Top 10 Most Impactful Cards of Dark Explorers

by Pikkdogs ~ May 1st, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs with my quarterly article about the most impactful cards in the upcoming set.  This time we have  a set named “Dark Explorers.”  Though it sounds like a porn movie about African American chicks, it could be a set that impacts Nationals in a big way.  Is it full of cards that are all hype, or will this set set the pace for Nationals?   Let us take a look at some of the cards in this set to find out.  But, before we start we have a couple announcements for you.

The first is that I want you guys to put your own top 10 of Dark Explorers in the comment box.

The second is that we have a contest going on right now.  Look here for the rules and stuff.  Look here for some fun with Noozles.

The third is that Pedro has a news article for us to get us started.  Hows it going Pedro?

Oh doing well Pikkdogs. Today’s news comes from the world of medicine. is reporting that according to a new study, people who suffer from nighttime teeth grinding can be cured by receiving Botox injections.  But, it seems that there are side effects to this drug.  You will stop grinding your teeth, but you will have the irresistible urge to marry a Kardashian.  

That would be terrible.  What if you meet Khloe, the big one,  you’d be screwed.

Plus, you would go through life without having to show emotion.  It makes you like a real life Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Hate that guy.  He butchered Mr. Freeze in one of those 90’s Batman movie.  One of my favorite villans of all time, and he slaughtered him.

But, he did make up for it with that funny, “Go Chargers” soundbite. 

I guess, but let’s go to the article.

The Top 10 Most Impactful Cards

10. Entei EX

What’s this?  We start our list off with a fire Pokemon not named “Reshiram”?  Yes, finally Reshiram takes a back seat to an old school fire Pokemon, one of the legendary dogs, Entei.

The card has solid stats.  180 HP is the best in the business.  The water weakness is expected and not that bad.  The three retreat cost is standard for an EX.

The first attack burns the defending Pokemon for 2 energies an does 30 damage.  This works well with one of the most interesting cards in the set, Volcarona.  I could see these two cards doing well together.  The second attack is a little under-powered, but it has a good twist in it.  Most big attacks by fire Pokemon do a lot of damage and require a discard, this is different as it only does 90 damage, but attaches an energy from the discard pile to the bench.

When we talk about the playability of Entei EX we are talking about two things.  One thing is a part of a combo with Volcarona.  This deck might work, it is something to test.  The other thing with Entei is as a secondary attacker in Reshiphlosion.  It may not have the pop that the Reshirams have, but it can burn the defending Pokemon.  Burning can go a long way against big HP EX Pokemon.  Special Conditions are something that those EX Pokemon do not like.  It may not take them out right away, but it will eventually do them in.

I could see Entei going right in to a Reshiphlosion deck.  Reshiphlosion is on life support right now, and I am not sure if Entei is enough to save it, but I do see this card making an impact on the format.  It is just a great card that can have an impact, even if we cannot see that impact right now.  I like this card and see it doing well eventually.

9.  Zoroark

Zororark is one of the Pokemon that the dark side will be relying on if they want to take over the format.  Zoroark is a nice versatile swarming attacker that can use a lot of the new dark trainers.  If Zoroark pans out and is good in this format, watch out, Dark decks can be really good.

The stats don’t seem too impressive. 100 HP is a little disappointing, the retreat cost is bad, and the fighting weakness is a tough thing to have.  The only good part of his stats is the psychic resistance.  His second attack is a rage like attack, but he doesn’t really have enough HP for that to make a difference.  It is his first attack that will be used.  It does 20 damage for every one of your Dark Pokemon in play, that means it maxes out at 120.

Or does it?  What gives Zoroark the potential to be so impactful are Special Darkness Energy, Dark Patch, and Dark Claw.  If Zoroark has 2 Special Darks attached and a Dark Claw, the attack now maxes out at 160.  That is just 2 Plus Powers away from OHKOing all EX Pokemon in the format.  While I realize that 2 Special Darks, a Dark Claw, and 2 Plus Powers are a lot to ask,  it’s not impossible to pull off a couple times a game.  With Dark Patch we could see a pretty good stream of Zoroarks out there, and that could scare people.

People will be trying out the Dark Deck, and I think that there is a lot of good things about the deck.  It could be a good deck going into Spring Battle Roads and Nationals, and Zoroark will be with this card every step of the way.  I am not sure if the dark side will once again rule the empire like some people think, but it is something to worry about.  I could see the deck doing well.

