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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Pikachu #115/114

Black & White

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 2.50

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:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Pikachu 115/114

Hello and welcome to some more of the card reviews you love . . . or quite like . . . or tolerate . . . or laugh about with your friends. Whatever, they are right here on Pojo’s CotD.

We kick off the week with the ‘secret rare’ from the new Black and White set – Pikachu. The flavour text says: ‘This is an extremely rare Pikachu card. You’re very lucky to have found it!’. Are they right about that? Let’s look at the evidence.

Well, as for ‘extremely rare’, it depends what you mean by that. I saw a couple at Prerelease, but they do seem quite tough to get. As for being lucky to find it, again that depends on your point of view. If you are a collector, you will be very happy to pull one of these. If you like prettyful cards with unique foil treatments, then again, you will smile when you see this in your pack. But what about players? People like me who don’t really care about any of those things. Hmm . . . the news is both good and bad.

The good news is that this card probably just about edges the HGSS promo Pikachu to become the best Pika in the format. Its Energy acceleration attack isn’t flippy and its Thunderbolt attack may do 20 less damage (80 as opposed to 100), but it’s cheaper to use. The bad news? It still isn’t a great Basic, there aren’t any really top tier Raichu decks, and even if there were, getting your hands on a playset of these might prove to be difficult and expensive.

I wouldn’t worry about it though. The HGSS Promo is relatively cheap and easy to get hold of, and the differences between the two are fairly marginal. Plus, we are still waiting on that tier 1 evolution . . .


Modified: 2 (decent enough Basic for players, a great collectors card)

Limited: 1.5 (personally, I wouldn’t use a secret rare in a prerelease tournament. Especially one that wasn’t going to do much for you)


Welcome back, Pojo readers! I hope that all of you had a good time and pulled well at your Black and White prereleases if you had them this past weekend. We will be reviewing even more BW cards this week, so be sure to check back, because we're going to be looking at some good ones. Today we kick off our new COTD week by reviewing a secret Ultra Rare card in the new set. Today's Card of the Day is the Gen I Pokemon we all know and love, Pikachu.

Pikachu is a Basic Lightning Pokemon. Lightning sees a decent amount of play in Modified, with Luxray GL Lv. X being very common and Magnezone steadily becoming more popular with its MagneRock variant. 60 HP is decent for an evolving Basic, but keep in mind that if you pull this in Limited, there is no Raichu in the set. Fighting Weakness is to be expected for a Lightning-type, so be careful against the likes of Donphan, Machamp, and Promo Toxicroak G. No Resistance is to be expected, but is still unfortunate. Finally, a Retreat Cost of 1 is decent and payable.

Pikachu has two attacks, Energize and Thunderbolt. Energize allows you to attach a Lightning Energy card from your discard pile to Pikachu for the cost of [L]. This attack has a chance in Limited, where the format is slow enough that your opponent won't necessarily hit Pikachu for 60 damage immediately (although if they have Reshiram, Zekrom, Cinccino, or Zoroark, even then Pikachu may not be safe). In Modified, however, there are generally better ways of getting multiple Energies onto Pokemon, namely by evolving Pikachu into Raichu Prime and using Voltage Increase, or even using something like Magnezone Lv. X's Electric Trans. The second attack, Thunderbolt, deals 80 damage for [LCC], discarding all Energy attached to Pikachu in the process. This is actually pretty decent, as 80 damage is good for that cost, which is easily abusable with Double Colorless Energy. However, the biggest question that comes to mind is Pikachu's survivability: 60 HP is probably not enough health to consistently put three Energy on Pikachu in order to use the attack. In Modified, chances are you won't have a Pikachu long enough to use it (either due to it being KOed or to your evolving it into Raichu), but in Limited, it can be good if your opponent is slow to set up.

Modified: 1.75/5 There are about 10 Pikachu currently legal for Modified. A few of the versions from older sets - MD, SF, SV, AR - have the nice +10 Weakness to Fighting instead of x2, and a few of them also have 70 HP. This Pikachu differentiates itself by being able to power itself up without a coin flip, by still having a very expensive, discard-everything attack, and by being very, very shiny. If you want to run something like an all-foil deck or think you can get away with using Thunderbolt, this is the Pikachu for you. If not, you'll probably want one of the DP/Platinum series Pikachus with more HP and only +10 Weakness.

