Tornadus (Emerging Power EP 89/98) – Card of the Day

As we all know by now, Emerging Powers turned out to be a huge let down. Besides the questionably playable Beartic and Gothitelle, the only definitively good cards in the set are Pokémon Catcher, and, you guessed it, Tornadus. That’s why I figured it would be appropriate to give Tornadus another chance as a COTD.

So lets start with the basics:

Garchomp C LV.X is a Basic Colorless Pokémon with 110HP and the unmatched ability to snipe for 80 on turn 2.

Whoops, wrong card.

As we all know, Garchomp C LV.X completely dominated the last 2 formats, and Tornadus shares many similarities with it. They both have a very strong 110HP, Colorless typing, and now with Pokémon Catcher, the ability to deal 80 damage anywhere on the board. If you ignore Garchomp’s nice Poké-Power, then Tornadus has 3 huge advantages over Garchomp.

1. T1 Potential. Along with Pachirisu and Shaymin, it is possible to power up a “Hurricane” on T1 the same way you would power up a Zekrom. However, thanks to Double Colorless Energy and Energy Switch, this job is made much easier, taking pressure off of Shaymin and Pachirisu needing to drop 2 Lightning from hand the way Zekrom did.

2. Energy Conservation. Although Garchomp C LV.X could abuse TGI Energy Gain, it could only attach and discard Double Colorless Energies so many times. Many view the ‘downside’ to “Hurricane” as a necessary evil to his amazing attack, but I see it as one of the best parts of his attack because it keeps energy in play.

Move a Lightning down to another Tornadus and you’re ready to go with a DCE next turn. Or move Lightning down to a Zekrom and prepare for a big KO with “Bolt Strike”. Keeping Energy in play is one of the main reasons why ReshiPhlosion is such a great deck, and this is no different. Especially under trainer lock, it can be a game winning tactic.

3. Resistance to Fighting. In a meta full of Donphan, Tornadus will shine in the same vein that Yanmega proved to be an effective wall/counter to it. With cards like Pokémon Catcher and Max Potion, Donphan/Yanmega builds become so much more powerful. With Tornadus resisting Donphan and Zekrom KOing Yanmega, that threat is greatly reduced.

pokebeach.comNow lets step away from the comparison to Garchomp C LV.X and talk more about why Tornadus is so competitive. By now you’ve guessed that he is probably best paired with Zekrom as an alternative attacker that happens to take care of Zekrom’s Donphan problems. Zekrom was already a good deck, winning both Mexico and Canada’s National tournaments.

Back then, Zekrom players had 4 ideal starters: 4 Zekrom. Now, they have an additional 4 ideal starters and access to Pokémon Catcher? The deck just got crazy. Another item worth noting is Tornadus’ light Retreat Cost of 1. Not only does that make it easy to retreat out of effects like Confusion or Beartic’s attack, but it gives you the option to donk with Pachirisu by retreating into it.

I think of Tornadus’ first attack “Energy Wheel” as sort of a wash. You will almost never use it, but it is nice to use on T1 if you whiff the donk but have already dropped a Pachirsu with some energy, setting you up for at least a T2 “Hurricane”.

A few minor drawbacks are his Weakness and damage cap. Lightning Weakness hurts when you are facing a Zekrom that can one shot you after a “Bolt Strike”, or even if you decide to attack into it with “Hurricane”. His damage cap is 80, which, thanks to Pokémon Catcher, is almost irrelevant. Yanmega caps at 70 and no one complains.

All in all, this card just has so much going for it. “6 Prizes in Six Turns” is completely viable via Pokémon Catcher/Junk Arm, it counters what is likely to become a huge deck, and has insane T1 potential. I would expect this to be a huge part of our Meta in the upcoming P!P season. However, due to Weakness and not having a more competitive first attack…


Reader Interactions

47 replies

  1. Anonymous

    I think 4.5 is a little high, but I certainly agree with this review more than the previous one, and I’m glad you went in-depth at some of the cards uses such as being the best Donphan counter available for Zekrom decks.

