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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Volcarona #22

Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed: June 21, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.13
Limited: 4.00

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

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Volcarona (Dark Explorers)

One of the weirdest-looking Pokémon from Generation V, and certainly the one that is the biggest pain to evolve (you are stuck with a near-useless Larvesta until it reaches level 59), Volcarona is the subject of our review today.

It’s a Fire Type Stage 1 with a decent 110 HP. I say decent, but it won’t save this Pokémon from Dark Claw’d Darkrai or a Zekrom. Nevertheless, it’s pretty solid against all but the biggest hitters in the format, and the Water Weakness won’t give it much to worry about. The Retreat cost of three is something you will never choose to pay, but the upside is that Volcarona is searchable with Heavy Ball.

The good news here is that Volcarona has an Ability. Scorching Scales means that if your opponent’s Pokémon is Burned, they will have to put four damage counters on it between turns (instead of two). That’s a nice boost for any deck that makes use of the Burn Status Condition except that . . . there aren’t really any of those that are competitive at the moment. Because Burn damage is reliant on a coin flip, and usually those attack which inflict Burn are mediocre in themselves. For example, you could use Volcarona in combination with Entei-EX’s Fire Fang or Blaziken DEX’s Blaze Kick . . . but ideally you would prefer to go for the superior, guaranteed damage caused by Grand Flame or Flamethrower respectively. Of course there is always the option to use Houndoom Prime’s Fire Breath Power, but then that is another Benched Stage 1 to set up, and another coin flip you need to hit.

Or I guess you could use Volcarona’s own attack. For one Fire and two Colourless Energy, Burning Wind does 70 and gives you the option of discarding an Energy in order to inflict Burn. If everything goes according to plan, this means you end up doing 110 damage on that turn for the cost of three Energy and a discard: not bad, I suppose, but it is conditional on flips, and it is somewhat slow. For those reasons, I can’t really recommend it as a main attack, though I suppose it could be worth doing if your opponent plays Pokémon Catcher on Volcarona, yet doesn’t manage to KO it for some reason.

Volcarona is a Pokémon that offers very good support for a mechanic that isn’t really competitive at the moment. I can see it being used in just-for-fun decks, but when you want to play competitively, this one stays in the binder


Modified: 2.25 (has a few combos in modified, but none of them really worth the bother)

Limited: 4 (A bit slow, but still a solid attacker here, and the Burn stuff is just gravy)


Greetings once again, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing another Fire-type, which happens to be one of my favorite Pokemon in Gen V. Today's Card of the Day is Volcarona.
Volcarona is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon. As I've stated throughout the week, Fire Pokemon are very rare in Modified these days, so Volcarona could have a niche, provided its abilities and attacks are good enough. 110 HP is standard for a finally-evolved Stage 1, and Volcarona should be able to take most unboosted hits with relative ease in this metagame, with a few exceptions. Water Weakness is favorable right now, with only Kyurem and Kyurem-EX being a problem; no Resistance is the annoying standard; and 3 Retreat is massive, so be sure to use Switch to move Volcarona from the Active Position.
The Sun Pokemon has an Ability and a single attack. Scorching Scales effectively doubles the damage your opponent takes from Burn in between turns, which could be fairly good in a dedicated Burn deck. However, it is still important to note that your opponent still flips for Burn, so this damage isn't guaranteed. In general, Special Conditions tend to be less viable in Modified, due to the frequent switching that removes their effects. This, combined with the unreliability of Burn, makes the use of Scorching Scales somewhat limited. In Limited, however, the slower format is more amenable to status effects, and this Ability shines through in that format.
Burning Wind is Volcarona's form of offense, dealing 70 damage for a Fire and two Colorless, with the option of automatically Burning the opponent for an Energy discard. The attack's ability to Burn has great synergy with Volcarona's Ability, and 70 damage is just about average for the [RCC] energy cost. Once again, the attack is somewhat limited in Modified due to the presence of fast attackers and constant switching, but is excellent in Limited, where 70 damage and optional Burn can go a long way against your opponent's Pokemon.
Modified: 2/5 Volcarona is far from useless in Modified, but it's a support Pokemon for a strategy that is difficult to employ in a format full of switching and various other ways to get rid of Status Conditions (e.g. Super Scoop Up). With many decks tending toward fast aggro builds, chances are you won't have enough time to build up Volcarona and any of your other main attackers before taking a significant hit in Prizes.
Limited: 4/5 Volcarona is quite excellent in Limited. Scorching Scales' damage increase is quite significant here, with 40 damage probably taking a sizable chunk out of any non-Pokemon-EX in the format. Burning Wind is also very good here, with 70 solid damage and optional Burn for a reasonable, Colorless-filed price. Overall, if you're running Fire, Volcarona is an excellent Limited choice, even if you don't have any other Pokemon that can Burn.

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