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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Phantom Forces
Top 10

#3 - Battle Compressor

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 12, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.00
Expanded: 4.17
Limited: 4.50

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#3 Battle Compressor 

Today’s card is an Item which has an incredibly simple effect which can be useful in so many ways. When you play it, you can select up to three cards from your deck and put them in the discard pile. 

The uses of this card are both general and deck-specific. Any deck can use Battle Compressor to ‘thin’ itself by removing those cards you just don’t want to draw into. Running a Garbodor line against a deck without Abilities? Battle Compressor can save you the pain of drawing those useless Trubbish. Paired with VS Seeker, it can also act as Supporter search: simply place the needed Juniper or Lysandre in the discard pile and get it right back to your hand. 

Aside from these general uses, there are many decks which love having certain cards in the discard. The Phantom Forces Night March deck (Joltik, Pumpkaboo, Lampent) needs Pokémon in the deck to fuel attacks, as do decks based around Flareon PLF. We also have several Pokémon that like to accelerate Energy from the discard pile, such as the new Phantom Forces Bronzong, Mega Manectric EX, Yveltal XY, and Landorus FFI. All of these cards and decks can benefit greatly from running a couple of Battle Compressor. 

Although it can be used in anything, I expect today’s card to be squeezed out of most lists for space reasons. However it is pretty much a must-run in decks that abuse the discard pile. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.5 (good card, especially for some decks)

Expanded: 3.75 (decks running Dark Patch or Ho-oh EX will love this)

Limited: 4 (thinning your deck of all the rubbish cards you had to include is good news. Just beware deck out)


aroramage

In most card games, there's some card that at first glance may look like a bad idea, but when put into practice or combined with other cards it's actually a very dangerous threat. Welcome back guys, today we're taking a look at Battle Compressor, a combo piece that looks bad at first but can be very very VERY dangerous!
 
It's a simple effect to be honest: you search your deck for 3 cards and send them to the discard pile. Now coming from my own experience with the Yugioh! TCG, this looks a lot like a triple-powered Foolish Burial - a card that could send a monster to the Graveyard, or in the case of the anime could send any card to any player's Graveyard. It looks like a bad card at first - why would you want to send a monster to your Graveyard to begin with, right? - but in more recent times, it's become a major powerhouse because of the cards it could be combined with, and as a result it's been Limited (meaning you can only use 1 in your deck) for the past 4 years!
 
I bring up Foolish Burial as the example because Battle Compressor does a similar thing to what the anime version does but on overdrive! Rather than sending 1 card to your opponent's discard pile, you send 3 cards to your own discard pile - and there's a lot you can do with that! Let's take a look at it from the perspective of each card type: Energy, Trainers, and Pokemon.
 
Energy is probably the most obvious and may be the most used aspect of Battle Compressor - you send the Energies straight to your discard pile. This allows you to later grab them out with effects like Eelektrik (in Expanded), the new support Pokemon for Metal decks, and Landorus to attach them to your Bench-sitters. A nifty little trick, and it thins out your deck by 3 cards so you have a better chance to draw into stuff you may need!
 
Trainer cards have an interesting combo with Battle Compressor. There's the obvious send 3 Items and use Sableye (DEX) to add them back to your hand, but that's another Expanded combo, and we've got one better for ya in Standard! You can send 3 Supporters to your discard pile easily with this card - and if you're wondering why you'd do that, the answer is VS Seeker. VS Seeker is a reprint from EX FireRed & LeafGreen from back in 2004 - 10 years since its last print! - that is based off the in-game item that allows you to challenge Trainers you've already beaten if they're interested in fighting again. In the TCG, it can be used to add a Supporter from your discard pile to your hand - and combined with Battle Compressor, that means you've got access to every Supporter in your entire deck!!
 
Pokemon is the last one, but it's also the hardest to come up with a combo for. Most of the time, Pokemon like being in your hand so you can play them, hence why we use Ultra Ball usually. Let's say, though, that you don't have the Pokemon you need. You've got an Ultra Ball in hand, but you've also got nothing to discard other than Battle Compressor. What could you send to the discard pile to make that work out for you? The answer: Exeggcute (PLF/PLB). Combined with its Propagation Ability - the one where you add him to your hand if he's in the discard pile - 2 Exeggcutes become a free Pokemon of your choosing from your deck, all the while simultaneously freeing up space! That's a fairly situational combo, but it's effective nevertheless.
 
Battle Compressor is a card of untapped potential, where several combos exist and simply need to be discovered. It may even ripen with age as the format evolves and new sets come out, bringing with them new cards to combo with - and that gives Battle Compressor a long healthy lifespan.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 4.5/5 (a deck-thinning combo piece that makes things ultimately easier for the player using it)
 
Expanded: 4.5/5 (same thing here)
 
Limited: 4.5/5 (even with a smaller pool of cards to grab from, this card is still wildly beneficial)
 
Arora Notealus: I'd be tempted to give this a perfect score on all accounts, but the major thing to remember is that Battle Compressor's greatest strength is what it combines with; it can't get you a Supporter or Energies, but other cards can, and that's why at it's best I'd rate it a 4.8/5 on all fronts.
 
Next Time: A twofer to wrap it up! We look at that new Metal-support 'mon, and then we'll take a look at what may be the most controversial card in the entire set!


Otaku

We continue the second week of our Top 10 Promising Picks of XY: Phantom Forces, at last breaking into the Top 3!  As a reminder, reprint cards were not eligible for the Top 10 list, which was created through each member of the review crew submitting their own Top 10  list to Pojo, who then averages them out to produce the master Top 10 list we use for the review order.  The official release date for this set in the U.S. was November 5th, so XY: Phantom Forces cards aren’t tournament legal until November 21st; however we’ll be scoring them as if they were. 

