An Item card.
Set up for the discard.
Fuel Night March and
Get easy access to Energy for
Supporters to the discard? Combined
with VS Seeker.
Battle Compressor: is it any
surprise it's the #1 card?
Expanded: 5/5 (RIP the dream)
Limited: 5/5 (you will be missed)
Arora Notealus: There's really not
much more that needs to be said about Battle Compressor.
It makes decks faster, sets things up quickly, and is
overall just a strategically powerful card. Sure being
an Item card makes it susceptible to things like
Seismitoad-EX's Quaking Punch, but ultimately its pros
outweigh its cons.
Weekend Thought: What card are you
going to miss the most from rotation? Do you think
there's a card that should've made the list? Think
something should've been higher or lower on the list?
What honorable mentions would you like to bring up?
Truly there are some cards to think about, and to think
we only came up with 20 of them!
I have submitted a review for every CotD in this Top 20
countdown but I was very late with some of them,
with a few being only a little late but still missing as
I type this because of e-mail issues. If you care
to know what I think, feel free to check back for any
days where you noticed I was absent. Of particular
note is my
Night March trio
review; it neither as concise nor clear as I wished it
to be, but I was the dissenting opinion for our review
crew so I think it worth reading regardless.
(XY: Phantom Forces 92/119) is the most important
card we lost to rotation. We have reviewed it
first as the
third best card of XY: Phantom Forces and
then as the fifth
best card of 2014. This is a Trainer, an Item card, which allows you to search
your deck for up to three cards to send to your discard
pile. In some games this is a weak effect but in
most I’ve played, it is pretty important; alone it just
gives you a glance at your deck but brings you closer to
decking out, but it enables many potent combos.
General Trainer support is scarce but useful, with cards
like Skyla and Trainers’ Mail potentially
aiding in the hinted at combos, while counters that
apply to all Trainers are even less common and none have
proven effective in Expanded or Standard play.
Being an Item means no worries about much you can use
Battle Compressor, but it also means there aren’t a
tremendous amount of useful supporting effects.
There are multiple Trainer counters, with several like
Ghetsis, Seismitoad-EX, Trevenant (XY
55/146), and Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins
3/98) having proven good or great. I don’t know if
this card’s effect would be worthwhile as anything other
than an Item; being an Item means it doesn’t take up
another valuable resource (Stadium, Supporter, Tool
slot), have weird timing issues, come attached to a
Pokémon that might make it deck specific, useless or
The most important
thing about Battle Compressor is that it released
at the right time. VS Seeker means you can use
Battle Compressor to essentially pick the exact
Supporter you need for the turn from your deck.
Yes this is one less usage of that Supporter versus
drawing into it or searching it out another way, but it
isn’t fickle like Random Receiver or
Xtransceiver (the former actually was useful, the
latter not so much) or slow like using a Skyla
and having to hold off until the next turn. This
combo brought greater reliability/stability to decks as
a whole, and to TecH Supporters in particular.
Getting the correct, heavily used Supporter was good,
but you could toss more specialized Supporters into your
discard pile: if you needed them VS Seeker gave
you up to four more uses, but if you didn’t then at
least they were no longer clogging up your hand or deck.
Releases like Octillery (XY: BREAKthrough
33/162) and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies
77/108, 106/108), keeping your hand from filling up with
multiple, specialized Supporters improved their draw
yields and of course their existence is part of why you
could risk having so many non-draw Supporters in the
first place. Though it no longer applies, this was
also a useful complement to Lysandre’s Trump Card;
not just because of the preceding combos, but because
recycling your entire discard pile usually meant
recycling cards your deck didn’t need to get vital bits
it did. With Battle Compressor you could
chuck the surplus after recycling your entire discard,
enjoying a revitalized deck without having to sift
through the clutter. Battle Compressor also
allows Puzzle of Time improved functionality; a
three Item combo enables you to ultimately add the two
cards of your choice from deck to hand.
