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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Camerupt EX

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 24, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.13
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 4.30

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Camerupt EX (Primal Clash)

Camerupt is the latest in a long line of Fire Pokémon that discard Energy in order to do a lot of damage. The line goes right back to the original Base Set Charizard and includes Blaziken ex, Reshiram BLW, and numerous Infernape and other Charizards. 

With Camerupt you get Explosive Jet. The two nice things about this attack are the huge and flexible damage potential (50 for each Fire Energy discarded), and the fact that the Energy doesn’t have to be discarded from Camerupt himself. This means you can KO stuff without having to keep powering up your active Pokémon, as long as you can fuel Explosive Jet from the Bench. 

Obviously, a high-maintenance attack like this needs support, and the go-to cards (at least for now) are Emboar LTR and Superior Energy Retrieval (I suppose Scorched Earth/Blacksmith is another possibility). With this combo, you can attach and recover the Energy you need each turn. Clearly, this isn’t going to make Camerupt EX the fastest deck around, and the vulnerability to Seismitoad EX is considerable, seeing as Quaking Punch will shut down Rare Candy and Energy Retrieval while hitting your Pokémon for Weakness. 

Nevertheless, any Pokémon capable of getting OHKOs against absolutely anything can’t be written off totally. Given the chance to set up, Camerupt is quite a scary proposition, particularly for Fire-Weak decks like Virizion/Genesect and M Aggon EX. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Camerupt/Emboar decks started showing up at tournaments. This kind of deck is always fairly popular.

Rating 

Modified: 3.25 (has a chance if it can avoid the dreaded Toad)

Expanded: 3 (I still like Rayquaza EX more)

Limited: 4 (not the best suited EX for this format, but still quite usable)


aroramage

Whoever thought there'd be a Pokemon that was basically a camel with a volcano on its back? GameFreak, you guys are so crazy clever sometimes. Welcome back to today's card, one of the many new EX Pokemon released in this set, Camerupt-EX! Is he a new ace for Fire decks, or do other Fire-types outmatch it? Let's take a look!
 
Camerupt-EX's Tumbling Attack isn't terribly impressive, it's just a 2-for-30 with a 50/50 on getting another 30 tacked on. SNNOOORRRREEE! I know it's only a Camerupt, but come on guys, if you can give a Pokemon an attack that devastates formats and defines deck archetypes, you can afford to stop flipping coins on a couple of others!
 
So we're left to face off against the better, more interesting Explosive Jet. At a hefty cost of 4 Energy, Explosive Jet lets you get rid of Fire Energy from any of your Pokemon and deliver 50 damage for each one. Doing the math, it's easy to see that 3 Energy is KOing most Evolutions, 4 Energy KOs most EX, and 5 Energy scrapes by and kills everything! That's scary!
 
But that is a lot of Energy, and unlike M Gardevoir-EX who leaves the massive amounts of Energy on the field, Camerupt-EX wants to discard as much as needed. Sometimes though, you might want that Energy to be powering up some guys in the back, but getting rid of Camerupt-EX's Energy would mean he's not using his attack anymore...what to do then...
 
Blacksmith can partially relieve Camerupt-EX's burden if need be, but Explosive Jet would be difficult to make run over and over and over again. If the deck had gotten a bit more support than, say, Fighting for instance (just as an example, of course, Maxie, you traitorous SONUVA), then Camerupt-EX's attack might be doable. As it stands, he can at the very least OHKO M Aggron-EX for 3 Energy, so there's something to let you sleep at night.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 3/5 (a powerful attack that just...doesn't quite hit the mark turn after turn. But hey, it'll definitely KO stuff!)
 
Expanded: 3/5 (bout the same here)
 
Limited: 4/5 (a +39 deck with this guy? Maybe, but Tumbling will only get you so far. Maybe combine that massive amount of Fire Energy with Scorched Earth!)
 
Arora Notealus: Camerupt's humps explode violently about every 10 years or so...no wonder my backyard's covered in lava right now. Dang it, Camu!
 
Next Time: Volcanoes can explode all they want, but the seas...


Otaku

Today we are looking at the next runner-up, having tied with yesterday’s CotD as a runner-up: Camerupt-EX (XY: Primal Clash 29/160; 146/160).  Being a Fire-Type seems like a good deal right now, primarily due to exploiting Weakness on VirGen decks and most attackers you’ll see in Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/1149,  XY Promos XY21) decks, no Resistance.  There are a few anti-Fire-Type effects like Thick Fat, which allows Hariyama (XY: Furious Fists 52/111) to fake being Fire Resistant but none of that is widely played.  On the other hand there is some solid direct Fire-Type support like Blacksmith for Supporter based Energy acceleration or indirect support like Scorched Earth for some extra draw by discarding basic Fire Energy.  What is missing so far has been the breakout Pokémon to take advantage of it; while there are some stellar Fire-Type attackers, none have been really good without intense set-up of some sort. 

Being a Pokémon-EX usually entitles a card to better attributes and/or effects than normal, but sometimes it doesn’t and often enough even what they get won’t adequately compensate for the guaranteed drawbacks; giving up an extra Prize when KOed, being the target of some potent Pokémon-EX counter-cards and being unable to tap a few pieces of support (though that last one rarely matters).  The first compensation that is evident is Camerupt-EX being a Basic Pokémon as normally its a Stage 1.  Being a Basic Pokémon is the best right now; they are just easier to get into play and outside of being blocked by Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) and its Intimidating Mane Ability.  Its 180 HP is 50 points higher than you see on the only other currently legal Camerupt (BW: Boundaries Crossed 22/149).  At the same time the last few sets have advanced the power creep even more as Mega Evolutions go from “meh” to “somewhat playable” to possible potent; alongside this damage output is also creeping up again, or perhaps its just that the hardest hitting attacks that used to be wasteful overkill are now valuable. 

