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Yu Yu Hakusho
Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day
Top 13 Pokemon Cards of
#12 - Altaria - #BW48
August 7, 2012
& Reviews Summary
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
Combos With: See Below
Hello once again, Pojo! Today we're reviewing one of the
new Dragon-types from Dragons Exalted, and this one is
probably going to see some play in what's thought to be
an upcoming popular deck. Today's Card of the Day is
Altaria is a Stage 1 Dragon Pokemon. Dragons haven't
seen any competitive play yet in the US, but will
definitely see play due to the well-hyped decks
involving Garchomp, Hydreigon, Rayquaza, and Rayquaza-EX.
70 HP is fairly dreadful for a Stage 1, as Altaria will
probably be taken down with middling hits in Modified,
as well as even weak hits targeting Altaria's Weakness.
Dragon Weakness is bad but expected, as opponents using
Dragons will easily be able to KO Altaria even using
weak attacks. Oddly, Altaria has no Resistance despite
being a Flying-type in the video games, and a Retreat
Cost of 1, which is easily payable.
Altaria has an Ability and an attack. Fight Song
increases the damage output by each of your Dragon
Pokemon by 20, which is fairly useful when combined with
heavy hitting Dragon-type attackers like Garchomp and
Rayquaza. In fact, Altaria is commonly paired with
Garchomp to increase the strength of its Dragonblade
attack, dealing huge amounts of damage for only two
Energy. Another added bonus of Fight Song is that it's
stackable, meaning the more Altarias you have in play,
the greater the damage boost. Generally, Altaria can
work in any Dragon deck, if you can find the space.
Altaria's single attack, Glide, deals a vanilla 40
damage for a Water, a Metal, and a Colorless. While
Fight Song increases the damage to 60 in most cases, 60
damage for three Energy (two of which are different
Energy types!) is very overpriced, so you'll want to
avoid attacking with Altaria in most cases. That being
said, the attack can be fairly useful in Limited.
Modified: 3.5/5 Altaria is a great supporting Pokemon
for the new Dragon decks, but it does have drawbacks.
First off, 70 HP means that Altaria's survivability is
VERY low, as your opponents will easily use a Pokemon
Catcher to bring it Active and knock it out. Second,
Glide is very weak for the price, and you likely won't
want to waste the resources on a Pokemon with such a low
HP stat. All in all, Fight Song is an amazingly powerful
Ability to support Dragon decks, and if you're building
a deck around a Dragon-type attacker, it's definitely
worth giving Altaria a look.
Limited: 4/5 Altaria is solid as both an attacker and
support Pokemon due to the number of Dragon types in
Limited, although its HP still lets it down (though your
opponent can't use Pokemon Catcher here). Fight Song is
great for increasing damage output here, as even your
Gabites and Zweilous will be formidable attackers with
Fight Song's help. Additionally, while far from ideal,
Glide can be used to deal solid, consistent damage. If
you decide to run a lot of Dragons, Altaria will
probably be worth running because of its very potent
Combos With: Dragon-type attackers, notably Garchomp #90
Altaria: Humming the Song of Battle
Hello all you Pojo
readers out there! Today's CotD is Card #12 of Pojo's
Top 13 Dragons Exalted cards! Today we are looking at
Altaria, the Humming Pokemon!
As usual, this
review is based on the BW-on format.
First, let's take a
look at its stats. 70 HP is the lowest HP for any
Altaria in the history of the game, tied with Altaria
from EX: Deoxys. It's also the second lowest possible HP
score for a Fully Evolved Pokemon in the format, with
only 3 having 60 HP; Plusle, Minun, and Victini. It also
has the second lowest HP for a Stage 1 in the format,
beaten only by the two Duosions' 60 HP. 70 HP is easily
Catchered and KOed, so that's not a good sign.
Being a Stage 1
means it you can play it Turn 2 at the earliest, and
even then you'd have to play a Swablu down Turn 1, which
is quite risky since it only has 40 HP. While it may
sound bad, it is definitely worth it.
It's weak to
Dragon, just like every Dragon type in the format, and
has no Resistance, like every Dragon type in the format.
Its low HP means its Weakness for the most part is
irrelevant, although it does allow Rayquaza EX to OHKO
with just 1 Energy and Mach Cut Garchomp to KO without
Altaria support. Resistance is irrelevant in general, as
it only reduces 1 type's damage by 20 anyway, although I
would've liked to see the multi-type Resistances from
Dragons in earlier sets make their return.
A Retreat Cost of 1
is not bad to have, as it makes it relatively easy to
get out of the Active spot if it gets up there, since
you do not under almost any circumstances want it
"Glide", is quite mediocre; for [WMC], you do a vanilla
40 damage, which is quite low for the format. Therefore,
the Ability better be its saving grace.
Indeed it is. Fight
Song (personally I prefer the Japanese name "Battle
Song" but oh well) increases the damage all Dragon types
in play do to the Active by 20. It also stacks, meaning
if you have 2 Altarias in play, Dragons do +40 damage,
if you have 3 in play, Dragons do +60, etc.
