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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Pojo's 2000th COTD

Charizard #4/102

Base Set - 1st Edition

Date Reviewed: Sept. 7, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: DNA
Limited: 3.00

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

Charizard (yes, THAT Charizard)

Hello, and welcome to a very special day here on Pojo’s CotD. Today is Pojo’s 2000th card review. I think that’s quite an amazing achievement, both for the Pokémon TCG (still going strong after the initial craze passed), and for Pojo itself, which over the years has had some of the best players in the game doing what I’m lucky enough to do now. To mark the occasion we are going to look at what is probably the most famous (and infamous) card in the history of the game: Base Set Charizard.

Yes, this is the card that everybody wanted back in 1999 when the TCG was first launched outside of Japan. Prices skyrocketed, little kids got mugged for them at school, and anyone who actually managed to get hold of one of these things got instant cool points. Even today, a first edition Base Set Charizard that has been graded mint will sell for hundreds of dollars and its sentimental value for those who were into the game when the craze was at its height is incalculable.

And the funny thing is, it isn’t even any good. Not back then, and certainly not now. You see, Charizard wasn’t sought after because it was great card that everyone wanted for their decks (like, say, Luxray LV X or Yanmega Prime have been recently), oh no . . . the reason everybody wanted one is because Charizard is just so freaking awesome. Only Pikachu himself can claim to rival Charizard as the most famous Pokémon in the franchise.

Yes, Base Set Charizard had (for those days) an astonishing 120 HP. Yes, it could do (for those days) an unbelievable amount of damage . . . but back then, decks using an Energy-intensive Stage 2 as their main attacker were just not playable. They all died a quick and merciful death and the hands of Super Energy Removal and Haymaker: a viciously fast deck built around (for their time) powerful Basics like Hitmonchan and fuelled by the ridiculously broken Trainer engine that existed back then.

Charizard has been reprinted a few times over the years: in Base Set 2, in Legendary Collection, and even in slightly modified form in Stormfront. No-one really cares about those cards though, it’s all about the classic Base Set version. I was too young to really get Pokémon when it first came out, but I remember how much my older brother loved the two (first edition!) Charizards that he managed to get. To this day, there is no way he would ever trade or sell them.

Base Set Charizard is a piece of Pokémon history. Even people who don’t know anything about the TCG remember the cultural impact it had. Don’t expect me to rate this card, I am not worthy.


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today is a special day for Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day, as we're doing our 2000th review! Because of this, we're pushing back a few of our Emerging Powers reviews in order to review a card that is dear to all of our hearts, especially if we played back when the Pokemon TCG first came out. Today's Card of the Day is Base Set Charizard.

Charizard is a Stage 2 Fire Pokemon. Back when Charizard was legal in tournament play, Haymaker decks (with Hitmonchan, Electabuzz, and Scyther) and Rain Dance decks (Blastoise, Gyarados/Dewgong/other random Water-types) were the two dominant decks of the format, making it somewhat difficult for Charizard to really shine as a powerful attacker. As a reprint in Stormfront, Charizard was overshadowed by other more efficient decks such as Gyarados, and later had to compete with Charizard AR as a heavy hitting Fire-type Stage 2. 120 HP was amazing by Base Set standards, and although it is a bit low compared to what we have now for Stage 2s, Charizard would still be able to stand up to a few unboosted hits. Water Weakness is expected, meaning that Charizard would ultimate lose to Blastoise or Gyarados if it hit them first, but given the low HP values in Base Set, if Charizard hit first, it would probably get the KO. Fighting Resistance was great against the likes of Hitmonchan and the relatively uncommon Machamp, meaning that once set up, Charizard could hang with Haymaker decks, at least for a little while. A Retreat Cost of 3 is huge, so you would want to use something like Switch to get Charizard out of the Active slot.

As of Charizard's most recent printing in Stormfront, its Pokemon Power has been changed to a Poke-Body. The Body, Energy Burn has a relatively simple effect: All Energy attached to Charizard is Fire instead of its usual type. This is great for Charizard, as it has a really expensive attack that requires many Fire Energy, and is also great because one is able to power up this attack much more quickly with Double Colorless Energy. Theoretically, one could attack two DCEs to Charizard for a quick attack, and continue from there. This would work even better today with things like Emboar and Typhlosion (or even older accelerators like Blaziken from Ruby & Sapphire) to keep Charizard hitting hard each turn.

