Coming in at #3 on our countdown is easily the most
hyped card of the set: Pyroar.
Players who have been around for a while will remember
Mewtwo LV X: a card that
caused tons of frustration and was a pain to deal with
for a lot of decks because it had a
PokéBody that prevented it from taking damage
from Basic Pokémon (which at the time meant SP decks and
odd things like Regigigas LV
X and AMU, I guess). Well, Pyroar
is pretty the same much thing, and like
Mewtwo, he is going into a
format where a significant number of the most powerful
decks rely on Basic attackers. There are a few
significant differences: the Stage 1
Pyroar is easier to get into
play than a LV X and you can play more copies of him.
Pyroar doesn’t result
in a stalemate as it did with
Mewtwo. Like Mewtwo,
however, Pyroar has a pretty
usable attack in the shape of Scorching Fang. It’s
certainly more than adequate to deal with any deck that
doesn’t have the means to attack him.
What does this mean for the game? Well, it all depends
on how popular Pyroar is and
how he is used. If he is played as a 1-1 tech line, then
most decks will be able to include Pokémon to help deal
with him. Virizion/Genesect
can use Raichu XY and G
Booster, for example. Some already have the means to
overcome a tech Pyroar, such
as Blastoise and
Emboar-based decks, while
others (Empoleon and
Flareon) centre around
evolved attackers anyway. Decks that play
Garbodor DRX can also avoid
the effect of Intimidating Mane. If
Pyroar plays a more important role, though, I
doubt that a tech counter, or the use of Support
Pokémon, is going to be enough. Fairy Toolbox and
especially Team Plasma decks are going to be really hurt
if Pyroar gets used a lot.
Neither of those decks have an easy-to-use counter
available to them that won’t make the match up against
other decks worse.
As with Mewtwo LV X back in
the day, you really have only two options when it comes
to Pyroar: you either build
a deck that can deal with his Ability, or you pray that
you don’t have to face him.
Modified: 4 (sure to shake things up)
Limited: 4 (nice here as well – not everyone will pull
an evo line)
Unlimited 150 review.
This card has caused a lot of discussion for Standard players and
most decks will have to consider a way to counter it,
especially when the most effective attackers in the
format are Basic Pokémon. This effect isn’t new to U150
players though and it’s not nearly as disruptive. Most
U150 decks have a range of Pokémon they can effectively
attack with at various stages of evolution, if a Pyroar
is walling your Basic you can just retreat it and attack
with an evolved Pokémon instead.
Some other Pokémon with similar Abilities are Mewtwo LV.X, who has
much better Basic Pokémon choices than Pyroar’s Litleo
and Aggron ex (Crystal Guardians) whose own Intimidating
Ability prevents Basic Pokémon from not just damaging
it, but from attacking and using Abilities full stop!
All this said, if you’re playing a Fire deck and you don’t want to
splash other Types to play the above mentioned Pokémon
then Pyroar is a decent choice. It works well combined
with Aerodactyl (Fossil) which prevents evolution card
being played and if you want to go all out on the theme,
Omastar (Majestic Dawn) bounces your opponent’s highest
stage evolutions to their hand, leaving Pyroar free to
menace the remaining Basics.
Rating: 3 (Another good card but there’s better
alternatives in older sets.)