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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Rainbow Energy

- XY

Date Reviewed:
Jan. 8, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.0
Expanded: 4.0
Limited: 4.95

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


aroramage

Man, you talk about a card with history. Rainbow Energy's been around for so long - since the first Team Rocket set back in 2000! Bulbapedia nailed it when they say it's become one of the most versatile cards in the history of the game - and knowing what it does, it's no surprise! 

Rainbow Energy hasn't really changed all that much over the years, despite its variety of descriptions. Think of it as your "wild card" Energy - you can play it on anything for whatever Energy Type it needs. Need some extra Electric Energy for Rayquaza-EX to burn? Rainbow Energy's got you covered! Want to keep mowing opponents down with Black Kyurem-EX but want to keep your primary Water standing? Rainbow Energy will pick up the slack! Feeling like you need that one Pokemon that fits just perfectly into your deck except for the fact that it has attacks that cost Energy you don't wanna run? Rainbow Energy and done! 

Of course, Rainbow Energy has a slight "cost" to using it, that pesky damage counter it adds onto the Pokemon you attach it to. Back in Team Rocket days, that would have been tremendous, but as the years have gone by, the counter is negligible compared to the power and access it gives you in terms of attack options! Okay, so you're not gonna run it in mono-decks like the modern Fighting deck, but if you had, say, Dragons who usually require 2 different Energies, Rainbow is a dire necessity! Especially given that Prism Energy and the Blend Energies fell out in rotation, which makes Rainbow Energy a must-have for any deck running Dragons! 

Rainbow Energy is the pinnacle of Special Energies not only as one of the most versatile Energies around but also one of the most useful! Even if more Strong Energies and Prism Energies and Miracle Hyper Max Energies come out in the future, as long as Rainbow Energy sees print, it'll probably see play. 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (a versatile Energy, though right now as of this writing, it's got some tough times with those Hammers hanging around and not a whole lot of multi-Type decks) 

Expanded: 4/5 (just as useful here as ever) 

Limited: 5/5 (no question, use it if you've got it, viable with anything in this set!) 

Arora Notealus: It's every Energy, and yet no Energy, all but one, and one but all, really cool to look at, still really cool to look at... 

Next Time: Got milk?


Otaku

Our next to last honorable mention is one of the many I could cite to explain why reprints normally aren’t eligible for our Top 10 lists.  Rainbow Energy first debuted all the way back in the original Team Rocket expansion.  More recent printings work a bit different from the original, but this card has been reprinted so often that its almost always been Modified legal… but for players that joined us before XY released but after anything older than Black & White had rotated out of the format, Rainbow Energy was a new, game changing card.  It seems bizarre that an entire generation of sets excluded Rainbow Energy, though of course they featured similar cards: Blend Energy GRPD, Blend Energy WLFM and Prism Energy. 

We also haven’t officially reviewed Rainbow Energy since August 18th of 2005.  In fact, that is the only review for Rainbow Energy; like many older (but reprinted) cards, it just never seemed appropriate to go back and review it when the Pokémon CotD section became more than just articles by Ness in 2002.  What is odd is that once again I didn’t review it with the rest of the crew; I have reviews in the previous and the next week, but none for the week when Rainbow Energy was reviewed (let alone for the card itself).  So let us remedy that. 

A normal Basic Energy card provides one unit of Energy that can be used to meet a Colorless Energy requirement or a requirement of the same Type as said Energy.  You’re allowed up to 59 copies of any one Basic Energy card in your deck (39 if it is Limited play), and that cap exists only because of the maximum deck size and requirement your deck contain at least one Basic Pokémon.  Effects that are (usually) beneficial to you like searching out, recycling or moving Energy almost always work on Basic Energy cards but not Special Energy cards.  Effects that you usually don’t want to be on the receiving end of, such as Energy discarding effects, are likely to offer a better deal if they only target Special Energy cards, such as Crushing Hammer versus Enhanced Hammer.

So getting to Rainbow Energy itself, while you are restricted to just four copies, while it is in play Rainbow Energy bends the rules as it counts as all Energy Types (still only providing one unit of Energy) but when you attach it to a Pokémon from hand, it places a damage counter on that Pokémon.  In some formats, that damage counter ends up being largely meaningless, in others it is quite significant.  Similarly, sometimes being a Special Energy has simply meant the four-per-deck limit, but other times (like right now) it has been a real concern both because of the excellent support Basic Energy has and the fact there are some very potent (and in the case of Enhanced Hammer easy to use) Special Energy counters. 

Breadth: Rainbow Energy isn’t needed by every deck, but it can be used to enhance just about any deck; the only requirement is that the deck either already runs or could be enhanced by running something with Energy requirements that the deck’s current Energy cards can’t meet, and that wouldn’t be better met by running that Basic Energy. 

Depth: Such a simple card actually has a lot of depth to it; while it does have simple uses, even though have changed how we play because you know that someone might work in a Pokémon that normally has Energy specific requirements, whether it is Yveltal-EX in a deck that doesn’t run any other source of [D] or blocking Special Conditions with Virizion-EX and its [G] Energy triggered Verdant Wind.  Then there are the much more deck specific uses, such as allowing Aromatisse decks to go the Toolbox route with a variety of attackers to exploit Weakness and bypass certain counters while still making use of the [Y]-Energy moving Fairy Transfer… while also utilizing Virizion-EX.  In a format where Hypnotoxic Laser is amazing, being part of the counter combo is pretty significant. 

Time: Rainbow Energy was reprinted in XY and while its exact strength waxed and waned like almost all other cards, it was a significant presence the whole time. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4/5 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: 4.9/5 

Summary: Rainbow Energy is an amazingly potent card even though it doesn’t do anything “fancy” such as having an Item like effect or only working for a specific Type or Stage of Pokémon.  I worry that I just haven’t done it justice with this review; stating what it does feels almost redundant, and considering how often I repeat myself, I think that is saying something.  Had it been a legal candidate, impact would have eclipsed most other cards.  It isn’t universal but it is widely used with some decks where it is central to the strategy.


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