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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Typhlosion

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
January 12, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.5
Limited: 4.17

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

If there's anything that power creep has done to Pokemon, it's increased the number of ways Evolutions can just DECIMATE a field. And Typhlosion is certainly no exception! Like, just take a look back at Neo Genesis' copy - let's got with #18, just to be on the same page. Fire Boost gave you a 50/50 shot at instantly charging its Flame Wheel attack that would discard 3 Fire Energy and deal 20 damage to all the Benched Pokemon while dealing 80 to the opponent's Active Pokemon. That's pretty explosive! 

Today's Typhlosion actually shares a lot of similarities to that Typhlosion, as well as a couple others. Basically, this Typhlosion likes utilizing Energy from your deck, and he's got an attack that discards Energy. Granted, it's a bit different...okay, it's a LOT different, but bare with me cause he's still packing a lot of heat.  

Massive Eruption is another one of those kinds of attacks that deals a lot of damage, kinda like Flame Wheel, but it doesn't deal damage to the Bench-sitters. Still, it can deal a TON of damage to the Active - provided you mill well. See, Massive Eruption mills off the top five cards of your deck, and for each one of those that's an Energy card, Typhlosion blasts out 80 damage. You only really need 2-3 Energy to deal effective damage to KO anything in the format, but given how most decks will run 8-12 Energy in a 60-card deck, you know that Typhlosion is asking for a bit more investment to making him your main attacker. You're probably looking at upwards of 15 Energy to be reasonably effective in the way you'd want to be, using your Trainers to mill out as much of your other Trainer cards and Pokemon as possible in order to maximize on Typhlosion. And hey, with only 1 Energy to used it, you'd be able to get a lot of usage out of just one. 

Now if for some reason a 1-Energy cheap powerhouse attack isn't your style, Typhlosion has also inherited the Flare Destroy attack from Typhlosion Prime from HGSS - yeah, how about that for a nostalgia kickback? Objectively speaking, this Flare Destroy is better than Prime's, costing the same amount with the same effect and yet dealing 130 damage compared to Prime's 70 damage (POWER CREEP). So yeah, he'll discard an Energy like Burning Energy (and get it back for free if it is Burning Energy) and take down the opponent's Energy with ease - pretty much just utilize other Energy smacking cards with that, and the opponent won't stand much of a chance. 

So yeah, Typhlosion here pretty much requires his own deck build, but he can definitely be successful. Sure, he's a Stage 2, and sure he's chance-reliant for Massive Eruption (sorta not really), but it's more than possible to build a deck around him and maybe even win. Expect at least a couple hanging around where you least expect him. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (hefty powerful attacks, but he definitely needs to be built around) 

Expanded: 3/5 (if he's not the star, you're not putting him in your deck) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (seriously, BUILD THE DECK AROUND HIM) 

Arora Notealus: BUILD THE DECK-oh, um, *er-hem*. Hey, you notice how a lot of attacks nowadays are kinda big explode-y attacks? Destroyer King, Massive Eruption, Cryo Mouth - everything just wants to deal a BUNCH of damage at once, it's kinda crazy! You'd almost never find an attack like that back in the day, and if it was on something, it'd be too uncompetitive. Weird how that's somewhat become the norm... 

Next Time: Speaking of powerhouses and power creep, let's talk EXs...


Otaku

Typhlosion (XY: BREAKthrough 20/162) is our second card for this Fire Week and marks the return of Typhlosion to both Expanded and Standard play.  So let us see if that will actually matter.  Note: This review is going up incredibly late, going up roughly on February 8, 2016!  Yeah, I got behind.  At least this meant I finally ran into someone running the deck. 

