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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Curse Powder

EX Unseen Forces


Date Reviewed: 09.19.05

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Unlimited: 2
Modified: 3.25
Limited: 4

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst.  3 ... average.  5 is the highest rating.


If you find the review is too long, skip straight to the Ratings and Summary! 


Name   : Curse Powder

Set       : EX Unseen Forces

Card#   : 80/115

Rarity   : Uncommon

Type    : Trainer

Sub-type: Pokémon Tool

Effect Text: 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.


If 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 Pokémon.


Attributes: 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).


This 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.


Abilities: 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 Claws.


Uses and

Combinations: 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 cards).


First 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.


Second 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.


The 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.




Unlimited: 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.


Modified: 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.


Limited: 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.



Overall 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.




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