Despite Legendary Pokémon spanning
multiple generations getting the Pokémon
EX treatment in BW: Next Destinies,
the Legendary Bird Pokémon of Gen 1 were
released as standard Basic Pokémon.
Will they be on par with the
fifth Generation Legendary Pokémon that,
even without being Pokémon EX, shaped
First and foremost,
Moltres is your classical Basic
Pokémon; not a Pokémon EX, and certainly
not a Pokémon
While I realize you have to be
able to read since you’re reading this
very review, I find it so easy to rush
and compare the standard fare to the
hyped up extremes of the latest fad
Pokémon; a straight up comparison
obviously isn’t accurate given the
special rules that apply to the two
As a Basic Pokémon,
Moltres naturally enjoys minimal
deck space requirements and the ease of
simply being played from hand as long as
there is room for it.
So fundamental, and yet this is
what makes Basic Pokémon so powerful.
On top of all of that, this is a
format where Basic Pokémon are receiving
some of the best supporting cards
they’ve had in a long time!
As a Fire-Type,
Moltres doesn’t get much Type
Fire Weakness is not especially
common, though you’ll see it on an
off-type Pokémon splashed into a more
Cards explicitly supporting the
Fire-Type are non-existent this format.
120 HP is superb for a Basic
Pokémon, just 10 shy of the maximum
printed HP score for them.
Sadly, the raw attack power of
most modern Pokémon means
Moltres is still not safe from a
OHKO; the most vicious “donk” strategies
should even take it down first turn. At
least it falls in one shot only to the
strongest attackers, and stands an
excellent chance of sticking around for
a second turn if properly supported.
I am still largely unaware of Water
decks making regular, successful
showings at tournaments, you can’t
mistake it for a “safe” Weakness. I
admit, I am once again behind on the
latest tournament results, so if you
know there was a new (or revived)
Water-deck surging to victory, you don’t
need this warning.
If the status quo remains the
same, there is the ease of splashing
(pardon the pun) a Water-Type basic
Pokémon into your average deck, and our
format still has enough strong Fire-Type
decks to make that tempting.
We might even have a viable Water
deck or two hiding in plain sight, given
the false alarms and failed hype so many
Water-Type Pokémon have received and
tendency for players to try and develop
a “secret” deck and save it its debut
for large scale events.
Fighting-Types aren’t seen that
regularly now outside of being added to
a multi-Type deck or as an off-type
splash, though you might run into an
107/123) deck or someone experimenting
with something new (or something old
with some new tricks), as Fighting is
only slightly less overdue than Water to
make a new showing.
In that case you’ll enjoy
Fighting Resistance -20.
It isn’t a huge advantage, but it
is an advantage.
has a two Energy Retreat Cost, which
functionally is about average: many
decks will have that attached and can
just barely get by with discarding it.
Expect to run something to help
out or be prepared to let
Moltres go down fighting.
I do dislike having more than a
single Energy Retreat cost on an avian
Pokémon, but here it is justified by the
rest of the stats, so unless the effects
are garbage two should do.
has two attacks, Searing Flame and Fire
They have a promising start: at a
glance you can see both could make use
Double Colorless Energy, and the
solitary Fire Energy requirement in each
could make for an off-type splash.
Unfortunately, there is some
reason for concern.
Searing Flame requires (RCC),
three total Energy, and in the current
format that’s a bit slow. You get 50
points of damage and automatic Burn in
return for the investment.
In a format of fast damage, that
isn’t much, and this is the card’s
Still, especially if you’re
opponent is unlucky and flips “tails” on
the Burn check between turns, it can be
useful in the right circumstances.
Fire Blast looks great good at a glance;
I usually allow 10 points of damage per
(C) requirement, and 15 per specific
Energy requirement (like needing an (R)
Energy), plus if there is a discard cost
you might as well add it in as if it was
part of the Energy requirement.
The last bit is because if the
attacker survives it’d actually expend
much more than the initial investment,
but the short lifespan of Pokémon means
just two shots is about average.
becomes (RRCCC), or 60 points worth of
The attack actually does 90
points of damage, so 30 extra points of
damage must compensate for this being
the final Stage (and ultimate “big”
attack) of the card and that even with
Energy acceleration, four Energy is
simply a significant investment.
Unfortunately, since you
have to discard an Energy providing
(R), the second attack is expensive in
an off-color splash.
Of course you’d probably be
exploiting Weakness and thus a Searing
Flame followed by a Fire Blast (if
needed) wouldn’t be bad; you just won’t
be able to reliably dominate like you
would if the “big” attack didn’t
threaten to discard what is likely a
rare source of Fire Energy in your deck
Prism Energy or
Fire Energy cards actually have some
great support, and something more than a
few people would classify under
“Fire-Type” support, but I believe the
term is best reserved for support that
actually is based on the Pokémon’s Type.
So here is where I’ll mention
that in a dedicated
Fire Energy using deck,
Moltres performs well... just not as
well as the Pokémon that already owns
Reshiram (Black & White
26/114, 113/114; BW: Next Destinies
21/99; BW Promos BW004, BW23).
really only makes sense as an off-type
splash, which is why that specific Fire
Energy discard requirement hurts it so
Reshiram EX (BW: Next Destinies
22/99, 95/99) are clearly better picks
for the “big Basic attacker” role for
the actual Fire decks I’ve seen, as the
Energy acceleration from
Typhlosion Prime make such discards
Even when adding a Fire-Type
Pokémon to a deck that has little or no
sources of Fire Energy, those two still
are likely candidates, as
Reshiram can use two of any Energy
for its Outrage attack, and
Reshiram EX needs just one source of
Fire Energy for its first attack (and
only two for its big attack).
Still, if you can’t afford to
wait around for Outrage or the two
Prizes a Pokémon EX gives up,
Moltres has potential as all
previous big, Basic Fire Pokémon save
Reshiram are smaller, and
Victini (BW: Noble Victories
15/101) can hit harder for less (and
even that is because of a conditional
restriction on the attack).
I won’t mince words about Unlimited:
Moltres is even less likely to be
First you just don’t generally
need this kind of attacker in a deck,
and if you do there are quite a few
That being said, it does have
nice, solid stats, so I won’t it isn’t
As for Limited, it is a great
As long as you can afford to run
Fire Energy, its impressive HP
should last several turns.
You may even be okay if you have
to power it up while Active.
Just remember to save Fire Blast
as your parting shot before
Moltres is about to be KOed, unless
Fire Energy is your deck’s main
Searing Flame should do nicely
most of the time anyway, as all Special
Conditions are more effective here.
Another Pokémon that is unlikely to see
worthwhile play outside of Limited,
Moltres really does come close.
In fact, it is probably one of
the best designed
Moltres we’ve seen, though a little
While there have been better,
they’ve been non-standard Pokémon (like
the discontinued Pokémon ex, not to be
confused with modern Pokémon EX).
Moltres has near perfect stats and
this is probably the second best format
in which to be a Basic Pokémon, but
Reshiram really set the bar high.
In fact, I’d say
Moltres really is close to being
“just right”, and
Reshiram (amongst many other
Pokémon) is simply overpowered.
Please check out my eBay sales by
It’s me whittling away at about
two decades worth of attempted
collecting, spanning action figures,
comic books, TCGs, and video games.
Exactly what is up is a bit
Pojo.com is in no way responsible
for any transactions; Pojo is merely
doing me a favor by letting me link at
the end of my reviews.