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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Magmortar #27/102

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.40
Limited: 3.18

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 Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Magmortar (Triumphant)


Hello, and welcome to the final week of reviews for 2010 on Pojo’s CotD. It’s been an interesting year with the new HGSS sets, Primes, LEGENDS, and the return of old school stuff like x2 Weakness and Double Colourless Energy. Let’s see if we can round off the year in style.


We kick off with Magmortar . . . one of the weirdest looking Pokémon around. At some stage, one of the people who design these things said ‘I know, how about a fat fire clown with bazookas for arms?’, and everyone else said ‘sure, let’s go for it!’


Anyway, Magmortar is a Stage 1 (bad as it lacks the speed of a Basic and the power of a Stage 2) with average HP (average), Water Weakness (eh . . . watch out for Gyarados), and a Retreat cost of two (not good). Top Burner, its first attack, is slightly interesting. For every Fire Energy attached to Magmortar, you discard the top card of your opponent’s deck. Then you flip, and if you get tails, you discard all Fire Energy on Magmortar. Reliable deck destruction is pretty good: you can edge your opponent towards loss by deck out, and/or cripple them (if you are lucky) by getting rid of key cards. The trouble is, there are two big problems when it comes to using Top Burner to do this.


The first isn’t so serious . . . yeah, you risk only being able to do it once on a coin flip, but if you can hit big with it, that shouldn’t matter too much. The second problem is more of an issue: how do you get to stack a worthwhile amount of Energy on Magmortar fast enough, and avoid it being sniped or dragged out and killed? Sadly, I don’t think there is a good answer to that question at the moment. Typhlosion Prime might give you a bit of Energy acceleration, but then you need to set up a Stage 2 and a discard/draw Engine (probably Ninetales HGSS) to get it working. As for protection, there’s Bench Shield and Manectric PL, I suppose, but neither of those are guaranteed to work, and will affect the speed and consistency of the deck.


Magmortar’s second attack, Burst Punch, only does 60 plus auto Burn for [R][R][C], which doesn’t really give you anything exciting to back up Top Burner with, while Top Burner itself is too needy in terms of support to run in combination with any of the other deck destruction cards (all of which tend to be very clunky and needy themselves – I’m thinking of Kyogre/Groudon Legend, Flygon LV X, and Rhyperior SV here). It’s almost as if the card designers believe that this kind of strategy is too powerful to make it a realistic option in the TCG.




Modified: 1.75 (potentially very effective, but too Energy intensive to be a realistic play)

Limited: 3 (Smaller decks, low damage, slow format . . . deck out becomes a possibility)


Combos with . . .


Typlosion Prime and Ninetales HGSS


Welcome back, Pojo readers! I apologize for my two-week absence, but graduate school finals and going on vacation with limited computer access made doing COTD reviews rather difficult. Anyway, this week our reviews continue with more Rare cards from the HS Triumphant expansion, and today's Card of the Day is Magmortar.

Magmortar is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon. Aside from Blaziken FB and Charizard, Fire Pokemon are not too commonly seen in the current Modified metagame, as they tend to be slow, high-risk/high-reward cards that involve a lot of discarding for high damage. Additionally, the resurgence of Gyarados SF has made playing Fire types even more difficult. Magmortar's top and bottom stats are fairly average: 100 HP will enable it to take a hit or two, unless an opponent is hitting it for its Water Weakness. Magmortar also has no Resistance and a terrible Retreat Cost of 3. Therefore, if you are going to be playing Magmortar, make sure that you have Warp Point, Warp Energy, or Super Scoop Up handy, as it isn't going to be retreating by itself any time soon.

Like many other Pokemon in the HGSS era, Magmortar has two attacks. The first, Top Burner, allows you to discard cards from the top of your opponent's deck equal to the number of Energy attached to Magmortar. After doing this, you flip a coin. If tails, all of that Energy is discarded. This attack is fairly unique in that there aren't too many attacks that "mill" your opponent's deck in Pokemon, however this one probably won't see much use. Why? First of all, a 50% chance of discarding all Fire Energy attached to Magmortar will really set you back unless you have support like Heatran Lv. X. Second, Magmortar usually won't have more than 3 Energy attached to it anyway, so discarding the top 3 cards of your opponent's deck isn't terribly helpful, especially with all of the recursion Pokemon has nowadays in things like Junk Arm, Pokemon Rescue, and Palmer's Contribution. Additionally, this attack doesn't deal any damage, and discarding cards from your opponent's deck rarely works well unless there is a consistent and effective way to do so, and discarding 2 or 3 cards at a time isn't particularly effective. If you are looking for a way to stall your opponent out, you'd probably be better off going with something like Flygon Lv. X or even Steelix Prime.

The second attack, Burst Punch, deals 60 damage and automatically burns for the cost of [RRC]. Not a bad attack by any means (and it will work wonders in Limited), but for a Fire-type attacker in Modified, you'd be better off going with Charizard AR or Blaziken FB.

Modified: 1.75/5 Magmortar is just a bit too slow for the current Modified metagame, though it may be able to see some play several months from now if we end up with an HGSS-on rotation.

Limited: 3.5/5 Magmortar is pretty good here. Burst Punch deals consistent damage and automatically Burns, which is great for the slower pace of Modified. Top Burner probably won't be that useful here though, as discarding all of your Energy could really set you back and allow your opponent to recover.

Combos With: Heatran Lv. X


12/27/10: Magmortar(Triumphant)

This is a card I wish I could say more about. Top Burner is an improved version of Fossil Moltres' first attack, milling the opponent's deck for every fire energy attached, then discarding the energy on a flip. This may not seem like much, but certain decks, especially SP decks, are built so tight that if you Top Burner only a few cards off their deck, they will be drastically weakened. Then again, some decks won't be bothered by Top Burner, such as Gyarados, who should be Magmortar's greatest obstacle to seeing play. If weaknesses to lightning and colorless greatly hinder any card's usefulness because of Luxchomp, then a weakness to water ends all possibility of this card seeing any play.

But hey! For the time being, this should make a fun casual deck for now, combined with Typhlosion Prime. Then, maybe when the first Black and White cards get released over here, Magmortar might see some more play.

Modified: 2.75/5
Limited: 3/5

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