We open the weak with the predator of
Unfortunately for people like me,
TPC can’t seem to make up their minds if
Pokémon are animals or people, and
constantly portray them as both.
So for me, that makes the flavor
Heatmor quite, quite disturbing,
since apparently it eats the (insides)
If Pokémon are just animals, not
a problem, but since many Pokémon are
depicted as not only being as smart as
humans, but with similar psychological
make-ups, emotions, etc. that would make
Heatmor a cannibal of sorts.
Don’t get me started on
portraying some Pokémon as divine, or
this will quickly become an essay.
is a Basic Pokémon, which is actually
quite good in the current format: for a
long while, Basic Pokémon have only been
strong when part of a supported family
or as part of a gimmick, but as of right
now in general they just have some solid
support, with at least a little more on
the way if I’ve read some spoilers
As a Basic Pokémon (with no extra
strings attached) you’ll be able to max
out its line for a mere four deck slots,
and of course it is easy to simply drop
as the name implies, is a Fire-Type
This is a mixed blessing: it is
quite hard to compete with
Reshiram for deck space in most (if
not all) Fire focused decks.
While Fire Support is actually
almost too good (working for many
non-Fire-Type Pokémon), hitting Fire
Weakness is becoming more important as
the Type spread seems to be balancing
now that we are getting more sets.
enjoys 90 HP, still a good, solid amount
even with recent surges in HP scores for
The hardest hitting decks in the
format will still OHKO it without too
much of a fuss, but anything more
technically minded will need some help
or have to settle for a two-hit KO.
I’ll point out that for many
decks, 90 is an awkward number to hit:
it can be done but often requires
overkill, and that overkill is likewise
often expensive in terms of resources.
Water decks will not suffer this
problem owing to the card’s Water
The lack of Resistance is depressing and
the two Energy needed to Retreat, while
functionally “average” seems a bit high.
I say “functionally average”
because most decks I know can pay it
without too much fuss, but it will still
be a set-back.
While the Retreat Cost is almost
in line with the HP (again, adjusting
for the power creep that has plagued the
last few formats), historically
functional Basic Pokémon tended to have
a Retreat Cost in line with the number
of turns they were likely to survive.
The hardest hitting (and commonly
played) decks will turn this into a
Heatmor will be lucky to survive
through your opponent’s turn.
This is not a hard and fast rule,
but rather a general guideline.
has two attacks, Singe for (R) and
Incinerate for (RC).
Simply put, both are either
overpriced or underpowered, and lack any
real synergy save for the first attack
costing one less Energy than the latter.
Singe does inflict automatic burn, but
Incinerate has a useful effect of
discarding a Pokémon Tool from the
Defending Pokémon before doing damage,
but the damage it does is just 30
For a Pokémon that doesn’t Evolve
this is rather underwhelming.
Right now we only have two Pokémon Tools
in the format, and discarding them is
quite useful, but much less so as a
small attack that needs two Energy to
It is nice that the attack
discards them before doing damage (which
means those Tools won’t get their
respective effects), but you really have
to look at the investment:
Heatmor, something to provide (RC),
and an attack.
You almost certainly won’t be
KOing what you are hitting, so while
your next Pokémon might be able to
finish the job, you gave up a Prize and
now your second attacker will be at a
disadvantage trading blows with your
opponent’s second attacker.
If we really have to burn an attack to
discard a Pokémon Tool, Singe and
Incinerate should have been a single
attack: Burning and discarding would be
worth a single (R) Energy requirement,
and then the second attack could have
been something useful but inexpensive if
Heatmor survived, like a classic
Rage attack or even something for (RCC)
that just did solid damage; it is worth
Double Colorless Energy for most
decks if it gets a Prize.
There is one redeeming thing about these
attacks (besides the fact that
discarding Pokémon Tools
might barely be worth the price);
while each attack needs something
supplying Fire Energy, there is only a
single such requirement per attack and
thus a deck can just use
Rainbow Energy to cover the cost, or
slap a few
Fire Energy in, even.
Getting back to hypothetical
designs, changing all the (R)
requirements to (C) would have made this
card less likely to backfire as well.
As implied above, this is a card you run
in decks to discard Pokémon Tools that
could ruin your strategy, with the mixed
blessing that you’ll be able to hit Fire
Weakness now (but requiring extra
investment for most non-Fire-Type
Durant is about the only Pokémon I
can think of that this card somewhat
counters, but even that is tenuous; a
without the Special Energy version
still needs a
PlusPower to score a OHKO.
Still remember this if we get
some annoying, small Fire Weak
Plant-Type Pokémon that is greatly
enhanced by Pokémon Tools.
For Unlimited play, it is nice that this
Focus Band (and the many other
amazing Pokémon Tools of this format),
but you have
Windstorm for that. Assuming you
weren’t facing some kind of lock or
First Turn Win deck anyway, it makes
more sense to focus on countering your
opponent’s expected Trainer denial (so
Windstorm can go through) and/or
speeding up your own Trainer denial (so
Focus Band can’t even get into
In Limited play, it is all a question of
can you afford room for a few
Fire Energy cards.
A Basic Pokémon with 90 HP and
inflicting automatic Burn for (R) is a
good pull here unless you cannot afford
the room for the
Fire Energy, and the damage of the
second attack isn’t a bad follow-up.
Should you encounter any Pokémon
Tools (as this set brought us both
Rocky Helmet), this makes for
insurance against someone fortunate
enough to get some crude combo going (as
both those Pokémon Tools are fantastic
I see the niche this card was intended
for, but it doesn’t quite fit right: for
the investments needed to discard the
Pokémon Tools, you might as well run a
beefy attacker and go for the OHKO, or
enhance what you already have.
Enjoy it in Limited play and then
wait for upcoming
Heatmor if you really want a hard
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