As we end this week, we look at
Crystal Wall (BW: Boundaries
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
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
Recycle; for quick reference, that
would be a “tails fails” Item that
allows you to top-deck a card from your
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
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
Giant Cape, and
Rescue Scarf are still very good.
Lastly, before getting into the effect
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
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.
while equipped, overwrites the maximum
Black Kyurem EX so that it is 300
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
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.
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
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
The real problem is that
Tool Scrapper, while not everywhere,
is likely a
Skyla away for many decks.
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
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
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
Black Kyurem EX can’t attack the
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
If you base a whole deck around
it, you can even bypass the drawback of
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
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.
still remains a huge threat, so if this
deck isn’t a surprise, it isn’t worth
Black Kyurem EX might be worth the
hassle of running, and it would be due
Crystal Wall; the deck wouldn’t be
streamlined but 300 HP is amazing.
The other Pokémon Tools like
Focus Band that would crowd out
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.
This section will contain spoilers, so
skip it if you are still the kind of
player that likes being surprised by
Black Kyurem EX has identical stats
to the one we already have, but its
first attack just does a flat 60 for
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
The different Energy cost means it
belongs in a
Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed
31/149) deck, and reports from
indicate it has indeed been found in
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
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
Black Kyurem EX, and that means I am
uncertain of what it would do to usage
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.
Ace Spec Pokémon Tools seem like a poor
idea, and even worse when they only work
for a specific Pokémon.
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