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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Cobalion #77/98

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: August 10, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.25
Limited: 4.25

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


Cobalion is a part of the “musketeer trio” of Legendary Pokémon, and might be the dominant member of the group according to Bulbapedia. It is a Basic Pokémon that has no Evolutions available: it sinks or swims on its own merit. It is a Metal-Type, which makes sense since in the video games it is a Metal/Fighting hybrid: given that they intentionally made all three members of the trio so similar, I almost wish they were all Fighting-Types. That being said this is probably the best type for any member of the trio: when you’re a big Basic being able to soak damage with Special Energy Metal Energy extends its lifespan even more! Cobalion has 110 HP and that is great! Very few Basic Pokémon surpass this and some Stage 1 (and even a few Stage 2) Pokémon don’t clock in this high! Cobalion can definitely take a hit, except from its Weakness: Fire. Of course this is bad given that Fire seems to be a popular type… then again perhaps Beartic will make Water decks strong enough to balance things out? I am glad we have Resistance, but unfortunately Psychic Pokémon aren’t especially strong right now and the ones that do see play tend to win by means other than doing plain damage: Special Counter placement, Special Conditions, Lost World, etc. The Retreat Cost of two is a bit high for a Basic, and without some form of Energy acceleration you’re better of designing your deck to keep Cobalion active no matter what or pack Switch.

The first attack on this card is Metal Horns, and for (MC) it does 30 points of damage and forces your opponent to change out their Active with one of the Benched Pokémon. With Pokémon Catcher out in this set this effect loses some of what would have made it useful, but still it might come in handy from time to time. At the very least it will make your opponent work to keep a fully powered Pokémon Active to wail on Cobalion, though it only takes a Pokémon with a free Retreat to thwart this. Sacred Sword costs (MMC) and does 100 points of damage but can’t be used the next turn. This can be a little awkward. The good news is that if you used Metal Horns and your opponent couldn’t change back you’ll be hitting something fresh with Sacred Sword. The bad news is that if your opponent didn’t change back you’re hitting something fresh. If everything is small and Sacred Sword is good for OHKOs, then this can be good. If stuff has more than 100 HP, you either have to use boosting effects (PlusPower) or if your opponent keeps it Benched use a Pokémon Catcher to force it back-up. The pricing for the attacks means you can’t use Double Colorless Energy as a shortcut and the musketeer trio really makes me miss Call Energy so they could do something useful first turn if they are Active. You can always try to use another opener, so it doesn’t ruin them that they require two turns to attack.

The best use I can come up with for this card is the same one as I came up with for its peers, though this might be the best one for tanking out. With a Vileplume (HS: Undaunted 24/90) and a Serperior (Black & White 06/114) behind 110 HP augmented with Special Metal Energy and forcing your opponent to cycle through their Pokémon, you can really turn Cobalion into a not-so-tiny tank. Yes, you’re only averaging 65 points of damage a turn, but if you’re slowing down your opponent by denying them access to non-Supporter/Stadium cards, keeping them from powering up the same card each turn, and smacking anything that gets to big with Sacred Sword, and soaking damage with Special Energy Metal Energy your opponent is going to have a hard time building any damage on you. Hypothetically speaking, of course: this deck idea involves running two different Stage 2 Pokémon lines after all, and while we know that works, neither line is designed to aid in set-up.

So what about Unlimited play? Too slow, but at least it is less sad than most first attempts at Legendary Pokémon. In Limited play I am assuming this card will be great. Unless there are a lot of decent Fire Pokémon in this set, you just need to work in four or five Metal Energy so you can at least reliably use the first attack and Cobalion pound some Pokémon. First the usual modifiers apply: this is a Basic Pokémon whose HP is probably about as high as you’re going to see since so many Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon won’t be pulled alongside the cards needed to run them at all, let alone well. For the same reason, average damage tends to be on par or even lower than what you’re getting from Cobalion. Second factor in that players usually try to hide stuff on the Bench so if you start forcing them to bring up extra Pokémon, what are they going to do? Even if Cobalion is KO’d while doing it, leaving your opponent with a Bench full of Pokémon one hit away from being KO’d is worth a Prize (unless it’s the last one).


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 3.25/5

Limited: 4.25/5


Like the rest of its trio, I don’t think Cobalion is going to impact the game in the way Reshiram and Zekrom have, but I do think it stands a chance of seeing at least some play, perhaps as a spare tank for another deck.

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