While I love teacher decks, sometimes you need a change of pace. However, the issue of an uncertain states metagame paired with a long gap of time means that most deck articles have already been done to death. So, to quote Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, now is “A good time to take innovatory” of what we do have available to us. This series of articles will focus upon energy cards, and all the things you can do with them.
The first article in this series is about energy recovery, specifically recovery of special energy cards. Some of these cards will be obvious to most players, while others are obscure. However, knowing what’s out there is always a net positive.
As we all know, there are two types of energy card. There are basic energy cards, and special energy cards. Basic energy cards provide nothing but energy, but are much more easily searched out, as well as recovered. Special energy, on the other hand, provides special effects at the cost of being much harder to get into play, and almost impossible to recover once discarded. Each has a set of pros and cons.
Here’s a list of the special energy legal in our current format:
~Call Energy (Majestic Dawn)
~Health Energy (Majestic Dawn)
~Recover Energy (Majestic Dawn)
~Cyclone Energy (Stormfront)
~Warp Energy (Stormfront)
~Special Dark (Majestic Dawn, Rising Rivals, Undaunted)
~Special Metal (Majestic Dawn, Rising Rivals, Undaunted)
~Rainbow Energy (Platinum, HeartGold & SoulSilver)
~Double Colorless Energy (HeartGold & SoulSilver)
~SP Energy (Rising Rivals)
~Upper Energy (Rising Rivals)
~Rescue Energy (Triumphant)
Of these, the most 5 commonly used ones are:
~Special Metal Energy
~Special Dark Energy
Most of these guys are hard to recover once they hit the discard pile, but we as players have a few options. Each has a good side and a bad side.
Energy Recovery Options
The common card used to recover Special Metal energy is the stadium card Conductive Quarry from Stormfront. This card is a flippy effect, but allows for the search of basic or special energy, so long as it is either metal or lightning. This means there are three valid targets for this card: Metal Energy, Special Metal Energy, and Lightning Energy. This card has the downside of allowing your opponent to do the same, and with the major SP decks in the format running one or the other, it’s not always such a great idea to give them energy recovery.
The second card allowing energy recovery is Steelix Prime, from the Unleashed expansion. Steelix Prime’s first attack “Energy Stream” allows you to attach ANY energy card from your discard pile to Steelix as the secondary effect of an attack that does 30 damage for CC. Steelix has the pros of being able to most likely take at least one hit, allowing you to grab that energy card the next turn. After all, if your energy recovery tech is instantly KO’d, you just lost a prize with zero gain for your own board control.
Steelix Prime has some major downsides as well, though. It is a stage 1 Pokémon, meaning it cannot be dropped without at least four cards. (BTS or candy, Onix, Steelix, and a DCE/Upper Energy) Steelix also suffers from a horrid retreat cost of FOUR(!) energy. That’s worthless if we’re only recovering a single energy card as the effect of his attack anyway. And how do we get the energy off of Steelix to toss it back into our hands, or where we want it?
We either have to use a Warp Energy (thereby negating our energy attachment for the turn anyway) and then seeker him up, use switch or warp point, or hit heads on SSU. Neither is particularly reliable. Not to mention, if a decent SP player sees you run him as an energy recovery tech only, and don’t use his attacks, then you’re doomed once this guy gets bright looked.
Is there another card with a similar attack that has some better support options? You know what would be awesome?
If we had a basic Pokémon that could do all of this. And for giggles, let’s ask for an SP Pokémon. Wait, you mean there’s seriously something that fits the bill? Indeed, there is. Manectric G from Supreme Victors fits the bill perfectly. His first attack, for no cost (meaning you won’t be wasting an energy gain or any other investment on him) allows you to attach two energy cards from your discard.
In SP decks, this means you could grab two Double Colorless Energy if you chose to. And once the energy is on him, you can TGI Poké-turn it back into your hand without worrying about wasting an energy drop, a supporter, or hoping to hit heads on SSU. However, Manectric G has some disadvantages too. With 90 hp and a 2× fighting weakness, he might not last the turn, if your opponent is already set up.
This makes Manectric G a searchable energy recovery tech, but one that can easily fall to your opponent’s main attacker, as well as fighting type techs. (Anti Luxray techs, Donphan techs, etc) Also, since Manectric is an SP Pokémon, you can use both of the energies you grab off of him by using “Galactic Switch” before you Poké-turn him.
But man, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Pokémon that was basic and could do all that, but had a separate type and was better against SP? Oh, wait, we have that too! Mewtwo from Majestic Dawn has the same attack as Manectric G, attaching two energy from the discard pile to himself for no actual energy cost. In addition, he has a Level-Up form that can cause SP players some headaches, especially if they’re not running a Mewtwo counter tech.
However, with 90 hp and a Psychic weakness, Mewtwo can be a liability given how many psychic Pokémon are used in our format. He has the same pros as Manectric, namely, being a searchable basic for zero energy, and grabbing two energy instead of one. However, he suffers the problems of Steelix, namely, having to use warp/seeker/ssu/warp point/switch, thanks to a horrid retreat cost of CC.
A relatively unknown card that can also grab energy is Sableye from Undaunted. For the cost of one darkness energy, he can take ANY card from your discard, and put it into your deck. The intent is that you’d then draw it the next turn. However, with the sheer amount of disruption in our format, this is not exactly the most reliable, as if you are forced to shuffle your deck during your opponent’s turn, it’ll be somewhere else. (Looker’s, Let Loose, Judge, Spiritomb TM, etc)
Also, Sableye himself is underpowered and a liability, with only 60 hp and no evolution. His attack has a somewhat low damage output, even with Special Darkness energy. He has a retreat cost of one, meaning you can Q him away, but there’s a lot of cards out there that are more valid places to hang your Unown Q on.
Steelix GL from Rising Rivals has an attack, for CC (or any one energy with energy gain) that allows you to attach a Metal energy and remove one damage counter from yourself. However, this means you can only recover Special Metal energy, which makes Steelix Prime a better card for the job.
Zapados G from Arceus does ten damage, and attaches one energy to itself, at the cost of C, but the energy attachment relies on a coin flip, making it not worth the effort for consistency.
Dialga from Platinum (#23) has the “Energy Stream” attack for CC as well, but it only does twenty damage, and the energy attachment is once again only done on a heads.
Those are the cards in the current format that give us Special Energy recovery. I hope that if nothing else, this has served to refresh your memory, and hopefully, I’ve managed to give you guys some tech ideas. Did I miss any? If so, let me know in the comments.