Credit to X-5 for the banner Written By: [member]Zorua[/member] Introduction With the release of Hail Blizzard and Psycho Drive in Japan (and soon to be officially released in the USA), our game that we know it as is about to change a great deal. With these sets, the mechanic of "EX" Pokémon has been brought back, bringing along with it new factors to our meta game. Now, we don't know exactly how these cards will impact our meta game in States, Regionals, and beyond, but they are already making big waves in Japan. We won't know for sure what happens when EXs hit our meta game, but we can look at these cards, as well as their pros and cons to see how they could potentially revolutionize our game. The new incarnations of EXs retain the iconic name of "EX", but are very different from their past successors, while still retaining some of their features. The new EXs retain the "EX Rule", which states that if an EX Pokémon is Knocked Out, your opponent takes two prizes instead of the regular one prize. This makes it so the EXs that are played are chosen very selectively, due to the fact that you're giving up two prizes per each EX that gets Knocked Out. Luckily, almost all of our new EXs have high HP counts, which make them very hard to Knock Out. Another similarity that our current EXs share with the first round of EXs from ex: Ruby and Sapphire is that they are all basics. While all of our EXs are Legendary Pokémon, they are still in-fact Basic Pokémon. What our current EXs have over the previous EXs, however, is a single card: Eviolite. When attached to a Basic Pokémon, Eviolite decreases 20 damage from all attacks done to it. This essentially gives all of our EXs 20 more HP, giving these already very bulky Pokémon even more time on the board. With these new implementations to our game, will the EXs be able to stay afloat in this format? Editor's Note: The first draft of the article was written before it was known which EX cards would be in Next Destinies. This is why the article is split up between Hail Blizzard and Psycho Drive, and why Groudon-EX and Kyogre-EX are included. Psycho Drive EX's Shaymin-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/next-destinies/5-shaymin-ex.jpg[/img] Taking a first glance at Shaymin-EX, we see a rather low 110 HP, a good Retreat Cost of one, an undesirable weakness to fire, and an okay resistance to fighting. With the use of Eviolite, Shaymin-EX forces the opponent to do 130 to OHKO, relatively fragile when compared to the EX Pokemon that have been released thus far. Shaymin-EX's one Retreat Cost allows it to retreat for free with the use of Skyarrow Bridge, and its fighting Resistance gives it the upper hand against cards like Terrakion, who has a Grass weakness. Shaymin-EX's first attack, Synthesis, which costs one Grass energy, allows you to search your deck for a Grass energy and attach it to one of your Pokemon. This attack is decent, but also a liability to use because of Shaymin-EX's low HP. Shaymin-EX's second attack, Revenge Blast, does 30 damage plus 30 more damage for each prize your opponent has taken, at the cost of one Grass energy and one Colorless energy. Through this attack, Shaymin-EX has the potential to be a great late game finisher, especially against other EXs. If your opponent is down to their last prize, Shaymin-EX can do a massive 180 damage, which is enough to knock out almost every single EX, and with a Pluspower or two, Shaymin-EX wrecks anything that stands in its way. The one foreseeable flaw in this strategy is the lack of support and acceleration for Grass types. However, in a deck that revolves around Mewtwo-EX and Celebi Prime, which provides energy acceleration, Shaymin-EX fits right in. Shaymin-EX's primary flaws and turn offs are its low HP and its Fire Weakness. Earlier in the year, where the format was overflowing with Reshiphlosion, Shaymin-EX got completely pushed aside as useless due to the high presence of Fire. Yet, as time passed and the format shifted, Reshiphlosion and other Reshiram variants saw less and less play, and we're currently at a point where it is still a tad risky to run Shaymin-EX. One other downside to using Shaymin-EX is the specific scenario in which you are forced to start with only Shaymin-EX. Not only would it be easy for your opponent to KO it to win the game if you don't manage to get out more Basic Pokemon, but your opponent takes two prizes off Shaymin-EX, and trying to