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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Throwback Thursday
Double Colorless Energy
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
March 30, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4
Expanded: 4
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

Ahhhhh, Double Colorless Energy, often abbreviated DCE but never duplicated...well, not directly at least, the effect of providing multiple Energy has been used every now and again though. 

DCE though is the OG of the double-Energy crew, coming all the way back to us again in Sun & Moon ever since Base Set days. It does the same thing as it's ever done - provided two Colorless Energy to a Pokemon. Being a Special Energy, you can only have 4 copies of it in your deck, and there are a lot of ways to work with it - and against it. Needless to say, the card has seen a lot of use over time, and it remains a staple in several decks even now. 

The uses are very broad too. While it can't work well with anything requiring all of one Energy, it can easily power up a lot of Pokemon much faster than others - especially Colorless Pokemon like one Tauros-GX. The only thing that can really get rid of it is a deck based on Energy removal - Hammer decks, attacks that discard any Energy or Special Energy in particular, etc. But then there are of course ways to remedy this, such as Special Charge. 

DCE is as iconic to the game as Pikachu is to the franchise, and chances are you'll continue to see this be used in the future for a very very long time. 

Rating 

Standard: 4/5 (an absolute treasure to have) 

Expanded: 4/5 (just be wary of what it has to contend with) 

Limited: 5/5 (and you ought to be fine with using it anywhere!) 

Arora Notealus: DCE is an indispensable part of many decks and sometimes is the only Energy worth running in certain decks. Vengeance-style decks and Night March decks recently were the biggest benefactors of DCE, and look how well they turned out! Course while they may be waning in popularity, having access to Tauros-GX is pretty much a boon for every Outrage deck in the game - I wouldn't be surprised if Tauros-GX himself has his own deck built around him. 

Next Time: Everyone's favorite girl? Well at the very least she's certainly a character-GET BACK IN THE BAG!!


21times

Double Colorless Energy (Evolutions, 90/108) provides not one, but two, yes count them, two energy for the price of one!  What a bargain, what a deal – in fact, it is so impactful that some decks build their complete energy strategy around this card.  Since the beginning of the new rotation, a majority of the decks in the top eight of almost all of the regionals tournaments have run four DCE.  Being able to attach two energy in one turn is a significant advantage for a player as energy attachment acceleration is crucial to the determination of the outcome of many matches.  In most cases in the meta today, the winner of a match is the player who was able to attach more energy more quickly than his or her opponent.

As mentioned above, many decks carry only four DCE, and many of them have had significant success in the current meta.  While Decidueye GX (Sun & Moon, 12/149) is the hot deck for DCE at the moment, Yveltal EX (XY, 144/146), Gyarados (Ancient Origins, 21/98), Vespiquen (Ancient Origins, 10/98), and Mega Mewtwo EX (Breakthrough, 64/162) have all had top eight finishes at Standard regionals tournaments in the current rotation.  A couple of these decks, Vespiquen and Gyarados, run only four DCE.

Unfortunately, the arch nemesis of the DCE is the Enhanced Hammer (Black & White Dark Explorers, 94/108).  Without requiring the flip of a coin, this card allows your opponent to remove any special energy, including DCE, from one of your Pokemon and place it in your discard pile.  Fortuntately, the expansion Steam Siege gave us the brand new card Special Charge (105/114) which allows you to return two special energy cards from your discard pile and back into your deck.  This frequently saves decks that rely heavily on DCE, especially if an opponent plays several hammers or if you have a DCE or two prized.

Other Pokemon that rarely see play but potentially could help facilitate the acceleration of finding and attaching DCE are Solrock (Primal Clash, 83/160) and Clawitzer (Steam Siege, 34/114).  Solrock’s attack Solar Generator allows you to search your deck for two special energy cards and put them into your hand.  Clawitzer’s ability, Mega Boost, allows you to attach a special energy (in addition to your regular energy attachment) to any of your Mega Evolution Pokemon.  However, neither of these Pokemon has seen much play, but they provide ways for a player to attempt to search and find DCE more quickly than simply relying on the luck of the draw from normal Supporter cards and Shaymin EX (Roaring Skies, 106/108).  We do not have a card in the meta right now that would act as a Professor’s Letter (Breakthrough, 146/162) for special energy.  That’s something that the DCE dependent player desperately needs because about the only drawback to DCE is that you’re only allowed to have four of them in your deck.

