Kenny’s Wisdom: Next Destinies Set Review

Another set, another set review. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so let’s get right into it.

Cities Wrap-Up

romeert.deviantart.comBefore we get to the meat of the article, I thought I’d wrap-up my Cities events. I was only able to attend one other Cities, but luckily I managed to get third with a Durant list that was very similar to the one that I posted in my last article/used at my 1st/3rd place Cities finishes. The tournament report isn’t really relevant now that we have a new format, but very quickly: I switched out the Smoochum HS for a Mime Jr. CL and was able to beat a ReshiPhlosion in a 45-minute Top 8 due to getting 8 perfect flips (that is, tails going into my opponent’s turn, heads going into mine) with Sleepy Lost.

I lost in three games in the Top 4 due to 2 lone Ditto TM starts (I had teched the Ditto to deal with V-Create Victini, which had become a fairly popular piece of anti-Durant technology in my area). If I had advanced to the finals I certainly would’ve lost to Grant McClellan’s ZPST, so I’m not too sour or anything.

This leaves me with 15 Championship Points thus far, which unfortunately means I’ve only got an outside chance of qualifying for the World Championship. I expect the cut-off to be around 40 points, so if I can spike a States or a Regionals, top cut the other two States, and then do okay at Nationals (which I should be attending this year, finally) and round it out with some decent BR performances, I should be alright, but that’s kind of a tall order.

Definitely not impossible and I wouldn’t be playing at all if I didn’t think I was capable of it, but it’s going to take some extreme focus, skill, and luck.

Card-by-Card Thoughts on Next Destinies

I think the best way we’ve found for doing set reviews is just to take a few select cards and write a paragraph or two about them. I tried to review every card in the set for a short time, but that was received poorly, took quite a bit of time, and, as is the nature of Pokémon, resulted in me saying things like “Isn’t good in this format, can’t imagine it being good later. Decent in limited” to a whole bunch of cards.

If anyone reading this has suggestions for how to make set reviews more enjoyable, please let me know in the comments or via e-mail at! For the purposes of this set review I’m going to review the cards in set-list order, and will have a separate, small section on limited.

Shaymin EX

pokemon-paradijs.comThis card has a lot going for it, and a lot going against it. On one hand, it provides an incredibly good finisher for any deck that runs Grass or Rainbow effects (Prism, etc.), not to mention it’s absolutely adorable! On the other hand, you can’t really afford to be running more than a single copy of it, and starting with it would be incredibly bad news.

Additionally, as sad as it sounds, dealing 180 is often not enough to win games in this format, and that’s the only time it’d really be useful. Plus, 110 HP is incredibly small right now, particularly at the cost of 2 Prizes.

With all that being said, I’m still overall positive on this card. Almost all of the Modified lists I’ve brewed since NDE was spoiled have included a single copy of this little guy, and although my testing hasn’t been too extensive, he definitely serves a purpose. Not sure if he’ll make it all the way through to my eventual States decklist, but at this point I think he’s got a pretty fair chance.

Financially, he’s going for $10/$14 (Regular/Full Art) on right now, which I would guess means $8/$12 once the set is out and the market settles. I’ll definitely be picking up a copy of the full-art for myself for States, but you could probably trade for it at a lower value if you have a decent trade stock and an active league in your area. I don’t see these going up anytime soon, so I would recommend against buying for profit.

Amoongus NDE

Not exactly sure how I feel about this guy, but I think overall he’s better than a lot of people are expecting. A Stage One that does nothing but Confuse/Poison obviously isn’t inherently great, particularly because it can only be activated once, but Confusion is pretty strong right now, and I’m sure there’s a case to be made for Poison setting up perfect KOs.

I’ve heard this talked about as a tech in a few things and although I’m unsure of all of them and I doubt this will see major play during States/Regionals, I don’t think it’s something you should write off right away. It’s interesting enough that it may have it’s uses somewhere.

Financially, the $4 TrollandToad are asking is insane. This should be no more than a $1-2 rare when the set drops. Even at that point I don’t think it’ll spike, so buying for profit would be a bad decision.

Chandelure NDE 20

pokemon-paradijs.comFirstly, Litwick and Lampent are both strictly worse than their Promo and NVI counterparts, so don’t pay them any mind.

