Team Flare Grunt
Back in the early days of Pokémon, Energy removal was
such a dominant strategy that it made any attack that
cost more than two Energy virtually
unusable. Since then, Pokémon has been
understandably wary of cards that do this, meaning that
they normally come with some kind of heavy restriction
such as a tails-fails coin flip (Crushing Hammer,
Dragonite DRV) or being
limited to Special Energy only (Enhanced Hammer,
Team Flare Grunt is an Energy removal card that doesn’t
have those particular restrictions (it can discard any
kind of Energy without a flip), but it does come with
its own set of pretty important drawbacks.
For a start, it’s a Supporter. This is a big problem in
itself because we are so heavily dependent on Supporters
just to draw cards and keep decks flowing. Taking a turn
without draw in order to discard an Energy means this
card has a huge opportunity cost, making it difficult to
use under most circumstances. Also Team Flare Grunt only
lets you discard from your opponent’s
Pokémon. While this may be something you want to do
anyway, it does make the card a lot less useful. For
example, if you are able to KO their active, you are
going to be a lot more interested in removing Energy
from an attacker they are preparing on the Bench.
My first thought with Team Flare Grunt was that
if we ever
got some decent non-Supporter draw cards, it could be a
very powerful card that would see some serious play.
However that Active-only rule is a bigger downside than
it appears, robbing the card of much-needed flexibility.
Can’t say I’m sad about that though: Energy Removal
(along with hand disruption) is something that can
easily ruin the game if the designers aren’t careful.
Modified: 2 (too restricted . . . but that’s probably a
Limited: 4.5 (you won’t have a draw Supporter to use
most of the time, so why not use this?)