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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Heliolisk

- XY47 Promo

Date Reviewed:
June 15, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.67
Expanded: 1.67
Limited: N/A

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

And we're back with another electrifying week of Pokemon! Today's card is another one of those promo cards, and this one actually doesn't appear in a set already unlike Kyogre from last week. It's Heliolisk, and man it's been a while!

So far only two other Heliolisk cards have come out: the one from Flashfire with Parabolic Charge (to add 2 Energy to your hand) and the other one from Phantom Forces with Parabolic Spark (where you discard X Electric Energy from Pokemon you control to deal 30X damage). This one just adds a new dynamic to the cards - in the form of an Ability! Huzzah! 

And it's not entirely irrelevant, buuuuuut it is strictly limited to use against Water-types. Dry Skin only helps reduce the damage from Water attacks by 30, but any other Pokemon will just tear into Heliolisk. Still, that's good against Seismitoad-EX to create a stand-still to his damage dealing! Though you're still gonna suffer from Item Lock...oh... 

Well that's okay, because Heliolisk also has Hyper Beam, which while it's only a 3-for-60 strike, you get a coin flip to discard an Energy attached to the opponent's Active Pokemon. In a strange way, it's kinda like Heliolisk here was made to be the anti-Seismitoad-EX card! There's just a couple of things that take away from its impact though. 

Like its low HP of 90, its Electric typing being unable to take advantage of Seismitoad-EX's weakness, and the fact that it's a Stage 1 that's trying to fight an EX. 

All that aside though, Heliolisk isn't necessarily a bad card. Most of the time, his Ability's going to be ignored, but Hyper Beam has a 50/50 chance of helping him hang in there or at least forcing your opponent to use up their resources. And hey, with Lysandre's Trump Card banned, you don't get to have much excuse to say, "Oh I'll just get it back later." 

Rating 

Standard: 2/5 (a largely irrelevant Ability with a decent attack) 

Expanded: 2/5 (about the same here) 

Limited: N/A (I HAVE TO POINT OUT THIS CARD IS A PRRRRROMOTION-al card)

Arora Notealus: You know, I actually tried Heliolisk on a Doubles Rain team that revolved around Pokemon with Dry Skin that could heal off from the weather and attacks like Surf - which btw Heliolisk can learn that! The idea would be to Surf against the opponents and occasionally use Parabolic Charge to deal damage to everything on the field and gain back ALL that HP - it was pretty cool! 

Next Time: I'MMA EXPLODE


Otaku

Welcome to a post Lysandre’s Trump Card format, ladies and gentlemen!  Well, unless you’re in Japan, in which case you’ve got to wait just a bit longer.  Oh yeah, and we have another week of CotDs for you to read: can’t forget that eh?

First up is Heliolisk (XY: Black Star Promo XY47) because shockingly it isn’t just a reprint of something we already have (unlike last Monday’s subject).  It is a Lightning-Type, which means it will enjoy double damage against a few prominent cards in the current metagame thanks to Weakness, most notably Yveltal-EX (unless it takes countermeasures, of course).  Resistance is out there as well, though it seems to be absent on cards from Pokémon printed in the XY sets, so you’ll only see it on some older, BW-era stuff like Landorus-EX.  Lightning-Type support exists but is scant, though XY: Ancient Origins (the next set) should change that.  I am unaware of any “anti-Lightning-Type” cards but my main resource for quickly researching such data is sadly several sets out of date: I hope pokepedia.net makes a comeback as it was so handy for this sort of thing. 