    • theo Seeds  → Anonymous

      i honestly think 4.5 is 2.5 higher than it should be. The card is great for prereleases. But it isn’t a donphan counter. I’d rather play Samurott because frankly, Samurott doesn’t let Donphan heal, Switch, attack, or use a partner (Machamp)

      I think that before you automatically decide something is a Donphan counter you have to create a game situation. Yes it 2 shots it, and that’s a bad thing. A counter should OHKO and prevent the things I listed above.

      • Anonymous  → theo

        Samurott is stage 2, and therefore too slow and risky to be used as a tech in a format with Catcher. Also, not all decks can afford the space.

        • theo Seeds  → Anonymous

          also, Samurott is more consistant, better, and doesn’t fail you for the same energy cost and two more deck spaces.

      • lucas mazzega  → theo

        OMG, this guy don’t give up! It IS A COUNTER of Donphan, you’re the only in this world with this idea.

        • theo Seeds  → lucas

          Have you guys gone insane? It ain’t a Donphan counter, Lets play this out.

          Turn 1: Retreat Zekrom, move up Tornadus, Hurricane for 80.

          Opp. Turn 1: Max Potion, Energy, Earthquake for 40

          Turn 2: Hurricane for 80

          Opp. Turn 2: Switch to other Donphan, Energy, Earthquake for 40

          Turn 3: Hurricane for 80

          Opp. Turn 3: Earthquake for KO

          The point is that you really have to OHKO Donphan because it is a tank that will run you over if you don’t do the job right.

        • Jason Shook  → theo

          So Taking this scenario a little further, now the Zekrom player has had 3 turns to build up another Zekrom or Tornadus on the bench, not to mention the first one he retreated.  And you have two Donphans in play with 60 damage. Just sayin’.
          Now I still am not sold on Tornadus either I will have to playtest but Zekrom isnt exactly a slouch against Donphan seeing as he takes an earthquake and returns a OHKO with outrage, so the deck only needs a little help in the machup and Tornadus might be enough.

        • theo Seeds  → Jason

          oh, you think so, huh, well then let’s go further

          The Sequel to Tornadus’s epic failure

          they move up Zekrom and Bolt Strike for KO

          I go to Donphan the second and kill it.

          They get up a Zekrom and kill that.

          I move up Donphan, attach to it, and kill that.

          now, this might be that last prize card assuming that you don’t know what their running until they flip over that Phanpy, (a prequel to Tornadus’s Epic fail) and even then, you don’t know whether to devote your resources to it because it could be a tech. So they take 1 prize off of 1 Zekrom with a PlusPower. Then you get your Tornadus benched, but you only have one energy. You attach it to Tornadus and Bolt Strike for 100.Then he gets his second Donphan rolling and kills that Zekrom. You move up a Shaymin to stall for a turn, but the Donphan guy attaches a 3rd energy and PlusPower and kill it with Heavy impact. You kill that Donphan with Zekrom and he stalls for a turn because he has no energy by moving up Manaphy. You kill that with Hurricane after finally getting your Pachimin. And that begins the story in my previous comment.

        • Len Deuel  → theo

          Or I just bring up my second, third, and fourth Tornadus and win my autowin that is ZPS (lolname) against Donphan. I won’t even bother to bench either of my 2 tech Zekrom that I use to handle reshiphlosion more easily.

        • theo Seeds  → Koichi

          The turn you start using Tornadus is what i mean. I’m sorry I confused you. But god I miss the days when you could.

      • Colin Peterik  → theo

        As stated, Tornadus/Yanmega is more of a wall than a hard counter. However, throughout Nationals and Worlds you simply cannot argue that Donphan>Yanmega. Countless match results and Top Cut showings prove that it works. And Tornadus does 80, not 70. Look at the results. I know that Max Potion is here, but it’s just more stuff the Donphan player needs in hand.

