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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- XY

Date Reviewed:
March 17, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.63
Limited: 2.25

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Magcargo (XY) 

Hello and welcome to another week of XY card reviews here on Pojo’s CotD. We kick things off with a look at Magcargo, a Pokémon that we haven’t seen in the TCG for quite a while. 

Over the years, Magcargo has had a bit of a theme going on which usually involves him manipulating the top of the deck for one reason or another: most famously Magcargo DX, with its Smooth Over Power. Magcargo XY can’t claim the same kind of usefulness, but it does like to mess with the top card of your deck, specifically by discarding it for its Magma Mantle attack and doing 50 more damage if it is a Fire Energy (but just 30 if it isn’t). Sadly, we don’t really have any practical ways of ‘fixing’ that top card (such as Pokédex BLW), so you are either running a lot of Fire Energy or taking a risk on losing something useful. Neither is worth the bother: you would need a Muscle Band or a Silver Bangle on Magcargo even to two-hit KO an EX this way (assuming you got lucky with the discard). That’s just too many hoops to jump through when you are using a 110 HP Stage 1. 

To be honest, you might as well pay the extra Energy cost and use Magcargo’s Heat Blast for a guaranteed vanilla 80. It might not be as interesting or as fun as Magma Mantle, but it’s just as good really (and by that I mean ‘not very good at all’). Truth is, they needed to do a lot more with Magma Mantle to make this into a playable card. 


Modified: 1.75 (not good enough to be any fun)

Limited: 2.25 (limited decks tend to run a lot of Energy, but this still isn’t anything special)

Intro to
Unlimited 150


Poor Magcargo, it’s bad in the games and it’s bad as a card. In the past Magcargo has had a chance to shine, mainly with the version from Deoxys whose Smooth Over Ability let you put any card from your deck on top. Unfortunately the new version is just a simple beater with no Ability. As usual for an Evolution card since Black & White it just doesn’t stand up to the many Basic Pokémon that can do the same thing… even with more HP. Terrakion is a comparison with similar costed attacks that hit heavier and more reliably and also following the new bizarre template of “conditional damage for a low cost and the exact same amount of damage for 1 more Energy”.
Perhaps with a little more HP and Magma Mantle at just 1 Energy it’d be worth setting up some way to fix your top deck, but as it is Fire decks have much better, more reliable beaters at Basic.

Unlimited 150.
In this format, running a Magcargo line can be really powerful with the aforementioned Magcargo from the Deoxys set letting you find any single card from your huge 100 card deck each turn! If you’re already running a Slugma or 2 it wouldn’t hurt to run an attacker in the same line right?
Again, Magma Mantle just isn’t impressive enough to warrant setting up. For 1 Energy I’d say this would be a very playable card, but the 2 Energy cost prevents it coming out of nowhere without Energy acceleration. Its big Basic competition from Standard mostly get reclassified as EX but it still isn’t enough to be worth including generally.
 If you want an attacker in your Magcargo line you’re better off going with the one from Undaunted. Whilst it requires discarding an awful lot of Energy, it can do damage limited only by how much Energy you can discard off it which can be useful when you need to suddenly KO a big threat.

Standard: 1.5
Unlimited 150: 2.5

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