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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day
Oct. 5, 2010
& 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
Apparently, this is the first time Hitmonlee has had a
CotD since 2002! The version up for review that time was
the Legendary Collection reprint of the original card
from Fossil. Clearly, Hitmonlee gets no love . . . can
this card turn things around?
Well, on the positive side, it has 80 HP, which is good
for an un-evolving Basic. The Psychic Weakness is never
fun, but it could be worse (i.e.: Lightning), the
Retreat cost of two is a big downside.
Hitmonlee doesn’t have any Powers or Bodies, so it isn’t
intended to be a support Pokémon, and neither does it
help you get set up, so it’s no starter. Instead it has
two very straightforward, simple attacks that do vanilla
damage only. Kick is cheap at [F], but only does 20
damage, while High Jump Kick gives you a more
substantial 60 damage, but ramps up the cost to
[F][F][C]. That means can’t make any use of Double
Colourless Energy, unfortunately.
To say that Hitmonlee is not good enough in Modified is
just stating the obvious and, to be honest, I don’t
think it is supposed to be. This is one of those
easy-to-use cards that can stay around for a bit and
maybe do some decent damage at a pre-release. If you
wanted to be unkind, you could call it useless
set-filler, but I prefer to think of it as a decent pick
for a Fighting deck in Limited.
Modified: 1.5 (we waited eight years for this??)
Limited: 2.5 (decent no frills attacker)
Welcome back, Pojo readers! Today we are reviewing a
card that reminds me of the very beginning of the
Pokemon TCG. Today's Card of the Day is Hitmonlee from
HS Undaunted. But first, a history lesson.
Way back in the days of Base Set, there was a very
popular deck called the Haymaker. It focused on having
really powerful basics that didn't evolve, and combined
with the absurdly powerful Trainer base of that time, it
was a really fast and powerful deck. One of the main
Pokemon in that deck was Base Set Hitmonchan, which did
20 damage for a single Energy and 40 for 3. Modern
players may scoff at the seemingly low damage output,
but when the Stage 2s of the format rarely topped 100
HP, 2HKOs were really easy, especially with a bunch of
PlusPowers. Other Pokemon in the deck included Base Set
Electabuzz, Jungle Scyther, and occasionally things like
Magmar and Machop. Each of the three main Pokemon (Hitmonchan,
Electabuzz, Scyther) were reprinted in Platinum, and are
still Modified legal today.
So what does this history lesson have to do with
Hitmonlee? Other than being the first Hitmonlee being
printed in a really long time, this card would have fit
into that deck perfectly. 80 HP is fairly good for a
non-evolving basic (both then and now), and Fighting is
a pretty good type to be, as there are quite a few
common Pokemon with Fighting Weakness and relatively few
with Fighting Resistance. Psychic Weakness is definitely
a downside, but can be worked around. Finally, a Retreat
Cost of 2 is rather average: It can be paid, although
you should probably use some kind of other method of
Retreat, like Switch or Warp Point.
Hitmonlee has two very straightforward attacks. Kick
deals 20 damage for [F], and High Jump Kick does 60 for
[FFC]. Unfortunately, the game has evolved quite a bit
from the days of the Base Set Haymaker, so Hitmonlee
probably won't be making a splash into Modified any time
soon. However, if you need a solid, no-frills attacker
for Limited, Hitmonlee won't let you down.
Modified: 1.5/5 Too many things outclass Hitmonlee these
days for it to really be playable. Two vanilla attacks
simply don't cut it anymore.
Limited: 3.5/5 Hitmonlee is excellent in Limited,
especially against the rest of the Undaunted set. There
are many Pokemon weak to Fighting in the set, and
Hitmonlee's straightforward attacks are actual quite
nice and reliable here, as many attacks in Limited are
very coin flip/luck based. 80 HP is pretty good for a
basic too. Unfortunately, there aren't too many Fighting
types in the set and a Retreat Cost of 2 is a bit high,
although Hitmonlee may be good enough to use against all
of the Darkness Pokemon in the set, even if you don't
have many other Fighting types.
Welcome back all!! Today We'll be checking out
Hitmonlee from the Undaunted set today. A Basic Fighting
type with 80HP (eh), 2X Psychic Weakness (ouch), no
Resistance and a Retreat Cost of 2 (not admirable on a
Basic). Back in the opening days of Pokemon
competitive play this card would have been a good
partner to its in-game counterpart Hitmonchan with it's
HayMaker-esque attacks hitting for 20 for a mere F with
Kick and a solid 60 for an expensive FFC with High Jump
Kick. Now a days this card is obsolete considering
in most builds you can have a Donking Donphan P or
Machamp in the same amount of time it would take to be
doing Kick, and definitely quicker than you'd be hitting
with High Jump Kick.
Limited-2.5/5- A decent card to use and easy to splash
You know what this card reminds me of? Base Set
Hitmonchan. The parallels between this and 'Chan are
pretty easy to see—the above average HP, the F for 20
attack, followed by the 1FF for similar damage, not to
mention the comparisons between Hitmonchan and Hitmonlee
in general. They even have the same bottom stats.
However, Hitmonchan was pretty good at the time(one
might use 'excellent' as a substitute word), because F
for 20 was a solid attack. Ten(or so) years later, we
have giant elephants that do F for 60, and other cards
that make 'Lee seem insignificant in comparison. So, for
now, Hitmonlee has to stand near the back of the 'Unevolving
In Limited, though, it's a solid option. F for 20 is
good value, it's a common, and it doesn't evolve.(Or
rather, doesn't need to evolve.) What a deal! You could
certainly do worse than amass an army of Hitmonlee for a
Combos With: Hitmonchan PL, aka Base Hitmonchan, who is
likely standing behind Hitmonlee in the hypothetical 'Unevolving
P.S. This is my first COTD review. Hi people reading
this! (Or the people who skimmed!)
