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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Solrock  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
May 2, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.37
Limited: 3.75

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

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Solrock (Plasma Storm) 

I really like the sun-shining-through-the-clouds artwork on this card. As far as I can tell, the artist, Kouji Tajima has only done this and the Lunatone from the set so far. I’d really like to see some more of their work in future. 

As for the card itself? Let’s just say I’m not all that eager to see it again . . . especially when I open a pack. What we have here is an unevolving Fighting Type Basic with that 90 HP that sounds fine in principle until you realise how many Pokémon hit for 90, with or without Hypnotoxic Laser. Weakness to Grass is one of the better ones, but the same can’t be said for the awful retreat cost of three. I would say play Switch but . . . that would just be a waste. 

I’m probably being a bit harsh again. Solrock’s attacks aren’t terrible lazy vanilla ones, they just . . . aren’t good enough. Heat Burn costs one Fighting and one Colourless Energy, and for that you get 20 damage and Burn. It’s not the worst thing ever, just too slow, and won’t make much of an impact. At least the second attack, Explosion tries a bit harder. For one Fighting and two Energy of any Colour, you get to do 90 damage and Solrock does 90 to itself. Of course you can prevent this from turning into a suicide mission by using Eviolite or Giant Cape, and yes, it will OHKO a Darkrai-EX, thanks to Weakness. Unfortunately opponents will see it coming a mile away and the cost of the attack will give them a chance to prepare for it (if they even care – it’s not that good). 

In the end, the best thing you can say about this Solrock card is that it is pretty faithful to the video game version of the Pokémon in terms of its attacks. In this case that has not resulted in a very playable card. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.5 (possibly the worst anti-Darkrai card you can run)

Limited: 3.25 (decent HP, burn is nice, and you can try and use Explosion before it gets KO’d)


Otaku

Hope you are enjoying a nice, sunny day, because if not reviewing Solrock (BW: Plasma Storm 74/135) might be a bit cruel.

 

Seriously, I live in South Dakota and I am writing this with the forecast including snow, with verified snowfall not far from where I live… and we had an ice storm just a few weeks ago.

 

Stats

 

Type: Solrock is a Fighting-Type Pokémon, allowing it to hit many Colorless-Type, Darkness-Type, and Lightning-Type Pokémon for double damage.  Resistance is also common, as almost all Types have at least one Fighting Resistant Pokémon, including the three I cited as being known for Fighting Weakness, but due game mechanics Fighting Weakness is far harder to deal with than Fighting Resistance.

 

There isn’t any Fighting-Type support, but the Weakness factor still makes this a great Type.  In the video games this is a Rock/Psychic hybrid; being a Psychic-Type wouldn’t have been bad, but it would not have been as good.

 

Stage: Solrock is a Basic Pokémon in a format where Basic Pokémon dominate; this does not guarantee it will see play, but at least it will have an easier time of it than Evolutions.

 

Hit Points: 90 HP is not enough to be safe from being KOed on the first turn of the game, and it is a reasonably easy OHKO for most decks past the first turn.  If this was an Evolving Pokémon, this would be a good score, but as there is no Evolved form of Solrock, it is poor.  The small respite is that it is a legal Level Ball target, and in the video games Solrock have low Hit Points, Defense, and Special Defense scores.

 

Weakness: Grass-Type Weakness is currently quite good; even though it is in high demand due to multiple, high profile Grass Weak Pokémon, what few Grass-Type Pokémon have seen play seem to have faded away completely.  So you will rarely have to worry about being hit for double damage.

 

Resistance: Lack of Resistance is the default in the Pokémon TCG anymore and it wouldn’t do much as the damage output of most decks can overwhelm it, so it isn’t something to penalize a card over.  I don’t like it, and in the video games Solrock naturally Resist five different Types: Normal, Flying, Poison, Psychic, and Fire.

