you find the review is too long, skip straight to the
Ratings and Summary!
EX Unseen Forces
Attach Energy Root to 1 of your Pokémon (excluding
Pokémon-ex and Pokémon that has Dark or an owner in its
name) that doesn’t already have a Pokémon Tool attached to
it. If the Pokémon Energy Root is attached to is Pokémon-ex
or has Dark or an owner in its name, discard Energy Root.
As long as
Energy Root is attached to a Pokémon, that Pokémon gets +20
HP and can’t use any Poké-Powers or Poké-Bodies.
Energy Root is the second of the new batch of Pokémon
Tools from EX: Unseen Forces that we are going to look at. Like
all Pokémon Tools, it is a Trainer: Trainer denial is moderately
popular in Modified and extremely common in Unlimited, but all
Trainers are hit that hard, so it’s not going to drop the score:
just remember to use common sense. What does help is that
Pokémon Tools activate after they are already in play, and that
means that if you can drop them into play before the assorted
Trainer prohibiting cards hit the field, they’ll work fine.
Sadly, this too comes with a downside: since they remain in
play, there are specific effects, though fairly rare, that can
target them – like Ancient Technical Machine (Ice).
is restricted to use by Evolved Pokémon that aren’t Pokémon-ex
or Pokémon that have either an owner or Dark in their
names. This is even more restrictive than Curse Powder,
and is obviously a negative thing in that your options are
lessened, but hopefully it will compensate by being more
powerful. Oh, and it is obvious (at least to me) that Dark
Pokémon shouldn’t have this option as that would be a total
of plus 40 if you used Rocket’s Hideout with Energy
Root. Good thing that is illegal, eh?
Nintendo is learning how many rule lawyers play this game,
Energy Root, like Curse Powder, states that if the
Pokémon it is attached to stop being a non-Pokémon-ex or
suddenly has Dark or an owner in its name, it is
discarded. Yes, I did a lot of cut and pasting, but it’s the
only way I can get these done in time: it’s a very busy week and
I will hopefully get my act together enough to earn some
interviews for internships/jobs.
Lose the use of your Pokémon Powers (remember, that term has
been ruled to encompass both Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies) in
order to gain an extra 20 HP. Now, if you don’t have any
Pokémon Powers to begin with, this is “gravy”, that is, a pure
bonus. Even if you do have one, as you may recall from some of
my previous reviews, there are many so-so Pokémon Powers, and a
few negative ones, that this can shut down. In the case of the
latter, it becomes an even better bonus. Of course, I don’t
think that anything currently in Modified has a truly “negative”
Pokémon Power; at least that is a legal target for this card.
Sadly, the wording prevents Energy Root from taming
Misty’s Gyarados in Unlimited, who would have been fantastic
if it had been a legal target. I am pretty sure something
that is a legal target for this card has been released possesses
a limiting Pokémon Power… and if they exist in both formats,
As for the
Pokémon Powers that are only minor benefits… you are likely to
be just fine using them for a little while, then dumping them in
favor of an HP boost. So as a whole, this card is almost pure
Any legal target that a + 20 HP boost would really help, unless
it disable a vital Pokémon Power. Remember not to use it with a
legal target that gets more out of a different Pokémon Tool.
For example, if a free retreat is more important, use the new
Fluffy Berry. If covering a Weakness in Pokémon Tool form
matters more, use Protective Orb. Pretty straight
forward, except for the damage removing
cards, which can be a toss up: is it better to heal between
turns or just to have 20 extra HP and then use healing cards on
your own turn. Personally, I’d favor the latter.
As for my
second guideline involving Pokémon Powers, obviously anything
negatively impacting you (nothing coming to mind), that only
benefits something when it’s on the Bench and you plan on
keeping it Active most of the time, or is literally a
one-time-only Pokémon Power, like Azumarill from EX Team
Rocket Returns ‘Froth’ Poké-Power: when Azumarill is used
to Evolve one of your Active Pokémon, you can automatically
Paralyze both your opponent’s Pokémon. Unless they bring back
cards like Hyper Devolution Spray or Retro Energy,
this means that you’re not going to have to worry about re-using
this Poké-Power in a manner that would needlessly discard
Energy Root (shrinking down to a Basic and forcing the
discard). Also, until they release a new Azurill, there
is no way for the Energy Root to already be attached to
Marill before Evolving into Azumarill. So as you
can see, losing that Poké-Power means next to nothing.
with an effect that references HP in a manner that more yields
better results will work especially well with this. Like EX
Hidden Legends Swalot.
2/5-Why so low? Because most Pokémon in this format are just
better off with Focus Band or Gold Berry. I am
having a pretty hard time finding combos that wouldn’t be better
using those two.
3.75/5-This is has the good chance of becoming the most used of
the new Pokémon Tools. Pretty much any Pokémon that can legally
use this and that doesn’t have a Pokémon Power they need to
access repeatedly will find this a good default Pokémon Tool.
There are some exceptions
4.5/5-Fantastic pull unless your Pokémon can’t use it or have a
great, re-usable Pokémon Power. In many ways, it acts like
“half” an Evolved form.
I’ll say it
again: if it is a legal target that doesn’t have a Pokémon Power
that you will repeatedly use and doesn’t combo especially well
with other Pokémon Tools, this is almost certain to help you
out. Crystal Shard and Strength Charm used to not
be played because there were a lot of better Pokémon Tools that
stayed in play longer, clashing with their usage. I doubt those
two will be abandoned because of this, but at least a slight
decline in their popularity would not surprise me.