– Unified Minds

Date Reviewed:
October 23, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.67
Expanded: 2.33
Limited: 3.00
Theme: 4.00

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

I have encountered few instances that this Dragonite was used, but I feel like it ain’t the only way. Based on recent participation of the Pokémon League that hosted a tournament using the Unlimited Format (despite seeing lots of Expanded related cards), I’ve faced against Psyduck & Slowpoke-GX that used Dragonite. That’s not the only example, but it made sense to use it.

As a Dragon type, it benefits from being able to be put into play via Lance Prism Star, so it’s lower stages can be skipped entirely. The wording of the Hurricane Charge Ability can be interpreted as: you can attach to any of your Pokemon from your hand a total of either 1 Water & 1 Lightning energy, 1 Water Energy, or 1 Lightning Energy. This is similar to Vikavolt from Sun & Moon. If you have Pokémon that can make use of W, L, and/or C energy requirements, then Dragonite can be of service. Dragon Impact, on the other hand, costs WLCC for 170 damage and also discards three energies from itself. This will take care of non-GX Stage 2s, as it almost OHKOs all of them, which could be important if you’re playing the Theme mode in PTCGO.

I’m sure Dragonite might have even more potential than my almost nonexistent sample size of my participation. Add that players wanted to experiment that Dragonite and are asking for trades, and it’s no wonder why I see far more of Laser Focus Theme Deck than the Soaring Storm Theme Deck.


  • Standard: 2.75/5
  • Expanded: 2.25/5
  • Limited: 3/5
  • Theme: 4/5
aroramage avatar

I’m not saying I don’t appreciate all the love that Dragonite is getting in recent sets, but he has been getting a lot of cards lately. Maybe it’s a challenge to always keep at least 2 versions of Dragonite in the format at any given time, but I digress.

Dragonite is a Stage 2 Dragon Pokemon, 160 HP, with a Fairy Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. Hurricane Charge lets you attach a Water or Lightning Energy from your hand – or one of each if you’ve got em – to your Pokemon in any way you like. You could use this to feed into Dragon Impact, a 4-for-170, but let’s be honest you don’t want to keep fueling up an attack that gets rid of 3 Energy every single turn.

Dragonite offers a unique Energy acceleration for any deck that can run Water or Lightning Energy. Obviously if you run both, you get the most out of this effect, but unless you’re playing Dragonite Turbo or something like that, that’s probably not happening. The Dragonite-GX from this set offers a 5-for-270 that discards 3 Energy, but you can fuel that up with Energy from anywhere so you could abuse other Energy accelerating options alongside a Dragonite, so if you’re going to attempt a deck with a need to set-up 2 different Stage 2s along the same Evolutionary line, be my guest.

For what he offers inside the guidelines, Dragonite is interesting to say the least, and I’d be wary of just dismissing this kind of power up. Any deck that can work with different kinds of Energy or doesn’t care about the Energy that’s being attached like with a Colorless Pokemon or attack will love this acceleration. So don’t think of Dragonite as a niche Energy accelerator, but one of untapped potential.


Standard: 2.5/5 (all things considered, solid Energy acceleration for anything that can use it)

Expanded: 2.5/5 (though the format is faster, the options are more widespread, and the acceleration is even greater)

Limited: 2.5/5 (it’s hard to recommend here in this format, just cause there’s little else to use, but the potential damage output is strong)

Arora Notealus: Dragonite’s still a great dragon. I like him. He is my derp dragon, whenever Goodra’s not around.

Next Time: A look back at a new ban to be…

Otaku Avatar

Another day, another abridged review.  Dragonite is quite the beast… in the Theme Format of the PTCGO.  Probably in the Limited Format as well, but I haven’t attended a Pre-Release in a decade, so that is conjecture.  It has had one noteworthy Standard Format performance, showing up as a single in a Slowpoke & Psyduck-GX deck that took 9th place at the DC Open Flight 1 tournament that happened alongside the World Championships (if I understand that correctly).  Basically, those eliminated on Day 1 of Worlds could participate in this tournament, as could anyone else who registered in time.

For the Theme Format, Dragonite as a lot going for it.  Being a Stage 2 is still a drag, but not as bad as it is in Standard or Expanded.  Being a [N] Type isn’t much good for Type-matching but is important, seeing as the one successful example could only field Dragonite via Lance {*}.  160 HP is good, even for a Stage 2 in Standard; in Theme its hard to OHKO for all but a few decks (and those exceptions are usually competitive).  [Y] Weakness may be a concern in Standard but not in the Theme Format.  No Resistance is technically the worst, but typical.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is also typical; sometimes it will hang up Dragonite, but usually it can be managed.

Dragonite has the Ability “Hurricane Charge”.  It lets you do one of the following three things:

  • Attach a [W] Energy from your hand to one of your Pokémon.
  • Attach a [L] Energy from your hand to one of your Pokémon.
  • Attach both a [W] Energy and a [L] Energy to your Pokémon.  Note: You can split the Energy between two different targets or attach both to a single Pokémon.

This is good but not great; bonus Energy attachments from the hand just aren’t as good as those from the deck or discard, though they are typically better than just moving Energy around on the field.  Vikavolt with “Strong Charge” has a similar Ability and still on a Stage 2, and saw success at different times during its Standard Format run but it attached from the deck.

“Dragon Impact” is a pricey attack, but handy in the Theme Format where it will OHKO anything you encounter (barring protective effects).  The deck runs enough Energy that, coupled with Hurricane Charge, Dragonite might sweep.  [WLCC] still ain’t cheap, though, so Energy shortages do occur.  In the Standard Format, this is still good enough to OHKO smaller Basic Pokémon-GX, and nearly all non-Pokémon-GX.  Additional Energy support makes using both Ability and attack over and over again easier.  The competitive metagame makes buty getting and keeping Dragonite in play much trickier.

Dragonite-GX and Dragonite (SM – Team Up 119/181) can both easily be used in the same deck as today’s Dragonite.  In fact, the Slowpoke & Psyduck-GX deck mentioned earlier ran two of the other Dragonite; today’s was the “bonus” inclusion.  I don’t think we’ve seen such a Slowpoke & Psyduck-GX deck place as well since, nor do I know if other builds bother with the Dragonites.   I think today’s Dragonite still has potential, as it could eventually gain the right partner (probably a devastating attacker) where it was the best option to “fuel” the deck.  The same could happen in Expanded, but it would be an even longer shot.


Standard: 2.5/5

Expanded: 2/5

Limited: 3.5/5

Theme: 4/5

The above scores may be a bit charitable, but Dragonite is impressive… in the Theme Format.  No, it is not the top deck nor has it ever been, but it is showing up even though it has to compete with the likes of Relentless Flame (the current best Theme Format pick), Blazing Volcano, and Laser Focus (the two next-best picks).  Soaring Storm has no [W] Type attackers in it; if it had even one half-decent one, I suspect this deck would rival or surpass Relentless Flame.

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