Battle Compressor is an Item that lets you discard up to three (of your choosing) cards from your deck.  For the sake of less experienced players, let me explain why giving up a card from hand to lose up to three cards of your choice from your deck is going to be a beneficial thing in general (I’ll get to combos later on).  Your properly shuffled (and thus randomized) deck makes it so that each time you draw the card off the top, its a bit like having all the cards in your deck numbered from one to whatever amount of cards there are still remaining, and rolling a die with that manner sides to determine which one you get.  Eliminating the three cards makes it more likely you’ll draw into the remaining cards: your odds when drawing a single card go from 1 out of X to 1 out of X-3.  Using my somewhat painful and strained parallel, it is like you get to roll on a die with fewer sides than before. 

Most TCGs require this skill, making it pretty much a fundamental: these are games where there is either less draw and/or search power, or the resource requirement to use it is steeper.  As that isn’t the case in Pokémon, realizing that using an Ultra Ball when you both don’t need a Pokémon and it is unlikely you’ll need to use Ultra Ball anymore in this particular game allows you to both peek at the remains of your deck and get rid of anything that might be cluttering your hand… like another Ultra Ball.  Doing so means if your opponent hits you with N late game, you’ll have three less cards to deal with as you hope to topdeck a Supporter or other draw card; with the example I just gave, two less Ultra Ball plus whatever your other discard was). 

So while this isn’t a huge deal, this is how Battle Compressor benefits pretty much all current decks as is.  Now let us start taking advantage of it by looking at effects based on cards in the discard pile.  Effects that attach Energy from the discard pile are nothing new and have been quite effective the last few formats without this new toy… but it is a lot more straightforward using Battle Compressor (for example) to dump three basic Metal Energy into the discard pile so that three Bronzong (XY: Phantom Forces 61/119) can use their Metal Links Abilities to then attach all three to one or more Benched Pokémon than getting said Energy into hand and using another card effect to discard it.  There are some Pokémon you might want in your discard pile, like Exeggcute (BW: Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW: Plasma Blast 102/101) that this can toss.  There might even be some decks that want to toss both: Ho-Oh-EX might be worth another look in Expanded now that you can even more easily get it and basic Energy cards into the discard pile. 

The big (and incredibly simple) combo is Battle Compressor with VS Seeker (XY: Phantom Forces 109/119).  VS Seeker is one of the reasons I keep prefacing these Top 10 reviews with the fact that reprints aren’t eligible for the list.  It is a solid card in its own right - an Item that snags a Supporter from your discard pile - but when combined with Battle Compressor its quite the weapon.  To pull the trick off reliable means running a lot of Skyla or Korrina or simply maxing out on both Battle Compressor and VS Seeker, but the reward is that you can then toss up to three key Supporters from your deck into your discard pile, giving you quite the versatile VS Seeker.  Early game you can discard a Lysandre, your preferred draw Supporter, and then a third Supporter (if desired) and now you’ve got that effect available anytime you can play a VS Seeker.  Running one copy of a supporter still risks it being Prized and you’re in trouble if your Items are being locked… but having upwards of four “floating” Supporters that can be draw or Lysandre or something else (Blacksmith, Lysandre’s Trump Card, Pokémon Center Lady, Pokémon Fan Club, Xerosic, etc.) without being locked into any one of those exact options. 

For most uses of this card, Lysandre’s Trump Card does indeed trump them; undoing your discard pile based set-up… but Battle Compressor actually likes Lysandre’s Trump Card, at least for general use.  For a Night March deck (as yet another example), Battle Compressor is perhaps their only prayer to get the discard prepped again after having been forced by Lysandre’s Trump Card to shuffle everything in the discard back into the deck… but for a deck already using Battle Compressor in its more general capacity, it makes Lysandre’s Trump Card better.  You throw everything back into your deck… but then you start pitching the stuff you didn’t want; Supporters for the VS Seeker combo or cards meant only for early game or TecH that doesn’t appear worthwhile this game.  Of course this once again can be an issue if you’re the one using Lysandre’s Trump Card and your opponent also has Battle Compressor to toss those unneeded cards back into the discard pile. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4/5 - Composite rating: general usage with no combos may be as much as a point lower, but in the decks that need Battle Compressor most it basically has a perfect score coming.  Factor in that with just a little bit of tweaking it can do some pretty good things for otherwise “generic” decks, and I think it earns a high score. 

Expanded: 4.25/5 - As above, only I think there are more opportunities here owing to the… erm… expanded cardpool. 

Limited: 5/5 - It easily is a must run here, and not just because you have the room for it but because you’re likely relying on little to no draw/search power outside of your regular draw for the turn.  Your deck is a bit smaller but you still greatly benefit from being able to thin it out… even if you didn’t manage any of the potential combos still available within this set.

Summary: Battle Compressor is likely to be one of the most influential cards this set, giving the game a card all about thinning your deck to improve your draws and/or set-up for combos.  With no additional prep, it is still a pretty valuable card though perhaps not a staple.  Combined with cards you’re likely already running, at least a single copy seems worthwhile and possible two or three.  Certain decks will max this out because they have several cards they want in the discard pile.  Lysandre’s Trump Card counters its thinning prowess, but at the same time provides even more incentive to run Battle Compressor because by the same note Battle Compressor allows you to selectively recycle the discard and is the best hope discard pile focused decks have of weathering Lysandre’s Trump Card.  As you can tell I think highly of this card, and has it as my second place pick.


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