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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Hariyama

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 23, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.75
Expanded: 1.88
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


aroramage

Seeing Hariyama for the first time, there are few words to describe him. He's like a sumo wrestler but with no mouth, a little frill on the side, and giant mitts for hands! He's a strange one, that Hariyama. Welcome back, today we take a look at the mighty force that is Hariyama!
 
You've probably already noticed his vanilla 3-for-80 Rocket Slap, so clearly Team Rocket is behind all of this. Hitting for 80 ain't bad, but you'd kinda want something for it at 3 Energy. Not like Krookodile-EX's Megaton Fang, but more like MLucario-EX's Rising Fist! Then again, it's an unfair comparison to make between an EX and a non-EX.
 
Well we've already reviewed his one attack, so what's left? An Ability, naturally! And Hariyama's Thick Fat is...interesting. After applying Weakness and Resistance (oh that's funny), Hariyama reduces the damage he takes by 30 from Fire and Water-types. The most present of either of these that I can think of is Seismitoad-EX, which while this Ability would shut down the damage he does, it also effectively goes nowhere until Hariyama can deal damage back. Meanwhile, you can't play any Items cause of Seismitoad-EX constantly Quaking Punch-ing you!
 
Aside from that, the specifics of the Ability really hurt Hariyama's viability. It's not that he's bad, but he just doesn't bring enough to the table to justify play. His attack only does 80 unboosted, his Ability only reduces damage from certain Pokemon - probably one of the better aspects about him is the fact that he's a Fighting-type, and I'm certain there are better Fighters to run.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 1.5/5 (all the support in the world, and he's still just not that good)
 
Expanded: 1.5/5 (same here)
 
Limited: 3.5/5 (here is where Hariyama can be amazing, especially against a Seismitoad-EX +39 deck! He can stall him out and even survive a Grenade Hammer, meanwhile dealing upwards of anywhere between 80-120 damage a strike!)
 
Arora Notealus: Isn't it weird when you fight Brawly, the guy who's supposed to have Hariyama on his team, and he only ever has Makuhita, the pre-evo? Seriously, unless you rematch him in Emerald or they change it up for ORAS, you only ever fight Brawly's Makuhita. Guess Ash traveled sometime in-between to make it stronger.
 
Next Time: Who's down for hot wings?


Otaku

I don’t know whether it is due to my own incredible girth or the fact that E. Honda happened to be one of the easiest characters to learn in the original Street Fighter II, but even though I don’t follow the sport (I don’t follow any ) I’ve got a certain fondness for sumo wrestling.  As such, I really do like Hariyama in general and was eager to learn that there would be one in the Japanese set that corresponds to XY: Furious Fists: specifically Hariyama (XY: Furious Fists 52/111).  Let me walk you through whether I was pleased or disappointed. 

Hariyama is a Fighting-Type which is riding high right now with ample direct and indirect support, as well as hitting most Colorless-Types, Darkness-Types and Lightning-Types for double damage.  Fighting Resistance is among the most common, but Resistance is rarely more than an annoyance.  Being a Stage 1 is much less impressive; Basic Pokémon simply dominate the format, though at least you won’t suffer as bad against Item lock decks (at least when it comes to Evolving) as you would with a Stage 2.  120 HP isn’t bad but it isn’t especially good for something fully Evolved.  You’ve got a decent shot of surviving an attack, but mostly because decks that aren’t coming you at with a full set-up are likely to just whiff; a deck that is locked and loaded shouldn’t have to buff their main attacker too much (if at all) to score 120 with a single attack. 

This card has what is probably the second worst Weakness to have right now: Psychic.  Fighting-Types recently received all the love, but a side effect of what became popular is a Mewtwo-EX revival, which in turn has prompted more Mewtwo-EX counters… including just running your own copies, as it can OHKO itself with relative ease.  If Hariyama has no Energy of its own, its still 2/3s of the way to a KO: one Energy of its own or a third on Mewtwo-EX scores a OHKO.  The lack of Resistance is disappointing but not crippling, though some foreshadowing… the Darkness Resistance that (based on how Types interact in the video games) Hariyama “should” have actually might have been important even though it only provides a small bonus. 

Hariyama has a Retreat Cost of four: avoid paying this unless you think its going to cost you the game.  Being set back that much Energy is probably not worth a Prize (the card only needs three to attack!), but the good news is what I keep repeating: most decks already had the incentive to pack at least some Retreat Cost lowering (or bypassing) tricks, so its something most builds should already have covered. 

