– Sun & Moon Promo SM14
January 1, 2018
Limited: Promo card
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I hope everyone has a great New Year’s Eve!
We’re starting this week with even more Sun and Moon promos! This time, the cards we picked were from the boxed sets from several months ago. This Lycanroc-GX, however, was released in February 17, 2017. And we haven’t looked at it!
As you can see from this card, this one is neither amazing nor terrible. It’s a straightforward Pokémon, with attacks doing decent value for what it is, except that none of it’s attacks are DCE compliant. Crunch does 30 for FC while discarding an energy from your opponent’s Active Pokémon. Pretty useful for getting rid of any energy, especially special energies that provides more than one unit of energy. Unfortunately, Pokémon whose ability provide unlimited energy acceleration will laugh at this Pokémon. Accelerock does 100 for FFC. And finally, Lycanfang GX does 200 for FFC while discarding 2 energy from this Pokémon. This GX attack will need some help to reach OHKO levels such as Strong Energy, Kukui, and Choice Band.
Not much to say here, but it can be brought out with Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick to skip the basic stage and several Regirock-EX can help you deal more damage due to Regi Power ability. As a promo card, I can’t score limited on this one. Have fun using it, but don’t expect this card to win major tournaments.
Lycanroc GX (SM14) made a huge splash when it debuted way back in February of last year (yes, it’s 2018 go write 2018 on your next book of checks right now so you don’t forget… oh wait nobody writes checks anymore). This card was HOT when it first came out, I remember it was really expensive and really good – I went 0 W 3 L against it in February and 1 W 4 L against it in March. I remember thinking that I’d love to take that to a tournament, I was sure I’d tear up the meta with it.
Lycanroc never made an impact in the game, however. The best that I could find a Lycanroc deck finish at was 32nd at Madison last June – and that very well could have been the Bloodthirsty Eyes version (it didn’t identify exactly which Lycanroc it was). It was one of the first GX’s, and it was a promo – you couldn’t get it in the base set, you had to buy it on its own, which drove the price up quite a bit. Plus, Tauros GX, Lapras GX, Lurantis GX, and Decidueye GX were more than enough to keep a player busy, so I think Lycanroc GX kind of got overlooked and passed by because it was harder to get. Plus, it had that Grass weakness, and from February through September first was the golden age for Grass decks. I did pull it out of the mothballs and threw together a list (not sure how good a list it was) to see how it would do in the current meta. I went 5 W 6 L overall, and 1 W 1 L against meta decks. I felt that it worked really well at times, but at other times was just not competitive. I’m sure there’s a better list out there, but this is what I worked with:
I know there’s probably more energy in here than I should have, but I hate missing Elixirs. It was my memory that in the past, the three attachment requirement was extremely difficult for Lycanroc GX. You also have to throw away a couple when you use the GX attack, and having extra energy is always good for Trade. This way I know I can discard an energy and not have to worry about it too much because I have so many in the deck. The Batons were good as well, really helped continue attacking in a couple games. I pretty much treated the Strong energy as a bonus, kind of like a Choice Band. I need a couple of Guzma, and I forgot about Mallow, too, that’s a great pairing with Zoroark GX. I might have even won a game or two more if I had Mallow. But it’s like if you get two Zoroark GX out, you will burn through cards so fast you’ll have to catch yourself when you get down to about ten left and really ask yourself if you want to do that Trade. Other times, you dead draw and there’s nothing you can do, and it’s usually early in the game before you can get Zoroark up and running.
Standard: 2.5 out of 5
Although it’s clearly been surpassed by its other card from Guardians Rising, the original Lycanroc GX isn’t bad, it’s just not good enough to consistently compete in our current meta.
Welcome to not only a new week but a New Year on Pojo.com. This week, we’ll be looking at some promos we’ve never reviewed before… yes, even for our Throwback Thursday pick; I found one that has been released multiple times over the last four years, but which we’ve never reviewed prior. The other important thing to note is that I’m finally making a serious attempt at changing my review style. While I prefer my careful, detailed breakdown, I just don’t have the time. You’ll even notice some formatting changes, as I all but eliminate various bits of “Rich Text” I’ve used in an effort to make my messages easier to read; not a great loss, as some found them more distracting than helpful.