Charizard's single attack is Fire Spin, dealing a very impressive 100 points of damage for four Fire Energy, requiring you to discard two. This attack was very impressive during the TCG's early years as it could nearly OHKO everything. Nowadays this kind of attack is rather commonplace if not totally outclassed (see Reshiram and Emboar BLW #19 as examples), but back in the day, there was nothing quite like it.

Modified: NR. If Charizard were legal now, it probably wouldn't see a whole lot of play due to other Fire-types like Reshiram, Typhlosion, and Emboar stealing the show. However, in spite of its tournament viability, there were many kids that would be awestruck as soon as Charizard hit the table, just because it was that cool and elusive.

Limited: 4/5 Charizard is a beast in Base Set Limited and Base Set 2 Limited, and would probably be really hard to play in Stormfront Limited due to the ultra rarity of its evolutionary line, so I'll focus on the Base Sets. 120 HP is amazing by Base Set / Base 2 standards, and Energy Burn will incinerate almost everything for a OHKO (only a few Pokemon, such as Chansey, would survive). The only potential problem is that you have to discard two Energy after each Fire Spin, but in reality, the Base Set Limited format would be so slow that Charizard would probably survive in order to attack again. Again, just watch out for Blastoise, Gyarados, and even Dewgong.


    What was once an overhyped card that could not compete at the competitive level because of disruptive trainers like Energy Removal & Gust of Wind was reprinted 10 years later.
    Now, some of those pesky trainers disappeared for a while, and some of them (like Gust of Wind), actually recently made their way back. Now, this reprinted Charizard did rotate out from modified last year, but let's by hypothetical. If this Charizard was legal today, how would it perform in today's current environment? Well...
    *blows brains out*
    OMG, is this card bad! Like, really, really bad. What makes it so bad? The card simply didn't keep up with the seemingly infinite increase of power that new cards are receiving. HOW powerful are these new cards? Well, let's look at the most popular fire Pokémon in the game today: Reshiram. Reshiram is a basic Pokémon with 130 HP. For two fire energy and one colorless, Reshiram discards two fire energy to deal 120 damage. What's that? More HP and it's a BASIC? More damage and it's a BASIC? One less energy to attack and it's a BASIC? It even wins the retreat cost battle, retreating for one less than Charizard. I just wanna puke thinking about how bad this card is!
    So, what advantages does Charizard have over it?  Two small things: a fighting resistance of -30 and the fact that it doesn't need specific energy to attack. Energy Burn allows for one neat combo: Double Colorless Energy. However, don't get too excited about speeding Charizard up with two double colorless energy - it's attack requires discarding two energy CARDS, not two energy. That means both of those Double Colorless Energy are gone. So basically, you ideally end up using Charizard with one double colorless energy, and two other energy cards, discarding the two other energy cards, and what do know? You don't have enough energy to attack for next turn. Well, that means for Charizard to be useful, you'd need to pair it with something that allows you to attach multiple energy per turn. Say Typhlosion (Heartgold Soulsilver), Emboar (Black & White), or Feraligatr (Heartgold Soulsilver). But, since it is a Stage 2 Pokémon, you end up dedicating too many spots to it and can't realistically fit that other Stage 2. And, even if you do, you end up with a slow, clunky deck.
    The bottom line is that the difference between a basic and a stage two is astounding. The basic is not only going to attack more quickly, but it frees up the 5-7 extra slots you would need to use a Stage 2 attacker instead. The sad part is that the basic Pokémon that compares to Charizard is literally the better card. If you could replace Charizard's statistics with Reshiram's, you would actually be improving it - even though Charizard is a Stage 2.
    Sorry Charizard. I sure was excited the first time I opened you in a booster pack when I was 12 years old, but I sure as heck don't wanna see you in my deck. Ever.
    Hypothetical modified: 1/5
    Last year's modified: 1/5
    Unlimited: 1/5
    Limited: 2/5
    This card stinks in any format you could ever come up with. In its original debut of just base set, it would probably be a 2/5. And that's the best it ever was.