As a Fire-Type Typhlosion will hit Weakness against most Grass- and Metal-Types and doesn’t have to worry about Resistance or anti-Fire-Type effects because they don’t exist!  We covered the latest bit of Fire-Type support yesterday but what might matter most is the Supporter Blacksmith, which allows you to use your Supporter for the turn to attach two basic Fire Energy cards from your discard pile to one of your Fire-Type Pokémon.  As a Stage 2 Pokémon Typhlosion takes time to get into play: minimum of two turns and three cards even including acceleration.  Besides Rare Candy, there are a few other cards designed for Stage 2 Pokémon specifically, and the next most important one is probably Miltank (XY: Flashfire 83/106), a 100 HP Colorless Basic that can hit for 80 damage if you have  a Stage 2 in play.  There are actually a few anti-Stage 2 cards: Stage 2 Pokémon aren’t common enough to justify them, but they aren’t that good even if the format was suddenly dominated by Stage 2 Pokémon in all roles (and not just the customary Bench-sitter).  Typhlosion has a 150 HP, only 10 below the maximum printed on any currently legal Stage 2 Pokémon.  It still can be OHKOed but there are a decent amount of decks that will fall a little short even with their preferred attacker and set-up.  Water Weakness means Seismitoad-EX, Suicune (BW: Plasma Blast 20/101) and a few other low-to-mid-range Water-Type attackers can score a OHKO when normally they’d fall at least a little short; not as bad as it could be but definitely not good.  Typical lack of Resistance so moving on we see a Retreat Cost of [CCC], making Typhlosion a legal Heavy Ball target (which probably won’t matter) and not something you want to manually retreat, or at least do so at full price. 

Typhlosion sports two attacks, the first of which is “Massive Eruption” for [R].  Its effect is to discard the top five cards of your own deck, far from an insignificant amount.  The second is “Flare Destroy” for [RRC] which hits for 130 damage plus an effect: you discard an Energy attached to Typhlosion (that is, whatever used Flare Destroy) and then you discard an Energy attached to your opponent’s Active.  Massive Eruption discarding five cards (as opposed to say revealing then shuffling away) is a massive cost: the lower the damage you do, the more you’re discarding non-Energy cards.  At least the attack counts Special Energy cards and doesn’t care about Type, so say Burning Energy still causes damage.  Pokémon and basic Energy aren’t so hard to get back and as of XY: BREAKpoint there is a means to get back anything now (more on that in a bit), but Lysandre’s Trump Card it ain’t: you’ll still be feeling it.  You run the risk of trashing your deck by discarding five non-Energy cards and whiffing, doing zero damage.  Normally 80-for-one is very good (maybe great) but not when you just lost four non-Energy cards from the deck alongside one (hopefully) basic Fire Energy cards.  160-for-one would help even a Stage 2 have a place at the table… except you’re still losing three non-Energy cards from your deck.  Past this point though it stops being such a serious drawback, as hitting for 240 damage and having two of the five discarded cards be non-Energy is actually pretty good, while 320 for one less non-Energy discarded from the deck is great and of course a perfect 400 means you discarded all Energy cards (and if they were all basic Energy, a simple Energy Recycler can even be used to reload them into your deck). 

So… does that average out to something worth the risk?  Unlike coin flips, you control what is in your full deck.  Just like coin flips, you’re at the mercy of chance with what is within your top five cards (or your deck in general) at any time during the match.  Even when you do something like use Energy Recycler to ensure you’ve got five basic Energy in your deck, and your deck was at zero cards before that due to careful use of draw and search effects, it all goes back to your opening hand and Prizes, which are randomized (at least within the context of your deck list).  There are many combos one can use to affect your deck’s composition, but not let you significantly stack the deck and anything you run is another thing you may accidentally mill with Massive Eruption.  So how about Flare Destroy?  It provides a reliable 130 damage for three Energy, which is very good.  It also also may potentially disrupt the opponent due to the Energy discard effect.  Discarding Energy from something doesn’t matter if it is KOed, or at least will be KO'd before it can use said Energy for anything (or anything again if it has used it before).  So the self-discard isn’t an issue if Typhlosion gets KO’d but if Typhlosion survives and wants to use Flare Destroy again the next turn, it will need more Energy and if your target was OHKOed by Flare Destroy or had no Energy attached in the first place, you still have to discard that Energy. 

