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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 

 Enhanced Hammer

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 24, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard:
Expanded:
Limited:

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

Enhanced Hammer 

Short week of reviews starts today, as the US has its annual shopping and turkey binge. That does leave us enough time to look at three very important cards that were reprinted in Phantom Forces, yet were not eligible for our top 10 list (where reprints are not permitted). 

Enhanced Hammer has only been absent from the game for a few months, and I suspect its return will not be welcomed by many players. The ability to discard your opponent’s Special Energy with the use of an Item can be very powerful in a format where practically every deck plays Special Energy: Fighting uses Strong Energy; Yveltal loves Double Colourless; Plasma and Fairy decks pretty much depend on Rainbow. Enhanced Hammer sets these decks and more back by an attachment and deprives them of a limited resource which performs a key function. With Enhanced Hammer around, these decks have something to fear and the sensible player will bow to the inevitable and re-tool their deck to take account of it (for example, by running more Basic Energy in Donphan decks). 

Ironically, the biggest beneficiary of Enhanced Hammer is likely to be the deck that arguably abuses Special Energy the most. With Quaking Punch blocking Items, Seismitoad EX decks can attach Double Colourless Energy without fear and slow down opponent’s decks even more by using Enhanced Hammer. Elsewhere, I can certainly see players fitting in a copy or two if they have room, simply because it will be useful against practically everything. 

Rating 

Modified: 3.5 (a pain for everyone using Special Energy . . . which is everyone)

Expanded: 3.5 (even more targets here)

Limited: 3.75 (DCE and Mystery Energy are there for the taking)


aroramage

Hey guys, and welcome to a bit of a short week of Pokemon cards! Since it is a short week, we'd like to refamiliarize you guys with some reprints that joined in this set! Today's reprint is going to be Enhanced Hammer!

 

Now Enhanced Hammer is not all that old, but it's very useful. In fact, it's SO useful, we actually reviewed it back in August as part of our Top 10 Cards Lost to Rotation! (so much for that, am I right?) It can be used to whack off a Special Energy off of one of your opponent's Pokemon. Sounds too situational? Well considering that we've got DCE, Strong Energy, Herbal Energy, the new Mystery Energy, Plasma Energy, and Rainbow Energy currently in the format - with the addition of the two Blend Energies in Expanded - we've got a whole host of decks that this card can go up against!

 

Enhanced Hammer's mere existence means you have to watch out before powering up your Landorus-EX with Strong Energy - you may be able to hit hard this turn, but after Enhanced Hammer comes down, you have to rely on Muscle Band and HTLBank to really dish out damage. Course, you could wait for one of the three other Strong Energy you've got hidden away in your deck...assuming they haven't been selected as Prize cards.

 

We talked a little about Xerosic being a good Supporter in regards to him discarding Special Energies, but with Enhanced Hammer, you won't ever need to use him outside of getting rid of Tools your opponent put down - whether that's a Muscle Band on one of their guys or a Team Flare Hyper Gear on one of your guys! The best part about Enhanced Hammer is that it's not limited to once per turn, so as long as your opponent's Pokemon have Special Energies on them, you can play out any and all Enhanced Hammers you've got!

 

There may be a slight catch/combo to be had with Seismitoad-EX's Item Locking power; while he can be used to cripple your opponent in combination with Enhanced Hammer, he also locks down the Hammer if he's opposing you. Aside from that, though, there's not a whole lot a player can do against the Hammer, and that's what makes it so dangerous in a Special Energy-heavy format!

 

There is one other card to keep an eye on as far as the Hammer goes, and that's Lysandre's Trump Card. Any card that can reset the stage is going to have a big impact on what's happened previously, and while you do get the Hammers you've used back, your opponent also gets their Special Energies back - and that could spell trouble for you if they draw one first!

 

All things considered though, you better be running this bad boy in all of your decks - at least 2 if you're not going all the way up to 4!

 

Rating

 

Standard: 4/5 (a solid card that gets rid of a lot of stuff and sets your opponents back a turn)

 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (even better with the addition of more Special Energies!)

 

Limited: 3/5 (the only big Special Energies are Mystery and DCE, but having a Hammer around to whack em out of the park is always nice!)

 

Arora Notealus: At least this set HAS Special Energies in it. Remember Dark Explorers? Limited, this card was useless cause there was nothing to whack! Now you can enjoy the mighty Hammer in all formats!