Deck Garage

9/7/11: Charizard(Base Set, Base Set 2, Legendary Collection, Stormfront)
This is the 2000th card of the day here at Pojo, so in order to celebrate, we're reviewing the first card reviewed here, Base Set Charizard. It's kind of funny how this milestone gets a special card, when looking back, the 1000th COTD was given to...Luxio. But it's probably better this way.
Most people who remember the card game when it was only a few sets probably have a Charizard story, because even the people who are no longer interested in the Pokemon franchise still hold Charizard as an icon of the series as a whole. It's odd to me why, of all the cards in Base Set, Charizard was the one that got so popular. I mean, maybe people really liked Charizard, but from personal experience, I never thought much of Charizard before I saw the appeal of the card. Before then, Charizard was the evolution of the starter Pokemon I never picked in Red, because of how badly it lost to Brock.
Maybe it was the big numbers printed on the card, which is a segue to where I should probably talk about the card's playability. Fire Spin deals pretty big damage, as you can tell from the '100' to the side of the attack name, which was good damage for the time, but the energy requirement and discards made it less useful. The Power/Body helped a little bit, but it still would need some form of energy accleration, which in its format was basically limited to Stage 2 Pokemon, and good luck getting 2 Stage 2s to run well together in a format with Gust of Wind/(Super) Energy Removal/many other things that made Stage 2s bad in this era. Presumably, the Power would have made Charizard an interesting tech in decks that could use the extra damage, but again, since it was a Stage 2, and because the game was so new, people didn't really 'tech' all that much. Interestingly, when RaNd0m began the Saga of Sets(Which you can find here: http://www.pojo.com/random/1225Part1-Base.html ), he mentioned that some people did use Charizard when Charmander and Charmeleon were both above-average Pokemon. 120 HP was nice in this era, but then, Chansey had 120 HP, and was a basic, and being a basic was so much of a benefit that the HP alone wasn't enough for Charizard to be played.
Overall, though, I feel that Charizard may have been a victim of its own popularity, as far as playability is concerned. Granted, there are many factors that hurt Charizard, such as cards that affected the format(Gust, ER, and speed decks in general, really), plus there's the fact that Charizard just isn't a very good card. However, my sense is that given enough time and manpower, one could have found a practical use for the card. However, given how tough it was to own the card, there was little point in going through the trouble of finding copies of a card that may or may not be useful. Also, most of the players who would have access to Charizard, and would be better equipped to test its playablility, were not inclined to do so, possibly because they were turned off by its popularity*.
Overall, it's an iconic card, and should be remembered for that. It may also represent wasted potential, though it's hard to get worked up about it when it is an average card at best.
Modified(Base-on): 2.25/5
Modified(Legendary Collection reprint): 1.75/5
Modified(Stormfront reprint):1/5
Limited:3/5(it was probably decent, given that it used all energy types and would be a pain to KO, provided you get it out)
In our hearts: 4.75/5


Welcome to our 2000th Card of the Day, dear readers! We are celebrating by looking at the games original “money” card, Base Set Charizard, which was re-released in Base Set 2, the Legendary Collection, and Stormfront, at least in the U.S.A. In Japan they didn’t get Base Set 2 or the Legendary Collection but did receive it as a promo at least once, and the international distribution outside of the U.S.A. becomes more irregular the farther back you go, so I can’t tell you how many times this card has been released in other countries. Still it was infamous back in the day and some people thought it abnormally rare. While it was a bit hard to come by, that was mostly because savvy traders noticed the demand for it was higher than the other, equally rare cards and snatched up as many as they could. I literally saw people who would have several pages worth of Charizard in trade binders. I remember it getting as high as $50 USD and near Christmas there were reports of it hitting three figures as parents vied for a copy for their kid. So… what is it like? First I am going to review it as I would any other card, and then I’ll go into the historical perspective that shall put it into context. I shall refer to all possible formats in my contemporary review since I usually would do a hypothetical Modified review for a non-Modified card anyway, and as this card has been re-released four times already, I am sure it will be re-released a few more.


Charizard is a Fire Pokémon, of course. Few Types have any real support in Modified (most of it is technically Energy-Type support) though in Unlimited there is quite a bit of it now. Of course there are quite a few flat out broken win-first-turn-if-you-go-first combos to deal with in Unlimited so that hardly matters. Being a Stage 2 means it will take a lot of deck space and even using Rare Candy won’t hit the field before your second turn. In Unlimited it could theoretically hit the field first turn if you can get a Broken Time-Space into play, and in fact if you insist on running it that should be your goal!

Charizard has 120 HP, which is low for Modern Stage 2 Pokémon but still high enough to often survive a hit in Modified, though I am. The most notable exceptions are if a deck packs damage boosting cards like PlusPower, ridiculously powerful cards like Reshiram or Zekrom, and of course hitting the Weakness of Charizard. Said Weakness is appropriately to Water-Type Pokémon. In the Modified Format such Pokémon are actually a bit scarce, though perhaps the latest set will finally give Water Pokémon a solid deck, though for now it is too early to say so definitely unless you play-test like Pokémon R&D. In a semi-casual Unlimited setting one expects to see Rain Dance decks, and there are at least a few other noteworthy Water decks that when you ignore “the best” become playable still in the Unlimited format (and usually more vicious than when they were Modified legal). Of course damage yields are fantastically high in Unlimited anyway and yet confusingly balanced out by facing Pokémon often equipped with Focus Band: the two makes HP scores much less relevant.

