In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
What Are the Best Charizard Cards in Pokemon?
Considering his prominence in the anime, two separate mega evolutions, and dominance in the base set TCG, Charizard has long served as one Pokemon's most popular mascots, rivaled only in renown by Pikachu and Mewtwo.
His original card remains one of the most valuable ever printed, but since then, we've experienced dozens of Charizard renditions, some far better than others. So, which Fire/Flying units reign supreme? These are the ten best Charizard trading cards of all time! Note that Pokemon cards gradually scale in power as time passes, so we're factoring in their approximate abilities with regards to their time of release.
10. Charizard (Boundaries Crossed 20)
Release Date (English): 2012
160 HP on a non-EX Pokemon from 2012 is impressive, and the lenient energy requirements make this champion excellent in multi-type decks. As a stage two, Charizard needs to evolve twice, but his Split Bomb attack lets you deal 40 damage to any two of your opponent's Pokemon, spreading the hurt and eliminating weakened foes hiding on the bench.
Then, Scorching Fire burns out a sweet 150 damage, although it needs five energy and you have to discard one. A powerful beast, I just wish the Boundaries Charizard had a resistance or lower retreat cost to counterbalance his taxing fees.
9. Charizard (EX Dragon 100)
Release Date (English): 2003
For a card that debuted back in the early 2000s, EX Dragon's Charizard had some nice, energy-efficient (albeit weaker) moves. But remember, as a stage two, you have to first evolve him from prior forms Charmander and Charmeleon.
Collect Fire deals just 30 damage, but it only needs two energy and flips a coin. Heads lets you search your discard pile for up to two Fire energy to attach to Charizard, granting easy fuel for Flame Pillar. Pillar needs four energy and singes for 60, but you have the option to detach a Fire energy, and if you do, you can deal 30 more damage to an opposing benched Pokemon, a nice way to split the damage throughout your rival's ranks.
8. Charizard-EX (Flashfire 12)
Release Date (English): 2013
EX units like this Charizard are stronger and tougher than other Pokemon, but to compensate, your opponent gets to take two Prize Cards rather than one after knocking it out (winning when they collect six). Like many of his kin, Flashfire's Charizard lacks a resistance, is weak to Water, and retreats for two energy.
However, instead of being a stage two, this Charizard (due to his EX status) is basic, meaning you don't have to evolve him. Taking that into consideration, his 60 damage Wing Attack and 150 damage Combustion Blast are quite impressive, especially since (unlike several Fire moves) they don't require you to detach energy. That said, you can't use Combustion Blast consecutively, so rotate it in when needed.
7. Charizard (Arceus 1)
Release Date (English): 2009
This Charizard needs to evolve, is weak to Water, and retreats for three energy, making him hard to swap out. However, he bears a handy resistance to Fighting, reducing its damage by 20, and wields a Poke-Body plus two attacks.
Passive trait Fire Formation lets Charizard deal 10 more damage for each Fire Pokemon on your bench, rewarding you for running a mono-Fire deck and swarming allies. He'll need the boost, since first attack Fire Wing only scores 30 damage, while Burning Tail nets 80 but forces you to detach a Fire energy. Still, powered by Formation, these techniques land some hefty pain and don't require many resources to trigger.
6. Charizard (Dragon Majesty 3)
Release Date (English): 2018
This Charizard is comparatively recent and requires evolution, so keep that in mind when judging his strength. That said, he's a fierce and reliable unit with some excellent anti-GX prowess. His Resolute Flame trait lets him deal 30 more damage to your opponent's Pokemon for each of their GX and EX cards in play. Note that even works if your EX enemies are benched, letting you quickly decimate your foe's team and steal those extra Prize Cards.
For a non-EX unit, Charizard's base HP of 160 definitely impresses, and his Fiery Blast only needs three energy. It forces you to detach one, but offers a pummeling 130 power, making it more than worth the discard. Majesty has won me several games, and I especially appreciate that he's available for less than three dollars!
