By Jack Snell
Onto the reviews of Primes in Unleashed:
Steelix Prime: Ah yes, the infamous tank that is Steelix Prime. This one weighs in at a giant 140 HP for a stage 1 which is excellent, and has other attributes of a tank too, being able to use multiple special metal energy to reduce damage taken, a resistance to Psychic which is a commonly used type in all formats ever, other than the current one ironically, and a huge 4 retreat cost, which is almost never payable.
Metal is a horrible typing right now, hitting almost nothing apart from Beartic for weakness and taking double damage from the most popular type in the format Fire, including Reshiram, Typhlosion, Emboar etc. Its not as though Steelix is easily techable either if you want to counter Beartic, requiring CC and MMCCC for its two attacks and with the retreat cost of four, Beartic will shut it down anyway.
Steelix’s Pokebody Perfect Metal prevents it from being affected by any Special Conditions which is actually really good, because at least Paralysis Poison Sleep and Confusion would cause it major problems.
Energy Stream for CC deals a frankly pathetic 30 damage and has the bonus of bringing back an energy from the discard and attaching it to Steelix. This can bring back special energies like Sp. Metals, Double Colorless Energy which is great, and the main positive of the attack rather than just the effect text. Lastly Gaia Crush for MMCCC deals a sub par 100 damage and discards a Stadium in play.
There are three main reasons why Steelix was a brutal tank deck in MD-on but not so much in this format, 1. Fire wasnt as popular, nor did overpowered Fire Basics like Reshiram exist. 2. Catcher wasnt released at the time, so they couldnt hit around your tank, unless it was Luxchomp or DialgaChomp 3. Stadiums like Broken Time Space and Galactic HQ were really popular, but in this format the only used Stadiums are Tropical Beach and Lost World, the latter of which an intelligent opponent will only play when they can win
As a side note both Onix’ are awful Overall Rating: 3/10 Combos with: Skarmory, Special Metals
Kingdra Prime: In my opinion definitively the best Pokemon Prime in the set. Kingdra has a good 130 HP but with the power creep 140 HP seems standard for a stage 2 these days. The retreat cost of one is definitely fine, and payable. Weakness to lightning is as bad as it always has been with Zekrom and Magnezone Prime still seeing play. No resistance is expected of a water type. Now for the main attractions of the card. Firstly its PokePower Spray Splash allows you to place 1 damage counter on your opponents field once during your turn. Sound familiar?, thats right its the same as Crobat Gs Flash Bite Poke Power, which was staple in all SP decks and was so easy to tech it could even be thrown into Gyarados. Placing one damage on your opponents Pokemon cannot be underrated, its like that crucial pluspower, but on any of your opponents Pokemon. Advantages over Crobat G are that its stackable, 3 Kingdra in play means 3 damage counters spread over your opponents field each turn, which is incredible, but a large disadvantage compared to Crobat G is that its a stage 2 so cant be teched in easily
Finally Kingdras attack Dragon Steam is very efficient dealing 60 damage for one Water Energy. However if your opponent has a Fire type Pokemon it gets reduced to a very weak 20. This makes it a better DOnphan Prime counter than Reshiram/Emboar.
A Spray Splash and a Dragon Steam will deal 110 to a Donphan allowing you to KO it with Spray Splash next turn and get an attack on something else
Common Partners for Kingdra are Yanmega which can snipe 40 for zero energy if you have the same number of cards in your opponents hand. The concept of Yanmega Kingdra Magnezone Jirachi is to snipe kill crucial basics before they have chance to evolve and alternately damage your opponents evolved Pokemon until they have less HP left than their previous stage and devolve them with Jirachi for the KO. People have also paired Kingdra with Mandibuzz which deals 50 damage to one of your opponents Pokemon with damage on it for (D). There are two reasons I believe this is a worse Partner than Yanmega. Firstly Yanmega is bulkier with 110 HP compared to 90 and a better second attack, and also Mandibuzz needs a specific energy when Yanmega can attack for zero.
Overall I give Kingdra Prime 8/10 for competitive play Combos with: Jirachi, Yanmega, Mandibuzz
Please return to read my next article covering Lanturn Prime and Tyranitar Prime