        • Martin Garcia  → Colin

          Maybe it does 10 more damage but  . . . for 3 more energy, 2 if DCe is taken into account.
          I will admit that i was skeptical about tornadus as a donphan counter, and that was changed after kettler´s article, but im still not sold on it being an “awesome” card.

          Fine, yes. Good? maybe. Awesome? i dont think so.

          The best thing tornadus has going for his is the ability to move energies, which is cute at best, but not much else. sure, resistence to donphan is good, but lets not forget there is a stadium to take care of that, which alreadygets played, and will likely see even more play now to take care of yanmega and this guy.

          It would be a different matter if he had free retreat as yanmega does, but sadly, he doesnt.

        • Colby Bennardo  → Martin

          The 10 more damage does matter. It changes from a 3hko to a 2hko and yanmega cannot do that without two pluspowers

        • lucas mazzega  → Martin

          In my conception, in a role play this case doesn`t change too much. Yanmega attacks for free but he only can attack in T2 cause is a stage 1. Tornadus is a basic and can use the combo pachhirisu+shaymin for get the energies in T1.

          In a ZPS deck I`ll take Tornadus. Although the rate is tooooo high. I think it`s 3-3.5.

        • Colin Peterik  → theo


        • theo Seeds  → Colin

          I am replying to this comment:

          Your statement is ludicrous.

          1: I’m talking about the new Swanna that you couldn’t use for Worlds, so this is pointless

          2: How many decks SUCCESFULLY USED Yanmega as a counter top Donphan?

        • Colin Peterik  → theo

          1. You didn’t specify which Swanna. The new one is very slow and clunky.
          2. Every deck with Yanmega that made it to top cut was able to succesfully counter Donphan.
        • theo Seeds  → Colin

          are you 100% sure about this? I’m pretty sure that a couple tricky Donphan players Switched out of it and healed and SSU and made things tricky, while water cards don’t even let this stuff happen. The only time Tornadus/Yanmega is a Donphan counter is if you are running Vileplume, and even then I still don’t like it.

  2. Anonymous

    Really solid stuff. I did a double take when I saw that Colin Peterik had written it, and was pleasantly surprised that my eyes didn’t deceive me. Catch you across the season, bro!

  3. Anonymous

    I’m sorry, but I had to give this a negative. I’ll explain:

    1) IMO, it is a good card and not a great card. This is especially true against Donhpan. Yes, it helps to close up that match up for ZPS, but it is still a little low.

    2) It is OHKOd by both Reshiram and Zekrom. I fully expect these two cards to be driving forces behind the next season with Donphan being the other.

    3) 80 is great first turn, but just average now almost any other turn.  If you allow an open turn, those vunerable  basics are going to become stage 1s or stage 2s quickly. Then the 80 is not enough.

    4) I about choked when I first heard this card compared to Garchomp Lv.X. Yes, the stats may look the same, but the effect will be hugely different. a) you could power up GLX in a single turn with regards to energy, b) GLX had free retreat which was huge, c) GLX has an alternative purpose in healing the field, d) the snipe was viable even under trainer lock, e) this card cannot OHKO any of the best attackers in the format (one of GLX’s greatest strengths was that it could OHKO another GLX, there is not a single top tier attacker that this card can OHKO), and f) there were a crap ton of 70 hp basics just sitting around ALL game to be sniped (now you only have low hp basics that are only vulnerable for a couple turns max). This card does not even compare with Garchomp C Lv.X in respect to how it will change the meta.

    So, do I think the card will be played? Yes. Do I think the card helps out ZPS (possibly the BDIF)? Yes. Do I think that this card deserves a 4.5/5? Absolutely not.

    It is probably a comfy 2.5-3/5

    • Anonymous  → Anonymous

      The article was well written and most of the time that is good enough for me. However, CotD’s should be as close to concise, factual information about a card’s place in the meta game as possible. So, for me, the rating is the main concern, followed by explanation. Therefore, unfortunately, I have to disagree with you.

