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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- Plasma Blast

Date Reviewed:
September 11, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.42
Limited: 3.75

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

Haxorus (Plasma Blast) 

Remember that stupid Machamp from Stormfront that was designed to be a quick and dirty counter to Basic decks (first AMU and then SP)? Well this Haxorus is the same thing. Sort of. 

See whereas Machamp could KO any Basic with Take Out’s effect for a single Fighting Energy (as long as they didn’t have Unown G attached), Haxorus does the same thing to Plasma Pokémon with its ridiculously-named Strike of the Champion attack. The differences though are crucial: Haxorus takes two Energy (Fighting and Steel) to do the job, and unlike Take Out, which did 40 damage to non-Basics, Strike of the Champion does nothing whatsoever to non-Plasma Pokémon. 

These two drawbacks, combined with the fact that there is no Broken Time-Space in the format and Rare Candy doesn’t work in the way it once did, means that Haxorus is a lot slower and more difficult to use than Machamp ever was. Its other attack option, Dragonaxe, isn’t all that attractive either: 40 damage times the amount of Energy attached to Haxorus isn’t terrible, I suppose, but won’t really compensate for the lack of effectiveness against stuff that isn’t Plasma. 

I guess if everyone you know uses Plasma decks, this is worth trying out, but it by no means guarantees victory and you are going to need something else to attack with when you run into Darkrai, Blastoise, Trubbish Tool Drop or anything else. 


Modified: 2.5 (very hard counter to Plasma, but very awkward to use)

Limited 2.25 (hard to use Stage 2s here, and not that great of a reward for getting this out) 


This review should be posted on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013.  Unless you are quite young you will know that this marks the anniversary of “9/11”, the massive terrorist attack that rocked the United States of America in 2001.  This is also the first anniversary of the first “high level” follow-up attack against a U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.  Please take a moment of silence for those who died in these events, and for the heroic actions of those in response.  Otherwise I encourage you to learn about both because it seems like you never get all the facts the first time you look, and there is a lot of misinformation about both.


We will now review Haxorus (BW: Plasma Blast 69/101)!  Unfortunately I am writing this while under the weather and while still debating if my normal template is the best choice, so I’ll be “free-styling” my review today. 

Haxorus is a Stage 2 Pokémon, which is already a huge mark against it; this format was made for Basic Pokémon and even though much of that was due to Pokémon-EX, even many of the “regular” Basic Pokémon have been dominant.  The imbalance is at the point where I honestly can’t tell if the-powers-that-be wanted Basic Pokémon to be dominant but accidentally gave us a few worthwhile Evolutions or if several that were intended to be competitive weren’t as well endowed as said creators thought.  I’ll resist getting into the finer points of where they went wrong. 

140 HP seems to be a functional “average” for competitive Stage 2 Pokémon (as opposed to the actual mean value).  This number is still not safe from being OHKOed, but few decks will find it easy; card intensive combos or exploiting Weakness are in order.  As a Dragon-Type, Haxorus maintains the tradition of being Weak to its own Type, so exploiting Weakness is dangerous and as many Dragon-Type Pokémon (that see competitive play) have tremendous damage output, useless because it just results in pure overkill.  Resistance will never be a problem, at least with the current card pool, because nothing is naturally Dragon Resistant.  While there is Dragon-Type support, it is on Stage 1 Pokémon that don’t Evolve into Haxorus so I don’t expect it to prove useful. 

The lack of Resistance is common, not just to Dragon-Type Pokémon but to most Pokémon; a missed chance at improving its odds of survival, but not worth dwelling on.  The Retreat Cost of (CC) is worth pointing out; this is currently the worst amount possible.  The format is such that retreating is an important strategy and most decks will include alternatives to retreating, cards to lower Retreat Cost, and sometimes both… which makes higher Retreat Costs less of a problem.  So why is (CC) so bad?  Lower is still good, allowing you to be less dependent upon what I just said, and higher makes a card a legal Heavy Ball target; being a Heavy Ball target isn’t a huge improvement but with effective difference to play being so small it functions as a “tie breaker”. 

So Haxorus won’t be able to rely on its stats to get it into play… what about its attacks?  Dragonaxe is the kind of thing that used to make a card; scalable damage.  For an initial cost of (M), Dragonaxe hits for 40 points of damage per (M) Energy attached to Haxorus.  So a single Metal Energy or Blend Energy WLFM means 40 points of damage, two means 80, three means 120, etc.  Unfortunately we lack a really good way of getting that Energy onto Haxorus and even if we had it, there are other Pokémon that would benefit more unless they were somehow excluded.  So what about the second attack? 

Strike of the Champion requires (FM) and automatically KOs a Team Plasma Pokémon.  That is good, right?  Actually no, it is not.  Double Rainbow Energy and Holon’s Castform, Holon’s Electrode, and Holon’s Magneton all rotated out of Modified years ago.  While the former would have been the most beneficial, all those cards were ways of making this cost a lot easier to meet.  Even if we had “regular” Rainbow Energy back, this is a format where a Stage 2 has to work to get two Energy on it before being KOed. 

Can it be done?  Absolutely, but it mostly works on sacrificial plays.  There is renewed interested in Garchomp (BW: Dragons Exalted 90/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 120/116) because of recent cards and the shifting metagame, but there you have an amazing single Energy attack that can be “spammed” long enough to periodically get its second attack powered up… plus said second attack was just about bringing bigger damage.  Here the first attack just needs more Energy to bring “big damage” while the second attack is just good for automatically KOing Team Plasma Pokémon… one can just run Silver Mirror to frustrate Team Plasma Pokémon.  Strike of the Champion does nothing if the Defending Pokémon isn’t affiliated with Team Plasma! 

