– Ultra Prism
April 13, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
There were two dragons that ruled over the realms of time and space. One of them was super popular and got a really great card in the set, even if it’s not that impactful on the actual game. The other was Dialga-GX, HEY-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
No but seriously, Dialga-GX is probably the better one.
Palkia-GX is a Basic Dragon Pokemon, 180 HP, with a Fairy Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Its first attack, Spatial Control, costs 1 Water Energy and lets you move any Energy attached to your Benched Pokemon to him. Useful for powering him up for his other attacks, one of which is Hydro Pressure, a 3-for-60 that does 20 more damage for each Water Energy attached to him. And then Zero Vanish GX is a 5-for-150 move that shuffles all Energy off of your opponent’s Pokemon back into the deck.
Maybe people get all glossy-eyed over the sight of a card that skips your opponent’s turn, and to be fair…that is pretty good. That being said, Dialga-GX can only max at 90 damage on his own, whereas Palkia-GX has more potential in his damage output thanks to how Hydro Pressure operates. Spatial Control is more useful in the mid to late-game, since by that point ideally you have Pokemon in play to actually get Energy from, and Zero Vanish GX can definitely mess things up for your opponent. And since all the Energy costs only require Water Energy, he makes a good option for Water decks…outside of the whole can’t be searched by effects that grab Water-Types.
So why did he fall so short by comparison to Dialga-GX? Or better yet, what is it about Palkia-GX that kept him so far away from the top of the list? Well, personally, while I think Zero Vanish GX is powerful, it’s also a matter of timing and the deck you’re going up against. Obviously, it won’t do much against something like Alolan Dugtrio, which doesn’t even attach Energy, but let’s think about it in terms of a match-up like Gardevoir-GX – Fairy-Type already hits for Weakness, but it does more damage based on what’s on the field, can attach a Fairy Energy from the hand with its Ability, and only needs 1 Energy for its attacks. And you’ve already got 5 Energy on Palkia-GX at least, so cue the 180 damage prior to Weakness – already easy KO, and your opponent put little effort.
Okay, but that’s just analyzing Palkia-GX’s worst match-up, and it’s not better than Dialga-GX! Well, that’s the other thing – Dialga-GX has better support than Palkia-GX. Palkia-GX’s main way of amassing Energy is sucking it from everything else, while Dialga-GX can draw you cards, partner with Magnezone and Mt. Coronet to get a bunch of Metal Energy down, and it only has to attack to draw cards. On top of that, while Hydro Pressure gets more damage out overall, Shred guarantees the damage it deals, and while Zero Vanish GX is strong, having the ability to effectively double attack and play out two full turns might be stronger than riverting the progress of your opponent’s maneuvers.
Still though, I wouldn’t turn my back on Palkia-GX – he is by no means a bad card. He’s just gonna need more support on Dialga-GX’s level to really work out, and Spatial Control is the aspect of this card that highlights a lot of its weaknesses – its dependency on other set-up being prepared for it versus the support to setting up that Dialga-GX brings to the table. And that’s likely why Palkia-GX won’t see too much play outside of casual decks.
…never mind that Dialga is apparently cooler, I GUESS.
Standard: 2.5/5 (in the end, Palkia-GX is good)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (just not that good)
Limited: 4/5 (at least he’ll be strong in the midst of Limited)
Arora Notealus: Personally between the two, I always liked Palkia a little more than Dialga. It’s what drew me to Pearl over Diamond in Gen 4. As for the powers they have, it’s hard to see which one would be stronger – Palkia manipulating space could draw Dialga around, but Dialga can just vanish to other times. I imagine there’s a case to be made either way, but at least we know Arceus is around to keep them under control. Or Giratina. Or some other powerful legendary.
Side Review: Unit Energy – The utility of these cards would be something that allows some play in different decks, but I’m guessing that the right deck just hasn’t popped out yet. Keep these cards in mind, though – Blend Energy wasn’t always popular, but it was still a great set of options for Dragon decks! Granted, the Dragons of this set won’t need them as much…
Weekend Thought: What did you think of this week’s cards? See the potential in some of them? Thinking there’s a deck archetype that can make them work? I mean Lucario’s spoken for, but do you think the others have a deck that works just right for them?
Palkia GX (UP 101) descends into the meta from the Ultra Prism expansion set. This 180 HP Basic Dragon type Pokemon has three attacks, all of which are very useful. Spatial Control, for just a single Water energy, allows you to move any number of Energy from your benched Pokemon to your active Palkia.
Man did I do my best to abuse this attack. I actually started going second after a few games because I was putting so many energy on the board turn 1. I ran four Max Elixirs, of course, but also four Aqua Patch, four Puzzles, and even four Order Pads. Seriously, it was unusual for me to only have one energy on the board after turn 1. It was very easy to be able to get three or four energy on Palkia to use Hydro Pressure on turn 2.
Hydro Pressure is a good attack. It’s not Meteor Tempest, but it can hit well into the high 100’s and sometimes even crack 200. It costs three Colorless energy but does sixty damage plus twenty for each Water energy on Palkia. This means its base damage is 120, but like I said, it’s not impossible to do 160 or 180. I ran Fighting Fury Belt as well, and that extra ten damage was key in hitting 170 or 190 to OHKO some Big Basics.
I won all three games in which I had the opportunity to play Zero Vanish GX. I played it against a Lunala deck, a Volcanion deck, and a Noivern GX deck. It was extremely disruptive in those matches. My opponents were unable to attack on the following turn (although the Volc player had a Kiawe in hand). It’s a very underrated attack, I definitely think more of it after having played it three times and watched all of my opponent’s energy get thrown back into their deck (where BTW it mucks up the deck and prevents your opponent from top decking a Supporter).
Here’s the decklist I used:
I went 5 wins 5 losses overall. I had one unlucky match where my opponent played Ninja Boy from Tapu Koko GX into Tauros GX … and then Ninja Boyed AGAIN back into Koko on the next turn… WITHOUT the aid of Tapu Lele GX! Made my jaw drop that he ran two Ninja Boys AND had them both in his opening hand. Not much I could do about that!
Standard: 2.5 out of 5
It’s not a bad deck. Being able to Elixir and Patch early and often really helps make this deck hum. I did use Double Jet once in the Volcanion match, but for the most part it was just Hyper Transfer that was really vital. I only used it once to move energies off a wounded Palkia and then use Max Potion to heal it, and then move them back to attack again, but that tactic definitely was key to the victory in that match. I definitely recommend the FFB over Choice Band though. The extra forty HP really helps put Palkia into two shot territory.
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