Pojo's Pokemon Card Reviews, news, tips, strategies and more!

Pick Up Our New 20th Anniversary Pokemon Book for your Collection!

Pokemon Home


Price Guide Set List

Message Board

Pokemon GO Tips

Pokemon News

Featured Articles

Trading Card Game
- Price Guide
- Price Guide
- Card of the Day
- Professional Grading
- Killer Deck Reports
- Deck Garage
- William Hung
- Jason Klaczynski
- Jeremy's Deck Garage
- Johnny Blaze's Banter
- TCG Strategies
- Rulings Help
- Apprentice & Patch
- Apprentice League
- Spoilers & Translations
- Official Rules
- Featured Event Reports
- Top of the World
- An X-Act Science
- Error Cards
- Printable Checklist
- Places to Play

Nintendo Tips
- Red/Blue
- Yellow
- Gold & Silver
- Crystal
- Ruby & Sapphire
- Fire Red & Leaf Green
- Emerald
- Pinball
- TCG cart
- Stadium
- PuPuzzle League
- Pinball: Ruby/Sapphire
- Pokemon Coliseum
- Pokemon Box
- Pokemon Channel

GameBoy Help
- ClownMasters Fixes
- Groudon's Den
- Pokemon of the Week

E-Card Reader FAQ's
- Expedition
- Aquapolis
- Skyridge
- Construction Action Function
- EON Ticket Manual

Deck Garage
- Pokemaster's Pit Stop
- Kyle's Garage
- Ghostly Gengar

- Episode Listing
- Character Bios
- Movies & Videos
- What's a Pokemon?
- Video List
- DVD List

Featured Articles

Pojo's Toy Box

Books & Videos


Advertise With Us
- Sponsors


About Us
Contact Us

Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
May 1, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.00
Expanded: 2.00
Limited: 3.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Arcanine's a very simple card. So this is a simple review! 

Soaring Flames is alright, but 3-for-60 is expensive even for an attack that delivers Burn. And while there are ways to fuel Firestorm's impressive 4-for-190 cost, the discard is really heavy for what is a Stage 1 with 130 HP. Not to mention if the next set is going to impact the meta and put more emphasis on Water decks, it's not going to go well for Arcanine. 

Probably a pass in most cases, but he might be decent in the right build. 


Standard: 2/5 (he's okay, but not great or exceptional) 

Expanded: 2/5 (he might do well with the right cards) 

Limited: 3/5 (but that really demands the right deck) 

Arora Notealus: I wonder if Arcanine ever lived up to his name and became "Legendary." Even in the card game. Like was he ever worthy of note? Who knows? 

Next Time: How're you doing?


Arcanine (Sun & Moon, 22/149) returns in the Sun & Moon base set.  A Stage 1 Fire type Pokemon with 130 HP, Arcanine has two attacks.   For one Fire energy and two Colorless energy, Searing Flame does 60 damage and then the opponent’s active Pokemon is burned.  The other attack, Firestorm, does a very impressive 190 damage, but costs three Fire and 1 Colorless energy.  Also, after playing Firestorm, you need to discard three Fire energy off of Arcanine.

Unfortunately, I played five matches with Arcanine and had no success.  I paired it with Volcanion (Steam Siege, 25/114), but I had significant difficulty just trying to be competitive.  In five matches, I never even got to the point where I could even use Firestorm.  I will say that in four of the five matches my opponents in PTCGO had the advantage, and in the fifth match neither of us had the advantage.  I also faced strong decks in all five matches.  I played against Mega Mewtwo EX (Breakthrough, 64/162), Volcanion EX (Steam Siege, 107/114), Darkrai EX (Breakpoint, 118/122), Lapras GX (Sun & Moon, 35/149), and Espeon GX (Sun & Moon, 140/149).  So we need to keep that in mind – Arcanine was completely overmatched in all of these games… but at the same time, it was completely overmatched in all of these games.  We’ll give Arcanine a little bit of a break because it went up against such strong competition, but the fact is that it’s just not a very good card, and I think it will struggle against all of the good decks out there right now.


Standard: 1.5 out of 5


While Arcanine would appear to have a couple of decent attacks, the cost of powering up these attacks makes it difficult for him to compete against the best decks in the format.


Arcanine (Sun & Moon 22/149) is a Fire Type, allowing it to score double damage against most Grass Types and nearly all Metal Types (due to their Fire Weakness).  The best Fire Type support right now is Blacksmith (Expanded-only) and the “Steam Up” Ability found on Volcanion-EX (but that only helps Basic Pokémon).  While there are other bits, including some very nice Basic attackers, dedicated [R] Energy acceleration, etc. most of it still works best with Volcanion-EX.  There are some anti-Fire Type effects, but other Parallel City (usually played for its other effect), you aren’t likely to encounter them in competitive play.  Arcanine is a Stage 1, so while it isn’t as fast or cost efficient as a Basic Pokémon, it beats out all other Stages, and may still be competitively viable.  Just don’t forget to adjust for Stage-specific or Evolution-specific support and counters; I’d couldn’t think of a good use for any of the pieces specific to Stage 1 Pokémon.  Arcanine has 130 HP, enough I believe it is more likely to survive a hit than not, but by a small enough margin, I wouldn’t count on it.  Water Weakness shifts that to an almost guaranteed OHKO, as Weakness usually does.  Arcanine has no Resistance; expected and yet still a bit disappointing.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] is low enough you can probably afford it but high enough you’re better off if you can work around it. 