    • Colin Peterik  → Anonymous

      I only used the comparison to Garchomp as a jumping off point to get into a discussion. Of course Tornadus doesn’t compare in a MD-COL format, but in our current format he is really the closest thing there is, especially when you consider two factors: Rare Candy nerf= vulnerable low HP Pokemon on the bench for at LEAST 1 turn multiple times per game, combined with Pokemon Catcher to nab easy prizes. He can also be easily powered 1 turn faster than Garchomp, because there is no need to Level Up. IMHO if Tornadus single handedly helps a deck (ZPS) reach top tier, then it absolutely deserves no lower than a 4.5/5. But, as always, thanks for the comments!

      • Anonymous  → Colin

        No my point is that ZPS is already top tier. Tornadus does not do this. IMO, a 4-5 rating is for cards that are staples in many decks (Catcher, Collector, Comm, etc) or single-handily rule a format (Garchomp C Lv.X). Something like this that is limited deserves to be in the 2-3 range.

        • Colin Peterik  → Anonymous

          As many have pointed out, Tornadus IS a staple in ZPS. You are quite frankly handicapping yourself by not including multiple copies in Zekrom.

        • Anonymous  → Colin

          respectfully, i think that you fail to see the point. the point is not whether or not it is a staple in ONE deck. the point is that 4-5 ratings should be reserved for cards that are staples in MORE THAN ONE deck or cards that DEFINE the format.

          examples would be: Collector, Communication, Garchomp C Lv.X last format, Yanmega at Nats and Worlds, etc.

          Unfortunately, Tornadus does neither. It is even arguable exactly how much it helps in ZPS (I think that is is important in that deck, but it is a hotly debated topic).

        • Anonymous  → Colin

          respectfully, i think that you fail to see the point. the point is not whether or not it is a staple in ONE deck. the point is that 4-5 ratings should be reserved for cards that are staples in MORE THAN ONE deck or cards that DEFINE the format.

          examples would be: Collector, Communication, Garchomp C Lv.X last format, Yanmega at Nats and Worlds, etc.

          Unfortunately, Tornadus does neither. It is even arguable exactly how much it helps in ZPS (I think that is is important in that deck, but it is a hotly debated topic).

  4. Mekkah

    Doesn’t really deserve to be on the same page as Garchomp C Lv. X at all, but yeah, this is the better of the two Tornadus reviews.

  5. Josh

    comparing Tornadus to Garchomp C LvX is like comparing apples to oranges… the former are both pokemon cards and the latter are both fruit past that they have nothing in common…

  6. Ben Bradly

    Went to my first pre-releases…lost six games to this card =P

    Great in depth analysis,  I am not sure it is 4.5 worthy but I think it is quite good indeed.

  7. Sam W

    I think it’s time to stop giving ratings since it does literally nothing but make people mad

  8. theo Seeds

    I will agree that Tornadus is a better Donphan counter than Yanmega if you agree that niether is a Donphan counter.

    • Anonymous  → theo

      In a way, you’re right.  Neither is a hard counter, but Tornadus is a better soft counter.

      Define: Hard Counter
      A card that shuts down the opponent and can ohko with either type advantage of sheer damage (with maybe some help)
      Zekrom to Yanmega
      Samurott to Donphan
      Donphan to Magnezone

      Define: Soft Counter
      A card that can wall the card it is targeting, softening it up enough to allow an autoloss to become simply unfavorable.
      Yanmega to Donphan
      Tornadus to Donphan
      Reshiram to Yanmega
      Ferrothorn to Beartic

    • Jac Adarti  → theo

      Donphan isn’t God. There ARE cards besides god-awful water cards that can counter it, and Tornadus does a wonderful job of that. 

      It IS a counter to Donphan. I’ve personally seen it happen many, many more times than I’ve seen Donphan kill Tornadus.

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