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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day


Rare Candy

Black & White

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.20
Limited: 5.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Rare Candy

Hello and welcome to Errata Week on Pojo’s CotD. An errata is what happens when the Pokémon Powers-That-Be decide to change the wording on a card from that which is printed. This can happen for basically two reasons: either they wish to change the way that a card is used, or the card’s original translation was inaccurate or somehow did not reflect the way it was intended to be played. We will have examples of both this week.

It’s worth noting that if they issue errata for a card you don’t require a reference in order to play it. It is assumed that everyone is aware of the change. Nevertheless, you should always be prepared for people who aren’t, and alert a judge if there are any disputes at a tournament

Because this is a different sort of review week, I’ll be doing my reviews a bit differently. First I will give the errata text (thank you to PokeGym’s Compendium for that). Then I’ll explain why I think it has been altered (this will often be speculation). Then I will talk about the effect of the change.

So . . . on to our first card (and it’s a big one).


The wording of Rare Candy is now as follows, "Choose 1 of your Basic Pokémon in play. If you have a Stage 2 card in your hand that evolves from that Pokémon, put that card on the Basic Pokémon. (This counts as evolving that Pokémon.) You can't use this card during your first turn or on a Basic Pokémon that was put into play this turn." So now it can't be used on your first turn, and it can't be used on a Pokémon played this turn.

Why was it changed?

The objective here seems to be to slow the game down, and maybe to make Evolution decks a bit less powerful. The ability to suddenly produce a complete Stage 2 line from nowhere was often devastating, especially when you consider that many also had a great attack for only one Energy (Kingdra LA, Machamp SF, Gengar SF . . . I’m looking at you). This may be an indication of very powerful Stage 2s to come: even as things stand, we have some very powerful support and attacking Stage 2s such as Ability Emboar and Magnezone.

What effect will it have?

Like I said, it really hurts evolution decks. Evolving Basics will now have to sit out a turn on the Bench, making them extremely vulnerable to Pokémon Reversal (for now) and Pokémon Catcher (confirmed for the next set). Stage 1 decks are also somewhat affected: you can no longer use a Rare Candy to get a Donphan Prime or a CInccino set up and swinging for big damage in a single turn. With evolution decks (especially Stage 2s) already feeling the hurt from the rotation of Broken Time-Space, this is another significant blow to their ability to keep up to speed at a time when some very powerful Basics are being released (see the Unova Legendaries for details). However, with some of those Basics requiring Stage 2 support (such as Reshiram from either Typhlosion Prime or Emboar), it looks like the big winners from the change may be Stage 1 decks. The fact that the Top 16 of US Nationals was dominated by them gives a pretty good indication.


Modified: 4 (the nerf is significant, but it’s still a staple as long as Stage 2 decks are playable)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Rare Candy (HS Unleashed)
Alright! It's a new week of Item cards on Pojo! Technically, it's actuallly a week for cards that have been given an erratum to fit in with B&W-on rules, but most of them are Trainers (which are now Item cards, though the difference seems to be purely cosmetic). Tune in tomorrow for something really special!
Never fear, today's review is a great card in it's own right. Read on to learn what we love about Rare Candy!
To start with, Rare Candy is an Item so it can be played as often as you like, because you like. However, the tradeoff is that Rare Candy is nigh on impossible to search out and can be blocked by Vileplume UD and Teddiursa CL, as well as any past or future cards that inflict Item lock.
Knowing what we do about Items, the one-off effect is what determines whether or not it sees play. The effect of Rare Candy is to evolve a Basic Poke'mon into its matching Stage 2 form without having to play the Stage 1, provided that the Basic Poke'mon would be allowed to evolve normally.
The obvious use for this card is to accelerate the evolution of your Poke'mon by allowing you to shave a turn off the time needed to get your Stage 2 into play. The other benefit is not needing the Stage 1 card, giving you another way to evolve if you can't get the middle stage into your hand in order to evolve manually.
Less obvious benefits of this card are the element of surprise, evolving faster than your opponent thinks you can (although veteran players are well aware of Rare Candy so it won't be much of a surprise), and the saving you make on deck space because you could run less of the Stage 1 Poke'mon in your deck (or even none). Admittedly, this usually works out to be a one-for one trade, but it is still a definite plus.
The main problem that any player has with Rare Candy is that all of the effects I have written are for the new, post-errata version of Rare Candy. While still good, this Rare Candy doesn't hold a candle to the old version, which had all of the same advantages of being an Item card but also allowed you to evolve a Basic to a Stage 1 or Stage 2 as soon as you had put it into play.
Since Rare Candy has not yet been reprinted in a B&W set (although I expect it will be soon) the old text is still written on all of the cards. If you have purchased a B&W theme deck then there will be a slip of paper with the errata printed neatly for your convenience but otherwise you will just have to remeber that if you are playing by the new rules, Rare Candy follows the rules at the start of this review. If you remeber back to the days of Base Set, Rare Candy now works exactly like Poke'mon Breeder. Still a good card, but now Rare Candy has been heavily nerfed.
Modified: 4 (Rare Candy is still an integral part of any deck running multiple Stage 2 lines, but we all miss the old effect even if we agree it had to be changed to maintain the balance)
Limited: 5 (playing Stage 2 Poke'mon in Limited is always hard but usually worth it, so anything that makes it easier is gold. The only problem is that I doubt anyone will be holding a HS Unleashed draft because the set was released over a year ago. In the unlikely event someone tries to prove me wrong, another wusetion would be whether to use the rules for the previous formats, or for the B&W onward format. What would you do?)
Combos with: any and all Stage 2 Poke'mon worth playing.