recover from something like that very early in the game is very challenging. In order to reduce the chances of starting with it, normally only one Shaymin-EX is used in a deck. Despite this, however, Shaymin-EX is generally used as a late game sweeper in a multitude of decks, including Mewtwo-EX variants and Six Corners. Summary With the recent format shift and Fire type Pokémon losing a lot of presence in our format, Shaymin-EX has really bumped up in playability. With the hype surrounding Mewtwo-EX/Celebi Prime, Shaymin-EX has a wonderful place inside what may become one of the biggest decks in the format, with its wonderful late game finishing capabilities. Kyogre-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/japanese/bw3/psycho-drive/015.jpg[/img] Code: Translation; Kyogre-EX – Water – HP170 Basic Pokémon [W][C] Smash Turn: 30 damage. You may switch this Pokémon with one of your Benched Pokémon. [W][W][C] Dual Splash: Choose 2 of your opponent’s Pokémon, and do 50 damage to each of them. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance when damaging the Bench.) Pokémon-EX Rule: When Pokémon-EX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards. Weakness: Lightning (x2) Resistance: none Retreat: 4 It is important to note that Kyogre-EX will not be in our next set, Next Destinies. Taking a first glance over Kyogre-EX, we see a high 170 HP, a very heavy 4 energy Retreat Cost, no resistance, and a pitiful weakness to Lightning types. With Magnezone Prime being a huge card in this format, which also very often uses Zekrom as well, Kyogre-EX's weakness is a major turn off. Kyogre-EX's bulky four Retreat Cost will make it very hard to get out of the Active position, even with Skyarrow Bridge, which will make its Retreat Cost three. With Eviolite, Kyogre-EX's time on the board gets bumped up, making it so that you need to hit for 190 damage or more to OHKO it. The problem in this being that Magnezone Prime can hit 100 damage while only discarding two energy, and the Weakness makes it so that Magnezone Prime's attack does 200 damage, OHKO'ing Kyogre. Kyogre-EX's first attack, Smash Turn, does 30 damage and lets you switch Kyogre-EX with one of your Benched Pokémon, at the cost of one Water Energy and one Colorless Energy. Two energy is a lot to ask for an attack that only does 30 damage, even if it lets you switch Kyogre-EX with one of your Benched Pokémon, especially in a format where we have Pokémon that can do 60 damage for just one Energy. Kyogre-EX's second attack, Dual Splash, does 50 damage to two of your opponents Pokémon, at the cost of two Water energy and one Colorless. Again, this is very lack luster compared to many other cards in the format that don't give up two prizes once they're Knocked Out. What's really going against Kyogre-EX is the poor acceleration engine going for Water. While Water does have Feraligatr Prime, Feraligatr has a huge Retreat Cost and is a Stage 2, making it and its Stage 1 and Basic stages perfect bait for Pokémon Catcher, and this tactic can easily cripple a deck reliant on Water acceleration. Kyogre-EX does have the potential to snipe off Basic Pokémon early game, but the problem in this is that the majority of basics now have 60+ HP, making this opportunity obsolete. Some would question, "Why does just the presence of Magnezone Prime and Zekrom make Kyogre unplayable? Isn't Magnezone Prime a Stage 2, making it hard to get out?", but Lightning type Pokémon have a huge acceleration engine. Originally, the deck that was hyped and eventually over hyped due to its amazing engine was ZPS, which consisted of, Pachirisu and Shaymin. Since then and the release of Noble Victories, Lightning types gained another form of acceleration, Eelektrik. With the potential to load three Lightning energy per turn with two Eelektriks, Magnezone Prime's energy problem was gone. So, with that, Water lost all playability. Summary Kyogre-EX's Weakness to Lightning really turns people away from it, especially with Magnezone Prime and Eelektrik in the format. Kyogre-EX's attacks demand far too much than is deserved. Mewtwo-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/next-destinies/54-mewtwo-ex.jpg[/img] Skimming over Mewtwo-EX, we can see why it's the most hyped EX. Mewtwo-EX has a nice 170 HP, a good Retreat cost of two, no resistance, and a problematic Weakness to Psychic. The obvious problem in Mewtwo-EX's Weakness is that Mewtwo-EX can easily