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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Charizard Lv. 60

Arceus

Date Reviewed: 11.23.09

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.38
Limited: 2.75

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Charizard (Arceus)

Hello and welcome to a short week of reviews. Apparently, Americans have a Holiday coming up, so I hope that all you US readers enjoy your break and have a great time doing whatever it is you do at this time of year.

It may be a short week, but it’s an interesting one as far as the cards that we are reviewing are concerned.

We kick off with Charizard from the Arceus set. Charizard is one of the most popular Pokémon out there, but the TCG has done little to reward our fanboyism. Charizard SW and Charizard G both have ridiculous attack costs that made them pretty much unplayable in today’s speedy format, and the reprint of Base Set Charizard as a secret rare in Stormfront didn’t do much to help the big lizard get any table time. Will this new version change things? Let’s take a look.

The basic stats certainly get Charizard off to a good start. 140 HP is big, even for a Stage 2. Water Weakness is expected, but keeping it to +30 means that Charizard won’t be an easy OHKO, even for hard-hitting Water Pokémon like Gyarados SF. Fighting Resistance is a nice bonus, making it a tough KO for Machamp, even if they Level it up. Only the Retreat Cost really hurts here. Three Energy to retreat a flying Pokémon? Come on . . . that can’t be right. Oh well, time to find space for a couple of Warp Points, I suppose.

Moving on to the attacks, it’s nice to see Charizard being able to enter the battle with just a single Energy attached. Fire Wing gives a nice return of 30 for a single Fire Energy. Not huge, perhaps, but as we shall see later, boosting that damage shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Charizard’s second attack, Burning Tail, does a much improved 80 damage for [R][R][C], with a single Energy discard. I would describe that as reasonable, and the cost as easy to manage (especially when compared to previous Charizards). At least you are going to be able to attack with it every turn without needing some kind of Energy acceleration.

Although they are decent enough, if those two attacks were all that Charizard had to offer, it would be a pretty mediocre Pokémon. Ok for a fun deck, but don’t expect to see it top cut many tournaments. Luckily, Charizard has an ace up its sleeve in the form of its PokeBody, Fire Formation.

Fire Formation’s effect is simple. For every Fire type Pokémon on your Bench, add 10 damage to each of Charizard’s attacks. In theory, with a full Bench, this means that you could be doing 80 damage for one Energy, or 130 for three! In practise though, you will find that you need some Bench space for Pokémon that are not the Fire Type. Claydol is pretty much a staple in Stage 2 decks, Uxies are often used for their draw power, and Azelf is a common inclusion in most decks to prevent key Pokémon being prized. It’s also worth mentioning that you need to be careful of Dusknoir DP, a common tech whose Dark Palm Power means that it is not wise to run with a full bench.

Another restriction is that there are not too many Fire Pokémon that you would want on your Bench. By this I mean Pokémon that would support the deck or have some synergy with Charizard. Infernape 4 LV X is a possibility, as you could use its Power to disrupt your opponent’s Bench. Ninetales MT could be used as a counter to Pokémon that are Weak against their own type (Mewtwo, Nidoqueen, Flygon, for example). Typhlosion MT/Stark Mountain are an option if you want some Energy acceleration. Finally the Rapidash from AR that blocks attack from SP Pokémon could be used as an anti-SP tech.

Looking ahead, some of these problems will be solved when the next set is released and we get a Fire Pokémon that can provide good draw support in the shape of the forthcoming Ninetales. For now it is going to be difficult to get the best out of Charizard. Don’t write it off completely, though, it can still hit reasonably hard for a reasonable cost. If it were any other Pokémon, it would only be borderline playable until the next set comes out; because it is a Charizard, I think you can definitely expect to see it at City Championships.

Rating

Modified (for now): 3 (it’s a Charizard, and for once no-one will laugh at you for playing it)
Limited: 2.5: (if you can pull the whole line, plus some other Fire Pokémon you probably win. That’s a big if though)

Guy

I feel like the coming of the Arceus set Charizard really flew under the radar. This Charizard has MASSIVE potential, and if played correctly could see some big tournament wins. For starters, it has 140 hp, aka it is a tank. The first attack does 30 for one fire, the second does 80 for 2 fire and a colorless. Throw an expert belt on this bad boy and you have yourself a 160 hp monster. Yes it is weak to water, but at least it isn't 2x weakness. In other words a water pokemon will have to deal 110 damage to knock the Zard out, but throw an expert belt on Charizard and that water pokemon will have to deal 130 damage to get the knockout. Charizard SHOULD survive a turn or two when facing a big water pokemon. The deck's obvious weaknesses are BlastCatty and Kingdra. But what sets this card apart from the pack is its amazing pokebody! Charizard's attacks gain an extra 10 damage for every fire type pokemon on your bench! This means Charizard can potentially deal 80 damage for 1 energy if the bench is full of fire pokemon (100 for 1 energy if an expert belt is attached), or Charizard could dish out 130 (150 with expert belt) if the bench is full of fire, with his second attack, at the cost of discarding only 1 fire energy! What a heavy hitter!

Now, building the deck could be a little difficult, and it will require some patience. Right now one should run a 4-2-4 Charizard line, the Arceus Ponyta - Rapidash line (to prevent damage from sp's), MAYBE Infernape 4 and Infernape 4 lv. X, MAYBE some of the Inferno Rush Arcanine, and of course the 2-2 Claydol line. BUT, when Heart Gold and Soul Silver are released this deck really gains its power. The new Ninetails coming out has a pokepower that allows you to discard one card and draw 3 cards. In other word, it replaces Claydol in this deck (there is no hand limitation either with that Ninetails, so be careful not to deck yourself). A 2-2 or even 3-3 line of that should be played with this deck. Also, the Great Typhlosion that is coming out has 140 hp, and a pokepower that allows you to take a fire energy out of the discard pile and attach it to one of your pokemon (it doesn't have to be to a fire pokemon) then place one damage counter on that pokemon. So you attack with Charizard, drop an energy to do 130-150 damage for 3 energy, then put that energy right back on him, or start powering up another one on the bench with Great Typhloshion. You could also discard a fire energy with Ninetails to draw 3 cards, attach a fire for the turn, use Typhlosion to put the energy you discarded right back on one of your pokemon for the second energy attached in one turn. In other words, one could be doing upwards of 100-150 damage (if the deck is fast enough), on turn 2. This Typhlosion also allows the number of fire energies in the deck to be cut VERY low. This provides for more room for speed and tech stuff. I really believe in this Charizard deck, and I think it will see a LOT of play once the Heart Gold and Soul Silver are released around February sometime.

Modified: 3.75/5 (especially in the long run)
Limited: 3/5

Kevin Ditzler Kevin
virusyosh Jeff


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