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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Hitmonchan

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 27, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.83
Expanded: 1.83
Limited: 3.80

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

Hitmonchan (Furious Fists) 

This Hitmonchan comes with the boxing-style attack names that have been typical of the card throughout its TCG history. Unfortunately, the attacks themselves are a little on the dull side, with Bullet Punch doing 20-60 depending on coin flips and Mach Cross doing a flat effect-free 60 for the steep cost of three Energy. 

Really, Hitmonchan would hardly be worth mentioning if it wasn’t for the fact that Fighting Types get so much support in the Furious Fists set, including some serious damage-boosting from Strong Energy and Fighting Stadium. Even so, it’s hard to see a reason for playing this 90 HP Basic over Landorus FFI, with its superior stats and useful effect, or Hawlucha FFI which hits EXs hard and cheap and has free retreat. That’s without even considering the EX heavy-hitters like Landorus and Lucario. 

Hitmonchan could be decent in Limited if you pulled the right support cards, but he will be overlooked for competitive play. 

Rating

Modified: 1.75 (it’s hard for mediocre Fighting Pokémon to get noticed)

Expanded: 1.5 (even more competition here)

Limited: 3.5 (solid, well supported Basic)


aroramage
Ahhh, the great historic Hitmonchan, memorable for being one of the greatest cards of the format for its cheap Jab attack and its stellar Special Punch. It's a notoriously powerful card, dealing 20 damage for...wait what? This isn't Base Set? And we've got Pokemon who don't just keel over at 40 damage? Wait, HOW MUCH HP DOES THAT POKEMON HAVE?!
 
Welcome to another week of cards from the Furious Fists set! Today we take a look at Hitmonchan, who was once on top of the world and has since retired from fierce fighting in the ring, showing up only every now and again as a salty veteran. Today's Hitmonchan may not be stellar, but he definitely chose the right set to come out in at least! Can he take advantage of his typing to utilize the support to its fullest?
 
First off, Hitmonchan starts with a classic Bullet Punch at 2, dealing 20 damage. Not stellar, and all he gets is two coins for a potential extra 20 per heads. On average, this attack on its own will deal 40 damage though, which while it's not as bad as 20, it's still not that great. In other words, Hitmonchan's going to have to take advantage of the Fighting support to even deal decent damage, but at least this attack will always do at least 20 damage, something not a lot of coin-flip-based attacks can say.
 
Mach Cross isn't particularly interesting, being a vanilla 3-for-60, which basically means that it's a slightly more expensive Bullet Punch with two heads. It's nice that it's guaranteed, and that makes adding more damage-boosters easier, but Hitmonchan shouldn't be your first pick outside of Limited for a heavy-hitting Fighting-type. Still, I suppose it can get a nice 100-120 with Muscle Band, Strong Energy, and a Fighting Stadium or Machamp.
 
Hitmonchan may not be as powerful as he used to be, and he may not be that great here in the current format, but he's not the worst Fighting-type around, and that counts for something. If anything, he's a bit splashable with Bullet Punch's Colorless requirements, though that's nothing when compared to Pokemon like Seismitoad-EX and Charizard-EX. Usable if needed, but chances are he'll be one of the many who hangs around in your card binder as part of the foil set you've got.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 2/5 (decent attacks, just not that fantastic even with the support)
 
Expanded: 2/5 (searchable with Level Ball at least)
 
Limited: 3/5 (great with the support, you could do worse)
 
Arora Notealus: I know Hitmonchan is technically named in part after Jackie Chan, but what exactly does Jackie Chan have to do with boxing? I mean, I guess he wore boxing gloves, but I don't think Jackie Chan was notorious for boxing. Where's my Hitmon-mixed martial arts maestro?
 
Next Time: The icy winds of the north blow across the fox and transform it into-

Otaku

We begin this week with Hitmonchan (XY: Furious Fists 48/111).  Why are we looking at him?  Well it is still too early for us to do XY: Phantom Forces justice and I’ve got a soft spot for Hitmonchan in general thanks to the original, Base Set 7/102.  The newest Hitmonchan is a Basic, Fighting-Type Pokémon with 90 HP, Psychic Weakness, no Resistance, a Retreat Cost of two and two attacks. 

Being a Fighting-Type is the best, though we’ll have to wait an see how XY: Phantom Forces, with its Psychic-Type support and Metal-Type support shake things up to know what the game will be in soon enough.  For now enjoy hitting most Colorless-Types and nearly all Darkness-Types and Lightning-Types for double damage.  Don’t mind that Resistance to Fighting-Types is one of the more common; that’s a relative thing (no Resistance is by far the most common) and simply put, soaking 20 points of damage via Resistance (while handy) is rarely as impactful as doubling damage via Weakness.  Fighting-Types are one of if not the best supported Type, so in the end Hitmonchan comes out a winner here. 

Being a Basic is still best, so that’s also a pretty easy call to make.  90 HP is merely “okay”; in Standard it means you’re a probable OHKO; Hitmonchan might get lucky and the opponent won’t be quite set-up yet or will be attacking with something not focused on damage (like Seismitoad-EX) and still survive, but decks attacking for damage with a solid set-up should be taking Hitmonchan down in one.  Its Psychic Weakness is pretty dangerous right now, thanks to well established Psychic-Type attackers like Mewtwo-EX and likely will become at least a little more risky with XY: Phantom Forces.  No Resistance is disappointing but unsurprising.  I suppose since it is the only “conflict free” Weakness due to the messy video game to TCG conversion process and is already the standard for Fairy-Type monsters, Darkness Resistance was out.  A single Energy Retreat Cost is very good; it isn’t perfect but usually you can afford it with relative ease as you’re not being set back by more than a turn. 

The card’s first attack is Bullet Punch for [CC]: 20 points of damage and two coin flips good for another 20 points of damage per “heads”, for a range of 20 to 60 points of damage with half the possible results scoring 40 and the other half evenly split between 20 and 60.  This is solid in the current environment; not great but something you can build up in a single turn is better than having to wait.  Unfortunately the second attack lets us down: Mach Cross does just 60 for [FCC].  It is good you can just drop a source of [F] onto a Hitmonchan you already started attacking with ASAP via a Double Colorless Energy, but its about 30 points of damage behind the going rate and Hitmonchan isn’t likely to survive your opponent’s turn. 

Is all hope lost for this card?  In Limited it should be amazing; I strongly recommend against trying a +39 deck with it but otherwise its a must run (you don’t even have to have a source of [F] Energy).  Expanded also gives it access to Level Ball, but I don’t think that will be enough to save it.  Years ago this would have needed to be a Pokémon-ex to be this good.  You read that right; the older variant mechanic from the EX set era, not to be confused with modern Pokémon-EX from the BW- and XY-eras. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.8/5 - Starts off promising enough but it just doesn’t deliver. 

Expanded: 2/5 - As above, but Level Ball really does help it.  Yes I’ve given this score out quite a bit lately, to cards with better effects… but they weren’t reasonably big Basic Pokémon that could attack for a Double Colorless Energy or a Double Colorless Energy plus one source of [F]. 

Limited: 4.9/5 - Amazing here; only skip it if you pull something like a Lucario-EX (and plan on building a deck where Lucario-EX is the only Basic Pokémon). 

Summary: While not the most fun note to begin the week, consider it a PSA.  Overall Hitmonchan just barely misses out because its second attack is too weak; while I would have preferred that magic 90 for three, as an easy to search out Basic with a solid attack for Double Colorless Energy, even 70 for three probably would have done it for niche usage.


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