Carl’s Cache: EXtra! EXtra! EXtra!

Hello and welcome to another edition of Carl’s Cache! Today’s topic is going to be simple: I will be doing a review of each EX in Next Destinies, some possible combos, and potential weaknesses for each one.

Let’s begin…

Shaymin EX

pokebeach.comThis is an EX that, in my opinion is flying under the radar. He’s got some decent base stats for an EX, but 110 Hit Points is by far the lowest. It is also weak to Fire, which to be honest is almost irrelevant given his HP, but he does come with a useful resistance to Fighting and has the lowest Retreat Cost of the EXs. His first attack isn’t much: it lets you attach a Grass Energy to one of your Pokémon, and other than Virizon NVI there just aren’t any viable Grass-based decks at the moment.

However, his second attack might just be the best late-game sweeping attack we’ve had in a very long time. For the cheap cost of a Grass Energy and a C Energy, it does 30 damage plus 30 more damage for each Prize card your opponent has taken. This is extremely strong as it can up to 180 damage, enough to 1HKO any EX unless they have Eviolite attached, and it’s likely that by the time you start attacking with Shaymin EX there is some damage on it anyway.

The big issue with it is its lack of Hit Points, and if you start with it or have to use Pokémon Communication with it, you tip your hand to your opponent and show them your silver bullet. I definitely feel like this one of the best EXs as it being an EX is almost irrelevant since you will typically use it for the late game.

However, you can use it a bit earlier against Terrakion NVI and even against decks that have several Pokémon with relatively “low” Hit Points, as midway through the game it is hitting for around 120. I definitely think this card is worth considering in a variety of decks; I really like this card and expect its value to go up.

Strengths: Late-game strength and is an extremely solid fighting counter, especially against Terrakion. I feel like it has merits in any deck that falls behind quickly or needs an answer to Fighting.

Weaknesses: Lack of use in the early game and low Hit Points. Most Fire Pokémon easily can 1-shot it, and it is pretty much dead against Durant NVI or decks that can control when they take prizes, such as Chandelure NVI.

Artwork: This is one of three EXs where I actually love both artworks. I really love the etching on the Full Art, and while the pose on the regular one is extremely nice, I do like the Full Art just a bit more.

Overall I feel that Shaymin EX is a relatively under-rated card and I think it could show up in a fair amount of decks come States time.

Moving on to one of the three dragons featured in the set…


pokebeach.comThis card is one of the more hyped EXs; it already being hyped as the card that can bring ReshiBoar back. His base stats are nice: 180 Hit Points is the current max on an EX, though the weakness to Water could turn out to be a factor if people start using Kyurem EX, Kyurem NVI, or other Water-based decks/techs to counter him. He also has a three Retreat Cost, which is annoying as you can’t retreat him with a Double Colorless Energy unless you also have Skyarrow Bridge in play.

Both of his attacks are actually solid; the first attack virtually guarantees a Knock Out on Durant unless they stack multiple Special M Energies or Defenders, in which case you would have to flip heads to get a Knock Out; he also can Knock Out Shaymin EX with a PlusPower or a heads flip with his first attack.

His second attack, like most of the EXs, is where the hype is coming from. For two Fire and a Double Colorless it does 150 damage, at the cost of potentially doing damage to himself. The fact that he can do up to 50 damage to himself, even more if he has to use PlusPowers to get a Knock Out on either an EX or something that has Defenders on it, is tough to swallow.

It seems that Reshiram-EX needs to use Eviolite – to avoid putting it in the 130 Hit Points left, which would put it in easy KO range of the non-EX Dragons and Kyurem EX among other things – and FlipTini – so that you have decent odds of not damaging yourself period.

But the strength of this card used alongside Emboar BLW in particular is hard to overlook. I feel that the slowness of that deck is caused by the amount of Energy recovery it has to run and with Reshiram-EX you might not have to run as much; it is also an easier version of BadBoar to get out. Lastly, it can be used in TyRam instead of Druddigon NVI, Rocky Helmet, Black Belt, or Kingdra Prime to get through the Trainer lock and be able to get knock outs.

Strengths: Not having to discard Energy and being able to easily deal 150 damage through Trainer lock.