be countered by an opposing Mewtwo-EX. Actions have already been taken against this in Japan, where practically every deck has a Mewtwo-EX in it to counter other Mewtwo-EXs. Mewtwo-EX also needs to be powered up, especially if Double Colorless Energy is not used, so Mewtwo-EX is an easy two prizes against an opposing Mewtwo-EX through the use of Pokémon Catcher. Mewtwo-EX's first attack is what makes Mewtwo-EX the force to be reckoned with. Mewtwo-EX's first attack, X-Ball, does 20 damage times the number of energy attached to Mewtwo-EX and the opposing Pokémon. With all of the EXs high attack costs, Mewtwo-EX prospers immensely, especially when Mewtwo-EX has a bunch of energy on itself. Through the use of Double Colorless Energy, Mewtwo-EX can hit for 40 damage turn one, and that's without the use of any energy acceleration. What makes Mewtwo-EX the perfect counter to Mewtwo-EX is not only the fact that it can hit for Weakness, but also because the opposing Mewtwo-EX also needs to charge itself up before it can hit for much damage, so your own Mewtwo-EX will gain from your opponent charging up their Mewtwo-EX with Energy. To Knock Out an opposing Mewtwo-EX, your Mewtwo-EX would need to have five energies total, two of which are necessary for the attack in the first place for the OHKO, so only three Energy besides the two for the attack are necessary. This makes it extremely easy for Mewtwo-EX to OHKO the other Mewtwo-EX, even without the use of energy acceleration. In the beginning when Psycho Drive and Hail Blizzard was completely revealed, Mewtwo-EX was instantaneously paired up with a card that immediately gave Mewtwo-EX the most hype out of those sets. Gardevoir was that card. [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/next-destinies/57-gardevoir.jpg[/img][img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/noble-victories/40-eelektrik.jpg[/img][img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/triumphant/92-celebi.jpg[/img] Gardevoir made it so that each Psychic Energy attached to a Psychic type Pokémon counted as two Psychic Energies. It was the only form of Psychic acceleration outside of Jirachi, so it was what came to mind first when trying to speed up Mewtwo-EX. Later on, it came clear to be that Psychic wasn't necessarily the acceleration that Mewtwo-EX needed, especially since X-Ball only requires Colorless energy, and so other forms of acceleration were thought of. This is not to say that Gardevoir/Mewtwo-EX is a completely bad deck, because Psydrive is still a good attack and makes it so your opponent's DCE'd Mewtwo can't OHKO you in return. This deck has won a few tournaments in Japan, so it's still a playable deck, but it really depends on what other decks you're facing. One of the main accelerations that could be used with Mewtwo-EX is Eelektrik. Eelektrik lets you recover one Lightning energy from your discard pile and attach it to one of your Pokémon. The main pro to this was that it wasn't limited to once per turn. You could use its Ability, Dynamotor, one time for each Eelektrik you have in play, so you could retrieve multiple Energies from your discard. Even with two Eelektrik, you could attach three Energies per turn, which is a big deal when playing Mewtwo-EX. Another form of Lightning Energy acceleration for Mewtwo-EX is the Pachirisu/Shaymin engine. Pachirisu lets you attach two Lightning Energy from your hand after you play it down on your Bench, and Shaymin lets you move any energy to whatever Pokémon you want once it is played down on the Bench. Through the use of this, Mewtwo-EX already have two Energy on it before your regular attachment. If you use Double Colorless Energy, you can do 80 damage on the first turn through the use of Pachirisu and Shaymin. The other kind of Energy acceleration that Mewtwo-EX can use is Celebi Prime. Since its release,Celebi Prime has had no play whatsoever, and remained the least favorable and cheapest Prime from all of the HGSS sets. Yet now, Celebi Prime has received the most hype as the best form of acceleration for Mewtwo-EX. Celebi Prime's Poke-Power lets you attach a Grass Energy from your hand to one of your Pokémon. With this, you get two attachments per turn, and more if you combine multiple Celebi Primes and the use of Switch. Along with Skyarrow Bridge and Celebi Prime, you can use its Poke-Power to get the second attachment, and then retreat into Mewtwo-EX to attack. Summary Mewtwo-EX