Welcome to Errata Week on Pojo! I like to think of this week as sort of a giant Public Service Announcement for the Pokémon Community at large. I mean, it wasn’t until I went to write the CotDs for this week that all the errata all finally stuck in my head; I’d always remember all but one of the cards.

We open with the erratum that fundamentally changed the game, that of Rare Candy. When first released all the way back in EX-Sandstorm Rare Candy revolutionized the game by allowing you to instantly Evolve a Basic Pokémon into either its Stage 1 or Stage 2 form. The reason this was so strategically important was because it allowed the largest, most powerful Pokémon to see play first turn! Later cards like Pidgeot (FireRed/LeafGreen 10/112) showed how obscenely broken this could be, and I doubt most of us would want to see what an Emboar (Black & White 20/114) deck would be like with Rare Candy still working as it used to but available first turn!

So now, now Rare Candy is treated as if it reads “Choose 1 of your Basic Pokémon in play. If you have a Stage 2 card in your hand that evolves from that Pokémon, put that card on the Basic Pokémon. (This counts as evolving that Pokémon.) You can't use this card during your first turn or on a Basic Pokémon that was put into play this turn.” What this change did was allow TPC to restore to us the use of first turn Trainer cards as well as level the playing field again between Basic, Stage 1, and Stage 2 Pokémon (or at least equally well made, fully Evolved versions). Sadly since Rare Candy has been re-released so frequently (and recently), they couldn’t just rotate out all sets that had it: the last printing was as recent as HS: Unleashed! This is sad because the change in text turns it into Pokémon Breeder. This only matters for Unlimited play, but matter it does to those who enjoy that format: after years of stagnation, between Rare Candy and Broken Time Space that format was getting pretty interesting and about as balanced as I think it could be.

Keeping Modified healthy is much more important, and if it weren’t for one other fact, I’d be completely at ease. Like I said, last time we looked at this card I said I wished we would have Rare Candy for better balance, but I also said that was only good “as long as we don’t have cards like Gust of Wind or Double Gust”. The upcoming Pokémon Catcher is virtually identical in cost, usage, and effect to Gust of Wind.

So in all formats you have it available, you’ll run Rare Candy (though you could use Pokémon Breeder if you felt like it in Unlimited). In Constructed formats I don’t recommend maxing it out unless it is for more than one Evolution line: you should have at least a few of the Stage 1 due to devolution tricks or Trainer denial and its wasted space to run some of the Stage 1 and four copies of Rare Candy for a single Stage 2. It is still a great card and a staple for decks with a Stage 2 Pokémon: even getting them into play one turn faster is amazing. If there are multiple Stage 2 lines, this allows you to “share” the slots for the Stage 1! This is also true of Limited play, where the card is somehow even better: often it is hard to pull a complete line but this one automatically fills the gap between Basic and Stage 2.

Ratings (Stage 2 using decks only)

Unlimited: 4/5 – I can honestly see attempting to use Broken Time Space instead.

Modified: 4.5/5 – It is this or the actual Stage 1, and even a single turn of acceleration is well worth it! Just remember you’re vulnerable to being devolved.

Limited: 5/5 – Unless you lack a Stage 2!


I really am torn about Rare Candy having its effect altered to basically match Pokémon Breeder. I don’t think there was any other practical way to handle this, but besides hurting Unlimited a little, it also makes the upcoming Pokémon Catcher very scary since it might make Stage 2 Pokémon incredibly hard to play successfully. Until then it remains a needed change to balance the format.

Of course I am still selling my former possessions on eBay here. Pojo.com is not responsible for any transactions.

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