Weaknesses: Strong Water attackers, high Retreat Cost, and self-damage can allow your opponent to hit magic numbers easier.

Artwork: Not even close; the Full Art one is superb.

Overall I feel like this is the EX that I like the least; the flipping coins part doesn’t sit well with me and self-damage is generally bad.

Next we have another Dragon…

Kyurem EX

Kyurem EX was hyped as the worst EX, and while I feel like it might not be as splashable or as generally strong as the others it does have some unique traits. I’ll start with his base stats: he was able to get the 180 Hit Points, staying right at the top with Zekrom-EX, Reshiram-EX and Regigigas-EX, but unfortunately he was also blessed with the three Retreat Cost, no resistance and a weakness to Metal.

However, he is the only EX that is able to hit another one for weakness; I don’t count Reshiram-EX because Shaymin EXs Hit Points are so unbelievably low. This gives him something unique in our field of six EX’s. Another nice thing is that he is weak to a generally unpopular type at the moment: Metal.

Metal has been pretty unpopular lately except for one card: Cobalion NVI. The problem is that with Mewtwo EX the Metal type is almost guaranteed to rise in popularity: Steelix Prime is a tank, Scizor Prime might be able to face an entire deck that can’t hurt him, and Cobalion is one of the best attackers in the current format and will continue to rise in popularity.

Luckily, unless those Pokémon attach a ton of Energy or get a PlusPower, Kyurem EX won’t be 1HKO’d. His attack also helps to neutralize that, he is able to discard a Special Energy card, which can take away their Special Metals. However that attack is more valuable as a Mewtwo EX counter, which is what I feel the card was designed to do, as it always will hurt Mewtwo EX’s damage output by discarding their DCEs.

His second attack is useful as it pairs with his initial attack to do 180 damage, enough to KO any EX without Eviolite, it can do significant damage to almost anything, and will likely stay around a turn or more. I feel like he is also a decent play against Durant as they rely on their Special Metals. That attack is also the only attack featured on EX card that does something other than damage to the opponent’s Pokémon, another unique feature.

Strengths: At the moment it’s only weak to one card in the metagame (Cobalion NVI), it serves as a good Mewtwo EX counter, hits Reshiram-EX for weakness, and built-in Lost Remover for an attack.

Weaknesses: Bad starter, doesn’t do much damage in comparison to the other EXs, and not too splashable.

Artwork: I disliked both of them, they both made me think his name was Chin EX; I’ll go with the non-FA here as the picture is smaller.

Overall I feel that the card is probably the weakest, but it is definitely not bad in any sense of the word.

Next up is our last Dragon…


pokebeach.comThis is probably the second-most-hyped EX, as he fits right into several tier one decks and has overall good stats. Again like the other Dragons he gets the 180 Hit Points, the three Retreat Cost, but sadly he does get the worse, yet obligatory, Fighting weakness. Fighting-type has been popular ever since ‘Zone became good and it will continue to be so.

He has an okay first attack; it’s the same as Reshiram-EX’s, but you hopefully won’t have to use it. The second attack is definitely where it is at, 150 for 2 Lightning and a DCE, meaning if you get a god start you can do 150 turn one. Also discarding energies hasn’t been a problem for Lightning Pokémon in a while, thanks to Eelektrik NVI, so he fits right in with Eel decks and ZPST decks that want to beat Trainer Lock.

The best part about the attack is that you can discard the energies, accelerate them to the bench, and then attach a DCE to continue attacking with Zekrom-EX (assuming you can “chain DCE”). This makes the card pretty insane and just an ideal card.

The only “weakness” of the card is Fighting types, which with Eviolite Terrakion + Revenge doesn’t even have a 1HKO unless it plays a PlusPower. This guy is definitely the second best EX in the set, simply because it is lightning and the flip-flop of attack drawbacks between Reshiram and Zekrom.

Strengths: It’s a Lightning type, which has the best of everything at the moment.

Weakness: Not a great opener and can be an easy 2 Prizes for a Fighting based deck.

Artwork: Both are amazing but how can you not like that sick FA?

