Top 6 Pokemon Cards: EX Dragon Expansion
The EX Dragon Set
Like many kids, I didn't even know how to play the TCG; I just enjoyed collecting and trading the cards. As an adult, I can better appreciate the strategic aspects of the game and still love to scour through cards and find the best of the best.
EX Dragon debuted before Dragon was actually a type in the TCG; all Dragon cards counted as Normal types at the time. In this set, dragons wielded powerful attacks but often needed two particular types of Energy to use them, restricting them to specific deck builds.
In that case, which Pokemon reigned supreme? These are the six best trading cards from EX Dragon!
- Basic Pokemon can be played from your hand as you like.
- Stage 1 Pokemon are evolutions that must be played on a corresponding Basic Pokemon.
- Stage 2 Pokemon are further evolutions to be played on corresponding Stage 1 Pokemon.
Stage 1/ Water
Crawdaunt gained two different cards in this set, and I prefer this one as it has two attacks and a lower Retreat Cost:
- Poison Claws (1 Energy) Pinches for 10 and flips a coin. Heads Poisons the opponent.
- Rend (3 Energy) Tears for 30, and deals an additional 30 if the opponent already has damage on them.
Crawdaunt's first attack lets it slowly build pain if you're low on Energy while it's second can consistently deal an impressive base 60 damage.
5. Kingdra EX
Stage 2/ Water
Like all EX cards, Kingdra has impressive HP and high damage, but lets your opponent take an extra Prize card when it's defeated (players need six to win).
- Genetic Memory (1 Energy) Accesses any of its past evolution's attacks, letting Kingdra deal respectable damage from the get go.
- Hydrocannon (3 Energy) Deals 50 damage plus 10 more for each Water Energy on Kingdra not used to pay for the Energy cost of this attack, up to a maximum of 40 extra power.
Kingdra EX suffers from two Weaknesses, no Resistance, and a hefty Retreat Cost, but its HP and attacks quickly vanquish opponents. Genetic Memory works great if you need to save Energy for other creatures while Hydrocannon serves well for Energy surpluses, potentially hitting for 90.
4. Muk EX
Muk joins with less HP than most EX creatures (100), but it only needs to evolve once. Its Poke-Body is also a fun nod to the Fossil Muk's Poke-Power.
- Toxic Gas (Poke-Body) While Muk EX is active, ignore all other Poke-Powers and Poke-Bodies.
- Poison Breath (1 Energy) Like Crawdaunt, this attack only scores 10 damage, but here the Poison effect is guaranteed.
- Slimy Water (3 Energy) Bombards for 40 plus 10 for each Energy in the opposing Pokemon's Retreat Cost.
Muk wields two helpful attacks while negating opposing powers. Slimy Water is a great way to finish evolved Pokemon, as they tend to have higher prices to retreat.
Stage 2/ Fire
Despite some unusual art (kids, never mix alcohol and fire with dragons), Charizard enters the fray as fearsome as ever with 120 HP and two lethal attacks:
- Collect Fire (2 Energy) Singes for 30 and flips a coin. Heads lets you search your discard pile for up to two Fire Energy and attach them to Charizard.
- Flame Pillar (4 Energy) Incinerates for 60 and gives you the option to discard a Fire Energy. If you do, inflict 30 damage to a Benched opponent.
This Charizard deals less damage than your average Charizard card, but doesn't need to burn Energy for its attacks unless you choose to do so. Even then, your first move can potentially reclaim them. Note that Charizard requires only one Fire Energy for each technique, making a Double Colorless Energy useful to fill the remaining slots.
Stage 1/ Water
Imposing as always, Gyarados emerges with a stellar 100 HP and two great attacks:
- Dragon Crush (1 Energy) Flips a coin. Heads deals 10 damage and discards an Energy from them. This attack hits both opponents in a 2-on-2 match.
- Aqua Sonic (5 Energy) Simply scores a fearsome 80 damage. Also ignores enemy Resistance, ensuring the damage doesn't get reduced.
Dragon Crush nicks and hinders your foe while you amass Energy for Aqua Sonic to quickly eliminate them. Though it costs five Energy, if you use two Double Colorless and one Water, you can access the move in only three turns!
1. Ampharos EX
Stage 2/ Electric
Ironically, the king of the Dragon set isn't much of a dragon. Still, Ampharos supplements any deck with a superb passive trait and very Energy-efficient attack:
- Conductivity (Poke-Body) Inflicts 10 damage to opposing Pokemon whenever your opponent attaches an Energy from their hand to it.
- Gigavolt (3 Energy) Shocks for 40 and flips a coin. Heads nets another 30 damage, while Tails Paralyzes the opponent.
Unlike the vast majority of coin flips, Gigavolt has a positive effect no matter which side comes up, and Conductivity punishes your opponent for enacting a crucial portion of the game: attaching Energy. Throw in a spectacular reservoir of HP (150), only one Weakness (Fighting), plus a Resistance (Steel) and Ampharos easily seizes today's gold medal.
Which card do you favor?
While the dragons introduced in this set were interesting, the more-traditional entries demonstrated overall greater power. Requiring multiple types of Energy to attack seriously hindered the dragon's usability; just ask the Shining Pokemon cards.
Feel free to vote for your favorite Pokemon, and I'll see you at our next card countdown: the EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua set!