8.  Random Receiver

No Random Receiver is not who Tim Tebow throws the ball to, it’s the name of a Pokemon Card.  This card lets you reveal cards from your deck until you see a supporter, and then put that into your hand.

Random Receiver is a card that is automatically in competition with Poke Gear 3.0.  Most people have come to love Poke Gear, and they are not happy that Random Receiver is in the format.  They say that because Poke Gear let’s you choose between different supporters it is better.  I disagree.

I have never been a Poke Gear fan, and am very happy to see Random Receiver enter the format.   Although I think that supporter search cards are not that great.  If I did play a Supporter search card,  I would want one that always gets me a supporter, and that’s what RR does.  How many times have you heard people complain that Poke Gear did not net them any supporters?  It has happened a lot.

We can forget all of those times that we never got a supporter, and now run Random Receiver instead.  Trainers and Supporters are supposed to increase consistency, and Random Receiver is much more consistent than Poke Gear.  I think that in this format, just getting  a supporter is the most important thing.  Most people use supporters for draw and hand refresh, and don’t really care whether they get a Professor Juniper or a Professor Oak’s New Theory.  So, it doesn’t really matter what supporter you get.  Sure, there are other supporters out there that are used like Pokemon Collector, but most supporters are for draw or hand refresh.

So will Random Reciever be impactful? I think it will be.  I think that RR will soon replace Poke Gear, and decks will be more consistent because of it.

7. Ultra Ball

We go from one Item card that already has an equal, to another item card that has an equal.  Ultra Ball lets you search your deck for any Pokemon and put it into your hand, but you do have to discard two cards from your hand.

The tendency in Pokemon search cards has been to ease off of cards like Pokemon Communication and go for cards that just get basic Pokemon.  Since basic Pokemon are ruling the format right now, it only makes sense that we use more basic Pokemon friendly cards.  Cards that find evolution cards are not that important right now, but that doesn’t mean Ultra Ball will go un-noticed.

There were two bad things about Communication.  The first was that there were better cards for basic Pokemon, and the second was that you needed another Pokemon in your hand.  This was very problematic in this format where we do not run much more than 15 Pokemon.  Now we do not need to have an extra Pokemon just to search for one.

Sure discarding two cards is not good in a format that does not give us a draw engine in Pokemon form.  And we are already discarding two cards with Junk Arm, so it is hard to  discard cards from your hand.  But, I think most people would rather discard cards from their hand than try to find a Pokemon in their hand.

I do think that this card will have an impact on this format.  I expect it to be about as popular as Pokemon Communication.  The use of this card could also bring up the use of cards like Cheren and Bianca.  If you do use Ultra Ball, you better be prepared to draw a lot of cards to make up for the ones you are discarding.

6.  Groudon EX

There are three types that are expected to be big after the release of Dark Explorers.  Those types are Psychic, Dark, and Electric.  Two of those types are weak to fighting Pokemon, so we are in great need of fighting Pokemon.  One of the better fighting Pokemon that is out right now is Groudon EX.

Groudon is kind of like the anti-Zoroark.  Zoroark had terrible stats but great intangibles.  Groudon has great stats and only decent intangibles.  180 HP is great for  a fighting Pokemon, and with an Eviolite and the lightning resistance, he will be Zekrom’s worst nightmare.  Groudon’s first attack isn’t great, 20 damage for FC and spreading 10 to your opponents field.  But, his second attack does 80 damage for FFC and could do 40 more if your opponent’s defending Pokemon has at least 2 damage counters on it.

The second attack could be better.  I would rather have a base damage of 90 on the attack, and not have the possibility of 40 more.  That way you would be able to OHKO any Zekrom and Darkrai EX.  But, as the attack is worded right now, you will be able to OHKO all Fighting weak Pokemon if they have two damage counters on them.  How will you be able to get those damage counters on the defending Pokemon.  You could attack twice with the first attack, or you could use one of my least favorite cards, Rocky Helmet.  That card will put 2 damage on the defending Pokemon if they choose to attack you.  That is enough to do 120 base damage.  But, I fear that your opponent will be too smart to fall for that trap and they will do anything to prevent you getting an OHKO.  Without the easy 2 damage counters, it will be hard to get the OHKO.  This will hurt the card, but it is not the end of Groudon EX.  Adding a simple Plus Power will give you more than enough damage to OHKO a fighting weak EX.  And you will still be able to use the Pokemon Tool cards like Eviolite and Exp. Share.

