Shining Ho-Oh – Sun & Moon Promos SM70
November 8, 2017
Limited: Promo card
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Well okay, I didn’t quite mention him, since he’s SHINING Ho-oh, but close enough really.
Shining Ho-oh is…interesting, in his own way. His main attack is Fire Blast, a 4-for-110 move that discards an Energy from him…which is pretty bad. But then he’s also got Golden Wing as an Ability, which says if Shining Ho-oh gets KO’d by an attack, you can put 2 of the Basic Energy on him to one of your Benched Pokemon.
This feels like it’s an incentive to putting Energy onto Shining Ho-oh, as though you’re going to build towards Fire Blast, and then when you lose him, you don’t cry over the investment cause you get to put 2 Fire Energy on a Bench-sitter you’ve got, which would in turn become your new attacker. But that really assumes a lot out of you that they’d expect you’d put Energy on Shining Ho-oh for the insurance policy that Golden Wing provides, rather than to power up the Fire Blast attack that’s not that great to begin with. It gives off this mixed vibe of wanting to power up a bad Pokemon card to get the benefits off the good Ability.
…but then why not just play something that actually powers up your Pokemon faster rather than requires you to put stuff on it and get KO’d – thus giving your opponent a Prize – for an Ability that does the same thing?
Standard: 1.5/5 (he’s outclassed, frankly, and I don’t think he needs to be ran)
Expanded: 1.5/5 (it’s not something Fire decks need right now)
Limited: 3/5 (except those in a Limited format)
Arora Notealus: At least the Shiny Ho-oh is an awesome coloration, and it really makes me want to SEE MORE SHINIES IN THE CARD GAME!! But alas, then they wouldn’t be so rare in the first place.
Next Time: We take a step back to look at the tools of a format!
Shining Ho-Oh (SM Promo 70) is a 130 HP Basic fire Pokemon. It has one attack, Fire Blast, that does 110 damage but costs a whopping four energy (1 Fire, three Colorless) and requires you to discard an energy after usage. With a Choice Band (Guardians Rising, 121/145), and a couple of Steam Ups from Big Daddy Volcanion EX (Steam Siege, 26/114), this could actually reach 200 damage. For a single prize attacker, that’s pretty impressive. Not many single prize Pokemon can hit for that much damage.
Shining Ho-Oh also has a valuable ability as well. Golden Wing allows you to move two Basic Fire energy to your benched Pokemon in any way you’d like if Shining Ho-Oh is in the active position and is KO’d by damage from an attack. This will potentially allow you to string Fire Blasts across multiple turns, meaning you could hit for the high 100’s or even 200 damage across multiple consecutive turns. Like Shaymin’s (Shining Legends, 7/73) Rally Back the other day, I’m not sure that the Theorymon translates into Realitymon, and I haven’t tested this so I can’t attest to the consistency with which this chain of attacks might be possible, but it seems like it might work… that four Fire energy cost has Kiawe (Burning Shadows, 116/147) written all over it.
Standard: 2 out of 5
I have yet to come across Shining Ho-Oh in a match, and I haven’t tried it yet myself, so I can’t really speak to whether or not this Pokemon could potentially become a valuable part of a Fire box deck. It has potential, though, with its 130 HP and capability to OHKO Basic EX and GX Pokemon on possible consecutive turns.
Addendum: I actually JUST played a Quad Shining Ho-Oh Volcanion EX deck the morning of the publication of this review. I beat it, but I was playing a Ninetales GX (Guardians Rising, 22/145) and Ninetales (Burning Shadows, 28/147) deck. One key was that I was able to Ice Path one of the Ho-Ohs, so the Basic energy didn’t transfer. Also, I was able to pick off the Shining Ho-Ohs, leaving my opponent with no win condition against Baby Ninetales. I was also able to strand a Big Daddy Volcanion EX in the active with Counter Catcher (Crimson Invasion, 91/111). Overall, it looks like a decent deck, but I still think the Ho-Oh GX (Burning Shadows, 21/147) Turonator GX (Guardians Rising, 18/145) builds are better.
Shining Ho-Oh seems like a straightforward Pokemon for this card. A fire Pokemon with 130 HP, weak to Lightning, resist Fighting, and a retreat of two, it has an ability and an attack. Fire Blast does 110 for RCCC with the effect of discarding an energy attached to this Pokémon, leaving with three energy left. The Ability, Golden Wing, states that if this Pokémon was Active and is knocked out by damage from your opponent’s attack, you get to move two basic energies from this Pokémon to any of your Benched Pokemon.
So this card was meant to be put on the front dealing some damage before it eventually gets knocked out, prep a benched Pokemon or two, this saving/conserving two energies. It won’t work on Special Energies, which is unfortunate. In the end, I can’t see this card being used as much.