Rating

Standard: 4 out of 5

Summary

While not for use in every deck, the Double Colorless Energy card provides the opportunity for a player to accelerate energy attachment to attack for more damage more quickly than would be possible otherwise.  Many successful decks use DCE, and some carry it as their only source of energy. 


Otaku

Double Colorless Energy is a Special Energy card that provides two units of Colorless Energy.  Seems very simple and straightforward, but you know I can ramble on incessantly go deeper with it.  Starting with the obvious, just to ensure we are all on the same page, welcome to Throwback Thursday; this is the first Special Energy card ever released with Pokémon.  Enjoy a laugh at my expense; when my friends and I were learning the game back in early 1999 when the TCG was brand new in North America, we made a really stupid mistake.  One that is on me, because I made it and they just went along with me on it.  As the first Special Energy card, Double Colorless Energy was sandwiched between the Trainers and the basic Energy cards in Base Set.  It was also gray, similar (but different) from all the Trainers, so even though the manual explained Special Energy cards, I somehow got it into my head that Double Colorless Energy was to be treated as a Trainer.  Not even all the time, so that I could at least be consistently wrong; we would let each other play it like an Item but we still allowed Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal to target it.  I probably destroyed my friend’s ability to enjoy the game, as he (logically) built his deck around such a broken concept, only to find out at our first chance to play with a larger group of people it didn’t work that way.  At all.  Sorry, Elric. 

Now, as a Special Energy, Double Colorless Energy has to follow the 4 Copy Rule, unlike basic Energy.  Though there are some cards like Special Charge that work only for Special Energy, as well as several card effects that just don’t care whether Energy is basic or Special, like Fairy Garden and its Retreat Cost zeroing ways, most Energy support (like Energy Retrieval) specifically only works for basic Energy while many effects that discard your opponent’s Energy (like Enhanced Hammer) only work on Special Energy.  No longer the case, but for a time the effect text was redundant, as the Energy symbols found on one of the two upper corners of the card told you the default value of the Energy card, whether it was attached, in the deck, the discard pile, or the hand.  I miss that.  As for the quality of the effect, Energy of any Type can fulfill a [C] requirement, so having a Special Energy that provides [CC] should be balanced against basic Energy that can meet a single Energy requirement of the appropriate Type or any [C] requirement, right?  Hypothetically possible, but it would require an incredibly precise balance in various Energy costs, and would have a high likelihood of making Double Colorless Energy a pretty weak card.  The reality has been, of course, quite the opposite. 

In the days of Base Set only, Double Colorless Energy helped a few cards stand out, and sometimes was handy for paying retreat costs.  Which was enough to still make Double Colorless Energy a good card, even though Base Set also gave us Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal.  Jungle brought us Scyther (Jungle 10/64, 26/64; Base Set 2 17/130; Platinum 130/127), and while its stats would have still made it a good card, Double Colorless Energy mean its vanilla 30-for-[CCC] “Slash” attack could be readied in two turns and thus worth the effort, elevating the entire package to “loose staple”.  This set also gave us Wigglytuff (Jungle 16/64, 32/64; Base Set 2 19/130) and its “Do the Wave” attack for [CCC], good for 10 damage plus another 10 for each of your Benched Pokémon.  Without Double Colorless Energy, this would have been too slow even though it was a PlusPower away from OHKOing some of the strongest attackers of the time (as they were typically Basic Pokémon with 70 HP).  Without Double Colorless Energy, Do The Wave decks wouldn’t have been a “thing”, and it was one of the top decks of the time.  Does this really matter now?  Yes, it does, because this demonstrates how it goes with Double Colorless Energy; attacks that are more or less fairly priced for the time go from “average” to “good”, from “good” to “great”, etc.  We won’t sweat the details of the rest of the early metagame; Double Colorless Energy was reprinted in Base Set 2, but Base Set 2 was among the sets eliminated by the shift to Modified (what we now call “Standard”) play. 