I am pleased that this card has Resistance, and due to when it was last printed it still enjoys classical Fighting -30 Resistance (instead of the modern -20). Given the greater average HP scores and “even-after-dialing-it-back” higher average damage output of the modern Modified, it seems odd that Resistance not only didn’t increase (either in amount blocked or scope of implementation) but rather seems to be less common and of course only blocks 20 points of damage now. In Modified, this would be very frustrating to Donphan Prime players, requiring four uses of Earthquake to take down one Charizard. I would assume that if this was reprinted, it would be modernized, which means the Resistance would drop to -20. Fortunately while less impressive it would still be enough to matter, making a OHKO by Donphan highly improbable. In Unlimited you’ll find the classical Resistance wonderful for completely blocking Tyrogue from Neo Discovery (assuming Crobat G spam isn’t so prevalent as to render Tyrogue completely unplayable, even in a semi-casual setting).

The final stat would be the Retreat Cost of (CCC). Three Energy is quite a bit to discard, and as we know the attack requires discarding Energy, you should never actually expect to be able to manually Retreat and even when you can, avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary. Instead prepare to “tank out” Charizard and run cards to get it out of the Active slot: even running one strategy or the other is ill advised because this big lizard will get stuck up front quite easily, no matter what format you’re in!


Charizard has a Poké-Body (originally a Poké-Power) which I assume would be updated yet again into an Ability if it were to be re-released. The Poké-Body is known as Energy Burn, and causes all Energy attached to Charizard to be treated as if it provided Fire-Type Energy instead of whatever it would normally provide. The quantity of Energy does not change: a Double Colorless Energy would provide two Fire Energy when attached to Charizard with Energy Burn in effect. In pre-Stormfront printings it will list this as an optional effect, but the Stormfront version states it is mandatory and it has been ruled that this is now (and perhaps always should have been, given a possible mistranslation) all versions are to be played. On the bright side, the Poké-Body text also no longer includes the clause stating that Special Conditions shut Energy Burn off, and I really can’t think of a practical circumstance when you would need a type of Energy other than Fire attached to Charizard.

Charizard has one massive attack, Fire Spin. The effect doesn’t match-up to the video game at all, as here it is merely a large attack with a two Energy card discard requirement. This is very important to note: it says Energy card (and has always specified card), so obvious combos like powering Charizard up with two Double Colorless Energy results in having to discard both Double Colorless Energy to use Fire Spin! The damage yield is a little low for the modern Modified format: you invest four Energy of a specific type. At a basic level that is good for 15 points of damage per Energy, or 60 points. Then I always treat discarded Energy as if it were an extra Energy requirement for the attack (and it is worse if you can use the attack more than twice) so that would put us at 90 points of damage. Unless the card has another effect (attack, Ability, etc.) that is truly phenomenal and uses it up, I would expect a “Stage 2 bonus” to damage since that compensates the difficulty of running Stage 2 Pokémon. That should be good for at least another 20 points of damage. Lastly when attacks cost more than three Energy, I tend to award more extra damage, once again because of previous successful cards and the difficulty in getting so much Energy onto a single Pokémon in a timely manner. So Charizard should easily be hitting for 110 or 120 points of damage with all that is required of it. Plus this is the only built in attack, so another bonus might be necessary there as well: think of how many Stage 2 Pokémon have fallback attacks for when you have to bring them out quickly.

One does need to look at the card (and metagame) as a whole of course, but whether it was intended or not, Charizard isn’t really broken with anything we currently have or ever have had. Energy Burn does mean you can consider the attack to effectively cost (CCCC), which would drop the earlier damage compensation to the point where 100 points of damage is about right… but again view the card as a whole: just one attack! While there might be an odd combo or two that can make use of Energy Burn converting any Energy into Fire-Type Energy, for the most part it really is like Fire Spin costs (CCCC). So you have all the vulnerabilities of possessing a single attack combined with the vulnerabilities of having a Poké-Body, including the fact that maximizing use of the Poké-Body makes you completely dependant upon it, so that an effect that shuts it down also shuts down the attack. This seems like a poor or at least overly cautious design.


