– Ultra Prism
April 25, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
I think it’s a great thing when you can take a Status Condition and improve upon it in some way, whether it’s in the consistency of it sticking around, the ability to abuse an effect and have it come into play faster, or even just alter its properties to be better off than they were before. So you know, I like new Burn over old Burn.
Magmortar is a Stage 1 Fire Pokemon, 130 HP, with a Water Weakness, no Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 3. His Ability Incandescent Body says that if he’s Active and damaged by an opponent’s attack, they get Burned. He’s also got Fire Blaster, a 3-for-80 that gives you the option to discard 2 Energy from him to deal an additional 80 damage. Must be nice not spending Burning Energy when you don’t have to.
There’s definitely a lot to work with, but the main appeal is that Burn will at least deal 20 damage, meaning that if Magmortar discards for Fire Blaster, he can KO most any Basic EX/GX in the game. That’s a pretty nifty little combo in and of itself, and with an extra boost from something like Choice Band or Infernape from this set, it can even do more against higher HP. The problem though comes from the assumption that your opponent would knowingly and willingly attack into this Ability – and if they’re doing that, they’re at least aiming to OHKO it if anything.
Magmortar does barely fall out of line to getting one-shot by a lot of things without some extra effort, but it doesn’t really incentivize running it wholly for its Ability either. It’s a cute trick to be sure, but it’s not something that I think a competitively-minded player would look at and say this is worth it. Fun for a casual deck though, combined with Infernape especially!
Standard: 2/5 (relying on your opponent to KO themselves isn’t easy to get)
Expanded: 2/5 (Burning Energy can help mitigate the cost for Fire Blaster)
Limited: 3.5/5 (at least Fire Blaster has high damage output too)
Arora Notealus: These kinds of bundled concepts – the idea that a Pokemon with an Ability or attack that feeds into the other attack – is pretty neat on paper, and it’s a nice way of promoting variety in card design, but it’s also just not always effective. Setting something up for a 2HKO in a format that tailors itself around OHKOs isn’t always the greatest thing, for instance, but if the format shifts into a slower pace, then even these kinds of Pokemon can be viable. Magmortar is on that level of viability, but he does require the opponent to do action as well to benefit the most.
Side Review: Looker/Looker Whistle – another good example of bundled concepts, Looker Whistle searching out copies of Looker is great in that it gets you a card you’d want in your hand while also letting you potentially play it, getting even more cards to your hand. On their own, though, they’re nothing special, and having a Looker in your deck just doesn’t meet the same standards as a card like say, Cynthia in terms of sheer draw power.
Next Time: Before the thunder, there was the lightning…
Magmortar (UP 19) flared back into the meta for the first time in the Sun & Moon era in the Ultra Prism expansion set. This Stage 1 130 HP Fire type has an ability Incandescent Body that Burns Pokemon that attack it. It also has a decent attack Fire Blaster that costs three Fire Energy but does base eighty damage. It also provides you with the option of doing eighty more damage if you discard two of the three attached energy cards.
I paired Maggie here with Salazzle (UP 26) from the other day to see if there might be some synergy between them. I definitely had more success than last week, going 5 W 5 L with this duo. In full disclosure, three of the wins were against decks that were weak to me (one Grass two Metal), so it really went 2 W 5 L against decks where it didn’t have a weakness advantage (I also did not face any Water decks either).
They did actually pair fairly well together. At the beginning of the game, if you lead Salazzle, you can Panic Poison your opponent. If you lead Magmortar, you can just give him up and bring up a Salazzle after your first Magmortar gets KO’d. I also used both regular Fire energy and Burning energy too, and I ran four Wishful Batons in hope of being able to carry energy onto the next attacker. Even in the games where it didn’t have weakness advantage, it did pretty well and was at least somewhat competitive in most matches. The other two wins were against Quad Hoopa and Espeon GX decks. Overall, it went 2 W 2 L against meta decks. I didn’t count either of the Metal decks (both DM Necrozma Magnezone) or the Grass deck (Lurantis GX Golisopod GX) as meta decks.
So if you have a Fire challenge on PTCGO, I recommend giving this combo a try, you might be pleasantly surprised by it.
Standard: 2.5 out of 5
You’re going to come across plenty of decks that are weak to Fire. 37 of the 271 matches I’ve played this month (13 percent) have been weak to Fire, so just by showing up with a Fire deck, you’re going to get an autowin about once every seven or eight matches. You’re also streaming single prize Pokemon, so you’re making your opponent work for the victory, so you’ll be able to outlast them from time to time. They’re also non GX Pokemon, so Hoopa can’t wall them either. This deck isn’t going to win Sao Paulo this weekend, but it’s not dreadful either.
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