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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Altaria  #2/10

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Nov. 29, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 3.50

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Altaria (Triumphant)


Hello, I hope all you Americans enjoyed your Thanksgiving, and welcome to the new week of reviews on Pojo’s CotD. This week, we continue to plough through the set’s rares.


We start off with Altaria, which is one of those Pokémon that you kind of forget exists most of the time. It’s a dragon that doesn’t really look very dragon-y and tends to get overshadowed by the more impressive-looking specimens like Salamence and Garchomp.


This card seems destined to be overshadowed too. It’s a Stage 1 with 90 HP (only about 20 short of the playable minimum), and a double Weakness to the most feared attacker in the game (Garchomp C). On the plus side, it does boast a useful Fighting Resistance and cost-free Retreat.


If Altaria’s first attack, Midnight Eyes, gives you a sense of déjŕ vu, that’s because it’s exactly the same as the one on the last Altaria (from Platinum). Huh? Did they just forget or something? Anyway, it was mediocre back then, and it’s even more mediocre now (at least Altaria PL had Perish Song to work with it). For one Energy of any Colour you get 20 damage and auto-Sleep. Ok, it’s cheap, and you don’t have to flip to get the Status Condition, but Sleep (even if it sticks) is relatively easy for an opponent to deal with, and that damage is hardly worth the bother. Let’s see if Altaria’s second attack can make up for it.


Stadium Power ups the cost to [C][C][C] and has a base damage of just 40, but don’t worry, we aren’t in Arcanine SV territory just yet (not quite anyway): If there is a Stadium in play, the attack will do another 30 damage. Although having a Stadium in play is not difficult to achieve (just use one yourself!), the 70 for three return is nowhere near enough to justify the use of a weak Stage 1. There are many more efficient ways to KO Garchomp C (Dragonite FB, Ambipom G, even Staraptor FB LV X) and, although the Energy cost is payable in any Colour (and with Double Colourless), it’s still too expensive for what you are getting.


For all this card does, it’s safe to go back to forgetting about Altaria.




Modified: 1.5 (do you really need a terrible Garchomp counter when there are some decent ones out there?)

Limited: 4 (Colourless is good, and there’s a Stadium in the set. Pretty much an automatic choice here)


 11/29/10: Altaria(Triumphant)
I've never been a fan of Altaria, given that it's a bird/flying...thing, that's stuck in a cloud. Thankfully, TPCi doesn't seem to like it either, hence its poor attacks. Midnight Eyes is pretty weak, and sleep has never been an effective status effect. Stadium Power does...OK damage, considering that it can one-shot Garchomps, but on the other hand, there's better options to KO Garchomps, and Glalie AR and Skuntank G do a better job of abusing Stadiums than Altaria. On the other hand, the free retreat is lovely in Limited, and with Indigo Plateau in the set, Stadium Power is the only thing that can really abuse it, besides Marowak(because, after all, you're not going to pull a Legend.)
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 3.75/5
Combos With: Indigo Plateau in Limited?


We begin with week with Altaria.  This is a Colorless Stage 1 Pokémon.  There is actually some fun to hit Colorless Weakness right now, and combined with the relative ease of working Colorless Pokémon into other deck Types, this is good.  Being a Stage 1 Pokémon is a definite concern, as I have repeatedly stressed: Stage 1 attackers have to be very fast and strong, while Bench-sitters would need a Poké-Body or Poké-Power (and this card has neither).


90 HP is the lowest I want to see on a Stage 1 and based on recent reviews I am thinking I need to jump my standard to 100.  It is within OHKO range for most decks primary attackers, especially factoring in combos.  The Colorless Weakness nerfs some of the advantage you got from this being a Colorless Pokémon: many of the cards I was thinking of Type-Matching will do the same thing right back to you.  At least you enjoy Fighting Resistance, which helps offset that low HP against at least one popular OHKO deck.  Factor in the free Retreat Cost, which is excellent, and the bottom stats still end up being overall “good”.


The first attack is Midnight Eyes, and while it has a cool name, it is disappointing: 20 damage for (C) and automatically inflicting Sleep is solid for a Basic that can still evolve, but not for a Stage 1 that is fully evolved!  Half the time they’ll wake up and in either case, 20 needs to be at least 30, possibly 40 to be competitive.  The second attack is Stadium Power.  For (CCC) you hit for 40 damage, but get an extra 30 points if either player has a Stadium in play.  This is almost enough to be useful.


You still might find a niche use for the card, probably in a Stadium heavy deck that needs a back up Stage 1 line that is Colorless, Fighting Resistant, and has a free retreat.  This is a very narrow use but not improbable.  If you do use it, try to get the Holo-Rare “secret” Swablu Lv.16 from Platinum, as it is clearly the best with the most HP and three attacks.


Sadly, it probably isn’t much better in Limited play.  Yes, HP scores and average damage per attack are lower in this format.  Also being able to use any Energy type and possessing a free Retreat Cost are also more potent.  Even inflicting Sleep is more useful.  Unfortunately, you need a Stadium to bump up the second attack, and there is only one in its set (and it helps Pokémon LEGEND).  If you can pull an Altaria and a few Stadiums, it will be a good card.  If you only get one Stadium, it is a bit risky.  If you get no Stadiums, it is filler that might barely make it into your deck.




Modified: 2/5 

Limited: 2.5/5


Welcome back, Pojo readers! I hope that those of you in the US had very good holiday weekends. This COTD week contains more rare cards from the HS Triumphant expansion, and today's Card of the Day is Altaria.

Altaria is a Stage 1 Colorless Pokemon. Colorless Pokemon are good to use because they can fit in many decks, because they have flexible energy requirements. Altaria has 90 HP, which is average for a Stage 1. Colorless Weakness can be a major problem with all of the Garchomp C Lv. X that we find in the Modified metagame today, but keep in mind that you will probably OHKO it if you hit it first under the right conditions (we'll get to that later). Fighting Resistance is great to make attacks from Machamp, Donphan, and Promo Toxicroak G easier to take. Finally, a free retreat cost is fantastic.

Altaria has two attacks. The first, Midnight Eyes, does 20 damage and automatically puts the opponent to sleep for a single Colorless Energy. Although not too powerful, this is just about right for its cost, and is thoroughly decent (especially in Limited) while you are waiting for something better. However, it is still important to realize that there are many Pokemon in the metagame that have much higher damage outputs than this for a single Energy for even less (Gyarados, Jumpluff, and Machamp all come to mind). Therefore, we better hope that Altaria's second attack has a high damage output. Stadium Power starts off at 40 damage for [CCC], but adds 30 more if there is a Stadium in play. 70 damage for 3 Energy is once again decent, but not great. However, it is important to note that with a Stadium in play, Altaria can OHKO a Garchomp C Lv. X as long as it attacks first for a Double Colorless Energy and one Energy of another type, however this is something that Ambipom G and Dragonite FB can do better, as the Energy requires are lower and Energy Gain can be used.

Modified: 1.75/5 Free retreat, Colorless Energy requirements, and the ability to take out Garchomp C are good. However, Garchomp C itself also has free retreat and Colorless Energy requirements, and there are generally better, faster options in the metagame that will see a lot more play than Altaria.

Limited: 3.75/5 Altaria is a great pick here. It can fit into any deck easily due to its Colorless typing, can disrupt the opponent with Midnight Eyes until Stadium Power is powered up, and then can do reliable damage with Stadium Power if you get an Indigo Plateau into play. Free retreat is also a major plus.

Combos With: Any Stadium

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