Overall I feel that the card is the best non-Mewtwo EX card, and it could surpass it because it already fits easily into established archetypes.

Next up is the aforementioned and infamous…

Mewtwo EX

Okay, I’m just going to say this card is insane, but not unbeatable. His stats are extremely nice and he got blessed with a two retreat, which makes him a much viable starter than most of the EXs, and is probably the best because he can attack on turn one for significant damage.

The 170 Hit Points rather than 180 really isn’t insanely important, and of course there’s the weakness to Psychic. He’s being hyped in decks with quick and easy acceleration, such as Celebi Prime, along with friends, in a deck my friend, David Cook, coined “Celebisics.” The card is also going to see play in almost every deck as he is the best counter to himself in general because it is easy to tech in.

His obvious weakness is that his attack causes you to overextend for early game knock outs and anything Metal, as Cobalion literally makes the card scared, and so do Scizor Prime and Steelix Prime. Avoid Metal decks and you’ll be okay. I can’t say much because so much has already been said.

Strengths: Turn one 40 or 60 easy, can sweep games, and is very viable as a tech in anything.

Weaknesses: Mew Prime, Mewtwo EX, Cobalion, Steelix, Scizor, and overextension early game.

Artwork: As a collector the FA just annoyed me a ton; definitely non-FA here.

Overall it’s the best EX in the set, but he might be too over-hyped to excel by himself.

Last, but not least is the beast…


pokebeach.comThis is an insanely good card in my opinion, but as always we’ll start with the base stats: he got the max on Hit Points, 180, which in my opinion should’ve been more. I mean it’s Gigas. Anyhow he got the awful four Retreat Cost as well weakness to Fighting, which after delving into it with Zekrom-EX would be overkill at this point.

But he’s got two relatively amazing attacks: the first is a base 60 and you can add 20 damage if you do 20 to yourself and, this alone gives you two options, the first you can attach an Eviolite and just end up doing 80 and doing no damage to yourself or you can do the 80 and charge up his second attack.

His second attack is basically an “uber” Outrage. For four energy it does 50 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter on itself, and with a 180 HP Pokémon you can just tell where this is going. It’s perfect at just KOing multiple things early game if you can get set up with Celebi Prime, or in late game and attempt to sweep, which can and will be used in Ross.Dec.

The card gives several decks a boost, such as Ross.Dec and Celebisics decks, as a big hitter and late game sweeper. The card also is a somewhat-effective Durant counter, since if you can go turn one and they whiff on Crushing Hammers and/or can’t get Lost Removers then you are poised for an easy win.

Strengths: Outrage, 80 for three, and somewhat splashable.

Weaknesses: Starting with it and Fighting types; Energy denial is a huge pain for the big guy.

Artwork: Both are extremely solid, but I do have a thing for the Full Art Gigas.

In conclusion he’s an excellent card, but only as a card that fills a couple of niches in the metagame.

EXs Overall

BulbapediaThey are good, but nowhere near broken after testing a fair amount of games. They can be stopped and, to be honest, I feel the preorder value on them is fair, other than Mewtwo which is the most over-hyped card. It’s good, but no way is it worth 80 dollars (or 100 dollars in California, must be inflation/rage at losing to Giants). They are all playable but can be beaten, which I love.

I feel that almost all States winning decks will run a Mewtwo EX, even if it’s simply as a counter to other Mewtwos, but that most will also run one or two others as techs depending on metagame. The bottom line is I see them being in a lot of decks but not as their focal point, except for Celebi/Tornadus/Shaymin/Gigas/Mewtwo decks that have been hyped the past couple weeks. The nice thing is that you can definitely succeed without EXs. Also worth noting that the one weakness of all EXs is, simply put, Magnezone Prime. They will be happy if the magnet doesn’t show up at States.

On to what I think will happen at States: I don’t know. I was testing a lot of games recently – a techy Chandy, a techy Durant, and a Zone/Eel/Mewtwo – but I couldn’t work out the kinks in any of them, and with my college classes starting to get more involved as well as the potential for a job, my testing is limited and I’ve already decided I’m just going to play something I’ve played before and done well with, and then just add in an EX or two to adjust it.