So for nearly 10 years, the game went on with Double Colorless Energy only being a significant part of Unlimited Format play.  Then, to the surprise of many, Double Colorless Energy returned in HeartGold/SoulSilver.  Right away, it made some of the then older cards still in the format stronger.  A notable example would be Garchomp C Lv.X; Double Colorless Energy helped fuel the [CCC] cost and two Energy discard cost of its “Dragon Rush” attack, which let you hit one of your opponent’s Pokémon for 80 damage.  I realize you’d need a full write up of the metagame to really appreciate what that meant at the time, but the short version it was good.  There was a Pokémon Tool, Energy Gain, that already allowed Garchomp C Lv.X to shave [C] off its attack costs and Uxie (DP: Legends Awakened 43/146) had 70 HP and a Poké-Power called “Set Up”.  Its Set Up is almost identical to the Ability found on Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) but it draws until you have seven cards in hand, not just six.  Maybe you don’t need a full write up after all. 

Now, the designers have not adjusted their card design to keep Double Colorless Energy from breaking certain attacks.  We aren’t even going to worry about what it helped in the HS-era releases, but we are going straight to one of the cards people loved and/or hated in the BW-era: Mewtwo-EX (BW: Next Destinies 54/99, 98/99; BW: Black Star Promos BW45; BW: Legendary Treasures 54/113).  Its “X Ball” attack requires [CC] to do 20 damage times the number of Energy attached to all Active Pokémon, and for a while, it defined competitive play.  While it would have still been a very good, perhaps even great, card if Double Colorless Energy hadn’t been legal at the time, our X Baller Brawler needs Energy acceleration to do its thing.  You could try to manually power it up over two turns, but this was a format with Pokémon Catcher pre-errata (it worked like an Item based Lysandre); if your opponent had a Mewtwo-EX ready first, yours was feeling the pain.  In fact, the general damage output was such that a turn’s delay would rob Mewtwo-EX of favorable Prize trades. 

Then there is another love/hate highlight for the Pokémon TCG world: Night March.  Yes, Lysandre’s Trump Card was supposed to have balanced it out, so this time the potency was not entirely intended, but without Double Colorless Energy the deck just wouldn’t work; all actual Night Marchers would need [CC] and only stuff like Mew-EX copying Joltik (XY: Phantom Forces 26/119) while Dimension Valley was in play would retain the deck’s vaunted speed.  Pumpkaboo (XY: Phantom Forces 44/119) would be almost totally worthless as an attacker.  Yveltal-EX is a bit like Mewtwo-EX; it would still be a strong card without Double Colorless Energy, but not as strong.  Lugia-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 68/98, 94/98) takes a similar hit.  Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) doesn’t work too well requiring an added combo or an extra turn to get swinging.  Passimian rush decks are like Night March and Vespiquen, relying exclusively (or almost exclusively) on Double Colorless Energy. 

So while many (most?) of the cards I just listed are too strong for their own good, at least a little broken in their own right, one of the cards essential to this  Double Colorless Energy.  So I consider Double Colorless Energy to be broken, a card that upsets the game balance.  No, that doesn’t mean it is a must-run for every deck; many decks don’t use it.  It isn’t even essential to all the decks I just mentioned, just important for them performing as they do now.  Not all broken cards are equally unbalanced.  So don’t expect bizarre scores for the various formats, just high scores for Standard, Expanded, Limited, Legacy, and Theme Deck Formats.  Yeah, I’m only leaving out Unlimited because I’m still clueless, but I’m better Double Colorless Energy still has a place there. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.25/5 

Expanded: 4.25/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Theme: 4.75/5 

Legacy: 4/5 

Summary 

Double Colorless Energy is may have a simple effect, but its effectiveness is simply amazing.  If you go back and read a lot of older reviews, you’ll see me (and some other reviewers) stressing how important it is to be “DCE-compliant” for a card.  Other forms of Energy acceleration like Max Elixir have lessened this dependency, but I cannot say it has been in a good way.  The pacing for the Pokémon TCG is already so fast that some of its core mechanics are near impossible to properly balance out, like Evolution; attack pricing not adjusting to Double Colorless Energy even though it has been back for seven years is one of the reasons why. 

Of course, that also means you better have a playset by now.


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