#50 (Plasma Blast)
We end the week with a look at another
Machamp card from Plasma
Blast. Usually when two cards featuring the same Pokémon
appear in a set, one is much better than the other in
fairly obvious ways.
This time though, I have pretty much the same things to
say about this Machamp as
the one I reviewed on Wednesday. They are both Stage 2s
with solid HP and expensive attacks which do
but not enough to make playing them worthwhile.
Here, Knock Off will do 60 damage
for three Energy and discard a random card from your
opponent’s hand. That’s mediocre damage output with a
semi-useful effect, but it costs
three Energy. For four
Energy, you get Reinforced Lariat: an 80 damage
attack which can be boosted to 120 if
Machamp has a Tool attached.
Even if that Tool is Silver Bangle, it
short of a OHKO on most EX Pokémon so, despite the
superficially attractive big numbers, it might as well
be a 90-for-four attack in most situations and that
falls far short of what is required.
The Black and White series really saw the card designers
start to turbo-charge Basic Pokémon.
First with things like Zekrom
and Reshiram, and then with
the EX Pokémon. Cards like
Machamp illustrate how Stage 2s have got left
behind: when you have Basics that offer the same or
better attacks for less cost, why would you bother with
evolution, Rare Candy, and attacks that take three turns
to power up?
Modified: 1.75 (outclassed and obsolete these days)
Limited: 2 (still slow and difficult to use)