is the EX of this set. With its great attack, many ways to get Energies for its attack, and the ability to hit for huge amounts of damage, Mewtwo-EX is going to be game changing. Though Mewtwo-EX is easily countered by itself, it will take quite some predicting and skill to do such, making Mewtwo-EX still great, whether it is a a counter to itself or an attacker. Now that we've finished looking over all the EXs from Psycho Drive, we'll now take a look at the EXs from Hail Blizzard. Hail Blizzard EX's Groudon-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/japanese/bw3/hail-blizzard/032.jpg[/img] Code: Groudon-EX – Fighting – HP180 Basic Pokémon [F][C] Trample: 20 damage. This attack also does 10 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance when damaging the Bench.) [F][F][C] Giant Claw: 80 damage. At the time of dealing damage, if the opponent’s Active Pokémon already has 2 or more damage counters on it, this attack does an additional 40 damage. Pokémon-EX Rule: When Pokémon-EX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards. Weakness: Water (x2) Resistance: Lightning (-20) Retreat: 4 It is important to note that Groudon-EX will not be in our upcoming set, Next Destinies. A quick look over Groudon-EX, it's clearly evident that he is one of the least playable EXs. Groudon-EX has an acceptable 180 HP, an extremely bulky 4 energy retreat cost, a standard Lightning Resistance, and a not so great Water Weakness. Groudon-EX's main problems are within its Weakness and its attacks. With the presence of Kyurem in the format, Groudon-EX is KOd with 3 hits from Kyurems second attack, Glaciate, and Groudon-EX is also OHKOd by a Kyurem with 90 damage counters on it, if it were to use Outrage. Where Groudon-EX really loses its appeal is in its attacks. Groudon-EX's first attack, Trample, does 20 damage and 10 to each Benched Pokémon for a Fighting and a Colorless. With a card like Donphan Prime in the format which does 60 damage for one Fighting Energy, and has its own pros included, Groudon-EX is just outclassed. Groudon-EX's second attack, Giant Claw, does 80 damage and an additional 40 damage if the Defending Pokémon has 20 damage already on it. You could make a case that this is an okay attack, but the cost to use the attack, 2 Fighting energy and 1 Colorless, is just outmatched by other cards that do 120 damage for the same amount of energy, but with their own Energy acceleration like Reshiram or Zekrom. The nail in the coffin for Groudon-EX isn't its attacks or weakness, but the lack of Fighting acceleration. In our current format, almost every deck runs some form of acceleration, and almost every type has some form of acceleration. Fighting, on the other hand, does not. With Groudon-EX's attacks costing a great deal of Energy, it would take two turns to do a measly 20 damage and 10 to all of your opponents Benched Pokémon. Pokémon like Kyurem can do 30 damage to the Active Pokémon, and 30 damage to all of your opponents Benched Pokémon for only one more energy, completely outclassing Groudon-EX. Its second attack costs three Energy, so you would be required to use up three turns attaching to Groudon-EX, only to do a maximum of 120 damage. 120 damage with no drawback is not something to scoff at, but with the lack of acceleration, you're losing too many opportunities by focusing all efforts on Groudon-EX, making Groudon-EX just not as good as other cards in the format that can do roughly the same. Groudon-EX's attacks are decent, but the nonexistence of support for Fighting is what kills Groudon-EX's playability. Summary Groudon-EX is really just not viable in our current format. With high energy cost attacks which do not so spectacular amounts of damage, and no form of energy acceleration for Fighting, Groudon-EX is outclassed by many other cards currently in the format, but is still somewhat playable. Regigigas-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/next-destinies/82-regigigas-ex.jpg[/img] With a brief glance over Regigigas-EX, we see a great 180 HP, a bulky but expected Retreat Cost of 4, an arguably not too horrible Fighting Weakness, and two very energy heavy attacks. What Regigigas-EX has going against it the most is its Weakness. With Terrakion being a very prevalent revenge attacker and Donphan Prime being used heavily in The Truth, Regigigas-EX is put at a great risk. Luckily, Regigigas-EX is out of the OHKO range for both of these