Date Reviewed: October 2, 2017
Ratings & Reviews Summary
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Well gee, isn’t this website a whole new thing and a half? What a change though, eh! Shout out to Bill for all the work in moving servers and giving pojo a modern feel!
And now for this week’s Modern Monday, we take a look at Charizard-GX. He’s a hot contender for crazy Pokemon-GX, though being at Stage 2 with 250 HP is already the best you can get right now. He’s got three attacks to use, the first of which is a vanilla 3-for-70 Wing Attack. That’s not too bad, if you wanted to splash Charizard-GX in something else, but chances are likely you’re not running a 1-1-1 tech line-up of Charizard and his evolutionary family just to get the benefits of a move that only deals 70 damage. Still the sentiment’s nice, since this is closer to a shout-out to Charizard-EX (FLF-12) that was most recently reprinted in Evolutions.
Crimson Storm then comes in as what feels like the obligatory Charizard “BIG MOVE” that does 5-for-300 and discards 3 Fire Energy from Charizard-GX. It’s about as crazy as it gets with Charizard, especially given that it can KO anything in the game, but utilizing Volcanion (STS) in Standard will at least quickly recycle back the Fire Energy you discard, not to mention that Burning Energy is still usable in the current Standard game.
But what Charizard would be complete without a big…uh…I guess other big move? Raging Out GX costs the same as Wing Attack, albeit with a required Fire Energy credit, and while it deals no damage, it does discard the top 10 cards of your opponent’s deck. This attack is a bit of a double-edged sword, depending on what deck you go up against, but as far as I’m aware in Standard, the only major deck that focuses on the discard pile is Garbodor, and he likes it when your opponent is putting Items in the discard. That could make for an interesting and silly combination, but I doubt it’d be feasible to run Charizard-GX with Garbodor. That said, milling out what is normally 1/6th of your opponent’s total deck size – though the actual number is closer to 1/5th near the start of the game and only increases with time – is a pretty powerful timer on your opponent. “You’ve got this many turns to win the game – good luck.”
It won’t stop your opponent from trying to run over Charizard-GX anyway, but that’s where stuff like Crimson Storm and Wing Attack come in handy to dish out a fair amount of damage. I doubt there will be too many deck-out victories in Standard, given the generally slower pace the game wants to take in the Sun&Moon era, but you can expect Charizard-GX will be around and powerful as long as he’s got the right tools.
Standard: 2.5/5 (he’s pretty strong in his own right)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (but it’s hard to say that he’s the absolute pinnacle of Charizards)
Limited: 3.5/5 (all the same, he’s a solid choice)
Arora Notealus: Charizard-GX joins the legion of Charizards with powerful and expensive moves. He has decent options, and his GX Attack does have some potential. He’s also got the ability to just come straight into play with Ho-oh-GX’s own GX Attack, although he can’t use his own milling strategy if that’s the case.
Next Time: Who can take a sunriiiiiiiiiise, sprinkle it with dewwwwwwwww~
Charizard GX (Burning Shadows, 20/147) is our Modern Monday review for this second Inverse Week. A massive 250 HP Stage 2 Fire Pokemon, it has three attacks. Wing Attack, for three Colorless energy, does seventy damage. Crimson Storm costs three Fire and two Colorless but does an unbelievable 300 base damage. Unfortunately, it mandates that you discard three energy after using it. Raging Out, Charizard’s GX attack, costs only a single Fire and two Colorless energy, and has the potentially game ending effect of milling ten cards from your opponent’s deck directly into his or her discard pile.
I tried two different versions of decks with this card but had almost no success with either one. The first featured Charizard GX. Besides a couple of Tapu Lele GX (Guardians Rising, 60/145), the only Pokemon I had in the deck were Charizard GX and its prior evoluations. Unfortunately, I went 0 W 5 L in the five matches I played.
The other deck I used Charizard GX in was a Rhyperior (Burning Shadows, 67/147) Houndoom EX (Breakthrough, 21/162) mill deck. In this deck, I only had a 1-1-1 Charizard line, and I actually never had the opportunity to use Raging Out. I will say, though, in the one match I won with this deck (1 W 4 L overall), I had evolved Charmeleon on the bench, and I believe that the impending possibility of Raging Out helped prompt my opponent to concede.