The two attacks have synergy but I am thinking it is a bit flawed.  From a design standpoint a lot of good decisions (at least relative to what came before) are present.  The massive self-mill is incredibly affordable otherwise, and we’ve got the typical “one Energy attack leads into a three Energy attack” dynamic.  No bizarre Energy costs either.  I mostly question making Flare Destroy a “big” attack that can OHKO smaller things reliably while having its Energy discarding effect.  Energy discards make more sense on smaller attacks: if your opponent has sufficient Energy acceleration and/or is using low cost attacks so that the discards hardly matter, you’re out of luck whether your Energy discarding attack is big or small.  As a three Energy attack, especially on a Fire-Type, just going for reliable massive damage may have been better: 130 plus 20 from a Muscle Band means 150.  You don’t want to have to Giovanni to take out the 170 HP stuff in one shot.  If that single Energy you discard from Typhlosion was paying for another 20 or 30 damage, I think Typhlosion would have been better off.  Still what we have is far from useless.  Let us see if Cyndaquil and Quilava help or hurt this card’s chances. 

Both Cyndaquil (XY: BREAKthrough 18/162) and Quilava (XY: BREAKthrough 19/162) are the only versions of their respective Pokémon, and each is a Fire-Type with Water Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ancient Trait and no Ability.  Cyndaquil is a Basic Pokemon with 60 HP and two attacks: for [C] it may use “Tackle” to hit for 10 damage or for [RC] it can instead use “Ember” to hit for 30 but must also discard a [R] Energy from itself.  Quilava is a Stage 1 with 80 HP and the single attack “Mini Eruption” that costs [RC] and does 30 damage while discarding the top card of your deck; if it is an Energy card the attack does an additional 30 damage (totaling 60 damage).  These… are not helpful.  Cyndaquil at least has 60 HP but Quilava is only to be used due to the fear of Item lock preventing the use of Rare Candy.  As I’ve stated before, the burden of justifying an Evolution line needs to be considered the entire way through: a deck built around Typhlosion must carry the weight of these two and while they may look small, it seems unlikely you’ll want to use elaborate combos to run fewer of these than you would copies of Typhlosion.  I think this eliminates the potential for Typhlosion in competitive play, not that it had a huge opportunity in the first place. 

So what if you wish to use it anyway?  There are many tricks one might use to manipulate one’s deck but each takes up more space and has a risk of being milled by Massive Eruption instead of basic Energy: waiting a few turns to setup the combo loses the speed advantage of Massive Eruption being a single Energy attack.  Your best bet is probably to build an Energy heavy deck (preferably basic Fire Energy cards) then include what you need to throw discarded ones back in the deck over and over again.  At least with a solid Trainer engine and several Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108; 106/108) you stand a solid chance of rushing into a Typhlosion, though of course not on your first turn.  I am uncertain as to how much you ought to focus upon Flare Destroy: while reliable it also is going to be a 2HKO most of the time and three Energy on a Stage 2 is pretty hard to keep going.  Massive Eruption on the other hand is ready fast, even if it is iffy.  Now that it is out (though it’ll be few weeks before it is tournament legal), Puzzle of Time (XY: BREAKpoint 109/122).  The short version is that this card has two effects, with the second activated by playing two copies of this card at once: if you’re wondering yes the card text specifically grants the player the capacity to play two copies of Puzzle of Time at once, as normally you may only play one card at a time. 

The first effect, the one you get if you only play a single copy of Puzzle of Time is to look at the top three cards of your deck, rearrange them as you see fit and that is helpful, but the main thing is the second effect, which allows you to instead take two cards from your discard pile and add them to your hand.  This creates a serious security blanket for dealing with accidental discards.  So as a fun and possibly even a functional deck, but probably not something you’ll see winning an event (looks like it was a no show at the top eight for the deck) for either Standard or Expanded.  In Limited, if you get the entire line remember to focus on Flare Destroy because with a 40 card deck, you’ll be lucky to get off multiple attacks with Massive Eruption without decking yourself out.  Still as a 150 HP Stage 2, once it hits it will dominate against all but similarly lucky pulls… and Water-Types thanks to Weakness.  The difficulty is in pulling the entire line, then assembling it with so few draw and search cards in an actual deck before you lose or even win in another manner. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 3.75/5 

Summary: Typhlosion has an amazingly potent but unreliable attack and a solid second attack… but the second isn’t worth building an entire deck around it so if you really want to enjoy the card, I think you’ll have to focus upon the first.  Even then, I wouldn’t expect to win any events of note with a Typhlosion deck, at least without a lot of luck.


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