the opponent has used a GX attack during this game. Now 3-for-80 isn’t anything to write home about, but 3-for-160 is on-par with most EX/GX!! It may not be useful against those decks that run GX Attacks meant to finish a game off or get rid of a big attacker, but against those decks that run it for a means of set-up, this can turn Darkrai into a devastating sweeper that only costs 1 Prize!

Course he’s rather mediocre other than that scenario, so he might just be a small 1- or 2-of in some Dark decks rather than a main headliner like his EX/GX counterparts. Give him a try anyway!


Standard: 2.5/5 (okay attack and an attack that’s situationally insane)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (he’s pretty good, all things considered)

Limited: 3.5/5 (not DOMINANT, but pretty good)

Arora Notealus: Darkrai has always had some interesting cards, and a lot of the more recent ones have helped shape the game into what it is today – especially in Expanded, where Darkrai-EX from Dark Explorers continues to provide support for Dark Pokemon and Dark decks everywhere.

Next Time: In the midst of a cave, one Pokemon lies dormant, waiting to become whole…


Well, there’s not much for me to say about this card. Hypnoblast does 30 for 2 energy and causes Sleep, which is an unreliable special condition due to your opponent possibly waking up between turns. Dark Raid is situational against some decks. 80 for 3 is low, but 160 for 3 is great. The sooner your opponent uses their GX attack, the sooner the attack becomes useful.


Standard: 2.5/5
Expanded: 2.5/5
Limited: 4/5


Darkrai (Burning Shadows, 87/147) got another non-GX / non-EX incarnation in the Burning Shadows expansion set.  A Basic Dark Pokemon with 120 HP, it has two attacks.  Hypnoblast, for a Dark and a Colorless energy, does 30 damage and puts your opponent’s active Pokemon to sleep.  Dark Raid, for a Dark energy and two Colorless, does eighty damage … unless your opponent has already used their GX attack for the game, in which case it does 160.

This Darkrai isn’t a GX or EX attacker, which means it definitely has something good going for it – Hoopa (Shining Legends, 55/73) or Alolan Ninetales (Guardians Rising, 28/147) can’t wall it.  I would say that would make it a good card to play in Dark decks to help balance the deck.  I haven’t tracked exactly how often GX attacks get used.  Obviously, some GX attacks are integral parts of a deck’s early strategy (Solgaleo GX (Sun and Moon, 89/149) or Drampa GX (Guardians Rising, 115/145)) while some are so good you can’t help but use them early on (Espeon GX (Sun and Moon, 61/149) or Darkrai GX (Burning Shadows, 88/147)).  Other GX attacks (Gardevoir GX (Burning Shadows, 93/147) or Metagross GX (Guardians Rising, 85/145)) don’t even get used on a regular basis.  Although the results from Vancouver would indicate otherwise, I would guess that with the onset of Hoopa and Alolan Ninetales, we will see an increase of non-GX decks as well (I’ve been playing a ton of Greninja (Breakpoint, 40/122) lately and winning a lot).

So I did not test this as a standalone deck.  I only own two Darkrai, and I just didn’t think it was worth the effort to go out and trade for two of them knowing that I would probably lose half (or more) of the matches I would play with a Darkrai featured deck.  The huge flaw with running this as a standalone deck is that if you do come up against a GX deck and they realize that this is a Darkrai only deck, they just won’t use their GX attack and your offensive strategy is wrecked.


Standard: 2 out of 5


In fairness, there aren’t too many single prize Basic Pokemon that can hit for 160.  The fact that it could also only cost two attachments makes it even more attractive.  I just think that the number of times you’ll get to use it is somewhat limited and situational.  I did use it in the Darkrai GX deck that I reviewed about a month and a half ago.  I think it’s a good one or two of in Dark decks, but that’s about it.