Draw a Card #5: Promo Cards


Hey there Trainers, and welcome to a different Draw a Card article, where we are looking at Promo Cards!

The Pokémon Company has been on a roll lately, releasing at least three very playable promo cards, and as I couldn’t decide which one to talk about, let’s have a look at all of them.

In particular, I love the world-eating Tyrantrum EX, the thunder-punk Pikachu EX and the problem-solving Jirachi promo. Each card already has support in the current format, and hits at a problem that wouldn’t be as optimally solved otherwise.

tcg_tyrantrumex tcg_pikachuex tcg_jirachi

Usually, promo cards, and promo EXs especially, suffer from being created with no competitive intent, with attacks that cost far too much to do far too little, see Chesnaught EX and M Metagross EX, or the strange trend of turning usable abilities into bad attacks, see Greninja Ex. But these three promos are all actually quite fair.

If your meta is full of EXs and Megas, get bitey with Tyrantrum EX, whom can dish out a huge 190 damage for a fighting, two metal and a colourless cost, whilst discarding three energy. The ability even helps Tyrantrum stay offensive by bypassing all effects on the opposing pokémon that would stop damage. Tyrantrum even loves the energy costing he’s been given, as it affords him support from Bronzong to pay the high attack discard cost. The deck almost builds itself like a straight metal deck of old, with the strong jaw Pokémon taking the place of Dialga EX as the main one-hitter, and still had access to the great coverage of Heatran and Aegislash EX. Also, with the addition of Double Dragon energy, you open up the tech options to Giratina EX, whom also loves some energy acceleration. Remember that the base 190 damage knocks out EXs, a muscle band puts it up to 210 to knock out M Gardevoir and M Manectric, and then a single turn of Faded Town damage takes out every mega that isn’t a Primal, Aggron or Metagross. Watch out for hammers though, as DDEs are a precious resource, so don’t be afraid to run Smeargle and/or basic fighting energy. Also, if you play Tyrantrum, watch out for Zoroark break.

Expandable damage is an amazing feature to have, and for the relatively modest cost of a single lightning and a double colourless, or more likely three lighting thanks to Magnezone, the new Pikachu EX can dish surprisingly fast damage. When the Magnezone is already in play, and access to Professors Letter, Energy Retrieval or Fisherman, Pikachu EX can be benched, powered up to knock out any opposing Pokémon to the corresponding increment of 50 damage and take prizes super quickly. The only thing really holding it back is the low 130hp for an EX Pokémon, making it a bit of a glass cannon. Either aim to take most of your prizes off of other attackers, Raikou has your back, or aim to increase Pikachu’s bulk with fun stuff like Assault Vests and Rough Seas. A neat, cute and very playable Pikachu.

Almost every deck plays Special Energy, and that’s a possible exploit for the current format. Enter the Jirachi blister promo. A tiny 60hp, a one retreat, and best of all, a single colourless for its signature attack “Stardust” to make this a highly splash-able card for any deck that has trouble with Seismitoads, Giratinas or any other heavy-Special energy user. For one colourless energy, Jirachi can discard a special energy of the opponents active Pokémon, and if it does, it is then immune to damage on the opponents turn. Having an Enhanced Hammer on a stick is great, see the Bleh Shuppet tech in Night March, and the added immunity if it goes off is great. It may buy you the turn you need to get your setup if you can break an opponents lock, or just help you run them out of resources. Jirachi had been a little unfairly touted as a game-winner, as people love to talk in extremes and polemics, but this is a bit too much responsibility to rest on those tiny shoulders. Jirachi is a great time-buyer or insurance policy of your deck can’t perform under lock, or if your meta is full of Special Energy reliance. Which of course is negated by Lysandre-ing up a different target, or by taking the extra turn to attach basic energy, where available.

So there’s three new-ish promo Pokémon you can expect to see a bit of. What other promo cards have seen success? Aside from Tropical Beach, arguably the best promo of all time, what other promos have been worth the cost of buying the promo products?

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