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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Reshiram

- Plasma Freeze

Date Reviewed:
June 7, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.10
Limited: 4.25

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

Reshiram (Plasma Freeze) 

How the mighty have fallen. Reshiram, together with Zekrom, were the poster boys of the Black and White set. They were the first cards to get the Full Art treatment and they got to star in their own, extremely powerful, TCG decks. Two years later and you barely see them around anymore: when it comes to being a big Basic Pokémon, the EX Pokémon put them in the shade. So, will this new version of Reshiram restore the card’s status in the TCG? Let’s take a look and see. 

Reshiram retains the good (once awesome) 130 HP from the previous versions, so that’s a decent start. Unfortunately, the Fire Typing isn’t doing it any favours right now as Kyurem PLF and Keldeo-EX both smack it hard for Weakness and Reshiram doesn’t get to do that unless it runs into Cobalion. The Retreat cost of two is a bit of a pain, but there are ways around that like Switch and Float Stone. 

There’s no getting around the underwhelming, expensive attacks though. Purifying Flame costs one Fire and two Colourless and does just 50 damage, with the bonus effect of removing all Special Conditions from the Pokémon. I guess this is marginally useful against Hypnotoxic Laser, but is unlikely to make much difference in the end: if it wasn’t KO’d with Poison on the previous turn, it surely will be after it attacks. Fusion Flare isn’t any better either: four Energy for 80 damage is poor. Sure, it can be increased to 120 if you have Zekrom on your Bench, but there is no real incentive to do that as the only synergy that exists between the cards is the fact that Zekrom has an attack called Fusion Bolt which is otherwise identical to Reshiram’s. In other words, it is inviting you to play a gimmicky but ineffective Unova Dragon deck. 

But that is a temptation (or is it?) that you should resist. Even with the bonus, the attacks are expensive for what they are and fall well short of the damage they need to do in order to trade favourably with the EX Pokémon. Looks like it’s time for Reshiram and Zekrom to move over and let Kyurem (in the shape of the excellent PLF card) enjoy his turn in the spotlight. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.75 (simple novelty combo card that doesn’t impress)

Limited: 3.75 (high HP Basics are never bad here) 

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we end our COTD week by reviewing a new print of a legendary dragon from Black and White. Today's Card of the Day is Reshiram.
 
Reshiram is a Basic Fire Pokemon. As a Fire-type, Reshiram will have a lot of trouble with the likes of Blastoise, Kyurem, and Keldeo-EX in Modified, so it will have to fill a very specific niche, or be able to take these threats on effectively. 130 HP is a nice start, as this value is incredibly high for a non-Pokemon-EX Basic. Water Weakness is once again a problem against the three big Water-type threats in Modified; no Resistance is equally unfortunate; and a Retreat Cost of two is a bit expensive, but can be paid for in a pinch.
 
The legendary Fire dragon has two attacks. Purifying Flame does an expensive 50 damage for a Fire and two Colorless, while also removing all Special Conditions from Reshiram. Once again, this attack is incredibly expensive in terms of damage output to cost, but the removal of Special Conditions can be nice if your Reshiram gets hit with a Hypnotoxic Laser or a random Burn condition. Fusion Flare is another somewhat expensive attack, starting off at 80 damage for a Fire and three Colorless, but dealing 40 more damage if there's a Zekrom on your Bench. This is an oddly specific condition to meet, but 120 damage isn't too bad for four Energy, especially in Limited. That being said, four Energy attacks are really too expensive to work in Modified, especially attacks with limited upside, such as this one.
 
Modified: 1.5/5 Reshiram has a nice HP score for Modified, but that's about it. Water Weakness and weak, expensive attacks will ultimately doom this iteration of the fire dragon from seeing much play in Modified during our current format.
 
Limited: 4/5 On the other hand, Reshiram is fantastic in Limited. 130 HP is great, and should easily hold up to most things that aren't Pokemon-EX. Likewise, Purifying Flame gets rid of the annoying Status Conditions common in Limited. Finally, while Fusion Flare's secondary effect will rarely trigger, a solid 80 damage for four Energy isn't terrible in the slower format. It's also important to note that both of Reshiram's attacks only require a single Fire Energy, making it easy to splash into decks running multiple types. In summary, Reshiram is not quite perfect in the format, but most decks should consider running it.


Otaku

We end the week with Reshiram (BW: Plasma Freeze 17/116), a new version of one of the “poster-mon” for the Black & White games!

