Cinderace – Chilling Reigns
June 23, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Cinerace (SW – Chilling Reign 028/198; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH112) is our 10th-Place pick. It has a lot going for it. As a [R] type, Cinderace hits for double damage (due to Weakness) against most [G] and [M] types, with Zacian V making the latter quite relevant. Its 170 HP is great for a single Prize Pokémon, at least while we’re still in overlapping generations. Being a Single Strike Pokémon grants access to Houndoom (SW – Battle Style 096/163, 179/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH090) and Single Strike Energy, for both Energy acceleration and a damage bonus. [W] Weakness isn’t the worst, but it is definitely a concern. No Resistance is the worst, but also the norm. A Retreat Cost of [C] is easy to pay.
How about card effects? Let’s start with the attack: “Fireball Shot” costs [RC] and does 150 damage. Its effect states that Cinderace (literally “this Pokémon”) can’t attack during your next turn. The wording is such that you can reset this effect through Benching then Cinderace then returning it to your Active spot. The cost is low enough that with a modest effort, you should be able to ready it in a single turn at least a few times during a match. The damage is good for two Energy, but not-so-good when it comes to clearing key HP thresholds. You need to boost the damage to 2HKO all but the smallest Pokémon VMAX… which wouldn’t be so bad but 2HKOing is all you’re doing against anything with 150 to 290 HP. Yeah, in the mirror match, Cinderace couldn’t OHKO itself.
The answer to this is the Ability, and maybe being a Single Strike Pokémon. “Crisis Power” says this Cinderace’s attack’s do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active per Prize card your opponent has taken. That’s before Weakness and Resistance are applied. If your opponent takes just one Prize, that means Fireball Shot can now 2HKO anything lacking defensive buffs, and can OHKO Dedenne-GX and Crobat V. Your opponent having taken 2 Prizes means Cinderace can OHKO most Basic Pokémon V and smaller targets. All the way up to the extreme of Fireball Shot doing 300 damage if your opponent is down to their last Prize (assuming a typical 6 Prize game). Single Strike Energy can easily add another 20, maybe even 40 damage to that range.
Here’s the catch: Cinderace is a Stage 2 Pokémon. Not only that, but so far all versions of Scorbunny and Raboot are filler. Cinderace would be insane as a Basic, or at least, pretty good. Still pretty good, or at least competent, as a Stage 1. As a Stage 2, now you’re investing enough time and cards into it that its 170 HP goes from kind of durable to kind of low. Not in terms of printed HP scores on Stage 2 Pokémon, but functionality. The hit you take to resources is can be as valuable as the two Prizes given up by something like Dedenne-GX or Crobat V. A Cinderace deck needs to keep attacking, rare missing on KOs. If it whiffs, you’re down a Prize and probably a Cinderace, racing to get the next one prepped.
Cinderace is not a bad card. I expect to at least get its own budget deck. Maybe even a competitive single-Prize deck. I just don’t think it will rise to the top. Hence leaving it off of my Top 15 list. I did at least consider it, though.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Looks like we have another Fire type on the countdown, this time being a baseline Pokémon instead of a VMAX: Cinderace from Chilling Reign, the 10th best card of the set. A Single Strike Stage 2 Fire type with 170 HP, water weakness, and a retreat cost of one, it has an ability and an attack. Crisis Power is an ability that makes Cinderace deal 30 extra damage for each prize card your opponent has taken. Fireball Shot costs RC for 150 damage, which the clause of not being able to attack on your next turn, though it can be circumvented by retreating or switching.
So Cinderace is designed to mostly be a late game Pokemon, but it can still do good damage. Single Strike Energy may not provide Fire Energies, but it does makes Cinderace deal 20 extra damage, and one of its attacks can be met by one of any energy. Until Welder leaves the format, this provides a way to get Cinderace go from zero into attacking. Assuming your opponent is down to their last prize, Cinderace will deal 150 extra damage on top of its already 150 base damage from Fireball Shot.
So, Cinderace is another baseline card that could deal 300 damage (or more if Single Strike energy is attached) if a certain condition is met. This could be better than the Sword & Shield version, where the damage caps at 190 via Flare Striker, and that it’s Libero ability conserves Fire Energies. It’s a matter of what kind of investment is better:
-whether it’s worth it for your opponent to take five prizes (with the risk of abilities offline), or…
-dumping four copies of Leon for Charizard’s Royal Blaze to deal 300 damage regardless of Prize Count, and doesn’t get shut down even if abilities are offline.
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