 

Colorless Resistance would be appropriate if it appeared Colorless Resistance as that is composed of Normal- and Flying-Types.  Poison and Psychic are two-thirds of the TCG Psychic-Type, but then again the TCG inverts Psychic Resistance for Psychic-Types to Psychic Weakness.  Fire Resistance doesn’t currently exist but would match-up perfectly; perhaps like Colorless Weakness it simply isn’t allowed anymore.

 

Retreat: Solrock has a hefty Retreat Cost of three; this is too expensive to pay even if you had the Energy attached, so a Retreat alternative or aid is recommended.  It does make Solrock a legal Heavy Ball target, which may be useful.

 

Effects

 

Attack#1: For (FC) Solrock can use Heat Burn, scoring 20 points of damage and guaranteed Burn.  Burn isn’t reliable like Poison; between turns it might place two damage counters on the Defending Pokémon, but as it is based on a coin toss the odds are the same that it won’t.  As this format requires a deck be at least somewhat prepared to ditch Special Conditions, this means a Burned Pokémon probably won’t remain so for long.

 

Two Energy tends to buy a lot on the more competitive cards.  In some ways, it is unfair to compare this to something like Mewtwo EX or Tornadus EX, and yet they do indeed compete against each other.  I think the attack might have worked if it only requires (F) or (C), or at least no more than (CC), but as is, it leaves much to be desired.

 

Attack#2: Explosion requires (FCC) and does 90 points of damage… to both the Defending Pokémon and Solrock itself.  For whatever reason, I tend to enjoy using these kinds of attacks, but the reward just isn’t there.  It is nice that the attack can make use of Double Colorless Energy, and three for 90 is pretty much the going rate, but obviously doing enough damage to OHKO yourself is a steep cost that should be worth a good sized bonus; even hitting the Defending Pokémon for 180 might not be overpowered… or else the Energy requirement should have been something like (C).

 

For anyone that knows my views on high damage attacks that can be accessed first turn (…I don’t think they should exist) note that I am not stating what I wanted to see per se, but what I believe would have been required to make Explosion a competitive attack by current standards.

 

Synergy: The attacks have minimal synergy, but it is there.  Heat Burn might bring something down low enough where a follow up Explosion would seal the deal.  This isn’t too impressive given that while Explosion can make good use of Energy acceleration, Heat Burn less so; you may end up having a turn where Solrock can’t attack at all but then can jump directly to using Explosion.  Either way, you need to survive to combo the attacks, and that is very unlikely with only 90 HP.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: Solrock doesn’t Evolve, but it has a related Pokémon in Lunatone; the two often have effects that reference each other.  Not this time, however.  There also aren’t any older versions of either card that are currently legal.

 

Combos: Eviolite allows you to use Explosion without Solrock KOing itself; the same holds true for Giant Cape.  As already stated, this card is a legal target for both Level Ball and Heavy Ball, which makes it pretty easy to search out.

 

Unlimited: Even if you need a Pokémon that blows itself up, there are better options here.

 

Modified: The only rare thing this card offers is reliable Burn… unfortunately the handful of decks that would enjoy that really can’t afford to make room for what it would take to build Solrock up quickly, especially (as I keep saying) since it is an almost guaranteed OHKO past the first turn or two of the game.

 

Limited: Again, Limited is the “ray of hope” for this card.  Being a 90 HP Basic means it will be one of the bigger cards pulled, the lower average HP and damage seen in this format (as so many Pokémon pulled can’t actually be run) means you should at least be able to Heat Burn and follow up with Explosion for a KO, and likely you can take two Prizes; one just through Heat Burn and one through Explosion once you doubt your survival the next turn.

 

You will need some Fighting Energy, but the mostly Colorless attack requirements also keep it friendly for the often two or three Energy-Type decks of Limited play.  Special Conditions, while still unreliable, are also extra intimidating (and often extra effective) in Limited where they aren’t easy to shed and the damage is proportionately greater.

 

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 1.25/5

 

Limited: 4.25/5

 

Summary

A fine pull for Limited, but Solrock won’t do much for you in other formats.  I am also surprised that they didn’t have Lunatone combo with it at all.


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