Professor Bathurst League Australia
Hitmonlee (HS Undaunted)
This card is in the same mould as Hariyama from
yesterday, with 2 underpowered attacks in a format
dominated by the speedy OHKO (when has the format not
been dominated by speed and power though?)
At first look, Hitmonlee gets decent stats. 80 HP (about
right for non-evolving Basic Pokemon with no
starter/tech abilities), Psychic weakness (most Psychics
played now are either low-damage techs or deal indirect
damage anyway, but still not a good weakness to have)
and a retreat cost of 2 (payable, but use Switch or
Flygon). All of this hints at a Pokemon with initial
staying power which could then be scooped to let the
main attraction into the arena.
The attacks seem to support this. Kick (that is an
unusually short attack name!) deals 20 for F (cheap and
nasty) while High Jump Kick deals 60 for FFC (which is
where Hitmonlee fails). If only it had been 60 for FCC,
Hitmonlee might have had a spot in a few Machamp decks
as a starter. Since you could start cheap with Kick,
then throw on an Expert Belt and a Double Colourless
Energy to start beating into the opponent, Hitmonlee
could start the game quite nicely. Then, use a Super
Scoop Up and slap the Belt and DCE down on the Machamp
you just promoted to continue the beatdown!
Sadly, Machamp players will continue to use Chatot MD
and Spiritomb PA as starters because Hitmonlee has been
outmoded by ten years of power creep (most would have
anyway, but creativity and surprise are key to this
game, so I’d like to think a few would take the
chance!). Not that I dislike power creep either, the
game is much improved from days gone by. Keep the TCG
going from strength to strength!
Modified: 1.5 (It could have been so different!)
Limited: 3 (Just like Hariyama, splash this in Limited
for good damage/survivability)
Combos with: all those Haymaker decks that dominated the
early years of the game.
Today we look at
Hitmonlee from HS – Undaunted.
There is a reason we don’t often
Hitmonlee in the TCG: even in the
video games he often felt too similar to
Hitmonchan and in the TCG adaptation
of Pokémon, it is very, very hard for
him to distinguish himself and remain a
There is a reason that a
Hitmonlee reprint in 2002 was the
first and last time we reviewed a
Hitmonlee card, I am afraid.
At least last I checked
Hitmonlee are always male, so I get
to be lazy and just use male pronouns
instead of trying to be gender neutral.
The newest iteration has a good 80 HP.
The TCG is tricky since Hit
Points don’t mean exactly the same thing
here as in the video games.
the video games, Pokémon have several
stats that tend to be amalgamated into
the HP score.
So Hit Points, Evasion, Defense,
and Special Defense can all contribute.
I always thought
Hitmonlee was supposed to be light
on his feet, so 80 HP seems an
appropriate amount that can keep him
survive for more than a turn, at least
Psychic Pokémon will ruin that,
of course, as he is Psychic Weak at the
At least it isn’t a more
The lack of Resistance is as
disappointing as always, though it isn’t
like Fighting Pokémon are known for
their resistance anyway.
The two Energy required to
retreat hurt: this is the stat where
Hitmonlee could have demonstrated
some of his speed.
Still, this is a solid start.
Unfortunately the card falls apart when
we get to what he can do.
Hitmonlee has two vanilla attacks.
No effects, just damage.
Kick isn’t bad, it just isn’t
good: 20 points of damage for a single
Fighting Energy was great during much of
the games life, but not these last few
Still, it provides an inexpensive
opening move that could capitalize on
Fighting Weakness, especially when
The second attack requires (FFC)
and hits for 60 damage.
That is just too slow unless
there is some effective form of
Fighting Energy acceleration.
Even if the attack did 10 less
damage, had it merely been priced at
Double Colorless Energy could have
allowed it to go off turn two, and this
would have been a possible Fighting TecH
for some decks.
As is, it shouldn’t see play in
Modified, except perhaps as a decent
In Limited play, you can actually make
use of this card.
The single Fighting Energy needed
for Kick is low enough that you can
splash it and some Energy into a
non-Fighting deck and take advantage of
the significant number of Fighting Weak
Pokémon you’ll face.
Even without Weakness, the solid
HP, single Energy opening attack and
reliable second attack won’t face the
same level of speedy competition it
would in Modified, and thus can prove
Ultimately, I hope they learn from this
and return to having Pokémon like
Tyrogue capable of “fake evolving”
into Pokémon like
With this, they can give the
Tyrogue a useful ability and then
reward a player for using Pokémon like
Hitmontop be played like Stage 1
Tyrogue weren’t quite good enough to
see real competitive play, but there
were getting closer.
That or we need to see some
Fighting Stage 1 and 2 Pokémon with big,
supportive Poké-Bodies and Poké-Powers,
either boosting HP, reducing damage
taken, increasing damage done, or
speeding up Energy attachments just for
I am still selling my former
collectables on eBay. I’ve had a
lot of hobbies over the years, so at
various times I’ll have comic books,
manga, action figures, and video games
on the auction block. You can take
a look at what’s up for bids
here. Just a reminder, Pojo is
in no way responsible for any
transactions and was merely kind enough
to let me mention the auctions here. ;)