So, does this card have a place in the format?  I think it does.  I don’t see a deck right now that this card can fit in, but kind of like Terrakion, Groudon is good enough to make its own deck.  It is simple enough to have a Terrakion style simple Item based deck.  I could see this card doing really well in the future.  This is an overall good card for the format.

5.  Darkrai EX

The Dark attacker that everyone is talking about is Darkrai EX.  Although I have always disliked Darkai because he looks like a big black chicken, he could be of the most impactful cards in Dark Explorers.

Darkrai EX has some of the best EX stats.  It has the full 180 HP, but only has a 2 retreat cost.  A resistance on an EX is unexpected, and it has a great one, psychic.  Sure the fighting weakness hurts, but that can be played around.  It has a decent Ability, “Dark Cloak”, gives everybody free retreat if they have a Dark energy attached.  This is good, but usually if you have one energy attached retreating is not a huge deal.  I see this Ability being used more in a rogue deck than a meta Dark Deck.  The attack does 90 damage and snipes 30.  90 isn’t great, but it can be approved with Dark Claw and stuff like that.  The 30 sniping isn’t something that I look for, but I would never pass up 30 damage on any Pokemon.

All of the Dark Decks that are being thought of out there have Darkai EX as a big part of its attack strategy.  Although the attacks base damage is just 90, it can be bumped up to 130 very easily.  130 may not be the 150 that Zekrom EX can do, but it is still enough to get the job done.  Don’t forget about the 30 that it does from sniping.  That could add up and knock out Pokemon like Eelektrik, Smerargle, and Celebi.  That extra prize could be what determines the outcome of the game.

So how impactful will Darkrai be?  I think he will be impactful.  I am not convinced if he will take over the format, but the Dark Deck will be played and will have at least some success.  You gotta love decks that are based on trainers in this format, and that is what the Dark Deck is all about.  As long as the Dark Deck can keep its strategies simple, it should be able to be around Tier 2.

4. Dark Claw

One of the most impactful cards of this set is an Expert Belt like card, you gotta love that.  All Dark Pokemon can now do 20 more damage to the active with all attacks.  This should give Dark Pokemon the advantage that they haven’t ever had.  Look for this card to make all Dark Pokemon more playable.

Dark Claw is the card that could possibly make the Dark Deck a tier 2 deck.  Having the ability to add 20 more damage means a whole heck of  a lot.  It could really put Dark Decks over the top and give them a huge advantage.  Not only do most Dark Pokemon have resistance on the best Pokemon in the format, now they can do 20 more damage.  There are a lot of Dark Pokemon out there that can OHKO most Pokemon in the format with Dark Claw and Special Darkness Energy, that means a whole lot in this format.

So will it be the most impactful card? No, will it be used a lot throughout its entire life?  I think so.  I think we will always see a dark deck around that uses Dark Claw, its such a  good card.

3.  Heatmor

All Durant players were dreading the release of Heatmor, and now the day is here.  But will Durant’s mortal enemy end his run as a top tier deck, or will it be too impractical?

Let’s take a quick look at its stats.  The 90 HP and 1 retreat cost are good stats to have.  That is basically everything we need to know here, except the first attack.  “Hot Lick” does 10 damage for one energy, or 60 damage  to Durant (120 with weakness).

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s see if this card can get rid of Durant.  A Durant counter should have three aspects: a one energy attack, the ability to OHKO it, and the ability to be splashed in to any deck.  This counter has every one of those aspects.  I think Heatmor is all you need to win against Durant 90% of the time.

Now, will using Heatmor hurt your deck more than it will helps it?  Sure having Heatmor will give you an autowin against Durant, but will it hurt consistency more than it helps against Durant.  It will suck to start Heatmor against a non-Durant deck.  It could give your opponent a huge advantage, and with decks right now running 6-10 basics, starting with Heatmor is a real possibility.   But, this is not the first time that we have heard of  a player using one card for just one other deck.  It usually doesn’t hurt consistency that much, so I don’t see why Heatmor should be different. 

