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.