Dark Explorers has a similar Ability, "Ancient Scream",
which increases the damage output of all your Pokemon by
10, regardless of type. Now, keep in mind that
Aerodactyl is a Restored Pokemon, which are really hard
to play in this format, since the only ways to get them
out (Twist Mountain and the respective Fossils) are
quite mediocre. Also, most attackers in the upcoming
format are most likely Dragon-types, so it seems quite
logical that Altaria is the superior card.
In fact, Altaria is
considered so good that it is a main Pokemon in an
upcoming top tier deck: GarTaria. The deck takes
advantage of Garchomp's Mach Cut ([F] for 60) attack
while boosting it via the Fight Songs of multiple
Altaria for massive damage.
In Unlimited, this
is pretty bad since actual Dragon type Pokemon were just
introduced and there aren't very many in the Unlimited
In Limited, it's
one of the best things you can pull if you have enough
Dragon types to run a deck with them. Obviously, if you
don't get many Dragons, things don't work out too well
Modified (BW-on): 4/5
Garchomp DRX 90
Any Dragon type
capable of attacking.
Professor Bathurst League Australia
Our Dragons Exalted
Top 10: #12 Altaria
We're back for another of our top card segments, with
the promotional card from the prerelease in our sights.
Here's to the cloudy bird finally getting some respect!
Of course, like the card from yesterday the stats are
nothing to celebrate. 70 HP is the lowest I've seen on a
terminal Stage 1 for quite some time and it means that
between Poke'mon Catcher and the current power level of
the game, Altaria is a massive liability on the offense.
Expect to lose several early Prizes and N will be your
best bet to stem to onslaught.
The other stats don't even matter (a lack of Resistance
really stings here) so it's on the to the attacks. Glide
helps make up for the terrible HP, costing [w][m][c] to
deal 40 damage.
Okay, so the attack sucks the big one as well. Needing
multiple energy types is a typical Dragon thing but the
damage has to be worth the effort and 60 for 3 energy
just does not cut it.
I say 60 damage because of the Ability, Fight Song. This
is the reason that players may well put up with the
terrible stats of Altaria because dealing 20 extra
damage to the defending Poke'mon is just that powerful.
Stacking it to add as much as 80 damage to each attack
is truly amazing, but unfortunately it gobbles up a lot
of bench space. More likely, Altaria will be played in
pairs alongside other support Poke'mon such as Eelektrik
NV and Empoleon DEX to add the boost that means a
Of course, this means that we need some excellent Dragon
beasticks. Rayquaza EX, shining Rayquaza, both Hydreigon
cards and one of the Garchomps all look like possible
contenders, any of which would appreciate an extra 20 or
40 damage per swing.
The likely roadblocks are the already mentioned
criminally low HP and the competition for space, both in
the bench and in the deck. Still, if you are playtesting
any new Dragon and constantly find yourself short a
Pluspower or two at a critical moment, give Altaria a
Modified: 3.25 (currently Altaria is more of a liability
than an asset, although if it eats a Catcher intended
for your Eelektrik I'd say you've broken even. The
future release of more Dragons will likely increase
Altaria's popularity, and the eventual rotation of
Poke'mon Catcher will work wonders for its longevity)
Limited: 2.5 (if you happen to be running a few other
Dragons this great support, but the contrary energy
costs mean that you'll likely never use Glide and both
Swablu cards are pathetic)
Combos with: Dragons, as well as
N to offset the Prize losses. Crushing Hammer will also
help keep Altaria alive longer than one turn.
Jebulous Maryland Player
Altaria is a Stage 1 Dragon Pokemon with 70 HP.
It has a weakness to Dragon and a retreat cost of
1. It is
searchable by Level Ball.
'Fight Song' is an ability that makes your Dragon
Pokemon do 20 more damage to your opponent's Active
This ability STACKS.
I built a deck with the Aerodactyl that was
recently released, and it was not that great (more of a
The extra 10 damage was good, but this extra 20 is
'Glide' does 40 damage for the cost of 1 Water, 1 Metal,
and 1 Colorless.
The cost is definitely not worth it.
Blend Energy helps with the Water/Metal, but 3
energies for 40 damage just isn't worth it (though it
will be doing 60 damage if it attacks).
So from what I understand, Altaria should just sit on
the bench and do its thing with its ability.
get a couple of them out and let your other
dragons do the attacking.
The Garchomp/Altaria deck is exactly what does
Gabite's ability can search out Altaria, and Altaris
makes the Garchomp line do more damage (at a cheap
I want to play against the deck to see how it runs.
I'm not sure if I want to build it though.
Combo's With: Enhanced Hammer
Questions, comments, concerns:
We continue our
Top 10 Top 13
Promising Picks of Dragons Exalted with
Altaria! As a reminder, since the
cards are not tournament legal until
after Worlds and there isn’t much
happening between then and the rotation
just over two weeks later, I’ll be
scoring only for BW-On Modified.
is one of the new “Dragon-Type” Pokémon.