First you have to choose a Charmander and possible a Charmeleon to Evolve from, and in Unlimited you have many options, and individual deck builds can alter what is best. My preference actually ties into an older combo, using cards like Memory Berry to access a useful older move like Rage, which is particularly vicious if played the turn after a Focus Band saved your Charizard from being KOed. Simply put this Charizard is not the best attacker, it is not the best Fire attack, not the best Stage 2 Fire attacker, though it might be the best “plain” Charizard to use as the others are all products of different metagames with restrictions that often seem more severe or supporting attacks that would be less useful in Unlimited. Still using tricks to access the lower stages attacks can help a lot, and you can try to get out a Leafeon LV.X to enable dropping an extra Energy a turn. In Unlimited, this means Boost Energy, Double Colorless Energy, Double Rainbow Energy, Recycle Energy, and Scramble Energy. You’re also going the generic route of running Broken Time-Space and Neo Genesis Slowking, because your opponent’s Trainers will wreck your deck even in a casual setting, let alone anything remotely competitive. While complicated, unless your opponent also sets up an anti-Trainer card you should be able to drop the needed two Energy cards a turn on Charizard, and if you can really push it and get out two Leafeon Lv.X you can do three and actually have the option of building for future use. Discarding Boost Energy and Recycle Energy are no big deal, since the former would have to be discarded anyway and the latter returns to hand. Double Rainbow Energy might drop your damage output a little but it still provides two Energy and more importantly, prevents any anti-Poké-Body effects from completely shutting the deck down. Scramble Energy only kicks in when you are behind in Prizes, but when you are it provides three of any Energy so it is quite valuable, and also protects against your Poke-Body being shut down. Just remember that if something stops Leafeon LV.X’s Poké-Power you’ll be forced to attack every other turn (unless you managed to fit in yet another back-up plan), and I don’t see anyway for this deck to work if Pokémon Powers are being shut down (since that would include Poké-Bodies and Poké-Powers, so all three major Pokémon are offline). Well, technically the deck still “works”, but unless you can recycle Double Rainbow Energy and Scramble Energy and your opponent is slower than you attacking every other turn, you’re a goner.

Modified has no legal lower stages, so they’d have to reprint a Charmander and Charmeleon or design a new one. This is hard to predict and unless they were stellar (or some other future combo changes things) I don’t think Charizard could be even remotely competitive for Modified. I didn’t exactly paint a cheery scenario for Unlimited, but even though Modified decks typically clock in at the power level of “semi-casual” Unlimited decks, it doesn’t fair any better. You need some sort of Energy acceleration, otherwise it will take four turns to power it up and then you’d only be able to hit for 100 points of damage every other turn! In short, that means if you’re lucky one Charizard might get to attack once. Factoring in a simple combo of Double Colorless Energy means either you burn (pardon the pun) through your Double Colorless Energy right away so that on your second turn, Charizard hits for 100… and then has no Energy since the wording of the attack would require you discard two Energy cards, and thus both copies of Double Colorless Energy. The real use of Double Colorless Energy is that a single copy can be attached along side two single Energy cards, and then you can hit for 100 points of damage starting on your third turn, and again only attacking every other turn. Which means you still would be lucky to get a single attack off when facing any competent deck.

The only reasonable option currently available is to use Charizard with Emboar and its Inferno Fandango. You’ll have to burn two Energy cards a turn and you’ll get 100 points of damage. You’ll have little room for anything but your Emboar and your Charizard lines, and you have not one but two obviously superior options that won’t restrict you as much: the other Emboar and Reshiram. The non-Ability Emboar has superior stats and a better attack. Reshiram has superior stats two better attacks, and is a Basic! Since we are dealing with a mono-Fire deck or at least heavily Fire Energy focused deck and the other two cards even can make use of non-Fire Energy for part of their attack costs, lacking Energy Burn does not matter.

So what about Limited? Ignoring how expensive (or the fact that it would have to be virtual) this would be even for the most recent re-release, the Charmander and Charmeleon that have also always been printed or reprinted alongside Charizard are Limited friendly, having decent stats for the format and one Colorless attack (making multi-Type decks easier). Charizard is best held in reserve, and dropped only when Charmeleon is about to be KOed, as without a lucky Double Colorless Energy you’ve got no Energy acceleration, and thus Charizard can only hit every other turn after being powered-up.