Camerupt-EX has Water Weakness; while not the worst Weakness to have, its is more damage now than in the last few sets as the Type got a little more support and few more heavy hitters this set.  The lack of Resistance is common so no sense docking the card for being “normal”.  The Retreat Cost of four is massive and you’ll need to prepare your deck to tank up front or have a means of more easily getting it out of the Active slot, though the need for such a thing has long been standard for decks.  In Expanded, it comes with the silver-lining of being a legal Heavy Ball target.  All in all, decent stats for a Pokémon-EX.  So what about the effects?  Camerupt-EX has two attacks: Tumbling Attack for [RC] and Explosive Jet for [RRCC].  The good news is that these costs are staggered so that you aren’t left unable to attack for several turns, though it is in a way where you still might end up with a dead turn if forced to open with this card (which is good for future game balance but bad for the card’s immediate success), plus another turn using the opening attack before you can hit the big attack, at least if using just manual Energy attachments.  Of course this might not be bad if the attacks are good enough and again, might be an answer to the power creep.  Tumbling Attack does 30 damage with a coin flip for an extra 30 while while Explosive Jet brings back a familiar mechanic; you can discard as many [R] Energy attached to your Pokémon in play to score 50 points of damage per. 

So are these attacks any good?  I can stop worrying about power creep with this card, I think as both attacks are below the standards set by successful Pokémon-EX.  Of course this might be taking into account that with Blacksmith a Fire-Type can go from zero to [RRCC] in a single turn, but if that is the intent I think I’d prefer the card have just a single scalable attack with a lower initial cost.  Ignoring moments of “overkill” or effects that would otherwise alter damage output, is going to average about 45 points of damage with each hit.  Factoring in Blacksmith (which is awkward since you do have to burn your Supporter for the turn on it, plus have [R] Energy in the discard to fuel), a T2 Tumbling Attack isn’t an impressive return; a Mewtwo-EX with X-Ball and a Double Colorless Energy is going to score 40 plus damage, no coin flips required.  A T2 Explosive Jet sounds impressive, but that means you’re going second and managing to both pull off a Blacksmith and drop a Double Colorless Energy so it isn’t all that likely and as you can only discard fire Energy, you’re just scoring 100 points of damage (though that early in the game I consider that a decent amount). 

Explosive Jet seems to miss the point of attacks like it; they generally don’t cost a lot so that you have a reason to access Bench Energy.  A lot of the time, you’ll struggle to have more than the Energy in play that Camerupt-EX needs for the attack, so you’ll have to discard from itself anyway… and given the risk of being KOed on your opponent’s turn (especially with attacks like the aforementioned X-Ball that do more damage for the Energy attached to both players’ Active Pokémon as well as Max Potion have no drawback when you’ve got no Energy to discard and you might as well just be discarding off of Camerupt-EX.  You might take a more optimistic view and think of it as a typical Fire-Type attack that is enhanced by being able to discard off of everything instead of itself, but we’ve seen this similar attacks before so this doesn’t seem that impressive, especially with the Energy Type restriction. 

Still you’ve got the obvious option right now of pairing this with Emboar (last printed as BW: Legendary Treasures 27/113).  If you can get set-up, you’re only limited by how much Energy you can get (back) into hand as you can rain it down onto your Pokémon with Inferno Fandango.  Five Fire Energy attached and discarded per turn is going to OHKO everything in the format, at least before defensive buffs and other protective effects.  Just four will take out everything that isn’t a Mega Evolution or Wailord-EX.  The thing is, we’ve been able to do something similar with Rayquaza-EX for a while now, and it hasn’t proven worth it, so I’m doubting it will be for Camerupt-EX either. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 - Deck specific of course as the Energy specific discards means it isn’t the kind of thing to work into a Fairy Transfer deck.  While I’m not overly impressed by it, it can deliver some massive hits and isn’t a glass cannon.  It is just that when a OHKO isn’t overly important, I think I’d rather the same deck focus on something like Reshiram (last printed as BW: Legendary Treasures 28/113, 114/113 and RC22/RC25).  While its Blue Flare attack doesn’t scale, it does good damage as can its Outrage attack and of course, its 130 HP but still only worth a single Prize. 

Expanded: 3/5 - As above with the usual adjustment; additional cards that help, hurt and sometimes both help and hurt as more combos, counters and competition are present with the increased card pool, but nothing that really stands out occurs to me. 

Limited: 4.9/5 - If you don’t pull a better Pokémon-EX, you run this, probably as a +39 deck.  I’d say “definitely” as a +39 deck as the attacks are actually pretty great for that but this set does have a significant Water presence. 

Summary: Camerupt-EX isn’t bad but it doesn’t seem like anything special.  That could simply mean its waiting for future dance partners (I can think of a few among the cards spoiled by their Japanese release) or perhaps rotation to lessen the competition or even both.  While it tied with yesterday’s CotD, that does include some points from being my 14th place pick: I submitted a Top 15 list to help with tiebreakers, though in the end it didn’t change anything for the Pojo Top 10 list.  Still, being a big new Fire-Type I expect people to try to make it work.


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