 

Stats

 

Type: Reshiram is a Fire-Type; they don’t have any useful support (not that many Types do), you hit Weakness for most Metal- and Grass-Type Pokémon (of which only a handful see competitive play), but you don’t have to worry about Resistance (unless you are playing in Unlimited).  This isn’t good… in fact of the Weaknesses we’ve actually seen printed in the current Modified card pool (Darkness, Dragon, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Lightning, Metal, Psychic, and Water), Fire is the safest… but it isn’t all bad, as because no one expects it, it can be quite upsetting for the few decks that have it.

 

Stage: Reshiram is a Basic… just a plain Basic Pokémon.  This means it is space efficient, easy to get into play, and all and all as good as it gets.  You can tap the support that exists purely for Basic Pokémon (like Prism Energy) and certain pieces of general support (like search) works better since it is one and done.

 

Hit Points: 130 HP is as good as it gets for Basic Pokémon without also being a Pokémon-EX.  This isn’t enough to guarantee surviving a hit, but most of the time you’ll be trading blows with Pokémon-EX or Evolutions; in the case of the former even trading two to one and you break even in Prizes or committing fewer resources in the case of the latter.  Only against other Basic Pokémon will you risk falling behind in all areas.

 

Weakness: Sadly, Fire-Type Pokémon all are Water Weak lately; this is boring and makes them vulnerable; a Fire-Type deck would be very vulnerable to popular Water-Type attackers like Keldeo EX… and Reshiram has the HP so that the extra damage from Weakness is required for an easy KO.  The thing is… Water Weakness doesn’t fit a Dragon/Fire hybrid; both Water- and Ice-Type attacks (which convert to the TCG Water-Type) only do normal damage to this kind of hybrid in the video games.  Dragon Weakness would have been appropriate, and two thirds of what makes the TCG Fighting-Type (Ground-Type and Rock-Types) would also be appropriate… though I do not know if these two Weaknesses would have been an improvement.

 

Resistance: No Resistance is the worst Resistance, and Reshiram could have used one; with 130 HP even absorbing 20 points of damage could buy you an extra turn… two if your opponent’s deck isn’t at full steam.  There are even several reasonable options based upon what a Dragon/Fire-Type is Resistant to in the video games: Grass (Grass and Bug), Lightning (Electric), Metal (Steel), and Fire (…Fire).

 

Retreat: A Retreat Cost of two is disappointing.  In another format, it would be the functional average; something you could pay most of the time, but wouldn’t want to because of how badly it would set you back.  This format, not only are you unlikely to need to change out of the Active slot frequently, but you seldom will want to discard two Energy in order to do it.  There are effects to lower the Retreat Cost, but they work just as well on higher Retreat Costs which would also qualify Reshiram as a Heavy Ball target.

 

Effects

 

Attack#1: Purifying Flame requires (RCC) and hits for 50 points of damage, and while BW: Plasma Freeze has changed things a little, the going successful rate tends to require you hit for at least 70 and preferably more like 90 points of damage for that much Energy in order to be competitive.  You do get a beneficial effect, but it is one of those ill thought out healing effects; Purifying Flame removes Special Conditions from Reshiram (or if something is copying it, that Pokémon).  In a format with a heavy focus on Poison (due to Hypnotoxic Laser), how is this not a good thing?

 

While it might be handy, it isn’t useful enough to be hitting almost half as hard as a competitive attacker needs to for three Energy, and remember that of the five Special Conditions, only Burn and Poison do not interfere with attacking; Confusion will require you get “heads” on your Confusion Check, while Paralysis and Sleep will prevent you from attacking and thus healing yourself.

 

Attack#2: Fusion Flare requires a massive (RCCC), and hits for base damage of 80 points.  This is too low, but there is an effect; if you have a Zekrom on your Bench (any card with that exact name), then the attack hits for an extra 40 points of damage… and that is a good amount of damage for four Energy.  Actually keeping a Zekrom on your Bench shouldn’t be too hard, though doing so while keeping the rest of the deck competitive may be a challenge.  I would prefer it hit a little harder, or even just hit harder without Zekrom and ended up with the same 120 after the bonus: 100 for four, even though that isn’t much more than what is expected for three Energy, still proves useful enough.

 

Synergy: The attack costs are nearly identical, with Purifying Flame being the slightly cheaper lead-in attack.  Both are fairly basic forms of synergy, with the former being much more useful than the latter.  The mostly Colorless Energy cost and status as a Basic Pokémon should make Reshiram easy to fit into many decks, at least other than the fact it is so much Energy.

