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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Float Stone

- BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
December 3, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.90
Expanded: 4.00
Limited: 5.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

You may recall this card from the last time we reviewed it back July as the #7 pick for our "Top 10 Cards Lost to Rotation." The actual rotation happened somewhere in August or September, but it didn't take long for the card to come back - and there's a pretty good reason why!

I talked about how Float Stone essentially removed the "tax" that is a Pokemon's Retreat Cost, and that remains the case - it's not like Float Stone's effect changed between now and then. So what's changed? Well, aside from the renewed card pool for the most part, there are also more Pokemon that can take advantage of this Tool and utilize it even further. We've obviously got guys you wanna switch around freely like Wobbuffet, as well as the big Megas that have reasonably hefty costs, but then there's also a whole new thing that's come up: the Ancient Traits.

To be fair, the first Ancient Traits showed up in Primal Clash, which came out in English back in February, but the one I'll be referring to came out a bit more recently in August in the Ancient Origins set: Theta Double. Now it could be the case that several people were able to play-test Float Stone with stuff that operated on Theta Double, such as the Vespiquen no one's playing around, Gyarados, Entei, Metagross, or perhaps more notably M Tyranitar-EX, a behemoth who can also latch onto a Spirit Link card for a free evo in one turn!

That's pretty crazy!

Course, don't think that Float Stone taking up an Item slot is limiting - there are dozens of Pokemon that will greatly benefit from seeing its return to Standard! For instance, Ariados is a Pokemon you'd like to have on the Bench - a free Retreat Cost as opposed to the 1 Energy he costs already will make things much easier on you! So try Float Stone out in your deck today! The results may surprise you!

Rating

Standard: 4/5 (as always, a great utility card)

Expanded: 4/5 (you guys already have this, LET US HAVE IT BACK)

Limited: 5/5 (no contest here, of course you're gonna run it!)

Arora Notealus: On the subject of returning cards...YAY SKYLA'S BACK

Next Time: Oh hey, and then there's this card!


Otaku

Sometimes we look at a card not because you really need an explanation for how or why you should use it, but to make sure you know it’s has been recently reprinted!  Today we look at Float Stone (XY: BREAKthrough 137/162; BW: Plasma Freeze 99/116).  The card text hasn’t changed and of course Float Stone is still one of the most used Pokémon Tools in Expanded… but maybe some of our readers are quite new to playing the game so I’ll (relatively) quickly cover the fundamentals of Float Stone. 

This is our fourth Trainer card this week; Trainers are usually the most numerous of the three major card divisions (Pokémon, Trainers and Energy) in competitive decks.  They’ve got a few pieces of support like Skyla and Trainer’s Mail while the cards that counter Trainers (as opposed to Items or Pokémon Tools) haven’t proven to be worth the effort.  Being an Item means there is no cost to using an Item unless that specific Item includes it in its text, such as Ultra Ball and its two card discard cost to play.  There are several Pokémon with attacks that affect Items, but the notable Seismitoad-EX and its Quaking Punch, which prevents your opponent from playing Items.  Abilities that affect Items and only affect Items similarly block them from being played; being an Item is usually great until you run into Item lock.  Float Stone is also a Pokémon Tool and there are cards that specifically affect those as well; most relevant would be Startling Megaphone, an Item that discards all Pokémon Tools on your opponent’s side of the field, though there are a few others Pokémon Tool counters that see regular play as well as some support.  Pokémon Tools also suffer a bit because under normal circumstances a Pokémon can only use one at a time, forcing each to compete with the others; running more than six is rare and two to four seems to be the typical amount. 

Float Stone specifically zeroes out the Retreat Cost of the Pokémon to which it is attached.  Please note that if another effect increases Retreat Costs, Float Stone is worded to override it as it perpetually drops the Retreat Cost of the equipped Pokémon to nothing.  Retreating for free can vary from a small bonus to something incredibly potent; it depends on what Pokémon is enjoying it.  This kind of effect can be achieved through a few other means, most commonly Darkrai-EX and it’s “Dark Cloak” Ability: said Ability creates a blanket effect on your in play Pokémon, zeroing out their Retreat Cost if they have a source of [D] Energy attached.  Abilities have their own counters and sometimes they are a major influence in the game while Energy cards also face counters and your opponent could also just KO Darkrai-EX to be rid of Dark Cloak; Dark Cloak does more but you pay for it.  When you just want any single Pokémon to have a free Retreat Cost, you can just slap a Float Stone on it.  Of course that brings up another rival; the Item Switch allows you to promote one of your Benched Pokémon (your choice) while your former Active goes to the Bench.  This doesn’t count as retreating, so it is more difficult for your opponent to prevent and preserves your actual retreat for the turn to use later.  It is a one time deal, though. 

Float Stone is probably most famous for comboing with two particular Pokémon and their Abilities, but both are Expanded only options.  Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113) has the potent Ability (Garbotoxin) to shut down all other Abilities, but it only works while it has a Pokémon Tool attached.  Although any Pokémon Tool can trigger Garbotoxin, Float Stone removes it troublesome Retreat Cost of [CCC] which can otherwise be used to strand it up front, giving a struggling deck time to build up its offense even if said deck is normally dependent upon Abilities.  The other major combo also involves an Ability; Keldeo-EX can use “Rush In” to force itself into the Active slot (and force the previous Active to the Bench).  Combining this with Float Stone allows you to effectively sacrifice your manual retreat for the turn for a free switch.  Of course it Float Stone, Rush In or retreating is blocked, it won’t work, but most of the time that isn’t an issue and it enables some brilliant general plays (usually shaking Special Conditions or attack effects) while helping out certain specific combos that involve sending something to the Bench only so it can be promoted to the Active slot once again.

Why is this worth revisiting now?  Even if someone didn’t know about Float Stone it already has been the subject of three prior CotDs: a fourth place finish in the Top 10 of BW: Plasma Freeze, a second place finish in the Top 10 list for 2013 and a seventh place finish in the Top 10 cards lost to Standard play in the most recent set rotation.  Although its favorite dance partners are Expanded only, it still has its general use plus a new partner with a familiar trick: Zoroark (XY: BREAKthrough 91/162) has the Ability “Stand In” that is Rush In by a new name.  Working a Stage 1 Pokémon into a deck isn’t as easy as working in a Basic and Keldeo-EX is often just a single or double even in decks that really want to take advantage of the Rush In/Float Stone combo; Zoroark needs at least two more card slots.  Fortunately you are only giving up one Prize instead of two should your opponent take it out but Zoroark has a better attack to randomly splash into non-Water decks as Mind Jack only requires [CC] and hits for 10 plus 30 per Pokémon on your opponent’s Bench.  As for Limited play, it is only useless when you’re running a +39 deck (as with only one Basic you’re not going to be retreating).  Although you only have a 40 card deck here, you are building it from whatever you pull in six booster packs so you’ll have plenty of room for Float Stone, inflating its Limited score quite a bit. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.8/5 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Float Stone probably didn’t need a review, but I was just so excited to have it back I wanted to celebrate a little by giving it another quick look.  This is not the best Pokémon Tool in the game right now, but it is one of the best in part because of some potent combos on top of solid general use.


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