With a new generation of Pokémon due to appear in the
next few months, I can’t help wondering if Torkoal is
going to get an Evolution, or maybe even a Baby form.
Who knows? It could become the Fire Blastoise!
But what we have for now is this hefty Fire Pokemon.
With 80 HP, it is durable for a Basic, not that it will
matter if it comes up against a Water Pokémon. The
Retreat cost of two isn’t great, but what do you expect?
Free Retreat on a Tortoise?!
Torkoal’s single attack, Flare, is not much use. For
[R][C] you get a vanilla 30 damage. You definitely won’t
want to be attaching Energy and attacking with him,
that’s for sure.
Luckily, Torkoal has something else to offer: it’s Hot
Snort PokePower (yes, that’s right, Hot Snort).
When you Bench Torkoal from your hand, you get to flip a
coin. If you get heads, the Defending Pokémon is Burned.
Now Special Conditions are . . . well, not very special
in this format. They are easily dealt with through
Retreat, Evolution, Poke Turn etc., but there are times
in which something like Burn can be useful. For example
against a Pokémon which is trying to tank (like Torterra
or Donphan). It can also be used to avoid Gengar SF’s
Fainting Spell, or combine with Blaziken FB LV X to
increase the amount of damage that card can do. The
problem is that Torkoal takes up valuable Bench space,
and only has a 50-50 chance of working. You could
combine it with Super Scoop Up, I suppose, but that’s
just more coin flip gambling.
The good news is that your opponent is unlikely to Power
Spray a flippy Power. The bad news (for Torkoal’s
playability) is that there are a couple of better
options when it comes to inflicting Burn from the Bench.
Magmortar SV is a Stage 1, but it has a coming-into-play
Power that will both Burn and Confuse. Blaziken PL
is even slower (it’s a Stage 2), but at least its Fire
Breath Power can be used every turn. Its attack is
In the end, the fact that there are better ways of doing
Torkoal’s job (assuming you need it done at all), means
that this Pokémon is not going to see play outside of a
Modified: 1.5 (it does something, but you have better
Limited: 2 (high HP, SSU in the set, nothing better to
put in your deck? Torkoal could be semi-useful)
Combos with . . .
Blaziken FB LV X
Mad Mattezhion Professor Bathurst League Australia
Torkoal (HS Unleashed)
Torkoal doesn't get much love, probably becuase it looks
dopey and coal burning is viewed as evil when we
consider what we are doing to the atmosphere and local
ecosystems with coal-fired power stations. Maybe we can
get a windmill or solar-powered Pokemon in the next
release with Black and White?
Moving on, Torkoal has 80 HP and Water weakness with a
retreat cost of 2. Healthy for a starter but actually
pretty much wasted on Torkoal, due to the fact you want
top play it from the hand after the match has already
started (if for some inexplicable reason you want to
play it at all).
Torkaol has an attack and a coming-into-play poke-power,
both of which seem underdone. Hot Snort is the amusingly
titled power, and does pretty much what it says on the
manual: makes you opponent snort all over the
cards.Actually, it allows you to flip a coin when you
play Torkoal from your hand onto your bench, and Burns
your opponent's Active if you get heads. Seriously,
would an auto burn be too much to ask? It's not like the
card will actually set your oppoent's hand on fire or do
anything even remotely broken without a flip. What
Now the attack. Assuming you mange to get the Burn
(which is easily removed and may not even do damage
anyway due to the flip) you can now do some more damage
with Flare. This is an old standard for Fire Pokemon,
and this time around you get 30 damage for RC. Truly,
this attack is not worth the effort, unless you think
you can make your opponent collapse a lung from laughing
so hard and have to forfeit the match.
Now that I have completely shredded Torkoal for being
such a waste of cardboard and animation, I feel obliged
to point out that I find Torkaol in general and this
card in particular to be hilarious. I even tried to play
the LA version for giggles, and did some surprising
things with it against a BlastCatty deck. Also, this
card may actually have a place in a Tier 1 deck!
Ridiculous as it seems, Torkoal could actually do okay
in a cheap version of a Blaziken FB/Heatran deck where
Burn leads to major damage. If Torkoal had auto-Burn and
the same attack for just R, I'd say it's a must have in
the deck but as it stands it is only for people who
can't get multiple copies of Blaziken PT. Still, I felt
I had to say something nice after I just **** all over
it, and the tears of laughter in my eyes have made me
generous. I dare people to play this card just for
giggles, come on and try it!
Modified: 2.5 (it possibly has a place in Blaziken/Blaziken
FB/Heatran decks, but probably only if you somehow
miraculously have empty space to fill)
Limited: 1.5 (leads to intense laughter and numerous
in-jokes, but not even remotely playable)
Combos with: Blaziken FB, Heatran Lv X
can probably guess from my
review Monday, I grew up on
Ninja Turtles, and even if I hadn’t, turtles are one
of my favorite animals.So I am a bit of a
Torkoal fan.Not huge, but as a whole I like it more than some
doesn’t seem to get much love.I blame ignorance.The Pokémon Company has this need to require
Pokémon to “Evolve”.Since “Evolve” in Pokémon doesn’t mean anything
remotely like it means in the real world… yeah that’s
just an arbitrary decision that hurts all Basic Pokémon.Mad Mattezhion made
some comments in his review about the negative image of
coal burning.I grew up in a state that was big on both coal
and wind power (Iowa) and so I got to hear the pros and
cons of both sides and see them used firsthand, so that
never really occurred to me.
is also a third generation Pokémon.
By that point in
the Pokémon franchise, it was getting hard to remember
them all, let alone catch and effectively raise them
of my soap box, the actual
almost, almost is useful.80 HP is good for a Basic, even if it can’t
Evolve into a larger form.Water Weakness isn’t happy, but at least is
appropriate; just remember any Water Pokémon meant to
attack will be able to OHKO
Torkoal.The lack of Resistance is disappointing but at
only has a two Energy Retreat Cost.This isn’t a good thing per se, but at least it
isn’t higher given its solid HP and turtle status.
attack is regrettable: just 30 damage for (RC).
They could have
at least just given it Smokescreen so it had stalling
The Poké-Power is so close to making this worth playing:
Hot Snort let’s you Burn the opponent’s Active Pokémon,
but there are three catches: it’s a once-per-turn Poké-Power,
only works when you Bench
your hand, and requires a successful coin toss.The first two seems kind of redundant: most
effects that would return it to your hand would reset
the effect, and that’s the only way to use it more than
once-per-turn.No matter what, all three are overkill: Burn
isn’t that good.A little less restrictive and this might be a
nice way to give up some Bench space for a little extra
damage for your attacks.After all, Burn itself is easy enough to get rid
of and half the time does nothing between turns.
might be able to make some use of it in Limited play,
but if you do it might be better to consider it a
flippy Trainer that is awful
if it is your only opening Basic.
Sure if you pull
enough Fire Pokémon to justify running the Energy you
can, but no matter what you get, having a possibility of
Burning the Defending Pokémon
Whether it succeeds or fails, you can then save it for
when you have to sacrifice something to buy time.
also like to add I’ll be selling quite a bit of my
soon-to-be-former possessions on eBay.You can take a look
here at my first auction if you’re interested in
some SNES games.Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible
for this and was merely kind enough to let me mention
the auction here. ;)