 

Usage

 

Card Family: There is one other version of Reshiram; it has been released multiple times but debuted as Black & White 26/114.  It has identical stats to today’s card, including two attacks.  Its first attack is the blatantly superior Outrage, requiring just (CC) to use and hitting for 20 points of damage plus 10 points of damage per damage counter on itself.  For (RRC) you can use Blue Flare for a fairly good 120 points of damage, though it then forces you to discard two Fire Energy from itself; this can get very pricey.

 

Based on the effect and the back story, Zekrom is kin to this card.  There are two distinct versions of Zekrom; the oft printed version that debuted as Black & White 47/114 which has finally been joined by a new version, BW: Plasma Freeze 39/116.  Both are Basic, Lightning-Type Pokémon with 130 HP, Fighting Weakness, no Resistance, a two Energy Retreat Cost, and two attacks.  The first Outrage again, and still a great attack while for (LLC) the second attack, Bolt Strike, hits for 120 points of damage but Zekrom hits itself for 40 points of damage as well.

 

The new Zekrom is the set mate and apparent counterpart to today’s card: for (LCC) it can use Mach Claw for 50 points of damage, but its effect is ignoring Resistance which can come in handy on occasion but still isn’t worth not hitting for an extra 20 points of damage (which would accomplish the same end result against Lightning Resistant Pokémon).  For (LCCC) it can use Fusion Bolt, and as the direct counterpart of Fusion Flare it hits for 80 points of damage, and if you have a Reshiram in play it hits for an extra 40 for a total of 120.

 

Neither of these cards is bad, and the older Zekrom was once one of the best attackers in the game.  Which one is better to partner with today’s Reshiram is all about the rest of your deck.  If it is a deck running a decent source of Lightning-Type Energy, the classic Zekrom is already a solid pick.  If the deck runs mostly Fire-Type Energy or at least can’t furnish a good amount of Lightning-Type Energy, then the newer Zekrom could be competent, though Outrage might still be strong enough to make the original a better choice.

                   

Combos: There are no “real” combos I can think of for Reshiram; Prism Energy can make it an easier fit into a few decks and the best use I can think of for it is to add it to a deck built for Rayquaza EX.  This way, you would use Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) and already will be running a source of Fire-Type Energy, so you just need to also squeeze in a Zekrom (probably the older version unless you are worried about self-damage).  A reliable 120 points of damage from a non-Pokémon-EX is quite, quite useful, and this would allow you to hit Fire-Type Weakness fairly effectively… useful against Plasma Steel decks.

 

Future: The main benefits for this card in the future are that two Fire Weak, Grass-Type Pokémon are likely to be quite popular (Genesect EX and Virizion EX) and two Pokémon Tools we should get next set as well: Silver Bangle and Silver Mirror.  Silver Bangle, if attached to a non-Pokémon-EX, causes its attacks to do an extra 30 points of damage to Pokémon-EX.  This allows Fusion Flare to hit for 150 (assuming Zekrom is on your Bench), which means Hypnotoxic Laser (assuming Poison isn’t being blocked by Virizion EX) plus Virbank City Gym can hit for 180 points of damage.  Silver Mirror prevents all effects of attacks (including damage) done to the attached Pokémon by Team Plasma Pokémon, though the card states it won’t work when equipped to Pokémon-EX.

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: There are better options for raw damage. 1/5

 

Modified: I believe there is a niche use, as described above, for some Eelektrik variants.  If we ever get a Fire-Type deck up and running, with some Energy acceleration, this might also be worth considering over the original Reshiram, if replenishing discarded Energy is too taxing.  The latter is a bit of a stretch, but the former shows a decent amount of promise. 3/5

 

Limited: Even if you can’t get a Zekrom to go with it, this a format where 130 HP is amazing, where healing Special Conditions with an attack can come in handy, and where even without the bonus effect 80 for four points of damage is good.  If you pull this, make room for a few Fire Energy cards and run it.  5/5

 

Summary

Call me optimistic, but I really do like a reliable (even if expensive) 120 points of damage on a non-Pokémon-EX.  If we did a Top 20, Reshiram might have taken the bottom spot, especially given how some of the cards I actually did pick for my Top 20.  Yes, I often submit a Top 20 for our Top 10 lists; my picks can be quite a bit different from the picks of the rest of the crew, so I hedge my bets for tiebreakers this way.

 

I shall be moving relatively soon and am trying to finish selling off my various collectables from over the years.  You can find my eBay sales here; keep checking back as I list more items (by the time this goes up, I may have nothing current).  Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions, and is merely kind enough to let me link at the end of my articles.


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