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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Arcanine #1/123

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Date Reviewed: 03.01.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.25
Limited: 3.13

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

Arcanine HGSS


Hello, and welcome to another week of Pojo’s CotD. This week, we will be mopping up some of the rare holos from the HGSS set.


We start with Arcanine: one of, if not the, best-looking cards in the set. Arcanine’s design is based on a shisa, a kind of guardian lion-dog from oriental mythology, and the artwork captures that perfectly. The inclusion of a Fire Stone in the picture is a nice touch too. But is Arcanine binder candy, or a top tier contender? Let’s take a look.


Arcanine has pretty good (for a Stage 1) 110 HP, a x2 Weakness to Water, which is one of the worst to have with Gyarados and Palkia G around, and a fairly harsh retreat cost of [C][C]. It doesn’t have any Powers or Bodies, so it will be relying solely on its attacks if it is to make any kind of impact.


Disappointingly, Arcanine’s two attacks are both pure vanilla. Sharp Fang does 50 for [R][C], and Fire Mane 90 for [R][C][C][C]. The costs are not too bad, and are helped out by the existence of Double Colourless Energy and the Growlithe from Rising Rivals, which has an Energy acceleration attack (Stoke). In theory, you could have an Arcanine out by your second turn, doing 90 damage, or 110 with Expert Belt . . . provided you were lucky enough to draw into exactly what you needed.


Is that enough though? Well, no, it isn’t. For vanilla damage to be acceptable, it has to be fast and consistent, as well as hitting some big numbers, and this, together with the Weakness is what hurts Arcanine’s chances of seeing play. When you look at what other HGSS cards like Donphan and Jumpluff can do for one Energy, then Arcanine’s attacks don’t look like much of a bargain.


Ironically, an amazing-looking card turns out to be . . . well . . . extremely uninteresting from a player’s point of view. It’s mediocre in a format where mediocre just doesn’t cut it.




Modified: 2 (good looking but very boring . . . insert your own joke here)

Limited: 3.25 (decent HP and very usable attacks) 


Welcome back, Pojo readers! We are continuing our reviews this week with more cards from the HeartGold and SoulSilver expansion. Today's Card of the Day is a new rare card from that expansion, the Legendary Pokemon, Arcanine.

Arcanine is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon. Being a Fire-type is both good and bad right now: Fire does very well against Metal-types and Dialga G, as well as many of the Grass-types that we see quite often in our metagame. However, being a Fire-type also means that Water-types are generally great counters. Arcanine has 110 HP for a Stage 1, which is great. x2 Weakness to Water and no Resistance are unfortunate but expected, and a Retreat Cost of 2 is a bit pricey, so make sure you have Switch or Warp Point.

Arcanine has two very basic attacks. Sharp Fang does 50 damage for [RC] and Fire Mane does 90 damage for [RCCC]. Sharp Fang is pretty nice cost-wise, dealing a decent amount of damage until you can power up Fire Mane or something else on your bench. Fire Mane's 90 damage may seem a bit overcosted for 4 Energy, but there are two important things to note about this: 3 of the Energy in the cost are Colorless, and there are no discard requirements. Colorless Energy costs mean that Arcanine can be easily powered up by Double Colorless Energy for quick damage, and the lack of discard means that the damage can be very consistent. In this way, Arcanine can have a higher damage output than things like Typhlosion Prime or other things with a discard. Arcanine also gets wonderful support for the time being in Cherrim SF. However, 90 damage still may not be enough even with this extra support, and Arcanine still may not find a deck slot when there are other Fire-types that are more powerful (Charizard AR) or faster (Blaziken FB Lv. X).

Modified: 2.5/5 Arcanine isn't bad by any means, but it may not be good enough to be used often in many decks.

Limited: 3/5 Colorless energy requirements, high HP, and decent damage output make Arcanine a pretty good pick in Limited. Fire Mane is a bit slow, but it can be powered up quickly by Double Colorless Energy. Look out for Water-types, though.

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