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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 
Delphox BREAK
- Fates Collide
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Standard: 3.38       Expanded: 3.00     Limited: 4.72

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.
Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

Initially, I had Delphox BREAK here higher up on my list, but I had to reconsider some...other things. You'll probably see them show up on this list sooner or later, but for now, let's take a look at what Delphox BREAK does that other BREAK Evos don't do! 

And the answer is actually quite simple: Energy acceleration. 

Once you put Delphox BREAK onto one of your Delphox, she gets access to the Flare Witch Ability, which lets you take a Fire Energy from your deck - yes, your DECK - and attach directly to one of your Pokemon. No restrictions, no drawbacks, just instantly put an Energy into play! That's a tremendously powerful effect, and it's no wonder that Delphox BREAK hits the list so hard! 

I mean, you get to take a card out of your deck that you don't wanna draw into anyway and power up ANY Pokemon you want! You could power up Emboar-EX after he's discarded some Energy, or Houndoom-EX, or Rayquaza-EX in Expanded! There's a lot you can do with this, and it's well worth mentioning it in addition to your normal attachment! How cool is that? 

...well, that's about all there is to it. Truth be told, after considering some things, Delphox BREAK only scratched by my Top 10 list. Energy acceleration is a strong thing to have, but putting it on what is effectively a Stage 3 Pokemon? That's a lot of investment just to put Delphox into play, let alone Delphox BREAK. 

At least you can use Wally or Evosoda to get the BREAK out faster... 

Rating 

Standard: 3.5/5 (Energy acceleration: it's worth playing a Stage 3) 

Expanded: 3/5 (...most of the time) 

Limited: 4.5/5 (but really, if you've got enough time to BREAK Evolve in a Limited environment, you've got enough time to win, am I right?) 

Arora Notealus: Delphox truly aims to shine above the rest, and at least in this set, Delphox BREAK can use a Delphox that wants to get more Energy attached! Could be useful in the future, but we will just have to wait and see. 

Next Time: An interesting Pokemon with an interesting card...


Otaku

For the record, yes my CotD for yesterday has indeed been posted; I was only several hours late, not several days (this time). 

Time for our 9th place pick from this set, Delphox BREAK (XY: Fates Collide 14/124)!  This is a Fire Type, which means it can hit most Grass Types and nearly all Metal Types for double damage, but doesn’t have to deal with the nuisance that is Resistance.  There are some anti-Fire Type effects but they aren’t particularly good, while the Fire Type has one spiffy piece of support in Blacksmith and in dedicated decks, a solid trick with the Stadium Scorched Earth.  As the name makes clear, this is a BREAK Evolution, specifically the BREAK Evolution of a Stage 2; it takes a lot to get it into play as even if you include Energy acceleration, you’ve got to start with Fennekin then either use Braixen or skip directly to Delphox via Rare Candy, and finally you can Evolve into Delphox BREAK.  If you want to be technical, there are probably some obscure combos like using Cradily (BW: Plasma Blast 4/101) that have never really worked.  Using Rare Candy and Wally or a Wally each turn get Delphox BREAK into play in two turns, but that just adds even more cards plus your Supporter usage to the investment pile.  Delphox BREAK does enjoy 180 HP, which is 40 more than any Delphox and even 10 more than Delphox-EX.  The last thing Delphox BREAK supplies is the Ability “Flare Witch” which allows you (once per turn per copy of Flare Witch) to search your deck for an [R] Energy and attach it to one of your Pokémon.  Similar effects haven’t worked out well in recent formats, but have proven great further back. 

Everything else about Delphox BREAK will come from the Delphox underneath it, but before we get to those let’s start with Fennekin.  The are five versions of Fennekin, though some have been reprinted: XY: Kalos Starter Set 8/39 (also released as XY: Black Star Promos XY02 and McDonald’s 2014 3/12), XY 24/146, XY: BREAKthrough 25/162, XY: Fates Collide 10/124, and XY: Fates Collide 11/124.  All are Basic, Fire Type Pokémon with Water Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ancient Trait, and no Ability.  XY: Kalos Starter Set 8/39 has 60 HP, can use “Scratch” for [R] to do 10 damage and “Live Coal” for [RC] to do 20.  XY 24/146 has 50 HP and the lone attack “Will-O-Wisp” that does 20 for [R].  XY: BREAKthrough 25/162 has 50 HP and the attack “Firebreathing” for [RC] 10 damage and to flip a coin; “heads” means +30 damage (40 total).  XY: Fates Collide 10/124 has 60 HP; for [R] has Will-O-Wisp against for 10, while for [CC] it can use “Tail Whip” to flip a coin and it “heads” the Defending Pokémon can’t attack during your opponent’s next turn.  Finally XY: Fates Collide 11/124 has 50 HP and for [C] it can use “Invite Out” to flip a coin; if “heads” you can select one of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon and switch it with your opponent’s Active.  I suggest XY: Fates Collide 10/124 due to its 60 HP and - if desperate - you can power up and try to use its Tail Whip to stall.  Preferably you won’t have to attack with Fennekin at all. 

