Flareon – SWSH
Date Reviewed: March 15, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Flareon (SW – Black Star Promos SWSH041) is a baseline Pokémon; not a Pokémon V, not a Rapid Strike Pokémon, not even a regional variant. It is part of an unusual Stage 1 evolution line, as Flareon evolves from Eevee, but Eevee can also evolve into Espeon, Glaceon, Leafeon, Jolteon, Sylveon, Umbreon, and Vaporeon. Plus, each of those as a GX-counterpart into which Eevee may also evolve. There’s even Eevee-GX, which can fake evolving into the preceding (except Eevee itself) through its Ability. This branching evolution line lets Flareon slip into a wider variety of decks, but you can still focus on just it, ignoring the rest.
Flareon is a Fire type, which is currently useful for smacking [R] Weak Metal types, like Zacian V. Heat [R] Energy is also an option for boosting HP. 110 HP is mediocre; enough to survive weaker attacks, but not anything remotely serious. 110 is well below 2HKO range. [W] Weakness isn’t too bad; unless SW – Battle Styles changes things, there aren’t a lot of competitive [W] decks, especially at higher levels of play. Even if there were, it just means attacks that do 60, 70, 80, 90, or 100 damage score a OHKO when they othewise wouldn’t. Not a good thing, but most serious attackers will OHKO Flareon before Weakness. For a similar reason, the lack of Resistance, while technically the worst, isn’t a problem. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is neither good nor bad.
Flareon knows two attacks. For [R] it can use “Singe” to Burn your opponent’s Active. Overpriced, but better than nothing; at least Flareon has a budget attack to lead with it you can’t reach its second attack right away. That second attack is “Kindle”, priced at [RRC]. It lets Flareon do 120 damage, but there’s an effect as well; you must discard an Energy from Flareon, and then you get to discard an Energy from your opponent’s Active (if there are any). 120 damage isn’t great, but for three Energy it isn’t bad. Discarding an Energy from your Active to discard one from your opponent’s is a solid deal as well. If the Energy discard does not slow your opponent down, odds are Flareon’s Energy is hitting the discard pile because your opponent is probably OHKOing it.
Of course, part of why I think Kindle is an adequate, maybe even a good, attack is because its Energy requirements are all Fire or Colorless, which means it may use Welder. An Eevee with no Energy attached can Evolve, then receive any one Energy from your manual Energy attachment, then get the remaining [RR] from Welder. You don’t even have to follow that order, ether. Eevee (XY – Furious Fists 80/111) and Eevee (Sun & Moon 101/149, 101a/149, SV41/SV94) have the Ability “Energy Evolution”. The short version is, if you manually attach a basic Fire Energy to this Eevee, you may immediately evolve into Flareon, from your deck. This includes your first turn, and even the very first turn of the game…
…so Flareon can be up and running Turn 2 (Player 2’s first turn). No, 120 damage is no longer a lot. It isn’t even reliable 2HKO range for the biggest Pokémon in the game. If Zacian V has Weakness Guard Energy or Coating [M] Energy attached, you won’t OHKO it but it will OHKO you. Even if Weakness is applied, should Zacian V be able to soak more than an extra 30 points of damage, it can still survive. Kindle does its damage, Weakness is applied, and then Kindle discards an Energy from Flareon and an Energy from the opponent’s Active. If you’re up against a Metal deck has one or both tricks plus healing, or you just need to use a weaker attacker for the follow-up KO, discarding your opponent’s Weakness-nullifying Energy can really help.
- Standard: 2/5
- Expanded: 2/5
Is Flareon the next big thing in Standard? Nope. I like it, but I don’t think it does quite enough to work. Is it the next big thing in Expanded? Nope; more competition versus more combos means it performs similarly there. Not that I’ve seen Flareon decks kicking around in either Format. Flareon offers a solid balance of damage and disruption, needing just a little something “more” to be worthwhile. Honestly, I don’t want it to be that much more powerful; maybe a better single-Energy attack, and preferably all Colorless Energy costs because Eeveelution decks are a thing. Plus, Kindle for [CCC] could use Triple Acceleration Energy, Twin Energy, etc. while still being compatible with Welder.
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