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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Ampharos #105/123

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Date Reviewed: 02.22.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.25
Limited: 3.67

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

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Ampharos (Prime) HGSS


Hello, and welcome to Prime week on Pojo’s CotD.


So . . . now that we have moved from the DP block to the HGSS block, LV X Pokémon are no more. Instead we have Primes and Legends (I’m sure we will be reviewing the Legends later, so I will hold off on saying anything about them for now).


But what exactly are Pokémon Prime? Good question. Unlike the LV X and EX Pokémon, Pokémon Prime don’t appear to bring any new mechanics of their own to the game. They just seem to be ‘super’ versions of final stage evolutions with better attacks and/or Powers. They don’t have ‘Prime’ included anywhere in their name (so you can’t play four regular and four Prime versions of the same Pokémon), and they evolve from their previous Stage as normal. Pokémon Prime do have a snazzy new card design and the artwork seems to focus on a close up of the Pokémon’s head. The really good news about Pokémon Prime though is that they don’t have that LV X rarity: you can expect to get six in a sealed box, as opposed to 2-4 LV X. That’s great for players as it will be easier (and cheaper!) for them to get hold of the cards they need.


We kick off our Prime reviews with Ampharos, one of my favourite Pokémon from the Second Generation. He has a massive 140 HP and he is going to need it as he also has a x2 Weakness to Fighting (Sunnyshore Gym seems like a must if you run him). Metal Resistance isn’t the most useful, but it’s better than nothing, and the [C][C] Retreat cost seems reasonable for this Pokemon, though it is high enough to make playing Warp Point or Switch worth your while.


Ampharos’ attack, Lightning Crush, is reasonably priced at [L][C][C] (remember, Double Colourless Energy is back!). It has a base damage of 40 and then requires you to flip a coin. If you get heads you do another 40 damage; if you get tails, you get to discard an Energy card from the Defending Pokémon. Obviously, both of these extra effects could be extremely useful in certain match ups and situations, and it is that fact that makes Lightning Crush so very annoying because you are relying on a coin flip to determine whether or not you make the best play. For example, if you are playing against Gyarados or Kingdra, you want the 80 damage, as the Energy discard is practically useless against those Lightning-weak Pokémon. On the other hand, against a Gardevoir SW, you will want to hit tails so that you can discard a Double Colourless Energy and make it difficult for them to Psychic Lock you next turn. With Lightning Crush, you don’t get to choose, so you risk making a sub-optimal attack and throwing off your game plan.


Don’t write off Amphy yet, though, as he also has a nice PokeBody which has some synergy with his attack. In keeping with the retro feel of HGSS, Ampharos has the same Conductivity PokeBody as the Old Dark Ampharos from Neo Destiny. It states that, whenever your opponent attaches an Energy card, you get to place a damage counter on that Pokémon. This is a nifty way of spreading damage around, and could combine well with Ampharos SW which places a counter on all of your opponent’s Pokémon whenever they use a Supporter.


Good enough to make a top tier deck, though? I doubt it. The presence of Nidoqueen and Garchomp C LV X in the format mean that spreading damage is often a futile effort, not to mention that Ampharos Prime, like all Amphys is shut down by Dialga G LV X. Another factor is the sheer number of decks that have very minimal Energy requirements and are therefore not bothered by the discard effect of Lightning Crush nor the damage counter from Conductivity: Kingdra, Gyarados, Jumpluff, Beedrill, and Donphan all fall into this category.


Basically, the format right now is just not friendly to Ampharos, and often will not allow you to make the most of his rather neat abilities. Amphy fans will be hoping that this changes in the future.




Modified: 2.5 (For now, it’s a cute but unreliable tech . . . typical Ampharos)

Limited: 3 (hard to get out, but the inconsistency won’t matter so much here)


Welcome back, Pojo readers! This week we are reviewing 5 of the new Pokemon Prime cards in the new HeartGold and SoulSilver expansion. If you didn't know, Pokemon Prime are nothing more than super-powered versions of normal fully-evolved Pokemon. Our week kicks off by reviewing the Light Pokemon, Ampharos.