Limited: 2/5 It's fun to play here, since it will probably survive at least one hit and be able to hit for 80. Then again, it can't evolve into Raichu and there's also no easy way of getting the Energy back from your discard pile, unless you get lucky and draft some Energy Retrieval. If you decide to play it, look out for the rare Fighting-types in this set as well, in addition to Reshiram and Zekrom.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Pikachu (Black and White)
Hey, Pojo readers! Today we cover an old favourite, Pikachu!
Today's review is yet another card based on that yellow-bellied, red-cheeked rat which just happens to be a secret rare at #115 in the set. I must admit I've had all of the Pikachu worship I can take, so I'm not particularly pleased to see this card crop up in a set that isn't supposed to have any Poke'mon from earlier generations (at least not in the base set, I sincerely hope they release a new card for each and every monster over the next few sets).
However, I shouldn't pass judgement until I've gone over the stats, so here we go. Pikachu is a Lightning type evolving Basic with 60 HP, Fighting weakness and a retreat cost of 1 as well as 2 attacks.
Obviously Pikachu isn't going to survive any big hits with only 60 HP and the Fighting weakness only makes it worse although in most cases it will be irrelevant anyway. The lack of Metal resistance is also a point against it when compared to other Pikachu cards, even though that resistance doesn't normally help. So far the picture is bleak.
The first attack is Energize which costs [l] to retrieve a [l] energy and attach it to Pikachu. While it looks okay at first glance, you really don't want Pikachu Active at the end of your turn and even if you are playing in Limited this attack has terrible synergy with the second attack. If the cost was colourless then it would be okay for use when you are out of other options but since it needs [l] energy it gets the gong.
Thunderbolt is quite common to Pikachu and Raichu cards, and this version costs [l][c][c] in return for 80 damage with the drawback of discarding all [l] energy attached to Pikachu. With either mixed energy or Double Colourless Energy to help pay for the attack cost you can limit the discard to 1 [l] energy card (which makes attaching extra [l] energy with Energize a waste) and attack turn after turn.
In Limited Thunderbolt can net you a quick lead since it is quite cheap for the damage but in Modified it will only be a last-resort attack. Because of that most players will pass over this Pikachu for the SF version which has 70 HP and only a +10 weakness, based on the sound reasoning that surviving to elvolve into Raichu is far better than trying to attack with Pikachu. The rarity is also a problem as players like to protect their collector items rather than risk damaging them during play.
Of course, all of this assumes that there are some playable Raichu cards in the format. Sadly, despite the release of a Lv X and a Prime (which are both still playable) along with about 7 other prints, Raichu doesn't have a single working deck to its name. Both Pikachu and Raichu seem doomed to remain as mere trader bait.
Only new players and older player building a fun deck will ever touch any of the Pikachu or Raichu cards we have now, so either a Riachu player will not own this card or won't want to risk damaging it. Either way I never expect to play against this Pikachu.
Modified: 2 (Keep Pikachu safely in the binder along with the Promo version that has similar attacks)
Limited: 2.5 (The damage is fair and the cost is manageable, especially if you pull Zebstricka and Zekrom. Still, the HP remains a problem and I would advise you to stick Pikachu straight into the binder anyway)
Combos with: the flavour text is amusing, so combo Pikachu with an appreciative note to the design team followed by a rapid transfer to a binder.

Deck Garage

4/25/11: Pikachu(Black & White)
So this here Pikachu is the only Pokemon in this set that is from the previous 4 generations. Of course, it would be a Pikachu, who certainly doesn't get nearly enough cards printed off of it.
Sarcasm aside, this is a fairly decent Pikachu. Energize is the sort of attack you fight on any half-decent Pikachu, which accelerates energy. Just because quite a few Pikachu have it, though(HGSS Promo Pikachu has a similar attack, I believe), doesn't make it any less useful, given how pretty much every Raichu has to discard energy for its attack. Thunderbolt is really good, and even though the energy discard is bad, how often do you see evolving basics doing 80 damage? Combee UD could with a damaged Vespiquen and a Combee that's not dead because of its 30 HP, Torchic PL could, if you gave it a turn to Focus Energy, and even then it's a flip, and then of course there's Shuppet. I don't think Pikachu's going to become the next Shuppet, but I do think it'll be a handy tool for any Raichu deck in the future.
Limited: 3.75/5(Good luck pulling this, but if you do...)
Combos With: Raichu Prime

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