A happy Friday dear reader!
We end the week with
Cobalion from Noble Victors,
As you can see from the scan at
the top of this page, this is the Full
While it is an attractive piece
of art, at the same time the underlying
piece of art feels almost boring while
it tries to look majestic.
It also seems disappointing when
you compare it to another Full Art card
like N, which enjoys different art than
the normal version besides being given
the Full Art treatment.
Still, it is far from bad and I
find it enjoyable to look at.
What about the underlying card?
First it is a Basic Pokémon, and
while it boggles the minds of many long
time players, Basic Pokémon are getting
some serious love (and support) in the
current and coming metagame.
Second it is a Metal-Type
With overall Resistance at least
seeming less common (I haven’t been able
to crunch the numbers lately), Metal
Resistance hasn’t shown up in the Black
& White set block, at least as of yet.
Weakness has on a few cards, and
fortunately they are ones that have at
least been important to attempted (or
currently being attempted) decks.
Pokémon such as
On top of all of that, being a
Metal-Type allows a Pokémon to use the
Special Energy version of
Metal Energy to soak damage, and
that is always a nice option to have.
The 120 HP is impressive and for current
Basic Pokémon second only to the likes
120 HP does mean that
Zekrom can OHKO it, but being a
Cobalion just as many options to
soak damage as
Zekrom has options to increase it,
and the defensive options are usually
A fully powered
Reshiram of course OHKOs it no
matter what thanks to this card’s Fire
Fire Weakness is unfortunate in
the current metagame, though if Water
decks finally catch on enough to douse
the enthusiasm for Fire, it will be only
of average concern.
I dislike dwelling on specific
examples, but those two set the tone:
hitting for 120 points of damage in a
single shot is not easy and most decks
will require combos to do it outside of
said Weakness, and even then at a
This card does enjoy a Resistance, and
in both the current and the upcoming
metagame, it looks to be important!
Psychic Resistance right now is
Gothitelle decks (amongst others),
and the pending
EX that has the various message
boards still buzzing may be a common
site for all decks soon, and when
combined with the rest of this card,
that -20 to Psychic damage is important!
With such good stats (even the oft
ignored Resistance), one might worry
Cobalion would be saddled with a
large Retreat Cost.
The cost is (CC), and that is a
bit big for a Basic Pokémon, but
ultimately is average: you don’t want to
pay two Energy to Retreat this card, and
should try to include some alternatives
to paying it, but if you really must you
will be able to, even if it means
Double Colorless Energy and using
them on this card solely to Retreat
during Trainer lock (unlikely, but I
want to stress you have options).
So what does this
It has two attacks, and
fortunately they are both good (though
The first is Energy Press, which
costs (MC) and hits for 20 damage plus
another 20 points of damage for each
Energy attached to the Defending
Most of the time, I’d expect to
hit for 40 or 60 points of damage using
It is overpriced if you’re
tagging opposing Pokémon with no Energy,
but that is offset by it being brutal on
Energy hogs, and the synergy it has with
the rest of the card.
The second attack is Iron Breaker, and
it is a part of that synergy.
Iron Breaker does have an
expensive (MMC) price tag, especially
when it only hits for 80 points of
Ah power creep: when this game
began getting 40 points of damage for a
similar energy investment was good!
Fortunately there is a great
effect added in: the Defending Pokémon
can’t attack during your opponent’s next
In isolation, the attack is again
just okay, and is only a little better
with access to the first attack.
One wonders if using (CC) and
(MCC) for the attacks would have broken
it, but at least Energy Press can be
easily splashed into other decks.
Still, let’s see how it all comes
is built like a tank.
Fire Pokémon might slag it, but
with access to the effects of
Eviolite and the Special Energy
Metal Energy, upwards of 60 points
of damage can be shrugged off each turn.
For offense, if an attack can KO
the Defending Pokémon, of course you use
Most of the time though, expect
to use Iron Breaker to half KO the
Defending Pokémon and then… see the
As I alluded to earlier, this card can
tap the Basic support currently in the
I already mentioned
Eviolite, and that is the main piece
Still the fact that you can use
Dual Ball (if you feel you can rely
on the coin flips averaging out), and
Revive can make it easy for three
Cobalion to act like six.
I here some talk (though my sample was
exceedingly small) about using the first
attack just for the purpose of
“splashing” a big Metal Basic Pokémon
into one’s deck.
While I said to only expect 40 to
60 damage from Energy Press that was
because I assumed it was being used
mostly as a lead in to Iron Breaker.
If it is the only attack you are
using, and you’re not just hitting
opponent’s that aren’t fully set-up, we
have many attackers with beefy costs,
and so 80 or 100 damage is within
reason, and 60 the probable minimum.
Being used as part of a comprehensive
strategy, I can definitely see some
soft-lock decks spring up.
Most Pokémon that Evolve will
Evolve pronto, so using that to dodge
the attack blocking effect of Iron
Breaker requires risking something
smaller that might be OHKOed anyway
(though a Pokémon being KOed will break
Switching out is an option
Switch most of the time), but if one
can get the right Bench-sitters you can
use Ability based healing (Royal Heal
Serperior) or at least damage
counter moving (Damage Swap
Reuniclus) while backing it all up
Vileplume and its Allergy Flower
This will be difficult, but if
you do one of these approaches your
opponent is in quite a bit of trouble as
you can build
Cobalion with multiple of the
Metal Energy, and maybe an
Eviolite to boot.
Doing 60 less damage every other
turn (and none in between) is quite a
steep slope to climb, and layering on
the above effects means you can deal
with even more damage (upwards of OHKO
or no KO).
You mostly need the Trainer
denial to protect whatever is helping
Cobalion, though it will help with
the soft lock as well (no using
So for Modified, I can think of at least
one viable strategy for it.
For Unlimited not so much: the
lock is too hard to initiate.
First there are of course First
Turn Win decks, then there is the brutal
speed curve of the format.
Since there are some small but
scrappy opponents, and many cards with
free Retreat Costs, you just can never
count on scoring the soft lock.
For Limited on the other hand,
the reduction of Trainers and Evolutions
that will see play makes this card even
more magnificent… though I’d hate to
actually use the Full Art version myself
for fear of damaging it.
If you can bring yourself to,
both attacks are just better due to the
difficulty of quickly setting up in this
Only avoid it here if you can’t
afford to run the
Metal Energy it needs.
A solid card that becomes formidable
with the right set-up,
Cobalion enjoys a great Type, HP
score, and two useful attacks.
Again, just find the right
back-up for it, or conversely use it to
back-up the correct decks.
I am still selling my old collectibles
Just a reminder that Pojo is in
no way responsible for any transactions,
and just being kind enough to let me
link to them.