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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Heatran Lv. X

Stormfront

Date Reviewed: September 7, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.67
Limited: 1.25

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

Combos With:
 

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Heatran LV X (Stormfront)

 

Hello, and welcome to a brand new week of Pojo’s Pokémon CotD. Today we go zooming back to the days of Stormfront to take a look at a card we missed first time round. Don’t forget to check back in another two years to read my review of Double Colourless Energy (‘_^).

 

The card in question, Heatran LV X, is one that I have very mixed feelings about. On the one hand it gives an amazing combo-tastic boost to an awful lot of Fire decks from the good (Charizard AR), to the bad (Typhlosion GS), to the downright ugly (Magcargo UD). On the other, the difficulties of getting it and keeping it in play are massive. I suppose that is the card designer’s idea of ‘balance’. Unfortunately it’s my idea of being very, very annoying.

 

But let’s take a look at the good stuff first.

 

Heatran LV X comes with no attacks, and a substantial 120 HP. What it does have is both a PokePower AND a PokeBody. The PokeBody, Heat Metal, prevents Pokémon from wriggling out of the Burn Status Condition by evolving, de-evolving, or Levelling up. What’s more, it also means that every Burn flip is treated as tails, guaranteeing you an extra 20 damage between turns. Obviously, this is a fantastic bonus for any deck that can reliably inflict Burn. Blaziken PL is an obvious partner here, but Magmortar SV and Houndoom Prime are other possibilities. It’s a decent effect, but the PokePower, Heatwave is if anything even more useful.

 

Heatwave basically means that, if your Fire or Metal Pokémon has to discard any Basic energy in order to attack, you can return up to two of them to that Pokémon. This Power is extremely relevant as many Fire and Metal Pokémon have Energy-discarding attacks. Once again, it works extremely well with Blaziken PL and its Fire Spin attack, but it can also help out cards like Infernape MD and Charizard AR. Most of the Metal Pokémon that discard are a bit rubbish to be honest (Dialga PL anyone?), but there are a couple of Magnezone you could try it with, including the rather snazzy LV X.

 

So . . . how come this isn’t a staple in every Fire/Metal/Burn deck around then? Well, partly because getting it into play and on the Bench is a nightmare. Being a LV X, it needs to be active to Level up, which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the abysmal Retreat cost of FOUR! Yep, that’s right . . . you are going to need plenty of Switches/Warp Points/flippy Level Max in your deck if you want to use Heatran LV X, and you will have to hope you draw into them and that you aren’t Trainer Locked. But there is another big problem too. With its huge Retreat cost and its complete inability to attack (the Basic Heatrans are terrible), Heatran LV X is an obvious target for being dragged active (Luxray GL LV X, Blaziken FB and Pokémon Reversal will all do the job nicely). Your opponent can then happily snipe away at your Bench with Garchomp C LV C or Gengar SF, while you sit there helpless and praying that you top deck a Warp Point.

 

All of this means that Heatran LV X is the kind of card you think about when making decks, but which almost never makes it into the final build (Typhlosion Prime is a quicker option, and that’s a Stage 2!). It’s slow, clumsy, and very needy in terms of the demands it makes on your deck space. If you even manage to get it out, it will likely cost you just as many games as it will win you.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 2 (Fantastic abilities, but recent formats have not been kind to slow, combo-orientated cards)

Limited: 1.25 (almost useless, I should think)

 

Combos with . . .

 

Loads of options. Blaziken PL is probably the best all-round choice.

virusyosh

Hello again, Pojo readers! Today we are taking a bit of a break from our HS Undaunted reviews to review a Lv. X card that we missed from Stormfront. Today's Card of the Day is Heatran Lv. X.

Heatran Lv. X is a Level-Up Pokemon, obviously being leveled up from Heatran. 120 HP is pretty good for a Leveled Up Basic, although Water Weakness (x2!) definitely will hurt if you're up against Gyarados, Kingdra, or even the random Rain Dance deck. Sadly, Heatran Lv. X has no resistance, and an absolutely terrible Retreat Cost of 4. Use a Switch or Warp Point, seriously.

Heatran Lv. X is interesting in that it doesn't have any attacks, but instead has a Poke-Power and a Poke-Body, each with fairly good effects. However, this also means that you have to rely on your non-Lv. X Heatran for offense. There are a few Heatrans available right now in the MD-On format: two from LA, one from AR, and one from Pokemon Rumble. If you are trying to figure out which one to go with, I would recommend the AR one and maybe the Fire-type Heatran from LA, as these seem to have the best synergy with this card.

