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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 BREAKpoint Cards

#7 - Max Elixir

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
February 11, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.67
Expanded: 3.67
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

If I'm going to be perfectly honest, I almost skipped past Max Elixir because I thought it was a reprint, but when I took another look at it, I realized it was actually a new card! Go figure, eh? 

To my credit, Max Elixir does have a pretty potent effect, of which we've seen different variations of this type of effect on other cards. Using Max Elixir basically lets you search the top 6 cards of your deck for a basic Energy and attaches it to a Benched Basic Pokemon, shuffling the rest back into the deck. Super simple, as it always is with these cards. 

Now at first, you might think the restrictions are a bit stringent, but they're actually pretty easy to fulfill in just about any deck. All you need is a Basic Pokemon, and most attackers are, in some form or another, either Basic Pokemon themselves (i.e. every Pokemon-EX ever) or are derived from a Basic Pokemon (i.e. every Evolution ever). Only looking at 6 cards is just a means of balancing the card, since you're effectively accelerating Energy straight from the deck, but if you've thinned your deck out enough with Sycamore and what-not, it shouldn't be a big deal. 

Heck, there are some decks that will even appreciate you thinning things out like this. I don't wanna name any names-*COUGHCOUGH M GYARADOS-EX COUGHCOUGH*-but I think there are a few decks that will be playing this card in general. Usually it'll be used on a Basic to charge it up so that you can evolve Combee into Vespiquen and get the Vengeance once the main Vespiquen is gone, or prep your EX for Mega Evolution and get the revenge strike on your opponent, or even just a Basic Attacker of some sort! It doesn't matter, JUST USE IT!!

Max Elixir: it's another good Item staple. 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (Energy acceleration is always a valuable resource, and Max Elixir provides a relatively unique form of it by attaching Energy straight from the deck) 

Expanded: 4/5 (it's not a perfectly flawless form of Energy acceleration, thanks to the presence of cards like Seismitoad-EX and in general the Energy Recycling abilities of Pokemon like Eeletrik and Bronzong) 

Limited: 5/5 (but it's a fairly viable form of acceleration that can help out decks that don't have much access to it otherwise)  

Arora Notealus: You know, I've always assumed things like Ether and Elixir were man-made items in the Pokemon games, and yet you're not able to buy them in stores...what's up with that? 

Next Time: The return of a dragon...who is now Water!


Otaku

Lucky number seven in our top ten countdown is Max Elixir (XY: BREAKpoint 102/122)!  This is a new Item that allows you to look at the top six cards of your deck; if you find any basic Energy cards you may select one and then attach it to one of your Benched, Basic Pokémon.  There is no other cost to using the card, unless you count running enough basic Energy cards and/or combo elements to improve your odds of success.  There are a few restrictions though, and I actually keep forgetting they exist because most of the time, they won’t be relevant, and even when they are you can work around them without a huge hassle: it stinks if you have an Active stuck up front or are forced to Evolve ahead of time/wanted to attach to an “Unevolved Basic” played via Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, but even then there are simple combos like using Energy Switch to get around these restrictions if they are that important.  Most of the time, though, you’ll just attach to a Basic and then Evolve (if it is one of the few Evolved attackers worth using with Max Elixir).  The Bench restriction is a bit more demanding but unless your field is in poor shape, you’ll likely have something that can benefit from the attachment.  Between various tricks decks already use to flit from Active to Bench to Active again, doing so (or just Bench to Active) isn’t a terrible burden in said decks.

Max Elixir seems like a fairly solid example of power creep from the BW-era sets to the XY-era.  Don’t know what I mean?  Besides being Basic Stage support at a time when it is unneeded and largely unwanted, there is a past card with a similar but weaker effect.  Ether is an Item that revealed the top card of your deck and, if it was a basic Energy card, allowed you to attach it to one of your Pokémon.  Max Elixir may have some token attachment restrictions,  Anything other than a Basic Energy card?  Returned to the top of your deck.  Max Elixir restricts targets, but it isn’t like it only attached to an Active Evolution or the like.  What it does do is power things up by having a range six times as wide for the effect and not revealing any of the non-selected cards.  I suppose there are times when you might want your opponent to know what is coming, or would have a follow up play where a player is glad to know what is on top thanks to Ether (and would want it for Max Elixir), but that’s a pretty minor thing for me to try and claim Ether is not the weaker predecessor of Max Elixir. 

Ether saw little to no competitive success; part of this has to do with timing.  My information is sketchy, but it appeared to have at least a brief period where Ether mattered, but we didn’t get it over here until the equivalent of a set later.  Instead of trying to set up Landorus-EX for a faster “Land’s Judgment” attack, but instead we got it at the same time we received both Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym.  When given a choice, iffy basic Energy acceleration lost to a reliable three damage counter bonus to damage done.  Max Elixir also faces steep competition, and many decks still use mostly Special Energy cards, but for those that have a heavier enough Basic Energy count and/or wish to include cards that stack or at least preview the top card(s) of your deck, Max Elixir can do some amazing things.  It is an Item you are trying to exchange for a basic Energy card attached to the field from the deck, after all.  Six cards is 10% of your full deck, and you’ll start the game with fewer cards than that left in it thanks to your Prizes, opening draw.  I don’t expect this to become the new, universal deck staple, but I expect it to be vital to certain speedy builds and experience at least a little competitive success. 

So experiment with it in Standard and Expanded play.  In Limited it is a must-run staple; whether your deck is mono-typed or multitype, whether you’ve got a broad selection of Pokémon or just a single Pokémon-EX, the chance for Energy acceleration is just too good to pass up. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.25/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Max Elixir is one of those cards meant to make something else fearsome and it can work in many decks, but I suspect will only work well enough in a select few for competitive play.  Max Elixir did not make my own Top 10 list, but clocked in as #13 in my Top 15.  As mentioned yesterday, it actually tied with Manaphy-EX, but as Max Elixir appeared on both lists, I decided to aware the seventh place spot to it.  Once again things are close though in terms of voting points we had a tie for sixth and fifth place, plus they were only one voting point higher than Max Elixir!


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