The interesting thing in my mind is the question of when will people stop playing Heatmor?  Most people will start playing Heatmor soon, and that will encourage people to not play Durant.  But, when people don’t play Durant, than there is no reason to play Heatmor.  When nobody plays Heatmor, than you should go back to playing Durant.  So it will be interesting to see how much play this card gets, and if it gets enough play to kill Durant.

Heatmor may or may not kill Durant, but it no doubt has a great deal of potential to effect the format in a negative and positive way.  Very impactful card here.

2. Tornadus EX

One of the most versatile EX attackers in the format will be Tornadus.  The regular Tornadus was a great card because it was versatile, it seems that these same traits will be in the EX version.  The EX card seems a lot like the regular Tornadus, just more HP nad more attack power.

Tornadus still has that pesky lightning weakness, which will be a HUGE problem for this card.  It was one thing to get OHKOed for 1 prize, but a 2 prize OHKO will hurt even more.  But, it still has a place in the format against the great fighting decks that will soon hit the format.  I like its two attacks.  The first does 30 damage for CC, or 60 if a stadium is in play.  And the third does 100 for CCC with the possibility of a discard.

This card can go right into all most any deck.  Any deck that has Tornadus can have Tornadus EX.  Expect to see it a lot in CMT and Zekrom.  Those cards will be a lot better because of this card.  One of the bad things about the regular Tornadus was the lack of a one energy card attack (one that does damage anyway), and now that has all changed.  Tornadus EX is more versatile than Tornadus and can hit harder.  It just needs to be aware of the OHKO with electric Pokemon.  If you can afford to sit Tornadus against electric decks, than you have a great deck.

Tornadus EX is a card that will be around for a long time, it will have a big impact on the format.

  1.      Dark Patch

In my opinion, the most impactful card in this set is this energy recovering trainer.  Anything with any kind of energy acceleration is much needed in this format.  People will go crazy over anything that can load up a Dark Pokemon in one turn.  Pokemon is all about being fast, so anything with energy acceleration will be impactful.

It might be a bit of a stretch to put Dark Patch at #1, but I think it is a safe bet.  How confident are you guys that the EXs will be around in a year?  I know that Dark Patch will always be around and make some sort of an impact.  You will never throw away an easy form of energy acceleration, it is that important.  I picked Dark Patch here because I know it will always be a good card.  Especially with cards like Dark Claw around, Dark Energy will always be a good thing to have attached.

So what kind of impact will this card have?  I think it has a good chance of being a big part of a tier 2 deck.  I also think that even if the Dark side does not rule the empire, it will still impact the format as a rogue card.  I think that this card has more upside, and more potential for an impact than other cards.  Sure Tornadus EX might be better, but is Tornadus EX  that much better than the regular Tornadus?  I don’t think so.  There are other options when it comes to most of the EXs out there, but there is not really a viable option for Dark energy acceleration.

I love trainers in this format, and Dark Patch is one heck of a trainer.  The ability to have energy acceleration is not an ability that comes around too often.  Plus, Junk Arm gives you the ability to grab it from the discard pile whenever you want.  A deck that runs off of great items is great in the format, and Dark Patch is the most important part in what could be one of the newest and best decks in the format.



Well, Pedro, I am all done here.  Do you have some news to end this article?

Sure.  Our last bit of news to end the article comes from the world of entertainment.  Last weekend the motion picture “The Raven” was released to theaters.   The movie of course is a fictional account of the life of American poet and author Edgard Allan Poe.  You, Pikkdogs, are a big fan of the Edgar Allan Poe aren’t you?

Love the Edgar Allen Poe.  Love his detective stories, and his short stories as a whole.

Did you know that Poe married his cousin?

Yes, we have something in common.  I am in a relationship with my third cousin.

It didn’t work out with the first two?


Anyway, this movie stars the boombox holding John Cusak.  We couldn’t make the movie “Say Anything” these days, Cusak would just be holding up an Ipod instead of a boombox, and that is not as impressive.  

She probably wouldn’t have been able to see the Ipod, it would just look like he was shaking his fist at the girl.

And that won’t make a girl fall in love with you. 

Well, it depends on what kind of girl you want to attract I guess.  Have a good night everybody.

Category: 10 Impactful Cards | Tags: ,