Standard: 2 out of 5
I think this Charizard GX suffers from the same problem that many of its prior versions have: its attack costs are simply too high. I have seen some videos where it has some success, but I was unable to replicate that success in my testing. I would guess that if I spent more time I would probably come up with better deck lists, but I still can’t see a scenario right now where a Charizard GX deck would win significantly more than half of its matches.
And there is a good lesson here – Charizard GX was (if I remember correctly) the attacker that did the most damage on average in my tracking during the month of September (hopefully, I’ll be able to publish that tonight). It was number one and did more damage than any other Pokemon on average. It’s a good lesson, though, and serves as proof that the best attackers aren’t the ones that do the most damage. My opinion: the best attackers are the ones that do the most damage for the least amount of attachments.
It is that time again; we are looking at the latest Charizard-card, Charizard-GX (SM: Burning Shadows 20/147,150/147) for our second Modern Monday! Charizard remains a popular Pokémon, but I cannot remember the time it had a strong competitive presence in the Pokémon TCG. Let’s see if this card can change that. It’s a Fire-Type, allowing Charizard-GX to torch the vast majority of Grass-Types and Metal-Types, thanks to them being predominantly Fire Weak. Nothing is Fire Resistant in the Expanded or Standard Format, a nice little bonus. Fire support spans the Pokémon-Type, the Energy-Type, and a pool of useful Fire-Type attackers and/or Bench-sitters. The catch is the best aren’t always available to Charizard-GX, either due to Format or focus. The only anti-Fire-Type effect you’re likely to encounter in competitive play is Parallel City, and that’s because its other effect means it is still a great Stadium.
Being a Stage 2 means Charizard-GX is going to be slow and resource intensive. Being a Pokémon-GX doesn’t guarantee a card will be good, but it seems to help. The drawbacks are pretty obvious; Charizard-GX gives up an extra Prize when KO’d and has to deal with counters that specifically work against Pokémon-GX, but being a Pokémon-GX guarantees an HP bump over non-Pokémon-GX and even Pokémon-EX counterparts (Mega Evolutions included), GX-specific support, and three effects (one being a GX-attack). Jumping back to the HP, 250 is the most we’ve seen printed on anything right now and tends to be difficult to OHKO for most decks. Exceptions are decks that specialize in big hits and Weakness; in this case, it is the typical Water Weakness of Fire-Types, and it will almost certainly matter because Water-Types don’t typically swing for 250 damage. No Resistance is typical, though long ago, you’d see some Fighting Resistance on Charizard-based cards; still, not a dealbreaker. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can pay it but high enough you’d prefer not to; pack some alternatives to manually retreating at full price.
Charizard-GX sports three attacks. The first is “Wing Attack” for [CCC], doing 70 damage; a solid return for the Energy, given the costs are all [C]. The second attack is “Crimson Storm”, which costs [RRRCC]. Five Energy is always steep, even considering Kiawe or Blacksmith or Double Colorless Energy or a combination of them. The effect text of the attack states you have to discard three [R] Energy to use it, so it is even pricier than at first glance. Crimson Storm hits for 300 damage, overwhelming any printed HP and even what we’ve seen for boosted HP scores in the competitive sphere. There are protective effects that will block all of it, though. [RCC] pays for the GX-attack, “Raging Out-GX”; like all GX-attacks, you only get to use it once-per-game, and not even that if you use a different GX-attack instead. The attack does no damage but discards the top 10 cards of your opponent’s deck. That is some powerful milling, wiping a sixth of a player’s entire deck (a fourth in Limited!).
So how well do they work together? Wing Attack provides a good fallback option, which is needed because Crimson Storm is crazy expensive and Rage Out-GX is a one time deal. It also prevents you needing to waste so many resources against attackers with under 80 HP. That still leaves quite a lot of room for overkill; blowing all that Energy against a 170 HP Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX or isn’t too bad, or when it is a resource heavy Evolution. When it is a Basic or Stage 1 with 80 to 130 HP, especially attacking for just one or two Energy? Ouch. Rage Out-GX might seem an odd fit when going for big hits, but even when milling isn’t your focus, losing 10 cards from the deck can actually or effectively end the game. In fact, the GX-attack strikes me as the real reason to run Charizard-GX.
