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This is a cool Book!

Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Dark Ampharos - TRR

Date Reviewed: 01.25.05

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Unlimited: 2
Modified: 3.9
Limited: 3

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

Johnny Blaze
Dark Ampharos – Currently with all the Fighting types found in Magma, Monarchy, and Dark T-Tar decks I cant see how Dark Amphy does so well. But not only does it do well it is becoming an archetype in its own right in the current modified environment.

One reason is its Poke-Body: Darkest Impulse. Simply stated Darkest Impulse puts 2 damage counters on any Pokemon that your opponent evolves from their hand. If you have more than 1 Dark Ampharos in play this Body does not stack. However if your opponent evolves multiple times in that turn then the Darkest Impulse will still place damage each time they play an evolution card from their hand.

Unlimited: 2/5 – 2 Smash Punches from Tyrogue and Dark Amphy is history so that is quite a liability. But it could work good in combination with Zzap Pichu against Slowking decks. Dark Amphy will do 20 when they evolve into Slowkings and then Pichu can Zzap the Slowkings Mind Games. Take that Slowking.

Modified: 4/5 - Combo Dark Amphy with some other nice bench damage and then play ATM Rock on their damaged evos. and you have a force to reckon with. It also doesn’t hurt that one of the most played supporting Pokemon Pidgeot, is weak to electric.

Limited: 4/5 – If you are fortunate enough to pull all Stages with a little help from Rockets Pokeball and Rockets Hideout then Dark Amphy can deal some nice damage. 2CC for 30 is decent and then 3 for 70 with a L discard is nice too.
Jaeger Todays card of the day is Dark Ampharos from the Team Rocket Returns Set. Retreat cost of two seems to be about average for a stage 2 the weakness to fighting is going to hurt this card since there are a lot of good fighting decks out there. Its got 120 HP which is high enough to take a couple of hits. On to the attacks the first attack two colorless thirty damage is pretty standard now for the second attack as long as your playing a multi type deck your fine because you can have 1 lighting and 2 fighting on it for example and you are just discarding 1 electric to do 70 damage but if you are playing a electric deck and have 3 electric on it discard 3 energy to do 70 is hardly worth it. Now heres the thing I really like about this card the Poke-Power every time a pokemon evolves they take 20 now if it is a stage 2 and they did not Rare Candy it that means it already has take 40 but early game is when this is most effective but is still helpful later in the game.

Bottom Line: I think this is a card you will see in tournaments and can be hard to deal with if gotten out early game

Combos: Dark Ampharos+Dark Tryanatar+ATM Rock: If there basics they take damage they evolve they take damage then you can devolve them and if they want to evolve them again they will take more damage. It also slows down those speed decks that use Rare Candy in to much. Also if you have problem with EX or feel you want to do more damage Desert Ruins is a nice addition.

Unlimited: 2/5 1 hit KO's Blastoise but tyrouges and Hitmonchans will destroy this card also there is less evolving in this format because some decks don't use evolution at all (Haymaker for one) and others only use stage 1's (Slowking is one of many)

Modified: 3.8

Limited: 2.5/5 Hard to get out plus little to no evolving in this format
yume usagi Dark Ampharos

Well, this is the first card of the day from the little gray rabbit, so I hope that you all enjoy and that it provides a little help into all your deck building needs.

Dark Ampharos:
Ever since the introduction of the neo pokemon I've always wondered exactly what the heck is this thing, and the closest I've been able to figure out is that it's a lighting rod sheep thing, but at least its kinda cute. All in all I believe that Dark Ampharos is a solid card that you could create some fun decks around.

120 Hit Points:
The usual for a stage 2 and is as good as it gets for a stage 2 dark pokemon.

Darkest Impulse:
I think that this is a brilliant poke-body. The ability to place 2 damage counters on your opponents evolving pokemon can be a great advantage. In the modified format there is almost no way to get around using evolved pokemon. Just think that they have to sacrifice 40 damage to get a stage 2 pokemon into play, that's about a quarter of most pokemon's hit points.

Ram: CC 30
2 colourless for 30, solid.

Shock Blast: LCC 70
Relatively low cost and the discharge of electric energy is customary of electric pokemon.

Pretty good for a stage 2

Unlimited - 3
Limited - 2.5
Modified - 4



If you think this review is too long to read, just skip straight to the scores and then read the summary for a concise overview.