So historically what has Charizard usage been like? While many people tried to make Charizard worthwhile during the various phases of early Unlimited (Base Set, Base Set/Jungle, Base Set through Fossil, etc.). When dealing with only the Base Set, Charizard was nice in that Hitmonchan could only hit it for 10 points of damage with Special Punch, but the rest of Haymaker (like Base Set Electabuzz) suffered no such problems. Gust of Wind and Energy Removal made it nearly impossible to get a Charizard fully powered, let alone in a more sustainable manner than dropping two Double Colorless Energy on it over the course of two turns. If Charizard was strong in any area, it was usually due to someone designing the best possible deck for it and encountering less skilled opponents or those with less resources. Rain Dance decks may have even outperformed Haymaker decks against it. The only match-up where Charizard was perhaps more useful than Rain Dance or Haymaker is purported to be against early Damage Swap decks, since with two PlusPower a Charizard that managed to set-up could OHKO a Chansey. That still feels more like Theorymon than fact to me: the Damage Swap deck has to set-up before the Haymaker or Rain Dance for this to be a serious issue, while the Charizard deck has to set-up at least as fast as Damage Swap.

Later sets did not help Charizard. It might have been a little nice that Haymaker decks started running the Fire-Weak Scyther upon its release in Jungle, but Scyther was good enough that it was still probably a net gain for the Haymaker deck in the match-up, and it didn’t need any help. Clefable decks didn’t like discarding two Energy card for Fire Spin, but since it could be any Energy Type they often could, again putting Charizard at a disadvantage. Wigglytuff was just another strong attacker that could outpace Charizard. Fossil added nothing to Charizard yet again and introduced Muk to shut down Pokémon Powers, and Charizard really needed Energy Burn: either to use a single Double Colorless Energy so it could attack in three turns and not four, to splash in some other Pokémon (and thus Energy) Types to avoid being completely crushed by Rain Dance, and probably both in most decks. I won’t waste your time by going into detail, but Charizard never had much of a chance until it was re-released in the Legendary Collection. At that point there was a chance it could see serious play because it became Modified Legal at a time when its HP was still impressive, and average damage yields were still around 60 points a turn without significant combos. Combos that the reprinted Base Set Charizard could match, giving at least the chance of getting off two to three Fire Spin in a row without a lengthy set-up. Still I don’t recall seeing it played outside of Pokémon League and the decks that came before and after it still seemed to do the job better. Then the Legendary Collection rotated out early as Nintendo took over the game from Wizards of the Coast.

By Stormfront, Charizard was no longer the biggest, hardest hitting Pokémon. To be fair it had lost that title long ago, but by now it was noticeably slower than contemporary decks, and only “average” in terms of HP. As stated in the review, by this point one couldn’t ignore what had really always been an overpriced attack and Poké-Body that should have just been a more friendly Energy cost for the attack. So why this lengthy review of Charizard? I have never personally reviewed it on Pojo and wanted to support my claims. Charizard has always been more popular than its effects deserve, simply because it already is a popular Pokémon: Charizard was often as much as mascot for Pokémon as a whole as Pikachu is, especially in the early days of the franchise. The fact that the Pokémon “fad” kicked into high gear as the TCG was starting in the U.S.A. meant that many non-players and non-collectors wanted the card just because it was the “in thing”. Charizard looks impressive enough to entice many that know that at its best it was sub-par, let alone non-players or non-collectors. I feel the need to include the latter because those not familiar with the Pokémon Rarity Scheme mistook the high prices as indicative of low supply, while instead I’d see people sitting on stacks and binders flush with Charizard, waiting for the next person that would cough up at least $50 for a copy. Charizard was the first “money” or “bling” card, a status symbol for those that cared about such things. That is what makes it so important to the history of the game.


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: N/A (would be 1.25/5 at best)

Limited: 3/5


Charizard is popular because it’s a big, draconic looking Fire-Type Pokémon. This card was highly sought after because it was somewhat rare (available only as a Holo-Rare at a time when the general supply of Pokémon cards outstripped demand) and the fad propelled the price to an easy $50 and sometimes even triple digits for a First Edition copy. The actual card is an example of poor design: some fundamental aspect of the card (in this case the Energy cost for the attack) was somehow spun off into a more complicated Pokémon Power: as stated in the main review, Fire Spin essentially is (CCCC) for 100 points of damage and a double Energy card discard, and without the illusion provided by Energy Burn that the card can do anything else, you realize that is pretty bad. Still looks great, though. ;)

Speaking of frivolous purchases, check out my eBay auctions here.

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