Team Plasma decks are in a weird place right now; being one of the most common and strong decks in the format, but also just receiving a lot of counters before we really got to see how that played out.  Plus the most common variants are going to still stand a chance of OHKOing Haxorus, let alone its lower Stages (none of which are impressive) before it even hits the field.  Team Plasma decks just need a non-Team Plasma attack (or to have massive OHKO potential) to overwhelm what Haxorus can do, and in a format of OHKOs and 2HKOs investing onto an Energy intensive Stage 2 Pokémon (if you are relying on Dragonaxe) doesn’t seem smart. 


Unlimited: This is a format about First Turn Wins and lock decks, but even if you decide to play things a bit less ruthless there are plenty of better choices for raw power.  Dragonaxe can be better utilized here, but it still doesn’t stack up favorable to other options. 1/5 

Modified: This trashed unprepared Team Plasma decks, unless they can just outpace it or have adequate non-Team Plasma Pokémon in the deck.  Most decks could run a Silver Mirror or two to at least temporarily be as frustrating to Team Plasma, albeit from defensive play instead of offensive, but it would be a lot easier and wouldn’t leave you vulnerable to everything else. 1.75/5 

Limited: Here we go!  Dragonaxe is amazing here, and damage output is low enough you should have time to build while opposing HP scores are low enough you won’t have to build up as high to get to OHKO level.  The lower forms are decent by Limited standards, and Axew (BW: Plasma Blast 67/101) is amazing if you also managed to pull an Iris.  The Energy requirements prevent it from being an automatic must-run, but odds are if you pull this line, you should use it and build your deck accordingly. 4/5 


Haxorus is another example of a Team Plasma hard counter, with its second attack automatically KOing a Team Plasma Pokémon, be it Basic or Evolution, Pokémon-EX or “regular”, but being a Stage 2 Pokémon itself the strong damage output of the average Team Plasma deck has a good chance of keeping up with it.  You have to be taking out other Stage 2 Pokémon (do any Stage 2 Plasma Pokémon see regular, competitive play?) or Pokémon-EX and on most turns.   

Team Plasma decks often have good Energy acceleration so even taking out a big, Basic attacker isn’t a guarantee you won’t be OHKOed back the next turn… and all of this falls apart if they have a solid non-Team Plasma Pokémon to attack with in their deck.  Against everything else, Haxorus just can’t mount a good offense, at least not fast enough.  Haxorus made my Top 20, but mostly as a novelty.


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing a Stage 2 from Plasma Blast with the potential to make a severe dent in a couple of the common decks in today's Modified metagame. Today's Card of the Day is Haxorus.
Haxorus is a Stage 2 Dragon Pokemon. Dragons tend to see quite a bit of play due to their powerful stats and abilities, but also have the trade-off of requiring multiple types of Energy in order to perform their moves. 140 HP is just about average for a Stage 2, meaning that Haxorus should be able to survive at least one powerful attack before going down. Dragon Weakness is a problem in mirrors or against things like Hydreigon and the random Garchomp; no Resistance is unfortunate; and a Retreat Cost of two is just low enough to be paid for, but you'd still probably rather use something like Switch, Escape Rope, Scramble Switch, or Float Stone.
The Axe Jaw Pokemon has two attacks. Dragonaxe does 40 damage times the number of Metal Energy attached to Haxorus starting at a single Metal for cost; therefore, you'll always be doing at least 40 damage with this attack, and easily more than that. Generally, you won't go higher than three Metals attached to Haxorus, although chances are you'll be using Blend WLFM as well, so remember that these count as Metals too. That being said, having an attack that scales nicely with Energy attachments is always good, even if the format is still probably a little too fast for this attack to deal any sort of real damage.
So what is the main reason for people playing Haxorus, then? Strike of the Champion has the potential to be incredibly powerful, instantly Knocking Out any opposing Team Plasma Pokemon for a Fighting and a Metal. As stated above, this attack can be powered up with Blend WLFM, and can be easily powered up in order to take out opposing Genesects, Deoxys, Thundurus, Kyurem, or anything with a Plasma Badge attached. This card has garnered many comparisons to Machamp SF, a powerful force back in its own time that was very efficient at getting rid of problematic Basics with its Take Out attack. Unlike Machamp, Haxorus has a downside, in that this attack is useless is your opponent has no Plasma Pokemon, and even if they do, they will definitely try to play around it as much as possible. That being said, Strike of the Champion is still incredibly usable in a format full of Team Plasma Pokemon and Team Plasma support, so definitely expect people to try this one out come time for the new tournament season.
Modified: 3/5 Haxorus is a very niche card, but it fills its niche very well. While Dragonaxe is merely decent, Strike of the Champion has the potential to swing games in your favor if you're up against Team Plasma builds. Being able to trade your Haxorus for an opposing Plasma EX is very powerful, even if your opponent will be able to OHKO Haxorus or play around the attack. That being said, if your opponents are playing something like Blastoise or Darkrai/Garbodor instead, this card is next to useless, so Haxorus should be more of a supporting, teched attacker instead of the focus of your build.
Limited: 5/5 Dragonaxe scales incredibly well in Limited, and Strike of the Champion is borderline unfair against your opponent's Team Plasma Pokemon. Like many powerful Stage 2s, if you can get a Haxorus out and fully powered up, you should be able to win easily.

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