Kyogre – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Note: My review for yesterday went up a little over an hour late. If you checked in before then, feel free to give it a look. I don’t believe I’ve skipped a review in several months now, but I have had to post a few late, so if there are any other you think I missed, feel free to check on those as well.
Kyogre (Shining Fates 021/072) is an Amazing Rare, which doesn’t mean anything in terms game play, but will matter when it comes to obtaining the card itself. Kyogre is worth a single Prize when KO’d, doesn’t feature any Rule Boxes, etc. It is a Water type, which is handy when attacking Fire types, but not much else. Water does have some nice bits of support, but it hasn’t been enough to make it one of the major, competitive types. Being a Basic means no waiting to evolve, or needing to run lower Stages. It also means the cards 120 HP isn’t bad. It isn’t good, either, as this is still low enough decks focused on doing damage (even 2HKOs) are going to still reliably take Kyogre down in one hit.
[L] Weakness is slightly dangerous, because some attackers are more technical than others; 60 through 110 damage score a OHKO where normally they wouldn’t. No Resistance is the worst, but negligible. Taking 30 less damage from a single type would be a help, but not by a lot. Most decks aren’t strictly mono-type, and even if they were, -30 damage doesn’t create as late of a swing as the damage doubling of Weakness. The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is the worst, but not by a lot. Anything past [CC] calls for using switching effects instead of manually retreating, and the few times you have no choice but to pay to retreat, [CCC] is barely better than [CCCC]. However, the metagame still has some somewhat useful support that applies to Retreat Costs of [CCCC], but not [CCC].
Kyogre knows one attack, and that is “Amazing Surge”. For [WLMC] it lets Kyogre hit all of your opponent’s Pokémon or 80 damage; no Weakness/Resistance for Bench hits. This is a good attack, but severely hamstrung by the combination of a four Energy cost and needing at least three different types of Energy. Mew (SM – Unbroken Bonds 76/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM215) can be a big problem though; one on the Bench walls against all damage except for that which is done to your opponent’s Active. As with most (all?) the Amazing Rare cards, it requires somewhat complicated combos to not only meet the cost, but meet it more than once. And more than once is probably needed, as Kyogre isn’t like to survive being in the Active position.
What about attacking with Kyogre only once? That is a possibility as well, but you need a strategy that can make good use of spreading 80 damage for this price. Plenty of decks would love to hit everything the opponent has for 80 damage; unless you’re perfectly KOing or 2HKOing your opponent’s Pokémon, then 80 is enough to shave a turn off of that KO count. You need to be able to do so in an affordable manner, however, or else you’re better off just focusing on hitting your opponent’s Active that turn instead. Kyogre may be handy as an early game attacker, or a late game sweeper.
The Expanded Format offers more options for fueling Amazing Surge, as well as for pulling it off more effectively. Unfortunately, it also offers more counters for that support, and nothing currently available (and successful) is really jumping out at me. I used Porygon-Z (SM – Unbroken 157/214) for Yveltal (Shining Fates 046/072) yesterday, but there’s a difference between slapping five Energy down for a guaranteed OHKO of almost everything, to paying four to to 80 to everything. At least, when the Energy required has to be paid mostly using Aurora Energy, Rainbow Energy, etc. Frosmoth could cover half the cost of Amazing Surge with its “Ice Dance”, but you’ll need some other form of Energy acceleration to cover the [L] and [M] requirements.
This should change soon. Well, the deck still might not work, or may not be worth it, but we’re getting a Bronzong with an Ability that can move [M] Energy around on your side of the field. It works with Special Energy that provide more than a single type, so long as one of the types provided is still Metal. You’ll need to burn two Aurora Energy to cover the [W] and [L] in the Energy cost, but the [MC] is now easy to cover. You can use mostly Metal attackers for the rest of the deck, or at least, Pokémon that can run mostly or entirely on Metal Energy, and that are harder to OHKO than Kyogre. Plus cards such as Metal Saucer to get some basic Metal Energy into play ASAP, so you don’t need to wait too long to get started. As a bonus, Kyogre may help cover the [R] Weakness typical of Metal types.
As with Yveltal, Amazing Surge is a little too good for me to award minimal marks but I’m definitely rounding up by giving it a two-out-of-five. Apparently, some decks have made it work in Japan, and I can see why. However, Mew really is a concern.
Looks like we have something worse than Amazing Rare Raikou…
Like all the other Amazing Rare cards, their attack costs require at least 3 different energy types and the investment/payoff can even be questionable. Kyogre’s Amazing Surge costs WLMC and does 80 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokémon, which would be great if your opponent has a full bench, but terribly underwhelming when your opponent has few Pokémon in play or that Mew’s Bench Barrier blocks all bench damage. Just like the other Amazing Rare cards, you’ll have to rely on luck hoping that Turbo Patch accelerates you energies or – in Expanded – employ the Ho-Oh EX/Golduck BREAK strategy to go from zero to attacking. At least it benefits from Blend Energy WLFM being able to cover those attack costs.
For the most part, this will be another collectible card to remain in the binder.
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