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Ratings and Summary!
EX Unseen Forces
Attach Curse Powder to 1 of your Evolved Pokémon (excluding
Pokémon-ex) that doesn’t already have a Pokémon Tool
attached to it. If the Pokémon Cursed Powder is attached to
is a Basic or a Pokémon-ex, discard Curse Powder.
the Pokémon that Curse Powder is attached to is your
Active Pokémon and is Knocked out by damage from an
opponent’s attack, put 3 damage counters on the Attacking
Curse Powder is the first of the new batch of Pokémon
Tools from EX: Unseen Forces that we are going to look at. Like
all Pokémon Tools, it is a Trainer: Trainer denial is moderately
popular in Modified and extremely common in Unlimited, but all
Trainers are hit that hard, so it’s not going to drop the score:
just remember to use common sense. What does help is that
Pokémon Tools activate after they are already in play, and that
means that if you can drop them into play before the assorted
Trainer prohibiting cards hit the field, they’ll work fine.
Sadly, this too comes with a downside: since they remain in
play, there are specific effects, though fairly rare, that can
target them – like Ancient Technical Machine (Ice).
particular Pokémon Tool is restricted to use by Evolved Pokémon
that aren’t Pokémon-ex. Making sure there is no wiggle room, it
even explains that should the Pokémon Curse Powder is
attached to stop being a non-Pokémon-ex Evolution, the Pokémon
Tool is discarded.
Vengeance! Seriously though, Curse Powder is a card
that’s a little bit of offense and a little bit of defense. The
card’s effect means that if this is attached to the Defending
Pokémon, should it be KO’d by the damage from an opponent’s
attack, they have three damage counters placed on them. Three
damage counters is about what you’d expect from a strong opening
to modest middle game attack. That it won’t go away until
you’re KO’d is a mixed blessing: if you really need to use a lot
of other Pokémon Tools, then this one would block out the
others. Still, this also means the opponent has to work at it
to bypass the effect: getting a KO via a non-damage attack or by
damaging you on the bench. Also, it’s been ruled that if a
Pokémon uses an attack that would let it bench itself after
attacking, Curse Powder still nails it. Over all, this
seems a pretty solid effect, and far better than it’s flippy,
one-turn-window-of-opportunity predecessor, Counter-Attack
Based on the effects/restrictions of the other new Pokémon Tools
(which will also be reviewed this week and next Monday), I
believe there are three groups to look for prime candidates,
aside from things that can use Pokémon Tools in general for
extra effect (EX Fire Red/Leaf Green Primate and related
are those who have an ability triggered by the opponent’s
attack. Dark Gyarados and Dark Sandslash of EX:
Team Rocket Returns are good examples. Dark Gyarados’
Dark Scale Poké-Body is essentially the same effect as Curse
Powder, meaning that together you should place six damage
counters. That actually is vicious, and might explain why
Dark Gyarados seemed so under-powered. Dark Sandslash
will Poison the opponent when they attack and damage it,
already has a free retreat cost (not that it could use Fluffy
Berry or Energy Root anyway), an underplayed Weakness
(so Protective Orb seems an overkill), gets a damage
boost from Darkness Energy (so Strength Charm
and Solid Rage are less appealing) and finally it’s
attack trades off applying Weakness to get around damage
reducing effects (so Crystal Shard gives no benefit).
Like Dark Gyarados, Dark Sandslash also seemed
under-powered: this might give them enough of an edge to see at
least a little play.
group are those Pokémon who have attacks that fall just shy of
scoring OHKO’s. After all, so long as most opponents can at
best “trade prizes”, it’ll keep things fairly even. This
includes both big Pokémon with big (but pricier) attacks and
smaller Pokémon with inexpensive, weaker (but still strong)
attacks. Essentially, Curse Powder becomes a free
“opening hit” to soften the opponent’s Pokémon to the point
where the attack essentially becomes the finisher, even though
it will usually be delivered first.
final group consists of those Pokémon that don’t especially
benefit from the attack, but really can’t make much use of the
other Pokémon Tools. Take EX Deoxys Shedinja: attack
boosting/type changing Pokémon Tools (Crystal Shard and
Strength Charm are going to be of little help: it places
damage counters. While more HP is nice, shutting off its
Poké-Body defeats the whole point of playing it, and likewise
makes healing it a little pointless. It already has a free
retreat and no Weakness.
2/5-If you are using Evolutions, than this makes some nice
Tyrogue-insurance. Still, most would rather use Focus
Band to stay alive than seek petty vengeance.
3.25/5-In general, it is something most Pokémon that meet the
perquisites can gain an advantage from, but in most cases
something more specialized is also more rewarding.
4/5-This tells you how many good cards there are in this set
that this isn’t higher. You will so often be trading blows in
this format, and if, like me, you get this up and running with
this set’s Tyrogue and Hitmontop (places 2 damage
counters on an opponent who attacks and damages it if ‘Top
is an Evolved Pokémon) it gets very sick very fast.
a solid card but it gets over-shadowed by some of the others in
this set. Perhaps either giving a second continuous effect or
else making it available to more Pokémon for use would make it
on par with some of the other Pokémon Tools from this set.
Still, if you want extra damage at an annoying moment, Curse
Powder is your card.