Next on our ever-expanding list of
Pokemon-EX comes the powerful Emboar-EX! Note that
doesn't mean any real relation to the Stage 2 Inferno
Fandago powering Emboar by default...
Emboar-EX does have some positives,
like his 180 HP and Fire typing getting that good ol
Fire support, like Blacksmith!...and Emboar! But aside
from that, he might not be that impressive. Spiral Punch
starts out as a 2-for-20 hit, which is a bit
disappointing considering he's an EX. But then, he does
have the chance to increase it by 20!...well, that's not
quite true. He gets the ability to flip a coin until you
flip tails, and then he does an extra 20 damage for
every heads that popped up in a row. Again, you could be
lucky, but you're more likely to average around an extra
20 damage or so, all things considered.
Still, you should never
underestimate the power of a really really lucky guy...
Course Strong Flare gives a lot of
bang for your buck, at 4-for-150 as a base. It doesn't
increase further on its own though and instead requires
you to discard 2 Energy from Emboar-EX, a cost that can
be easily supplemented with Burning Energy, but at that
point, I feel Emboar-EX was designed with that in mind.
Like you're expected to use him with that Burning Energy
in order to feel the real payoff here, and yet the best
you're gonna do with an additional Muscle Band is about
170, KO'ing only the weaker side of Pokemon-EX and
anything weak to Fire.
So what does the survey say at the
end of the day for Emboar-EX? Well, he's nothing to look
twice at for sure - you're either gonna love him for his
potential or hate him for his chancy behavior. He's a
pretty risky EX to take with you to your local scene,
but hey, maybe I'm just a judgy-mc-judger-pants for him.
...judgy-mc-judger-pa-why do I
write this stuff?
Standard: 2/5 (Emboar needs a bit
of work to really do anything anyway, and all things
considered, there are better EX to invest in)
Expanded: 2/5 (I'd say he's on the
lower end of the EX list, if only cause his attacks show
"potential"...and not much else)
Limited: 3.5/5 (but hey, you might
make something of him in Limited!)
Arora Notealus: Emboar's still a
really interesting Pokemon. I wonder if he'll get some
new tricks with the upcoming generation...
Next Time: His powerful pincers
will smash you to smithereens!
While Entei (Ancient
Origins 15/98) based decks are a rare sight nowadays,
Emboar-EX could find some life replacing
Charizard-EX (Flashfire 12/106). The first attack is
a "Flip a coin until you get tails..." attack. It could
save you in a pinch, but overall isn't that useful. The
real draw here is the second attack, Strong Flare. It's
fairly standard, taking [RRCC] to do 150 damage, and
then you discard two Energy. But the Energy cost is the
magic amount that lets you use Blacksmith and a Double
Colourless Energy to power it up in one turn. 150 damage
is also one Muscle Band away from being to knock out a
lot of the Pokémon-EX in the format, like Yveltal-EX,
securing yourself twoquick prizes. The main reason to
use Emboar-EX over Charizard-EX is because of the
different drawbacks to the big attacks; Emboar-EX can
attack over and over again as long as you can keep
getting attaching more Energy but the attack on
Charizard-EX states it can't use that attack again the
next turn so you've got to switch to something else or
Bench then re-promote it to the Active spot. In limited,
Emboar-EX strangely gets weaker because without Muscle
Band and the Blacksmith it becomes much slower and
can't OHKO the big Pokémon-EX from the set.
Today we look at
Emboar-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 14/122). This
is going to seem very familiar if you read
as there are a lot of similarities. Emboar-EX is
a Fire-Type; nearly all Metal Types and most Grass Types
are Fire Weak, nothing is Resistant, anti-Fire Type
effects are weak, and Fire Type support is not abundant,
but contains at least one good card (Blacksmith).
As a Pokémon-EX, Emboar-EX gets to be a Basic
instead of a Stage 2, which is a huge speed boost and
space saver, as well as containing some other less overt
benefits. The downsides of being a Pokémon-EX
still apply though; it gives up an extra Prize when KOed,
it has to deal with anti-Pokémon-EX effects, and some
beneficial effects exclude Pokémon-EX. Emboar-EX
clocks in at 180 HP, the higher of the two typical HP
scores and a solid amount that will often survive a hit.
