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Pojo's PokÚmon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Plasma Storm
#7 - Ether

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
February 7, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.63
Limited: 4.69

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

#7 Ether 

Coming in at #7 on our countdown is another card that was held over from Boundaries Crossed. Many people found that somewhat annoying, as they had been testing it heavily. Just shows you shouldn’t be making assumptions and taking things for granted, doesn’t it? Still, now it’s here, I guess we should see if those preparations were wasted or not. 

Ether is a Trainer-Item that can function as Energy acceleration in any deck that uses Basic Energy (which is almost all of them). It works by revealing the top card of the deck and, if that is a Basic Energy, it can be attached to one of your PokÚmon (if it isn’t, you put it back). Obviously, you would have to be an idiot wildly optimistic desperate to just play this on the off-chance that one of the 10-14 Energy card in your deck would be sitting on top, so the sensible player will look for a combo to rig the draw. The best option is PokÚdex, a Trainer that allows you to re-order the top five cards of the deck. Other possibilities would be Lunatone PLS or Musharna NEX which both have Abilities that would effectively let you fix one of the top two cards. 

Of course, even with PokÚdex (assuming you have the two-card combo in hand), there is some risk attached, but the pay-off can be great: you could have a Tornadus-EX doing 100 damage on the very first turn, or a Landorus-EX doing 150 on the second. The reason I’m only using Basic attackers as examples? No way is an Evolution deck ever going to find enough space in the deck for the 6-8 cards needed to even attempt to use Ether. 

I must admit to being a bit sceptical about this card. When it works . . . yeah, it’s fantastic, but there is a considerable risk of burning through your cards and still being left empty-handed. Still, I expect people to give it a try (especially with the PokÚmon I just mentioned), and if they can manage to pull off the combo . . . well, a lot of the time it will be game-winning. To anyone giving it a try, I recommend playing some copies of yesterday’s card (Bicycle). 

Rating 

Modified: 3 (Energy acceleration for everyone! . . . Just remember that it’s somewhat flaky and takes up a ton of deckspace)

Limited: 4.75 (well worth the risk, considering that more than half your deck will be Energy)

virusyosh

Greetings once again, Pojo viewers! Today we're continuing our countdown of the Top 10 cards of Plasma Storm by reviewing a new Item card that much like Bicycle, has huge potential in a deck built around its use. Today's Card of the Day (and #7 on our Countdown) is Ether.
 
Ether is a Trainer - Item card, meaning that you can play as many Ethers as you'd like during your turn. Ether's effect is potentially quite powerful: you reveal the top card of your deck, and if it is a Basic Energy card, you attach it to one of your Pokemon. If not, you return it to the top of your deck. Energy acceleration is always one of the best possible strategies you can use in the Pokemon TCG, and Ether makes Energy acceleration possible for decks that don't have dedicated Energy acceleration engines like Eelektrik or Blastoise. Of course, Ether's Energy acceleration is entirely determined by the top card of your deck, but there are ways you can deal with this. Lunatone (also from Plasma Storm) makes for an excellent partner, as it allows you to look at the top two cards of your deck and put them back in any order, allowing you to stack your draws to get maximal benefit from Ether. In conclusion, Ether may not be tearing up the tournament scene, but it's a card that allows for thought in deckbuilding, and may play a central role in a deck once someone figures out how to break it.
 
Modified: 4/5 I'm cautiously optimistic about Ether. It definitely doesn't fit into every deck, but Energy acceleration is so good in nearly every case that it's worth at least a strong look.
 
Limited: 5/5 Energy acceleration is very rare here, so there's no reason not to run Ether. Limited decks also tend to run more Energy when compared to their Modified counterparts, so you'll be more likely to get use of the card without stacking your deck here, too.
 
Combos With: Lunatone PLS 

Jebulous Maryland Player

Ether
 
Ether is an Item that allows you to reveal the top card of your deck.  If it is a basic energy, then you can attach it to one of your Pokemon.  If not, return it to the top of your deck.
 
So the hype behind this card is that you can use Pokedex as well, set up the top energy, then play Ether.  That guarantees you the energy attachment.  It was supposed to come out last set, so there was anticipation of a turn 1 'Land's Judgment', which is a scary thought.
 
It is great for decks that don't have their own energy acceleration.  We'll have to see how it fairs with the new set, seeing how everyone is talking more about Plasma Energy and Colress Machine.
 
