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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Torkoal - - Team Aqua & Magma

Date Reviewed: 3.26.04

Ratings & Reviews below

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Heidi Craig

2000 WCSTS

Modified 2/5
Magma Burn is interesting. You can discard the top card from your opponents deck which could cause them problems.

Hot Air for 2 energy and 30 damage with bench manipulation not to bad. Torkoal has 80 hit points which isn't bad since both attacks use low energy.

Unlimited 1/5
There simply better Pokemon to choose from in this format.

Draft 3/5
It has low energy attacks with interesting effects and high hit points for this format. It would be worth using in a draft deck.

Jermy101  Geez who chooses these cards =P.  There's a reason this card is named Torkoal.  Because it sucks.  All the Torkoals suck in constructed formats.  You don't need a pokemon to retrieve energy, which is what his first attack does.  Just use Fisherman.  And his 2nd attack.....burns?  So that's like 20 damage a turn.  Wow.  An awful card, horrible horrible....His retreat cost is 3?!  Ouch that's heavy for a useless pokemon.

Unlimited - I would rather use Base Gastly. 1/5

Modified - I would rather use the SS Raticate/AQ Nidoking deck. 1/5

Limited - Here it's good.  Special conditions are nice in limited.  The auto burn can force your opponent to keep retreating to get rid of the burn and they can run low on energy because of that.  Also the way he gets back Energy is cool with his first attack. 3/5


Name: Team Magma’s Torkoal

Set/Card#: Team Magma vs. Team Aqua, #12/97

Type: Dark/Fire

Stage: 1

HP: 80

Weakness: Water

Resistance: None

Retreat: CC

Attack#1: (R) Magma Burn [10]

Discard the top card from your opponent’s deck and flip a coin.  If tails, discard a (R) Energy attached to Team Magma’s Torkoal.

Attack#2: (RC) Hot Air [30]

Discard a (R) Energy attached to Team Magma’s Torkoal, and your opponent switches the Defending Pokémon with 1 of his or her Benched Pokémon, if any.


Attributes: There is just one Team Magma’s Torkoal (TMT) available.  It is a Basic, Dark/Fire Pokémon, another unique quality, I believe.  This is good, as it carves out a niche for use by TMT.  Being both Dark and Fire is nice-there are Pokémon Weak to both, but none are Resistant!  Very nice indeed…  TMT has 80 HP, which is really good for a Basic (if this were a Pokémon ex, then it wouldn’t be).  Water Weakness is expected, and just needs to be dealt with.  While no official leaders for Water decks have come forward, several promising decks based around new and old Water cards are floating around. XD I say this every time: no Resistance is the worst Resistance.  Finally, we come to a retreat of two.  This is average normally, but On a Fire Pokémon, it’s almost a little better due to a combo I’ll talk about later.  As is, it can be paid without a lot of waiting, but will take time to recharge.


Abilities: Magma Burn seems a touch over-priced to me, but the lack of discarding cards means that if you can get it up front at the right time, you can take an opponent by surprise.  The second attack, since it appears mandatory to discard if possible, is lame.  First, you may not want to discard, and second making the opponent Switch Actives can backfire.  On the bright site, with a true Darkness Energy, the attack will do 40 for (RD), which is passable.


Uses/Combinations: … I guess in a Modified depletion deck.  Maybe as an opener for a Fire deck like BAR, just to diversify it.




Unlimited: 1.25/5-Even though depletion is rare, we still have a card that can do it better and is a basic Fire Pokémon.  Attack is even about the same price, but instead of a token 10 damage, they discard one card per Fire energy you discard from that Pokémon.  And that Pokémon is… Fossil Moltres.


Modified/2-on-2/ TMP: 1.75/5-Honestly, I am probably being a bit generous, but who knows?  Maybe it could push BAR even farther… yeah, right. XD


Limited: 3/5-Here it can be nice.  The HP is a real boon on a Basic in this format, and forcing switches and depletion are much more effective too.



Another Pokémon that only shines (slightly) in Limited.  It seems the fear of Big Bad Basics returning claims another victim.


Bullados Team Magma's Torkoal

80 HP is very nice for a non-ex Basic, there are very few 80 HP basics around anymore, so this kind of HP bonus is precious. Water weakness isn't really a problem. There are only 2 widely used Water Pokemon (Suicune and Kingdra) and both have the power to OHKO Torkoal without the weakness bonus. Retreat of 2 is decent, but I really wouldn't pay it.

Attack #1: "Magma Burn"
This is the guy's main attack, and it's also one of the very few disruption attacks in the game today, along with Absol and Skarmory from Dragons. This attack is very useful in Draft where you only have 40 cards in your deck: about 10 turns of using this attack and you win via deckout. In MOdified, it's relatively decent as a pure disruption attack, especially after your opponent has just used an Oracle, to discard something very precious that your opponent has hopefully put on the top of his or her deck.. The energy discard is really nothing to worry about, as Torkoal won't last more than 3-4 turns in Modified, and you will usually play about 20ish energies in Limited.

Attack #2: "Hot Air"
A little bit underpowered, IMO. Discard an energy to deal 30 and allow the opponent to switch is a little bit weak. Use Magma Burn more often than Hot Air unless Hot Air will give you a quick KO.


There are better disruption cards here (most notably Dark Tyrannitar and Lass) that screw your opponent over much more than this thing. Don't use him here. 1.25/5

Possible backup late game to a Blaziken deck, if your opponent is running low on cards and you want to burn him quickly. Most likely, both of your main attackers will be gone at this point, and Torkoal can just start pecking away at your opponent's card base until it's gone. However, this is idealized, and it isn't really worth much more than a TecH spot in your deck. 3/5

I'm still kicking myself for not playing this guy here. The first attack is amazing, especially with the lower attack strength of most of the Pokemon in this format, and you should be able to go through at least 3-5 cards before Torkoal is KO'd, which is enough to put your opponent under 10 cards in the deck. You also have to consider that there are a large multitude of drawing and searching cards in TATM which thin the deck considerably. IMO, he's a 2nd pick behind possibly card drawing or an ex type, and possibly a first pick depending on the pack and your strategy. 4.75/5 is here to provide guidance to all Pokemon trainers out there.  Whether it's the Gameboy Game, N64 or the Trading Card Game, provides all the wisdom you desire. 

If you have cool game tips, a killer deck, or breaking news ... send them to us.  We'll post it on the site ... and give you all the credit.  


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