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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
May 3, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.67
Expanded: 2.27
Limited: 3.33

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Next on our ever-expanding list of Pokemon-EX comes the powerful Emboar-EX! Note that doesn't mean any real relation to the Stage 2 Inferno Fandago powering Emboar by default... 

Emboar-EX does have some positives, like his 180 HP and Fire typing getting that good ol Fire support, like Blacksmith!...and Emboar! But aside from that, he might not be that impressive. Spiral Punch starts out as a 2-for-20 hit, which is a bit disappointing considering he's an EX. But then, he does have the chance to increase it by 20!...well, that's not quite true. He gets the ability to flip a coin until you flip tails, and then he does an extra 20 damage for every heads that popped up in a row. Again, you could be lucky, but you're more likely to average around an extra 20 damage or so, all things considered. 

Still, you should never underestimate the power of a really really lucky guy...

Course Strong Flare gives a lot of bang for your buck, at 4-for-150 as a base. It doesn't increase further on its own though and instead requires you to discard 2 Energy from Emboar-EX, a cost that can be easily supplemented with Burning Energy, but at that point, I feel Emboar-EX was designed with that in mind. Like you're expected to use him with that Burning Energy in order to feel the real payoff here, and yet the best you're gonna do with an additional Muscle Band is about 170, KO'ing only the weaker side of Pokemon-EX and anything weak to Fire. 

So what does the survey say at the end of the day for Emboar-EX? Well, he's nothing to look twice at for sure - you're either gonna love him for his potential or hate him for his chancy behavior. He's a pretty risky EX to take with you to your local scene, but hey, maybe I'm just a judgy-mc-judger-pants for him. 

...judgy-mc-judger-pa-why do I write this stuff? 


Standard: 2/5 (Emboar needs a bit of work to really do anything anyway, and all things considered, there are better EX to invest in) 

Expanded: 2/5 (I'd say he's on the lower end of the EX list, if only cause his attacks show "potential"...and not much else) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (but hey, you might make something of him in Limited!) 

Arora Notealus: Emboar's still a really interesting Pokemon. I wonder if he'll get some new tricks with the upcoming generation... 

Next Time: His powerful pincers will smash you to smithereens!


While Entei (Ancient Origins 15/98) based decks are a rare sight nowadays, Emboar-EX could find some life replacing Charizard-EX (Flashfire 12/106). The first attack is a "Flip a coin until you get tails..." attack. It could save you in a pinch, but overall isn't that useful. The real draw here is the second attack, Strong Flare. It's fairly standard, taking [RRCC] to do 150 damage, and then you discard two Energy. But the Energy cost is the magic amount that lets you use Blacksmith and a Double Colourless Energy to power it up in one turn. 150 damage is also one Muscle Band away from being to knock out a lot of the Pokémon-EX in the format, like Yveltal-EX, securing yourself twoquick prizes. The main reason to use Emboar-EX over Charizard-EX is because of the different drawbacks to the big attacks; Emboar-EX can attack over and over again as long as you can keep getting attaching more Energy but the attack on Charizard-EX states it can't use that attack again the next turn so you've got to switch to something else or Bench then re-promote it to the Active spot. In limited, Emboar-EX strangely gets weaker because without Muscle Band and the Blacksmith it becomes much slower and can't OHKO the big Pokémon-EX from the set.

Standard: 3/5
Expanded: 2/5
Limited: 2/5


Today we look at Emboar-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 14/122).  This is going to seem very familiar if you read yesterday’s CotD, as there are a lot of similarities.  Emboar-EX is a Fire-Type; nearly all Metal Types and most Grass Types are Fire Weak, nothing is Resistant, anti-Fire Type effects are weak, and Fire Type support is not abundant, but contains at least one good card (Blacksmith).  As a Pokémon-EX, Emboar-EX gets to be a Basic instead of a Stage 2, which is a huge speed boost and space saver, as well as containing some other less overt benefits.  The downsides of being a Pokémon-EX still apply though; it gives up an extra Prize when KOed, it has to deal with anti-Pokémon-EX effects, and some beneficial effects exclude Pokémon-EX.  Emboar-EX clocks in at 180 HP, the higher of the two typical HP scores and a solid amount that will often survive a hit.  Water Weakness can be a serious threat, but specifically because the lower damaging Water Types suddenly can hit big (the big hitters were already in OHKO range).  The lack of Resistance is typical and while I wish that wasn’t the case, we’ll move on.  The Retreat Cost of three allows for the use of Heavy Ball and Heavy Boots; too bad those cards are seldom seen in successful, competitive decks.  So what it really means it making sure you’ve got multiple alternatives to manually retreating at full price; either allow Emboar-EX to tank or pack something to lower or eliminate its Retreat Cost. 

