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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Battle Compressor

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 28, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

S
ee Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


aroramage

An Item card. 

Deck thinning. 

Set up for the discard. 

Fuel Night March and Vengeance-style attacks. 

Get easy access to Energy for Energy acceleration. 

Supporters to the discard? Combined with VS Seeker. 

Battle Compressor: is it any surprise it's the #1 card? 

Rating 

Standard: N/A 

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!


Otaku

Note: 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. 

Battle Compressor (XY: Phantom Forces 92/119) is the most important card we lost to rotation.  We have reviewed it twice before: 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 broken, etc. 

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 play. 

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. 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 3.75/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 

Summary: 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 match. 

Then 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.


Zach Carmichael

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 BREAKthrough. 

Ratings 

Standard: n/a

Expanded: 4.5/5

Limited: 4/5 

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.


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