Name: Dark Ampharos

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 2/109

Type: Darkness/Electric

Stage: 2 (Evolves from Dark Flaafy)

HP: 120

Weakness: Fighting

Resistance: None

Retreat: CC

Poké-Body: Darkest Impulse

As long as Dark Ampharos is in play, whenever your opponent plays an Evolution card from his or her hand to evolve 1 of his or her Pokémon, put 2 damage counters on that Pokémon.  You can’t use more than 1 Darkest Impulse Poké-Body each turn.

Attack#1: (CC) Ram [30]

Attack#2: (LCC) Shock Bolt [70]

Discard all (L) Energy cards attached to Dark Ampharos.

Name: Dark Flaafy

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 33/109

Type: Darkness/Electric

Stage: 1 (Evolves from Mareep)

HP: 80

Weakness: Fighting

Resistance: None

Retreat: C

Attack#1: (C) Thunder Slash [10]

If the Defending Pokémon is a Basic Pokémon, the Defending Pokémon is now Paralyzed.  Dark Flaafy can’t use Thunder Slash during your next turn.

Attack#2: (LC) Headbutt [20]

Name: 50

Set: EX: Team Rocket Returns

Card#: 67/109

Type: Electric

Stage: Basic

HP: 50

Weakness: Fighting

Resistance: None

Retreat: (C)

Attack#1: (C) Minor Errand-Running

Search your deck for a basic Energy card, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand.  Shuffle your deck afterward.

Attack#2: (LC) Quick Attack [10+]

Flip a coin.  If heads, this attack does 10 damage plus 10 more damage.


Attributes: Dark Ampharos naturally benefits from being a Dark Pokémon: it can make use of all the new groovy Team Rocket specific cards, like Rocket’s Poké Ball.  It is a Stage 2 Pokémon, and we’ll look at its lower Stages later.  It is a dual type Pokémon: both Darkness and Electric.  This is good: as I stated with Dark Electrode, there are a few things Weak to Darkness-type Pokémon, and several Weak to Electric, but nothing Resistant to Darkness-type and few Resistant to Electric-types… that see play, anyway.  It has 120 HP, which is the best you can get without being a Pokémon ex.  Weakness to Fighting makes it almost unplayable in Unlimited thanks to the presence of Neo Discovery Tyrogue.  In Modified there are now multiple decks that have a significant Fighting presence, so it is not too great a Weakness there, either.  Sadly, there is no Resistance on this card, which is automatically the “worst” Resistance.  Finally we come to the retreat cost: two is more or less “average”, at least amongst Evolutions: its low enough that you can pay, but high enough that you don’t want to.  It is a very common amount.


As I mentioned earlier, this is a Stage 2.  In and of itself, it indicates that this card should have some great abilities since it is harder to get into play than any other Pokémon Stage.  As for the actual lower Stages, they are a mixed bag.  Dark Flaafy has a solid 80 HP and the same dual-type, Weakness, and Resistance as Dark Ampharos.  It does have a happier Retreat Cost of just one, which is easy to pay.  The attacks are solid: (C) gives you 10 damage and auto-Paralysis against Basics… but can’t be used again the next turn (to be fair, that would be pretty sick).  Unfortunately, we then hit some overcompensation: Headbutt is over priced for a Basic Pokémon.  Since Dark Flaafy is a Stage 1, it normally would receive a discount (though as not as substantial of one as a Stage 1 with no Stage 2 would receive).  The main reason to play this is so that Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] doesn’t hit you so hard.  Mareep is more disappointing than Dark Flaafy.  The EX: Team Rocket Returns version is Electric only (not really a surprise), with Fighting Weakness (again, expected), no Resistance, and a Retreat of just one.  It has a solid 50, the minimum I usually allow for on an Evolving Basic before docking it.  The first attack is rather bland-it basically gives you an Energy Search at the cost of your attack.  The second however is perhaps the worst Quick Attack I can find in the game.  Out of the 30 card with Quick attack I could locate in Apprentice, none were more poorly priced than this one.  You pay (LC), which should yield 25 damage.  The best this attack can do is 20, and half the time it will only do 10.  Use the Dragon version, please, its attack is nothing special, but at least it’s fair and has the same stats except it is Resistant to Metal.