Chandelure is perfect as a 1-of tech in NVI Chandelure lists. Unless there’s a compelling argument against it (and in reality there may be, as I said, I haven’t tested much at all), I’m going to plan my Chandelure lists to have one copy of this guy and some amount of Fire. 30 + Split Ball for R is quite good and fits right into what contemporary Chandelure lists are trying to do anyway.

80 Burn for RC is also fine and you won’t miss the energy as much due to Blissey Prime, etc. These cards were just meant to be together, and I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be.

Additionally, the rise of Durant makes this new Chandelure an even more sensible play, especially as you may already be running R for V-Create Victini.

Financially, TrollandToad has it at $4, which seems about right. If you can get it for lower that’s absolutely great, but I don’t see it going past $5 ever.


This is also a card that people seem pretty split on. Some say it’s awful and flippy and not worth the risk of giving your opponent 2 Prizes and others say it’s the second coming of Christ and will obviously elevate MagneBoar, ReshiPhlosion, ReshiBoar, et al. back to their rightful place in tier one.

I personally fall somewhere in-between. Obviously it improves the aforementioned decks and is an obvious play in them. Additionally it’s an inherently good card, with RCC for 50 with a possible chance of 80 (an even higher chance if you run Victory Star Victini) is fine, and RRCC for 150, even with the possibility of self-damage is also quite good.

The main problem is that, if you happen to flip tails on Brave Fire and you don’t have an Eviolite attached, it becomes quite easy for most of the Pokémon in this format to KO you and subsequently take 2 Prizes. The question, as with a lot of these EXs, just comes down to the risk vs. reward. Personally I think that Reshiram is better than most people speculating, but I’m not too terribly in love with it.

An important thing to remember regarding Reshiram, Kyurem, and Zekrom-EX is that their tins won’t hit shelves until March 21st, after the first two weekends of States have taken place! Obviously this means that you’re not going to be able to profit off of them, but you really have no choice about picking them up at $10. Luckily that price tag is about right, in my mind.

Kyurem EX

In my mind this is the most underrated EX thus far. It’s certainly not the best, and it’s definitely not the flashiest, but I think Kyurem has his place in the format. Particularly, I’ve been toying with the idea of including him in a Truth-based deck, possibly as the main attacker or even as a soft Mewtwo counter. Whatever the case, it legitimately surprises me to see so many people so down on this card.

As with the other tin EXs, you’re kind of forced to pick this up for States. The price isn’t going to drop because of the stalemate the tins are creating on the market, yet the tins aren’t released until after States. Luckily you’ll probably only need a single copy of this guy, and that full art artwork is ridiculous.

Zebstrika NDE

The most interesting non-Pokémon-EX in the set, not close. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the type of card that can succeed in this format. Trainer lock is huge and snipe is huge, but a Stage 1 with 90 HP just can’t cut it here. If it were a Basic, had slightly more HP, and did a little more damage along with the Trainer lock I could see this being a major sleeper hit, but as it’s printed it’s probably unplayable for now.

This brings up an interesting point about a few cards in this set (and cards in general). In Pokémon, we tend to view things in shades of black and white. A lot of this is because the game doesn’t have a super deep history or alternate formats, and because of this we tend to view things in a sense of “Good right now, bad right now. Period.”

Zebstrika is the ultimate example of this sort of thing because depending on what cards get printed in the future and how they’re released and depending on how rotations happen, this could end up being a very good card. Yes, it’s unlikely as we’ll have EXs and such for as long as this thing is modified legal, but the main point is that just because it’s not good right now doesn’t mean it won’t be later.


pokegym.netThere’s not really a whole lot I can say about this card. It’s the exact same card as Reshiram-EX, except for the fact that it has what’s probably a slightly more relevant weakness and it discards in order to do 150. It’s actually better than Reshiram-EX though, as all of the Lightning decks in the format have some sort of energy acceleration or manipulation (Eelektrik NVI, Pachirisu CL, Shaymin UL, etc.).

Outside of that though, I just don’t find him terribly exciting. Yes, he’s obviously good and deserves a slot in ZPST, EelKrom, and probably EelZone, but he’s just not really worth talking about a lot.

For financial input, see Reshiram-EX.

Mewtwo EX

Literally nothing I can say about this card that hasn’t already been said. Yes, it’s very good. No, it’s not the second coming of Christ. Yes, the price will drop. No, not before States. Yes, it deserves a spot in my every deck. No, it won’t auto-win you the game.

