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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Arcanine #12

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.00
Limited: 3.50

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Arcanine #12 (Next Destinies)

I always felt a bit sorry for Arcanine: although its species name is ‘Legendary Pokémon’, it has never had the status and rarity of a true Legendary or the power of the pseudo-Legendaries (like Metagross and Tyranitar). The Pokémon Yellow Pokedex (in a rare real-world reference) tells us that he is Legendary in China so maybe that explains it.

Today’s card is the better of the two Arcanine from Next Destinies. It’s a Stage 1 that hits the ‘magic’ HP number of 130 which is pretty much the most you can expect. The Fire Typing should make it good against Durant but, as we shall see, it doesn’t really have the right kind of attack for taking on the annoying Metal bug. Water Weakness is solid at the moment, thanks to an almost complete lack of that Type in the game (a few Kyurem, that’s all). The Retreat cost of three seems a bit harsh and certainly doesn’t do the card any favours.

What is good though, is to see that Arcanine has an Ability. Blazing Mane states that, if Arcanine is active and damaged by an attack (even if KO’d) it inflicts Burn on the Defending Pokémon. I would consider an Ability like this to be a nice bonus: Burn isn’t really something you can build a Strategy around, as the damage is fairly minor and flip-dependent, but on the other hand it can inconvenience an opponent and make for an easier KO on your next turn. An Ability like this won’t make a card playable, but on a playable card it just makes things better.

Will Arcanine’s Fire Spin attack elevate it to the level of playable cards though? It costs a substantial [R][R][C] and does 100 damage. There is also the drawback of a coin flip chance to discard two Energy from Arcanine. That cost, and the possibility of discard, means that you would probably have to run Arcanine alongside some form of acceleration, such as Typhlosion Prime or Emboar BW . . . and I think you can all see where this is going.

Yes the Dragon in the room is Reshiram of BW and numerous reprint fame. A Basic Pokémon with the same HP as Arcanine that does more damage, has less Retreat, and has a great first attack in Outrage. The very existence of Reshiram means that Arcanine was obsolete from the moment it was released. There simply isn’t any reason to play it instead of the Dragon. In some previous formats, Arcanine would have been a powerhouse. In this one, it gets sent to the binder, completely outclassed.


Modified: 2.25 (sort of a Stage 1 version of Reshiram BW . . . but who needs that when you have Reshiram BW?)

Limited: 3.75 (flipping tails on Fire Spin can set you back, but overall HP and damage output are very good)


Greetings once again, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing the Rare counterpart to yesterday's COTD. Today's Card of the Day is Arcanine (#12) from Next Destinies.
Arcanine is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon. As mentioned yesterday, the only two common Fire-types in Modified right now are Reshiram and Reshiram-EX, so any potential Fire-type needs to either be able to compete with those two, or have a niche in order to see play. 130 HP is great for a Stage 1, matching the non-EX dragon trio as well as being a "magic number" for not being taken out in one hit by many common opponents. Water Weakness is once again only a problem against Kyurem and Kyurem-EX, no Resistance is unfortunate, and a Retreat Cost of 3 is still a lot, so be sure to use something like Switch to get Arcanine out of your Active Position.
This Arcanine has an Ability and a single offensive maneuver. Blazing Mane automatically Burns the Defending Pokemon if they attack and deal damage to Arcanine, which can be useful in both formats. However, this Ability is more useful in Limited since switching around is a lot less common. It is also important to note that Arcanine probably won't get much mileage out of this Ability in Modified, as most common hitters will likely only be affected once, and many strong hitters like Reshiram-, Zekrom-, and Mewtwo-EX will make short work of this Legendary Pokemon. Fire Spin is Arcanine's attack, dealing 100 damage for two Fire and a Colorless, but requiring a discard of two Energy if you flip tails. Victory Star Victini is an obvious partner since it pairs well with any flip attack, but you're still realistically better off with Reshiram, as it deals more damage, is a Basic, and has a lower Retreat Cost and another excellent attack.
Modified: 1.75/5 Arcanine's high HP and decent attacks aren't great in Modified, as Reshiram pretty much fully outclasses the regal dog. If you're considering a Fire-type for Modified, use Reshiram or Reshiram-EX instead.
Limited: 3.25/5 Funnily enough, the Rare Arcanine isn't quite as good as the Uncommon version in Next Destinies Limited. Blazing Mane is as good as it's going to be here, as Burning your opponent will likely give them some trouble, especially given Limited's relative lack of switching. Unfortunately, Fire Spin is only really usable in dedicated Fire decks due to its demanding Energy costs and possible discard, which decrease Arcanine's viability in the format somewhat. Overall, Arcanine is an excellent choice if you decide to play Fire as one of your main types, but make sure to weigh the costs and benefits before running it.

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