Today we look at
Volcarona, and since I had some
plans get changed and I need to conserve
time, I tried to be more concise.
is a Fire-Type, which is really a mixed
blessing: we have some amazing Fire-Type
Pokémon in the format right now... so
amazing that they are crowding out
almost everything else.
As a Stage 1, the card will
struggle in the Basic favoring format,
but at least it is faster than a Stage
2, or just as fast with fewer resources
in the case of
Rare Candy use.
110 HP was great, but now is at best
average for a Stage 1.
Odds are it will take something
Zekrom to OHKO it outside of
Weakness and unaided, but many decks can
and will have small tricks like
PlusPower to bring it into OHKO
range. Still, it isn’t a guaranteed OHKO
for the majority of decks so it isn’t
bad, just not good.
Just another annoying example of
power creep, I am afraid.
Water Weakness will allow most
Water Pokémon with even half-serious
attacks to score a OHKO against
Volcarona, so mind them.
No Resistance is the worst
Resistance simple as that, so we will
A single Energy Retreat Cost is
good; easy to pay and recover from.
has two attacks, the first being Fiery
For (R) it hits for 30 while
allowing you to attach a Basic Energy
from your discard pile to one of your
Pokémon in play.
Just like the cards stats, this
is a middle-of-the-road attack: extra
Energy attachments are useful, and the
Energy Type (color) is not restricted.
You are still burning an attack
and the most useful kind of Energy to
recycle (Special Energy cards) is not a
The second attack is Heatwave for (RCC)
and doing 60 points of damage with Burn
(no flips, discards, or the like
With rising HP and damage
outputs, this is a bit weak but not bad.
The two attacks have some synergy
with each other, since you can either
use Fiery Dance to help a
Volcarona build itself faster, or
attack while building something on the
Bench and then sacrifice a
Double Colorless Energy if it is
worth it for a final, bigger attack
Volcarona is KOed.
With the speed of the current
format and other Energy acceleration
options, that doesn’t seem worthwhile:
this card really needed a big, big final
Before moving onto the attacks, let me
If you are having trouble getting
a good night’s sleep… wait, sorry that
is something else.
Larvesta is a reasonably big Basic
We have two options right now,
both from Noble Victories: 19/101
The former has 70 HP, while the
latter has 80.
Both are Water Weak, lack
Resistance, and bogged down by two
Energy Retreat Costs (high for a Basic
Pokémon). The fastest, hardest hitting
decks will OHKO either of these, some
even first turn, but you might get two
turns out of them, especially against a
deck not known for rapid set-ups.
19/101 can do 20 for (R), though
you must flip a coin when you do and
discard an Energy attached to said
Larvesta if the result is “tails”.
20/101 does 30 for (CC) with 10
points of damage to itself.
I say go with the 80 HP version
and consider not attacking:
Larvesta is just there to Evolve.
If you actually think hitting
Fire Weakness opens the door for OHKOs,
20/101 still wins out even with the self
If I felt I must use it in a deck, I
might see if opening with this card
could let me skip other forms of Energy
After all, the attack can attach
any Type of basic Energy from the
discard pile, so while you’ll want some
Fire Energy (or maybe
Rainbow Energy), you can add in
another Type or two fairly easily.
Sticking with just
Fire Energy (and cards that make
good use of it), you might just barely
be able to make a go by focusing on
Basics and Stage 1 Pokémon that only
need the slightest bit of acceleration.
Volcarona is meant to be your opener
(well, second turn and later) and to go
down pecking at the opponent while
setting up something else.
Possibly even two or even three
Volcarona, with the deck focusing on
and maybe even
Black Belt later on, punishing an
unwary opponent for taking a big lead.
Off the top of my head, while I’d
still be using
Reshiram this could then include
Ninetales with Roast Reveal and
Victini with V-Create (or any hard
hitting Basic that can get away with
Fire Energy) and just strive for a
I can’t say this seems stable or
preferable to existing Fire decks,
So I really believe that
if there is a use for this card, it
is Energy acceleration for something
that can abuse discarding basic Energy
to re-attach and doesn’t have any other
Electrode with Energymite can be
quite risky since it doesn’t guarantee
any cards and costs you both a Prize and
shrinks your deck by seven cards (Durant
decks love that last part, and seem to
be reasonably popular right now).
Still I can’t think of any truly
good combos to turn into a deck, since
with the ridiculous damage yields and
speed we are looking at
Volcarona probably is doing good to
attach two basic Energy before it is
KOed… unless your opponent just decides
Pokémon Catcher to force up whatever
you are trying to power up.
What I have said for Modified applies
even more to Unlimited, where besides
decks that can win (or all but win)
first turn, you have even more Energy
acceleration options as well as some
amazingly Energy efficient attackers.
That just leaves no niche for
Volcarona in the format.
In the end there is one play to
play this card, and that is Limited,
where it should be amazing.
Yes you’ll need to run some
Fire Energy in your deck, but the
Larvesta are big Basic Pokémon and
you’ll have Energy acceleration for
everything else in the deck… at least if
you can discard that Energy first, on
top of a 110 HP Stage 1 that can hit for
60 while inflicting Burn, all of which
is much better here due to the
difficulty of getting Evolutions into
play to begin with.
Having two options for the Basic
Stage also helps, making it both a more
versatile line and easier to pull a
Another Pokémon to enjoy in Limited,
unless some hard counters are released
for the current top cards, making attack
based Energy acceleration worthwhile.
That actually isn’t
unprecedented, so keep an eye on this
card in case we are just waiting for the
last piece of a combo.
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here… unless you have been the last
few days: I hit a snag and so some new
auctions have been delayed.
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