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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Energy Retrieval

- Primal Clash

Date Reviewed:
March 13, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard:
Expanded:
Limited:

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Ah yes, an oldie but goodie. Energy Retrieval is another Base Set card from wayyyyyyy back in the day, except for that when they reprinted in Black & White they took off that pesky discard. Still if anything that just makes it more playable! Or does it show just how far Pokemon's come? 

I'm sure you can guess what a card called "Energy Retrieval" does, so you're basically grabbing 2 when you play this. In terms of card advantage, that makes it a natural +1 (-1 from playing the card, but +2 from grabbing the two Energy), and it can combo well with anything that discards Energy like Blaziken from yesterday. The important thing to note is that it only targets basic Energy cards, so no grabbing for that DCE or Rainbow Energy. 

Once upon a time, I imagine this card was very useful. In Base Set times, you could use this in a good ol-fashioned Blastoise deck to power your guys up and retrieve the Energy you lose from one of them getting beaten. And then with Charizard, you could grab those Energies you discarded to use his powerful Fire Spin attack!  

Nowadays though, there's a lot more options to retrieving Energy - and in most cases, it's better. You've got Bronzong for Metal decks, Landorus for Fighting, Blacksmith in Fire, and even MManectric-EX and Eelektrik in Expanded for Lightning. Decks don't really need two big routes to energy retrieval - most decks tend to run 12-14 Energy cards, 8 of which tend to be Basic Energy cards. You've got a good idea of what fills up the rest - DCE, Rainbow, Strong, Mystery, whatever you use it's in those last few slots. 

So having a Trainer grab 2 Basic Energies when there are decks that can just snag it straight from the discard pile AND attach them to a Bench sitter is a bit excessive and a waste of space. But that's not to say Energy Retrieval doesn't have a home. I actually ran a couple for my older Black Kyurem-EX/Blastoise deck for the discard so I could retrieve the Energies, reattach them, and go on my merry way. I'm sure that Primal Kyogre-EX decks will run a couple so they can take advantage of Alpha Growth even more than usual - that and to grab at any Energies they'd need to discard from bad hands with Sycaper. 

Energy Retrieval is a representation of a timeless concept in the TCG - getting Energy back is vital as Energy is necessary for a player to perform attacks and win! Get rid of the Energy, and the player can't do anything, which is why getting that Energy back is so important. On top of that, we have to deal with cards like the Hammers and Head Ringer which can cripple resources and enhance the costs of attacks to make things hard on us, so having that ability is essential for many decks to use. The only thing that could be more important than Energy is damage output, which just comes as a direct result of Energy usage - let's face it, there's a reason Muscle Band topped our 2014 List! 

If you're a newer player to the game, I would recommend running with Energy Retrieval for a bit, but as for you more pro players, take a look at what deck you want to run and the options it's got already out before deciding to commit deck space to this card. 

Rating 

Standard: 3/5 (it's not always going to apply to your deck or your current situation, but I think of it as good tech for those decks without a means of getting Energy back) 

Expanded: 3/5 (there's more options here to getting Energy back, so this card's pretty important for anything that doesn't have it) 

Limited: 4/5 (I'd say having a means to get Energy back is nice for stuff that's discarding it a lot or else when you're losing against an opponent and find yourself a little short on Energy) 

Arora Notealus: It's an odd thing to see how far some cards have come over the years. They don't change much, but they always adapt to whatever format they come into. Remember when Master Ball came in as what we now associate Great Ball's effect with? How about when Potion healed only 20 damage? Things like effect changes to older cards just shows how the game keeps evolving - like a giant card game Pokemon. And it's not the only thing that changes and evolves... 

Weekend Thought: What do you think of this week's cards? Anything strike you as amazing? Maybe less so? You think we'll be reviewing Water cards next week? I mean, it would be thematic, would it not?


Otaku

Our Fire Week comes to a close with… Energy Retrieval?  What?  Why?  All we have left for this set are Evolving Fire-Types that just don’t seem to warrant a review.  Energy Retrieval does feature a Fire Energy symbol prominently in the artwork, a superficial tie-in to the week, though historically the card has had a decent amount of synergy with the Fire-Type and in reality having the final day of a theme week be off-focus isn’t unprecedented for our CotDs; even I’m not that uptight.  Well, at least not all the time.  We have reviewed this card once prior, about four years ago; here’s a link if you feel like taking a look. 

So Energy Retrieval has been in and out of Organized Play since it debuted in the Base Set, the first set of the Pokémon TCG.  It is an Item with a simple effect; add two basic Energy cards from the discard pile to your hand.  Originally it required you discard another card to play it, but that changed when it received an errata shortly before its re-release as Black & White 92/114.  This change actually has helped it to become a lot better card than it ever was in the past; since the original didn’t net any cards worth of advantage it wasn’t usually much better than simply running another basic Energy card in its stead.  Once we got Nightly Garbage Run it lost pretty much any serious use.  It popped up again in the Legendary Collection reprint set that WotC released after the Neo-set block but before the e-card (card-e?) set block, but that expansion didn’t last long due to the changing of hands of the TCG at that time.  It didn’t get printed again until after the errata. 

Superior Energy Retrieval steals some of its thunder, being an Item that can snag four basic Energy cards from the discard pile, but it also requires a two Energy discard.  As such it has its own little niche right now in decks that just need to ensure an extra Energy card or two is in hand and want the option of getting that Energy from the discard pile.  Energy Retrieval benefits from being an Item in more than just the obvious manner; besides being easy to play (unless you run into an Item lock effect), Skyla and Korrina make it a little more versatile (and it them) as even a TecH copy can allow either of those Supporters to fetch basic Energy (indirectly) from the discard pile.  This is similar but less pronounced than the similar synergy found between those two Supporters and Professor’s Letter. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: On its own (other than running basic Energy, of course) Energy Retrieval is a relatively solid card, but in certain decks it is very handy.  As such it gets a fairly average rating except in Limited where getting back lost Energy is simply much more useful the vast majority of the time; don’t forget one often has to run at least a two Energy kinds of basic Energy in Limited.


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