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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Flareon-EX

- Generations

Date Reviewed:
April 28, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.38
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 3.63

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've got the mighty Flareon-EX! And I never thought I'd say that exactly. Such is the way of the TCG. 

Flareon-EX actually has a neat little trick up his sleeve though. His Blaze Ball attack starts out as a weak 3-for-50 hit that does an extra 20 damage for every Fire Energy attached to Flareon-EX. It's basically his version of Secret Sword from Keldeo-EX! In fact...looking between the two, Flareon-EX is basically a Fire-typed version of Keldeo-EX. Same HP, same Retreat Cost, everything! 

...well, except the Ability. 

Flareon-EX's Ability actually works more for his own gain than Keldeo-EX's did. Flash Fire allows Flareon-EX to take Fire Energy from other Pokemon and attach it to himself - at the rate of one per turn. That's basically just like attaching a second Energy to him every turn, powering up Blaze Ball even faster than before! Man, he really is the second coming of Keldeo-EX!! 

...is what I'd say if it weren't for a couple of other factors to consider. Right now, there's not really any Fire acceleration in Standard outside of Blacksmith, so even with Flash Fire, Flareon-EX isn't going to be that fast if you don't have a way of dropping more Fire Energy into play. On top of that, his Ability is basically replacing the main reason that Keldeo-EX himself was played for: Rush In, which would switch Pokemon around and remove Status Conditions for almost no cost with Float Stone attached. 

That being said, Flareon-EX will probably see some explosive play in his own deck, but I wouldn't be rating him high on my list of cards. 

...unless we're doing a list of the CUTEST FREAKING CARDS EVER PRINTED, OMG THIS FLAREON-EX!! 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (a solid offensive threat that just has the burden of being apart of a Type that doesn't have as much support to its name at the moment) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (at the very least, he pushes out ahead with stuff like Emboar to work with) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (again, great card in a closed environment) 

Arora Notealus: I have no idea why, but I feel like I'm missing something from Flareon-EX. Maybe it's the comparison to Keldeo-EX that's throwing me off, but honestly I'm sure he's a great card in his own right. 

Next Time: Our final Eeveelution-EX of the week!


Otaku

Flareon-EX (Generations RC6/RC32, RC32) is our penultimate card this week, at least in terms of scheduling.  Nearly all Grass and Metal Types are Fire Weak, while true fire Resistance is a relic only found in Unlimited.  The most common of the handful of anti-Fire Type cards you might encounter tend to fake Resistance, with examples like Parallel City and Hariyama (XY: Furious Fists 52/111).  Fire Type support doesn’t have a lot of mind blowing tricks, but it does have Blacksmith for some quick Energy acceleration and solid plays like Scorched Earth for extra draw (and getting Fire Energy into your discard pile).  In Expanded you have Emboar (Black & White 20/114; BW: Black Star Promos BW21; BW: Next Destinies 100/99; BW: Legendary Treasures 27/113) for mass Fire Energy acceleration, but unlike its aquatic equivalent Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101), Emboar lacks a shortcut like Archie’s Ace in the Hole, which is one of the reasons (probably the main reason) Deluge decks made a comeback.  The Type has some solid attackers but the ones with some recent-ish credit as either main or supporting attackers are Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 12/106; XY: Black Star Promos XY121), Flareon (BW: Plasma Freeze 12/116), Entei (XY: Ancient Origins 14/98), and Entei (XY: Ancient Origins 15/98).  That is still something, but none of these are as impressive as say what I’d be bringing up for the Water Type (like Keldeo-EX or Seismitoad-EX).  Overall though the Fire Type is reasonably good, just not crazy good like the Fighting Type (yeah, still probably the overall best supported Type). 

Pokémon-EX give up an extra Prize when KOed, are targets of specific counter effects, and are excluded from certain beneficial effects; everyone knows this but besides me being my obsessive ol’ otaku self that insists on stating the obvious lest I forget it, unless a Pokémon-EX has an effect to specifically alleviate these issues they are guaranteed by the standard Pokémon-EX clause or the card pool.  The better attributes and/or effects Pokémon-EX get in exchange for coping with these drawbacks are not guaranteed though most I can think of have always had at least substantially better HP or one solid effect.  Yet as you know if you’ve been reading the other CotDs this week, Eeveelutions - as the name implies - are Evolutions of Eevee but these Pokémon-EX versions are instead Basics.  Not only do you not have each Eeveelution competing with the others for Eevees from which to Evolve you don’t have to Evolve them at all, and Basics are, have been, and until something drastic changes will remain the best Stage to be.  Flareon-EX does cash in the the HP bonus, going from 90 or 100 to 170, the lower of the two typical Basic Pokémon-EX HP scores but still enough to often soak a hit and survive.  The Water Weakness is dangerous because of not only multiple established Water decks (some of which are still currently competitive) but because it isn’t a difficult Type to splash into many decks (Keldeo-EX, Seismitoad-EX, etc.).  No Resistance is typical and not too big of a deal in this case, so we’ll move onto that Retreat Cost of [CC] which - you guessed it - is low enough you can probably pay it but high enough you ought to pack some alternatives to doing so at full price, if at all. 