If you go with Braixen instead of using Rare Candy, you have XY: Kalos Starter Set 9/39, XY 25/146, XY: BREAKthrough 26/162, and XY: Fates Collide 12/124.  All four are Stage 1 Fire Type Pokémon with 80 HP, Water Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C], no Ancient Trait, and no Ability.  XY: Kalos Starter Set 9/39 can can use Firebreathing again, still for [RC] time for 20 (+20 on “heads”), and for [RCC] it can use “Flame Tail” to do 60 damage.  XY 25/146 allows you to use “Clairvoyant Eye” for [C] to look at the top three cards of your deck and rearrange them as you wish while for [RC] it can use “Fire Tail Slap” to do 40 damage, but this attack also requires you discard an [R] Energy from Braixen itself.  XY: BREAKthrough 26/162 has just one attack - “Flamethrower” -  for [RCC], which does 70 damage and has you discard an Energy (this time of any Type) from Braixen itself.  XY: Fates Collide 12/124 can use “Destructive Flames” for [R] to do 20 and flip a coin; if “heads” you discard an Energy attached to the opponent’s Active.  For [CC] it can use “Crackling Ribbon” to do 30 damage.  Go with XY 25/146 or XY: Fates Collide 12/124; I am uncertain with you will need help with future draws or trying to disrupt by discarding Energy more, though I would go with XY 25/146 as it doesn’t rely on a coin flip.  Of course it still is luck based, as it is all about the top three cards of your deck, but if you are desperate enough to attack with Braixen in the first place, you may as well know if help is within those next three cards. 

At last we come to Delphox itself; our options are XY: Kalos Starter Set 10/39, XY 26/146, and XY: Fates Collide 13/124.  All three are Fire Type Stage 2 Pokémon with 140 HP, Water Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and no Ancient Trait.  XY: Kalos Starter Set 10/39 for [RC] it brings back Will-O-Wisp, but for only 30 damage, and for [RCCC] it brings out “Fire Blast” to do 120 damage while discarding an Energy from itself.  This Delphox was reviewed here, but did not fare well; I think I would have scored it similar to the other reviewers.  XY 26/146 has the Ability “Mystical Fire” which (once per turn per copy of Mystical Fire you have in play) allows you to draw until you have six cards in hand.  Its lone attack is “Blaze Ball” for [CCC], which does 50 damage plus 20 per [R] Energy attached to itself; if you fuel the attack purely with [R] Energy you’ll swing for 110 damage, and you can build it up to a lot more than that.  The Ability is great and the attack is good; unfortunately being a Stage 2 kept it from seeing any real success in competitive play.  This one actually received impressive scores when reviewed here, but I don’t recall it ever living up to those scores.  The new kitsune on the block is XY: Fates Collide 13/124 and it brings two attacks to play; “Flickering Flames” requires [R] and does 40 damage leaves the opponent’s Active Asleep, while for [CCC] it knows “Psystorm” which does 20 damage times the amount of all Energy in play.  These are good attacks, but not great attacks. 

So what Delphox should you use with Delphox BREAK?  XY 26/146 gives you a great Ability and a good attack, albeit one that carries a big risk as it requires you load Delphox (or Delphox BREAK) with [R] Energy.  Delphox BREAK and Blacksmith can help with Energy acceleration, while Mystical Fire helps with everything else.  Still, you might want to make room for a copy of XY: Fates Collide 13/124, maybe even two.  While Mystical Fire seems quite valuable, Psystorm really can be amazing if your opponent is stuck with a lot of Energy in play.  I think I would rather just include some strong Basic attackers to supplement Delphox BREAK instead.  Remember that Flare Witch attached from the deck; Energy Recycler can toss five of them back into your deck with ease so massive discard costs aren’t crippling unless Items are being locked away, and if they are you still have Blacksmith (unless you’ve used them all up).  In the end though I think that even with Mystical Fire to help with further setup after you get your first Delphox, this seems like more than was we’ve had any current deck manage.  Yes Greninja BREAK has seen success but it has both Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Frogadier (XY: BREAKpoint 39/122), with the latter appearing to be the successful option (shows what I know).  Fortunately there is an even better point about the success of Greninja BREAK; it’s about abusing your own decks Ability while locking down the opponent’s, and the Abilities your Pokémon bring to the table typically include supplemental draw and bonus damage counter placement.  With Delphox BREAK it is going to be constructive, not destructive. 

If you manage to pull Delphox BREAK it should be a great pull… unless I totally have misunderstood how the new Pre-Release rules work: if the contents I am seeing for the Evolution pack are correct, whichever one you get contains a 2/2/2 or 3/2/2 Delphox line.  I guess if you pull the correct big, Basic Pokémon-EX it might still be tempted to run just it in a +39 build, ensuring you start with said Pokémon-EX as it will be your only Basic Pokémon, but otherwise Delphox BREAK ought to be going in your deck. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 4.95/5 

Summary: Delphox BREAK adds HP and some useful Energy acceleration to Delphox decks (whichever Delphox is being used), but what the deck has been needing most is speed.  I think Delphox BREAK will see a lot of play at first and then quickly burn out due to the massive card investment required.  Greninja BREAK manages it, but it has a few things going for it that Delphox BREAK does not.  Only three cards that made the final list failed to make my personal Top 10 list at all, and Delphox BREAK is the second of those for the reasons I have given, though I do think the designers came close to helping it be worth the hassle.

the
grovyle
kid

You can tell at first glance that Delphox BREAK's status as the BREAK Evolution of a Stage 2 is going to hinder; Delphix lacks a different way to speed it into play such as Archie's Ace in the Hole or Forest of Giant Plants. However, Delphox BREAK has a few things going for it. Its ability, Flare Watch, lets you search your deck directly for a (R) energy card and attach it to one of your Pokémon. This acceleration is extremely powerful, despite being on an effective stage 3. You can Evolve it from any Delphox. Delphox (XY) can provide built-in draw if you choose to get it out. Delphox (Fates Collide) has the Psystorm attack, which does 20 damage for each energy in play for (CCC). While might seem underwhelming, it can in fact add up quickly. Most decks use some form energy Acceleration, which means Delphox can punish them rather effectively.

I had this as my 6th place pick.


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