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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day
& Reviews Summary
Ratings are based
on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst.
3 ... average.
5 is the highest rating.
Back to the main COTD
Top 4 UK Nats
Steelix (Prime) Unleashed
For our second Prime preview this week, we get to take a
look at the forthcoming Steelix. In past reviews, I have
droned on endlessly about how 99% of all non-tech Stage
1s are rubbish because they have low HP and don’t hit
hard enough (Gyarados and Donphan Prime excepted).
Steelix Prime doesn’t have either of those problems, but
will that make it a tournament-worthy card?
The first thing you notice about Steelix is the monster
HP. 140 HP on a Stage 1? A METAL Stage 1 that can use
Special Metal to reduce damage? Seriously? Ok . . . I
guess power creep is alive and well in Pokémon. The
second thing is probably that horrendous Retreat Cost of
four. Any more and they wouldn’t have room to give it a
Resistance. Luckily, they did . . . it’s Psychic
Resistance, which is pretty good. Even the double
Weakness to Fire is not too bad at the moment, though
that may change in future.
Steelix is given even more protection (like it needed
it) in the shape of its Perfect Metal PokeBody. This
makes it immune to all Special Conditions, so you can’t
even try to whittle down that huge HP with Poison or
So, it’s very hard to take down, but that wouldn’t be
much use if Steelix couldn’t attack effectively.
Steelix’s first attack, Energy Stream costs a reasonable
[C][C] (or one Double Colourless Energy!) and does 30
damage. So far, so meh, but it does have the extremely
useful effect of allowing you to fetch an Energy card
from your Discard and attaching it to Steelix. Note that
there is no restriction on the type of Energy card, so
you can use it with Special Metal Energy. Getting the
Energy into the Discard in the first place shouldn’t be
a problem thanks to cards like Felicity’s Drawing and
Volkner’s Philosophy. You could even use Blissey PL to
combine healing and discarding to make Steelix even
harder to knock out.
This Energy accelerating attack isn’t just for show.
Steelix really needs it if it is going to do some
worthwhile damage. It’s second attack, Gaia Crush does
100 damage, but for the huge cost of [M][M][C][C][C].
While Energy Stream and Double Colourless will help pay
for this, it’s still not the fastest way to get KO’s in
the TCG, and that is Steelix’s weak point. The card
designers have obviously tried to strike a balance here
by creating a slow but powerful attacker that might just
be able to survive long enough to do some serious
Steelix is basically an immense tank that can take a lot
of hits from any non-Fire Pokémon while (eventually)
dishing out some big hits of it own. It does have severe
speed issues, but if these can be overcome, and if Fire
stays relatively unplayed, then this card does have some
Modified: 3.25 (could work, but has some issues to sort
Limited: 4.5 (near-impossible to KO, and will just
sweep when set up)
Hello again, Pojo viewers! Today we are continuing our
reviews with another preview card from the HS Unleashed
set. Today's Card of the Day is Steelix Prime.
Steelix Prime is a Stage 1 Metal Pokemon. Aside from
Dialga G and a few other random exceptions, Metal-types
rarely see any play in our current metagame. 140 HP on a
Stage 1 is fantastic, and you would expect to see high
survivability in a metal monster like Steelix. Double
Weakness to Fire is bad, but not as bad as one might
think: Fire play has dropped considerably, with only the
occasional Charizard AR deck or Blaziken FB/Infernape 4
tech. Psychic Resistance is nice, as there are quite a
few good Psychic cards in the format that require
watching out for. A Retreat Cost of 4 is absolutely
terrible, so be sure to use Switch or Warp Point if you
want to switch out the iron snake.
Steelix has a Poke-Body and two attacks. The Body,
Perfect Metal, has the very simple but useful effect
that Steelix can't be affected by any Special
Conditions. While being immune to status is generally a
really good thing, there aren't really that many decks
that rely on status, aside from the random Gliscor
variants and the occasional Mightyena/Skuntank G combo.
Even still, the Body is very nice to have, even if it's
no reason to play the card on its own.
Now I'll go ahread and review attacks. The first attack,
Energy Stream, deals a mediocre 30 damage for [CC] and
allows you to attach an Energy card from your discard
pile to Steelix. As the card is written, this means that
non- basic Energy cards like Special Metal or Double
Colorless can be obtained from this attack as well as
Basic Energy. This means that you can power up Steelix
twice as fast for from Energy Stream and your normal
Energy drop, though the damage is a little pathetic for
a Prime and you can only get Energy once it's in the
The second attack, Gaia Crush, deals a very nice 100
damage for the unreasonable price of [MMCCC]. While
destroying your opponent's Stadium cards is nice, paying
five Energy to do so is ridiculous. A direct example of
something doing this better is Flygon, which takes out
an opponent's Stadium card and gets a very nice
protection effect the turn after for two Energy. In the
case of Flygon, it may not do a lot of damage, but it's
definitely faster than Steelix.