With that out of the way, Monday’s Card of the Day is Lycanroc-GX, specifically, the one originally released as SM – Black Star Promos SM14, later re-released as SM – Burning Shadows 136/147 and 155/147. Other than the [G] Weakness, nothing about this card’s stats are especially good or bad. [G] Weakness is dangerous and was even worse around the time of this card’s initial release, but it isn’t the worst Weakness to have right now. The attacks mostly follow suit; “Crunch” is the least expensive at [FC], which keeps Lycanroc-GX from being a fast, reliable attacker but it doesn’t make it slow and/or unreliable. 30 damage is a bit low for the Energy, but discarding an Energy from the opponent’s Active is a good – but not great – effect for an attack. “Accerlock” is vanilla damage, but 120 for [FFC] is – yet again – good but not great. “Lycanfang-GX” has the same printed cost as Accelerock, but requires you discard two Energy to use it. On top of being a GX-attack, that makes it pretty pricey, and the 200 damage it offers a little underwhelming. Provided you are using it in a deck that focuses on the [F] Type, you might be able to get the damage buffs needed to bump the first two attacks into “very good” range, and the GX-attack into something worthwhile – a reliable OHKO.
Unless you Bench Lycanroc-GX via Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick (not even an option in Standard, anyway), you’ll need to select a Rockruff, either SM – Black Star Promos SM06 or SM – Guardians Rising 73/145. They have identical, unimpressive stats so it boils down to the attacks… which are also unimpressive. Unless something about your specific deck changes things, either will do. Besides today’s Lycanroc-GX, there are three other options into which Rockruff can Evolve. Lycanroc (SM – Burning Shadows 75/147), Lycanroc (SM – Burning Shadows 76/147), and Lycanroc-GX (SM – Guardians Rising 74/145, 138/145, 156/145). This is quite the homogeneous bunch; the only differences between the two Lycanroc-GX are the effects, while the non-Pokémon-GX Lycanroc only differ in GX-status, HP, and effects. The non-Pokémon-GX Lycanroc are only relevant for two reasons; if you already have a Lycanroc-GX deck, one of them might be worth running so you have a non-Pokémon-GX attacker. Maybe. Lycanroc (SM – Burning Shadows 76/147) is also useful for understanding what the “GX” treatment does for a Pokémon because it is very, very similar to today’s Lycanroc-GX, but that doesn’t matter to the competitive scene.
Lycanroc-GX (SM – Guardians Rising 74/145, 138/145, 156/145) should need no introduction. We reviewed it last year where it managed to claw its way into 13th place as we counted down the top 15 cards of its expansion. It took a bit, but partnered with the likes of Buzzwole-GX or Zoroark-GX, it has found its place in the competitive metagame. It owes its success to its Ability “Bloodthirsty Eyes”, which allows you to force a Pokémon from your opponent’s Bench up into his or her Active spot, albeit only once (when you Evolve one of your Pokémon into this Lycanroc-GX from hand). Other than the conditions needed to trigger this Ability, its the same effect as that of Lysandre, and allows you to set up for more effective attacks. It also serves as your secondary attacker, even in the Expanded Format! Quite impressive. Unfortunately for today’s version, those decks don’t lend themselves to running it alongside its cousin.
Which doesn’t mean you couldn’t build a deck featuring today’s Lycanroc-GX; rather, it means the deck will have to make one or both Lycanroc-GX the focus. Today’s version might belong in such a deck if it focuses on disruption, due to both Bloodthirsty Eyes and Crunch. That being said, the Lycanroc-GX with an Ability can get along without today’s Lycanroc-GX, but today’s Lycanroc-GX definitely needs help from the Ability of its cousin. In the end, today’s Lycanroc-GX is mediocre, which shouldn’t be confused with “average”. I do think it has slightly better odds for Standard, because… well… small hits with an Energy discard or medium-sized hits don’t matter much against something like Night March. Although this promo has a Full Art and Secret Rare version tucked into a regular expansion, said expansion lacks Rockruff so it still can’t be used.
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