– Champion’s Path
October 6, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We’ve done a lot of debatable things in this countdown, like lead-in reviews for Basic Pokémon V of the Pokémon VMAX we’ve reviewed, and honorable mentions seemingly punctuating things at random, but the most controversial has got to be that Alteria (Champion’s Path 049/073) is our 3rd-Place pick.
This isn’t a joke, or clickbait; I’ll explain why I believe Altaria to be overrated, but let’s run through the entire card first. Altaria lacks any specialty mechanics like being an Ultra Beast or Prism Star card, and is only worth one Prize when KO’d. It is a Colorless Pokémon, so neither Weakness nor Resistance is going to matter, and you can tap Powerful [C] Energy for a damage bonus. As a Stage 1, Altaria must evolve from a Swablu and all of them are… filler. Still, being a Stage 1 is decent. Its 110 HP is not, but neither is it horrible. You’re more likely to be OHKO’d than not, but at least you’re out of the range of most supporting attacks. [L] Weakness is not currently a problem (contrary to my predictions), and any Resistance is appreciated, even if there aren’t a huge amount of Fighting decks right now. A Retreat Cost of [C] is good; easy to pay and recover from having paid. Most of the time, anyway.
Altaria has the Ability “Miraculous Charm”, which prevents all damage done to it by attacks from your opponent’s Pokémon V and Pokémon-GX. This is the same effect as the “Deep Forest Cameo” Ability of Decidueye (SW – Darkness Ablaze 013//189; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH035). Decidueye is part of a winning deck, so that bodes well for Altaria. For [CC], Altaria can use “Speed Dive” to do 60 damage. This is so-so, but it might be enough as long as you can hide behind Miraculous Charm. Twin Energy, Welder, etc. can cover Speed Dive with ease. As a Stage 1, Altaria is easy to work into a variety of decks. So… why isn’t this card higher (lower?) on our countdown?
The HP and the damage output. If you just want to run Altaria as a wall, you have a problem; any supporting Pokémon which is not a Pokémon-GX or V just needs 110 damage to score the OHKO. Like I said, that isn’t super fragile, but it isn’t that hard to accomplish. Decidueye is much more demanding to run, but it has a better attack and the HP so that it becomes tricky to OHKO for a lot of decks. In the Expanded Format, Altaria is much more vulnerable; more ways to boost damage, more ways to shutdown Abilities, and more strong attackers that are not Pokémon-GX or V. Unless you’re running a mulligan deck in the Limited Format, include Altaria; it is insurance for your opponent who did pull a Pokémon V and is running it in a Mulligan deck. Not that you’re likely to get the chance with this set’s distribution.
Altaria is a good card, maybe even a very good one, but not a great one. Then again, the few non-Pojo lists for Champion’s Path I’ve seen have it as an easy 1st-Place, so I may be overestimating how easy it is to OHKO. Overall, though, it feels very much like most of this countdown; a good card, but not a great card.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!