|11/06/2007, 10:31 PM||#3|
I like Ho-Oh, it's a very workable card, especially in Garchomp decks. Granted, the damage he's doing isn't exactly the best (80 if you have 4 different energies to pay for the attack initially, maxes at what, 140?), but his Poke-Power is what makes him interesting. If Ho-Oh were to be KOed during your opponent's turn from an attack, you get to flip a coin. If Heads, you get to keep Ho-Oh and all his energies out on the field (though your opponent still takes a prize). This self-reviving mechanism is great if you can flip Heads, and allows Ho-Oh to continue his rampage. X2 Weakness to Water is bad with the Empoleon and Feraligatr decks running about, but he does have a nice Resistance to Fighting. He also has a Retreat Cost of 2, but ideally you won't be retreating him often anyways.
Modified - 7/10 (Has potential, but will not likely see much play till Garchomp Lv X comes out)
Limited - 8/10 (More viable here, as many decks play with multiple types of energy, and Phoenix Turn here is almost broken)
Unlimited - 2/10 (Near impossible to power up with the SER in this format, but abusing Phoenix Turn with Focus Band here could be really run)
|11/06/2007, 10:38 PM||#4|
Let's see... Ho-oh is certainly pretty to look at, and his attack seems like it'd be powerful (As does his body), so let's try actually playing with some numbers, shall we?
First off, Ho-oh is most obviously a basic. Good. We don't have to bother with anything silly to get him out (no basics or stage 1s needed, Holon Mentor AND Roseanne's can search him out, as can anything with call for family).
His HP? Let's see, pokemon that are basics seem to have about 50 or 60 HP nowadays, Stage 1s have 80 for the average, and Stage 2s are starting to have about 110 HP (several have 130 HP).
It's highly tempting to just look at Ho-oh's evolution stage and say "Wow, for a basic, this is incredible HP!". ...But is this HP incredible? Take into account how long it'll take before you can attack back as well, as everyone knows the cliched "The best defense is a good offense". Most basics take 0-1 energies to start attacking. Most stage 1s need about 2 energy to pull off their attacks. Most stage 2s need about 3 energy cards. How many does Ho-oh need? 4. 4 energy cards on a pokemon that can not benefit from Double Rainbow or Scramble Energy. Shouldn't his HP be higher then most Stage 2s then, to make up for the expensive attack cost? Well... It isn't. 90 most certainly is not higher then 110.
The good news is that 90 is above 80. Several attacks (fully powered Kricketune, 4 heads on Cloyster, Flygon EX d's attack, for some examples) can deal 80 damage in one unexpected shot. This makes having more then 80 HP vital for most pokemon's final evolution stage. Ho-oh DOES meet that requirement, so it can't be that bad...
Weakness is next to be covered. Weakness can make or break some pokemon (IE: no one wanted to play old Magmortar 'cause it's weakness was enough to make Empoleon one shot it). Ho-oh's is double weakness to a type that currently is underpowered: Water. Notice the currently. While Ho-oh might be able to get away with being able to take water attacks up to 40 damage, notice that nothing commonly played in water does that much damage. It'll either do 70 (Empoleon), 60 (Feraligatr), 30 (Octillery, since there should not be special energies on Ho-oh), 10 (various basics) or snipe the bench. Looking at these common water type attacks, you'll notice that any weakness to water (even plus 20) would still be just as devastating to Ho-oh, as Empoleon would still one shot it. Thus, the 2* weakness couldn't really improve much. As for which type to be weak to, as water has yet to make impressive showings outside of Empoleon (whom is threatened by Electivire and Ampharos), there are worse types for Ho-oh to be weak to, such as Colorless or Fighting.
Resistance is fairly straight forward. Fighting is a common type, yes. Flygon SW is an interesting card that just came out, and can do 80 (with the side effect of his attack) and then place a damage counter inbetween turns, which would override Phoenix turn. Luckilly for Ho-oh, the fighting resistance lowers this damage just enough that Flygon won't be able to one shot the kinda ugly bird thing. Lucario additionally does not enjoy being paired against Ho-oh, as doing 20 damage to the active with Aura Sphere greatly decreases the effectiveness of Lucario's offensive charge. Thus, the resistance is good.
