Reshiram – Shining Fates

Date Reviewed:  March 6, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Reshiram from Shining Fates is another card under the “Amazing Rare” rarity. As we’ve seen on other “Amazing Rare” Pokemon, they tend to have at least an attack that requires three different energy types; Reshiram is no exception. Some of them might be worth using while others aren’t worth the effort. Reshiram might have a little bit of potential, though.

It’s only attack, Amazing Blaze, costs a Fire, a Lightning, and a Darkness energy; this attack does 270 damage, which can OHKO a lot of cards – even most TAG TEAMs – outside of VMAX Pokemon. Unlike Zacian, it doesn’t need your opponent to have a VMAX in play to deal 300 damage; it does 270 damage whatsoever, which is great. What’s not great – besides the atrocious attack cost – is that Reshiram takes 60 damage each time it uses Amazing Flare. And with 120 HP without any healing, two uses of Amazing Flare will eventually knock itself out. With this much HP, I doubt Reshiram would last long on the field, so at best it can deliver a powerful blow to whatever your opponent has in front. Welder might be able to cover that fire energy cost, but you still need to meet the Lightning AND Darkness energy costs.

One can hope to be lucky with Turbo Patch in Standard…or use an older combination of Ho Oh-EX’s (from BW Dragons Exalted. I realize there’s another Ho-Oh EX from XY Breakpoint, but I’m not talking about that one) Rebirth ability – in order to grab itself and three basic from the discard pile onto your Bench – and Golduck BREAK’s Hyper Transfer ability – so that it can move basic energies around – to ready a certain attack. Protection Cube from XY FlashFire can eliminate the recoil damage, but then again, it’s 120 HP isn’t that bulky either. You can also tempt to bring Reshiram’s HP down to 30 HP where Hustle Belt can activate and deal 60 extra damage, but then that’s gonna knock out itself as well while doing 330 damage.


Standard: 2.5/5

Expanded: 2.5/5

Reshiram is one of the better “Amazing Rare” card (after Jirachi), but comes close to being a worthwhile attacker/TecH, falling short due to its atrocious attack cost. While there are ways to meet this energy cost – Porygon-Z’s Crazy Code ability and at least three Aurora Energy – not many decks will have room for those workarounds; plus those workarounds got their own set of drawbacks, making you get another workaround for that shortcoming, rinse & repeat; it just seems like we’re taking a step back again.

Otaku Avatar

We end this week with our final Amazing Rare to review, Reshiram (Shining Fates 017/072)!  This classification of cards is not recognized in terms of game mechanics, as it is a rarity scheme and not an altered name, regional variant, Rule Box Pokémon, etc.  So, for all intents and purpose, this Amazing Rare Legendary Pokémon is… a regular, baseline Pokémon.  Fire types are handy because Metal types are so good right now, and [M] Pokémon are usually [R] Weak.  They also have some proven support, but some of the anti-Fire effects are actually decent.  Nothing is naturally [R] Resistant, at least.  Being a Basic is still the best; minimum time and resources to run, as well as to hit the field, and better synergy with certain game mechanics and card effects.

120 HP is mediocre on a Basic; it is enough to survive hits from some more technical attackers, or just from decks with a poor setup, but most competitive decks are going to one-shot Reshiram if they have a decent field.  Due to [W] Weakness, Water decks will have an even easier time of it, but that may not mean much in the current metagame.  No Resistance is the worst, but Resistance isn’t game breaking like Weakness, and the lack of it is typical.  A Retreat Cost of [CCC] is poor, maybe the worst; a higher cost means access to support like Buff Padding while relying on the same switching effects, while lower scores are easier to pay.

