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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
October 10, 2013

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

Houndoom (Plasma Blast) 

I’ve probably mentioned this a few times before, but Houndoom is easily my favourite Pokémon ever. Of all the creatures in the Pokémon universe, I think this one would be the coolest to have walking by your side. I’ve waited a very long time for a good Houndoom card with no luck (Unseen Forces back in 2005 was the last really good one, though Houndoom G and even the one from Legends Awakened weren’t bad). Sadly, it looks like I’m going to be disappointed again . . . though at least this time it’s close. 

Houndoom is a Stage 1 with a fairly low 100 HP and a couple of decent attacks. The first, Dark Clamp, cost two Energy and does 30 damage plus stops the Defending Pokémon from retreating on the next turn. Retreat Lock is actually not a bad disruption strategy: if you can drag out the right Pokémon (a Bench-sitter or something that needs a lot of Energy to attack) you can KO it slowly with Dark Clamp and maybe Hypnotoxic Laser. Unfortunately, the upcoming errata to Pokémon Catcher makes dragging out Garbodors more difficult than it has been. 

Blazing Claws is another one of these Plasma-hate attacks that we have seen a lot of in this set. For 3 Energy it does a poor value 60 unless the Defending Pokémon is from Team Plasma. In that case it hits for 120 plus Burn, which is enough to OHKO a Kyurem if they get unlucky with the Burn flip. That’s nice I guess. 

Houndoom can also benefit from Dark Type support like Dark Patch and Dark Claw (which makes him just about capable of one-shotting a Plasma EX with Laser/Virbank Gym), but as much as I really really want to say this is a great card . . . it isn’t. It’s a mediocre card against non-Plasma decks and a frail counter to Plasma itself. Not horrible by any means, but just lacking that bit extra which would make it into a competitive card. Oh well, I can at least enjoy the awesome artwork. 


Modified: 2 (sorry Houndoom)

Limited: 4 (more than decent here. Lots of Plasma in the set and retreat lock can be painful)


Hello once again, Pojo readers! I've been incredibly busy lately, but with Legendary Treasures and Pokemon X/Y around the corner (who else is going to the release at the Nintendo World store in New York City?), there's a lot to be excited about in the Pokemon world! Today we're continuing our reviews with another card from Plasma Blast, Houndoom.

Houndoom is a Stage 1 Darkness Pokemon. Dark types still quite a good amount of play with the presence of Darkrai-EX, so if Houndoom does something extraordinary, it may be able to fit into that deck. 100 HP isn't a great start, as our heavy-hitting metagame will make very short work of the Dark Pokemon, even if you can get it fully set up. Fighting Weakness comes as no surprise, but shouldn't be a huge deal right now outside of the rare Plasma Landorus and Landorus-EX. Likewise, Houndoom has a Psychic Resistance which helps against Mewtwo-EX and Deoxys-EX, even if just a little bit. Finally, a single Retreat Cost isn't bad, being easily payable if you must.

Houndoom has two attacks. Dark Clamp does 30 damage for a Darkness and a Colorless, while also preventing your opponent from retreating during their next turn. 30 damage isn't a lot, but the ability to lock the Defending Pokemon in place is quite significant, especially in Limited. That being said, this attack doesn't do quite enough for Modified, and would have to deal significantly more damage or be on a better body to see a good amount of play. Blazing Claws is the second attack, starting off at 60 damage for a Darkness and two Colorless, while dealing 60 more damage and Burning the Defending Pokemon if the Defending Pokemon is Team Plasma. 120 damage and automatic Burn is pretty good against Plasma, especially for the cost, but once again, 100 HP and being a Stage 1 let Houndoom down. You'll be much better off using something like Darkrai in Modified.

Modified: 2/5 Houndoom isn't actually that bad, but this is definitely not the format for it. Dark Clamp has great utility, and Blazing Claws have great utility against the myriad of Team Plasma Pokemon we have in the current Modified metagame. That being said, Houndoom is a 100 HP Stage 1, and will easily be obliterated by many of the hard hitting Pokemon-EX that see play right now. I suppose giving it a Silver Mirror could provide a little more survivability against Plasma Pokemon, but there are generally better options for that, as well.

Limited: 4/5 Houndoom is incredibly effective in Limited. Dark Clamp serves well to lock the opponent into place, especially if they have a weak Pokemon active, and it allows you to power up while they are stuck with a poor matchup active and potentially giving you a Prize. Blazing Claws is also quite nice here, as there are still a good number of Team Plasma Pokemon in Plasma Blast. Overall, if you're building a deck involving Darkness and you pull a Houndoom line or two, it will be a welcome addition to your Limited build.

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