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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
Feb. 21, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.13
Expanded: 2.25
Limited: 3.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Skarmory is pretty basic, and I'm not just saying that cause he doesn't evolve from anything EYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

He's only got two attacks, the second of whcih is Aerial Ace. And lemme tell ya, 3-for-60 with a 50/50 shot at doing 90 ain't that appealing. 

That just leaves Metallic Sound, which for the cost of a DCE will get rid of anything like DCE as part of Skarmory's attack. It doesn't do damage, but it can definitely hinder a few decks. But against anything running Basic Energies, which should be most any deck with an Energy acceleration engine, it'll be a minor hindrance. He's got niche potential though, and in a format that's dominated by Special Energies or against decks that utilize a lot of them, he may be some great tech to run against them. 

If only he too didn't rely on them for the attack... 


Standard: 2.5/5 (right now he's alright, but I'd hang onto him) 

Expanded: 2.5/5 (since there's a lot that can go wrong or right for him in the long run) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (course you could easily run him against the Special Energies of the set too) 

Arora Notealus: Skarmory here is a lot like Skarmory-EX from a while back. Both have attacks with specific effects, making them utility more than anything. Good for teching, not so great for maining. Such is the nature of card games~

Next Time: Amidst the endless oceans lies a duck who has one severe headache, evolving into something with less of a headache...and less memorability.


Our second subject this week is Skarmory (Sun & Moon 88/149).  This is a Steel Metal Type, which carries certain benefits.  They hit all Fairy Type Pokémon and some Water Types for double damage thanks to those cards being Metal Weak; Metal Resistance is found on many Lightning Types (most in Standard play), but dealing with your attacks doing 20 less damage is not the same kind of problem as dealing with your opponent’s attacks doing double damage.  I don’t recall if there are any anti-Metal Pokémon or Energy effects, but there are a few bonuses they can claim, all of which are various protective effects.  They also have some solid attackers you can employ as well, and they have some nifty support based on their Energy Type, but only in Expanded play.  I’m not naming specific cards, which tells you that they probably aren’t going to be critical to Skarmory.  What is critical is its Stage; this is a Basic Pokémon, making it fast to the field and easy to slip into a deck, plus the other typical benefits I usually list off.  Its 110 HP isn’t beefy, but at least it gets it out of easy OHKO range (but still a probable OHKO, once an opponent’s deck is in full swing).  Capitalizing on its video game dual Type, instead of the Typical Metal Weakness/Resistance combo, we see the Lightning Weakness and Fighting Resistance typical of TCG (Flying) Colorless Types.  Lightning Weakness may not be much (if any) safer than Fire Weakness right now, but being different than the majority within your Type can often create a small bit of advantage.  Any Resistance is useful, so that isn’t an issue, either.  The Retreat Cost of [C] is good; easy to pay and recover from having paid, at least most of the time. 

Skarmory brings two attacks to the table: “Metallic Sound” and “Aerial Ace”.  The former requires [CC] and does no damage, but instead discards all Special Energy from all Pokémon in play.  This could mean a massive amount of discarded Energy, but it will hit you as well.  Could be a problem, considering a Double Colorless Energy is the logical way to pay for the attack in many decks.  Of course, with 110 HP that may not be as big of a problem as I first thought; if Skarmory doesn’t discard enough to grind the opponent’s deck to a halt, his or her Pokémon still have a good chance of securing a OHKO.  Aerial Ace requires [MCC] to do 60 damage, and you get a coin flip where “tails” adds (and thankfully takes) nothing, while “heads” means +30 damage.  For three Energy, 90 damage is quite appropriate, but the real concern for me is the lone [M] requirement.  Not impossibly steep, but enough decks that might splash Skarmory in for the first attack will often have trouble with the second.  Complement each other in only the most fundamental of ways: the attack costs are staggered, and one handles disruption while the other actually does damage.

This card’s true competition would be other clutch/TecH attackers, I think, but we’ll run through the other Expanded and/or Standard-legal Skarmory for the sake of being thorough; BW: Boundaries Crossed 95/149, BW: Boundaries Crossed 96/149, BW: Plasma Storm 87/135, XY: Phantom Forces 59/119, and XY: Roaring Skies 69/108.  All are Basic Pokémon with two attacks, while all but XY: Roaring Skies 69/108 are only legal for Expanded play.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 95/149 is a Metal Type with 80 HP, Fire Weakness, Psychic Resistance, and Retreat Cost [CC].  For [M] it can use “Claw” to do 20, but must flip a coin; “heads” means the attack works, “tails” means it does nothing.  [MCC] pays for “Drill Peck”, which does 50 damage.  Poor HP and underpowered attacks are probably why this wasn’t ever reviewed.  BW: Boundaries Crossed 96/149 is also a Metal Type with Fire Weakness, Psychic Resistance, and Retreat Cost [CC], but with 100 HP and the attacks “Metal Sound” and “Swift”.  Metal Sound requires [M] and a coin flip; “heads” Confuses the opponent’s Active, “tails” does nada.  “Swift” costs [CCC] and ignores all effects on the opponent’s Active plus Weakness and Resistance for damage calculation purposes; handy to get around several protective effects, but hurt by not applying Weakness.  The damage output was a bit low for it as well, but I thought we had reviewed this one; turns out we hadn’t. 