Limited: N/A (Promo card)
Notes: If Golden Wing included Special Energies, then I think this will see more value. Moving two Double Colorless Energy or even Counter Energy (especially this one, since your opponent will start to take the prize lead) would make your Benched Pokemon easily meet attack costs up to four units of energy. As it stands, Golden Wing is pretty balanced by restricting to just basic energies.
Shining Ho-Oh (SM: Black Star Promos SM70) is our featured card today. It is a Basic, Fire-Type Pokémon with 130 HP, Lightning Weakness, Fighting Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], the Ability “Golden Wing”, and the attack “Fire Blast”. Golden Wing triggers when this Pokémon is your Active and KO’d by damage from an opponent’s attack; you can move up to two basic Energy from the KO’d Shining Ho-Oh to your other Pokémon as you wish. Fire Blast costs [RCCC] and does 110 damage, plus you have to discard an Energy card from the Pokémon using this attack (usually Shining Ho-Oh). Not a lot of time, so I’ll be less detailed today, and not following my usual review order, either.
Golden Wing is probably the most important element; it may not seem like much, but if your opponent can’t work around this Ability, you’ll be able to come out two basic Energy attachments ahead; a good, solid bonus. Fire Blast is the next most relevant thing; most Fire decks aren’t going to attach Energy to something that isn’t at least a possible attacker. I’d prefer a bit more than 110 damage from a four Energy attack, especially one that requires I discard an Energy as well, but the cost is mostly Colorless, so it may be adequate. The most important thing is the Stage, with HP being a close second; the Ability means even a glass cannon might not be so bad. Being a Basic should make things easier, whether we want to stream several together or just need a single copy for odd jobs.
130 HP means we’re outside of glass cannon range; not OHKO range, but of rapid, reliable, repeated OHKO’s by typical competitive decks. Being a Fire-Type is the next important thing; it means some additional Energy acceleration and damage boosting options that should play nicely with the rest of what we’ve seen. Lightning Weakness finally matters; Fire-focused decks don’t mind having an attacker that lacks the usual Water Weakness associated with the Type. The Retreat Cost is low enough you can probably pay it but high enough you’re much better off with an alternative. We finally come to the Resistance, and while -20 damage doesn’t mean much, and the Fighting-Type isn’t currently a big deal, when it does become a factor odds are decent that surviving one 150-point hit instead of a 130 will be beneficial.
I can see three ways to make use of Shining Ho-Oh, and they definitely overlap. Though it isn’t easy finding room in a Volcanion-EX deck, Shining Ho-Oh naturally lends itself to the strategy. The “Steam Up” Ability of Volcanion-EX quickly brings the damage from Fire Blast into “relevant” range. 110 was already enough to set up a 2HKO most of the time; if you can manage four Steam Up with a Choice Band as well, only the usual exceptions survive being OHKO’d. That kind of setup does wonders for most cards, though; a little more relevant is a Choice Band and two uses of Steam Up taking out most things that aren’t Evolved Pokémon-EX/GX or protected. You’ll probably need a Kiawe or opening Volcanion (XY: Black Star Promos XY145; XY: Steam Siege 25/114) to open for Shining Ho-Oh in Standard play, though Double Colorless Energy plus Blacksmith takes it from zero to attacking in a single turn for the Expanded Format.
The second use for Shining Ho-Oh isn’t much different, but instead of just one to change-up Weakness and/or provide another solid single-Prize Fire-Type attacker, the goal is to stream them, with one fueling the next. The spare acceleration you’d want to pack to ensure you open with what you need also helps out when your opponent somehow interrupts the chain. You can just replace the usual Volcanion-EX build with this, as opposed to just slipping in one or two, but I can’t say I recommend it. You can focus on strategically trading single Prize attackers and avoiding most (maybe even all) two-Prize Pokémon; some disruption might make that stick. Splitting the difference, you could risk having just one or two Volcanion-EX in play, or settle for a lower damage cap but still avoid as many two-Prize targets in your deck by using Salazzle (SM: Guardians Rising 16/145).
A third, less obvious use is that, so long as you can meet that one [R] requirement, you can splash Shining Ho-Oh into any deck that accelerates basic Energy cards. My only example isn’t too likely to prove competitive, but if you’re using Venusaur (Shining Legends 3/73) you’re almost able to fuel Fire Blast with just two basic Energy cards: one Fire Energy and one Grass Energy, the latter providing [GG] thanks to “Jungle Totem”. You’ll still need a third (probably another Grass Energy) Energy, but if you know Shining Ho-Oh is about to go down, you can choose which Energy to ditch and pass either [RGG] or [GGGG] onto your next attacker!
This is another good, solid Pokémon card that… may never see any significant, competitive play. Yes, I gave it a three out of five, because it is that good. Actually, it is a bit better but competition from things like “baby” Volcanion or Ho-Oh-GX will probably keep this card from getting a shot. No score for the Limited Format, as this is a promo but if it were reprinted in a set, it would be a prime pull; a big Basic with a great (for Limited) Ability and attack. You wouldn’t run it solo but would splash it into pretty much any other deck.