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Jay Lesage

"Your Majesty" - A Dragon Majesty Review

Come see Jay's top picks from the newly released expansion, Dragon Majesty!

09/25/2018 by Jay Lesage

Good morning, 60Cards readers!

My name is Jacob Lesage, and the Regional Championships in Oaks, Philadelphia has just concluded. We saw Caleb Gedemer wrap up his first place finish with his Buzzwole/Garbodor/Weavile/Magcargo deck, defeating Rukan in the finals. Well, we’ll call it a finals for the sake of this article, but really, we’ll never know who may have really won. Rukan had a series of jittery mistakes which cost him some serious gameplay due to the penalties casted upon him. Caleb used these to his advantage, and because of that, was able to finish the series in a relatively short amount of time. Judging by the sportsmanship from both players, it seemed fine, but I’m curious to see what would’ve happened if we would’ve seen a full-fledged finals. Today, we’re not going to delve deep into the metagame casted from Philly, but rather take a peek at the upcoming mini-set — Dragon Majesty — and see how it fits into our current meta. I’m anxious to see how it’ll get used in future tournaments, and how niche cards will fit into the current decks in our metagame. It only takes a few cards to completely flip a deck on its head, and this set is no exception as there’s a couple of jaw-dropping cards that are soon to be released. Let’s take a flying swoop into the new expansion, Dragon Majesty!

 

Dragon Majesty

Courtesy of Bulbapedia, a little foreword on the set is provided below:

Pokémon TCG: Dragon Majesty is a special expansion released during the Sun & Moon Series of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Released as the sixth subset of the Japanese Sun & Moon Era, it focuses on Dragon-type Pokémon.

Dragon Majesty is the second special expansion for the Sun & Moon Series, released September 7, 2018. The Strength Expansion Pack Dragon Storm is a 53-card subset released on April 6, 2018 in Japan. The Expansion Pack is considered a supplement to the sixth Sun & Moon Era expansion, Forbidden Light.

Dragon Majesty contains 70+ cards, including 6 Pokémon-GX, 2 Prism Star cards, and several Dragon-type and dragon-like Pokémon. The Japanese subset contains 66 cards including secret cards.

Like the previous special expansions Generations and Shining Legends, Dragon Majesty booster packs are not sold individually. They are only available in products specifically for the expansion.

Card Review

(click on the name to see the card)

Blaziken (DM; 6)

Blaziken is a reprint from the old Ruby & Saphire days of Pokémon, where it saw massive success! Seing play at the World Championships back then, it even brought famous players like Chris Fulop to the finals. Being able to attach extra energy has always been a successful theme within decks, and Blaziken makes for no difference — especially in a slower format where we can actually afford to setup a Stage 2. The only issue with this guy is the fact that you need multiple of him in play in order to utilize him to the fullest strength; most Fire-type Pokémon need many energy in order to use their best attacks, so it’s difficult to warrant just one on the bench as “fine”. Luckily, we have a ton of Fire-type Pokémon that we can use to attack with, so it makes Blaziken worthwhile to setup. We have amazing options to look forward to, such as cards like Turtonator-GX, or even more simple ones, like Turtonator (from Dragon Majesty)! I could see some synergy with this Pokémon and the new and upcoming Blacephelon-GX (which needs a ton of energy in play in order to blast off some serious damage). Ho-oh-GX seems to be the best partner for this Pokémon, though, because following a turn-one Kiawe for four energy, we now have all the energy we’ll need in play for the following upcoming turns. That will allow us to take all the early game KOs we need, all the while supplying time to setup Blaziken on our bench to power up future Ho-oh. This is just a basic idea for an upcoming deck, but I figure that Blaziken would be worth an honourable mention here.

Victini Prism Star (DM; 7)

Victini is one of the best attackers in the whole set! Why? Because it can be a late game little “oomf” that can take out any Pokémon in its path, that’s why! Being able to do 20 damage for each energy in your discard pile is phenomenal, but shuffling them back in seems… erm…. counterproductive. We’ll need to use this Pokémon as our finisher for the last few Prize Cards, because after using its attack, I wouldn’t want to continue to play a game where my deck is just chalk full of energy. This seems like an inconsistent way to play a game of Pokémon, regardless of how key the KO was. The last thing you need is to whiff an important card in future turns because you drew energy! However, the sheer power here is something to admire. Powering up this attack, however, is another story. There’s Counter Energy, or energy accelerating Pokémon, such as Blaziken. We lost Max Elixir, which would’ve been great with this Pokémon! I can see Victini buzzing in an Expanded-style Volcanion deck, where at the end of the deck their discard is flooded with Fires. Another cute thing about this card in Expanded is that it can be boosted with Volcanion-EX’s Steam Up, which gives it a little bit of a power boost to strive off of. It’s also searchable via Level Ball with its 90HP cap. 

