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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Crystal Edge

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 28, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.5
Limited: 2.3

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

Crystal Edge

Yesterday we took a look at White Kyurem-EX and found it to be less than great. Today we look at the card that (I assume) was meant to turn that situation around. Will it work? Let’s find out.

Crystal Edge is an ACE SPEC Trainer, which means you can only have one of this type of card in your deck. It’s a Pokémon Tool that can be attached to any Pokémon, but in order to use its effect, it must be attached to White Kyurem-EX. If and when this happens, White Kyurem-EX’s attacks do an extra 50 damage to the defending Pokémon. There’s no denying that it does make White Kyurem-EX significantly better. Now Dragon Stream does 110 for three Energy, which isn’t bad at all, while Ice Burn does an incredible 200 plus Burn, which is going to guarantee a OHKO on absolutely anything at the moment.

Is that enough to elevate White Kyurem-EX to playable status? I doubt it: it doesn’t solve the fundamental problems of high Energy costs and constant discarding. But that isn’t even the real issue with this card. There are two much more serious problems.

The first is that you may only have one of these cards in your deck. If it’s Prized, tough luck. If your opponent gets rid of it by playing Tool Scrapper, your options for getting it back are limited to Sableye DEX’s Junk Hunt attack or (more practically), Recycle, which depends on a coin flip. The second issue is that playing this means you can’t use another ACE SPEC, and that means you have to do without the best card in the game: Computer Search. So now your deck is just a little bit slower and less consistent than anything else you could be running. As if White Kyurem-EX didn’t have enough problems already.

Should you even play this card in a White Kyurem-EX deck? Well, if you are playing White Kyurem-EX you have already gone so far down the novelty/gimmick deck road that you might as well finish the job and play the card that is designed to support it. Just remember to make room in your deck for all those Recycles.

Rating

Modified: 1.5 (It’s as niche as you can get, and it’s not even that good a niche)

Limited: 1.25 (chances of pulling this and the EX are ridiculously slim)


Otaku

As we come to the middle of the week, we look at Crystal Edge (BW: Boundaries Crossed 138/149).

Stats

Crystal Edge is first and foremost a Trainer; Skyla makes those so much easier to fetch from the deck now. It is also an Item; Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) is the best choice for reclaiming discarded Items (it’s Junk Hunt attack fetching two) but while it can function in nearly any deck, it performs optimally in only certain ones. As such you may have to go without recursion or run something riskier, like Recycle; for quick reference, that would be a “tails fails” Item that allows you to top-deck a card from your discard pile.

Crystal Edge belongs to an even more specialized class of Items, the Pokémon Tool. Peeking ahead to its effect, this means you can benefit from it more than once, provided the Pokémon it is equipped to isn’t KOed, and an effect (like that of Tool Scrapper) doesn’t simply discard it. It also means it has to be more important than the fairly potent Pokémon Tools we already have this format; Eviolite is pretty much a must for Basic Pokémon, and while less popular, Pokémon Tools like Exp. Share, Giant Cape, and Rescue Scarf are still very good.

Lastly, before getting into the effect text, Crystal Edge is one of the new Ace Spec cards; it will need to be phenomenal to be worth running over Computer Search, and still pretty good to be worth running over Gold Potion. This also means it will be hard to use reliably even with some way of searching it out and reclaiming it from the discard pile; one copy of a card doesn’t go very far, and there is the risk that it will be in your Prizes.

Effects

Crystal Edge, while equipped, boosts the damage from attacks by White Kyurem EX by 50, at least against Active Pokémon. I feel it worth noting that it can be attached to other Pokémon, it will just have no effect. That might seem pretty pointless, but besides some shenanigans in Unlimited, even in Modified you might make use of this through Ditto (BW: Boundaries Crossed 108/149).

Given the potency we see in the other Ace Spec cards, I can’t say this sounds all that good. The wording ensures we won’t be able to boost the Bench damage of some hypothetical, future White Kyurem EX. As a note; we currently have just one version (in terms of game mechanics being there is no difference between regular and Full Art) of White Kyurem EX in English, but Japan has access to two different versions, so more are at least possible).

I’ll explain the interaction between White Kyurem EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 103/149, 146/149) and Crystal Edge in more detail in later sections, but why this already doesn’t bode well is that a Pokémon Tool requiring a specific Pokémon is hard enough to build a deck around, but the inability to run multiples or easily retrieve said Pokémon Tool from the discard probably places too high a burden on Crystal Edge; no amount of damage to the Active Pokémon is worth that risk. At it is unlikely we’ll have to every worry about boosting self-damage.

Card Family

White Kyurem EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 103/149, 146/149) was reviewed yesterday, so you should have a pretty good idea of how good it is… or rather isn’t. The card’s Stats are good enough as it is a Dragon-Type and possesses 180 HP; thus the Dragon Weakness and lack of Resistance are forgivable and even the high Retreat of three at least allows it to be searched out by Heavy Ball.

The first attack (Dragon Steam) is just a little weak; for (RCC) 60 points of damage is lower than I would like, but provided you get “heads” on a required coin toss and have a basic Energy in your discard pile, you may attach it to White Kyurem EX. If the attachment was automatic and didn’t specify “basic Energy card” this would be a great attack!

The second attack (Ice Burn) requires a massive (RRWC) investment. The Energy pairing is odd; besides Water and Fire not being present on the same Blend Energy, there isn’t an especially good source of Fire Energy acceleration available. The cost does deal 150 points of damage while also burning the Defending Pokémon, but as it requires a discard of two (R) Energy, the return actually feels a bit low.

