BulbapediaKyogre EX, the Pokémon we all dread when we buy our boxes. We joke, “I bet I’ll only get two Kyogre and a Groudon from this box.” We joke because this isn’t a very good card, and considering its rarity, it’s one of the worst things you can pull.
So why review it? As a bit of a personal story, I bought my first box recently. And in the weirdest stroke of luck, there was a box error and I pulled a Groudon EX, a Kyogre EX, and two FA Kyogre EX. I’m no fan of the card, and it needs to be ripped apart figuratively. (Also because thevilegarkid requested it on the forums; I wouldn’t review it if not for that.)
So we know it’s bad, this thing is borderline notorious. But just how bad is it? The easiest way to go about figuring that out is to compare it to other cards, so we’ll do just that. Kyogre EX has nothing unique, unfortunately, as both of its attacks have variations on other Modified-legal Pokémon. Is the combination of these stats taken from other Pokémon any good? Probably not but let’s look at it anyway.
The most important thing to note is that this is an EX card (bet you needed me to tell you that), and your opponent takes two prizes when it’s KO’d. This is the downside to every EX, but hopefully it should Knock Out or heavily damage enough of your opponent’s Pokémon to not matter in the long run.
Other than a few exceptions such as Lanturn and Reuniclus, the stats on the cards are based on the video game. Kyogre is an uber legendary, so all of its stats are in the medium-high range, with exceptional Special Attack and Special Defense. We’re potentially looking at a wall with good attacks, possibly higher Energy costs.
It has 170 HP, which should let it last several turns. So we’re looking in the range of Mewtwo EX and Tornadus EX. It has really big shoes to fill, but if it can even come close to those it should be okay. Because it’s a wall, it has a high four Retreat Cost, like Terrakion NVI and Regigigas-EX. Even better, if you wanted it for some reason, you can search it with Heavy Ball. It should hopefully just be tanking hits, and its first attack negates this to a point. No Resistance, this is all too common and irrelevant at this point.
BulbapediaThe biggest downside is a harsh Lightning Weakness. There are arguments as to whether Fighting decks will chase Dark and Lightning decks out of the format, but this kind of theory comes every set and almost never comes to fruition. Both are still good types with a good engine behind them, while there is no Fighting acceleration.
Lightning is most likely here to stay, and even with Eviolite, a Lightning type only has to do 100 damage to 1HKO it. Raikou and Zekrom wreck this in so many different ways, so the only way this might have a chance is in a meta full of Tyram and Donphan Prime/Landorus NVI.
So far it’s not off to a great start with the bulky Retreat and awful Weakness that negates its high HP.
First Attack: Smash Turn
This is a basic, easy-to-explain attack. For a cost of WC, it deals 30 damage and you may switch it with a Benched Pokémon. So while it does negate that Retreat Cost like I said before, it also negates its HP worse than that Weakness. There’s no benefit to keeping Kyogre on the Bench, and 30 is really low. Basically this is the attack that you hopefully won’t use, and it’s there just so you have an option if its second attack isn’t fully powered.
Some of the other Pokémon we compared it to above have similar attacks, in that they cost two Energy, one of them Colorless; deal 30 damage; and have a secondary effect. First is Raikou’s Thunder Fang, which causes Paralysis if you get heads on a coin flip. Like Kyogre, you hopefully will never use this, but Paralysis is a strong Special Condition, arguably the best, and worth using if you plan on using Volt Bolt next turn but don’t have a Zekrom ready.
Next is Tornadus EX and Blow Through for CC, which has the effect that it does 60 damage if there’s a Stadium out. Stadium wars are coming back and Skyarrow Bridge is often paired with Tornadus to give it both free retreat and a stronger Blow Through. Last one I’ll talk about is Terrakion’s Retaliate, cost FC. If one of the Pokémon on Terrakion’s side was Knocked Out by damage from their opponent’s attack, it does 60 more damage. All of these are better than retreating to the Bench.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe concept of “attack then retreat” isn’t new at all, either. This is most often seen on Stage 1’s, so maybe being a Basic makes it better. First one is Granbull HS. Timid Tackle costs CC, deals 50 damage to the Defending Pokémon, 20 to itself, and then switches out to the Bench. Sounds bad, but it powers up its Outrage-like Chomp attack. It only has 90 HP, so while this isn’t the best Outrage Pokémon, it has a watered-down Outrage/Bolt Strike.
Ferrothorn EPO 72 has Gyro Ball for MCC. It deals 60 damage, not much more than Timid Tackle, but forces your opponent to switch Pokémon the same way as Pokémon Circulator. The most recent similar card is Accelgor DEX. Deck and Cover costs CC, leaves the Defending Pokémon Paralyzed and Poisoned, and instead shuffles Accelgor and all attached cards back into the deck.
The most common strategy with these cards is in league decks, since it isn’t the most viable strategy. (Accelgor’s BR results have yet to be seen, but it also causes two different Special Conditions and is considerably different.) All three are searchable by Level Ball so you can get them out quickly, retreat them into Gothitelle EPO 47 after attacking, and then retreat Gothitelle at the start of your turn with Dodrio UD and Retreat Aid, repeat ad nauseum.