Kingdra GX (DM; 18)

I know this Kingdra isn’t getting much love, but I personally think that it has a fit in the metagame somewhere. Bearing its ugly Grass-type weakness, it’ll have to dodge all the Tapu Bulu-GX in the room, otherwhise it may get a Dhelmise to the face! It’ll perform really well against the single-Prize Card Pokémon in the room, because of its powerhouse first attack. Being able to hit 10 + 50 per energy isn’t a joke, especially in combination with acceerators such as Aqua Patch. Max Potion would also be played in a deck like this, since Kingdra has such high HP it could prove being rather difficult to OHKO. The GX attack pans out some very nice math, since it can do 40 damage to everything in play — I envision this deck having some sort of evasiveness to it, by including interesting cards to switch into such as Xurkitree-GX. On turns where you need to buy time, Xurkitree may be able to wall you that damage that another Pokémon would’ve had to front! Overall, this card is pretty busted, it just needs some new walls it could play that it can switch into. Besides the weakness and lack of card pool currently, I could see this being a modern-day Donphan PLS within the standard format.  

Gyarados (DM; 20)

Okay, so I’ve REALLY been paying attention to Pokémon that can abuse Aqua Patch, because I feel like Item-based acceleration is what this current format is missing? I initially see this Pokémon alongside Zekrom with Outrage, so that whenever the opponent damages Gyarados, they’re just in fact giving you a damage boost for your Zekrom! You could also play the new Kyurem (DRM), or Reshiram (SLG) that also have Outrage for different typing against the opponent. Initially, I thought I’d play this Gyarados alongside Machoke, but Machoke’s ability doesn’t block our own damage form abilities — it’s specifically any damage casted from our opponent’s attacks or abilities (which sucks). I mean, Magikarp is pretty sweet in a way where it blocks our opponent’s Pokémon from damaging us, but overall it’s still rough when your own Pokémon damage you. Luckily for us, we can abuse a few great card that work in our favour. Alongside Pheromosa, Zekrom and Gyarados can now include Arceus Prism! This can efficiently power up more Gyarados, and keep the tempo even throughout the whole game. We can also use Shrine of Punishment in order to maximize our damage output, since we’re not going to need any GX Pokémon in our deck, barring a potential copy of Tapu Lele-GX. This deck is very strong, being able to hit 160 damage plus whichever modifiers you’re able to stack (whether that be Shrine, or Choice Band). Then, you can follow up with cheap Outrage attackers. Sounds good to me!

Wishiwashi (DM; 31)

WISHIWASHI? Yes, I’m talking about the ridiculous little 30HP Basic! This Pokémon is crazy in combination with the 210HP GX. The GX already has 210HP to begin with, and for each Wishiwashi in play, your active will gave another +20HP. So, in theory, if you have four total in play, your active Wishiwashi will have +80HP, and do +80 more damage as well. Wishiwashi-GX has an attack that does 20 damage for a single Water, so why not base an entire deck around this? An almost 300HP attacker that can hit 100 sounds ridiculously good, so I’m all ears. Our only flaw is that the entire backbone of this deck is four bench-sitters that have 30HP each! A simple Tapu Koko deck would absolutely destroy us, so it’s vital that we pack ways that can either heal our bench, or prevent damage entirely. We can play a high count of Sky Pillar in order to negate a Flying Flip from a Tapu Koko — this is a great way to block benched damage, as well as a great way to get rid of harmful Stadiums such as Shrine of Punishment. Playing a 290HP beast that can effectively attack for a single Water Energy is a blessing, because we can play high counts of cards such as Acerola and Max Potion in order to prolong the game even longer. We can make things even harder by packing copies of Lusamine and Pal Pad in order to prolong the Acerola run even longer. Let’s be honest: once we setup, all we need is healing cards, so why not? Wishiwashi is going to be one beast of a deck in the upcoming set!

Dragonite GX (DM; 67)

Dragonite-GX isn’t anything too special, but it’s very bulky. This Pokémon boasts 250HP, and has an uncommon weakness for Fairy-type Pokemon. This basically means that one this Pokémon gets off the ground, it isn’t coming down anytime soon! For one energy it can hit 70 damage which is honestly kind of meh, and for a combination of four energy, it can hit 200. The second attack seems lacklustre until you see Zinnia — the new Supporter that allows you to attach two basic energy to any Dragon Pokémon. The card of course has to be played after one of your Pokémon is KO’ed, but regardless it is a great way to power up this bad boy! You can take slamming KOs with this guy out of nowhere, but the GX is one of my favourite parts about this card. For three Colourless Energy, Dragon Porter GX allows you to nab three Dragon-type Pokemon from your discard pile and pop them onto your bench. This can mean endless opportunity, and combos pretty well with our next few cards we’ll be talking about… 

Altaria (DM; 40)

This card is a setup for the Dragon-type Pokémon that are being released in this set (and upcoming sets). Being released before in prior sets, Altaria makes a re-entry into the game at a perfect time — it’ll be able to boost attacks that would normally be a 3HKO, into a 2HKO or even OHKO. Take for example Dragonite-GX’s simple 70 damage attack. After using Dragonite’s GX attack and bringing three Altaria into play, it now becomes a 130 damage attack! With a Choice Band, you can magically hit 160 damage onto any unsuspecting GX Pokemon on the opponent’s side. This is a great support tool that we can use at our disposal, only question is which Pokemon it will see play beside! It may be some time though, as there aren’t too many great Dragon Pokémon out there right now.  