This is the first new Type
(Color) of Pokémon to be added to the
game since Dark and Metal (Darkness and
Steel) were adapted from the video
The reason those two were added
to the core Types when they were is
because they were also added to the
video games of the time as well; in this
case Dragon-Type Pokémon were shoehorned
into the “Colorless” Type (which also
contains video game Types Normal and
This caused some issues since
Dragon-Types were primarily weak to
other Dragon-Types, but giving them
Colorless Weakness led to other awkward
scenarios (namely a lot of Pokémon
slaying Dragons with ease they shouldn’t
Nothing resists Dragon-Type Pokémon, but
all currently released Dragon-Type
Pokémon are also Dragon Weak, so if one
becomes popular, other Types may benefit
from being extra effective against their
There is a tiny bit of support
for Dragon-Types, and as I’ll discuss
Altaria is in a prime position to
One does need to be careful,
because even with all
Altaria has going for it, it has two
huge drawbacks: 70 HP and Dragon
Any fully Evolved Dragon whose
smallest attack does damage, ends up
scoring a OHKO due to Weakness, and even
some of the lower Stage versions can as
well if they use the bigger of their
There is no Resistance, but
perhaps it would do little good anyway,
given that an effective “90” HP is only
slightly less likely to be a OHKO after
a player's second turn.
There is a small bonus to being
Level Ball can search it out. On
such a small (and winged) Pokémon, the
single Energy Retreat Cost almost seems
excessive, but it isn’t legitimately
The card will likely only be
Active when your opponent has used
Pokémon Catcher to force it there,
and of course a single Energy Retreat
cost is the second best and easy enough
to pay most of the time.
Shortly after Nintendo got the rights to
the TCG over WotC, who originally
handled the game outside of
until the beginning of the EX-block of
sets, Dragons began getting powerful but
expensive effects that required two
specific Energy-Types, as a way of
setting them apart from most other
This trend continues with this
Altaria has an Ability and an
Attack, and the attack does indeed
require two different Energy Types… but
you’ll be running this for the Ability.
“Fight Song”, as it is named,
boosts the damage done by your
Dragon-Type Pokémon’s attacks 20; as the
effect stacks, it can really pump the
hardest hitting Dragon-Types to record
levels of output (or at least close to
Its own attack, Glide, was designed with
this in mind.
It requires (WMC) to use and only
hits for 40 damage… which had Metal
Energy existed back then, would have
been a poor return even in the Base Set!
By modern standards, it is
hitting at least half as hard as it
“should”, but this is likely due to the
Altaria will almost always be a part
of a swarm, and thus multiple Fight Song
are likely to up the damage to
You shouldn’t be attacking with
it, anyway, unless desperate.
Despite this being the first BW-On
Altaria, there are two versions of
Swablu to pick from: BW: Dragons
Exalted 104/124 and BW: Dragons
Both are Basic, Colorless-Type
Pokémon with 40 HP, Lightning Weakness,
Fighting Resistance, and a single Energy
If you’re attacking with one of
these, either you’re desperate or your
opponent is opening with something small
of their own; in either case I would
prefer 104/124 because it can cause
Sleep for one Energy.
If you’re desperate, Sleep can
help you survive.
So what many (perhaps most) of you
reading already know, this card is
already the co-star of an established,
high placing deck in the
It is paired with
Garchomp (BW: Dragons Exalted
90/124) to create a Stage 2 Pokémon
capable of big damage for little Energy.
I would like to test (or know the
results of other players testing) with
all fully Evolved Dragon Pokémon
form this set.
That may sound overkill and most
I am assuming are inferior (or else
Altaria is inferior support for that
deck), but at least one looks like it
could have real potential:
Rayquaza (BW: Dragons Exalted
When you choose to run
Altaria, having a plentiful supply
of cards like
Super Rod or
Rescue Scarf is in order: 70 HP is a
OHKO for so many decks and a
would only bump
Altaria up to a still inadequate 90
This really influences how you
have to run the card; in the
decks you are constantly rebuilding one
or the other, made even more challenging
because several attackers already hit
multiple Pokémon at once and thus can
set-up multiple KOs in a single turn.
In Unlimited, such a brute force
approach is overcomplicated, especially
as you have no additional Pokémon to
combo with and are slamming into decks
that can win on that player’s first
Looking past that, many Pokémon
have a protective effect and/or low HP:
you just don’t need the damage boost for
In Limited play, it all depends
on what you pull: barring bad luck you
should have more than a few other
Dragon-Type Pokémon and thus can boost
them, but without any help setting up
you really are taking a huge risk of
getting stuck with a 40 HP
Swablu that gets KOed before you can
get anything else on your Bench.
Altaria does benefit from lower
average HP and damage output, it is
still pretty bad here.
Blend Energy WLFM, paying for the
attack might be a challenge; who wants
to run both
Fighting Energy and
Metal Energy cards just for one
has an amazing Ability on a fragile
frame with a poor attack, but if you can
build a deck that can constantly
resurrect and replay it, you can make
some fast attackers capable of taking a
small lead and then trading Prizes until
All that being said, I only
Altaria at 17th place on
my own list because it really needs to
be used to enhance
another Pokémon; by itself a swarm
would be more annoying than threatening.
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