Pokémon with the use of Eviolite, but can be nullified with the use of Pluspower. The advantage to this is that currently, most decks that feature Terrakion do not use Pluspower, and The Truth contains Vileplume, which makes Pluspower unusable. When looking at Regigigas-EX's attacks, all are extremely energy demanding. Luckily, they only require Colorless energy, giving Regigigas-EX the ability to use whatever energy acceleration it likes. That means that Regigigas-EX is open to using the Pachirisu/Shaymin engine, Celebi Prime or Eelektrik. Through the use of Double Colorless Energy and the Pachirisu/Shaymin engine, Regigigas-EX can easily donk by using its first attack, Giga Power, which costs three Colorless Energy. The wonder of Regigigas-EX is that it can use Giga Power early game to rack up damage on itself, and then switch to using it's second attack, Raging Hammer, which does 50 damage and then 10 more damage for each damage counter on Regigigas-EX, letting Regigigas-EX hit opposing Pokémon for massive amounts of damage. The other alternative to this, however, is to use Eviolite to negate the damage that Regigigas-EX would take from its first attack, and consecutively hit for 80 damage with no repercussions. While taking hits from your opponents Pokémon, you can use Raging Hammer for huge amounts of damage. Summary Regigigas-EX looks not that appealing at a first glance, but after delving into its attacks, as well as getting around their repercussions and recognizing their pros, Regigigas-EX looks like a very decent EX Pokémon that will see a good amount of play. Kyurem-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/next-destinies/38-kyurem-ex.jpg[/img] Our initial overview of Kyurem-EX shows us an awesome 180 HP, which seems to be the standard for EXs, a somewhat poor Metal Weakness, a decent Retreat Cost of three and no Resistance. The poor aspect of Kyurem-EX is his Weakness. With CaKE/CoKE that makes it seem like they are two different decks having an influence in this format, as well as Six Corners, Cobalion can cause some problems for Kyurem-EX. Cobalion can OHKO Kyurem-EX with one Pluspower, two if Kyurem-EX has Eviolite attached. Because of this, Eviolite will be absolutely necessary when using Kyurem-EX. Kyurem-EX's first attack, Freezing Wing, does 60 damage and lets you discard one Special Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon, for a Water Energy and two Colorless Energies. With Double Colorless Energy soon to be used greatly by cards like Regigigas-EX and Mewtwo-EX, Freezing Wing will be quite good against these Pokémon, especially if combined with Lost Remover. Kyurem-EX's second attack, Hail Blizzard, does 120 damage at the cost of two Water energy and two Colorless energy. The drawback to this attack is that Kyurem-EX cannot use it the next turn. While this can be retreated out of through the use of Switch, it is also smart to play Kyurem-EX by alternating attacks, or primarily using Freezing Wing, especially against Regigigas-EX or Mewtwo-EX. Kyurem-EX also has the potential to be used in The Truth. A lot of The Truth lists already encompass Kyurem, so they already apply for having a Water type in the deck. Of course, Kyurem-EX would be best off paired with other attackers in The Truth. Summary Kyurem-EX lacks a good source of energy acceleration, and although the quality of its attacks are arguable, it is safe to say that it is playable to an extent, and would work quite well in already existing decks like The Truth. Reshiram-EX and Zekrom-EX Reshiram-EX and Zekrom-EX were both EXs released in their own respective theme decks. As per not being a part of Hail Blizzard/Psycho Drive, and Reshiram and Zekrom already having been a influence on the format, Reshiram-EX and Zekrom-EX each get their own analysis. Reshiram-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/next-destinies/22-reshiram-ex.jpg[/img] After the recent format shift, Reshiram lost a lot of its presence. Reshiphlosion just dropped off of the radar, like its predecessor Reshiboar. There's been some hype as to whether or not Reshiram-EX will be able to bring back the huge presence Fire had, but it all depends on Reshiram-EX's playability. Reshiram-EX's first attack, Glinting Claw, does 50 damage and asks you to flip a coin, and if you flip heads, Glinting Claw does 30 more damage, at the cost of one Fire Energy and two Colorless Energy. While this is a very flippy attack, 