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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Riolu #50

Call of Legends

Date Reviewed: Feb. 22, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 2.25

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Riolu (Call of Legends)

Hello, and welcome to a short week of reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. This is due to Veterans Day in the US.

This week two Pokémon make their debut on CotD; apparently this is the first time a Riolu has ever been reviewed. You will have to wait until Friday to find out what the other one is . . . it’s a bit of a shocker!

Being an evolving Basic makes Riolu completely dependant on its evolution for playability. There are a couple of semi-interesting Lucario around, but they suffer from the usual Stage 1 problem of neither being fast enough nor powerful enough to compete with SP or evolution decks. That said, some people have been showing an interest in the Lucario from Call of Legends, which has some serious attack potential (but probably takes an autoloss against Lost World decks).

If you do decide to build a Lucario deck, is this the Basic of choice though? The short answer is no. Elsewhere you can find Riolu with more HP, cheaper attacks, and +10 Psychic Weakness instead of x2. Although Riolu CL does have a decent-ish attack (20 for [F] but can’t use it next turn) the Fighting Energy requirement is a bit of a drawback in a Lucario CL deck, which wants to power up its big attack fast with Double Colourless Energy.

Considering this Riolu is relatively weak, and has poor synergy with the best version of its evolution, you should really look elsewhere.


Modified: 1.25 (Use the Riolu from Platinum instead)

Limited: 1.75 (cheap attack, but don’t play it unless you also pull Lucario)


Welcome back, everyone! Today we continue our COTDs with more cards from the new Call of Legends expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Riolu.

Riolu is a Basic Fighting Pokemon. Fighting types in Modified are mostly dominated by Donphan Prime, Machamp SF/Prime, and Promo Toxicroak G, with a few lesser-used exceptions. Riolu has 50 HP, which is average for an evolving Basic. Psychic Weakness means that Gengar will probably OHKO easily, no Resistance is no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 1 is decent: you can afford it, or use something with Warp Point, Warp Energy, and Unown Q.

This particular Riolu has a single attack: Tumble Down does 20 damage for [F], and Riolu can't attack during your next turn. 20 damage for a single Energy is decent, but not attacking the next turn isn't very good. Fortunately, the only time that Riolu will normally be attacking is on the first turn of the game, and will probably be a Lucario at any other time than that, so it isn't really much of an issue. In Limited, 20 damage for [F] is great, although Hitmonlee can do it without the not attacking next turn drawback. Even still, if you draft a Lucario or many other Fighting type Pokemon, Riolu is definitely worth running.

If you are building a deck in Modified, which Riolu should you run? I personally recommend either the Legends Awakened or Platinum versions, as those have 60 HP and only a +10 Weakness to Psychic, whereas the Unleashed and Call of Legends versions have a double Weakness (and this particular version only has 50 HP). All of the attacks are rather vanilla damage dealing attacks, so that's not a huge deciding factor.

Modified: 2/5 If you're running Lucario in a deck, the Call of Legends Riolu is decent, since it does 20 damage for a single Energy. However, both the Legends Awakened and Platinum versions have more HP and a better Weakness modifier, so those are probably better choices here.

Limited: 3/5 20 damage for a single Energy is good, although not being able to attack next turn is not. Still, Riolu can be good if you draft many Fighting types, or a Lucario.


I’ll start this review by… wishing my sister, Jennie Strom, a Happy Birthday! ;)

Riolu from Call of Legends is a Basic Fighting-Type Pokémon, most notable for Evolving into Lucario. Looks like we are already winding down for this set, because this is our first Riolu review ever… and that is the main reason to look at this card. It has 50 HP, which makes it smaller than three other Modified Legal Riolu. It is Psychic Weak like all Riolu, but the older versions (three of which are still legal) only suffer Psychic Weakness +10 while today’s card has it at the damage doubling level. At least it enjoys the dubious benefit of being so small that most of the time that Weakness won’t matter. No versions have Resistance (pity) and all have a single Energy Retreat Cost, the latter being easy to pay or eliminate with Unown Q.

The Call of Legends Riolu has a single attack, Tumble Over. Tumble Over requires a single Fighting Energy to use and hits for 20 points of damage and… Riolu can’t attack during your next turn. This is rather underwhelming. Either TPC just wasn’t thinking when they designed this, or they assumed a Lucario they were releasing around this time was going to be really good and so decided Riolu should be a bit underpowered. I mean, it is a Pokémon that can Evolve just one more time, so a slightly higher HP and/or useful abilities shouldn’t break it. If we compare it with other Modified Legal versions, this is the obvious dud. The only other version with a single attack has a Poké-Body that blocks Paralysis on Riolu. Every other version (including the one with a Poké-Body) has superior attacks, though they are just “fair” attacks and not especially good. Still, two decent attacks are better than one decent attack and rarely useful Poké-Body and either one is better than one weak attack. If you’re using a Riolu, go the Platinum version due to its 60 HP and slightly less problematic Weakness (Psychic +10). It also looks to have the best combination of attacks: for no Energy you can hit for 10 points of damage and for (CC) you can hit for 20 (or 30 if you get “heads” on the coin toss). Ultimately the card’s own abilities should scarcely matter since Lucario is a Stage 1 and the best Modified legal versions I’ve seen of it all can attack with a single Energy attachment. Thanks to Broken Time Space, that means a good Riolu will only need to do something if your build is poor, if you open with it, or if your luck is horrid; the rest of the time you’ll drop it and instantly Evolve into Lucario.

In Limited play, I’d skip this unless you need filler and can afford the room for Fighting Energy. Even for Limited play, the HP and attack just aren’t good.


Modified: 1.5/5 – While every other version of Riolu does it better, Riolu exists to Evolve into Lucario so being sub par doesn’t hurt its score that much. The lack of a breakout Lucario on the other hand, does.

Limited: 2/5 – Pure filler.

You guessed it: still selling off my old collectibles, toys, and other items on eBay. Click here! Just remember that Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions.


2/22/11: Riolu(Call of Legends)
Really, the amount of Riolu that have been printed shouldn't be so surprising; what is surprising is how bad most of them are. Apart from Riolu DP, which some hype for its donking potential, the only other one that stands out is a POP promo, which had a nifty anti-paralysis Body. Every other Riolu, however, has had nothing but vanilla attacks, with maybe a coin flip for extra damage or something.
Really, this Riolu is no different. It does F for 20. Yawn. Even this attack, however has a downside, as Riolu cannot attack next turn. Even when compared to the blandness of the other Riolus, this one doesn't quite cut it, given that it has less HP than the others as well. If I were to pick a Riolu to use(which may be important, depending on how Palkia/Lucario does), I would go for Riolu PL, since it the best overall stats and can do damage for no energy. As for this one, well, maybe it has its uses in Limited. Such as evolving into Lucario(a solid Limited choice, to be sure)
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 2.25/5

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