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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Rapidash #8/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Dec. 6, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.70
Limited: 2.90

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
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Rapidash (Triumphant)

 

Hello and welcome to a week of mostly interesting cards here on Pojo’s CotD. Two things: first of all, I said ‘mostly’, and secondly ‘interesting’ does not always equal ‘good’.

 

We kick off with Rapidash, a Pokémon whose card art is almost always much more exciting than the card itself.

 

Rapidash gets itself off to a bad start by being a 90 HP Stage 1. It has Water Weakness, but I wouldn’t worry too much about that, as Gyarados can easily OHKO this thing anyway. The Retreat cost of one isn’t a burden, but all the other Rapidash in the format have free Retreat, which makes you wonder what’s going on here . . . is the card so good that they has to balance it out somehow?

 

In a word . . . no. It does come with a PokeBody though: Fiery Spirit gives Rapidash immunity from the Confusion Status Condition. Now I won’t go so far as to call this completely useless, but seeing as Confusion is a) rarely used (ok, there are a few Roserade UL decks out there) and b) not very effective, it’s pretty close.

 

You also get a single attack, Ring of Fire, which costs [R][C][C]. Ok, you can use Double Colourless, but still, a single three Energy attack on a low HP Stage 1 is going to be a killer blow to this card’s chances of playability unless it does one million damage to all of your opponent’s benched Pokémon, or something equally broken. It will come as no surprise to learn that it doesn’t. Instead you get a very sub-par 50 damage, auto-Burn, and the effect of making the Defending Pokémon unable to Retreat next turn.

 

Obviously this is an attempt to create some kind of locking card, trapping an opponent’s Pokémon active until it gets KO’d by the attack or Burn damage. Unfortunately, there are so many ways around the lock (Evolution, Poke Turn, SSU, Warp Energy), and Rapidash is so slow and feeble, that the strategy is not really a viable one. Sure, you could partner it with Vileplume UD to try and cut off some routes of escape, but even that’s hardly foolproof, and there are several other Pokémon I would use over Rapidash in a deck like that (we’ll be looking at one later this week).

 

This is by no means the nicest looking Rapidash in the format and you know what? The art is still better than the card.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1.5 (I’ll give it an extra .25 for effort)

Limited: 2 (still a bit slow, even here)

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! I hope you all did well at your City Championships if you had one these past few weeks, as I know that I had a great time judging the one in my area. If you are still testing for an upcoming tournament, good luck to you as well! Anyway, this week we are continuing our reviews of new cards from the HS Triumphant expansion. Today's Card of the Day is a Rare version of a Pokemon that TPCi seems to print a lot of (at least in my opinion). Today's COTD is Rapidash TM.

Rapidash is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon. Aside from Blaziken FB and Charizard decks, Fire Pokemon are rarely seen in our current Modified metagame. 90 HP for a Stage 1 is pretty decent, though is still probably low enough to be worrisome. Water Weakness is annoying, as Gyarados and Kingdra will easily hurt Rapidash a lot. No Resistance is the worst kind, and a Retreat Cost of 1 is fairly decent, but can be easily paid with Switch, Warp Point, or Unown Q.

As for abilities, Rapidash has a Poke-Body and a single attack. Fiery Spirit, the Body, simply states that Rapidash can't be Confused. This is decent enough, though Confusion is not really a common Special Condition seen in Modified, so it is of limited usefulness in that format. However, Confusion does show up a bit more in Limited, so the body is useful here. The attack, Ring of Fire, deals 50 damage for [RCC], automatically burns, and prevents the opponent from retreating during your opponent's next turn. The secondary effect of this attack is great, but I can't help that it should have done a bit more damage for the cost. Additionally, the three-energy cost is what is probably going to keep this from being played in Modified. Blaziken FB can burn the opponent and force a switch for a single Fire Energy, which is often more beneficial than burning your opponent's Active and then keeping them out. Blaziken FB is also an SP, meaning that it is a Basic and gets lots of SP support, making this a better choice than Rapidash in most cases.

Modified: 1.75/5 Rapidash probably doesn't have enough going for it to make a splash in the Modified metagame, although Ring of Fire could be potentially useful.

Limited: 3/5 I like Rapidash here, because Ring of Fire can be potentially debilitating for your opponents. Grass is a very common type in Triumphant too, allowing for Rapidash to prey on a common weakness. Additionally, requiring only one Fire Energy for its attack allows for decent splashability.


Otaku

Rapidash is a Fire Pokémon, which is neither a surprise nor super useful right now.  I’ve seen a lot of Fire Weak decks, but they were my own, experimental ones.  At least Fire does enjoy some solid support (specialized draw and Energy acceleration), so it isn’t all bad.  Rapidash is a Stage 1 Pokémon so it needs to be stronger than most Basic Pokémon and faster into play than most Stage 2 Pokémon: unlikely given the current state of the game.  90 HP is the minimum I find “playable”, and I am starting to question that.  Many decks just need a little luck to hit OHKO something with 90 HP, and can regularly two-hit KO it within the first few turns of the game.  It also means a damage doubling Weakness to Water hurts; Gyarados decks formidable and more importantly, seeing a resurgence in play now that Junk Arm makes it (comparably) easy to get Magikarp into the discard pile.  No Resistance is disappointing, as is the single Energy Retreat Cost.  The lack of Resistance is expected, but Rapidash is a “fast” Pokémon.  A single Energy is easy enough to pay, but with the minimal (playable) HP, the designers should have just let it retreat for free.  So the latter is still disappointing, but technically “good”.

 

Rapidash has a Poké-Body and a single attack, normally a promising combination.  The Poké-Body would normally hold the most promise for a card, but this one simply blocks Confusion.  Nice, but unlikely to help most of the time.  The name/effect combination fits general country music themes (especially on an equine Pokémon), but that isn’t the obvious Johnny Cash reference.  It’s the attack, Ring of Fire.  That is perhaps Johnny Cash’s most famous song.  The attack named after it requires (RCC) and does 50 damage, Burning the Defending Pokémon and preventing it from retreating during your opponent’s next turn.  Evolving sheds both Burn and the retreat blocking effect, as would use of a Trainer like Switch, so the attack has to rely its damage.  50 for (RCC) is a hair low for an “end of the line” Stage 1 Pokémon, but at least not by more than 10 or 20 points.  It redeems the attack a little that it can use Double Colorless Energy to speed things up.  This is the only attack it has, so it needs to come quickly.

 

There are three other Rapidash.  Technically there is a fourth, but it is Rapidash E4, so it is a Basic Pokémon and doesn’t compete for the same slots in the deck.  I’ll be brief: if you are running Rapidash at all, you’re going to run the version from Arceus due to its anti-Pokémon SP Poké-Body.  I don’t think that card is good enough to anchor a deck, and would probably only be run as a 2-2 line, meaning you wouldn’t even use this version for facing down non-SP decks.  If you did decide to build a deck around this, go with the Arceus set’s version of Ponyta, as it has an attack that lets you search out and Evolve into Rapidash for a single Energy.  The Triumphant Ponyta is vanilla and underpowered.

 

Like so many cards reviewed lately, it actually is pretty good for Limited play, mostly because it is protected from Confusion (which is more dangerous when it does show up), only needs one actual Fire Energy (making it easier to run with other types), inflicts a Special Condition (Burn), and most importantly, shuts off the ability to retreat, even if it is just through an attack.  Retreating is very important in Limited, as it often will be used as a form of Prize denial.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 1.75/5 

Limited: 3.75/5


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