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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Magcargo #24

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
March 10, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.67
Expanded: 1.5
Limited: 2.75

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 now we'll take a look at the far superior, more powerful, turbo-charged Magcargo Beta Edition! Which is to say, we're looking at this Magcargo now, and by comparison to yesterday's, it's...actually probably worse. Weird to think on, right? But why? 

Notably it's got the Omega Barrier Ancient Trait. You may remember seeing that on Primal Groudon-EX a little while back, and knowing that this Magcargo can't be hurt by your opponent's Trainer cards is nice. Granted, I'd rather be using it on something like Primal Groudon-EX that could be dealing lots of damage rather than Magcargo who's only got a vanilla attack and a heftier weak attack. 

Ram of course is the vanilla attack, at 2-for-30, which is pretty abysmal. I mean, you've seen what 2-for-30 CAN do (thank you Seismitoad-EX), and I know Magcargo here's a Stage 1, but COME ON!! You wanna make evolutions cool again? Don't give us EX that can obliterate us! Give us Stage 1 and 2 Pokemon with attacks that DEVASTATE, abilities that RUIN, ANYTHING but a VANILLA 2-FOR-30!!! 

And Indomitable Blaze is just EX-fodder. What I mean is that it's one of those attacks that does more damage to EX than non-EX, and that's fine and dandy and all - technically it does more than yesterday's Flamethrower, and if Hawlucha (FUF) has shown us anything, these kind of limitations aren't necessarily limiting in the current format - but given that it's 3-for-60 under any other circumstance, it's...disappointing to say the least. 

I'd hate to say it, but Magcargo got tossed under the iceberg of this set and has ended up in that 90% of cards we're not gonna see outside a trade binder. Magcargo (23) can 2HKO things at least consistently (and also does 60 total spread damage, which isn't bad but not exactly phenomenal), but this Magcargo? Well, at the very least, he's not affected by Trainers. 

Rating 

Standard: 1.5/5 (yeah, Omega Barrier does NOT justify running something with attacks this bad) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (you've got WAY better options here) 

Limited: 2.5/5 (fair enough against that one poor soul running Trevenant-EX, but otherwise, he's only okay) 

Arora Notealus: I feel like Magcargo is one of those Pokemon you forget about when it's not hanging around. Be honest, did you have to look up Magcargo to remember who it was? Have you heard of Magcargo being amazing as of late? Has he shown up in the anime recently? You'll probably make it a point now to remember him for how forgettable he is - just like I did with Doduo and Dodrio. 

Next Time: And now something completely different...on fire.


Otaku

So let’s… um… yeah I’m writing this up quickly because I came down with what I hoped might simply be some seasonal allergies but its pretty clear I’ve got something due to my sore throat and related issues.  So I’ll try to skip my normal attempts at (so-bad-I-hope-it’s-good) humor and get to the review.  Oh yeah, its Fire Weak for XY: Primal Clash.  Today we look at the second Magcargo in this set, XY: Primal Clash 24/160: no surprise I’ll be referencing yesterday’s review, Magcargo (XY: Primal Clash 23/160) a lot.  Nothing has changed my mind since yesterday; being a Fire-Type is a good thing though not as great as say being a Fighting-Type in the current cardpool and metagame.  Similarly, being a Stage 1 is still a drag but not as crippling as being a Stage 2: this is a format built for speed and that favors Basic Pokémon.  You have a solid chance of exploiting Weakness for gain (if your damage lines up correctly, anyway), no fear of Resistance and some decent support.  110 HP is 10 less than yesterday; a little weaker but not a major threshold to cross.  When applying Weakness 50 and below still falls short of the OHKO while 60 and above doesn’t… just like with 120 HP.  Speaking of Weakness, again Water Weakness can be nasty but its not as bad as being Fighting Weak.  No Resistance is still (regrettably?) the norm so no points docked for that.  The Retreat Cost of [CCC] is one better than yesterday’s but still too beefy to be cost effective; prepare for Magcargo to fall while Active or else bring some alternatives to manually retreating at full Price… which is pretty typical of most decks, lessening the drawback considerably. 

This Magcargo enjoys an Ancient Trait; Ω Barrier means your opponent’s Trainers can’t affect Magcargo directly and while this isn’t a perfect defense against an opponent’s machinations, it deals with a lot of big threats; Lysandre (though only while Magcargo is on the Bench), Escape Rope (though only while Magcargo is Active), Hypnotoxic Laser, Crushing Hammer, Enhanced Hammer, Hypnotoxic Laser, Startling Megaphone, etc. all are considered to directly affect the Pokémon (though some like Escape Rope only when it is in a certain board position), even ones that you would think don’t because apparently effects that target something attached to a Pokémon have to go “through” that Pokémon.  I have to remind myself this isn’t GURPS or another detailed table-top RPG, where such details can receive attention.  The card also has two attacks; the first is Ram for [RC] and the second is Indomitable Blaze for [RCC].  Ram does a vanilla 30 and to be blunt that’s just bad; too high of cost/too low of damage.  Indomitable Blaze does 60 damage, plus another 60 if the target is a Pokémon-EX.  Three for 60 is overpriced, while three for 120 is fairly good, but the two do not even out for a kind of good attack. 

You can stack some bonuses, like Silver Bangle and Hypnotoxic Laser plus Virbank City Gym to try and OHKO most Pokémon-EX and even 2HKO Mega Evolutions, but that’s a lot of effort to be meh against everything else.  Being Double Colorless Energy compliant also helps to take some of the sting out of the cost, this card ignores that we have achieved somewhat “limited” diversity in the game; while its disproportionately about big, Basic Pokémon, there are (overly) powerful examples of each Stage seeing competitive play.  When I am running something just to combat Pokémon-EX, I’m not too thrilled about a three card combo for the OHKO, especially now that the usual exceptions (Megas) are becoming more and more mainstream.  Without dramatically altering the card, just changing the damage split on Indomitable Blaze from 60/120 to 90/120 would have been a huge boon.  While it still wouldn’t have been great and is threatening to be a Create-A-Card moment, yesterday’s card less its own “big” attack (Flamethrower) but with the Ancient Trait and attack of today’s would… still have been a bit underpowered, but “closer”.  You might consider running this with XY: Primal Clash 23/160 but the two are still lacking what they need to be viable, and even then the Ancient Trait and second attack might not be enough to justify it. 

Ratings 

Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: While the artwork is fancier, that doesn’t mean it is a better card.  Once again you can see the beginnings of a good card, though not a terribly creative one, and perhaps that is why it ends up being a somewhat bland, ineffective final product.  Only get Magcargo (XY: Primal Clash 24/160) if you need it to complete your collection, are a Magcargo fan or really like the art and in all three cases, still hold out for a good deal. 


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