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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed:
January 16, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 3.25

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

Darmanitan (Boundaries Crossed) 

I usually like kawayoo’s card artwork, but I’m not sure about this one. Maybe it’s the huge staring eyes and massive flaming eyebrows I don’t like. Perhaps I’m just not a big fan of monkey-type Pokémon designs in general. 

Anyhoo, this Damanitan is a Fire Type Stage 1 with an ok-ish 110 HP. Fire is an awful Type to be playing right now because Blastoise/Keldeo decks are everywhere and Pokémon like Darmanitan are pretty much a joke to them. Even if that wasn’t a factor though, I’m not all that impressed with Darmanitan. 

The reason? A couple of lacklustre attacks. Continuous Tumble is yet another one of those ‘flip until tails’ things. It only costs a single Colourless Energy but it only does 20 for each heads, so OHKOing an EX will take a run of NINE heads and even a Stage 2 will take seven or eight. Even with Fliptini support, don’t ever count on pulling that one off. If you do, congrats, but it will be a pics-or-it-didn’t-happen thing. Damage Counterpunch is slightly more viable. It costs one Fire and two Colourless Energy and does 60 damage, plus another 60 if Darmanitan has any damage counters on it. 120 for three Energy is decent value, but it does rely on your opponent helping you out by damaging Darmanitan without KOing it. Depending on an opponent’s poor play is never a good strategy, and it’s not like there aren’t plenty of things that can OHKO Darmanitan anyway (Darkrai w/ Dark Claw, Hydreigon, Rayquaza-EX, Keldeo), so don’t count on ever being able to make the most out of this. 

Basically, Darmanitan is two very gimmicky attacks and a Type which is a very bad choice for the current metagame. Definitely not something you want in your deck at a tournament. 


Modified: 1.5 (the sort of thing a new player would put in a League deck)

Limited: 3 (not terrible here as it’s harder to one shot and the attacks are reasonably cheap)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Darmanitan is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon with 110 HP.  It is weak to Water and has a retreat cost of 2.
'Continuous Tumble' costs 1 colorless energy and let's you flip until you get tails.  It does 20 times the number of heads.  This is a really nice version of the attack in my opinion.  It's one of those attacks that you don't want to invest a lot of energy into, and 1 colorless is definitely not a lot.  The two drawbacks though, are the 20 multiplier and the fact it's on a Stage 1.  The 20 multiplier is understandable for being so cheap, but it won't do much.  You're looking at usually 20, sometimes 40, but 0 more than 40.  So it's a luck attack.  The fact it's a Stage 1 also hurts because you have to invest in getting it evolved (and none of the cheap Balls will get you it fast and easy).
'Damage Counterpunch' costs 1 Fire and 2 colorless energy.  It does 60 damage, and if Darmanitan has any damage on it, it does 120.  So at it's best it is good, seeing as how you don't have to discard anything.  You just have to keep damage on him.  Unfortunately it has an HP that is kind of unfortunate (but not the worst out there... I'm looking at you Ninetales).  At 110 HP, a Darkrai with Dark Claw can take it out.  It being hit by anything (usually 30) on the bench, then a Night Spear, will take it out.  So you are looking at getting this attack off once, maybe twice if lucky.
It's a decent card, but still not competitive.
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 3/5
Combos With:  ...
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Today we are looking at Darmanitan (BW: Boundaries Crossed 28/149)!


Yeah, it is another of the cards I barely realized existed in this set.  Let’s see if I missed something important or if it isn’t a surprise I overlooked it.



Darmanitan is a Fire-Type Pokémon.  If you’re reading these reviews out of order (the last two days were also Fire-Types), Emboar (Black & White 20/114, BW: Next Destinies 100/99, BW Promo BW21) and Entei EX (BW: Dark Explorers 13/108, 103/108) support the basic Fire Energy card, but nothing really supports the Fire-Type itself.  I will add a piece of support for the Energy-Type I left out yesterday; Blend Energy GRPD.


Obviously this applies to all eight types with a corresponding basic Energy-Type, since they are included on either one Blend Energy or the other, which is part of why I didn’t include it before (plus Monday’s card had a better option).  Still, I’ll mention it today for some variety; Blend Energy GRPD makes it so much easier to work an (R) Energy requiring Pokémon into a deck alongside those requiring (G), (P), or (D) Energy (which would usually be Grass-, Psychic, or Darkness-Types, of course).


There isn’t a lot of Weakness for Darmanitan (or most other Fire-Type Pokémon) to hit right now; so it is mostly down to hitting a few splashed-in Grass-Types (likely the only Fire Weak Pokémon in those decks) or a few important Metal-Type Pokémon (which can be in a mostly Metal-Type deck or similarly be the only Fire Weak Pokémon run in their respective decks).  At least you don’t have to worry about anything being Resistant.


As a Stage 1 Pokémon, Darmanitan requires twice the space (per copy) as a Basic Pokémon, and compared to them, will have a turn delay before seeing play.  This is a drawback, and hopefully the Basic Stage will be well enough designed to compensate.  Its 110 HP isn’t thrilling either, but neither is it especially bad in the current card pool; it will usually survive one hit, so being just a little easier to OHKO with a “big” hit is just a little below what the “average” good card has.


