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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Crushing Hammer

Emerging Powers

Date Reviewed: Sept. 22, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 4.67

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Crushing Hammer

Here’s a welcome return of an old card under a different name. Energy Removal 2 was the balanced version of the game-defining Energy and Super Energy Removal cards from Base Set. The balance (as is often the case in Pokémon) comes from making the card work on a coin flip: if you flip heads, you can discard an Energy card attached to one of your opponent’s Pokémon.

So, the question is, how useful is it? Well, that depends partly on the format, and partly on whether there are any better alternatives. Setting your opponent back a turn on their Energy attachment is never going to be a bad thing, but historically Energy Removal 2 only really merited deckspace as a answer to decks that relied heavily on their limited supply of Special Energy: especially those cards that provided more than one Energy at a time, such as Double Rainbow and Scramble Energy. Energy removal effects have never been that great against decks that have low attack costs that are met by running Basic Energy.

Right now, we have several important Special Energy in the format. Double Colourless is used for acceleration by a whole bunch of Pokémon (Cinccino, Zoroark, Beartic); Rainbow gives decks with multiple types more versatility; and Rescue is the best form of recovery we have in the game for non-Basic Pokémon. Does this mean that Crushing Hammer should find its way into your deck though? Well, not so much.

For a start, we already have Lost Remover to deal with Special Energy, and a non-flippy card that sends Energy to the Lost Zone is preferable to a flippy one that can discard it. Secondly, there are a number of commonly played Pokémon that are barely affected by removal effects, such as Yanmega and Donphan Primes. Thirdly, Trainer Lock, in the shape of Vileplume and Gothitelle is increasingly common, and renders Crushing Hammer completely useless. Lastly, there are those Energy acceleration decks which either love having Energy in the discard (Typhlosion), or have more than enough ways to recover it (Emboar decks play multiple Fisherman/Energy Retrieval). The only major Pokémon I can think of that could be seriously hurt by Crushing Hammer would be Magnezone Prime, which needs to keep Energy on the Field to fuel Lost Burn.

Despite the fact that Crushing Hammer seems mediocre right now, and not really deserving of deck space, I’m kind of glad to see it back. Just because now isn’t the time for it, doesn’t mean it won’t have a use at some point. Crushing Hammer is just the sort of card that could become part of a useful counter strategy in the future, and most deckbuilders would welcome having it back in their armoury.

Rating

Modified: 2.5 (nothing special now, but I’m 90% certain it will be put to good use before it rotates)

Limited: 4.25 (if you pull it, you run it. Setting the opponent back a turn could win the game)

virusyosh

Hello once again, Pojo! Today's Card of the Day is a new Trainer - Item card from Emerging Powers that was used quite skillfully against me in a Battle Road match last weekend. Today's Card of the Day is Crushing Hammer.

Crushing Hammer is an Item card, meaning that you can play as many of them as you'd like per turn, and it is also blocked by Gothitelle and Vileplume, two rather common sights in today's Modified metagame. Crushing Hammer's effect allows you to flip a coin and if heads, you choose and discard an Energy attached to one of your opponent's Pokemon. This is never a bad effect as slowing down your opponent's tempo is generally quite nice, but there are a few reservations. First of all, this Item only works on a coin flip, making it somewhat unreliable. Second, this is commonly a "card #61" in many decks - meaning that most decks won't have space to run it. It works wonders in a dedicated Energy discard decks, but in most other cases, it will ultimately be hard to run. Finally, many common Modified decks - such as Reshiphlosion, Stage 1 Rush and Gothitelle - don't really care about you discarding their Energy or block you from playing Crushing Hammer altogether. If these three things don't bother you and you have the space, Crushing Hammer is a solid albeit unreliable way to slow down your opponent's game.

Modified: 3/5 Crushing Hammer is perfectly playable, but its effect isn't quite good enough to fit into every deck. If the card didn't require a coin flip things would be different, but as it stands, Crushing Hammer will only find its way into dedicated Energy-discard decks or decks that can make the space for it.

Limited: 5/5 Pretty much all Trainers are worth running in Limited, and Crushing Hammer is no exception. Gothitelle is present in the set, but that being said, slowing down your opponent's tempo is quite good in a slow format.


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