I both love and hate that I don’t have the time to pour over every currently legal Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard card. At a glance, I’d go with Charmander (SM: Burning Shadows 18/147) just for the HP. Charmeleon (Generations RC4/RC32) has solid stats – for a Charmeleon – and if you’re desperate enough to attack with it, it can fish a Supporter out of your deck to try and get you in better shape. I don’t think I’d bother with any of the other Charizard cards, unless you’re really, really worried about being walled by something like Alolan Ninetales. So what kind of deck should run Charizard-GX? If you love big damage, you can try and focus on Crimson Storm, but I really, really want to try this in a mill deck. Unfortunately, including it in such a deck will eat up space normally used to vital disruption tactics, as we don’t have any other attacks that discard more than one or two cards reliably from your opponent’s deck. I was thinking about mixing it with Houndoom-EX, but with damage output so high for competitive decks, I don’t think it can pull off its previous stall/mill deck. A weird idea that just occurred to me is trying to work it into a Sylveon-GX control deck. I’ve never run a Sylveon-GX deck, though; its first attack might make it plausible to just run a Charizard-GX, Charmander, Rare Candy, and Rainbow Energy (assuming it already runs Double Colorless) to slam an opponent’s deck once it is safe. Would you need such an extreme measure if you’ve already got your opponent so locked down you could pull it off?
I’m not sure if Charizard-GX is better in Expanded or Standard play; I thought Blacksmith might decide it, but Crimson Storm requires so much Energy it only makes reloading plausible, and that still requires your manual Energy attachment as well. The one place I know you can enjoy Charizard-GX, assuming you get at least one Charmander and one Charmeleon to go with it, is in Limited play. Wing Slash means it can run with any Energy Type, and Rage Out-GX is just sick here. I’d score it higher here, but actually pulling the entire line, then assembling it during a game can be quite the challenge.
Charizard-GX brings brute force and surprising strategy, but probably in the opposite roles it needed; I’d love a heavy duty mill effect I could use over and over again – even if pricey – that was backed by Wing Attack and big-damage GX-attack. What we’ve got still has potential, or at least the first time someone makes it work at a big event; after that, everyone can adjust to make the raw power of Crimson Storm inefficient or flat out counter the mass mill of Rage Out-GX (Brock’s Grit, Karen, etc.). If you’re wondering, it made 21times’ Top 24 list as his 17th place pick and thought I had it on my own but nope, I left it off. Probably because I’ve been burned by too many past Charizard-cards I thought would be at least a little competitive, but weren’t.
Over the course of last week’s and this week’s COTD, we will be reviewing two cards from the Burning Shadows expansion on Mondays and eight Ace Spec cards on the rest of the weekdays. If you don’t know what an Ace Spec card is, it is a mechanic that existed between BW Boundaries Crossed until BW Plasma Blast. Based on 13 cards, they’re all trainer-item cards. These are item cards that are said to be very powerful that only one Ace Spec card is allowed per deck. This means as soon as you designate your Ace Spec card of choice, you are barricaded from using 12 other Ace Spec cards, so choose wisely. This mechanic can also affect card legality from much older cards such as Computer Search and Master Ball, but more on that later. We decided to leave out Pokemon specific Ace Spec cards (there are five of them, two for Kyurem, one for Victini, and two for Genesect) and review only eight Ace Spec cards that doesn’t care about what deck you’re playing. All Ace Spec cards are Expanded and Legacy legal, and I may put Unlimited scores for Computer Search and Master Ball as well. I may also score Standard even though it’s no longer legal, kind of a hypothetical score.
Today we’re looking at Charizard-GX! The first reaction that I see from this card is “No, not again!”. That’s right, we have another Charizard that follows the pattern of having at least an attack that does huge amounts of damage with a huge disadvantage of some sort. Not all Charizard cards do that, since we have some usable Charizard cards from different sets such as Platinum Arceus (Fire Formation Poke Body, Fire Wing 30 for R, and Burning Tail 80 for RRC), XY Generations (Recall and Combustion Blast), and XY Evolutions (Energy Burn, Fire Spin 200 for RRRR)(Updated Base Set Charizard).
