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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Torkoal #18

Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: June 20, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.13
Limited: 2.75

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

Torkoal (Dark Explorers)

Torkoal is one of those Pokémon that (unless you are a true fan of the franchise) tends to be forgotten about. He’s not much use in the video game, and every now and then they release a card for him . . . and that is almost always forgettable too. Oh well, let’s see if that situation will change with Dark Explorers.

What we have here is an unevolving Basic Pokémon with a very mediocre 90 HP, Fire Typing (neither good nor bad) and a Retreat cost of two. Since Heavy Ball was printed, that has pretty much become the worst Retreat cost in the game, and there’s nothing very inspiring about the rest of Torkoal’s stats either.

He doesn’t have an Ability to help redeem things, so we move straight on to the attacks. The first, Flame Cloak, only costs one Energy of any Colour, but for that cost you get an unsurprisingly poor 10 damage. But wait . . . there is also an effect! You get to flip a coin and, if heads, attach a Fire Energy from your Discard pile to Torkoal. Now obviously it would be a lot better if you could attach it to any of your Pokémon, but it is what it is, and I guess it’s meant to power up what will (hopefully) be Torkoal’s awesome second attack! Except that second attack, Heat Blast is a generic, vanilla [F][C][C] for 60 damage effort. Not worth it, not one little bit.

You could say the same thing about the whole card really . . . it’s filler that will just about do to add bulk to your limited deck if you happen to be playing Fire Energy. As for Torkoal . . . I’ve forgotten him already.


Modified: 1.25 (move along, nothing to see here)

Limited: 2.5 (can take a hit or two, but outside of that he’s fairly useless)


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing another Fire-type from Dark Explorers that might be good in Limited, but probably not in Modified. Today's Card of the Day is Torkoal.
Torkoal is a Basic Fire Pokemon. Fire-types are rare in Modified these days, with Reshiram/Reshiram-EX making a few, very uncommon appearances in decks. 90 HP is standard for a non-legendary, non-evolving Basic, meaning that Torkoal can take a medium-sized hit before going down. 90 HP is also the magic number for being searchable by Level Ball, which is always great. Water Weakness isn't too relevant right now in Modified, but could end up being a problem in Limited if you're unlucky enough to run into an opponent running the type; no Resistance is what we'd expect; and a Retreat Cost of 2 is payable in a pinch.
Torkoal has two attacks. Flame Cloak deals a pathetic 10 damage for a single Colorless Energy, but can also attach a Fire Energy from your discard pile to Torkoal. The damage output of this attack is disappointing in any format, and while the Energy attachment would be much better if it were to more than just Torkoal, the attack can still be an effective way to power up the Coal Pokemon. Heat Blast deals a vanilla 60 damage for a Fire and two Colorless, which is just about average. 60 damage for three Energy is passable in Limited, but won't fly in Modified, especially without an additional effect. Therefore, Torkoal will mostly be relegated to Limited, where its somewhat weak attacks can actually be put to good use.
Modified: 1/5 There are many better options than Torkoal in Limited. If you want to use Fire, stick with things like Reshiram, Reshiram-EX, Entei-EX, or Typhosion Prime/Emboar.
Limited: 3/5 Torkoal is average in Limited. Flame Cloak's damage output is still disappointing here, but the Energy acceleration can make Torkoal somewhat of a clean-up option in Fire-based decks (albeit a somewhat weak option). Heat Blast won't win any offensive awards either, but the attack is usable at least, and the two Colorless Energy requirements mean that Torkoal can fit easily into a deck that splashes Fire. Overall, Torkoal is a solid Basic for the Limited format that especially shines in a Fire deck.

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