5. Charizard-EX (Generations 11)
Release Date (English): 2016
Another EX beast, this champion doesn't need evolution and wields a sturdy 180 HP. Flame Cloak only lands 30 damage, but it attaches a Fire energy from your discard pile to Charizard, usefully building for Burning Breath.
Breath thankfully has no drawbacks, forgoing the energy-removal or cooldown periods of other Charizard ultimates, and thanks to its colorless allocation, you can use it with just three resources if you employ a Double Colorless Energy). It scores 80 damage plus 40 more for each heads you land on two coin flips, averaging a mighty 120 pain every turn.
4. M Charizard-EX (Flashfire 69)
Release Date (English): 2013
As of this writing, along with his Mega Charizard Y form, Mega Charizard X has the highest-damaging attack of any tournament-legal card, landing a fierce 300. He evolves from the basic Charizard-EX, and still grants your opponent two Prize Cards if they defeat him.
Additionally, his single move requires a hefty five energy, and one has to be Dark in addition to the expected Fire, meaning X only really works in Fire/Dark blends. Still, not only does Wild Blaze incinerate for a massive 300 damage, its only drawback is milling the top five cards of your deck into your discard pile, avoiding the common (and worse) downsides of self-damage or energy detachment. Finally, note Mega Charizard is Dragon, not Fire, making him a useful tool if confronted with Water enemies, and his massive 230 HP lets him endure several attacks.
3. Charizard (Generations RC5)
Release Date (English): 2016
This Charizard needs evolution, has no resistance, and retreats for three energy. However, his ace move (Combustion Blast) scores a daunting 130 damage without detaching energy, only stating you can't use it on your next turn. Instead, you can use Charizard's Recall, which needs just one energy and lets Charizard use one of his prior evolution's attacks.
Thankfully, with the Generations RC4 Charmeleon, you can either utilize Call for Support (which searches a Supporter card from your deck) or Slash, which simply lands 80 damage. Both are excellent bargains for a single resource, handy tools when amassing resources for Combustion or waiting for it to cooldown.
2. Charizard-EX (Flashfire 11)
Release Date (English): 2014
A high-risk high-reward basic Pokemon, this Charizard doesn't require evolution, has 180 HP, and retreats for just two energy. His Stoke attack only needs one energy (of any type) and flips a coin. Tails does nothing, but heads lets you search your deck for up to three basic energy and attach them to Charizard, accessing his next move at lightning speed.
Fire Blast needs four energy, but only one has to be Fire, and emits a powerful 120 blast, detaching an energy in the process. If all went well with Stoke, you can access this move on your second turn, granting amazingly-fast knockouts! If your reserves in hand are low and you have time to spare, don't be afraid to try another Stoke and replenish your energy without reducing your hand.
1. Charizard (Base Set 4)
Release Date (English): 2013
Older cards can't hold a candle to current offerings, but back in the day, Charizard was king. For his time, he had the highest base HP of 120 plus the strongest attack, Fire Spin, which also deals 100 damage, making Charizard himself one of few creatures who could withstand the move.
Fire Spin requires you to discard two energy, but Poke-Power Energy Burn lets you turn all energy on Charizard into Fire, making him easy to fit into multicolor decks. Throw in the rare resistance to Fighting, and there's no doubt that Charizard was one of the best original Pokemon trading cards.
Future of Charizard in the Pokemon TCG
From competitive entries like today's units to wacky renditions like Shining and Dark Charizard, we've seen plenty of engaging starter evolutions throughout the years, and we'll undoubtedly return to tackle more of Charizard's zaniest members.
But for now, as we eagerly await Nintendo's next expansion of intimidating dragons, vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Pokemon countdown!
© 2018 Jeremy Gill
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on November 20, 2018:
Charizard is an awesome Pokemon. He's definitely many people's favourite. In Tokyo, you can head to Akihabara and get Japanese trading cards for cheap, though I've no idea which ones are rare or not.