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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 5 Double Crisis Cards

#5 - Double Aqua/Magma Energy

- Double Crisis

Date Reviewed:
March 30, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.25
Expanded: 2.5
Limited:
4.5

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

#5 Double Aqua/Magma Energy 

We’re doing a top 5 for the Double Crisis set this week. Picking the cards has been a weird experience because this is such an odd little set: it’s pretty much a tribute/nostalgia trip/video game tie-in that heavily references the old EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua set from 10 years ago(!). That set is famous for having produced the Japanese Team Magma deck which took a clean sweep in all three age groups at Worlds 2004, including an undefeated winning performance by Tsuguyoshi Yamato in Masters. Can this reprise make a similar impact? Well, to be blunt, no. Ten years is a long time in Pokémon, and a lot of power creep has flowed under the bridge. While there are a couple of cards that could find a use, these Pokémon are generally very underpowered and slow by modern standards.

Which is a shame because there’s a lot of very nice support for a Team Magma or Aqua deck in the set, and that includes these two Special Energy cards. While I’m kind of sad to see that the double Typing of the original Magma and Aqua Energy has been thrown out in favour of a more simplified approach, these are still powerful cards, providing two Water Energy for Aqua and two Fighting for Magma Pokémon. Although vulnerable to Enhanced Hammer and Xerosic, these cards do allow for some expensive attacks to have their costs met relatively quickly. The trouble is that there isn’t really anything in the set that can take proper advantage of this. I guess you look to Aqua’s Kyogre EX and Magma’s Groudon EX to bring the big attacks with this set, but even they don’t offer enough by today’s standards (though Groudon comes closest).

In the context of this set, Double Magma/Aqua Energy are excellent cards. In the context of the game as a whole, Magma and Aqua Pokémon don’t really cut it. I suspect that will be a recurring theme of these Double Crisis reviews.

Rating

Modified/Expanded: 1.5

Team Aqua/Magma deck: 4.25


aroramage

Hey guys, welcome back! You enjoy your spring break? Good! Cause now there's nothing better to do than TAKE OVER THE WORLD MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

No seriously, go grab some Double Crisis and form your Team Aqua/Magma decks, cause that set just came out! If you remember stuff like Team Rocket's Pokemon, this set will pretty much be a short minor nostalgic trip back to HOENN because that's where those two teams actually are. Ya know, cause gotta flood the world or blow it up to increase land mass. 

Anywho, we figured we'd group together and run through what we think are the Top 5 best cards in the set worth playing, though really if you're gonna run something to fight against the Plasma decks which are still technically a thing, or you just wanna try something different, these decks aren't too bad to pick! So first things first, let's take a look at the new Energy of the set you'll be running: Double Aqua/Magma Energy! 

The effects of each are pretty simple; both give off 2 Energies, Aqua with Water and Magma with Fighting. If they get attached to anything other than a Team Aqua/Magma Pokemon respectively, they get discarded. Course, you can only attach it to one of those Pokemon, and it gets discarded at the end of the turn.

That end of turn discard is the only real downside though, cause getting 2 Energy at once has proven very VERY useful. Just look at Primal Kyogre-EX, or to be more broad DCE. That kind of access to an attack can quickly ruin things for your opponent. It's probably good this can only be attached to Team Aqua/Magma Pokemon too; I'd hate to see a player lose cause their opponent used Landorus-EX's Land's Judgment on their turn 2. 

In any case, having these Energies is one of the basic essentials to your Team Aqua/Magma deck build, since it'll give you access to your big cards' attacks sooner than expected. Think of it as a surprise your opponent won't see coming when you wipe their Active slot with a sudden strike! Probably from your Team Aqua's Kyogre-EX or Team Magma's Groudon-EX. 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (solid choice for those Team decks, though that's where it's limited to) 

Expanded: 3.5/5 (same here) 

Limited: 5/5 (in a Limited setting where you'd build either a Team Aqua/Magma deck, this will probably end up as a deciding factor to what you build; either way, you'll be including this in your deck)

Arora Notealus: I feel like it's been a little while since we've had "Team"-named Pokemon. Sure, we had the Plasma Pokemon, but they only had a freaking sweet border and their symbol in the background, and Team Flare...well, they have gear. So while the deck's a bit more thematic, it also does keep it so you're not using any ol' Poochyena to evolve into Team Aqua/Magma's Mightyena.

Next Time: Deep beneath the ocean waves...


Otaku

Welcome back readers!  After that vacation it is time to get back to business and this week we are looking at the review crew’s Top 5 for XY: Double Crisis!  Why a Top 5?  XY: Double Crisis is a mini-set of 34 cards featuring nostalgia inducing Team Aqua’s and Team Magma’s Pokémon, as well as some supporters and even a Special Energy card for each team… but that still isn’t enough to really justify a Top 10; I mean that would include over a quarter (nearly ) of the set.  There another reason to only cover five cards though; this set as a whole doesn’t appear overly competitive.  “Nostalgia” really does define it; while the cards are new and released as part of the current era, many are updates of older cards and what worked back then may not work so well now.  Not sure how many, if any of the Double Crisis cards would have made the Top 10 if they had been, for example, released as part of XY: Primal Clash. 

