First off, I just want to say how great the art is. A
martial arts belt in a ‘come and get some’ pose . . .
Expert Belt is probably the best and most game-changing
Trainer since Poke Turn. Remember the EX Pokémon? High
HP and big attacks, but when they are knocked out your
opponent gets two Prizes? Well, Expert Belt effectively
transforms any Pokémon into a Pokémon EX.
When you attach Expert Belt to a Pokémon, it gains 20 HP
and each of its attacks do 20 more damage to the active.
Remember that spread damage to the Bench is NOT boosted
by Expert Belt, and it doesn’t affect attacks which
place damage counters either. It return for this surge
of power, your opponent gets an extra prize if a Pokémon
with Expert Belt is knocked out.
Experienced deckbuilders will straight away see how
powerful this card is, and how many ways there are to
abuse it. Kingdra LA now does 80 + 20 damage for one
Energy, Flygon RR no longer relies on benched Evolutions
to do decent damage, and Dialga G becomes ridiculously
hard to knock out and is able to hit for 30 while
locking Trainers with Deafen. Probably the safest way to
use the card is in decks with low Energy attacks that
can be recovered with Super Scoop Up and re-played
(maybe using Broken Time-Space). SP decks that have
access to Poke Turn also have plenty of ways to avoid
the double-prize KO.
Really, though, players are only starting to discover
the many ways to use and abuse this card. Two or three
Expert Belt is likely to become a staple of offensive
decks for the remainder of the format. That can only be
a good thing, as it adds an extra dimension of skill and
strategy to the game as players seek to exploit the
benefits that this card brings while avoiding its
downside as much as possible.
Modified: 4.75 (changes the game . . . for the better!)
Limited: 4.5 (great here too, but losing 2 Prizes is
more of an issue)