Altaria GX (DM; 41)

I just wanted to touch on this Pokémon really quick because it has so much potential — just not right now. Currently, our format is being dominated by non-GX Pokemon in combination with Shrine, but when the meta shifts back to something more GX based, you could see a safeguard Pokémon like Altaria-GX come into play. Its first attack walls off EX and GX Pokemon during your opponent’s next turn, which could prove to be superior to Hoopa SLG’s Scoundrel Guard ability (and measly 120 HP). Altaria-GX also gains a boost from the aforementioned Altaria above it, so your Swablu will have a decision on which one to evolve into. Likewise, there are other attacks on this card, and you’re packing 200HP. What’s not to love?

Fiery Flint (DM; 60)

I think this is a banger of a card, especially since there’s no current Enegry Search or Professor’s Letter currently in the format.This could be useful with Volcanion in expanded, or just in general with new Fire-type Pokémon in the current format. It works extremely well with Victini Prism, and the possibilities are just endless. Until some sort of energy searching card comes out in the standard format, this will be the best option available to us with Fire-types. 

Lance (DM; 61)

This is my FAVOURITE card within the entire set! Being triggered exclusively when one of your Pokemon are KOed, Lance allows you to search your deck for two Dragon-type Pokémon and put them onto your bench. This could mean any Dragon-type Pokémon, whether it’s a GX, a Basic, a Prism Star, ANYTHING. You have complete choice over what you want, and this just opens up so many doors for Dragon-types. Dragons may become the best type of Pokemon above all due to the support in this set; Pokemon had to do this due to their alternative energy costs for their attacks, and lacklustre efficieny. Now, you can combo insane cards within certain decks, and fulfill some of the most unique combos that Pokemon has seen to date. Cards like this have seen play in the past, namely Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick (both to vividly large success).

I can see Lance riding the same wave — alongside cards like Super Boost Energy, you can spawn Stage 2s out very fast. You can also get Altaria into play to boost damage, or perhaps the newly released Salamance-GX into play in order to get free retreaters! I would play Lance and co. alongside Tapu Koko, namely because Tapu Koko is a free retreater that can apply enough pressure to force your opponent to KO it (and trigger Lance). Other acceptable starter Pokémon would be Alolan Vulpix, or some other 1-Prizer. It has to be a single-Prizer though, because otherwise you’re giving up 1/3rdof your Prize Cards for a whimsical Supporter. Likewise, you have to ensure this card is not in your Prize Cards — so play something like Rotom Dex in order to fish it out of there. Overall, this card has some of the most potential in the entire set, and I’m heavily looking forward to its debut. 

Zinnia (DM; 64)

The final card I wanted to touch on in this set is Zinnia. Zinnia has the same trigger as Lance — it needs to be played consecutively after your opponent takes a KO on you. Then, you can attach two basic energy to one of your Dragon Pokemon! This is such a crazy card in a format where there isn’t a lot of solid energy acceleration, and allows for some ridiculously good combinations. I like this card specifically with basic Pokémon, because I feel like this card would be difficult to fire off alongside Stage 2s. Not saying it can’t happen at all, but it is a bit too much to ask for to consistently get a Stage 2 into play, and then find the energy to attach to it, all the while getting a Zinnia in the same turn after your opponent just took a KO. It would be flashy, but it just isn’t realistic. However, this card could turn something like a random Druddigon card (I have no clue if there’s a good Druddigon, I’m just naming a notoriously trashy common/uncommon I pull out of packs and place into bulk) and transform it into a ridiculously speedy and efficient attacker. Zinnia has so much potential, and I can’t wait to see it come into fruition! It seems very promising in the expanded format with Giratina-EX, but we’ll have to see how it all pans out!

Conclusion 

It seems that many of these cards are going to make a splash into the Standard format, but will readily have a quicker impact within Expanded due to the larger card pool. Most of the cards released in this set are utility cards — there are fewer strong Pokémon within this set, but many strong Supporters at our disposal now. Dragons will surely make a massive turnout at a tournament really soon, it’s just a matter of time before somebody finds out how to make this deck tick. Thanks for reading my article as always, if you have any questions or just want to talk decks, feel free to message me on Facebook or something of the like! I’m always open to answering questions or taking criticisms, so leave those in the comment box below. Until next time guys, remember: get lucky, and run hot! Enjoy testing the new set, Dragon Majesty.

 

-Jacob Lesage

#PlayPokemon 

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