Arcanine (HeartGold SoulSilver HS 1) – Card of the Day

pokebeach.comI’ve always liked Arcanine. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been a fan of this Pokémon. Unfortunately, there’s been a shortage of playable Arcanine in the TCG with Arcanine ex being the only one that saw semi-common play in recent years. But in general, its cards have been less than overwhelming.

For today’s review, I’ll be taking a look at Arcanine from Heart Gold Soul Silver, requested by Bulbasaurbeatseverything. If you want to run Arcanine, you’ll need to include Growlithe. Perhaps Growlithe’s biggest merit is its huge 70 HP, making Yanmega Prime’s “Linear Attack” a non-issue (although it can still Catcher you up and “Sonicboom” for the KO). Its attacks are mediocre with “Bite” doing 10 for C and “Combustion” dishing out 40 damage for RCC.

The biggest disappointment from Growlithe is its CC Retreat Cost. While it isn’t a huge roadblock, it takes a certain amount of flexibility away from your deck as it’s much more difficult to switch in another attacker. I miss Growlithe RR, with its “Stoke” attack which allowed you to fish out R Energies from your discard pile.

The basic forms of Pokémon may not seem that important, but they can make or break the evolution. Take Banette ex of 2007, which typically relied on getting a fast, Turn 2 set up each game. Shuppet from Crystal Guardians, its basic form, had the attack “Ascension,” which allowed you to search your deck for a Banette and put it on Shuppet. This skyrocketed the deck’s consistency with it even winning Worlds in 2007.

pokebeach.comEvolving doesn’t get rid of the Retreat Cost, Arcanine is still stuck with a CC Retreat Cost. Being Fire is favorable. Even though you don’t hit many Pokémon for double, you don’t have to worry about Resistance getting in the way of KOs either. 110 HP is very solid for a Stage 1, but still in 1HKO range of Zekrom and Reshiram. A Water Weakness is good if it’s on a Fire type as Kingdra isn’t an issue, but be careful for the random Samurott running around.

“Sharp Fang” costs RC and does a vanilla 50 damage. While the damage-to-cost ratio is only slightly low, it just isn’t enough to do much in this format. Arcanine’s second attack, “Fire Mane,” costs a hefty RCCC for 90 damage. Obviously, you would need the assistance of an energy accelerator such as Emboar or Typhlosion to pay for “Fire Mane” (Double Colorless isn’t enough).

Unfortunately, Arcanine has a next-to-nothing chance of ever being included in a tournament winning deck. This is mainly because anything Arcanine can do, something else does it better. If you want a quick attacker, Donphan or Yanmega is your guy. If you want a strong attacker to go with Emboar or Typhlosion, there’s no way you’re using this over Reshiram BLW.

Conclusion: It’s a Pokémon with overpriced, underpowered attacks that can’t do anything Reshiram or Donphan can’t do better.

Reader Interactions

12 replies

  1. barryfken

    And another thing is Fire Mane has almost the same cost (with the exception of another Fire energy) as Flare Blitz [“Badboar”] and you don’t have to discard all energies afterwards with Arcanine, but Badboar does 60 more damage. If only they made Arcanine more like Ninetails and gave it an awesome Poke-Body or something…

    • Mekkah  → barryfken

      “And another thing is Fire Mane has almost the same cost (with the exception of another Fire energy) as Flare Blitz [“Badboar”] and you don’t have to discard all energies afterwards with Arcanine, but Badboar does 60 more damage.”

      So basically, they are nothing alike at all.

      • barryfken  → Mekkah

        I was just giving another example of an attack that has high-cost, Fire-type and does reasonable damage. The pros to using Arcanine against Badboar is that you don’t have to discard your Fire energy, but the cons is that extra 60 damage of Badboar’s may have been what you needed to take down your opponent’s active pokemon. I know my post sounded random, but I was trying to say what I just said – The pros/cons of using Arcanine against another pokemon (in this case, Badboar), purely for its somewhat high damaging attack.

        • Mekkah  → barryfken

          I guess I can see what you’re trying to do but a better comparison would be with either Emboar’s “Heat Crash”, as those are fairly high cost attacks that do vanilla damage. :p

        • theo Seeds  → barryfken

          the other comparision is if you need one of these and are playing Emboar, you’re less screwed over deck space.

        • barryfken  → theo

          That’s true, thanks (to both Coolestman and Mekkah) – The better Emboar needs 2 Fire energy and 2 any-type for 80, while you can use 1 Fire and 3 any-type for 90 with Arcanine, so Arcanine seems the better choice there. That way, you don’t waste Fire Energy (even though the whole thing’s a waste of energy to begin with.)

  2. Lynx Meche

    Growlithe shows up in Red on Routes 7 and 8 and in the Pokemon Mansion, and Routes 7, 8, 36, and 37 in Gold. It evolves into Arcanine via Fire Stone. Vulpix shows up in Blue on Routes 7 and 8 and in the Pokemon Mansion, and Routes 7, 8, 36, and 37 in Silver. It evolves into Ninetales via Fire Stone.

    So between Ninetales HS/CoL and Ninetales ex, where’s our good Arcanine? =(

    • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Lynx

      Arcanine ex was a very good card.

      Blaine’s Arcanine saw some play, I think.

      Arcanine RR was a decent card, but outclassed by too many things.

      I remember Arcanine SW being used as a tech in some Blissey decks.

      It’s no Gardevoir, but Arcanine has had its moments.

      • Lynx Meche  → Jak

        I don’t remember Blaine’s Arcanine being played often, and Arcanine RR…There was an Arcanine from that set? Googles Oh, that is decent. I…I didn’t even know that existed, I thought it was only in SV and HS o_O That is pretty decent, but very obviously outclassed. Googled the ex one, it looks decent, maybe just a meta thing? Or something else with other cards from the set that I don’t know.

        But I missed like 9 years of meta. All I know is people play Ninetales now, and I’ve heard of the Ninetales ex/Blaziken deck. And that Arcanine SV was really bad. Haven’t heard of the Arcanine ex.

        • Dakota Streck  → Jak

          Yeah, Houndoom was a common partner. Using with Lunatone and Solrock for disruption with Arcanine ex, kind of like Rambolt (Banette Ex & Lunasol), was pretty good too. l. I played that deck for a while, it worked really well for me. I won a Cities and a Battle Roads with the deck back in the day.

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