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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Plasma Freeze

Date Reviewed:
June 6, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 4.67

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

Heatran-EX (Plasma Freeze) 

Alongside the game-breaking, archetype forming EX cards in Plasma Freeze, we also have our fair share of the kind of ultra rares that you never want to see when opening a box. You know, the kind of cards that go straight into the binder and will only leave for trading purposes if you are lucky enough to run into a collector who really needs that Full Art Latios-EX. Sadly, today’s review is about one of those cards. 

Heatran-EX is a Fire Type Plasma EX Basic. Plasma, as we have said many times before, is a very good thing to be as it gives you access to some very good support (Deoxys-EX, Colress Machine, Team Plasma Ball, etc.). Fire Typing isn’t the best right now as popular cards like Kyurem PLF and Keldeo-EX will hit for Weakness and laugh. Meanwhile, there isn’t a lot that Fire hurts right now. Grass is practically absent from the format and Metal decks mostly use Plasma Klinklang for immunity from EX attacks. Heatran does have a healthy 180 HP, which is pretty much what you would expect. No less surprising is the hefty retreat cost, which at least makes Heatran searchable via Heavy Ball. 

None of that would matter though if Heatran had great attacks. But it doesn’t. The first, Heat Boiler, costs one Fire and two Colourless Energy for which you get an underwhelming 60 damage. If Heatran is affected by a Special Condition, the output is boosted to 120, which would be good if it wasn’t for the fact that the conditional element there is a) hard to achieve and b) undesirable anyway. For practical purposes, you are relying on your opponent using Hypnotoxic Laser and having the Sleep flips go your way. Unfortunately, they are unlikely to be so generous unless such a move KOs Heatran anyway. Even worse is the fact that Heatran’s second attack, Dynamite Press also requires conditions to be met in order to do decent damage. For the high cost of two Fire and two Colourless you get just 80 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter on the Defending Pokémon, so basically Heatran is good at getting two-hit KOs on already damaged Pokémon. 

And that’s just not good enough to justify running an Energy-hungry EX with relatively poor typing, even if it does have all the Plasma Support. Heatran-EX simply gives you no reason to build a deck around it instead of Kyurem PLF or Lugia-EX (for example), and that is why, unless some unforeseen combo appears in future, he stays in the binder. 


Modified: 1.5 (you can, and really should, do better)

Limited: 4.25 (he’s a big fat tank that can survive long enough to cause havoc)


Hello once again, Pokemon trainers! Today we're going to review a new Pokemon-EX from the new Plasma Freeze expansion. Today's Card of the Day is Heatran-EX.
Heatran-EX is a Basic Fire Team Plasma Pokemon-EX. As a Fire-type, Heatran will have massive troubles with the very common Water-type attackers in Keldeo-EX, Kyurem, and Blastoise, already hindering its chances at seeing play in the Modified metagame. As a Team Plasma Pokemon, Heatran has access to Team Plasma support, like Team Plasma Ball, Colress Machine, and others. Finally, as a Pokemon-EX, Heatran will really have to do something impressive, as your opponent will take two Prize cards upon Knocking it Out. Given the balance between bad typing and good Plasma support, which wins out?
For starters, 180 HP is very good, and should survive a few hits against anything against Water-type Pokemon. Unfortunately, Heatran shares the Water Weakness with its other Fire-type brethren, so Keldeo and Kyurem will make short work of the volcanic legendary. To round out the bottom stats, no Resistance is what we'd expect, and a Retreat Cost of three is huge, so you'll want something like Switch or Float Stone around to move Heatran from the Active zone to the Bench.
Heatran has two attacks. Heat Boiler starts off at 60 damage for three Energy, but does 60 more if Heatran is affected by a Special Condition. 60 damage for three Energy isn't very good in this format, and on a Pokemon-EX, it's downright terrible. The secondary effect is nice, as 120 damage for three is excellent, but your opponent will likely play around this, waiting to Hypnotoxic Laser until they can secure the KO on Heatran. That being said, Pokemon-EX always tend to be good in Limited, where this attack should perform admirably, even if you don't get affected by a Special Condition.
Dynamite Press is Heatran's second attack, starting off at a very expensive 80 damage for two Fire and two Colorless, while dealing 10 more damage for each damage counter on the Defending Pokemon if Heatran has a Plasma Energy attached. Once again, this attack is very expensive if you don't meet the secondary requirements, but with a Plasma Energy attached, Heatran will likely be able to dish out quite a bit of damage in both Modified and Limited. Of course, given how fast (and Water-filled) the current Modified metagame is, it's not likely that Heatran will last very long in the more popular constructed format.
Modified: 2/5 At my local Plasma Freeze prerelease, a very good friend of mine made the statement that Heatran-EX is the worst EX of the BW era, and proceeded to rip a copy up. While I don't think it's quite that bad, it's very unlikely that Heatran will see any sort of meaningful play in Modified any time soon, as it has terrible typing and expensive, often underpowered attacks that are reliant on the opponent for dealing maximal damage. That being said, not all is bad for Heatran: it gets Plasma support, and has a very high HP score that can come into play if you aren't facing a Water-type. Overall, Heatran isn't great, so you'll likely want to look at other options.
Limited: 5/5 Pokemon-EX are huge Basics that deal a lot of damage in Limited, so if you pull one, you should build your deck around them. Heatran-EX, for all of its shortcomings in Modified, is no different here. Both Heat Boiler and Dynamite Press are very usable here (though still slow), and if you can get off any secondary effects, even better. Just watch out for Water-types like Kyurem!

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