Gothitelle blocks Trainers and has pretty good HP, making it an ideal wall when playing hit and run. But Kyogre has 170 HP to Gothitelle’s 130 and does less damage than the other three. The fact that it’s a Basic with high HP doesn’t really help as once you set down the attacker, it won’t be Catchered or KO’d thanks to it hiding behind Gothitelle.
Second attack: Dual Splash
So the first attack flopped about as hard as the Nintendo Virtual Boy. But the selling point of a card is almost always its second attack, when given the choice. Dual Splash costs WWC and is a spread attack, dealing 50 damage to any two Pokémon on your opponent’s field. Just reading that description sounds lackluster, but let’s put it into perspective. Spread attacks like this are common, and are on both Stage 1s and Stage 2s. Again, we’ll look at three to put this into perspective.
pokemon-paradijs.comThe first Pokémon, Simisear BLW, was discussed for a while as a good Tyram tech, or an option for Stage 1 Rush/MegaZorD. It’s a Stage 1 and for one Fire Energy, it does 20 damage to the active and 20 to two Pokémon on your opponent’s Bench. One Colored Energy gets 60 damage on their side of the field, and it’s been compared to being the spread version of Donphan Prime and Accelgor NVI. Another spread Pokémon was hyped for a while as its own deck, with questionable results as to how successful it was.
Hydreigon NV, for DDDD (or any four Energy due to its Dark Aura Ability), would attack the Defending Pokémon for 60 and deal 40 to two Benched Pokémon. 140 spread damage for a high cost wasn’t enough for it to keep up, it had only 20 less HP than Kyogre EX, and could use Special Darks and almost every Energy acceleration engine.
But the biggest star of this topic is Vaporeon UD. Vaporeon literally has Dual Splash, same name and attack cost of WWC, and does 30 damage to two Pokémon. So it’s a slightly better version of Vaporeon. Kyogre’s attack is that good.
Being a Basic and adding 20 more damage to each attack won’t make that attack any good. Kyogre took Vaporeon’s attack, does less damage than Hydreigon, and doesn’t attack as quickly as Simisear. If Smash Turn is the Virtual Boy, then Dual Splash is the child of the Atari Jaguar CD and the Phillip’s CDi.
I’ll save you the trouble and say there is almost none. Its attacks don’t pair with each other. It doesn’t pair well with Gothitelle. There are better Pokémon to play with Feraligatr Prime. The absolute most you can get out of it is that Smash Turn makes its Retreat Cost void if you don’t mind wasting your turn on a weak attack instead of getting out a Switch.
BulbapediaOther CotDs have had a specific section for this, so hey, why not? I complain about card art on the forums already anyway. Starting with the FA, which most people tend to prefer, there’s not any poses you can get Kyogre into, so that stiff pose with its arms actually looks pretty nice. It’s a calm-looking picture, but in general, I’m not fond of the poses for the FA EXs just because most of them look so quiet.
The etching on the card itself is very nice with its markings, but it doesn’t come across like that on a scan quite as well and almost nobody wants to pull FA Kyogre EX from their box. The etching does show prominently on the background however, which I honestly think detracts from an otherwise beautiful water design. Overall it gets a plus despite the excessive lines across everything.
For the standard, the first thing I notice is Kyogre’s mouth. I’ve always thought it looked kind of silly since I first saw it open in Coliseum, but that’s just me. Every standard EX so far has the Pokémon’s face and arm reaching out of the borders of the card, and Kyogre’s fins don’t exactly look flexible enough to reach out that far from its body. But pretty excusable, they need to make it look like neon Shamu is coming out to eat things.
That water is great, better than the background on the FA Kyogre. It frames the text along the border and actually looks like it’s jumping out of the ocean. In terms of the picture itself, the standard art just looks a lot better for something that’s going to do it’s best to go down fighting.
Making the Card Playable
So yeah, Kyogre EX is pretty bad, maybe even worse than Shaymin EX, but it might have a spot if you want to play with some fun deck house rules. First things first, it needs to stop being an EX card immediately, the cost isn’t worth it. We can turn it into another big Basic, dropping its HP down to 130.
allthingspaper.netDrop its Retreat Cost down to three so that it’s still searchable by Heavy Ball, but so it doesn’t require more Energy to retreat than it does to attack in the worst case. (Terrakion requires four to retreat but three to attack, but is a revenge killer that’s meant to stay active and has better attacks.)
For its attacks, you can probably leave them be. Have a fun big Basic spread deck, maybe use Smash Turn to bring it to the Bench to heal it or retreat into a tech attacker. For example, pair it with Gothitelle or Regigigas to tank and absorb some damage. Maybe put it in a Truth variant.
Scores are subjective, and you know what? I don’t have a number rating. The rating is “not very good, too rare for its lack of playability, won’t deal enough damage in the short time it will last.” Probably somewhere around 3/10 as suggested by Cabd since this just isn’t worth two prizes.
Maybe 5/10 if it wasn’t an EX, as no matter how you turn it, they aren’t the best attacks in format and don’t deal enough damage with all the damage you can have on the field at once. Hopefully you guys have better luck in avoiding this when you start buying packs for Tornadus and Darkrai.