Ampharos is a Stage 2 Lightning Pokemon. With the release of HeartGold and SoulSilver, Lightning got more powerful, but also gained a few major weaknesses. Ampharos Prime has 140 HP, which is a decent amount for a Stage 2. Double weakness to Fighting is awful, as Machamp SF is still common and Donphan Prime is probably going to become VERY popular. Resistance to Metal is great, as Dialga G is still common. A Retreat Cost of 3 is terrible, so make sure that you have a Switch, Warp Point, or Super Scoop Up handy.

Ampharos Prime has a Poke-Body and a single attack. The Poke-Body, Conductivity, places a damage counter on your opponent's Pokemon when your opponent places a damage counter on it.

This power has a lot of use against most decks that use a lot of energy, but isn't quite as useful against decks that use a low number of energy, such as Kingdra, Gyarados, and Jumpluff. This power also has a lot of combo potential, working well with Garchomp SV to lock down your opponent's energy, and also can work with Electivire Lv. X for further damage from Energy placement, and Ampharos PT to lock down Poke-Powers. There are probably quite a few other combos that Ampharos Prime can be a part of, as well.

Ampharos' only attack, Lightning Crush, does 40 damage for [LCC], adding 40 if you flip heads and discarding an Energy if you flip tails. 80 damage for 3 energy and no drawback is fantastic, and the potential energy discard will also work to your advantage with Conductivity. Overall, a fairly good attack.

Modified: 3/5 I think Ampharos has quite a good deal of potential. While Ampharos Prime/Garchomp SV might be a little slow to take many major tournaments, but all of the Primes released thus far in HGSS are worth playing, and Ampharos is no exception. Just stay very far away from Machamp SF and Donphan Prime.

Limited: 3.5/5 Stage 2s are hard to get out, but if you can get it out, you're probably going to win. However, Ampharos is prone to getting badly damaged by Donphan Prime or even Sandslash, so just make sure to get rid of your opponent's Fighting Pokemon before you sweep.


Today is a special day.  First and foremost, it’s George Washington’s birthday!  He was quite a guy, and if you’re unfamiliar with him you owe it to yourself to study up on him (especially U.S.A. citizens).  It is also my younger sister’s birthday!  Happy birthday, Jennie!


I’d love to go into great depth about today’s CotD, but time is not on my side.  Ampharos Prime just looks like too much fun for me to ignore, so I’ll be giving a concise (by my standards) overview of the card.


I see solid stats given what has and hasn’t returned to the “classic” style for attributes, so that seems unlikely to determine if this card is worth playing.  What I do see is another blast from the past, Conductivity.  This time around the Poké-Body is good for a single damage counter when Energy is attached from hand to an opponent’s Basic Pokémon, but at least it will work for every attachment from hand and (I am hoping) it stacks.  I couldn’t find a ruling on it, but we all learned a long time ago how imprecise language can be… especially when playing a TCG where the cards are originally in a different language.  As long as it stacks, Conductivity is a great reason to play this card: if you can get two or three on your bench, your opponent will be hurting quite a bit.  The attack isn’t bad either: Lightning Crush has a low damage yield, especially for a Stage 2 “Prime” Pokémon, but excellent effects.  You flip a coin and if heads, you do 40 plus 40 for 80 points of damage, or if its tails you get to discard an Energy card attached to the Defending Pokémon.  LCC for 80 is still nothing to write home about, but again assuming Conductivity stacks, two or three Ampharos Prime will make that into a OHKO for many Pokémon.  40 won’t KO a lot of Pokémon, but again if we are able to stack Conductivity, your opponent may not be able to afford the damage attaching a replacement Energy would do.


All in all, this looks like a great example of Ampharos best tricks.  The scores assume I am correct and the effect of Conductivity stacks.  So paranoid am I about card wording that I will add you should drop the Modified score by a full point if it doesn’t and the Limited score by half a point.




Modified: 4/5


Limited: 4.5/5



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