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Megaman



Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Magmar #20

Dragons Exalted

Date Reviewed: Oct. 3, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.50
Limited: 2.75

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Magmar (Dragons Exalted)

Poor Magmar. Before he got an Evolution, he was the star of the show. He may not have got any really good cards since Fossil, but at least the possibility was there. Since Generation IV introduced all the new evos, Magmar has simply become just another evolving Basic, a card that is necessary if you want to get Magmortar on the table.

I suppose you can still see Magmar’s origins in his relatively high HP for a Pokémon that evolves. 80 HP might not look anything special these days, but you are unlikely to have it KO’d on the first turn unless your opponent pulls off something special. Water Weakness isn’t too bad right now, with only Empoleon DEX really threatening it, but if Blastoise/Keldeo-EX decks prove popular in the future, then Fire could be a Type in trouble. The Retreat cost of two is a bit of an inconvenience: you will only want to pay it in a dire emergency.

Magmar has two attacks and, unfortunately, they are both extremely vanillish. The first, Beat, does 10 for a single Energy of any Colour, while the second, Magma Punch, does 50 for two Fire and a Colourless. Both are pretty unappealing and fail to offer much value for your investment. The best you can say about them is that Beat offers a way to get some quick damage on the board which may or may not prove useful later in the game. As for Magma Punch . . . well, if you can’t evolve Magmar before you attach three Energy to it, there is something very wrong with the way your deck is working.

All Magmar really has to offer is enough HP to take a first turn hit before he evolves. Will you ever want to do that in a tournament setting though? That’s a question we shall try and answer tomorrow.

Rating

Modified: 1.75 (solid, but uninspiring evolving Basic)

Limited: 3 (solid and uninspiring has a place here)

virusyosh

Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Fire-type Pokemon that was originally in Generation I, but later received an evolution in Generation IV. Today's Card of the Day is Magmar from Dragons Exalted.
 
Magmar is a Basic Fire Pokemon. Ho-Oh-EX is the only commonly played Fire Pokemon these days, as since it is used as a combo engine for various ways, it is highly unlikely that Magmar and Ho-Oh will see play in the same deck. Of course, if Magmortar ever gets very popular, Magmar will be an auto-include. 80 HP is very good for an evolving Basic, allowing Magmar to make a mid-sized hit before going down. Water Weakness is problematic against Empoleon and the rare Kyurem, but you shouldn't have to worry about it too much. Magmar also has no Resistance and a Retreat Cost of 2, which can be easily paid in a pinch.
 
Magmar has two vanilla attacks: Beat, which does 10 damage for a single Colorless Energy, and Magma Punch, which does 50 damage for two Fire and a Colorless. Neither of these attacks are anything spectacular, but can see better use in Limited, where the steady damage is always appreciated.
 
Modified: 2/5 This Magmar is the only Modified-legal Magmar right now, so if you're playing Magmortar, you must use this one. In a deck not running Magmortar, don't even bother, as Magmar's vanilla attacks and middling stats do nothing to differentiate it from its competition.
 
Limited: 3/5 Magmar is simply average here. Both Beat and Magma Punch are solid but unspectacular, although 80 HP is still good on a Basic. It's just a shame that Magmar can't do something better, as it's a very straightforward, slightly lackluster Basic attacker. If you're running Fire and/or pull a Magmortar, Magmar can be useful, although look out for Magma Punch's double Fire requirement.

Jebulous Maryland Player

Magmar is a Basic Fire Pokemon with 80 HP.  It has a weakness of Water and a retreat cost of 2.  It is searchable by Level Ball.
 
'Beat' costs 1 colorless energy and does 10 damage. Really?  Magmar, doing 10 for 1 energy... at least make it 20.  Don't those tiny Pokemon do the same kind of attacks?  Definitely not fitting for Magmar.
 
'Magma Punch' costs 2 Fire and 1 colorless energy.  It does 50 damage.
 That's more like it... wait... no, it's still bad.  So many Pokemon do more damage for 3 energy.  At least an effect could be thrown in there.
 
Honestly this seems like a watered down card.  It's like they were thinking 'Oh, well it evolves, so that makes it okay to make this guy not good.'  Maybe one day it'll have a good card.
 
 
Modified: 1/5
Limited: 2/5
Combo's With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Otaku

Intro

Stats

Magmar is a Basic Pokémon, but it shouldn’t be; you see when the Pokémon was first introduced in the video games, it was a Basic Pokémon there. The same holds true for the TCG. Eventually the video games gave us a Pokémon that came “before” Magmar; Magby. Understandably, to keep things functional in both the TCG and the video games, Magby Evolving to Magmar got special rules.

Not understandable is why with all the video game generational “breaks” where older games aren’t directly compatible anyway and with set rotations where there was no overlap, is why this hasn’t been “fixed”. Adding a “pre-Evolution” shouldn’t be a major game mechanic, it should be a “patch”: the developers realized that it would be “cool” to have a lower form and that what was once a Basic Pokémon should now be a Stage 1.