Financially, you’re kind of in a bind here. Most every deck needs at least a copy of Mewtwo, but the price right now is insane. Normally you could just wait until the price dropped and be fine, but I don’t expect the price to drop significantly before States, so if you plan to attend an SPT you pretty much have to pony up for the Mewtwos. However, no one reading this should be paying full retail price.

I’m not sure how widespread this knowledge is, but let me drop some science on you: In order to snipe Mewtwos, set-up an eBay alert for “Mewtwo EX”; this will allow eBay to send you an e-mail whenever a new Mewtwo is listed. The idea here is that you can pick up Mewtwos that are underpriced before anyone else, or you can get ahead on the bidding of one. I’ve made hundreds of dollars in profit using this tactic over the years, and now hopefully you will too!

Gardevoir NDE & Musharna NDE

Decided to list these guys together as I have basically the same thing to say about them: They’re both inherently powerful cards that have some major downsides. For Musharna, it’s the fact that it’s a fatty fat fat fat, weighing in at 3 retreat. For Gardevoir, it’s the fact that it’s a Stage 2 that can pretty easily be Catcher-killed.

Both of these cards are fine and no one would laugh at you for playing them, but they definitely require the right deck (preferably something with Vileplume UD). I don’t see these cards being huge at the moment, but there’s no reason to write them off either.

Wigglytuff NDE

pokemon-paradijs.comFunfact: David Cohen’s favorite card in the format is Seismitoad. A month from now when he realizes this card exists, this will be his second favorite card.

In all seriousness, the Round deck is probably a fun tier 1.5 – 2 deck that, like a lot of other cards/decks, could definitely gain a whole lot in the future.


Last night in HeyTrainer TinyChat, someone asked the group (myself, Isaiah Middleton, Jimmy O’Brien, Emily Engle, Brit Pybas, Chad Bosquez and some others) what EX is the worst. Most of us who took the time to answer (aka me, Chad, Brit, and Isaiah) were all pretty quick to say this guy. It’s not that he’s bad, exactly, it’s just that all of the EXs are so much better.

The biggest upside I see to this guy is how insane he would be in a Truth-based deck. I’ve tested him very slightly in an EX-based Truth deck and wasn’t in love with the deck, but he certainly shined through. The ability to manipulate damage counters and your damage output is very good. I’ve definitely pulled off some clutch plays by dumping a bunch of damage on him and Raging for infinite.

Obviously he’s much worse in a non-Trainer lock deck as he’s weak to Catcher and Lost Remover, but I’m sure he still has some use.

Financially, he’ll certainly go down within the next few weeks. I would wait on him.


I like this card a lot more than other players, but I can still admit that it’s not amazing and its uses are very narrow. I’d like to play this in MagneBoar (if that’s still a deck) to thin your deck and boost the consistency levels, but even at that point it’s probably something like my 62nd card. Certainly there are other decks that it fits into, but I’m not sure if any of those exist at the moment.

Either way, it’s a powerful enough card that it could become something, eventually. Trade for your foils now, as they’ll probably never be cheaper.

Exp. Share

This is a super interesting card, but unfortunately the one deck in the format that I want to run it in (Durant) already has way more important tools, and therefore cannot afford to run it.

Not something to write off, but in my preliminary brewing I don’t see a deck that loves it.

Heavy Ball & Level Ball

Reviewing these two together because again, I have a lot of the same things to say about them. They’re both niche cards that will replace some number of Communication in certain decks, and their existence probably justifies a handful of decks that didn’t exist/couldn’t exist in HS-NV. That being said, I think they were both a little overhyped, and don’t replace Communication entirely in anything but the most niche of decks.

Financially, buy them now because they’ll only go up, even if it is ever so slightly.

Pokémon Center

Not entirely sure of all of the implications of this card, but I’m not a huge fan. The only deck that wants this card is Truth, and that already has a much more important Stadium (Tropical Beach). Will most likely be playable eventually, but not now.

Skyarrow Bridge

Fantastic in anything that runs low retreat Basics. Not so good in everything else. Quite good for Stadium wars, and I’m a huge fan of Stadiums mattering (even if it is every so slightly) again. The best part about the bridge is that it breathes new life into cards like Smeargle UD and Celebi Prime, and makes cards like Tornadus EPO even more insane.

Prism Energy

Clearly ridiculous considering that almost every relevant deck relies heavily on basics. My favorite special energy in quite a while. Maybe too good, but we’ll find out, I suppose.