Modified: 2.5/5 I can't help feeling that Steelix is
incredibly average. While being immune to Special
Conditions is a good ability to have, there simply
aren't enough Special Conditions around in the format
right now to justify heavy play. Additionally, the
attacks are generally overcosted for what they do. While
Crobat Prime is coming out soon and bringing a new
possibility of a Special Condition deck with it, there
are still probably better options.
Limited: 3.75/5 Steelix has a ton of HP and is only a
Stage 1, but it's painfully slow to power up. Even
still, being immune to Special Conditions in this format
is great, and mostly Colorless Energy requirements are
also very helpful, and the first attack helps power up
Steelix even more. Just watch out for Fire types, even
though there aren't actually very many in the Unleashed
Hello Pokemon fans! Today, we will be looking at our
second card from Unleashed: Steelix Prime. This metal
monster has an HP of 140, which is INCREDIBLE, the
highest of any Stage 1 other than Wailord. It will be in
the active spot for a couple turns unassisted, but if
you play it right, it will guide you through most of the
game. Double Fire weakness is good, seeing as Blaziken
FB is rapidly fading and Charizard AR can't make much
use of this advantage. Resistance to Psychic is awesome,
as is any resistance. A retreat cost of 4... ouch.
Luckily, this beast shouldn't have much reason to need
Steelix Prime's Poke-Body keeps it free from Special
Conditions. This is a good Body, but the truth is that
Special Conditions have greatly decreased in usefulness.
Still, it certainly can't hurt.
Steelix Prime's first attack does CC for 30 and attaches
an Energy card from the discard pile to Steelix. Double
Colorless Energy is very good at providing for this
attack or being picked up from the discard pile. The
attack itself is underpowered, but provides a good
method of Energy acceleration with the right combo.
Steelix Prime's final attack does 100 for MMCCC, and you
can discard any Stadium in play. Alone, this attack is
actually pretty overpriced, and the effect is of
questionable usefulness. With the right techs, however,
this attack can be a quick volley of OHKO or 2HKO
attacks, the key being how fast you can get Steelix
Prime set up with his partners.
Combos: There are many options for Steelix Prime that
make it even more powerful than meets the eye. Supporter
cards like Volkner's Philosophy and Felicity's Drawing
will you draw power and a means of discarding Energies
that can be attached to Steelix Prime with Energy
Stream. Bronzong MT also provides these same benefits.
Magnezone SF can help attach M Energies from the
discard, but it puts a damage counter on Steelix Prime,
which can be easily removed with Lopunny AR, which also
discards an Energy. M Energies can also be attached from
the discard with Conductive Quarry, making for a
fast-paced draw engine and energy accelerator, providing
for an early-game Gaia Crush. If you play Conductive
Quarry, might as well run Skuntank G to poison the
Defender, since it will do nothing to Steelix Prime.
Also, if the opponent is somehow using Conductive Quarry
to their advantage more than you are, Gaia Crush will
eliminate that as you please.
Modified: I like this card very much and i have no doubt
that it will see some play. It has the potential to be
an early-game brute, essentially unstoppable for quite a
while if you set it up right. But that is Steelix
Prime's downside: setting it up quickly and powerfully
is a very difficult challenge. However, if you hurdle
that obstacle early on, the game is essentially yours.
Limited: A tank of a Stage 1 with Energy acceleration in
a format with few Fire-types and a tendency to have
Energy-loaded decks? This is a recipe for success, and
if you can hit for 100 damage every turn, you are likely
on your way to victory.
Too long a review?
Skip to the Ratings and Summary
section for a concise overview of the
HeartGold & SoulSilver - Unleashed
1 (Evolves from
Steelix can’t be affected by any Special Conditions.
(CC) Energy Stream 
Search your discard pile for an Energy card and attach
it to Steelix.
(MMCCC) Gaia Crush 
You may discard any Stadium card in
confess I’ve been predisposed to liking
my failed “Gojira” decks of the e-card/early Nintendo
days of the TCG.
