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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 BREAKpoint Cards

#2 - Fighting Fury Belt

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
February 22, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.25
Expanded: 4.25
Limited: 5

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Did you enjoy the weekend? Did you think much about it? Neither did I, but that's okay! We're back with the rest of the countdown with our #2 pick, Fighting Fury Belt! 

Ever looked at Muscle Band and Giant Cape and think to yourself, "You know what would be great? A card that could do both of these things." Well never fear, cause Fighting Fury BELT is here!! And it does what Muscle Band and Giant Cape do too!...sort of! The Belt adds on an extra 40 HP and gives your attacks a small 10 damage boost, so it's like a better Giant Cape and a weaker Muscle Band put together - not too shabby! 

There is one thing about Fighting Fury Belt to note, and that would be the restriction to only Basic Pokemon. Normally, this might seem like a bad thing - you mean I can't attach this to my giant Mega-EX and have him do even more obscene amounts of damage? Well frankly, you probably don't need it, cause Fighting Fury Belt gives your Basic-EX enough HP to be on level with some of the lower end Mega-EX while also boosting their damage up a little bit to make them a bit more comparable! In a way, this card is a boon to all Basic-EX cards, regardless of their Mega status! 

So what does this mean? Well, decks focusing around just a Basic-EX have a neat little tool to avoid those silly 2HKOs from anything hitting 90 consistently, though the Belt won't stop anything that can hit 120 consistently from 2HKO-ing regardless (180 + 40 is still only 220, which means if an attack can deal 110+ damage consistently, they'll still 2HKO), but then there's the extra 10 damage that can help push things forward and put the Basics into 2HKO-ing range of other EXs, even Megas! So while it lacks the punch of Muscle Band, it gives the Basic-EXs more survivability, and that's pretty good in my book! 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (an extra 40 HP will do wonders for you, and while it's not much, every 10 damage counts!) 

Expanded: 4/5 (Muscle Band may outclass this card in terms of damage, but even its extra 20 can't push some attacks into Belt's +40 HP) 

Limited: 5/5 (and there's no question that this is undeniably useful here) 

Arora Notealus: I can only imagine this looking rather peculiar around some Pokemon's waists. I mean, imagine this hanging around Giratina? Might look neat. Around a Squirtle?...might look kinda neat. And yet what about Rayquaza??...actually where would you put it around Rayquaza... 

Next Time: Our #1 saw this coming already.


Otaku

Our second best card from XY: BREAKpoint is Fighting Fury Belt (XY: BREAKpoint 99/122), a Pokémon Tool that increases the HP of the Pokémon to which it is attached by 40, as well as bumping up the damage from its attacks by 10, but only for Basic Pokémon.  Pokémon Tools have their own support and counter cards, for example Eco Arm allows you to shuffle three of them from your discard pile back into your deck, while Startling Megaphone discards all Pokémon Tools from your opponent’s side of the field (give or take other effects).  Pokémon Tools are also Items, which in turn are of course Trainer cards, so all general Item and Trainer support/counters also apply.  Unless it has an effect that states otherwise, a Pokémon may only have a single Pokémon Tool attached at a time; this means all Tools compete with each other, though the ones that discard themselves do so to a lesser degree.  It also means your amount of Pokémon Tools in play is dictated by what and how many Pokémon you have in play, even if your opponent’s cards in no way restrict you. 

Pokémon Tools tend to wax and wane in potency, opposite (give or take a step) of cards to counter Pokémon Tools.  The good news for Fighting Fury Belt is blended in with the bad news: decks already tend to include Pokémon Tools, but only those with specific strategies are likely to run more than six, with two to four being common and some decks running none at all.  This is good because it means Fighting Fury Belt doesn’t have to create a new niche, but bad because that existing niche is already occupied; Fighting Fury Belt needs to be better than what is currently available, or as good as it while being different enough to warrant it winning out due to more than luck.  Prior to its release Assault Vest, Float Stone, Life Essence, Muscle Band and Rock Guard were reasonably high priority picks; Assault Vest because it soaked 40 points of damage per attack provided the attacker had a Special Energy card attached, Float Stone because it zeroed out Retreat Cards, Life Essence for decks that really needed to manage the Prize count, Muscle Band for almost any deck as +20 damage is likely to be useful and Rock Guard mostly for control/stall decks, where it could do the most good. 