In closing, thanks for sticking with me. I know this article is a little late, but hopefully we’re far enough off from States that this article will encourage a bit of discussion. Feel free to let me know in the comments of via e-mail at if you want to hear my opinion on another card in the set, or just want to discuss my thoughts at all. These are usually some of my favorite articles to write just for all the discussion they spark.

I should be back with a hodgepodge article this month if I have the time, and I’ll certainly be back sometime late this month or early next month for my Face of Modified: SPTs 2012 article.


Reader Interactions

23 replies

  1. Matheus Aguiar

    Good article. I may disagree with you on some points, but that’s Pokémon for you. I would just like to point out some mistakes:
    – ‘Additionally’ two times in the same sentence. Not really a mistake, but that sounded strange to me.
    – 150 damage for Shaymin, it actually caps at 180.
    – Prism Energy on Chandelure NDE, it doesn’t work with evolved Pokémon.

  2. Ross Gilbert

    Decent information and some good points made. Unfortunately we’ve seen a number of articles just like this in the past couple weeks and i don’t think this added anything. Would’ve been really good a little while ago but feels like it missed the boat.

    Also: Gigas rocks and screw Moo2!!

  3. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Nice to see someone else doesn’t completely hate Kyurem.

  4. goncalo pereira

    One question, how can we set up alerts for items that are being listed in ebay ? like you said ? i only knew that we could set alerts to items that we watched for or bidding them.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → goncalo

      When you search something and the results display, right above the listings there’s a button that says “Save Search”, click that, and check the box that allows eBay to send you e-mails, and you’ll be good to go.

  5. Anonymous

    chandelure NDE doesn’t have a place primarily due to 1 thing. 120HP. the reason chandy works is a magical 130hp. putting it just outside OHKO range. this one has 120Hp meaning 2 glaciates or a bolt strike or a blue flare can knock it out. and i’d rather have confusion then doing 30 more

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Anonymous

      Good points, but I think that if Chandelure is a real deck (and I’m not necessarily saying it is, although I do seem to believe in it more than most), a one-of Chandelure NDE won’t be a bad idea at all. Obviously you don’t want it to be your main attacker due to the frail HP that you mentioned, but I think it definitely has a place as a tech.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Anonymous  → Kenny

        not to mention putting in rainbow would mean if a rainbnow got attached to a normal chandy then it would have 120hp. and running 3 rainbow out of 11-12 energy just isnt enough to ensure that you can dictate a rainbow or some other energy.

        also in your article you wrote fire/prism. prism would only work for basics(as im sure you know)

  6. Anonymous

    Shaymin EX + Mewtwo/Celebi + no need to worry about Shaymin start = Profit.

    I didn’t like how you used the term “the second coming of Christ,” but I thought it was rather clever.

    EXP Share and Cilan fit perfectly into Gothitelle decks.

  7. theo Seeds

    Great article. Two disagreements:

    One, Kyurem is the worst EX. Kyurem is the EX that, for the same cost as Reshiram/Zekrom EX, does 30 less damage, and has an equal or worse downside. For one more energy than normal Reshi/Zekrom, it does the same amount of damage and has a worse downside. Also, the only Energy acceleration it has is Feraligatr. No Typhlosion or Eelektrik or Pachi/Shaymin. The first attack is identical to Machamp Prime’s, who hits for a more common weakness. Lost Remover seems better than this. Also, fire counters should not mean attaching 2 water/rainbow/prism energy. It might see some play in 6 corners, but I don’t think it will see much play outside of that.

    Second, Tropical Beach isn’t needed if you are attacking. Tropical Beach isn’t even needed in the deck. My being smart not spending $150 on a card I’d pay $7 for tops tells me this. It works better with Beach, but decks before worlds worked without catcher, a key card in any deck not reliant on Vileplume. Pokemon Center will be played in Ross decks, especially since you can heal 80 a turn with that and Belossom, a card that should be played in Ross according to my testing.

    Also, Leafeon and Espeon Prime were never mentioned in the Amoongus part. Why is that?

  8. George

    Good article. You diverge from other experts on some cards and concur on others. I agree with you that the trashing of Kyruem EX is premature. The removal of special energies with the first attack could be critical in some games, and 120 damage in a format that is certain to still see its fair share of fire decks is a plus.
    From what I can see, decks that run a variety of options will be the norm in this Meta, unless I am really off
    ; – )

    Locking yourself into a single energy type seems to beg for auto-losses in tournament play. Thoughts?

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