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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 #1 - Special Energy

- Furious Fists Top 10

Date Reviewed:
Sep. 11, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.50
Expanded: 4.25
Limited: 5.00

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

#1 Strong Energy

PlusPower, Expert Belt, Crobat G, Muscle Band, Special Dark Energy. What does the popularity of those cards tell you about the Pokémon TCG? If you said ‘that effects that add damage can be incredibly good’, then you win this week’s Star Prize.* 

Really, Strong Energy is like Special Dark on performance-enhancing drugs, giving +20 damage to the attacks of any Fighting Pokémon to which it is attached. With just this card, Landorus EX’s Hammerhead does 50 + 30; Hawlucha FFI hits EXs for 80 damage for a single Energy; Lucario EX’s Corkscrew Smash does 80; Tyrantrum FFI becomes a one-shot EX killer . . . heck you can even Retaliate for 110 with Terrakion LTR if you really want to. The effect stacks so you get plus 20 for every Strong Energy: factor in Muscle Band and maybe Hypnotoxic Laser and those cheap Fighting attacks are hitting some really silly numbers. 

Any drawbacks? Well, you can’t attach Strong Energy to a non-Fighting Pokémon (it just gets discarded), which means it can’t be used to retreat other Pokémon or fuel Colourless attacks like Mewtwo EX’s X Ball. Being a Special Energy also means that it can be discarded by certain attacks (like Cobalion EX’s Righteous Edge). Nevertheless, there is no reason why a deck with a substantial number of Fighting Pokémon wouldn’t run four of these. They can turn a mediocre attack into something devastating and give Fighting Types a huge boost at the start of this new format. 

*Star Prize not an actual thing.

Rating 

Modified: 4.5 (makes Fighting into the format-defining Type)

Expanded: 4.5 (Enhanced Hammer is a slight issue, but Fighting Types will still love the card)

Limited: 5 (you’re sure to pull Fighting Pokémon from this set)


aroramage

Welcome to our #1 card of Furious Fists! Now what could beat out a damage-boosting Stadium, a Supporter that brings out a Pokemon AND an Item, and hefty strikers that can Item-lock? Well, an Energy, of course! Like Strong Energy!

 

Strong Energy is one of two Special Energy in the set, the other being Herbal Energy, and in a sense they work similarly in that they have to be attached to a specific Type of Pokemon. Naturally being the Fighting set, this means that this gets attached to Fighting Pokemon. And then it boosts their damage by 20. For every attack. Against ANY Pokemon, so long as it's Active.

 

That's right, Strong Energy doesn't have the same limitation that Fighting Stadium has in that it only affects Pokemon-EX; rather, it gets to deal 20 damage to ANY Pokemon. Now we've talked many many times about Lucario-EX's power stacking up colossally so with Strong Energy attached, but then you have to consider Pokemon like Landorus-EX who can deal 50 to the Active with Strong Energy AND set-up for another 30 on a Benched! That's pretty insane!

 

Forget about Weakness and Resistance, especially if you get multiple copies on the same Pokemon! Yveltal-EX is powerful, but taking away 20 damage is only a single Strong Energy away from being neutralized! Seismitoad-EX may have your Items sealed up, but Strong Energy can still be played down, making it more likely that you'll annihilate him super-fast! You may not be able to search Strong Energy with Korrina or bring it along back with Landorus from this set, but you can always add the Fighter you need, boost it up with Landorus, AND attach Strong Energy to it!

 

This Energy is what is going to make Fighting decks a major threat; having one or two of these makes the deck scary, but running even three of them makes it more likely that your Pokemon won't be around for much longer! And with strong powerful attackers like Lucario-EX and Landorus-EX around - and no Enhanced Hammer to readily thwack it off - Strong Energy is looking to become powerful support for a new powerful deck!

 

...well, maybe that's a good reason to run Team Flare Grunt.

 

Rating

 

Standard: 4.5/5 (pretty powerful support for a powerful deck, with maybe one card to remove it!)

 

Expanded: 4/5 (only gets a downgrade since Enhanced Hammer is available here)

 

Limited: 5/5 (you WILL run this card if you get a Fighting-type, ESPECIALLY Lucario-EX!)

 

Arora Notealus: This Energy is so strong, it breaks through the rocks on the card! Crazy!

 

Weekend Thought: Do you agree with our Top 10? What cards do you think should've made the list?


Otaku

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the “9/11” terrorist attack against the U.S.A. that helped to define the modern era.  Other terrorist activities have also happened in the years since on this date, and other such tragedies have happened on different dates in different countries.  Especially for those either not alive or too young to really remember the incident when it occurred, I don’t expect it to evoke quite the same feelings, just like for someone like me who was still far removed from what was happening can’t relate to someone that actually lost someone directly to the event.  Given all that has resulted from it in this world, affecting people globally, I ask that you take at least a brief moment to contemplate the event and its ramifications.


The number one most promising card of XY: Furious Fists is Strong Energy (XY: Furious Fists 104/111).  This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, but a Special Energy card that increases damage is great in a format that tends to be about hitting hard and fast! 

