Pokemon Card of the Day #2244: Flareon-EX (Generations)
We’ve seen a few of the other Eevee forms in this set, but Flareon-EX was in the Radiant Collection, getting a card with two variants of art. This one was especially adorable. While you’d expect the absurdly cute cards to be pretty useless in a game, a decision had clearly been made to try to make Flareon-EX usable. It had the old 50 for 3 Colorless attack that got stronger with each of a certain type of Energy on it, which was very nice a couple of years before this but wasn’t quite as impressive by this point. The big thing here was that Flareon-EX could also get Fire Energy from other Pokemon you had in play, so you had a chance to power up more quickly later in a game than a lot of other Pokemon. Maybe there really was something useful here.
170 HP was just barely lower than most Pokemon-EX, though it was high enough that it took a really strong attack to get through in one hit. There was a Water Weakness here, which meant that any boost to a Greninja attack, as well as normal attacks from Volcanion-EX, Alolan Ninetales-GX, and the like would be devastating. If you did want to switch out your Flareon-EX, you did need 2 Energy, so having those Items to avoid that was nice.
Flash Fire was very cool. The Ability worked once per turn, and it let you move a Fire Energy from 1 of your Pokemon to Flareon-EX. If you had Energy on, say, a weakened Pokemon on the Bench, moving it to Flareon-EX was a good idea to help it get going. It could also get that one last Fire Energy needed for a KO in some spots, which did help it work nicely.
Blaze Ball technically just needed 3 Colorless Energy, but that alone wasn’t good enough as this only resulted in 50 damage. Each Fire Energy attached to Flareon-EX added 20, so 3 Fire Energy reached a respectable 110. 110 was slightly lower than most of the top attackers for 3 Energy at this point, but it was still going to take down most 2 Prize Pokemon in 2 hits. If you needed a boost you could add more Energy, though hoarding too much on any single Pokemon was a big risk, and Fire also had Volcanion-EX to provide more damage in spots as well. This could actually be quite potent with the right support behind it.
Flareon-EX was one of those borderline Pokemon that was somewhat competitive but not that common either. It saw very occasional play, whether as the main attacker or as a back-up in decks relying heavily on Fire Energy. Flareon-EX was simply solid. It wasn’t quite as strong for 3 Energy as something like Volcanion-EX or Turtonator-GX, but also lacked the drawbacks those had while still having decent power. It was worth looking into if using Fire-types already, that was for certain.
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Pokemon Card of the Day #2243: Charizard (Generations)
As a collecting set that focused mainly on Gen 1 Pokemon, maybe it wasn’t a surprise that Charizard had 3 cards. The third wasn’t a Pokemon-EX and was from the Radiant Collection, which meant it had amazing art. Climbing a mountain with its trainer? Very cool. As a card for playing, it was, well, a Charizard, and you rarely expected much out of that. The interesting thing here was that, while it had the typical expensive Charizard attack with a downside (though a manageable one this time), there was also the chance to use a lower form’s attack with Recall for little Energy. If there was anything really good down there, Charizard might have been really nice.
160 HP was at the top end of Stage 2 Pokemon, and being able to absorb all but the strongest hits on a Pokemon that only gave up a single Prize was very nice indeed. The Water Weakness, of course, could change that, with Greninja being the most common Pokemon of the type. There were some occasional other Pokemon, with Gyarados, Alolan Ninetales-GX, and Volcanion-EX being rather useful though not quite top tier. Charizard did need 3 Energy to retreat, and with Combustion Blast not being usable on multiple turns in a row you’d want some sort of help for pivoting in your deck. Most decks wanted these things anyway, but it was still worth keeping in mind.
Recall required just a Colorless Energy and let Charizard use 1 of the attacks from its previous Evolutions to use as its own. It didn’t need the Energy for those attacks, though any requirements in the text had to be met. Being a Stage 2, the goal would usually be to deal damage, and there was a Charmeleon that could let Charizard hit for 80 damage. This was a ton for a Colorless Energy, though it needed a boost to take out Pokemon-EX and the like in 2 hits. Not being completely reliant on Combustion Blast was nice, though.
Combustion Blast was the big attack here, and it did need 2 Fire and 2 Colorless Energy to use. Pairing with Volcanion was a good idea to help get charged up. The attack hit for 130, which was pretty strong but still just short of taking out any of those 2 Prize Pokemon, and Charizard couldn’t use it again during your next turn. Following it up with that Recall would typically be enough, thankfully, though this attack was so similar to something on Volcanion-EX that you had to consider that as strong competition.
This Charizard was reasonably strong, and could hold its own if given enough time. Its biggest problem was that Volcanion-EX existed, which was a Basic Pokemon that did the same amount of damage with the same effect for only 3 Energy. That, along with Steam Up to boost power, meant that Charizard was just outclassed in most ways. Charizard’s advantages were giving up just that 1 Prize and having Recall to do something on that off turn. This all resulted in a solid card, though one that you’d probably pass over for that Volcanion-EX.
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