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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

Crystal Wall

- Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 30, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.75
Limited: 2.33

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Crystal Wall (Boundaries Crossed)

We finish the week with the card that is supposed to help out Black Kyurem-EX. Yep, it’s another ACE SPEC that only gets its effect when attached to the one specific Pokémon. The effect itself: well, it bumps Black Kyurem-EX’s HP up to 300 (yes! More than a Wailord!).

Now that’s a lot of HP and it might make you look twice at the card (even if it still wouldn’t be much use against Rayquaza-EX). However, it suffers from the same downsides that I wrote about in my review of Crystal Edge: it’s vulnerable to Tool Scrapper, you can only play one copy, and having it in your decks means that you are missing out on the superb card that is Computer Search (only one ACE SPEC per deck, y’see). Actually, Crystal Wall is strictly worse than Crystal Edge. With the latter at least you could attach it on your turn and get the benefit of the boost when you attacked. With Crystal Wall, you attach it and are then at the mercy of your opponent’s Tool Scrapper during their turn: if they manage to find one, then the card becomes a total waste. Even if they don’t have the Tool Scrapper, Black Kyurem-EX is very slow and can’t use its good attack on consecutive turns, leaving your opponent with plenty of time to KO it anyway.

Honestly, I don’t really have much else to say about the card. Like Black Kyurem-EX, it has superficial appeal because it generates impressive numbers, but if you were to actually think about it for more than two seconds, you would realise that it’s strictly a gimmick and really not worth your time building a deck around unless you wanted some laughs at League.

Oh well, sorry to end on such a downbeat. Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Rating

Modified: 1.25 (OMG!!! 300 HP Kyurem!1shiftone!)

Limited: 1.5 (if you manage to pull this and Black Kyurem-EX in six packs, well . . . good luck to you)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Today we're ending our COTD by reviewing the ACE SPEC Pokemon Tool that goes along with yesterday's card. Today's Card of the Day is Crystal Wall.
 
Crystal Wall, much like Crystal Edge, is an ACE SPEC Pokemon Tool. As an ACE SPEC card, you can only have one per deck, and you can't use other ACE SPEC cards if you use this one. As a Pokemon Tool, you can attach Crystal Wall to a Pokemon to obtain some kind of effect. In this case, if you attach Crystal Wall to a Black Kyurem-EX, it will have its maximum HP increased to 300. 300 HP is the most that any real Pokemon card has ever had, and is definitely quite a large number. Given the hard hitting nature of the Modified metagame, it will turn Black Kyurem-EX into a 2HKO or 3HKO against most common threats, although any Pokemon with a huge attack hitting for Weakness will still have a shot of taking it down in one hit, such as Rayquaza-EX. The current Black Kyurem available in Boundaries Crossed probably isn't powerful enough to justify using it (and by extension, Crystal Wall), however, the Black Kyurem-EX in the Japanese Battle Strength Deck will likely be a much better partner for this card. Until then, however, this card probably won't see a whole lot of use.
 
Modified: 2/5 Like Crystal Edge before it, Crystal Wall should be only run in a Black Kyurem deck, and nowhere else. Therefore, if you're running Black Kyurem-EX and can justify using Crystal Wall as the ACE SPEC slot, go for it. If not, don't bother.
 
Limited: 2.5/5 Unlike most Trainers, Crystal Wall isn't all that useful in Limited, but if you manage to pull a Black Kyurem-EX and a Crystal Wall, expect your opponents to be in pain as you hit them with a hard-hitting 300 HP behemoth. If you don't pull a Black Kyurem-EX, once again, this card isn't worth running
 
Combos With: Black Kyurem-EX (obviously)


Otaku

As we end this week, we look at Crystal Wall (BW: Boundaries Crossed 139/149).

This probably comes as no surprise given the last three reviews. It also means I’ll be recycling text since this card has so much in common with Crystal Edge.

Stats

Crystal Wall 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 Wall 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 Wall, while equipped, overwrites the maximum HP of Black Kyurem EX so that it is 300 HP. 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).

It likely overwrites (instead of just “adding to”) because this results in any possible future versions of Black Kyurem EX still ending up with 300 HP, regardless of the starting HP. Japan already has as access to a version we lack, which I will touch upon later.