Hariyama has one Ability and one attack.  The Ability is one that has shown up before, albeit on different Pokémon as a Poké-Body: Thick Fat.  Reducing damage from attacks by Fire-Types and Water-Types reflects a similar video game Ability and actually is handy; just the difference of a 30 point drop versus a 20 point drop (like Resistance) is felt though the main thing is that its two different Types instead of one (like Resistance).  Which is why wish it had Resistance, because three match-ups where you can soak a little damage would be even more impressive… and probably a bit necessary.  It is a handy Ability, but with just 120 HP and so many decks buffing attacks, dedicated Fire- and Water-Type attackers have a pretty good chance at still scoring a OHKO.  The attack could still save things and… Rocket Slap does 80 for [FCC].  It really is good that you can use Double Colorless Energy to speed things up but again, it misses that critical 90 point mark and only has some basic synergy with the Ability: when the Ability works, you might live long enough to get off an extra attack. 

So let us see if maybe we get lucky and a Makuhita does something to make Hariyama better.  The choices are BW: Boundaries Crossed 82/149, BW: Plasma Freeze 62/116 and XY: Furious Fists 51/111.  All three are Basic, Fighting-Type Pokémon with Psychic Weakness, no Resistance and no Abilities.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 82/149 has 70 HP with a Retreat Cost of two versus the 80 HP and Retreat Cost of three found on the other two: retreating for two is easier but not easy enough to top 10 more HP, but let’s check the attacks to make sure: yeah, just a vanilla 30 for [FF].  BW: Plasma Freeze 62/116 has a flip-until-tails attack good for 20 points of damage per “head”, priced at [FC] or does a flat 60 for [FFC].  XY: Furious Fists 51/111 does a paltry 10 for [F] and 40 for [FCC] so its pretty much a draw between the two; the potential threat of a flip until tails attack versus a 40 that - thanks to being Double Colorless Energy compliant - has a somewhat realistic chance of being a desperation move.  There is another Hariyama, XY: Plasma Freeze 63/116: same Attributes as today’s card but two different attacks.  For [FC] it can Fake Out for 30 points of damage and (on a successful coin flip) score Paralysis.  For [FFC] it hits that magic 90 points of damage but also takes an extra 20 points of damage if attacked during your opponent’s next turn… skip it. 

When I first saw it, I thought it might have some potential but I was overestimating the Ability.  The attack just isn’t enough and even though I’ve done a little testing with it, anything I used to boost it would have served me better elsewhere (same for effects that boost damage).  It isn’t worthless but its just not good enough to warrant space unless you insist on a mono-Fighting deck and want it to handle Pyroar… in which case its okay, but I’d rather run something different.  You’ll also need to run Double Colorless Energy or some other compatible Energy acceleration as well (possibly both) so again, I wouldn’t bother but you might at least make it functional.  Expanded is much the same, except you have Heavy Ball for welcome (but slight) additional support.  In Limited this deck really shines.  It and its lower Stage’s HP and damage output perform better here and its mostly Colorless Energy costs make it fairly easy to splash into multi-Type decks.  The are just enough good Fire-Types and Water-Types I’d really like to have access to this card.  In the Theme Deck variants, once again this is available in the Dark Hammer Theme deck, and it performs fairly well there. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 - With a little more HP or damage (and especially both) this might have had some small place in the format, but mostly it will just scream “suboptimal build” for the competitive set. 

Expanded: 2.25 - Heavy Ball can two of the Makuhita I mentioned (the 80 HP versions) as well as Hariyama itself, which I view as fairly good.  Nothing outstanding though. 

Limited: 4/5 - Only skip it if you absolutely cannot work sufficient Fighting-Type Energy in your deck (and two or three sources should do it for a 1-1 line in an otherwise non-Fighting deck) or if you’re running a +39 deck and so this would be your only Pokémon. 

Theme Decks: 4/5 - Again Theme Deck only tournaments do happen in real life (or used to) and you can always choose to battle Theme Deck versus Theme Deck on the PTCGO.  It is pretty good here with the added support, though it scores the same because there is enough competition I’ve found myself mostly saving it for games where I expect to see the opponent attacking with Fire-Types or Water-Types. 

Summary: Hariyama isn’t a near, near miss but at least it is somewhere in the vicinity; if it were just a bit more buff and/or Fire- and Water-Type attackers at bit more popular (preferably both) then it could have fared admirably with the available Fighting support.  As is, just save it for Limited and for fun. 


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