Being a Stage 1 isn’t good, but it isn’t significantly bad either; Heliolisk will require more space and effort to run than a Basic but just a tad less than a Mega Evolution, though the Stage lacks the the other perks that go with either.  The 90 HP means Heliolisk has only a small chance of surviving a hit (at least before other factors) but it isn’t completely hopeless and this weekend we learned that Level Ball is getting a re-release with new art in their XY: Bandit Ring expansion, counterpart to our upcoming XY: Ancient Origins set.  It doesn’t confirm we are getting Level Ball back for Standard play, but it seems likely.  Until then though, this is a nice trait for Expanded where Level Ball will be able to snag Heliolisk (and its Basic form).  The Fighting Weakness is dangerous, even factoring in HP making getting hit an issue in general.  Few that see competitive play hit for less than 20 for [F] and they are known for not only using general damage buffs like Muscle Band but stacking them on top of less general options like Strong Energy.  Without Weakness it was going to be close, but this all but guarantees that Fighting-Type attackers will score a OHKO.  The Metal Resistance isn’t likely to all that often come in handy but it is very much appreciated nonetheless.  The single Energy Retreat Cost is technically really good; second best there is, easy both to pay and recovery from the expense… but at this size, seems like it should have been free. 

Heliolisk sports an Ability and a single attack.  The Ability (Dry Skin) reduces the damage attacks from the opponent’s Water-Types inflict by 30 points of damage, after Weakness and Resistance have already been applied.  An effective 120 HP is still within OHKO range of most fully supported attackers, but this can be frustrating to things like Seismitoad-EX, as Quaking Punch is only good for 30 points base damage and it relies on Muscle Band, Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym (usually) to speed things up.  If you can also protect Heliolisk from Special Conditions, it could actually tank against the toad.  The attack (Hyper Beam) is familiar and unfortunately usually isn’t all that great: a flip to discard an Energy card from the opponent’s Active is actually pretty useful, but the Energy requirement to use the attack is [LCC] and the damage output is only 60.  Said discard can help buy you time for the KO but in the end instead of wishing it hit harder, I wish the discard was reliable and that the attack was easier to power up, even if the damage was also lowered. 

Heliolisk Evolves from Helioptile and there are three options, all both Standard and Expanded legal.  All are Basic, Lightning-Type Pokémon with Fighting Weakness, Metal Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Abilities and no Ancient Traits.  XY: Flashfire 36/106 has 60 HP and two attacks: the first (Pound) simply does a vanilla 10 for [L] while the second (Destructive Beam) costs [LC] and does no damage but discards an Energy from your opponent’s Active, provided you get “heads” on a coin toss.  XY; Phantom Forces 28/113 also has 60 HP but just one attack (Tail Rap) for [LC], which does 10 damage plus 20 per “heads” from the mandatory two coin flips.  XY; Phantom Forces 29/113 has only 50 HP but again has two attacks, the first (Quick Attack) requiring [C] to do 10 with “heads” on a coin flip yielding another 10 damage, while the second (Static Shock) which does 30 for [LCC].  Sharing the name of a fondly remember (and not particularly old) animated series based on a comic book just makes being overpriced and vanilla hurt a little more.  Not that any of these are good, but you might as well stick with the first (XY: Flashfire 36/106) as it still has 60 HP and if you’re investing two Energy but still attacking with this… discarding the Energy of the opponent’s Active is probably more likely to help Helioptile survive than doing damage. 

There are two other Heliolisk that could either compliment or compete with today’s… or prove completely irrelevant if they aren’t good enough to do either.  Both are Stage 1 Lightning-Type Pokémon with… the same everything (at least relevant to the game) as today’s card except they have two attacks and no Ability.  XY: Flashfire 37/106 can use its first attack (Parabolic Charge) to search your deck for up to two Energy cards to add to your hand, with an attack cost of [C].  For [LCC] its second option (Quick Attack) does 60, possibly with another 30 (requires “heads” on the coin flip).  The first attack somewhat nice as it can snag Special Energy cards but between hand disruption (commonly experienced as a side effect of N being a popular draw card) you might not be able to cash in on that search and it certainly doesn’t seem worth running, attaching an Energy to and attacking with a fragile Stage 1 Pokémon.  Hitting for 30 points of damage below the “going rate” of successful attackers unless you succeed at the coin flip was no help… and that was back when this card first came out: now instead of needing about 90 per turn you need 100 to 130, leaving this Heliolisk high and dry. 