80 is still quite low for three Energy, compared to what Reshiram could do, even with its drawback. Reshiram-EX's second attack, Brave Fire, does 150 damage, and asks you to flip a coin, and if you flip tails, Reshiram-EX does 50 damage to itself, at the cost of two Fire Energy and two Colorless Energy. This attack, like Glinting Claw, is extremely flippy, but with the use of Eviolite, Reshiram-EX's self damage is reduced to 30. Yet, if Typhlosion Prime was used as a form of energy acceleration, even for two energy, Reshiram-EX still takes 50 damage total from Brave Fire and Typhlosion Prime's Afterburners. With Reshiram-EX being such a flippy card, the after effects of its attacks and the methods to accelerate them, and with a high and consistent damage output, Reshiram-EX may be just what Fire needs to be brought back into the format. Reshiram-EX has been getting a lot of hype in Magneboar, and is being suggested in Reshiboar because it is one of the only decks that can consistently attack every turn. Hitting for high damage every turn is a huge pro in this current format where all of the other decks use big bulky Pokémon, and when those are EXs, you're going to be able to consistently take two prizes, keeping an even or upper hand prize exchange for you. Summary Reshiram-EX would've been a better card if it had came earlier. After the recent format shift, Reshiram decks have just died down almost to the point where they're extremely rare. While Reshiram-EX is still a good card on paper, its very flippy, yet has the potential to bring back the presence of Fire types, due to its ability to consistently hit for high amounts of damage each turn. Zekrom-EX [img width=200 height=279]http://pokebeach.com/scans/next-destinies/51-zekrom-ex.jpg[/img] Zekrom-EX at first glance has some very excellent things going for it, but one bad one, however. Zekrom-EX has a standard 180 HP, a poor Fighting weakness, a Retreat Cost of three, and no Resistance. Zekrom-EX suffers from the same cons that Regigigas-EX suffers from. With Zekrom-EX being weak to Fighting types, Terrakion OHKOs it if Zekrom-EX isn't using Eviolite, and fails to OHKO Zekrom-EX if it has Eviolite due to the general lack of Pluspower in decks that use Terrakion. Zekrom-EX also is susceptible to Donphan Prime, under the same conditions as Terrakion. Zekrom-EX's attacks, on the other hand, make up for this poor trait that Zekrom possesses. Zekrom-EX's first attack, Shining Claw, does 50 damage plus an additional 30 should you flip heads on a coin flip, for one Lightning Energy and two Colorless Energies. This attack is almost an exact copy of Reshiram-EX's Shining Claw, but Zekrom-EX requires a Lightning Energy for the attack, rather than a Fire Energy. Again, this attack isn't spectacular for what it's asking, but is okay for finishing off the Defending Pokémon. Zekrom-EX's second attack, Strong Volt, does 150 damage and requires you to discard two energy attached to it, for the cost of two Lightning Energy and two Colorless Energy. The good thing about this is that Zekrom-EX can be set up on the first turn with the help of Pachirisu and Shaymin to possibly donk, which Zekrom BW could also already do. The obvious downside to this is that Zekrom-EX has to discard two Energy attached to itself, but there is an easy solution to this problem. The way to get around this draw back is with the use of Eelektrik, which lets you attach an Electric Energy from your discard pile to one of your Pokémon. With this card already finding its way into almost every Lightning deck out there, Eelektriks addition in a deck with Zekrom-EX will not be too bad at all. Zekrom-EX is better as a finisher, though, rather than a consistent attacker. When looked at like Shaymin-EX, Shaymin-EX is used as a finisher due to its good damage output towards the end of the game. Zekrom-EX can produce its high damage output all throughout the game, but as a consistent attacker, you would have to use another Zekrom-EX, assuming there are no other attackers once he is Knocked Out (after which your opponent gains two prizes). This cycle would repeat, and make it so your opponent only has to knockout three Zekrom-EXs to win the game. It is not an easy feat by any means, but it is much easier than defeating six Pokémon that only give away one prize. Summary Zekrom-EX, unlike Reshiram-EX, currently has a deck that is doing extremely well in the format. Zekrom-EX's great