Oricorio-GX – Cosmic Eclipse
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
11th-Place goes to Oricorio-GX (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 95/236, 217/236, 255/236). This is a Rule Box Pokémon, a Pokémon-GX. This means it is worth an additional Prize when KO’d, cannot make use of certain pieces of support, and is targeted by anti-GX effects. The benefits are that it is just 10 shy of having double the HP of its baseline counterparts, and (in this specific case) has access to effects which just wouldn’t show up on regular Oricorio cards. Including the once-per-game GX-attack. There are also one or two detrimental effects that specifically won’t affect Oricorio-GX due to it being a Rule Box Pokémon or Pokémon-GX. Oricorio-GX is a Basic Pokémon. Being a Basic is the best: a legal target for Quick Ball, no waiting to evolve from another card, etc.
Being a Psychic Pokémon is decent for exploiting Weakness, but Oricorio-GX isn’t an attacker. However, the typing may not entirely to waste because it used to make Oricorio-GX a legal target for Mysterious Treasure, and being a Basic [P] Pokémon means Fog Crystal can also snag it from your deck. I already mentioned Oricorio-GX’s HP, but just relative to the other Oricorio cards. In practical terms, it is actually low for a Basic Pokémon-GX, and power creep has hit it hard because it would have been very low for a Basic Pokémon V. In other words, Oricorio-GX is a relatively easy OHKO for a good chunk of decks, at least, once they’ve achieved a decent setup.
More worrisome is that Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, while requiring a small combo to help, can OHKO a Benched Oricorio-GX while hitting another Pokémon for 120 (or 180 if there’s another Benched Pokémon V or Pokémon-GX to strike). Oricorio-GX’s Weakness is a fairly dangerous one as well, because is allows strong, single-Prize attackers like Hoopa (SM – Unified Minds 140/236) and Spiritomb (SM – Unbroken Bonds 112/114) to score OHKOs. Those two attackers have been legal the entire time Oricorio-GX has been legal, and also seen at least fringe success in competitive play. Unfortunately, the -20 [F] Resistance isn’t similarly useful, but it can still help as it means it’ll take a [F] type 190 damage to score the OHKO. The Retreat Cost of [C] is low and often easy to pay.
Oricorio-GX’s Ability, “Dance of Tribute”, is what makes the card great. It is one of those true once-during-your-turn Abilities, as you cannot use multiple instances of Dance of Tribute in a single turn. Dance of Tribute may only be used if at least one of your Pokémon were KO’d during your opponent’s last turn. If that condition was satisfied, you can use Dance of tribute at any time during your turn to draw three cards, so long as it is before you declare an attack or do anything else that ends your turn upon resolution. Dance of Tribute doesn’t care about the type, Stage, etc. of the Pokémon KO’d during your opponent’s previous turn… in fact, something like Lillie’s Poké Doll being KO’d will still count.
What it does care about is that it must have been during the turn immediately prior to your own (which would be your opponent’s last turn). Even if your opponent KO’s something during your turn, or something during the Pokémon Checkup, it won’t count. If you somehow can get one of your Pokémon to self-KO during your opponent’s turn, then that actually would count as well for your next turn, but I don’t know of any tricks to pull that off. Drawing three card is mediocre (at best) as the only effect of an attack, or as the only effect of your Supporter for the turn, but even as a true once-per-turn Ability, it is actually fairly good.
“Razor Wing”, the card’s regular attack, is not fairly good. It is priced at [PCC] and does 80 damage; not unusable filler, but rarely ever worth it. The same Energy cost pays for “
Strafe-GX”, Oricorio’s GX-attack. Strafe-GX lets Oricorio-GX attack for 100 damage, then switch places with one of your Benched Pokémon. Again, like Razor Wing, it won’t usually be worth it. Both attacks do too little damage for the Energy required, especially in the modern metagame. It is nice that you have a built-in trick to Bench a stranded Oricorio-GX from the Active position, but if Razor Wing’s damage and effects were that of Strafe-GX but not a GX-attack, Strafe-GX still wouldn’t be worth it the vast majority of the time.
Even Dance of Tribute isn’t worth it in most decks. The place where Oricorio-GX is at its best is when your Pokémon are worth zero Prizes when KO’d. You may still be out that Pokémon and anything you invested in it, but you’ll get to draw three cards when it is KO’d and your opponent isn’t any closer to winning. Well, barring alternate win conditions like decking you out. I haven’t seen a deck like this in a while. The next kind of deck, though, is Oricorio-GX’s bread and butter: single Prize decks. Not pure single Prize decks, but those that do include just a few two-Prize Pokémon. For example, in this 2nd-Place finishing deck at the Players Cup IV Global Finals. In a deck like this, you may get to use Dance of Tribute as many as five times!
The thing is, most of our metagame consists of non-single Prize decks. In something like the deck I just showed you, your opponent could KO your Dedenne-GX and you’d still get up to four draws off Dance of Tribute. You’re in trouble if your opponent can take an easy two Prizes off of Oricorio-GX, of course, but that is almost always true. If your opponent can just KO’d two Prize Pokémon, you at most get two chances to draw off of Dance of Tribute. In a deck with multiple three-Prize Pokémon? You at most get one! Fortunately, Oricorio-GX has proven itself in those single Prize decks, which may not define the metagame, but we usually see at least one in the Top 16 of an event.
I originally didn’t plan on including Oricorio-GX in my list, but I had to admit that it had seen a reasonable amount of play, and throughout its lifespan and was in the above deck at the most recent major tournament. I surprised myself a bit by making it my 6th-place pick, and coming back to this sentence after finishing the article, that was probably too high. If Oricorio-GX was still legal, I think it would have a strong chance of continuing to see play as it has… except Mew (SM – Unbroken Bonds 76/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM215) is also rotating. I’m really worried that Mew’s “Bench Barrier” is keeping some prominent Bench-hitters, including the already good Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX, in line. If that doesn’t matter, then it might be a bit low on our current list.
I’m uncertain about the Expanded Format. You’ll still have access to Bench protection there but cards like VS Seeker make it easier to have Boss’s Order (or Guzma or Lysandre) when you need them. There are also cards like Silent Lab that can stop all Basic Pokémon from using their Abilities. There are also more rival forms of draw power to keep on one’s Bench. There are some ferocious single Prize decks, though… and a decent chance they’ll find Oricorio-GX worth it for the same reasons they have in Standard. If things were a bit different, Oricorio-GX would have a four-out-of-five for Standard, but it falls just a bit short of me rounding its score up. In Expanded, I think I may be rounding up to reach that three-out-of-five. I don’t have any hard data on Expanded, though, so this is based purely on my Theorymon.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
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