Basically my five options for states are: MagneBoar, Zone/Eel, Zekrom/Eel, and then Durant (which I would really rather not run unless the techy version works), and probably Celebisics if I can get the cards and a good list without testing. That hurts me a lot, but so far just running a deck with Magnezone seems to be the right call for week one, when the EXs will be most hyped and in full force.

I can’t say much else since this article is sort of a spring-board into my next article in which I will do a huge City Championships review to bridge a section on how the decks improve and possible techs for our current top tier decks. See ya in February and let the countdown to POKEMON’S MARCH MADNESS BEGIN!

Reader Interactions

27 replies

  1. Anonymous

    nice overview. we’ll see where the format takes them all. about your comment of low energy require for reshi X(since it doesn’t discard) i have been thinking of running a reshi X deck but instead with lower amounts of energy accel(like a 2-1-2 typhlosion instead of a 4-2-3, adn 3 candy/3 comm instead of 4 candy 4 comm) so i can include things like shaymin Ul, lost remover, fliptini, potion. that type of stuff.

    • Benjamin Bolival  → Anonymous

      2-1-2 typhlo i think is too low and makes a dent on the consistency of your deck . remember both reshi ex and zekrom ex can 1-shot typhlo so if they are able to power up their exes and catcher your typhlos thats most likely good game.

      • Anonymous  → Benjamin

        Also, with any Reshi EX based deck you want to be hitting for 150 on turn two. Running a 2-1-2 line (of typhlosion or emboar) decreases the odds of that happening significantly.

        • Carl Scheu  → Anonymous

          yeah i have to agree with you here, i definitely feel like for emboar you could get away with a 3-1-2 line, possibly, but you still would want to get multiple typho primes out(which i really think isn’t too synergistic w/ Reshiram EX as Emboar is, but i’ll save that debate for another day) so you prolly want at least a 3-2-3 line, maybe even still the 4-2-4 line.

  2. hovok21

    There is a statement about Shaymin being the only EX without 3 retreat cost, I think it should be the EX with the least retreat cost since Mewtwo has 2 retreat.

    Then I do not think kyurem is the worst, of course his attacks aren´t the best, but also do not forget that its a Water EX, witch is huge in a meta game where Fire decks/bench sitters are common. I think it deserves at least a good testing as a tech for decks that can afford the energy to power the attacks.

    • Carl Scheu  → hovok21

      i realized that too, i meant to say other than Mewtwo EX, but I obviously forgot that part :(

      I think Kyurem EX is the worst of the EX, but I think it’s a great card, I know that sounds awkward but I truly think all of the EXs are pretty good, I’ll be showing some of my ideas with him in the next article :)

      • Benjamin Bolival  → Carl

        yes I strongly agree with Carl, Kyurem EX is the worst of the current EXes. Its only saving grace is that it is a fire counter and thats only it. its attacks are mediocre compared to what the other EXes can do.

        • Ramon  → Benjamin

          Well his first attack is quite easy to pull off and in a format full of decks stuffed with Special energies, the attack is quite decent. I think it has a good plave in the game, and I really like the possibilities in Vileplume/Reuniclus lists.

        • Benjamin Bolival  → Ramon

          mewtwo ex’s x-ball attack can be paired with engines that can attach as many energy to mewtwo ex in order to ohko kyurem ex.

  3. Benjamin Bolival

    Nice article Carl and you’ve hit each EX on the money !

  4. beyblade1410

    I personally believe Mewtwo EX was created by the same person that made Catcher, and Eviolite. The people at TPCI were probably like I have a great idea! “Lets bring back gust of wind, give it an new name, and trash half the decks in the meta!” ” WOW best idea ever, and while were at it lets create a Donphan’s poke-body for basics” ” it’s simply genius now the EX’S can block 20 with their massive HP, this will be soo great for the meta ” And finally Mewtwo EX… ” Ok everyone, lets bring back the EX’S and take the week off, then we’ll create more hype by making the EX’S practically invincible and lets allow them to use Eviolite! ”

    What are the people over at TPCI Smoking?

