Pokemon Card of the Day #414: Raikou ex (Team Magma vs Team Aqua)
Raikou ex had some similarities to Entei ex, in that it was a 100 HP Basic Pokemon-ex, had an attack that did 10 damage for 1 Energy with a chance at a Special Condition, and a strong attack that cost 3 Energy. What Raikou ex didn’t have that Entei ex did was proper support. The only Lightning-type deck with good Energy acceleration was Electrode ex/Zapdos ex, and Raikou ex wasn’t nearly as explosive as Zapdos ex was. That left Raikou ex left to fend for itself like most Lightning-types at the time, and that was definitely a problem.
Raikou ex had 100 HP, which was solid on a Basic Pokemon-ex, but unfortunate when going up against any deck with Desert Ruins, since it would lose HP very quickly. The Fighting Weakness was awful, leaving Raikou ex wide open to hits from Team Magma’s Groudon, Swampert ex, Dark Tyranitar, Medicham ex, and Nidoqueen. The Retreat Cost was an average 2, though the lack of Energy acceleration meant that discarding Energy was extremely discouraged in most situations.
Dazzle Blast was simple, doing 10 damage for a single Lightning Energy. It also had a coin flip, and if heads, the Defending Pokemon was also Confused. It was usually the only choice really early in the game, but later on it wasn’t really worth much.
Lightning Tackle was a solid attack. It cost 2 Lightning and 1 Colorless Energy and did a very strong 70 damage. There was a coin flip again here, and if tails, Raikou ex did 20 damage to itself. 70 for 3 Energy was really good power, but it did risk making Raikou ex a bit more frail in the process, which wasn’t good for a Pokemon-ex. It was still a good attack as a whole despite the downfall, at least.
Raikou ex would have been a really solid attacking option if anything actually supported Lightning Pokemon in an even remotely similar way to what Fire, Water, and Psychic had. As it was, Raikou ex didn’t get any of that sort of support and couldn’t keep up with the many Fighting decks that could fend for themselves, making it a poor option despite the very solid attacking power.