Abilities: Okay, they really made the lower stages on this card tame, so they better reward it here.  We have the Poké-Body, Darkest Impulse.  It’s not too bad, but it doesn’t seem too great on its own.  I mean, the effect itself is nice: 20 damage to something when it Evolves, and most things commonly played now Evolve.  The problem is that this is on a Stage 2 Pokémon, so it more or less needs to be at least half the focus of the deck, and your opponent will often have at least some of their Pokémon already Evolved by the time this hits play.  So it’s good, but not great.  The good news is that there are two more attacks.  Ram is a nice “opening” attack: its cost means that Double Rainbow Energy or R Energy could be used to pay for it out of the blue.  If you use actual Darkness Energy, then you get a really good opening attack.  The second attack is good, if you use some common sense.  For (LCC) [which on its own pays for 35 damage] you do 70 if you discard all (L) Energy attached.  While that could be a huge over-pricing (I treat each Energy discarded as an additional cost to the attack), since this attack has two Colorless Energy requirements, you can use non-Lightning Energy cards to pay for it.  So if you used (LFF), you would only discard one Lightning Energy, making it like the attack cost was (LLCC), which would yield 50 damage.  So we get a 20 damage bonus.  And of course, you can use Darkness Energy to spike the damage even more.  (LDD), discard (L), and smack them for 90 damage.


So we have overall we have okay Abilities: a somewhat weak Poké-Body with solid attacks.


Uses/Combinations: Now, as of yet, this card is in trouble.  Yes, it seems “solid”, but what wins this game are cards that are exceptional.  Fortunately, this card has some sick combos available to it.  I’ve already mentioned that it can make great use of supporting Rocket’s cards.  There is one Trainer that is not from EX: Team Rocket Returns that is vital for use with this card: Ancient Technical Machine [Rock].  You use it repeatedly. First few will just build damage as the opponent will normally re-Evolve all of their Evolved Pokémon right away.  The third and fourth tend earn prizes.  Best of all, you can keep Dark Ampharos safely benched while doing this if you have another Evolution in the deck.  What are your options?  Ampharos ex can work.  However, I like looking to some fellow set mates.  Dark Hypno, as long as you have no (L) Energy on it, gets a pretty good deal using Dark Link as basically “Flip a coin to do 70” for (C).  Second, Dark Ampharos lends itself to being a bench sitter anyway, unlike several other Dark Pokémon.  Also, with that lead in damage, Dark Hypno’s second attack, Black Magic ((PC); 20 damage times the number of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon) should be able to score several quick Knock Outs.  Rocket’s Tricky Gym can be great for sniping almost KO’d Pokémon on the bench.  There is also a second useful deck to run this in.  This card is rather sick when combined with [both] Dark Tyranitar.  As we are covering them both this week, I will elaborate on it in the next CotD.




Unlimited: 1.25/5-The two Tier 1 decks that feature Evolutions (Raindance and Mindgames) have ways to easily overcome this.  Both decks are fast, and have ways of making the combinations less meaningful (Raindance tends to have some actual healing Trainers and Mindgames disrupts Trainer use).


Modified: 4/5-I am going out on a limb here, but I really think that some deck will find a way to properly abuse this card.  My own experimentation shows me that even while seemingly losing, if you can keep a bunch of “extra” Stage 1s (or just keep Dark Ampharos from being KO’d) to play four Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] rapid fire will probably cripple your opponent’s strategy and maybe even win it then and there.


Limited: 3.75/5-Maybe this is why the lower Stages were toned down.  Here, Mareep isn’t too bad-thin your deck by getting Energy and attack if need be.  Dark Flaafy will probably be able to Paralyze every other turn, and score decent damage on the turns it doesn’t.  Not great, but the two lower Stages together should give you decent opportunity to get Dark Ampharos itself out.  This is when it gets good.  The Poké-Body probably won’t see a lot of use, but it will be devastating if does get triggered.  The two attacks are the real meat here.  Ram will allow you to take most Basics out in two hits.  That’s not great, but it will be ready to go quickly.  Fortunately, as long as you run a well balanced two color deck (Mareep makes this easier) you can probably pull of a constant barrage of OHKO’s with Shock Bolt.  I did dock it some for this line's difficulties with Fighting Pokémon (there are a few in this set).



This card has fantastic synergy, at least in Modified.  Proper play (re: Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] will let you abuse its Poké-Body to ridiculous extremes, the next two CotDs will explain how to further abuse this card’s power. 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. 

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