Unfortunately, Retreat cost can not be boasted as being good. 0 Retreat cost is optimal, but obviously this card does not have it. 1 Retreat cost is acceptable due to Unown Q being released next set (lower retreat cost by one), or you can just attach one energy to retreat. 2 Retreat cost on something that can not Double Rainbow energy is cruel though, as it means Ho-oh's going to have to rely on switch cards to pull itself out of it's highly vulnerable active position.
((...My, it's taken abnormally long to get to the attacks... O_o))
So, what could be so interesting about a card with only acceptable HP, pitiful weakness, good resistance, but horrid retreat cost? Well, the attack seems to draw some attention. 4 colorless energy to do 20 times....? Well, times what? The number of energy on Ho-oh? No, that'd make this card decent... It has to be the different kinds of energy on Ho-oh! Wait a minute, doesn't this mean you have to attach an energy every turn, taking 4 turns to start attacking...?! Surely there's an energy accelerator whom can help?
Well, there IS actually about three different ways to accelerate energy in this format. 2 of them involve returning energy from the discard to a pokemon. This would be Swampert EX (whom is a stage 2 EX, and ends your turn when you use his power, but attaches 3 energy at once), Typholosion (Whom is a stage 2, still weak to water, and can only attach to the bench, and one energy at a time to make it even more strict. OH, and get this: only fire energy, meaning attaching 3 fire and 1 fighting gives Ho-oh an attack damage of 40 for 4 energy). Well, there... IS something that might work as well. Blastiose allows for infinate attach from hand, but ends turn, is stage 2, and can only attach one type of energy.
Wait a minute, does this mean all of Ho-oh's friends are stage 2s? Wouldn't that make this a slow deck? What about Ho-oh's attack damage? If you use Typholosion or Blastoise, you're stuck with only 1 type of energy being valid, and thus the attack damage drops significantly. If you use Swampert EX, you're using an EX whom drops 2 prizes when felled, and considering Ho-oh's HP, this is a VERY bad thing.
Even better, get this: Several stage 2 pokemon are doing 80 damage for 3 energy cards, which can be scrambled. So why is Ho-oh's attack cool? He's taking more damage to do usually less damage... The easiness to set up a basic is countered by how difficult it is to get the attack off. Surely there's something that's been missed...
Oh. The power... Let's see...
Wait, it's a power. That means Cessation Crystal will stop it (though since it's during opponent, Gardevoir SW can't turn it off, neither can Shiftry EX place damage counters, if I'm remembering my rulings right).
Well, ignoring how vital it is that Cessation Crystal does not turn off Phoenix turn (as it basically allows Ho-oh to stay alive, perhaps long enough to actually attach 4 energies to it), You need to do something else to use Phoenix turn, right? Oh yes, discard all attached tool (which is not that important, as he won't hold Cessation Crystal), and... Flip a coin. Wait a minute, flip a coin? To determine if this hard work will stay in play or not? That... sounds... Iono, with Cessation Crystal also very easily shutting this power down, the coin flip is more then a bit harsh, especially since your opponent will draw a prize too when they "knock out" Ho-oh.
Summary: Double edged evolution stage, slightly lacking HP which is almost made up for with a decent power, hopeless weakness, good resistance, irredeemable retreat cost, disappointingly hard to practice attack, add up to be a pokemon that's just slightly below what most would consider to be playable. Or good. Should Ho-oh have an attack that costed only 1 or 2 energy, this might change, but it's absolute lack of good offense is terrifying. It really is...