We haven’t had a Magmar in the Black & White family of sets before now, and we still have no Magby, ergo this would have been the time to fix this for this Evolution line and several others in the TCG; I don’t know the video games enough to know when the best time was for those to change, but in both cases it just needs to be done. Incompatibility (or at least odd interactions with) older cards aren’t stopping things like the revamp of “Fossil” Pokémon, after all.

So with that off my chest, again, Magmar is a Basic Pokémon. This is beneficial since this makes it easy to play than Stage 1 or 2 Pokémon, and until you Evolve it you can even tap support for Basic Pokémon. Being a Fire-Type doesn’t really help it out right now, though; few Fire decks see play and the ones I am familiar with probably don’t need Magmar, plus hitting for Fire Weakness isn’t a high priority for now (but that will likely change in the future).

I am not seeing anything in way of true Fire-Type support either; support for the basic Energy-Type and for the “Burn” Special Condition, but not the Type itself, plus of the Support I mentioned, few if any are really a presence on the competitive scene. This is unfortunate for Magmar.

Magmar has 80 HP; not an easy OHKO, especially first or second turn or if resources are scarce as they can be late game, but many decks can dole out 80 damage a turn reliably, if not more. The consolation is this makes the Water Weakness largely irrelevant; Magmar would be OHKOed anyway. Since Magmar does Evolve, this goes from crippling to just a vulnerability, however; ideally it won’t even be Active (and thus easy to hit full force) unless it is acting at bait.

The lack of Resistance is so common and the HP low enough that it wouldn’t have helped Magmar a lot, but it still would have been nice and been of some benefit. The two Retreat finishes off the Stats, and it is too low for Heavy Ball to search out and too high for Skyarrow Bridge to completely eliminate, though dropping it to one is still useful until you Evolve.

Effects

Two attacks for Magmar; “Beat” is pure vanilla scoring 10 points of damage for (C). This is not only uninspired, but downright weak for modern standards, the kind of thing we see (still to my chagrin) on twice Evolving Basic Pokémon. “Magma Punch” comes closer, as for (RRC) you do a flat, reliable 50 points of damage, but Magmar is a Basic Pokémon that Evolves only once; I still expect more. If the second attack required only (CCC) then at least this could be a so-so Fire “splash” for some decks, which isn’t too bad for an Evolving Basic Pokémon.

Usage

If you insist on running Magmortar in Modified, this is your only choice. Notice how we haven’t reviewed Magmortar (BW: Dragons Exalted 21/124) yet; you really shouldn’t have a reason to run Magmar then. If you’re curious, I’ll point out that Magmortar has the same Type, Weakness, and lack of Resistance as Magmar; the Weakness just matters more since you can’t Evolve again to try and escape it.

Magmortar also has 120 HP, just enough to not be an easy OHKO mid-game, but that means I have to point out that Water-Types that see play probably can score the OHKO easily, plus next set looks to finally give us the long awaited bruiser of a Water-Type deck. It has a Retreat of three, which is a pain to pay, but we do have alternatives to paying it, and it does allow it to be searched out via Heavy Ball; this in turn makes me wish they had given Magmar a bigger Retreat, at least to a degree.

Magmortar has two attacks, and the good news is that they are somewhat friendly to being used off-Type. The first requires (R), hits for 40, and reduces the damage Magmortar takes next turn by 20 after Weakness and Resistance. Not good, but not useless. Unfortunately the second attack, Flamethrower, does a slightly weak 90 for (RCC) and requires discarding an Energy attached to Magmortar; for the Energy and the damage, no discard should have been required. Still, since only one Energy requirement of each attack needs to be (R), perhaps in the future there will be enough Fire Weakness to justify running Magmortar. For now though, only use it for “fun” decks.

So it is a “no” for Modified, and I’ll be straight to the point, a “no” for Unlimited. Limited is probably the only place where Magmar is worth playing, especially with Magmortar. It is the usual reasons; most Evolved Pokémon can’t be played in Limited since they are pulled without their lower Stages, so the average HP and damage output is lower.

That means the HP and damage done by Magmar is much better. Unfortunately since its first attack only doe 10 (which is still weak) and the second needs two sources of Fire Energy, you can’t easily “splash” it… unless you also pulled Magmortar. This keeps it from being a good Fire-Type splash, but if you have room for it (probable) and to run basic Fire Energy as a good chunk of your deck’s Energy (probably at least a quarter, maybe even a third of the usual 16 to 20 Energy cards of a limited deck, even for just one Magmar), it is a good pull.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1/5

Limited: 3/5

Summary

Magmar shows exactly why Evolved Pokémon struggle so much; the high damage-to-Energy ratio in an Energy acceleration rich format is the biggest problem right now, but throughout almost the entire game the real problem is that “Evolving” Pokémon are almost always filler, a penalty inflicted upon their later Stages. Very few have provided something useful to the decks built around their final forms, which is exactly how you balance out non-Evolving Basic versus Stage 1 versus Stage 2.


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