combination with Eelektrik makes it very clear that it will definitely be used in decks revolving around the use of Eelektrik, and could potentially be used as its own deck. How EXs Will Impact Current Decks With the individual analyses of EXs over, it is now time to see how these EXs will impact all of our current decks. ZPST ZPST is going to be a bad play after the EXs are brought into the format. It will be very hard for ZPST to recover from KOs, which will be very constant with the consistently hard hitting EXs. It also feels like it's very similar to Celebi/Tornadus/Mewtwo, just slightly worse. The Truth The Truth will gain the option of using Kyurem-EX as an attacker, and have an advantage over Zekrom-EX and Regigigas-EX through the use of Donphan Prime. The Truth will have to put up with Mewtwo-EX, however, because Mewtwo-EX can easily OHKO anything in the deck after a little setup. The Truth will definitely remain in the format, but will gain some disadvantages once EXs are brought into the format. Chandelure Variants Chandelure will no longer exist once EXs are introduced. It will be near impossible for Chandelure to get the necessary amount of damage to knock out EXs, and the EXs being very fast have a great advantage over Chandelure. Six Corners Six Corners has the potential to use any of the EXs due to it's very diverse use of countering every deck in the meta and open energy pool. Six Corners has no disadvantages with the introduction of EXs. Durant Durant will not be able to fare well against any of the EXs. All of the EXs are very high hitting Pokémon, while Durant can only take so much damage. Durant does gain Shaymin-EX, but to use it, Durant's Energy pool needs to be broadened. Durant is extremely threatened by Reshiram-EX. Durant is still very viable against Mewtwo-EX, though, especially when being used with Lost Remover to get rid of the Double Colorless Energies that Mewtwo-EX will definitely be using. Eelectrik/[Magnezone Prime Eelektrik/Magnezone Prime gets Zekrom-EX as an advantage, and has no disadvantages spare Groudon-EX (which won't be released in Next Destinies.) Eelektrik/Magnezone Prime gets the advantage of being able to OHKO any EX after a bit of setup, which is easily done with Eelektrik. This is huge, because it gives Eelektrik/Magnezone Prime the upper hand over all of the EXs. CaKE/CoKE CaKE/CoKE's main disadvantage is in that Pokémon like Mewtwo-EX can knockout Voltorbs very early in the game, making it hard for CaKE/CoKE to get the necessary elements for it to function properly. CaKE/CoKE is also threatened by Reshiram-EX, but due to the fact that Reshiram-EX takes some time to setup, CaKE/CoKE can just lock it and not allow it to attack at all. CaKE/CoKE can take advantage of Shaymin-EX because CaKE/CoKE doesn't work without using Electrode Prime to stack energies, which requires you to give up a prize. The deck will have to become more based around Cobalion than Kyurem since the EXs make Glaciate a little worse, and Cobalion is better against Mewtwo. Reshiphlosion Reshiphlosion gains Reshiram-EX, which may be exactly what this deck needs to gain back it's huge presence in the format. Reshiphlosion will be able to attack consistently for very high amounts of damage every turn, which gives it a good advantage against EXs. Reshiphlosion is threatened by Kyurem-EX and Kyogre-EX, but given that Reshiphlosion is very fast in it's setup, it may be able to out speed its threats and gain the upper hand. Conclusion After looking over all of the currently released EXs, we can see that EXs are very diverse in their playability and their possible effect on the meta game. Mewtwo-EX, Reshiram-EX, and Zekrom-EX seem to be the most playable after an analysis on all of the EXs. It is clear that the artwork of all of the EXs had a lot of time put into it, making a lot of the EXs look very nice and appealing. We won't know for sure exactly how and if our game will change once EXs hit the United States and other parts of the world, but based off of their influence in the Japanese meta game, EXs will definitely be played and highly sought after. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and look forward to many more. A special thank you to [member]X-5[/member] for the banner, [member]Zyflair[/member] and [member]The Yoshi[/member] for proof-reading this article, [member]Glaceon[/member] for contributing ideas and [smod]Celebi23[/smod] for suggestions.