Then we come to the
more specialized deck uses. Night March and
Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) took
advantage of Battle Compressor to reliably fill
the discard with the Pokémon they needed to up their
damage output. Blacksmith and two Fire Energy
cards could be sent from the deck to the discard so that
you could then VS Seeker to quickly fuel your
Fire Type attackers. In fact, Battle Compressor
is a friend to all decks that attach from the discard
pile, though admittedly not all need to run it heavily
since there are other cards like Professor Sycamore,
Professor Juniper, and Ultra Ball likely
to also contribute. Battle Compressor is not
a true deck staple, but that is simply a matter of deck
space. If you have to pick between the cards you’d
want to discard with it and itself, obviously it loses,
besides of course cards more vital to the deck strategy
as a whole. Even if the face of Item lock,
Battle Compressor was a common sight in
Standard and Expanded prior to rotation, and will remain
so. It may lose a little bit of “oomph” because
Karen at best (worst?) will make decks built around
having certain Pokémon in the discard pile extinct, or
could create a cyclical pattern like we’ve seen with
certain other such cards (Startling Megaphone
versus heavy Tool usage). Battle Compressor is
usually a must run in Limited play because odds are your
deck will have to have at least a little bit of filler:
that gives you room for Battle Compressor plus a
reason to use it apart from the combos of Constructed
So… what if this
card was reprinted for Standard play? Its general
usage tricks remain intact except for Lysandre’s
Trump Card, which has been long gone due to being
banned. Some of its deck specific tricks remain as
well. Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s
Hidden Ball Trick probably become viable again as
the primary way of playing certain cards. All in
all, sounds like it would be a big, big deal to me.
Battle Compressor is a combo card, so it doesn’t
score as highly as some others on this countdown.
It also means I am scoring it a bit lower than in the
past because I remembered that I try not to give all the
credit for a combo to any single card involved.
Totally on its own Battle Compressor is just
okay-ish deck thinner: would you want to burn an Item on
discarding three cards from your deck if you didn’t have
VS Seeker, Night March, etc. to capitalize upon
it all? I am thinking no, I’d run some other form
of relatively generic draw or search like Acro Bike
or Unown, maybe try to tighten up my build so I
didn’t have so much fat to trim in the middle of a
I factor in the combos that we have, and that elevates
what might have been a two-out-of-five nearly a
four-out-of-five (its old score). I do firmly
believe it to be the overall most significant card lost,
so it also reminds us that scores are a quick abstract
and not an absolute measure of a card’s worth to
competitive play. Battle Compressor earned 58
voting points, 16 points beyond our second place
finisher Seismitoad-EX. Battle Compressor
topped my own personal list and as a little math would
tell you, that means it still ranked highly on the
others’ as well. While I will miss it, I fear it
lived up to its name far too well and made the already
too-fast pace of the game even more swift, so it is
probably for the best we have to say goodbye to it.
We end our list of cards rotating
from Standard with Battle Compressor. Since its release,
the card has served as a staple in a number of decks –
from Night March to Metal variants – and continues to
see play in Expanded. Many see this card as
controversial and wanted it banned from competitive play
because it made certain decks overpowered. This aside,
it also helped many decks that previously were
considered bad as playable by providing a nice
consistency boost by being able to get rid of Supporters
and unwanted cards. Battle Compressor will be missed by
some and others not so much, but clearly it is
undisputed that the card was, and still is, one of best
cards we’ve seen in a long time.
Battle Compressor lets you look
through your deck and discard up to three cards.
Ideally, you want to get rid of Supporter cards because
it makes VS Seeker immediately useful. However, players
quickly realized that this was not the only use for the
card. Night March and Vespiquen players jumped on the
opportunity to fit Battle Compressor in their decks
because they could now fuel these attackers with ease.
Other players squeezed it into Metal decks because now
they could quickly get Metal Energy into the discard to
use Bronzong’s Metal Links Ability. A number of decks
took advantage of the card and played it was a one or
two-of regardless of their strategies, if only because
the consistency boost and ability to get rid of useless
cards in the late game was too good not to. Without
Battle Compressor in Standard, some decks will now
struggle, such as Vespiquen and Greninja BREAK.
In Expanded, Battle Compressor is
as popular as ever. Night March and Vespiquen are huge,
among other decks that can take advantage of discarding
cards. Again, even as a one or two-of the card has its
uses, if only to burn through the deck to hopefully draw
that extra card or two needed to secure a match.
Eelektrik players can now jump on the bandwagon, as
well, discarding Electric Energy to fuel the Dynamotor
Abiity to power up attackers like Raikou from
Summary: Battle Compressor
was controversial – that much is clear. However, that is
not to say that it wasn’t a useful addition to nearly
all decks played. Despite only seeing the card in
Standard for a couple years, I would not be surprised if
players used it in virtually every deck in Unlimited as
well. Its effect is incredibly strong, as maxing them
out in a deck potentially allows you to discard up to a
whopping twelve cards over the course of the game,
providing a massive advantage over your opponent in
terms of discarding cards you don’t need and drawing
into the ones you do. Had it not rotated, Battle
Compressor would continue to see play in Standard, but
it will still live on in Expanded and serve as a staple
in a number of popular decks.