Gallade – Chilling Reigns
Date Reviewed: July 19, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Note: I had some embarrassing errors in yesterday’s review. The Ratings didn’t change, I just had some brainfarts that should have been painfully obvious. I have corrected it now.
Gallade (SW – Chilling Reign 081/198) lacks any specialty mechanics. It is not a Rule Box Pokémon, nor does it know a Battle Style. What it does have is good typing (Fighting), a slow Stage (2), decent HP for that Stage (170), a dangerous Weakness (Psychic), no Resistance (the worst), and Retreat Cost [CC] (neither high nor low). Not the best foundation, but not bad, either. It also knows two attacks. For [P] it can use “Feint”, this Gallade can attack and do 60 damage that ignores Resistance. For [CC], it can instead use the attack “Dynablade”, which does 60 damage per Pokémon V your opponent has in play.
Feint isn’t good. When it comes to ignoring Resistance versus just having the attack do more damage, you’re almost always better off having the attack hit harder. No Resistance is the most common, last I checked, and even though -30 [F] Resistance would halve Feint’s damage, I’d rather have a more universally applicable weak effect, or just do at least 10 more damage in general. Dynablade looks promising, however. Dynablade is useless if your opponent runs no Pokémon V. Even if they run them but can avoid Benching them, just the threat of Dynablade is helping you out, if only a little. Two or more and the attack hits solid numbers. Once the last of the Pokémon-GX rotate, I expect this attack to be very good, maybe even great. For now, it is still good…
…but not good enough to run a pure Gallade deck, or to try TecH this evolution line into just any old deck. Where Gallade might shine, however, is alongside other Gardevoir. Of particular note is Gardevoir (SW – Chilling Reign 061/198), thanks in part to its own Energy accelerating Ability, and also because of Kirlia (SW – Chilling Reign 060/198). Kirlia’s “Mirage Step” attack lets you Bench up to three Kirlia from your deck. If you still run three or four copies of Ralts and then three or four Rare Candy, it is plausible – but not easy – to end up with four Gadevoir and two Gallade in play. Or three and three or any other combination that totals six. When you already have the above shortcuts in your deck for Gardevoir, then Gallade is a nice attacker when facing Pokémon V heavy and/or [F] Weak decks.
However, just for exploiting [F] Weakness, you’d be better off with Gallade (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 82/236, 244/236) instead. Similar stats, but a Psychic type with 10 HP, that may sound strange, but its Ability lets it also count as [F] and [CC] lets it attack to do 120 damage, moving an Energy off of itself after (for better and worse). Unless you’re facing a really Pokémon V heavy deck, or a deck that is both [F] Weak and running some or a lot of Pokémon V, this slightly older Gallade is going to give you more bang for your buck. Good thing you can always mix and match, say one copy of today’s Gallade and one or two of the version from SM – Cosmic Eclipse.
In Expanded, Gallade (XY – BREAKthrough 84/162) is just a better deal, due to its Ability and still decent attack. I don’t know if a Gardevoir deck can even hack it here: Gallade wouldn’t be totally useless, but with even more alternatives to Pokémon V, it would be a one-of at best, in a deck that is currently purely hypothetical. Even as time progresses, I doubt today’s Gallade will get a lot better in Expanded. In Standard, though, it will probably go up a point once rotation happens… unless I’m severely overestimating Gardevoir.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 1/5
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