– SM171 Promo

Date Reviewed:
January 23, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.42
Expanded: 2.63
Limited: N/A

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

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Flareon-GX comes with three attacks that are designed to synergizes itself or with other Pokémon. Heat Stage is your main energy accelerator, doing 30 damage for R and letting you attach 3 Fire energies to any of your Pokemon. This could lead to Bright Flame, which does 190 damage for RRC while having to discard 2 Fire energies afterward. And Power Burner GX costs R and does 20 damage for each Fire energy in the discard pile. This attack would be great if the scaling is bigger, because I don’t see 15 energies in one deck too often. As with every Eeveelution card, it benefits with both Energy Evolution Eevee & Eevee-GX, while being able to add more types via Eeveelutions from XY Ancient Origins. And being a Fire Type also gets support from Sunny Day Lurantis. Again, this is another fun card to experiment with and should be the focus of a deck.


  • Standard: 2.75/5
  • Expanded: 3.25/5
  • Limited: N/A
21 Times Avatar

Flareon GX (SM 171) burns its way into the Standard format as a promo card.  This 210 HP Stage 1 Fire Pokemon has three attacks.  Its first attack, Heat Stage, does thirty damage and allows you to attach three Fire energy cards from your hand to any of your Pokemon.  Bright Flame, for two Fire and a Colorless attachments, does 190 damage, but then you have to discard two Fire energy from Flareon GX.  Finally, Power Burner GX does 20 damage times the number of Fire energy in your discard pile, so this potentially could hit for the increasingly important 200 plus range late in the game.

And it’s a Fire type, so you’re hitting Grass and Metal types for weakness, which combined have made up sixty of the 209 matches I’ve played so far this month (29%), so you’ll have the advantage in almost a third of the games you’ll play.  Still, I’m not as impressed by this card as I am Vaporeon GX, but it’s definitely better than Jolteon GX.  190 damage isn’t really enough, and discarding two of those three energy is extremely less than desirable.

I think that Flareon could see some play because 190 is a good amount of damage, and Heat Stage could potentially get a bunch of Fire energy on to the board in the first two turns with Energy Evolution Eevee.


Standard: 2.5 out of 5

Otaku Avatar

Flareon-GX (SM – Black Star Promos SM171) is the next “Eeveelution” on our review docket. I probably should have explained the term at the beginning of the week, but just in case it isn’t self-evident, it just refers to the various Pokémon that Evolve from Eevee, and maybe Eevee itself and any variants thereof like Eevee-GX. Branching Evolutions can offer a serious game advantage when they’re done right; you run one Stage 1 or Stage 2 line but could shift gears to a different final form! Now that it includes regular and GX-versions of Espeon, Flareon, Glaceon, Jolteon, Leafeon, Sylveon, Umbreon, and Vaporeon in the Expanded Format, and probably will sooner or later in Standard. The “-GX” suffix means cards like Flareon (XY – Ancient Origins 13/98) and Flareon-GX don’t crash into the 4-Card Rule; you could run up to four of both in one deck (not I see a reason for doing so in this particular case). Of course, you still only have so many Eevee from which to Evolve, even including Monday’s Eevee-GX and the oh-so-useful Ditto {*}, so there’s a good chance you won’t want to max out too many of your Eeveelutions unless the deck is truly focused on that specific Eeveelution.

Being a [R] Type means Flareon-GX has access to some great support… in Expanded. I’m blanking on [R] Pokémon-specific support which is worthwhile in Standard; everything I can think of is Expanded-only like Blacksmith, concerned with [R] Energy and not [R] Pokémon like Kiawe, or unproven in competitive play with [R] Types like Lurantis (SM – Black Star Promo SM25). There are some [R] Type-specific counters, but so far the only one you’re likely to run into is Parallel City and for its other effect of shrinking a player’s Bench. Being a Stage 1 means Flareon-GX takes up a bit more space and is a bit slower than a Basic, but many Stage 1 Pokémon function just fine regardless of this. Additionally, Eevee (Sun & Moon 101/149) or – in Expanded – Eevee (XY – Furious Fists 80/111) have the “Energy Evolution” Ability which triggers when you manually attach a basic Energy card from hand to that Eevee; you then get to search your deck for an Eeveelution and play it directly onto that Eevee. So if you’ve got a basic Fire Energy card, this simple combo lets Flareon-GX hit the field as quickly as a Basic Pokémon. Being a Pokémon-GX means Flareon-GX gives up an extra Prize when KO’d, can’t access certain beneficial effects, and is the target of certain detrimental effects. It also means Flareon-GX will likely have better stats and/or effects than it otherwise would have, including the coveted GX-attack.

