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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Articuno EX  

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
February 25, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.33
Limited: 4.50

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
Seniors
Champion

Articuno-EX (Plasma Storm) 

Hello and welcome to a second week of reviewing the cards that didn’t quite make it into our top 10 of Plasma Storm. At least one reviewer thought enough of them to include them in their list, so they definitely deserve a look. Were they rightfully excluded, or were any massive injustices done? Let’s find out. 

We kick off the week with Articuno-EX which is by far the best of the Legendary Birds to get the EX treatment in Plasma Storm and (not a coincidence, I suspect) the only one to receive the honour of being made into a Full Art card. The stats are pretty much what you would expect: 170 HP is just shy of the EX maximum but still very good; the Weakness to Metal is only likely to count against a Klinklang deck that uses the Stage 2 or a Cobalion NVI to attack, and the Resistance to Fighting might come in handy, even though Terrakion NVI isn’t the force he once was and Landorus-EX is seeing less play, thanks to Blastoise/Keldeo decks. One thing that is definitely worth noting about Articuno is that it is a Plasma Pokémon and therefore can benefit from Energy acceleration via Plasma Energy and Colress Machine. 

This last point is important because Articuno’s attacks are both on the wrong side of expensive. Blizzard costs one Water and two Colourless Energy to do 60 to the Defending Pokémon and 10 to everything on their Bench. That’s decent enough, and the spread damage may make subsequent KOs a bit easier. The real attraction here though is Frost Prison. It’s very pricey, costing tow Water and two Colourless for just 80 damage, meaning that you will need Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbak in effect to even two-shot an EX. The huge bonus is that, if you have Plasma Energy attached to Articuno, it will automatically Paralyse the defending Pokémon. 

Ever since they nerfed Confusion years ago, Paralyse has been the best Status Condition because it completely locks the Defending Pokémon, leaving it unable to attack or retreat for a turn. For this reason, Paralysis attacks almost always come with a drawback that makes it difficult to use on successive turns: usually either coin flips (Raikou-EX), serious Energy discard (Magnezone LV X) or something similarly tough to keep up (Accelgor DEX). Articuno does none of these things, all it needs is a Special Energy (which it doesn’t even have to discard). Must be great, right? Wellll . . . maybe not quite great. Even if we ignore the four Energy attack cost, two big problems remain. Firstly, Articuno is vulnerable after it has taken a KO and the opponent can send up a new attacker to get rid of it. Secondly, the release of Hypnotoxic Laser has meant that every deck will be prepared for Status Conditions and run some way of switching out of them (Escape Rope, Switch, or Keldeo-EX with its Rush In Ability). 

It is possible to address some of these problems: tricky damage calculation maths and careful use of Hypnotoxic Laser could mean that you are sometimes able to KO Pokémon coming into your own turn, while Garbodor DRX will shut off Keldeo-EX’s Ability (though there is nothing you can do about Switch). I can see an Articuno/Lasers/Garbodor deck being very frustrating to play against, if not exactly at the top competitive level. The lack of speed and the fact that you cannot guarantee that the Paralysis will stick will both hold this Pokémon back. 

If you like playing with something a little off-beat, or if you enjoy really annoying people at League (and who doesn’t?), then this card is well worth trying out. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.25 (auto Paralysis would be downright unfair in some formats. Not in this one though)

Limited: 4.5 (even if you don’t pull any Plasma Energy, it’s still a big Basic that can spread a lot of damage around before it gets KO’d)

virusyosh

Welcome back, Pojo readers! We're continuing our reviews of interesting cards from Plasma Storm this week, so be sure to check back for more updates. Today we'll kick things off by reviewing one of the new Pokemon-EX, Articuno-EX.
Articuno-EX is a Basic Water Pokemon-EX. The Water-type is well supported right now in the Pokemon TCG, with Blastoise/Keldeo decks still running rampant; therefore, if Articuno expects to see any play, it needs to be able to differentiate itself from the pack by fulfilling a different niche. As a Pokemon-EX, Articuno needs to have impressive statistics and attacks in order to justify your opponent taking two Prizes upon Knocking it Out. For starters, 170 HP is just about average (though still very good) for a Pokemon-EX, meaning that Articuno should be able to take at least one powerful unboosted hit before going down. Metal Weakness is unfortunately a problem these days, as Klinklang decks are very hyped and should be seeing quite a bit of play at the upcoming State/Provincial/Territory Championships. Fighting Resistance is notable against the likes of Terrakion and Landorus, both of which are still pretty popular. Finally, a Retreat Cost of one is easy to pay, and shouldn't set you back too much.

Articuno-EX has two attacks. Blizzard does 60 damage and 10 damage to each of your opponent's Benched Pokemon for a Water and two Colorless Energy, which is somewhat expensive for the cost. However, the attack's spread damage is pretty good (since it hits everything), and Articuno can be easily powered up with a Double Colorless Energy. Frost Prison is where things get very interesting: the attack does a very expensive 80 damage for two Water and two Colorless, but automatically Paralyzes the Defending Pokemon if Articuno has a Plasma Energy attached! Automatic Paralysis is something that we don't see very often in the Pokemon TCG, since it is generally an incredibly powerful status condition, as it stops the ability to attack and forces the opponent to use a Switch/Escape Rope/Scramble Switch instead of just retreating. Of course, this effect does require a Plasma Energy to use, but even still, the potential payoff is quite awesome in comparison to other Plasma Energy-using Pokemon.

Modified: 3.25/5 I think Articuno has a chance to be pretty good in Modified, if not great. However, there are a few things currently holding it back. First of all, Articuno doesn't fit nicely into any current deck archetype, as Blastoise/Keldeo/Black Kyurem can just hit things really hard without any need for status effects, and Articuno will be too slow for many dedicated Plasma builds, requiring four Energy for Frost Prison. Additionally, the presence of Crushing Hammer and Enhanced Hammer greatly diminish Frost Prison's effectiveness, especially as Enhanced Hammer is seeing a bit more play again to counter Plasma (and Blend)-related strategies. However, once you look past these potential problems, Articuno is a very solid attacker for more controlling/tank builds, and will definitely be a lot of fun to build a deck around.

Limited: 5/5 Articuno is really good in Limited. As a basic with high HP, Articuno will already warrant a deck slot in most cases, and both Blizzard and Frost Prison are excellent here, even if you don't run that many Plasma Energy (and the attack is insane if you do). Overall, you should feel pretty good about playing Articuno in this format, as not many things can hold their own against it.

Jebulous

Articuno EX

Articuno EX is a Basic Water Pokemon with 170 HP.  It is weak to Meatl, resistant to Fighting, and has a retreat of 1.  When Knocked Out it gives 2 Prizes.

'Blizzard' costs 1 Water and 2 colorless.  It does 60 and 10 to each of your opponent's Benched Pokemon.  The damage output doesn't seem like much since at best it 3HKOs EX Pokemon.  The damage spread is nice, but only when they have a large Bench.  With Colress out people will be more cautious with their bench.

'Frozen Prison' costs 2 Water and 2 Colorless.  It does 80 and if it has a Plasma Energy on it, it automatically Paralyzes.  The damage isn't great as well, still being a 3HKO on EXs.  The great part is the auto-paralysis.  Well, it would have been great.  Ever since the Tynamo paralysis scare (I should give SOME credit to Accelgor), people now run ways to get rid of paralysis lock.  That mostly includes Keldeo and Switch.  So right now the effect of this attack is okay, not spectacular.

Modified: 3.5/5
Limited: 4/5
Combos With:  ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


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