BW: Plasma Storm 87/135 is a Team Plasma Pokémon, so for what it is worth it can tap their support but has to deal with their counters, and if we have to name it again we’ll just address it as Skarmory [Plasma].  Unsurprisingly, it is also a Metal Type with Fire Weakness and Psychic Resistance, but at least we split the difference between the last two HP scores as this version clocks in at 90, plus its Retreat Cost is only [C].  For [C] it can use its “Cargo Jet” attack to have you discard a Team Plasma card from hand, then if you did, draw three cards; for it does 40 damage and reduces the damage it takes (during your opponent’s next turn) by 20.  I didn’t chime in the day it was reviewed, and as they realized these attacks were junk even back then; it hasn’t gotten better with age.  XY: Phantom Forces 59/119 sees our last Metal Type Skarmory out of this bunch, and the shift to Lightning Weakness with Fighting Resistance.  It has 100 HP again, but this time with Retreat Cost [C], also showing some of the power creep between generations.  For [CC] it can use “Slash” to do 30 damage, while [MMC] pays for “Iron Wing” to do 90 damage and discard one [M] Energy from itself.  The attacks are better than Skarmory [Plasma], but probably not as good as BW: Boundaries Crossed 96/149, which is probably why we didn’t bother reviewing it.  Last up is XY: Roaring Skies 69/108, our one Colorless Type Skarmory, which is why it is rocking that Lightning Weakness and Fighting Resistance.  Its 100 HP and Retreat Cost of [C] keep pace with the previous iteration and is just 10 HP shy of today’s Skarmory.  For [C] it can use the attack “Call for Family” to search your deck for up to two Basic Pokémon to put directly onto your Bench; a decent attack but a questionable inclusion for a card that released alongside Winona.  “Blow Through” requires [CC] and does 30, plus another 30 if a Stadium is in play.  Though not mind-blowing, that is the best of the damage oriented attacks we’ve seen.  It received an overly generous review… from me (the others were on point). 

As I said, though, none of these are competition for today’s Skarmory, just a good reminder of how far the card has come.  All the stuff you’d be more inclined to run instead of it reminds us of how far it has yet to go.  This really is only worth considering if your deck has a terrible match-up against one of the few decks that are not only Special Energy heavy but inclined to have multiple Special Energy in play at a time.  Plus, your deck cannot be that way as well, unless you want to set yourself back at the same time.  I’ve actually seen a couple decks lately rocking a lot of Special Energy.  Solgaleo-GX has a GX-attack that attaches up to five Energy from your deck, Carbink BREAK can attach from your discard with its attack, Dragonair (Sun & Moon 95/149) can attach multiple Energy (as many as you want and have in hand) with its first attack.  Carbink BREAK has had some success already, but it also attaches from the discard while doing a bit of damage; it might be able to just go back to attaching forcing you to keep attacking with Skarmory.  That probably won’t do you much good.  Those other two might, depending upon the deck.  In particular, I’ve run into two Solgaleo-GX (possibly more, as some with Cosmog and Cosmoem have lost with obviously incomplete setups).  Solgaleo-GX was used in some of these to attack multiple Double Dragon Energy to Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98), basic Darkness Energy to Darkrai-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 74/122, 118/122), and/or some Rainbow Energy to itself (its second attack does pack a punch).  One of these times, I was able to force the Energy laden Giratina-EX up front for a OHKO, plus use Enhanced Hammer to take out a Rainbow Energy attached to Solgaleo-GX; my opponent was quick to forfeit at that point.  The other time, I had a bad setup.  If you can’t deal with the massive amount of [D] Energy built-up on the Bench, this might be a viable new Darkrai-EX deck. 

Which means maybe Skarmory has a shot at being a counter to such a thing, but that is not only a niche usage but still unconfirmed.  It is better than nothing at all, though, for Standard and/or Expanded play.  A few older decks, though I’m not sure if they are considered competitive anymore, also tended to be Special Energy heavy and would field multiple Special Energy at the same time.  That could help this card out a bit.  You also have Dimension Valley so that Mew-EX or Mew (XY: Fates Collide 29/124) can copy and then use the attack for just [C].  For Limited play, it isn’t great but it’s good; while discarding Special Energy becomes even less important, being a decent sized Basic and not too terrible to work into your typical multi-Type Limited format deck is enough.  I’ll indulge in a little hypothetical, however; if Aerial Ace was priced at [CCC], or had higher base damage, then there would be enough notable Metal Weak Pokémon - any Fairy Type, Regice, Glaceon-EX - that it might be a worthwhile splash in certain decks for that as well. 


Standard: 1.75/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary: Though not much of a step up from yesterday, I believe this Skarmory is an improvement; mass Special Energy discard on a Basic that can attack for [CC] has some potential, even if it hits your side of the field at the same time.

I am experimenting with a new-ish approach to scheduling this week; sometimes we’ve done themed weeks, sometimes we’ve done weeks of cards of about the same caliber, but this week I’ve mixed it up.  When I made my top 10 list, I went through every card in the set and gave it a grade based on my initial impression.  Then I did it again.  We had our “F” card yesterday, while today’s was a D+, though the first time through I was way more impressed and gave it a C.  Based on my number grades, “D-” was probably a bit more accurate.  Still, that means we have a C range, a B range, and a surprise card left for this week (not necessarily in that order).

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