I’ll explain the interaction between Black Kyurem EX and Crystal Wall 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 Wall.

300 HP is certainly amazing; OHKOs are almost impossible (even when a card would be struck by its Weakness) and 2HKOs unlikely (other than by exploiting Weakness). The real problem is that Tool Scrapper, while not everywhere, is likely a Skyla away for many decks. Unlike Crystal Edge, you can’t play Crystal Wall down and benefit right away; your opponent will always have the option of making the only good to come from it your opponent burning a Tool Scrapper and perhaps a Skyla.

Card Family

Black Kyurem EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 101/149, 144/149) 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 Fang) is adequate; for (LCC) 60 points of damage is lower than I would like, but a coin toss to inflict Paralysis is useful, even with decks being a bit more cautious about Special Conditions. It isn’t enough to rely on, which means the card is really counting on the second attack, Freeze Shock.

Freeze Shock requires a massive (WLLC) to use, but scores 150 points of damage, enough to OHKO almost all Stage 2 Pokémon if they lack protection (like Giant Cape upping their HP). It does have a significant drawback; Black Kyurem EX can’t attack the next turn! This ruins the attack, since otherwise (L) Energy requirements are pretty easy to meet (and Lightning Energy easy to accelerate) in the right deck, and (W) and (L) can both be supplied by Blend Energy WLFM.

The two attacks have basic synergy with each other; Dragon Fang is going to be a bit easier to power-up and can be used to try and strand something up front for Freeze Shock to finish the next turn (unless another Dragon Fang hit will do). If you base a whole deck around it, you can even bypass the drawback of Freeze Shock.

Usage

Black Kyurem EX could be used as the main attacker in its own deck, or possibly a back-up attacker elsewhere, but should you run Crystal Wall over something like Computer Search? Yes, but only just barely, and I wouldn’t consider such a deck to be brilliant; you’re going to have to work hard to get around Freeze Shock blocking Black Kyurem EX from attacking twice in a row; expect to run redundant combos to change out your Active and/or healing to take advantage of your massive HP.

Tool Scrapper still remains a huge threat, so if this deck isn’t a surprise, it isn’t worth running. In Unlimited, Black Kyurem EX might be worth the hassle of running, and it would be due to Crystal Wall; the deck wouldn’t be streamlined but 300 HP is amazing. The other Pokémon Tools like Focus Band that would crowd out something like Crystal Edge don’t alter the general strategy as badly for Crystal Wall; both are protective, so the deck can function with both. It ends up being a question of whether or not to run Black Kyurem EX.

For Limited, odds are low enough that you would pull both Black Kyurem EX and Crystal Wall, but if you do you should run them; just mind the odd Swanna (BW: Boundaries Crossed 43/149) since it was the only Pokémon I noticed that can discard Pokémon Tools and that odds are against getting Crystal Wall out alongside Black Kyurem EX.

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.

The upcoming Black Kyurem EX has identical stats to the one we already have, but its first attack just does a flat 60 for (CCC). What makes it special is that for (WWLC) it does 200 points of damage. It does require discarding three Energy attached to itself in order to do this, but this attack allows Black Kyurem EX an almost guaranteed OHKO!

The different Energy cost means it belongs in a Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149) deck, and reports from Japan indicate it has indeed been found in some winning Blastoise deck lists. In such a deck it can drop from no where and OHKO a Pokémon-EX or Stage 2 to generate huge advantage. Ignoring it just makes it likely your opponent will set-it up to swing again. It does require Blastoise decks run some source of (L) Energy, though.

Since it belongs to a different deck, it may not directly affect play of the other Black Kyurem EX, and that means I am uncertain of what it would do to usage of Crystal Wall, but by the time we get this card, we likely will have more Ace Spec cards as well, and thus Crystal Wall becomes more expensive (due to the trade-off cost) to run.

Ratings

Unlimited: 2/5

Modified: 2/5

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 Crystal Wall 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. Crystal Wall comes far closer than Crystal Edge did, but is still far from being worth the hassle.

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. It shouldn’t apply to all such cards, and probably would be best as a built-in effect of future Ace Spec Pokémon Tools… or they could just not make Ace Spec Tools, which I would prefer.


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