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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Lucario #64/99

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
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

Lucario (Next Destinies)

I first started playing Pokémon in a serious competitive way just before Diamond and Pearl was released. One of the stellar cards in that set was Lucario: it did a very solid 40 + 20 for just two Energy and it also had a cheap Colourless attack. The 90 HP seemed reasonable and the card found its way into quite a few highly successful decks including Mario (Machamp/Lucario), Empoleon/Lucario, and later Blissey/Lucario.

I mention that card and how good it was because the review for today is of a card which is really very similar. In fact in some ways it’s an improvement on the original: it has 110 HP as opposed to 90, the same Retreat cost, and an improved version of the Aura Sphere attack, which now does 50 +20 snipe for the same cost of two Fighting Energy. Ok, it does have that double Weakness, which is a pain with Mewtwo-EX around, but as a bonus you get Reflexive Retaliation, an Ability which acts just like Rocky Helmet (or Druddigon NV’s Rough Skin) and means that every time your opponent attacks Lucarion, they put two damage counters on their attacking Pokémon. It’s not something that will make or break a card, but it’s definitely nice to have.

So, what is the fate of this new and (somewhat) improved version of DP Lucario? Well, unlike its older brother, its destiny is to sit snugly in the binder and be one of those Rares that causes a feeling of disappointment when you see it in your pack. The power creep in Pokémon has been so steep over the last few years that Aura Sphere is now depressingly weak and useless in the face of 130-180 HP Basics that can all OHKO poor little Lucario with ease. In truth, it’s period in the spotlight was limited even back in the DP days, and it definitely didn’t choose a very good time to make a comeback.


Modified: 1.75 (A card from another era that got left behind)

Limited: 3 (The Ability is useful here, and less damaging attacks can still be effective)


Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we end our COTD week with the latest printing of a fan favorite. Today's Card of the Day is Lucario from Next Destinies.
Lucario is a Stage 1 Fighting Pokemon. Fighting-types are very rare in Modified these days aside from the omnipresent Terrakion; however, given the amount of play that Zekrom and other Lightning-types see, I wouldn't be surprised if some other Fighting-types start seeing play as well. Lucario has a slightly above average 100 HP for a Stage 1, which is just enough to take a few attacks but lose out on higher-powered assaults. Psychic Weakness is terrible against Mewtwo-EX, no Resistance is to be expected, and a single Retreat Cost is easily paid for.
This Aura Pokemon has an Ability and a single attack. Reflexive Retaliation is a "Strikes Back" type ability that puts 2 damage counters on your opponent's attacking Pokemon if it deals damage to Lucario. Inflicting 20 damage on your opponent is always nice, however the Ability is much more useful in Limited, as the power level of the format is much lower than that of Modified. Chances are, Reflexive Retaliation will get one, possibly two uses in Modified, whereas that number jumps between three and four in Limited, depending on your opponent's Pokemon and your ability to heal Lucario. Overall, the damage is nice, but the Ability by itself doesn't make Lucario worth running.
Aura Sphere, Lucario's attack, does 50 damage for two Fighting Energy, as well as 20 damage to one of your opponent's Benched Pokemon. This attack has middling attack power for its cost in Modified, and is almost comparable to Terrakion's Retaliate. However, Terrakion is a Basic and Lucario is a Stage 1, so Terrakion still has an advantage there, even if the overall damage output is less. In Limited, 50 damage for two Energy is generally good, even if two Energy of one particular type are required. The secondary effect makes a good attack even better for this format.
Modified: 1.75/5 Reflexive Retaliation has the possibility of being good and Lucario's typing would help it fight Zekrom as a metagame choice, but you're probably better off sticking with a Basic like Terrakion, as Basics require fewer resources and have more support options available to them. Lucario's low HP and terrible Weakness don't help matters, either.
Limited: 4/5 Lucario is very good in Limited. Reflexive Retaliation is always good in a low-powered format, and Aura Sphere deals great damage with a bit of sniping for a very reasonable cost. The only potential downside to Lucario is the double Fighting cost, but pulling one of these should probably skew you toward playing Fighting anyway. Its HP could also be a bit higher, but that's true of most Pokemon. Overall, Lucario is an excellent choice for Limited that can easily frustrate your opponent.

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