Hello, and welcome to another week of Pojo’s CotD. This
week, we will be mopping up some of the rare holos from
the HGSS set.
We start with Arcanine: one of, if not the, best-looking
cards in the set. Arcanine’s design is based on a
shisa, a kind of guardian lion-dog from oriental
mythology, and the artwork captures that perfectly. The
inclusion of a Fire Stone in the picture is a nice touch
too. But is Arcanine binder candy, or a top tier
contender? Let’s take a look.
Arcanine has pretty good (for a Stage 1) 110 HP, a x2
Weakness to Water, which is one of the worst to have
with Gyarados and Palkia G around, and a fairly harsh
retreat cost of [C][C]. It doesn’t have any Powers or
Bodies, so it will be relying solely on its attacks if
it is to make any kind of impact.
Disappointingly, Arcanine’s two attacks are both pure
vanilla. Sharp Fang does 50 for [R][C], and Fire Mane 90
for [R][C][C][C]. The costs are not too bad, and are
helped out by the existence of Double Colourless Energy
and the Growlithe from Rising Rivals, which has an
Energy acceleration attack (Stoke). In theory, you could
have an Arcanine out by your second turn, doing 90
damage, or 110 with Expert Belt . . . provided you were
lucky enough to draw into exactly what you needed.
Is that enough though? Well, no, it isn’t. For vanilla
damage to be acceptable, it has to be fast and
consistent, as well as hitting some big numbers, and
this, together with the Weakness is what hurts
Arcanine’s chances of seeing play. When you look at what
other HGSS cards like Donphan and Jumpluff can do for
one Energy, then Arcanine’s attacks don’t look like much
of a bargain.
Ironically, an amazing-looking card turns out to be . .
. well . . . extremely uninteresting from a player’s
point of view. It’s mediocre in a format where mediocre
just doesn’t cut it.
Modified: 2 (good looking but very boring . . . insert
your own joke here)
Limited: 3.25 (decent HP and very usable attacks)