Rayquaza – Promo
Date Reviewed: June 8, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Rayquaza (SW – Black Star Promos SWSH029) is another card selected as an excuse to discuss something else. Spoiler Alert for those who like to be surprised about upcoming Japanese releases. Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to be safe. For everyone else, if you hadn’t already heard, the Dragon type is finally returning to the TCG! Obviously, not with this card, but we have seen the Japanese version of Dragonite V. I find this to be quite exciting, myself. I won’t go into any details, though, as I already need to come up with somethings to say just so that the spoiler is significantly buried. I used to not understand some wishing to not find out what is coming out in future sets until they were actually busting open packs, to the frustration of a friend of mine. Sorry, Shayne!
Back to today’s Rayquaza! It is a Colorless, Basic Pokémon with 130 HP, [L] Weakness, -30 [F] Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and two attacks. “Jaw Lock” requires [CC] to use, so a single Twin Energy can fuel it. What you get is 30 damage, and the Defending Pokémon being unable to retreat during your opponent’s next turn. For [CCC], you can use “Power Blast” instead to do 120 damage, but you have to discard an Energy from Rayquaza. Being a Basic is still the best, and 130 HP is pretty good for them. While still a probable OHKO against serious and even some auxiliary attackers, we’re also talking about an easily searched, played, and even recycled Basic Pokémon.
Unfortunately, the rest of Rayquaza ain’t so great. We’re not worried about Unlimited Format play, so [C] typing means never hitting Weakness. It also means never crashing into Resistance and access to Powerful [C] Energy, but those are just minor perks in comparison. Both Fighting and Lightning decks are relevant to the metagame last I checked, but the -30 of Resistance just cannot compare to the damage doubling of Weakness, so once again that’s a net negative, with the Retreat Cost being more or less neutral. Even factoring in compatibility with Energy acceleration, the attacks are disappointing. Jaw Lock’s effect is a nice bonus, but not enough to justify only doing 30 damage for two. Power Blast hits a solid amount for three… but that self-discard means even a Rayquaza who survives the turn needs another attachment next turn.
None of this is terrible. It is even possible Rayquaza could have some niche use as an off-type, Non-Rule Box attacker. So at least it avoids minimal scores. At least, with how it seems, it shouldn’t become a frustrating promo for players to obtain in the PTCGO. Collectors, maybe, but not players in general.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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