Flareon-EX has an Ability, breaking the pattern established by the other Pokémon-EX Eeveelutions.  Said Ability is “Flash Fire”, parsed as two separate words (unlike the set name) and allows you to move a [R] Energy from one of your Pokémon in play to itself, once per turn and before you attack.  Once per turn isn’t very strong, but it does work on any source of [R] Energy.  Its attack is “Blaze Ball” and… you know how I keep bringing up Keldeo-EX?  Its attack is “Secret Sword” for [CCC], which does 50 damage plus 20 per [W] Energy attached to itself; Blaze Ball is the same thing but the bonus comes from [R] Energy.  I bring up this comparison because yes, this makes Blaze Ball a very good attack; you need Energy acceleration and/or a deck where it makes sense to splash Flareon-EX into it to make it worth using, but we may have just those things.  Flash Fire is not as good as Rush In, but while it also isn’t as good as say Fairy Transfer on Aromatisse (XY 93/146), that’s a Stage 1 Bench-sitter with 90 HP while Flareon-EX is a Basic Pokémon-EX with 170 HP, meant to attack.  Multiple copies can even fake some of the better tricks of other Energy transfer decks; if you have an Active with [RRR] attached but need to heal it with Max Potion, three Flareon-EX could “save” all of those Energy.  Since a Blacksmith and manual Energy attachment can get said Active ready to swing again, you’re now three Energy ahead instead of just breaking even. 

So where ought you to use Flareon-EX?  Therein lies the rub; since Emboar just isn’t Blastoise in terms of fast, reliable setups, nor is Flareon-EX Keldeo-EX with its generally useful Ability and killer attack, following their lead won’t give you even close to their results.  After all, in the case of the Max Potion example (with basic Fire Energy) you would just play the Max Potion and then use a Fisherman or Superior Energy Retrieval to get it all back into hand, at which point Emboar can use its “Inferno Fandango” Ability to rain it back down.  Fortunately it already has been used with some success so I don’t have to get creative.  It managed one Top Eight finish in the Masters Division of a State Championship paired with Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98) and Reshiram (XY: Roaring Skies 63/108).  Not only is Giratina-EX a fearsome attacker in its own right, but you can use Reshiram and its Turboblaze Ability to attach to Giratina-EX, then move that Energy with Flash Fire to Flareon-EX.  There is also a deck labeled as just “Flareon-EX” in the results and I don’t know what it contained.  As such, I’ll just go with the idea that I’ve seen discussed (but not run) elsewhere: Team Magma’s Camerupt. 

If you don’t recall what that is, it released as XY: Double Crisis 2/34, that nostalgic mini-set.  Its “Burning Draft” Ability allows you to attach a [R] or [F] Energy from your discard pile to itself.  At the time we thought it might make Camerupt-EX s serious contender, but while Team Magma’s Camerupt did make it a functional deck, it did not turn it into a strong one.  Flareon-EX of course can move that one [R] Energy per turn to itself with Flash Fire, and if you have multiple pairs (and enough Fire Energy in the discard pile), you can even work on up to two more at a time.  Four Fire Energy in a single turn (one from hand, two from Blacksmith, one from Burning Draft => Flash Fire) gets Blaze Ball hitting for 130 damage.  You’ll need two more [R] Energy (or one more [R] Energy and a Muscle Band) to threaten similarly sized Pokémon-EX (and smaller), or two more and a Muscle Band/Fighting Fury Belt to take out the 180 HP targets, but if Flareon-EX isn’t taken out in a single turn, you’re working on multiple at a time, or both that stops being farfetched.  If your opponent can’t trash your setup or shut off Abilities, you might even get Blaze Ball taking out Mega Evolutions.  While not as fast as it could be, it also isn’t as fragile as some others either; if Abilities go down, a manual Energy attachment and a Blacksmith still get Blaze Ball into 2HKO range for anything lacking protection or HP buffs, even Wailord-EX. 

So as you can tell, this card has a place in Standard and possibly in Expanded as well (no results from major events to reference).  Needless to say all the same cards are legal and then some more.  Maybe some old favorites like Entei-EX are worth busting out with Flareon-EX behind them.  Of course, Deluge decks are still a thing here.  If you can pull this for Limited, its great with other cards or on its own.  The Ability is useless if you do run it solo, and it will take three turns for Blaze Ball to build, but unless something goes your opponent’s way (Water Type attackers, fast offense, Crushing Hammer pulls/draws/flips, etc.) you’ll rapidly take four OHKOs and win while still having a few HP to spare.  Of course, Generations events in Limited are probably hypothetical; I don’t think there were any official Pre-releases for it so unless the-powers-that-be decide to start this is only happening because you (or your local tournament organizer) would make it happen… and Generations has a somewhat odd release so I don’t know if that is even remotely possible. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: When I began this review, let alone when I schedule Flareon-EX, I didn’t realize it would be this good.  I mean I thought it had enough promise that we had already covered it; I had to substitute it in shortly before sending out said schedule when I realized we hadn’t taken a look at it yet.  I didn’t notice it among the results from States. 

Flareon-EX just missed getting reviewed as part of our Top 3 picks from Generations, scoring three voting points and taking fourth place.  That is probably why I thought we had already covered it; I had it as my personal third place pick, and if it wasn’t a close race between it, Jolteon-EX, and Revitalizer, it should have been.  Kind of wishing I had saved it for Friday; I don’t know if tomorrow’s card will be as impressive.


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