Emboar-EX has two attacks, but no Ancient Trait or Ability.  The first attack is “Spiral Punch” for [RC], which does 20 damage and has you flip a coin until you get “tails”; for each “heads” the attack does an extra 20 damage.  20-for-two is weak, but if your luck isn’t too extreme, about half the time you’ll deal at least 40.  While totally unreliable for big hits, it does always carry the threat of a OHKO (disregarding effects like Focus Sash).  As a reminder, even if you do get a lot of flips, remember it only matters if you need them; nothing like getting a run of “heads” for a massive 200 damage and… only needing 10 damage to finish off the Active.  The second attack is “Strong Flare”, which requires [RRCC] and does 150 damage, but also requires you discard two Energy attached to Emboar-EX itself.  This is a solid amount of damage for what is being invested and if Energy counting attacks, like “Evil Ball” on Yveltal-EX, are common it may be to your benefit to lose two Energy.  Most of the time though it’s just an acceptable cost as if Emboar-EX can survive to the next turn, you can try for a Blacksmith to swing big again.  The 150 damage is enough that a Giovanni’s Scheme or Muscle Band can get it to that critical 180 damage range.  The Energy costs aren’t perfect but they are pretty good; Spiral Punch needs Blacksmith to power up in a single turn, but at least that is an option for when you don’t also have a Double Colorless Energy to go for Strong Flare. 

I seem a lot more optimistic about Emboar-EX than I was with yesterday’s Ninetales-EX.  Why?  Though it isn’t an overly important role, you now have an alternative to Charizard-EX (XY: Flashfire 12/106; XY: Black Star Promos XY121) as our big Fire Type attacker.  Said Charizard-EX can also do 150 damage for [RRCC], but instead of a two Energy discard cost, Charizard-EX cannot use said big attack again the next turn.  There are ways around that restriction, but it can be pricey, and its smaller attack requires [RCC] just to do 60.  So Emboar-EX is a solid alternative, possibly even the better choice.  Of course, this role is mostly only important for backing up Entei (XY: Ancient Origins 15/98), and the deck in which it stars didn’t have much of a showing at the State Championships.  Maybe it was just a hiccup, maybe its time has already passed.  Still, this gives you an idea of what Emboar-EX can do in Standard and Expanded play.  Expanded adds a few other options for big, Basic Fire Type attackers, though none that fits this exact niche. 

What about in Limited?  I doubt the new rules for Pre-Releases would be retroactively applied, so I’ll assume the older ones (and possibly unofficial tournament status).  If you pull Emboar-EX, you really ought to run it.  You can either just splash it in alongside one or two other Types and hope you can get it and build it up for a big finish, or you can take the risk of running just Emboar-EX, to ensure you open with it.  There are a good deal of Water Types this set, and that is scary.  The 180 HP will be taxed lasting long enough to build and pull off enough Strong Flares to take the four Prizes you need to win in Limited play, so it mostly will come down to how lucky you are on flips for Spiral Punch, and how unlucky your opponent is when it comes to his or her setup.  I’d favor taking the risk just a little more than not. 


Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 2.8/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: Emboar-EX doesn’t do anything really new, but does provide an alternative to the current best big, Basic Pokémon-EX Fire Type attacker, Charizard-EX.  Though I didn’t intend it at the time, it worked out well that we reviewed Ninetales-EX.  Together they give a good idea of the where the line is between “not quite” and “just enough”.

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