Tyranitar V – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 30, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
As a Pokémon V, Tyranitar V (SW – Battle Styles 097/163, 154/163, 155/163) is a Rule Box Pokémon that gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, cannot make use of certain beneficial effects, and is vulnerable to certain detrimental ones. Of course, there are many benefits that may balance out these drawbacks. Tyranitar V is a Basic Pokémon, making it fast and easy to run, as opposed to a Stage 2 like most other Tyranitar cards. It sports 230 HP, the higher of the more common scores for Basic Pokémon V, with a good chance of surviving a hit. There’s also a good chance it will enjoy other benefits it might not have as well, but we’ll wait until we properly review the attacks to decide. Tyranitar V is a Single Strike Pokémon, letting it access their support. This is likely to be a big boon for it, and we’ll have a better idea after we get through the rest of the card.
Tyranitar V is a Darkness type; they’re getting better at exploiting Weakness, but they’re still not one of the top types for it. At least Resistance is only found on the discontinued Fairy types. [D] support isn’t mind-blowing, but it has some handy tricks, while none of the anti-Darkness effects are likely to matter to Tyranitar V (or most [D] types). [G] Weakness is a mild concern because of Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 013/189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035; Shining Fates 008/072, SV003/SV122). No Resistance is typical, though it very much would have been appreciated with that 230 HP. The Retreat Cost of [CCC] means relying on switching cards, but unlike a Retreat Cost of [CCCC], doesn’t come with access to cards like Buff Padding.
Tyranitar V knows two attacks. For [DCC] it can use “Cragalanche” to do 60 damage and discard the top two cards of your opponent’s deck. The second attack, “Single Strike Crush” can be used for [DDCC]. It lets Tyranitar V hit for 240 damage, but you have to discard the top four cards of your deck. The good news is that the Energy costs are a bit staggered, and have mostly [C] Energy requirements. If you can’t go from zero-to-Single Strike Crush in a turn, at least you can shoot for Cragalanche instead, and you can make use of a decent amount of Energy acceleration. The bad news is that your “budget” attack is still pricey, and it does two things not very well.
If we were talking about just doing damage, 120 for [DCC] on a Basic Pokémon V would be… okay. Not great. Maybe not even “good”, but decent. Instead, we hit half the hard, so Cragalanche fails to OHKO even some non-evolving, Basic, single-Prize Bench-sitters. It isn’t good at 2HKOing or even 3HKOing targets, either. Okay, so maybe it is about the mill? Houndoom-EX was able to function milling two cards, but it did so for a single Energy. This attack really needs to both hit a bit harder and mill a bit more… or just be worth one fewer Energy. Probably the latter. As for Single Strike Crush, self-mill is always risky, and you’re hitting your own deck for four cards off the top. That’s a lot! At a glance, it feels like the mill amounts were flipped for the attacks.
All hope is not lost. As a Single Strike Pokémon, Tyranitar V has access to their tricks. As if often the case, the big combo is backing Tyranitar V with Houndoom (SW – Battle Styles 096/163, 179/163, SW – Black Star Promos SWSH090) and Single Strike Energy. Probably with Urn of Vitality as well. You’ll burn some of Tyranitar V’s HP in doing it, but this should make the attacks bearable, if not fast. As a bonus, each Single Strike Energy adds 20 damage as well, while covering [D] and [F] Energy requirements. So you’re not just filling out the [C] Energy requirements and upping the damage. Not enough to make Cragalanche “good”, at least, relative to the effort, but Single Strike Crush can expand its range to hit some of the medium-sized TAG TEAM Pokémon.
Theoretically, you could attach four Single Strike Energy and Single Strike Crush could deliver a massive 320 damage in one shot, which might justify the self-mill. Only the largest Pokémon – or those with protective effects – are walking away from that. Still, it is quite unlikely, even with Houndoom. After all, who knows how many Single Strike Energy will be Prized? It makes me wonder if one could risk running Tyranitar V with some basic Fighting Energy and Martial Arts Dojo. When you have at least one basic Energy attached and your opponent has the Prize lead, you’ll get +40 damage. Single Strike Crush would do 280, and now you can OHKO 340 HP with “just” three Single Strike Energy. There wasn’t a better place to mention it, but that 230 HP could be nice with Single Strike Scroll of Scorn.
Or maybe I’m focused on the wrong attack. Cragalanche only mills two, but it is on a big boy. With some disruption, and maybe some healing, perhaps Tyrantitar V could swing it. As usual, the Expanded Format brings more combo partners, more competition, and more counters. I’m going to call it a wash and score Tyranitar V the same in both Formats.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
I was sorely tempted to round up and give Tyranitar V a three-out-of-three, but it just isn’t quite there. Maybe the rest of the Single Strike support will help. Too many “maybes”, and even if things go Tyranitar V’s way, it doesn’t have some potent-but-niche use to push it over the top… or rather, the middle.
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