210 HP is a good start to GX-status compensation; while typical of a Stage 1 Pokémon-GX, it is still big enough to soak a hit somewhat often. [W] Weakness means [W] Types only need to swing for 110 before Weakness (or 100 if Shrine of Punishment is on the field); with the new set just around the corner, I’m not sure exactly how often this will be a concern, but it still seems safer than [D], [Y], [F], [R], or [P] Weakness at the moment. No Resistance is typical, so even though any is better than none the vast majority of the time, it isn’t really hurting Flareon-GX. Anymore even a [CC] Retreat Cost can get stranded, so it hurts even though it still better than something higher. The “Heat Stage” attack costs [R] to do 30 damage and it lets you attach up to three [R] Energy cards to your Pokémon as you like. Attaching from the hand isn’t the best form of Energy acceleration, and only basic Fire Energy count as [R] while in hand so either you run a decent amount of those or you won’t reliably benefit from the attack’s effect, but as a single Energy attack that does 30 it is still good. Fiery Flint can even ensure you’ve got one Fire Energy to use the attack and another three for the attack’s effect.

“Bright Flame” requires [RRC] and also has Flareon-GX discard two [R] Energy from itself when used, but it delivers 190 damage, enough to OHKO most non-Pokémon-EX/GX, most Basic Pokémon-GX, and with a Choice Band many Stage 1 Pokémon-GX. Keeping it fueled can be a pain, but the silver lining is that you won’t have to on the turns where Flareon-GX gets KO’d. This isn’t an attack to build a deck around, but its a nice option to have. The final attack is “Power Burner-GX”, which only costs [R] and does 20 damage per [R] Energy in your discard pile. Once again, only basic Fire Energy cards count as [R] in the discard pile, but many [R] Energy using decks involve discarding [R] Energy to pay for beneficial effects; this often means higher-than-normal Energy counts AND Fire Energy cards hitting the discard pile quite rapidly. It isn’t much damage per Energy, but it does eventually hit some nice numbers. So, whether for a crazy early game attack or an easy finisher, this sounds like a good attack.

Now, let us try to put it all together. We’ve got a Stage 1 that can hit the field on your first turn, with a single Energy attack you’ll have to have paid for if you do get Flareon-GX into play on your first turn. That attack does a little damage plus a decent amount of Energy acceleration, and if some Energy acceleration (or just lead time) allows, Flareon-GX itself can probably fire off one solid blast good enough to OHKO many (but not all) probable targets. Late game, if you’re running a mono- or mostly [R] Type deck, the GX-attack becomes an easy, quick OHKO against many (possibly most) targets. As an alternative opening scheme, if your deck is capable of discarding massive amounts of [R] Energy rapidly, without then running out of Energy later, you could even go for the GX-attack during the early game. Sounds like a good (but not great) package. Here is why: as with yesterday’s Vaporeon-GX, Flareon-GX is a bit too focused on its own Typing to be a great fit for Eeveelution decks but I worry is too outclassed by other options for support a [R] Type deck particularly well.

To be specific, I don’t think Flareon-GX brings enough to the table to support its own deck or help something else reach its full potential, which means thinking of it in terms of existing [R] Type decks. Maybe Flareon-GX could resuscitate Ho-oh-GX decks, maybe it could slip into Blacephalon-GX decks as an alternate attack as well as alternate means of acceleration, but I’m not counting on the former or expecting the latter. Expanded basically shifts gears to a different Blacephalon-GX deck, one where Volcanion-EX can help pump up the damage… but it can’t do that for Flareon-GX because Volcanion-EX’s Ability only works with Basic [R] Type attackers. Flareon-GX would have good potential in the Limited Format, but it wasn’t released in a way that it could see Limited Format play.


  • Standard: 2/5
  • Expanded: 2/5
  • Limited: N/A

Flareon-GX seems a bit better than Vaporeon-GX, but both seem like they’re meant to help decks of their respective Types more than a general Eeveelution deck, without bringing the quality that would let them do the job better than the next-best-thing.

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