Modified: 4/5
Limited: 4/5
Combos With:  Pokedex
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Otaku

We come to Thursday and the number seven choice for our Top 10 Promising Picks of Plasma Storm… Ether (BW: Plasma Storm 121/135)!  This is another expected by many (including myself) in BW: Boundaries Crossed due its Japanese release.  The nature of this card doesn’t lend itself to my current structuring of reviews, so for better or worse I’ll be reviewing this in a more freestyle form.  Do not expect that to make the review any shorter.

 

Ether enjoys speed as it is an Item, and right now the countermeasures for Items (and Trainers in general) aren’t seeing play.  Its effect is the coveted Energy acceleration; in this case the card reveals the top card of your deck, and if it is a Basic Energy card you get to attach it to one of your PokÚmon.  If it isn’t, the revealed card simply goes back to the top of the deck.  That last bit can be somewhat useful; you get an idea of what is coming next turn, or this turn if you’ve got some non-shuffling form of draw power available.

 

In a different format, this card would be a maxed out staple in all decks.  Unfortunately it comes out when Special Energy usage seems to be on the rise, and if it isn’t then low Energy count decks are still the norm.  Even with combos to help it, Ether really prefers a deck weigh in with at least 10 basic Energy cards, preferably 15 or more.  If it did work on Special Energy, it would still not be an automatic inclusion in decks due to the sheer volume of important cards, though I suspect most decks would make room.

 

All is not lost, however.  There is one very simple combo to help decks make good use of Ether, and that is by running PokÚdex with it.  Five cards is 1/12th of your full deck, and as the game goes on it just becomes a bigger and bigger chunk.  PokÚdex can be mildly useful on its own, just not enough to bother running it that way.  When the combo works, you’ll be able to accelerate a Basic Energy card plus know the next four cards of your deck, at least until you draw them or an effect forces you to shuffle.

 

There are other options as well; Lunatone (BW: Plasma Storm 73/135) allows you to see the top two cards of your deck via its Ability and rearrange them if you wish.  It isn’t a huge improvement, but it is reusable.  Musharna (BW: Next Destinies 59/99) is a Stage 1 and none too big, but its Ability allows you to look at the next two cards and then add one to hand.  I still prefer PokÚdex, but these two might have a place in the right deck; before the delay I saw donk decks trying out a TecH Lunatone accompanied by Level Ball or Heavy Ball; being a legal target for both it gave better odds of successfully using Ether first turn, but the decks would still run PokÚdex as well.

 

Sticking with the PokÚdex strategy, I believe you need to remember that Ether is always going to be unreliable and can’t be thought of like most other Energy acceleration.  Instead, think of it a bit like Crushing Hammer; great when it works, terrible when it whiffs.  You can’t rely on it, but when it does work the benefit is usually immense.  It is important as well to remember you don’t need to max out on either card, and actually need less PokÚdex than Ether; besides a lucky Ether use on its own, if you can get the cards in hand at the right time and hit enough Energy off of PokÚdex, you can use multiple Ether with it.

 

I haven’t painted a very bright picture of Ether, and that is because I believe the current metagame won’t be friendly to it.  Find a deck that can and should use it and Ether will be pretty amazing, but we also received Team Plasma PokÚmon and their own Energy acceleration in the form of Colress Machine and Plasma Energy, as well as all the other established accelerators in the format.  People can’t really afford to drop PokÚmon Catcher for Ether.

 

It also doesn’t mesh well with most other Energy acceleration.  About the only established Energy acceleration that works with Ether might be Dark Patch and Double Colorless Energy.  In the case of the former, it is because both target Basic Energy cards and you likely have enough of either to have adequate targets for both Dark Patch and Ether.  The latter is because Double Colorless Energy, while not a legal target, is “self-contained acceleration”.  In both cases, it is mostly a matter of having room.

 

In Unlimited, there are better options: if a deck really needs extra Energy attachments, it should probably run something more easily used and re-used.  The format also runs heavily on Special Energy.  On the other hand, in Limited play it is a must run: just knowing your next card is worth it and actually hitting a basic Energy is more likely (decks tend to run higher Energy counts, both in actuality and proportionately).

 

Ratings

 

Unlimited: 1/5

 

Modified: 3.5/5

 

Limited: 5/5

 

Combos: PokÚdex, Lunatone (BW: Plasma Storm 73/135), Musharna (BW: Next Destinies 59/99)

 

Summary

I was so exited for Ether when it was supposed to be debuting in BW: Boundaries Crossed, but now it feels like I have to choose between it and several other important Trainer strategies… most of which are much more reliable.  There will be decks using this, and using it for scary tricks, but have to go light on Special Energy (maybe avoid it altogether).  I see why it made the number seven slot for our overall list… and why the others likely ranked it lower.  On my own list, I placed it in the number three slot, but am now having a serious case of buyer’s remorse.


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