is our pick for the second best card of 2013; we first
here where it took fourth place out of our Top 10
list for BW: Plasma Freeze.
Perhaps we underrated it?
Given the release of
almost two years ago in BW: Dragons Exalted, it
almost surprised me at how effective some Pokémon Tools
remained, but then I realized that
meets the qualifications to thrive under such adversity.
First a basic recap for those unwilling or able to check
out the older reviews:
is a Pokémon Tool that zeros out the Retreat Cost of the
Pokémon to which it is attached.
For much of the game’s life, having a free
Retreat Cost has been a great thing, enabling some
useful combos or at least easier general play.
While you do still use your once-per-turn manual
retreat, that only matters in those circumstances where
you needed to change your Active out twice; there are
many legitimate circumstances that justify it, and while
it is hardly rare neither is it common.
More pressing is that it uses up that Pokémon’s
An occasional bonus is that it zeros out your
Retreat Cost (as opposed to just allowing you to retreat
without discarding anything) occasionally helps against
certain Abilities and attacks.
You can basically play
as an alternative to
trade off is that you still burn your manual retreat for
the turn and can’t get around effects that would prevent
manually retreating, but in return
isn’t “one and done”; unless your opponent is going to
KO the Pokémon it is attached to or use an effect to
discard Pokémon Tools anyway, you can likely generate
more advantage with the card.
I believe what may have lead us (or at least me)
to underrate it is the timing; unlike
can attach a
Float Stone before you “need” it should it prove
advantageous, such as immediately before you use
Juniper (and it would have been wastefully
discarded), but you can also try to hold it until the
exact moment you need it, preventing it from being a
target (though N
may then shuffle it away).
Waiting until the last minute means you trade
that Trainer for the Energy you would have had to
discard, and unless your opponent already was going to
KO that Pokémon before it could retreat again or you had
another Pokémon Tool in play so that
(or another discard effect) were going to be used…
congrats, you just earned some more advantage.
While not enough to propel
to the top, there were other factors.
EX was an obvious partner to
because together with the Rush In Ability on
allowed you to essentially trade in your manual retreat
of the turn for a
long as there wasn’t something that prevented manually
retreating or negating Abilities, it tends to generate
some serious advantage.
Other big combos have been slapping one onto
Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze
119/116, BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) to
activate its Garbotoxin Ability while at the same time
making it easy to get out of the Active slot (should it
survive being promoted), and making it easier to retreat
Kyurem (BW: Plasma Freeze 31/116) after using
its Blizzard Burn attack, bypassing its effect that
Kyurem [Plasma] from using that same attack the next
The format was also right, because players had been
getting by using
Darkrai EX for its Dark Cloak Ability alongside
Keldeo EX to
perform the same trick as
Sparing players the need to run another Pokémon-EX, eat
up a space on the Bench, run a source of Darkness
Energy, and get said Energy onto
(manually attaching it detracting from setting up
something else in most decks) are why said obvious combo
While there are decks that would rather run the
plenty switched over to the easy Pokémon-EX with Pokémon
Tool combo, and the savings in space really helped
elaborate decks like
Dark Explorers 11/108)/Gothitelle
(BW: Emerging Powers 47/98; BW: Legendary
All of this helped make this a key card for a few
decks, a good card for many, and prevented it from being
a poor choice for all but a few.
So players were already in the proper frame of
mind to answer the question “How can I generate
advantage via retreating for free?” and helping to
ensure it was used well.
For Unlimited I must still base my analysis purely on
Theorymon due to a lack of personal play-testing
opportunities or published results by other players that
I trust (the former makes the latter even more
I would assume that this card would at best see
I cannot think of any First Turn Win decks that
need to retreat the Active for free (as opposed to just
but if there is one then this is the card to use.
I can see a few Lock decks at least toying with
the idea and perhaps even a few beatdown decks if they
are using attackers with draw backs like the previously
This is enough to keep it from getting a minimum score,
but definitely not enough to rival all the fantastic
older Pokémon Tools like
For Limited play, the only reason to skip this card is
if you are running a deck built around a single Pokémon.
Otherwise make room for it as the basic uses for
a free retreating Pokémon become even more important
with your diminished options; things like being able to
promote whatever has
attached after a Pokémon is KOed so you can decide what
is best to make your “real” Active Pokémon after your
opening draw and any Trainers or Pokémon effects that
might otherwise matter is a serious benefit.
is a great card, almost always a little useful but only
a “must run” for certain decks; a good combination of
“quality” and “quantity”.
About the only thing that makes me question its
placement is that outside of
I can’t think of a deck that really suffers for want of
diminished performance, but nothing really “make or
Then again, this wasn’t the distinguishing feature it
often is for such lists, and most of the Top 10 worked
the same; making something (or several things) “better”
while not adding much “new” to the metagame.
When we first looked at
I had it in the fifth place slot on my own Top 10
Promising Picks of BW: Plasma Freeze, but this
time I ended up placing it in the same spot as the final
tally; second place.