Water Weakness can be a serious threat, but specifically
because the lower damaging Water Types suddenly can hit
big (the big hitters were already in OHKO range).
The lack of Resistance is typical and while I wish that
wasn’t the case, we’ll move on. The Retreat Cost
of three allows for the use of Heavy Ball and
Heavy Boots; too bad those cards are seldom seen in
successful, competitive decks. So what it really
means it making sure you’ve got multiple alternatives to
manually retreating at full price; either allow
Emboar-EX to tank or pack something to lower or
eliminate its Retreat Cost.
has two attacks, but no Ancient Trait or Ability.
The first attack is “Spiral Punch” for [RC], which does
20 damage and has you flip a coin until you get “tails”;
for each “heads” the attack does an extra 20 damage.
20-for-two is weak, but if your luck isn’t too extreme,
about half the time you’ll deal at least 40. While
totally unreliable for big hits, it does always carry
the threat of a OHKO (disregarding effects like
Focus Sash). As a reminder, even if you do
get a lot of flips, remember it only matters if you need
them; nothing like getting a run of “heads” for a
massive 200 damage and… only needing 10 damage to finish
off the Active. The second attack is “Strong
Flare”, which requires [RRCC] and does 150 damage, but
also requires you discard two Energy attached to
Emboar-EX itself. This is a solid amount of
damage for what is being invested and if Energy counting
attacks, like “Evil Ball” on Yveltal-EX, are
common it may be to your benefit to lose two Energy.
Most of the time though it’s just an acceptable cost as
if Emboar-EX can survive to the next turn, you
can try for a Blacksmith to swing big again.
The 150 damage is enough that a Giovanni’s Scheme
or Muscle Band can get it to that critical 180
damage range. The Energy costs aren’t perfect but
they are pretty good; Spiral Punch needs Blacksmith
to power up in a single turn, but at least that is an
option for when you don’t also have a Double
Colorless Energy to go for Strong Flare.
I seem a lot more
optimistic about Emboar-EX than I was with
yesterday’s Ninetales-EX. Why? Though
it isn’t an overly important role, you now have an
alternative to Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire
12/106; XY: Black Star Promos XY121) as our big
Fire Type attacker. Said Charizard-EX can
also do 150 damage for [RRCC], but instead of a two
Energy discard cost, Charizard-EX cannot use said
big attack again the next turn. There are ways
around that restriction, but it can be pricey, and its
smaller attack requires [RCC] just to do 60. So
Emboar-EX is a solid alternative, possibly even the
better choice. Of course, this role is mostly only
important for backing up Entei (XY: Ancient
Origins 15/98), and the deck in which it stars
didn’t have much of a showing at the State
Championships. Maybe it was just a hiccup, maybe
its time has already passed. Still, this gives you
an idea of what Emboar-EX can do in Standard and
Expanded play. Expanded adds a few other options
for big, Basic Fire Type attackers, though none that
fits this exact niche.
What about in
Limited? I doubt the new rules for Pre-Releases
would be retroactively applied, so I’ll assume the older
ones (and possibly unofficial tournament status).
If you pull Emboar-EX, you really ought to run
it. You can either just splash it in alongside one
or two other Types and hope you can get it and build it
up for a big finish, or you can take the risk of running
just Emboar-EX, to ensure you open with
it. There are a good deal of Water Types this set,
and that is scary. The 180 HP will be taxed
lasting long enough to build and pull off enough Strong
Flares to take the four Prizes you need to win in
Limited play, so it mostly will come down to how lucky
you are on flips for Spiral Punch, and how unlucky your
opponent is when it comes to his or her setup. I’d
favor taking the risk just a little more than not.
Emboar-EX doesn’t do anything really new, but
does provide an alternative to the current best big,
Basic Pokémon-EX Fire Type attacker, Charizard-EX.
Though I didn’t intend it at the time, it worked out
well that we reviewed Ninetales-EX.
Together they give a good idea of the where the line is
between “not quite” and “just enough”.