– Unbroken Bonds
August 20, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
As if we needed to hear more about Reshiram & Charizard-GX and how powerful the deck is, now we’ve got even MORE tools for them to use just as it’s losing a few of its own!
Heatran-GX is a Basic Fire Pokemon-GX, 190 HP, with a Water Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. Burning Road lets you attach a bunch of your Fire Energy from your other Pokemon onto Heatran-GX when he becomes the Active Pokemon, which is pretty useful for fueling up his attacks. Steaming Stomp is a 3-for-130 that has a lot less to do with steam and more about lighting your foot on fire – preferably with the Fire Energy you’ve attached to your Heatran-GX – and then proceeding to smash it down angrily or in a total frenzied panic on the opponent’s side of the table before the paramedics and the police get you out of there and ask you a lot of questions. For some of these questions, Hot Burn GX isn’t a great answer, but for whatever your opponent is playing, it can be great since it deals 50 damage times the total amount of Fire Energy attached to Heatran-GX, assuming you didn’t actually burn it all off with Steaming Stomp.
Needless to say, Heatran-GX makes for a great backup attacker with Reshiram & Charizard-GX, letting you swap out the Tag Team in favor of not dying immediately and letting you still hit for a sizable amount of damage on a slightly smaller body – remember that Tag Team GX cost 3 Prizes when KO’d rather than the normal 2 Prizes of regular GX. Being able to quickly power itself up to finish off whatever Reshiram & Charizard-GX or whatever you were using to attack with, that’s all pretty good though! A quick Hot Burn GX out of nowhere can still help out with destroying an opposing Pokemon without any trouble.
Expect to see Heatran-GX in Fire decks going forward, especially the big Reshiram & Charizard-GX deck. It’s going to insert a fire pun here!
Standard: 3.5/5 (strong in its own right, better in certain situations)
Expanded: 3.5/5 (ideally being pushed with lots of Energy on board already to allow Burning Road to take full advantage)
Limited: 5/5 (definitely hard to compete with a consistently powerful vanilla move)
Arora Notealus: Fun facts! I actually had Heatran-GX up on my list around #9, though I think I wasn’t accounting for Reshiram & Charizard-GX to be so…prominent. Apparently they’ve been dominating the scene, no surprise with that Outrage attack, but it’s going to be interesting to say the least to see where Heatran-GX goes from here. Maybe he’ll form his own deck once Reshiram & Charizard-GX rotate out of Standard…except he can’t, cause they’d rotate out in the same year…huh…
Next Time: Out of the depths of space, something mysterious comes beaming down…
Some effects from this card seems familiar to other Pokémon, mostly Burning Road. This ability states that if you moved Heatran-GX from the Bench to the Active, then you may move any number of Fire energies from your other Pokémon to this Pokémon. And while getting these energies loaded up on one Pokémon is nice, what matters the most is it’s attacks.
Steaming Stomp does a plain 130 damage for RRC without effects. This won’t 2HKO most Tag Teams, and Choice Band won’t be there to help. With Pokémon V around the corner, it might be 3HKO at best. Hot Burn GX might be the reason why it has good synergy with the ability, except that you can only use one GX attack per game. It may cost a single Fire energy, but the more you attach it, the more damage it’ll do. 50x is decent; to OHKO anything in the game, you’ll need six energies, which isn’t hard to acquire due to not only it’s ability, but also Welder and other fire based support.
I can’t think of anything else to recommend. There are other better Fire attackers like Blacephalon (both GX and non-GX) that showed up at Worlds, and even placed 1st place. As such, looks like Heatran-GX can only be enjoyed in Limited (whose pre-release is long gone) even though it might take a couple turns to attack.
Oh, and this week’s Throwback Thursday features one of my favorite cards, and I have pictures taken on both physical and digital. Stay tuned!
Note: Apparently the review of Mewtwo & Mew-GX had 1600+ views! I have never seen a Pokémon COTD with this many views until that card. Must be good timing when the 2019 World Championships just happened a few days ago.
Heatran-GX (SM – Unified Minds 25/236, 216/236, 238/236) has three key things going for it:
#1 means Heatran-GX is comparatively easy to fit into decks and both easy and fast to field. #3 is “Hot Burn-GX”; it can be used for as little as [R] (the printed cost), but it does 50 damage per [R] Energy attached to the attacking Pokémon, so [RR] means 100 damage, [RRR] means 150 damage, etc. #2 combos quite nicely with number three. Heatran-GX has another attack, “Steaming Stomp”, which costs [RRC] to do 130. This is reasonably good, but mind how many Prizes the opponent’s Active is worth when trading KO’s; two Heatran-GX are usually not worth one Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, for example.
#2 is “Burning Road”, an Ability you can use when you promote Heatran-GX from your Bench to your Active position during your turn. Yes, it has to be during your turn, so you cannot activate it if your opponent forces Heatran-GX into the Active position on their turn, or if you promote Heatran-GX after your former Active is KO’d during your opponent’s turn or between turns. Though, if your Active is somehow KO’d during your own turn, then Burning Road could be used. It is also worth noting that it works with any source of [R] Energy; basic Fire Energy, Burning Energy, or any of the Special Energy cards that provide multiple Energy Types while in play (and one of those Types is [R]). In all cases, you’ll need some [R] Energy already in play or Burning Road is meaningless.
The rest of Heatran-GX does matter, but it is those three that I think distinguish it. Being a Pokémon-GX may have shifted to being a slight advantage since rotation due to Cherish Ball, loss of Choice Band, and TAG TEAM Pokémon being the primary attackers of most top decks. 190 HP is adequate for a non-TAG TEAM Basic Pokémon-GX. [W] Weakness might be one of the better (less bad?) ones right now, based on what we saw at Worlds. No Resistance is the worst Resistance but also rarely matters. A Retreat Cost of [CCC] is a pain to pay and reduces the usefulness of Burning Road (when going from Heatran-GX to Heatran-GX).
Heatran-GX is probably worth a spot in your Expanded Format [R] decks; there are better attackers, but as long as your deck also has room for cards like Acerola, AZ, Max Potion, etc. you can use it to heal up a better attacker while still keeping your [R] Energy in play, and on a decent attacker… or, if you can spare your GX-attack, a great attacker. Heatran-GX remains potent in the Limited Format, but probably not in the typical Mulligan build. Burning Road requires you have other Pokémon in play, with [R] Energy attached; you could still do the Mulligan build, but I worry Heatran-GX will be KO’d before it takes four Prizes. Just about any other deck that runs at least some basic Fire Energy can utilize Heatran-GX quite well, denying an opponent a Prize while keeping up the offense.
Heatran-GX would have been our 15th-place pick if our SM – Unified Minds countdown hadn’t been only a Top 11, and Heatran-GX did showed up in multiple [R] decks at Worlds; including the 2nd-place Blachephalon-GX/Naganadel deck and 4th-place Reshiram & Charizard-GX deck. It is showing up as a one-or-two-of in those kinds of decks, but I’m not actually bummed it missed out on the actual Top 11; it didn’t make my personal list because [R] decks have so much other support that, if Heatran-GX wasn’t here, I don’t think they’d be that much worse off, and there were so many stronger (or at least more metagame defining) cards in SM – Unified Minds.
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