As we review the second best Reprint of BW: Legendary
Treasures I will be able to correct a past wrong:
we are looking at
(BW: Legendary Treasures 111/113)!
This card first appeared as BW: Emerging
Powers 92/98, though under the name
Energy Removal 2
it dates all the way back to the end of the WotC-era and
has at least five printings.
My original review for the card never went up, but was
in line with those that did; it was an “okay card”: not
something for ever deck, but the “tails fails” made it
“Tails fails” seldom if ever balances a card.
All that happens is the effect becomes too weak
or remains to strong… but only when you have a certain
amount of “luck”.
This can manifest in no one runs the card (which
isn’t really balanced either), in everyone running the
card and the top cut is almost exclusively people that
got the most “heads” results, and the third option where
just certain decks can afford to abuse it.
You get one manual Energy attachment per turn, and you
have to have an Energy card available to make use of it.
You can play as many Items as you wish per turn,
provided you can get them into hand and they will have
at least some effect on the field; some may have costs
but that is specific to the card and not a general game
Hopefully this explains the clear imbalance: as
long as you have room in a deck with adequate access,
and the metagame doesn’t nerf the effectiveness, you run
Wait… so why did I just cite that a card that has a long
history (even if most is under a different name) wasn’t
used for so long?
That I just said you run but in reality most
decks haven’t been running it?
The format may mean there is something better:
in Unlimited play,
if your metagame is sufficiently Special Energy focused,
because Poison with a chance of Sleep is often as
effective or more effective than a chance at discarding
an Energy… and decks only have so much room.
The format might specifically make discarding
Energy unappealing by being “out of whack” itself:
overabundant Energy removal or almost no Energy
acceleration in a format of OHKOs (why discard with an
Item what the KO will discard anyway?).
The third (and just as important) is “access”: a lot of
formats where Energy acceleration wasn’t an issue ended
up making more “mundane” cards more important because
you couldn’t afford the space for anything else to begin
“Access” is why
Crushing Hammer and its return are so potent now;
last format “Hammer Time” decks were a thing because
Dark Explorers 62/108) and its Junk Hunt, enhanced
by draw and search power, gave unprecedented access to
all Items, but it was more unbalancing for some than
when the most you can use it is four times and with it
being difficult to drop in multiples, isn’t the same as
an opponent able to barrage you with at least two per
turn over and over again, eventually running you out of
Energy or at least depleting your Energy to the point
you can’t make “good” attacks.
With its reprint, this may be an option again; we
can’t be sure due to the change in rules.
A first turn Junk Hunt was a big deal to most
At the same time, a deck staple that was often maxed out
was so badly nerfed via erratum that it may be better to
drop it and replace it with another useful card… and
just might be that card for a few decks.
Some decks just can’t make use of a Catcher-KO
Pokémon Catcher fails half the time (and
alternatives are unreliable in different ways and/or
require more resources).
It is just
easier for them to focus on discarding more Pokémon
Tools or Energy or something else because while useful
in fewer circumstances, it is more reliable or less of a
risk when it fails.
We may even find that rotating TecH just fills
more slots now; instead of being forced to choose
between a clutch
Tool Scrapper or a clutch
you may have room for both or for several
but that change is only valid for a single event because
the metagame will significantly shift by the next
I already made it clear that Unlimited has superior
choices, so I’ll just tell you the obvious; you run
if you pull it in Limited.
The “exceptions” are improbabilities, like
pulling so many good cards it gets crowded out; even I
don’t dock for that.
Wait… after that huge rant I only gave it a 3.25/5?
Any deck can use this card and outside of a few
match-ups where it won’t really help (versus Deluge
decks, for example), but most of the time on “heads” it
is amazingly powerful and on “tails” it was a total
there weren’t so many questionably powerful cards
(amongst the otherwise small “competitive” pool), it
would have scored higher, and as is the rule changes and
erratum might create more openings or might damage the
usefulness it previously enjoyed.
This was my number two pick for my own list, where I
restricted myself to cards that had (briefly) rotated
out of the format but that this printing returned to
It earns its place because while it is only the best
choice for one or two decks, it is perfectly functional
anywhere… on “heads”.
It is a “broken or fail” kind of card.