Although it is a brand new card and not a reprint, it feels familiar to me; its effect increases the damage of attacks, not unlike the old, Special Energy version of Darkness Energy.  The short version is that the basic Energy version of Darkness Energy actually released six and a half years years after the original Special Energy version of Darkness Energy.  I won’t worry about minor errata, but there were also three major iterations of this card, all providing [D] Energy and plus 10 points of damage after applying Weakness and Resistance to attacks that did damage in the first place.  The original granted this bonus to anything with it attached, but if the Pokémon wasn’t a Darkness-Type or didn’t have Dark in its name, a damage counter was placed upon it between turns.  Dark Pokémon were the original Team Affiliation mechanic, and why the TCG refers to the Type as “Darkness” (also why I prefer to use italics when writing a card name).  The next version got rid of the pseudo-Poison mechanic but also restricted the damage bonus to Darkness-Types and Dark Pokémon, and the damage bonus applied before Weakness and Resistance.  The final version restricted things further, so that the bonus only worked for Darkness-Types (Dark Pokémon had not only rotated out, but the last iteration of them were also made as Darkness-Types or Dual-Typed Pokémon with one Type as “Darkness”). 

How does all that relate to Strong Energy?  It explains a lot about why the card works how it works and why it is so good and yet how that may not last into the long term.  Strong Energy provides [F], but only while attached to a Fighting-Type Pokémon as per the text of the card… even though the symbol in the upper-righthand corner suggests otherwise (so much for that being a useful way of understanding how Special Energy work).  It can only be attached to Fighting-Types and if it were to somehow bypass that, it instantly discards itself via its own effect.  These are all “nerfs” to the later iteration of Special Energy Darkness Energy.  There is one buff, however: Strong Energy provides +20 to damage instead of a mere +20.  If HP inflation had kept pace with damage inflation, that would be necessary, but instead, even though HP scores for Pokémon have risen (even those without special mechanics), we still have many Basic Pokémon with 60, 50, 40 and even 30 HP.  Even before Weakness and Resistance, many a OHKO is there to be had. 

Darkness-Type Pokémon generally appeared to have been “pre-nerfed”, since everyone knew they could raise their damage via Special Energy Darkness Energy.  Originally the fact that you needed said Special Energy (or a Rainbow Energy) to meet [D] requirements was supposed to balance out, but especially once Basic Energy Darkness Energy was released, that wasn’t going to work.  Future Fighting-Types may end up in a similar boat, but for now Strong Energy is amazing with many older and freshly released Fighting-Types!  Due to Fighting Weakness being so common (most Colorless- and nearly all Darkness- and Lightning-Types have it) and almost ironically Fighting Resistance being less rare than other Types makes the damage boost quite significant.  Fighting-Types were already likely to have low Energy/high damage attacks, and this set gave them two other means of bumping up that damage: against Pokémon-EX only you can use Fighting Stadium for +20 and Machamp (XY: Furious Fists 46/111) boosts the damage of all Fighting-Types in general by +20 per copy.  Like all other Pokémon, Muscle Band is available for an easy +20, and for all non-Pokémon-EX Silver Bangle provides an easy +30.  This means that Fighting-Types can hit even harder and faster than they already were! 

Landorus-EX already made its comeback before XY: Furious Fists became tournament legal, and players are gleefully able to use Strong Energy and friends to get its Hammerhead attack hitting amazingly hard.  There is a diminishing return to using multiple Strong Energy past the actual Energy requirements of an attack, but it isn’t too bad: using Hammerhead as an example, two Strong Energy mean [FF] yields a 70/30 split before other effects, while three basically fake Nightspear (attack on Darkrai-EX which also costs three Energy)!  The main disincentive to using multiple Strong Energy on a single target is that - as Special Energy - there isn’t an easy way to get them back into play and there are multiple cards your opponent can run to “punish” you for using them (on top of still more cards that hit harder for having more Energy in play or on your Active to begin with!). 

Expect to see a lot of Strong Energy in Standard, though only in Fighting-Type heavy decks since it can’t even be used as Retreat Cost fodder for non-Fighting-Types.  For Expanded, it will have to face Enhanced Hammer; even with some of the additional opportunities Expanded may afford Strong Energy, that is a significant drawback.  For Limited, the only reason to skip it is to get no worthwhile Fighting-Types to run in your main deck and while possible, it is highly unlikely. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.5/5 - Even though I think this card is overpowered, I can’t bring myself to give it a perfect score; it has defined limits and vulnerabilities, and it is actually pretty tempting/easy to use in a suboptimal fashion.  It is a must for any mostly or pure Fighting-Type deck, unless for some reason none of said Fighting-Types are doing damage. 

Expanded: 4.25/5 - As for Standard, but now you have to worry about not only increased competition for Fighting/mostly Fighting-Type decks, but Enhanced Hammer.  Still a must in the appropriate decks, it just carries a slightly greater risk. 

Limited: 4.9/5 - A tenth of a point shaved off; you might be the player running a +39 deck build around Heracross-EX, or that failed to get a Fighting-Type you can play or that is worth the hassle of using in Limited.  Mostly you’re easily making space for it even if its only helping a mediocre Fighting-Type be a little more adequate when you’re fortunate enough for the two to show up at the same time. 

Summary: Strong Energy is an amazingly potent card that only slightly suffers due to the built in restrictions of the card since you can’t use it to meet Colorless Energy requirements for non-Fighting-Types and you have to deal with the Special Energy counters that Double Colorless Energy and Rainbow Energy already made tempting.  I already think it so potent it will cause balance issues, probably until it eventually rotates out (if it ever rotates out) but am also grateful it is a mere Uncommon as even someone like me has a play-set on the PTCGO already.


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