 

Next Time: Where's that one guy I wanted to battle again...


Otaku

We begin this abridged week of reviews (three day week due to a holiday here in the U.S.A.) where we finally justify my constant stressing that reprints weren’t eligible for the Top 10 list because… we’re reviewing some of those cards ineligible for the list.

We begin the week with Enhanced Hammer; this was a card that the review crew has looked at before.  We reviewed it here when it was a brand new release from BW: Dark Explorers and again here where it made our Top 10 list of cards being lost due to rotation.  Go ahead and read those reviews if you haven’t read them before or don’t quite remember; you can get a laugh at how badly I underestimated Enhanced Hammer (I didn’t predict Hammertime decks or Skyla), then you can get slightly less out of date thoughts that I had as we bid farewell to the card...

...which brings us to now.  As I began to write this review, I realized that in some ways Enhanced Hammer is stronger than ever.  There are still a few decks that use little or no Special Energy cards but most I can think of are going to be counting on Double Colorless Energy or Rainbow Energy, and I’m not sure if there are any serious Fighting-Type decks that leave out Strong Energy.  Basic Energy cards get some extra tricks like Energy Retrieval, Energy Switch, Professor’s Letter and Superior Energy Retrieval, but for a lot of decks that isn’t enough to just run basic Energy cards.  The thing is, as we bid it farewell I failed to connect some dots.  First up: Korrina!  Fighting-Type decks may not like getting hit by Enhanced Hammer, but if they can make room for it its an easy thing for them to snag (like any other Item).

Seismitoad-EX blocks the opponent from using Items if it used its Quaking Punch attack, but Seismitoad-EX as the focus of a deck will enjoy Enhanced Hammer to help maintain field control.  Decks reliant on “Draw until you have X cards in hand.” effects, like that of Bicycle, might have to skip it (as it can quite easily become a dead card - you avoid dropping Special Energy until you must if you sense Enhanced Hammer).  Thanks to a reprint, Drifblim (BW: Dragons Exalted 51/124; BW Promos BW64) is still legal.  Between the popularity of Mewtwo-EX, the still lingering concern over Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106) and Dimension Valley lowering the cost of Shadow Steal to [0] - no Energy required, “free” - its popping up in decks again.  As a counter itself, there are also decks that like to play “keep away” with their Energy: when dealing with consecutive Yveltal-EX, this can keep Y Cyclone from constantly cycling the same Double Colorless Energy or Donphan (BW: Plasma Storm 72/135) from building up multiple Strong Energy while pulling its established hit-and-run tactics.

There is are two things that go against Enhanced Hammer.  The first is the usual: deck space.  If it comes down to Hypnotoxic Laser to either stall or help score a OHKO, you probably should go with it instead.  The other is something that is and yet isn’t: Lysandre’s Trump Card.  As of writing this, people still seem hesitant to give it a chance.  It makes Enhanced Hammer less useful; of course you also recycle Enhanced Hammer when either player uses Lysandre’s Trump Card, but it still means that Special Energy can be reclaimed from the discard pile… in fact all Special Energy, at once, along with everything else in the discard pile that isn’t named Lysandre’s Trump Card.

Ratings

Standard: 3.75/5 - I confess, I am hesitant to give this score; one moment I can’t understand why it I don’t award a higher score, the next I am trying to remember why the score isn’t lower.  If deck space wasn’t an issue but Special Energy was still the norm, this would be a staple… but the actual format has so many other things to fit into your deck.

Expanded: 3.5/5 - They never lost Enhanced Hammer here, but we do have a few more decks built around mostly (or all) basic Energy cards that still make the cut, and that is another knock against Enhanced Hammer.

Limited: 3.75/5 - A must run, but because decks should have the room for it (unless you have the mixed blessing of pulling all the other Trainers that fall into this category).  Double Colorless Energy and Mystery Energy are in this set, so you’ve got possible targets and while they are most likely going to be rarely encountered, they also are likely to be important when they do show up.

Summary: Enhanced Hammer should smash its way back into a lot of decks, but I’m not sure if it will be simply as TecH for those that can just make the room or a loose staple that decks only skip because they need something more vital (like draw cards) instead.  I’m thinking in specific builds, it will be a guaranteed one-of (maybe two of) while everywhere else its always a possibility.


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