The Poke-Body, Heat Metal, makes it so that your opponent can't remove the Burn condition when they evolve, devolve, or Level Up their Active Pokemon, and their Burn flip is always treated as tails, meaning they will take 20 damage each time the Burn flip happens. This is fairly good as the Burn damage adds up quickly, however most of the time your opponent will simply try to find some way to get their Active out of danger, such as retreating, Switch, Warp Point, or Super Scoop Up. Thus, in order to get the most out of this power, you may want to lock down Trainers and stop your opponent from retreating. Vileplume from Undaunted can lock down Trainers, and Victreebel from the upcoming HS Triumphant (Japanese Clash at the Summit) increases your opponent's Active's retreat cost by 2, and has an attack that inflicts a Burn. However, since that card isn't coming out for a while and two Stage 2s and a Lv. X are hard to set up effectively, you may want to look for another combo. Houndoom Prime is a good partner to Heatran Lv. X, as it can Burn your opponent's Active every turn if you flip well, applying a lot of pressure on your opponent.

The Poke-Power, Heat Wave, is also very useful, but in a completely different way than Heat Metal. Heat Wave allows you to put up to 2 basic Energy cards back onto your Fire or Metal Pokemon if they discarded them during an attack that they used this turn, but only if Heatran is benched. Many Fire Pokemon have powerful attacks that require huge amounts of discard, and putting up to two basic Fire Energy back can be excellent for using a huge attack every turn. Additionally, this Heatran pairs really well with Magnezone Lv. X, which discards all of the Lightning and Metal attached to it each turn to do 80 damage and inflict automatic Paralysis. With Heat Wave, as long as the Lightning and Metal are basic, these get replenished every turn, dealing significant damage to your opponent and locking them down with Paralysis. It can even work with Charizard AR's Burning Tail attack if you choose to use Heatran in your Charizard deck.

Modified: 3/5 Heatran Lv. X has so much versatility, that it may be able to find its way into a few rogue decks. Fire isn't generally played that much, but Heatran can possibly end up being a valuable asset by allowing you to use many Pokemon that will probably surprise your opponent. Then again, the Pokemon it supports generally tend to be a bit on the slow side, so that could be a problem against faster builds.

Limited: 1/5 There aren't any Heatrans in Stormfront, so using this in your Limited deck would be pretty useless.

Combos With: Houndoom Prime, Charizard AR, Magnezone Lv. X


Otaku

Just when you think it’s safe… Heatran Lv.X appears!  Apparently it slipped through the cracks and someone thinks it is worth a second look.  So for cutting how many Heatran you can run pretending to be a Stage 1 Pokémon, you’ll bump Heatran up to 120 HP.  That’s a small bump which is appreciated but not apt to make the card.  Water Weakness is pretty traditional, and something to watch since Water rarely lacks a strong deck.  The lack of Resistance is annoying but not crippling though the four Retreat can be: make sure your deck runs multiple options for getting it out of the Active position. 

Heatran Lv.X has the unusual combination of a Poké-Body and a Poké-Power.  The Poké-Body, Heat Metal, makes Burned a lot more attractive a Special Condition: it can’t be shaken by evolving or devolving and coin flips for Burned are automatically treated as “tails”.  So anything your opponent has that you afflict with Burn needs your opponent to use a card to heal the condition away or switch/retreat to the Bench to shake the Special Condition, and if your opponent doesn’t then Burn will place two damage counters on that Pokémon between turns.  That’s a pretty fat 40 points worth of damage before your turn rolls around again (and since its damage counter placement, effects that block damage won’t protect). 

Heatwave also looks potent: although it is only good for one use during the end of your turn, if Heatran is on your Bench you get to attach up to two basic Energy cards to a Fire or Metal Pokémon that discard said Energy cards for their attack.  While they have greatly restricted what you can target, thankfully it is limited to what you’d consider the most likely discard target from the most likely method for Fire Pokémon. 

Using this card can be very tricky: Heatran Lv.X has to be on the Bench for the Poké-Power to work but to Level Up a Pokémon that Pokémon has to be Active!  So you have to use a card to shift this card to the Bench.  At least if you make it a Bench sitter, you don’t have to worry about the lackluster attacks of the Heatran you’ll have to Level Up from.  This is easier to run than a Stage 2 Pokémon like Typhlosion Prime… but you get what you pay for (at least in game terms – I don’t know the current card prices).  Fire’s big advantage right now is courtesy of Ninetales with Roast Reveal: a Poké-Power that discards Fire Energy to draw three cards.  Heatran can’t get that Energy back but Typhlosion can.  Also, Lv.X cards in general can lead to embarrassing ruling issues.  Of course a good player will know all those subtle nuances but in a stressful tournament setting, it is much more challenging to remember those finer points.  Burned can still be shed with the right Trainers, so you can’t rely on that for the win, either.  You need a deck that benefits from both effects to justify running this card. 

Ratings 

Modified: 3/5 – It can do two useful tricks, but not so well.  In the end, I consider it a little above average. 

Limited: X/5 – This is awkward: it isn’t in a set alongside a plain Heatran, and as a Lv.X Pokémon it both needs its plain counterpart and uses said counterparts attacks.  Honestly, it doesn’t look too good for any of them: only a single version has a weak Burn attack that won’t justify it and Heatwave won’t work on itself. 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  I usually add new stuff on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;)


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