Arcanine has two attacks.  The first is “Searing Flame” for [RCC], which does 60 damage while Burning the opponent’s Active, so an effective 80 damage for three, with an ever-diminishing chance of extra damage.  Not great, but not bad.  For [RRRC] Arcanine can unleash “Firestorm” to do 190 damage, but you have to discard three [R] from itself.  Factoring in the discard cost, this is another attack that isn’t great, but neither is it bad.  190 damage scores a OHKO against almost anything that isn’t an Evolved Pokémon-GX, a Mega Evolution, protected by an effect, or enjoying boosted HP.  That sounds great but remember that Basic Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX are still a major presence and may use Fighting Fury Belt to simultaneously boost their damage output by 10 while their HP goes up by 40… usually enough to endure a hit from Firestorm.  One also needs to remember that Basic Pokémon that are not Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX are usually less resource intensive than Arcanine, but may still be able to OHKO it back.  Fire Storm has some real potential, but you’ll need a deck that uses it well and compensates for the drawbacks of Arcanine. 

As I am running behind, I am not going to address every card directly related to Arcanine.  I will cover the ones I think are most relevant.  For Growlithe, none are particularly good, but I favor Growlithe (XY: Evolutions 17/108).  It is a Basic, Fire Type Pokémon with 70 HP, Water Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC] and two attacks.  70 HP is the lower of the two HP scores we see on Expanded and Standard legal Growlithe, but I think it has the most useful attack on them: “Hind Kick” costs [C] and does 10 damage, but the main thing is that it then sends Growlithe to your Bench.  Unless we run something like Shrine of Memories or Celebi-EX, so Arcanine may use the attacks of Growlithe, “Hind Kick” seems to be the only attack that realizes Growlithe is there to Evolve.  One or two others might help with setup, but not realistically due to the pacing of the game: Growlithe is getting KO’d if it remains Active after attacking.  Growlithe (XY: Evolutions 17/108) may also use “Flare” for [RC] to do 20 damage, but Hind Kick is why I decided to actually mention this Growlithe.

For other Arcanine, we are only going to look at Evolutions 18/108.  It has the same stats as today’s Arcanine (Sun & Moon 22/149) but with the Ability “Burning Road” and the attack “Scorching Breath”.  The former triggers whenever this Arcanine moves from the Bench to the Active position; you may any [R] Energy attached to your Pokémon to this Arcanine.  That can be a handy trick, as it allows you to quickly power-up this Arcanine albeit at the cost of Energy already in play.  Scorching Breath costs [RRRC], the same as Firestorm, but does less damage with a different drawback: 150 instead of 190, and Arcanine (or whatever used Scorching Breath) cannot attack the next turn, instead of having to discard Energy from itself.  I’d rather have to deal with that effect than replace [RRR], as there are multiple workarounds for it, but 150 damage doesn’t hit as many key HP scores.  The good news is that it should 2HKO almost everything in the game, but most competitive cards it can OHKO could be taken out with a less costly attack.  You can combo it with other cards to increase its OHKO range, but the same effort has a better yield elsewhere.

Finally, let us consider Arcanine BREAK.  As the BREAK Evolution of a Stage 1, it functions like a Stage 2 without the perks.  It remains a Fire Type and has 160 HP with the attack “Turbo Flame” which costs [RC], does 80 damage, and attaches two basic Energy cards from your discard pile to one of your Benched Pokémon.  It will also retain access to the effects, Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost of the underlying Arcanine.  While this increases the resources invested, 160 HP is noticeable sturdier and Turbo Flame does solid damage while fueling your next attacker.  So do I have a deck with any of these?  Unfortunately, no; I don’t have the cards on the PTCGO and even if I did, I didn’t leave myself enough time to test.  This is another review of pure Theorymon, but there is just enough here I would like to test the deck… except SM: Guardians Rising is slated to help Water Type decks in a big way with Aqua Patch.  If you already have the needed cards, give it a whirl while you can.  Otherwise, this card will only be worthwhile in Limited play, where even an opponent’s lucky-pull Basic Pokémon-GX has to fear being OHKO’d.  Just remember that you’ll need to invest some extra Energy and alternate between Searing Flame and Firestorm, as you won’t have the combos to constantly refuel Firestorm.


Standard: 2.25/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 


If you read some of our older CotDs, I’d been waiting for this Arcanine probably isn’t going to prove useful anytime soon.  The package is reasonably solid, but it was released in a format of hard hitting decks and/or Item lock, and likely we’ll be awash in reinvigorated Water decks.  I’m not really expecting anything out of this card in the immediate future, and its long-term prospects aren’t great either… just not abysmal.

Copyright© 1998-2017 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.
Pokémon card reviews - Pokemon Set Reviews