We begin with the fifth place finisher and… its a tie (why do I feel like that should be followed with “Of course!”).  When tallying the scores and averaging out the list the 5th - 7th place cards scored the same but we are not looking at all three of those.  To break the tie I selected which of the three had the most appearances on Top 5 lists; today’s selection showed up on two lists while the others were solo acts.  It still ends up being a tie because we are looking at both Double Aqua Energy (XY: Double Crisis 33/34) and Double Magma Energy (XY: Double Crisis 34/34): these counterparts were nominated together by more than just me, and are so similar there doesn’t seem to be enough to warrant reviewing them separately.  Both cards provide two units of Energy when attached to a Pokémon from their respective teams with clauses in the text to both prevent attaching them to anything else and to automatically self-discard if you somehow found a way around the first restriction.  While attached they provide two units of Energy - [WW] for Double Aqua Energy and [FF] for Double Magma Energy - and have one additional “effect”; they discard themselves at the end of the turn they are attached!  While a bad effect, the silver-lining is that this can often prove immaterial, whether because you used an attack that would have discarded the Energy anyway or the Pokémon to which it is attached would have been KOed...  and with so many attacks that hit harder based on the amount of Energy you have in play, you might survive because you discarded one of these. 

These Special Energy cards are similar to the old Aqua Energy (EX: Team Aqua vs Team Magma 86/95) and Magma Energy (EX: Team Aqua vs Team Magma 87/95). The big difference was they provided two units of Energy that were multi-Typed; Aqua Energy provided [W] and [D] while Magma Energy provided [F] and [D].  This might seem odd but the short version is back then, “evil” team affiliated Pokémon could be their regular Type, Darkness-Type or dual-Typed with one of their regular Types and the Darkness-Type.  It… is kind of confusing so even I’ll avoid going into more details.  Still, having a second type would have been handy; one might expect all Team Aqua’s and all Team Magma’s Pokémon to have unified Energy costs so that all could use their team’s respective Energy but nearly half of the Pokémon in this mini-set have one (or all) of their attacks with incompatible Energy costs.  The only ones with “adjusted” Energy costs are Team Aqua’s Poochyena, Team Aqua’s Mightyena, Team Magma’s Poochyena and Team Magma’s Mightyena; the rest have Energy costs that match their usual Type and this set contains only four Water-Types (Team Aqua’s Pokémon, of course) and four Fighting-Types (all Team Magma’s Pokémon) and each of those is a Stage 2 line and a (separate, unrelated other than Team affiliation) Pokémon-EX, so it isn’t even that spread out.  This is another significant drawback, though not a fatal one. 

The older Energy cards were pretty important back in the day and proved fairly successful, but that was because there ended up being successful decks to use them, even though they only worked with their respective teams.  That is going to be what really determines how well Double Aqua Energy and Double Magma Energy perform and… it doesn’t look too good.  Let us remember that this is a format that does try to reward basic Energy card usage and even punish players for relying on Special Energy if your opponent wants to spend space on such counter-cards.  Because today’s subjects discard themselves, the usual counters like Enhanced Hammer aren’t needed (this shouldn’t be mistaken for a good thing), though Froslass (BW: Plasma Blast 23/101), with her Ability to block Special Energy from being attached would still prove relevant… at least if she were needed (I don’t think she is).  Probably the biggest enemy of Double Aqua Energy and Double Magma Energy will be their small pool of compatible cards, especially as only a few look like they’ll have a chance in competitive play, but this is followed up by their second biggest enemy; other Special Energy cards!  So you’ve got competition from regular ol’ basic Energy (due to support like Professor’s Letter) as well as other Special Energy cards.  Some of the specific Team Aqua’s and Team Magma’s Pokémon have Energy related effects that will give you reason to run those basic Energy or other Special Energy cards. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3/5 - This score is for both Double Aqua Energy and Double Magma Energy, used in their respective decks.  Obviously in general the card risks being totally useless since it can’t be attached to most of the card pool.  Even in their own decks, you might find yourself preferring to use a different Special Energy or even basic Energy cards.  Strong Energy provides a Fighting-Type specific Special Energy for Fighting-Type Pokémon while there is no equivalent for Water.  Basic Water Energy can be accelerated quite well by Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) but there isn’t an equivalent for basic Fighting Energy.  These might lead to some subtle differences, but for now a shared score stands. 

Expanded: 2.5/5 - A lower score; there are probably some direct combo opportunities added through the larger card pool but none have occurred to me.  What I can easily recall is how you’ll have access to even more Special Energy cards like Prism Energy and the Blend Energy cards, plus the Team Aqua’s and Team Magma’s Pokémon collectively are facing even more competition; I also haven’t found any good combos for said Pokémon beyond the obvious (...some can use Level Ball or Heavy Ball) so with them performing more poorly, so too does the Energy that only works for them. 

Limited: 4/5 - A bit confusing that we have a score here; since this is part of a mini-set, it isn’t a promo in the strict sense but I don’t know of any Pre-Release or Release events so anyone using this in Limited is probably not doing so in a very formal setting.  At the same time, the cards do come in (smaller than normal) booster packs and look like the best place to use them might be in some form of Limited play.  Here these two Energy cards provide phenomenal boosts and are only docked because even in a Limited card pool, the drawbacks still prove relevant (just not as damaging). 

Summary: It is hard to review these things without donning some rose-colored glasses.  In this case my scoring might seem to break my usual rules; Double Aqua Energy and Double Magma Energy are really only going to be as good as whatever decks emerge that can use them which can make any score I give seem misleading.  They aren’t automatic staples in their respective team’s decks like one might expect but they still do enough you’ll want to try them… there is just a serious doubt that most of this set will be worth using in competitive play, which means otherwise solid cards dependent on the rest of the set suffer.  Double Aqua Energy (and Double Magma Energy) were my fifth place pick.


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