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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Skarmory  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
April 10, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.50
Limited: 3.67

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Skarmory (Plasma Storm) 

According to Bulbapedia, Skarmory is responsible for more abductions of people and Pokémon in the games and anime than any other Pokémon. For some mysterious reason, they choose not to make a thing of Drifloon’s serial child-napping I guess (see the creepy flavour text for details). Another mystery is how a 100 lb metal bird can fly . . . but this is the Pokémon world we are talking about, where anything is possible. 

Skarmory is a Metal Type Team Plasma Basic. Plasma Pokémon are going to get more and more support in future, so that’s maybe something to bear in mind, though I don’t see how this card makes the best use of it exactly. The 90 HP is solid enough for an unevolving Basic, and will likely mean it survives the first turn (barring an amazing turn one for an opponent, usually involving Darkrai or Tornadus), which is good because it means that Skarmory will get to do its job at least once. 

But what is Skarmory’s job? Well, it certainly isn’t doing damage. For three Energy, two of which must be Metal, Steel Wing does a pathetic 40 damage while reducing damage it takes next turn by a pretty negligible 20 points. You won’t be taking any KOs with Skarmory or walling for very long with it, that’s for sure. Nope, the main attraction here is Cargo Jet, costing just a single Colourless Energy and enabling you to draw three cards at the cost of discarding a Team Plasma card from your hand.  

Skarmory is obviously intended to function as a starter in a dedicated Team Plasma deck which can manage the discard cost. Although drawing three is pretty good, Plasma decks don’t really exist at the moment as we simply don’t have enough of the relevant cards yet. That is all set to change with the release of the Plasma Freeze set in May, but even then Skarmory isn’t going to get a chance to shine as Plasma decks will have much better things to do on turn one (if you’re interested, look up spoilers for Thundurus-EX). In general, this format is too fast for starter Pokémon anyway, and when it does use them it is for guaranteed effects right then and there, like Emolga DRX’s Call for Family. Top decking three cards would have made for an amazing starter in previous formats, but now? Not so much. Not outside of Limited anyway. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.75 (a starter for a deck that doesn’t need one)

Limited: 4.25 (very good here – plenty of useless Plasma Pokémon to dump for lovely draw)

virusyosh


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're going to look at new version of a Generation II Pokemon. Today's Card of the Day is Skarmory from Plasma Storm.
 
Skarmory is a Basic Metal Team Plasma Pokemon. Metal is a great type to be right now in Modified, as Klinklang is a pretty popular archetype; as such, Skarmory may be able to fit into that deck. Additionally, Skarmory is a Team Plasma Pokemon, meaning that it gets Plasma support like Colress Machine, and could also potentially have a niche in a Team Plasma-based deck that could arise. 90 HP is pretty decent for a non-evolving, non-Pokemon-EX Basic, and Skarmory will hopefully be able to take at least one hit before going down in the early to mid-game. Fire Weakness is unfortunate, but not too bad right now; Psychic Resistance is good against Mewtwo-EX; and a Retreat Cost of 1 is easily paid for.
 
Skarmory has two attacks. Cargo Jet allows you to discard a Team Plasma card from your hand to draw 3 cards for a single Colorless Energy. I personally think this would have been much more useful as an Ability, as this sort of effect uses an attack on an effect that is even weaker than Team Plasma Grunt, a Supporter that doesn't see much play. As such, you'll want to be doing better things with your time in Modified. However, card draw is always good in Limited, so Skarmory is a great opener in that format if you manage to run a lot of Team Plasma cards. Steel Wing is Skarmory's form of offense, dealing a rather pathetic 40 damage for two Metal and a Colorless while also giving it 20 points of damage reduction during your opponent's next turn. There are two points to be made about this attack. First, three Energy, two of which have type requirements, is way too expensive for 40 damage in most cases. Second, Skarmory will likely be OHKO'd in the current Modified metagame regardless of this damage reduction, so you probably shouldn't be using it there. In Limited, Steel Wing is actually very nice, but still takes a little too long to power up. However, if you're running Metal, you could do much worse.
 
Modified: 1.25/5 Skarmory isn't totally useless in Modified, but it's close. Cargo Jet is worse than Team Plasma Grunt most of the time (and that card doesn't even see play), and Steel Wing is way too expensive for its damage output and meager protective effect. Stay away.
 
Limited: 3/5 On the other hand, Skarmory is decent in Limited, but only if you're playing Metal or a lot of Team Plasma Pokemon. Cargo Jet is actually quite good here, as Supporters and card draw are rare. Steel Wing is still incredibly expensive for 40 damage, but once powered up, your opponents could have fits breaking through the damage reduction, which is much more important in this format than it is in Modified. Overall, Skarmory works nicely in two niches: as a card draw engine if you can Cargo Jet effectively, or in a Metal deck as a secondary attacker/staller/set-up Pokemon.


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