Infernape – Ultra Prism
April 2, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
OKAY I’M DOING MYSELF A FAVOR AND GETTING AHEAD SO THAT I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WAKING UP MONDAY AND REALIZING I DIDN’T DO THIS FOR SOME REASON!! Trust me, this’ll be worth it, right?
Infernape is the card I briefly mentioned in Friday’s review, a Stage 2 Fire-Type, 130 HP, with a Water Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 1. His Ability Flaming Fighter is the Ability I brought up back then which increases the damage from Burn from 20 to 60 – at least for your opponent’s Pokemon – and his attack Burst Punch is a 2-for-50 move that automatically Burns the opponent.
You can see where the general design was going – you hit your opponent with Burst Punch and do 50 damage, plus 60 damage between turns for 110 total. If they Switch out or otherwise cure the Burn, you can hit them again for the same amount on your next turn, clocking up to 220 damage and KOing anything outside of some Stage 2 GX. Throw on a Choice Band, and you’re practically all set. Infernape here shows us a lot of potential and even boosts the power of cards like Turtonator that inflict Burn automatically with their attacks, and considering Burn’s effects have been changed since the start of the Sun & Moon era, it’s likely that this may even be the modified version of additional Poison damage.
The only major drawbacks to Infernape and any Burn-centered strategy come from two things, one of which being Infernape’s own weaknesses as a Stage 2. Despite so many years of new cards and new strategies, Stage 2s continue to suffer from the inherent flaws of relying on at least 3 cards to get to their level, meaning that they have to have an extremely powerful impact when they come into play to compare with Basics and even Stage 1s. In Infernape’s case, he’s centered around a particular Status Condition that you need to build your deck around to pull off as many times as you can, and part of the reason for that is because of the second problem with the strategy.
Burn as a Status Condition functions similarly to Poison, in that it can damage the opponent’s Pokemon, but one part that’s remained with the Condition even after the change at the start of the SM era is the coin flip. Before SM, the coin flip was what determined whether or not damage even happened, with Heads meaning nothing occurred while Tails dealt out the 20 damage, making it an inconsistent version of Poison. Now though the coin flip is used to determine whether or not the Pokemon is cured of their Burn, meaning now that while you’re guaranteed the 20 damage (or with Infernape on the field, 60 damage), you won’t always have that Burn on the Pokemon to keep stacking on the damage between turns, not including the numerous ways to get rid of Status Conditions such as Switching, evolving, etc.
Infernape does make Burn-based strategies more powerful and more dangerous, but these inherent flaws in the strategy – with Infernape being a Stage 2 and Burn being a bit inconsistent itself – are some big problems that will plague the deck for as long as it remains a thing. It’s not that Infernape is bad or has poor damage output, but it’s that level of inconsistency that may prevent him from achieving a perfect form. However, considering that his damage output can be quite substantial with the Burn damage boost, it’s not unlikely for him to steal a game from someone, and with allies like Turtonator around, it’s possible that any deck that’s not prepared to feel the Burn is…well, gonna get Burned.
…puns are hard, guys.
Standard: 2.5/5 (a pretty good pick for a Burn deck, though it will have some problems)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (might have some competition from Volcarona, who is a Stage 1 with a weaker version of its Ability, but overall I do think Infernape is the better variant to go with – even if the strategy doesn’t match up as well to HTLBank)
Limited: 3.5/5 (if you’re able to get all the pieces though, Infernape can be an absolute nightmare in Limited)
Arora Notealus: Infernape has a lot of promise as a card, and I do think that Burn is better off now with the change than before. Poison is more consistent overall, but there haven’t been as many Poison Status effects in Standard for a while, or at the very least no easy means of achieving it like in Expanded with HTL. Between the two Conditions, you might vouch for Poison more, but I think it’ll be cards like Infernape that can make Burn more viable overall.
Side Review: Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX – I didn’t actually review this card back then, but I do find that, compared with Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX, it doesn’t have as much utility. It’s essentially a modern-day Black Kyurem-EX, substituting Black Ballista with the more powerful Meteor Tempest and tacking on an extra GX Attack that is guaranteed a KO once per game. The biggest issue is getting 3 Energy to cycle back each turn, and while Black Kyurem-EX could only rely on Blastoise and draw Supporters like Juniper to get the Energy, Dusk Mane has the benefit of Magnezone, draw Supporters like Cynthia, and a Stadium in Mt. Coronet, boosting its overall consistency. As much as I prefer Dawn Wings over this, I also can’t deny the overall power and consistency of Black Ballista 2.0.
Next Time: Restylizing an older mon to have…extremely different utility!
Infernape (SM Ultra Prism 23/156) makes another appearance on the TCG scene after it’s previous appearance in Steam Siege. A Stage 2 Fire type with 130 HP, weak to water, and a retreat cost of one, it has an ability and an attack. It’s ability is called Flaming Fighter, and it places six damage counters on your opponent’s Pokemon between turns instead of two. Burst Punch does 50 damage for RC, and also places a Burned Special Condition on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
Flaming Fighter seems to be an incentive to try and make it work, so the objective would be to actually inflict burn in the first place, and to try to stay burned. Well, Infernape has good synergy due to it’s attributes. There’s also Wela Volcano Park from Japanese’s Dragon Storm subset that makes Burned Pokemon remain burned between turns even if they flipped heads. Problem is, moving a Burned Pokemon to the Bench gets rid of that special condition, and bounce cards also undo the damage you dealt with.
Unfortunately, I’ll let the others speak of this card’s usefulness since I’m experiencing reviewer’s block once again. All I can say is that Infernape has a good ability, and it’s attack synergies well. If it works, then there may be a deck that focuses on the Burn Special Condition.
Notes: As a side note, while I was surfing around the internet, I did encounter a card named Faba from Champion’s Road, and someone told me that it has an identical effect of Colress. If that holds true, then we may be able to enjoy this effect once again.
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