Reshiram knows one attack, and that is “Amazing Blaze”.  For [RLD], Amazing Blaze let’s Reshiram do 270 damage to your opponent’s Active but also causes it to do 60 damage to itself.  This all but guarantees Reshiram goes down in a hit, or self-KO’s if it got thumped the turn before.  Now, sometimes single-Prize attackers like Reshiram can afford this, but that Energy cost is not easy to pay.  Yes, all the Energy types in question have some form of Energy acceleration, but that doesn’t mean it all works well together.  There is a reason most decks try to run on just a single form of basic Energy; there’s only so much room in your deck and it affects reliability.

However, 270 damage is a very, very good amount.  Going strictly by printed HP scores, you’re only missing the OHKO against Pokémon VMAX, the largest TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, and Wailord V can survive, though with no more than 70 HP, and just 10 in a few cases.  Miscellaneous protective effects create more survivors, but apply Weakness mitigates a few key examples of this and even brings a few of the previous exceptions into OHKO range.  This creates a somewhat delicate balance; either you’re using Reshiram as a slightly easier “final KO” trick to Yveltal (Shining Fates 046/072), or you have to find a way to set up not only a single Reshiram with relative ease, but multiple copies.

You find something like Bronzong (SW – Battle Styles 102/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH091), with an Ability that moves around [M] Energy.  Not just basic Metal Energy, but any card providing [M], which includes cards like Aurora Energy that count as all types at once while attached.  Or use use something like Porygon-Z (SM – Unbroken Bonds 157/214); its Ability can lets you attach a Special Energy card from your hand to your Pokémon as often as you like during your turn.  There is a massive catch with both of these, however: Special Energy isn’t easy to search out or recycle, and at most you’re allowed four copies of a particular Special Energy card.  This can work, but it is an expensive way to do it.

If we want to rely on just basic Energy cards, there’s Golduck BREAK, maybe paired up with a card like Naganadel; Golduck BREAK’s Ability lets you move basic Energy cards around your side of the field, while Naganadel’s Ability lets you attach a basic Energy card from your discard pile to itself once per turn.  Basic Energy cards are far easier to search out and recycle, and unlike the Amazing Rare Yveltal, Reshiram has a low enough cost for this to be plausible.  Even two Naganadel and one Golduck BREAK mean you can constantly recycle and reuse two of the three needed Energy for Amazing Blaze.  Yes, you need one more Energy, but that just comes from your manual Energy attachment.

I’ve mentioned stuff like this for some of the other Amazing Rare cards, but they come with the caveat of these combos, if they actually prove worthwhile, work with a variety of other attackers.  That doesn’t mean Reshiram couldn’t still see play, but is there anything that works better with Reshiram?  Not necessarily exclusive to it, but at least being a bit better for it than most of the rest?    Maybe.  Because Reshiram needs [L], Tapu Koko {*} is an obvious choice for it, though (at most) you can use it to help two copies of Reshiram.  Welder is a great way to accelerate to basic Fire Energy cards from your hand to Reshiram, but it only needs one of those Energy.  It is a bit clunky, but combine Energy Switch and/or Turbo Patch and you might be able to build a deck that can spam Reshiram.

In Expanded, where anti-Item effects are stronger, we have the card I now wish was still in Standard: Rainbow Brush.  This Item lets you swap an Energy attached to one of your Pokémon with a basic Energy from your deck.  If it was Standard-legal, then Welder for two basic Fire Energy, Rainbow Brush, manually attach either a Darkness Energy or Lightning Energy card, then Rainbow Brush for the other by shuffling the spare Fire Energy back into your deck.  You can try this in Expanded, and you’d also have access to Black Smith and VS Seeker, but anti-Item effects are sometimes much stronger here.


  • Standard: 2/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

Reshiram seems to almost be worth the hassle of finding a way to pay for Amazing Blaze.  You’ll note that I didn’t worry about the self-damage, unlike with yesterday’s Zekrom (SW – Vivid Voltage 060/185).  Zekrom Paralyzed the opponent’s Active, so it had a small chance of sticking around longer; Reshiram’s only hope of surviving is you wiping out your opponent’s only real threat on the board with Amazing Blaze.

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