Modifed (HP->SW): 4/10
Limited (There are MUCH less ways to stop Ho-oh in Limited, mostly 'cause Cessation Crystal doesn't exist. So there actually is 4 turns to charge this thing up, and Roseanne's Research is in the same set just to make this even better. Definately good in Limited should you pull Supporters): 9/10
|11/07/2007, 02:58 AM||#5|
Here are the Pros and Cons:
90 HP on a basic
Mentor can just barely get it
HAS A RESISTANCE TO MARIO
Has a PokePower that is insane on heads
Can do a lot of damage
Attack uses colorless energy
It doesn't work well at all in a deck with few energy types
It also doen't go well with any special energy cards
Has a retreat cost of two
Has a x2 weakness to water, a semi-popular type (empoleon feraligatr)
Can only attack with four energy attached
Ho-Oh is an interesting card to say the least! It can do a lot of damage with an entire deck built around it. It is not that great since 20 damage per energy isn't that impressive, but in Limited it is pure pwnage. I got two of these bad boys in one pack and built a deck around them and ended up winning a sweet electivire poster.
Modified: 4.46/10 -it doesn't have the right cards to work with it
Limited: 8.66/10 -it works great here since there are good colorless pokes in this set (for limited) and it is a basic -you also have access to all of the basic energy types, I had my TO make metal (basic) and darkness (basic) proxies.
Last edited by Mew*; 11/07/2007 at 02:09 PM. Reason: I lowered my modified score for this card since I accidentally overated it since I was so sleepy at that early in the morning
|11/07/2007, 06:54 AM||#8|
This card is good and bad. The good things are its 90HP, its resistance to fighting (for decks like Mario), and its PokePower is awesome. Its attack depends on how many energy you run, so it could be good or bad. The only real bad thing about it is its weakness to water. I would give it a 7/10 for decks with many energies and a 4/10 for decks with only one energy.
|11/07/2007, 07:48 AM||#11|
At last we get a our first Secret Wonders card to review. Unfortunately, Ho-Oh is not exactly the cream of the crop. Although being able to hang on to Energy Cards during Phoenix Turn, the effect is just too unreliable, requiring a coin flip, to really build a deck around. With a few lucky flips however, in a limited deck Ho-Oh can tear almost any other card apart. Usually Energy Cards are rather few in booster drafts and so any you can even manage to find are often included in the deck. If you can get the resources to power him up He can be a rather formidable force. In unlimited play, there would be no point in playing him where even decks with Erika's Jigglypuff are still prominent. He would mostly serve as easy KO bait where your opponent can grab prize after prize every turn befpre you can even power up Ho-Oh's attack.
Modified/Advanced Format: 45/100
Limited/Draft Format: 79/100
|11/07/2007, 02:07 PM||#14|
ok guys i helped judge 3 prereleases and i think i have an accurate rating for this card. in prerelease/draft play,open with a stall poke,(some large hp guy),miltank is a wonderful example with the free heal attack,stall and then power up ho-oh,give up the first KO and then go to town. i watched ho-oh dominate the prerelease games in any deck with more then 2 energy colors. however in modified i don't see this card doing much,and in unlimited it is practically useless. i rate it as such.
|11/07/2007, 05:39 PM||#15|
its a baaaaaaad card by itself and its a shame that garchomp lv X hasnt been released yet =(. His power is mediocre and his attack is torterrible 4 energies for 80 is nothing to sneeze at. Being weak to water is bad news bears but resistance to fighting types is always a good thing. Retreat cost is pretty bad and the hit points are pretty good for a basic.
Modified- Right now this card itself is terrible but when Garchomp LV X comes out, Ho-oh will be a powerhouse. 4/10
Limited- Good if you pull him out of the pack and a deck with 6 different energies but again, it takes time to build him up. 8/10
Unlimited- To many trainer cards will slow him down. Also too many decks will get their setup before Ho-Oh can do anything worth while. Medicham ex will give him problems with wise aura and same goes with Muk Jungle. 1/10
|11/08/2007, 07:41 AM||#17|
Mod. 5/10 (Not time for it yet, wait till later)
limited. 9.5/10 (Judging the pre has showed me that everyone that ran it, toped high and got pretty prizes.)
unlimited. 3/10 (You could make it fun and annoying here but im not sure if it would hold up at all.)