The other option is XY: Phantom Forces 30/113, with its first attack (Pound) being a vanilla 30 for [L] while its second attack (Parabolic Spark) requires [LC] to do 30 damage per [L] Energy you choose to discard for this attack from all of your Pokémon.  The damage return on the first attack is “okay”; again not something you can use to justify running a Stage 1 attacker but nice to have while the second attack is actually close to being something worthwhile.  While not much for Standard play, in Expanded where that second attack can be partnered with Eelektrik (BW: Noble Victories 40/101) and you might have a decent glass cannon, but there are a lot of attackers that do a better job with Dynamotor backing them.  A perfect four Eelektrik Bench plus Energy attachment from hand and Energy from the previous turn are required to hit 180, though making it just slightly more plausible is Silver Bangle to replace one of the Energy.  Said Silver Bangle is probably needed as not only are we assuming a previous turn’s manual Energy attachment but then you get Mega Evolutions that are still out of range and I think you can see why I won’t be spending more time theorizing about this card. 

So the other Heliolisk aren’t much help in getting today’s version into a competitive deck.  Does it have a purpose?  No, not really though I wonder if it is a failed Seismitoad-EX counter as I somewhat implied above.  If the attack cost a little less and/or didn’t require a coin flip… but I shouldn’t dwell on what isn’t anymore than I already have.  Just maybe in the right deck a 1-1 line of it could still work as such.  As a promo it can’t be used in Limited but if it could, it’d be “alright” unless the set was seriously lacking in Water-Types. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.7/5 

Limited: N/A 

Summary: I may be being a bit generous with Heliolisk since I’ve got it in my head it was a failed attempt at a Seismitoad-EX counter, as it has an attack cost that isn’t too hard to work into a lot of decks and an Ability that exploits the main weakness (not to be confused with “Weakness”) of Seismitoad-EX, its low damage output and the similar vulnerability of how it is commonly played (relying on Double Colorless Energy).  In the end though, it doesn’t even work that well to counter Seismitoad-EX and I can’t think of any other legitimate use for it, though at least it isn’t pure vanilla in design.


Emma Starr

                Ah, Heliolisk, the ugly evolution of the adorable Helioptile. However, unlike Cubchoo, Teddiursa, or Pancham, its evolution doesn’t look too fierce. It’s just…a lizard that walks on two legs. :/

                Let’s start off with the basics: with 90 HP, this a really low amount for any self-respecting non-Shedinja Stage 1 to have. It’s Fighting weakness definitely isn’t doing any favors whatsoever either, meaning he can be KOed with just one 50+ damage attack from a Fighting type. It has a Resistance to Steel, and an ability which also may as well be a Resistance as well, so, let’s tackle that here as well. It’s Dry Skin ability reduces damage from Water Pokémon by 30. So, in essence, this Pokémon has two resistances, which I guess could be the saving grace for this card, and the only factor why anyone would consider playing it… (not that I would really ever recommend actually playing this…)

                It’s only attack, the infamous Hyper Beam attack itself this time costs 1 Lightning and 2 Colorless, to do a whopping…60 damage. Wait, 60?! You mean the move that was one of the most powerful attacks (mostly in Generation 1) only does 60 now? I mean, with so many more options for attacks nowadays in the actual video games, like Return, Hyper Beam is nowhere near as great of a move as it was back in the day, but…only 60? That wouldn’t even be enough to entirely take down the most commonly-used basics from back in the Base Set/Jungle era, like Hitmonchan and Scyther. Times haven’t been too good for Hyper Beam, and in-game animations for that move will just never look quite as awesome as they did in R/B/Y somehow. Heliolisk, however, is just as awkward of a card as how awkward Heliolisk looks himself. (He didn’t even get a good picture taken for this card either. His head looks a lot closer to the camera, and yet you can’t even see one his eyes. This guy is just a derp. :P )

                Standard: 1/5

                Expanded: 1/5

                Limited: lolnope


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