    • Ramon  → beyblade1410

      Although I agree that the they are making a lot of power cards, they’re not making anything as broken as what the SP engine was in the past few seasons. The Metagame has been quite diverse with even some rogue possibilities after the rotation. It’s just that to make a rogue you really have to think outside the box not having something like Claydol or Uxie to make everything work. Although EXs are powerful you have to work to fit them in and the most splashable and arguably most powerful EX has the same weakness that makes it strong; it’s splashability means he himself is a hard counter for himself while other EXs can’t be OHKOd so reliably without a specific tech or matchup. All in all, these are powerful cards but the meta won’t be any less diverse. All IMO

    • Anonymous  → beyblade1410

      Just to clear up any misconceptions.

      TCPI decides what goes in which sets. They’ve told us that via pokegym posts.

      However. TCPI does NOT design cards.

      That right falls exclusively within the jurisdiction of PCL: Pokemon Card Laboratories.

      PCL is a Pokemon branch in Japan tasked with card design.

      Or, in short form:

      Call of Legends? TCPI’s fault
      Broken Cards? PCL’s fault

  5. Ross Gilbert

    Good idea for an article dude and some good points but it made for uncomfortable reading.

    In terms of pokemon:
    – Kyurem isn’t a great Mewtwo counter but he IS very good and hyped for Ross.Dec
    – Regigigas is colourless and is therefore not “somewhat splashable” but completely splashable
    – Regigigas gets OHKO by both Terrakion and Donphan, making him not the best choice for Ross.Dec (unless as a one-of for certain match-ups)

    I also have to point out that when talking about Kyurem you used the words “Intangibles” and “Incredulous” and both of them were used completely incorrectly. They make no sense. This is something that should have been picked up by the editors but i still think you should have checked the meaning of these words before using them. This isn’t a typo, it’s an incorrect use of a word.

    • Carl Scheu  → Ross

      I do think i did use those words correctly, meaning it had some traits that are hard to value in comparison to other ex’s, also i just looked up incredulous and i did use it right, meaning that shaymin ex’s hit points are unbelievably low(so the intangibles might be needed to changed but according to i used both of them right). also i didn’t say it was a great mewtwo ex counter, just a good one. And i was saving the Ross.dec reference for my next article(which was supposed to be done by the end of january but i got swamped w/ homework). Also I was skeptical about saying he was completely splashable b/c he does have a four retreat cost and there are some decks that just can’t afford to have him hogging up resources for retreating/switching out/attacking.

      • Ross Gilbert  → Carl

        Incredulous is an emotional state. I also checked and i’m afraid you’ve misinterpreted it. So you can have an incredulous smile (a smile to show that you do not believe what you are being told) but you could not describe a fact as incredulous. Incredible or unbelievable would be appropriate.

        As for intangible, it refers to something that cannot be perceived by the sense of touch or something that is not definite or clear to the mind. The only way it would work here is if there was something about the card that was not physically there but you had a feeling about, such as an unexplained love for the card or the Pokemon on it.

        • Carl Scheu  → Ross

          when i looked it up i didn’t realize it was an emotional state, my bad(one would’ve thought an english teacher/professor would have caught by now considering i’ve been using that word like that forever :p
          the intangibles one had a couple of odd ball definitions, and am trying to think of another word to use for that, but not coming up with any atm.

    • theo Seeds  → Ross

      Regigigas EX is good in Ross because he is like a dragon with Outrage, only with 50 more HP. And why would I play Donphan with the EX’s out?

  6. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Kyurem is seriously underrated. I like it a lot more than Shaymin or Gigas.

    Typing makes it the toughest EX to KO . . . and I’m sure we all know decks that can make use of that.

  7. Dave Enzo

    Liked the article for sure…I too believe that shaymin ex is overlooked he is an amazing late game sweeper and should be respected as such. and i mostly agree with you on most ex opinions but i belive giggas is the worse of the bunch not because he is bad but because all of his stats and attacks together ..fighting weakness damaging himself to attack even with the ‘Outragish’ attack leaving that much damage on a active ex is dangerous and last but not least his retreat…

    overall though very good and just the type of article i think ppl are looking for

  8. firstcow2die

    I have a Darkrai EX Full art edition i got in Beevill texas two days ago..

    Is it worth anything?

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