So about this card, it has 3 attacks. Wing Attack does 70 for CCC; Crimsom Storm does 300 for RRRCC with three energy discard; Raging Out GX costs RCC and mills the top ten cards from your opponent’s deck. Wing Attack is mostly filler but splashable. Crimson Storm has a better drawback than either M Charizard EX’s own 300 damage attack (discard the top 5 cards from your deck or doing 50 damage to yourself, bringing its 220 HP down to 170 HP). Burning Energy is still legal BKT-on, so it’s handy to recover energy so that you can continue using Crimson Storm as long as you have at least three Burning Energies attached to it. Raging Out could win you the game if the opponent overextends and has less than 11 cards remaining, though it’s less likely that’ll happen.
Shrine of Memories and/or Time Recall Celebi EX (BW Boundaries Crossed) or Shining Celebi (SM Promo, it was removed from the Shining Legends set, would’ve put this at #1) can help Charizard GX get access to the attacks from it’s lower stages. Charmander (XY Generations) has the attack called Playful that does 20 damage times the amount of damage of this Pokémon (between 0 to 480) if you flipped heads; tails means nothing. Charmeleon (BW Boundaries Crossed) has Raging Claws that does 50 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter on Charizard GX (between 50 to 290). I think Raging Claws is the safer option than Playful. It costs RCC, lessening the need to do overkill with Crimson Storm. Another attack that may be useful is Charmeleon (XY Generations) Call for Support in which it lets you search your deck for a supporter and put it on your hand.
Overall, Charizard retains the title of “OHKO anything in the Pokémon TCG” (although Wailord-EX with Fighting Fury Belt and Parallel City actually survives with 10 HP left if that EX was in full health), but will struggle against very good one-prize attackers. Greninja BREAK and Luminous Barrier Alolan Ninetales absolutely demolishes Charizard-GX due to either it’s protection or damage tactics, making it an autoloss.
Sylveon’s Notes: Yep, that secret rare costs almost $100, even higher than secret rare Tapu Lele-GX!
Coming up: A bright blue liquid that slows down your opponent’s progress!
To be really honest, I am very inclined to put Charizard GX to my hate list. I even personally believe that Machamp-GX (SM Burning Shadows) is better than this abomination of a card. This is because it looks like yet another Charizard card that does nothing but to entice 8 year olds to get this card because of its 300 damage attack. We don’t need a 300 damage overkill attack that takes 3 years to start doing it and it discards energy in the process! However, the reason I don’t is because it is brimming with some potential, just waiting to be unlocked.
Let’s start with the basics. Its a Stage 2 250 HP Pokèmon-GX. You can evolve it the natural way, or you can use Rare Candy. That’s not exactly bad, since it has lots of HP it can compensate for it. It has a 3 Colorless attack in Wing Attack that deals 70 damage. I’m sorry, Wing Attack is terrible. There are Pokémon that can deal more damage for the same energy cost, and there exists those that need less to deal more than 70 damage. Sure you can use Choice Band, but its still bad. Crimson Storm costs 3 Fire and a DCE, and it deals 300 damage. Then you discard 3 Fire energy. I’m sorry, who can afford to quickly recycle 3 Fire energies?! This is not a good attack. Or maybe this attack isn’t meant to be used turn after turn…
But maybe we can find some solace in its GX attack. Raging Out GX discards the top 10 cards of your opponent’s deck for 1 Fire and 1 DCE. This may be good as a miller. The idea is that you tank hits with your bulky 250 HP, build up the Fire energies, buffer with Wing Attack and/or Crimson Storm, use Max Potion or retreat, then use Raging Out GX on their last 10 cards to win the game after forcing your opponent to use more resources. This may just be the way to use Charizard-GX.
But the problem we have now is that we have very few options to help fuel Charizard’s main nuke’s attack cost. Sure we have Kiawe (SM Burning Shadows), Rayquaza (SM Guardians Rising)and the normal Volcanion (XY Steam Siege) with Power Heater, but not much apart from that. I really wish that within a few expansions Charizard GX got the supports it needs and its not just another card to help fill the binder.
2.8/5 (There are other Fire types that can hit as hard, despite a bit lower, but its more reliable during the course of a match)
3/5 (The existence of multiple Fire supports in the meta, such as Blacksmith [XY Flashfire] helps Charizard a lot)
3.8/5 (If you can pull the pieces together, its an amazing nuker that can wreck many teams)
Next on Inverse Week;
A jewel with the ability to manipulate death fortells.