Water Weakness finally became a huge problem with BW: Boundaries Crossed; Keldeo EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 49/149, 142/149) needs either a PlusPower or one of three Energy attached (for its attack) to count as (W), and it will score a OHKO.  Conversely the lack of Resistance is mostly a non-issue; most cards lack Resistance, the Type conversion from video game to TCG makes it a challenge… I don’t like it but I understand it, and as such view having it as a bonus, not a requirement.


For the final Stat, we come to the Retreat cost of two; this may be the least appealing score to have in this format.  Ignoring the card pool, it would be roughly “average” in terms of functionality; low enough you can pay, high enough to hurt.  However the card pool has multiple tricks to mitigate that cost while also having Heavy Ball, a search card that allows Pokémon with Retreat costs of three or higher to be fetched from the deck… and Darumaka (the lower Stage for this card) even has one version with such a Retreat as well.  If it was a design option, bumping the card up somewhere else while giving it a bigger Retreat would probably have been a good move.



Darmanitan has two attacks.  Continuous Tumble requires just (C) and is a “flip until ‘tails’” attack.  It hits for 20 points of damage per “heads”, which like the HP is just a bit low for this format.  It is good that it always makes Darmanitan (no matter how unlikely) a threat; odds are against someone flipping nine “heads” in a row, but it isn’t impossible (just improbable).  While still unlikely, a run of four or five isn’t fun for your opponent either.


Unfortunately, since you’ve got a 50% chance of completely whiffing, even though this seems like a decent return for the bulk of the card pool, the 10% (off the top of my head guess) of the card pool that makes up the competitive scene is such that Continuous Tumble would need to hit for about 60 points of damage per “heads” in order to hang with them.


Damage Counterpunch also is suited to an older format, though this one is so close to being worthwhile it almost hurts.  For (RCC) the attack does 60 points of damage with the effect clause adding an additional 60 points of damage if Darmanitan has any damage counters on it.  120 points of damage for three Energy is fantastic even now, even on a Stage 1 Pokémon.  The Energy requirements are open enough that you could use virtually any kind of Energy acceleration currently available.


Unfortunately since a lot of attacks hit so hard, you’ll find it hard to use Counterpunch more than once at full strength, and sometimes not even once.  Counterpunch would be amazing if we had an easy method of placing a single damage counter on Darmanitan.



So… what is the best Darumaka to use with Darmanitan?  BW: Next Destinies 17/99 has a nasty (since today’s Darmanitan wasn’t chunky enough for Heavy Ball) Retreat of three, but it also has the best HP of its siblings at 80.  None of the five other versions (yeah, six distinct releases for this one!) has impressive attacks, so that HP score seems like the deciding factor.


What about the other Darmanitan… should we be using them instead?  There are four versions, but the only one I think is worth considering for even fun play is Darmanitan (BW: Next Destinies 60/99).  This was once tossed around as a potential Mewtwo EX counter, but to my knowledge never quite made it.  It differs from today’s card by being a Psychic-Type with Psychic Weakness and a three Energy Retreat.  Its claim to fame is a “flip until tails” attack with a cool name (DarMAXitan) that does 50 per “heads”.


Neither card seems good enough to slip into a serious deck.  Still, you could back them with Victini (BW: Noble Victories 14/101, 98/101) and run them together for a “fun” deck.  Now, if you do flip well, it can fake being a competitive deck; OHKOs are OHKOs after all, and even 2HKOs are solid.  Your main disadvantage (besides the fact that you could have a bad run of luck and flip mostly or all “tails”) is you would mostly be throwing Stage 1 Pokémon at big, Basic Pokémon.  I would favor BW: Next Destinies 60/99 over today’s CotD or run them equal, however.


For Unlimited, you could build an adequate “Beatdown” deck.  It would still mostly be “for fun” because you’ve still got First Turn Win decks, First Turn Lock decks, more traditional donk decks, soft-lock decks, and of course scores of other possible Beatdown options.  Still this is the format where you can find cards to cover almost all the weaknesses of the deck.


Lastly, if you pull this card in Limited, you’re actually doing well!  Darumaka in this set isn’t an ideal card to run, but especially in Limited conditions it isn’t impossibly bad: a Basic Fire-Type, with 70 HP, Water Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat of two, and one attack that for (RC) does 30 points of damage to the Defending Pokémon and (if you get tails on a mandatory coin flip) 10 to Darumaka itself.  It is however a Common and Darmanitan itself is only an Uncommon, improving odds of pulling them.


Thanks to Continuous Tumble, you can even consider running the line completely off Type.  However, if you can squeeze in even a few (3-5) basic Fire Energy, you’ve got a decent attack on Darumaka, a decent attack in Continuous Tumble, and an amazing attack in Damage Counterpunch!  If this set didn’t have so much Water it could be a top pull (well… other than a Pokémon-EX, of course).




Unlimited: 1.75/5


Modified: 1.8/5


Limited: 3.75/5



For the third time this week, we’ve got a Pokémon that reminds me how it seems like sets anymore are meant for two different formats; one composed of the current top performers, maybe even the cards that are “almost” as good as those… and then one consisting of everything else.


Darmanitan isn’t poorly designed, it just showed up to a format dominated by cards that are powerful, likely overpowered given the rest of the card pool.  I wouldn’t take it to a tournament for serious play, but it at least should be fun for League unless everyone else runs Keldeo EX.

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