“Burn” is unreliable, so while placing two extra damage counters is welcome it isn’t guaranteed, and even when it hits the biggest Pokémon-EX (amongst a few other cards/combos) are going to survive if they began uninjured. I would much rather Ice Burn did a straight 150 and the discard clause was absent; you’re not reliably KOed stuff even with the Burn.

While the two attacks combo, the synergy isn’t great enough to overcome my concerns and frankly, they would have been better without any effects (good or bad) and the Dragon Steam hitting a little harder or requiring less Energy… and probably different names since I’ve just removed the “flavor” of them.

Does this evaluation remain true when Crystal Edge is added in?

Usage

Yes, yes it does, but what I say next will make it sound like I believe the opposite.

Crystal Edge improves the damage yield for White Kyurem EX and that improves the attacks, and even their synergy to a degree. Dragon Steam begins OHKOing smaller Stage 1 Pokémon and all but the biggest Basic Pokémon. The latter group includes most Pokémon-EX, but a second hit will finish most things off. Once Ice Burn is ready to go, the it will OHKO anything without lacking significant protection (just Eviolite isn’t enough for Pokémon-EX).

So why do I say that Crystal Edge doesn’t make White Kyurem EX worth playing? Crystal Edge is an Ace Spec, so it isn’t reliable enough, and White Kyurem EX isn’t fast enough without major support that as explained earlier, isn’t especially viable. Unlimited fairs worse since I would take Focus Band or Expert Belt over Crystal Edge, even before considering I would rather run Computer Search as my Ace Spec. In Limited, while I would run it if I managed to pull both it and White Kyurem EX (highly unlikely), odds of pulling off the combo is also highly unlikely.

Future Possibilities

This section will contain spoilers, so skip it if you are still the kind of player that likes being surprised by future releases.

Ether will help White Kyurem EX and thus Crystal Edge; with it a first turn Dragon Steam becomes possible, and even a first turn Ice Burn. While not easy, one might even build a donk deck around it. I actually helped a friend design one and… it didn’t strike me as something I would expect to win a lot, but something I would hate to sit down against. Even if he missed the donk, the damage output when coupled with acceleration (and even lacking Crystal Edge) is not easy to deal with.

When we do get Ether, we will also get “Plasma” Pokémon and their support, and to be brief I think what little shot White Kyurem EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 103/149, 146/149) had is completely gone, but I’ll be happy if I am wrong.

As for the upcoming White Kyurem EX (which we don’t know when we’ll get), it has the same Stats but does 60 for (CCC) with no additional effect and for (RRWC) does 100 plus 10 per damage counter on White Kyurem EX. I might like this better since I can ignore discard costs, and if it isn’t OHKOed your opponent has to barely touch it as part of a 2HKO or risk some major nastiness coming back at him or her. It still doesn’t strike me as being especially strong, and the Energy requirements still make it unlikely to see competitive play.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 1.5/5

Limited: 3/5

Summary

Ace Spec Pokémon Tools seem like a poor idea, and even worse when they only work for a specific Pokémon. I know there is isn’t the only one, but I think it is a lose-lose proposition; something powerful enough to be worth the hassle is going to have to be flat out broken, making this game feel more like Yu-Gi-Oh than Pokémon.

The only way that can be avoided is if there is some support, or even a built in effect, that can help reclaim this kind of Ace Spec from the discard. Not to play Create-A-Card, but if Crystal Edge said something like “You may add this card to your hand instead of drawing a card from your deck at the beginning of your turn” or “While this card is in your discard pile, you may discard two cards from your hand to return this card to your hand”, something like that is probably the only way it could be worthwhile without giving it some truly obscene effect.

virusyosh

Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing the ACE SPEC Pokemon Tool that can only be used with yesterday's Card of the Day, Crystal Edge.
 
Crystal Edge is an ACE SPEC Pokemon Tool, meaning that you can't run any other ACE SPEC cards (no Computer Search or Gold Potion). Therefore, you should only run Crystal Edge if it can do something better in your deck than other ACE SPEC cards. As a Pokemon Tool, Crystal Edge will have an effect when attached to a Pokemon. Unfortunately, Crystal Edge's effect is incredibly specific, allowing the White Kyurem-EX with Crystal Edge on it's attacks to deal 50 more damage to the Defending Pokemon before factoring in Weakness and Resistance. As I mentioned yesterday, an additional 50 damage is pretty good regardless of what the attack does normally, and makes White Kyurem-EX into a force. Unfortunately, the narrowness of the card means that you'll only be able to use it in a deck with White Kyurem, as it's totally useless everywhere else. As such, this card is absolutely amazing in decks with White Kyurem, but useless everywhere else.
 
Modified: 2/5 Crystal Edge has a fantastic effect, but it can only be run effectively in a deck with White Kyurem-EX. Therefore, if you're running a deck with White Kyurem-EX, you should probably run it (as it makes White Kyurem much more playable). Then again, you also won't be able to use Computer Search, and you can only run one ACE SPEC per deck. For decks that aren't running White Kyurem-EX, don't bother, as the card is literally useless.
 
Limited: 2.5/5 This format's very straightforward: if you pull a White Kyurem-EX, run Crystal Edge. Otherwise, the card will always be a dead draw, so don't use it.


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