Fighting Fury Belt blends the improved survival of cards like Assault Vest with the damage boost of Muscle Band, which is good.  It isn’t always going to be better than them (or some of the other options I listed), but it has already proven by now that it can be a very worthwhile card.  Obviously if you need a lowered Retreat Cost, reduced Prize loss, etc. it isn’t going to replace what you currently use.  Almost every card wants to hit harder or have more HP, but one needs to remember that not all boosts will actually prove relevant.  If you’re not dealing with a card that needs protection from Pokémon Tool F cards or to trigger a particular effect that needs a Pokémon Tool, Fighting Fury Belt can still go to waste when attached.  If the damage boost doesn’t speed up taking KOs or at least place some other burden on the opponent, it isn’t actually helping you.  If the extra HP isn’t keeping the equipped Pokémon alive longer or at least forcing your opponent to burn more resources for the KO, that isn’t helping you either.  Both effects failing to matter seems unlikely, but sometimes they will.  Of course, this excludes non-Basic Pokémon: they never can use the card except for versions of Garbodor with Garbotoxin (are there any other Tool triggered Abilities out there?). 

Assault Vest is still better if you need to soak damage and know the metagame isn’t going to shift too heavily to more reliance on Basic Energy cards (for the record, I have no idea if it will remain the same, shift that way or change in yet some other manner).  Assault Vest prevents you from even taking 40 damage, while Fighting Fury Belt simply gives you an extra 40 HP to absorb 40 damage; a one time thing.  Your opponent may be able to discard Fighting Fury Belt before it actually matters, and remember that unless you can heal it a Pokémon being kept alive by Fighting Fury Belt is effectively “on loan”: your opponent already did enough damage to claim a OHKO and if they use a Tool discarding effect they can claim it without doing the full extra 40 damage.  Still, the reason I phrase it that way is because you are indeed retaining use of something that you ought to have already lost.  Getting back to the head-to-head comparison though, if soaking damage from attackers most likely to use Special Energy cards is your goal, Assault Vest is the better defense.  If your Pokémon is not likely to survive an extra attack from either card, then you aren’t really improving your defense. 

In terms of offense, Muscle Band (and in Expanded, sometimes Silver Bangle) are still better options, but do pay attention to the numbers; if Muscle Band doesn’t score a KO in at least one less turn than Fighting Fury Belt would, you may as well take just as long but have extra HP.  For better or worse it isn’t an easy call to make: most of the time you’ll have some cases where the extra 10 damage is more important, while in others the HP will actually matter more… not unlike how Silver Bangle is still included in decks not attacking with Pokémon-EX and that only (or at least more badly need) the extra damage against Pokémon-EX instead of taking slightly less reliable damage against everything.  A little confusing as I just referenced Expanded, but a Standard deck that I believe is currently running Assault Vest, Fighting Fury Belt and Muscle Band is the one built around Entei (XY: Ancient Origins 15/98).  Like the other two Tools, doubling up on Fighting Fury Belt is amazing: an extra 80 HP while doing an extra 20 damage… but at least a few matchups still call for Assault Vest (because you need to repeatedly soak 40 to 80 damage) or Muscle Band (because you need a total of +40 to hit key damage numbers). 

Overall, this is a strong addition for Standard and Expanded play, and it should come as no surprise it is also a valuable pull for Limited as well. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.5/5 

Expanded: 4.4/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Fighting Fury Belt provides a smaller offensive buff in order to include a defensive one as well.  It provides twice as much of an HP boost as Giant Cape, though that can work for any Stage, but many attackers, this is the way to go, either run instead of or in addition to any Muscle Band or Assault Vest you were already including (the former being far more common than the latter). 

On my personal Top 10 for this set, Fighting Fury Belt was my number one pick!  For our collective list, it managed 23 voting points, actually missing first place by five voting points.  That must mean tomorrow’s card is amazing, right?  Well… I think I’ll have some explaining to do then.


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