First, a reminder that Pokémon Prime are a
rarity, and not a named group (or both): due to their
“new” rarity status it just makes it easier to call them
a “Prime” than constantly drop a set and number
Plus as a Transformer fan, I find it cool. ;)
All right, to the card: we have a Stage 1 Pokémon which
should technically be advantageous as it shouldn’t be as
restricted as a Basic (easier to balance potent effects)
but should be faster and easier to run than a Stage 2
Perhaps due to past powerhouses (Jungle
with Do the Wave and Neo Genesis
Mind Games spring to mind) a lot of Stage 1 Pokémon seem
pretty subdued, with the most potent effects restricted
to the Stage 2 Pokémon… that are often too easy to play
thanks to “cheats” like
So in practical terms… being a Stage 1 means
Rare Candy is
only useful for a slight speed boost instead of skipping
a Stage, and not nearly as useful as it should be.
Hopefully the new
have some nifty tricks but if it ends up being a let
down, the two existing Modified legal ones are
serviceable with solid stats.
As a Metal Type Pokémon,
enjoys the benefit of utilizing the Special Energy card
to soak damage but there aren’t a lot of strong, popular
decks that are Metal Weak and there are a few good,
strong decks that will enjoy Metal Resistance on their
Still, soaking damage can be very potent and it
will probably be of more use to
being the only other appropriate TCG Type (Fighting as
it is a Steel/Ground Type in the video games).
The 140 HP should be quite handy – few Pokémon
top that and it is especially good on a Stage 1.
Outside of attacks from Fire Pokémon,
should survive at least one big hit.
Fire Weakness will allow Fire decks to shred it,
but of the potential, appropriate Weakness options Fire
probably is the safest.
This Pokémon actually has a Resistance!
-20 damage from Psychic Pokémon isn’t a huge
dent, but it’s something and when stacked on top
of high HP and the effects of
Special Energy cards could allow this Pokémon to last a
Finishing off the attributes, the four Energy needed to
retreat are a pain but again, appropriate to the card.
Make sure you pack something to get an under
out of the Active slot.
possesses a Poké-Body and two attacks.
The Poké-Body, Perfect Metal, prevents
being affected by Special Conditions.
It’s hardly brilliant, but to be fair the unique
position of a “tank” Pokémon like
make Special Conditions a bigger threat than normal.
Of more use is the first attack, Energy Stream.
It can be paid for with a single
Energy and it lets you attach an Energy card from
your discard pile to
harassing the opponent with 30 damage.
With the current card pool that won’t let you use
Gaia Crush on your second turn but could allow you to
get it off by your third, and of course allows you to
Double Colorless Energy and
from a previously knocked out
Gaia Crush is a big, big attack with an even bigger
If I had a choice between another 20 points of
damage and getting rid of the Stadium, I’d probably have
taken the damage to all but ensure you are OHKOing most
Pokémon (or two-hit KOing the biggest ones with an
Energy Stream opening).
Still, you’re getting a good return on investment
and the option of taking out a Stadium card in
play is quite useful.
It’s just the biggest Pokémon you face will
require a little “help” for
reliably take out in two hits, and one hit just isn’t
Uses and Combinations:
To me, this card screams to “tank out”.
You can use a few
Drawing to do the normally stupid act of pitching
Metal Energy cards and suck them back up with
Belt is tempting since hey, you’re going to want to
actually run healing cards with
its ability to dish out damage and absorb a little as
well, you should be able to more than break even with
Looking at the Pokémon I saw, I don’t know if it’d be
worth running the ones with healing capacity or not just
because the best ones will require so much room in the
deck as to slow it down… or trash your Energy set up.
You might consider something that almost seems
obscene: relying on the flip-based or costly healing
Trainer cards we have.
You’ll basically be expending two cards to do the
work of one either way: tossing two copies of
Poké Healer +
on a Steelix
armed with an
Expert Belt and a few
is almost tear inducing.
Milk and Life
Herb in abundance will burn a lot of cards and
aren’t guaranteed to work, but the games when they at
least average out will be frustrating for the opponent
to say the least.
Or maybe there is something better in the set to partner
so early; I am really taking a stab in the dark here.
3.5/5 – While not slow, it isn’t fast either, but it has
a strong potential for longevity.
4.5/5 – Unless
Onix is worthless this set (or absent entirely) or
Fire Pokémon may compose a significant part, I don’t
none of these hold true, then this is pretty much a must
run card: a few basic
cards can be tossed into the deck and fished back out
from the discard if
up later in the game.
Slow and steady is amazing here.
follows the standard mold of being big, hard to KO, and
a strong attacker.
The Energy acceleration is a nice touch but
ironically my long love of these cards and their style
of play end up working against it in scoring: I always
fall in love and I am almost always disappointed.
I think we have yet another “not-quite” deck that
will be run and will win games but not tournaments: it
doesn’t hit hard enough, fast enough.