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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Exp. Share

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.88
Limited: 4.87

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Exp. Share

Exp. Share is one of the most useful items you can get in the video game. Level up/EV train weak Pokemon without going through the pain of actually having to make them battle. Will the card version prove to be just as essential?

Well, it’s a Trainer card, which is good, as there is no limit on playing it. It’s also a Pokémon Tool, so it is competing with Eviolite and Rocky Helmet (only one Tool can be attached to a Pokémon at a time). The way it works is that, when an Active Pokémon is knocked out, you can move one Basic Energy card from that Pokémon to a Benched Pokémon with Exp. Share attached. Is this a good thing? Yeah, obviously: keeping Energy in play is great. Is it good enough to be worthy of inclusion in a deck though? That’s where it gets a bit tricky.

See some decks don’t mind Energy going to the discard pile after a KO, because they can recycle it with Typhlosion Prime or Eelektrik. Decks that rely on Basics are still likely to prefer Eviolite because that damage-reduction can help them get ahead in the Prize exchange by preventing a OHKO. The cards that benefit most from Exp. Share would seem to be Energy-intensive evolved Pokémon like, say, Gothitelle EP. These, however, are seeing less and less play as Basic decks featuring Basic Pokémon-EX just get more and more powerful.

I’m not saying that Basic decks and Energy accelerating decks can’t benefit from Exp. Share: obviously they can. It’s just that I see this card as being the 61st and 62nd card most of the time. It’s something that you would like to play, but in the end it usually gets cut for more consistency cards, or a tech attacker. If you can honestly find room for it in your deck, then you will most likely find it useful, and it may even be what you need to turn a game around. I just haven’t found the room yet.


Modified: 3.25 (no arguing its good, just hard to find space for)

Limited: 4.75 (not losing Energy attachments is crucial. Any you pull, you will run)


Hello once again, Pojo viewers! Today we're going to continue our Next Destinies reviews with a new Pokemon Tool card that may see some play in a tournament near you. Today's Card of the Day is Exp. Share.

Exp. Share is an Item, specifically a Pokemon Tool. Copies of Exp. Share can be played multiple times per turn, but are blocked by cards like Vileplume and Gothitelle. As a Tool, it can be attached to a Pokemon that doesn't already have a Tool attached to it, and goes to the discard pile when the Pokemon it is attached to is Knocked Out. Exp. Share has a fairly simple effect, but also can be a bit confusing to understand. When your Active Pokemon is Knocked Out, you may take one basic Energy from that Pokemon and move it to the Pokemon that Exp. Share is attached to. To give an example, you have an active Zekrom with two Lightning Energy attached, and a benched Reshiram with Exp. Share attached. Zekrom is Knocked Out by your opponent's attack, so you can move a Lightning Energy from the Knocked Out Active (Zekrom) to the Benched Pokemon with Exp. Share (Reshiram). Note that attaching this card to your Active Pokemon will result in effectively nothing happening: the Energy will be moved from the Active to itself, then discarded as a state-based effect. Therefore, make sure to put it on your benched Pokemon!

Will Exp. Share see much tournament play? It's difficult to say. The card would be better if it could move Special Energy, as there are quite a few toolbox decks that would love conserving their Prism and Rainbow Energies after one of their attackers is Knocked Out. Additionally, Energy accelerators that use the discard pile, like Eelektrik and Typhlosion, have very little need for a card like Exp. Share, as they can easily accomplish Exp. Share's job with Dynamotor and Afterburner, respectively. Therefore, Exp. Share probably won't see much play right now, but could in the future, when we lose some of our Energy recursion, like Fisherman and Flower Shop Lady.

Modified: 2.5/5 Exp. Share isn't bad at what it does (conserving Energy), only it has trouble finding a deck slot. With so many other good Energy manipulation cards (Eelektrik, Typhlosion) and Pokemon Tools (Eviolite), Exp. Share doesn't quite have its own niche yet. This may change with the rotation, but as of right now, there are generally better plays.

Limited: 5/5 Exp. Share is great in Limited for a number of reasons. Chances are you'll run more than one type here, and keeping tempo with Energy drops is crucial. Exp. Share allows you to keep tempo even when your Active Pokemon is Knocked Out, and can make it easier to power up Benched Pokemon than normal. Exp. Share is definitely worth using here.


Today we look at Exp. Share, a Pokémon Tool that is a successor of an older Pokémon Tool, EXP.ALL. The effect is tweaked, so let's break it down and see if it is better, worse, or merely different than what came before it.

Exp. Share is a Pokémon Tool, a sub-type of a sub-type. Trainers beget Items beget Pokémon Tools, so follow the hierarchy chain of effects: besides being affected by cards that explicitly cite Pokémon Tool usage, EXP.ALL will also be affected by card effects that work on Items and Trainers. This can be quite, quite easy to overlook in the heat of moment.

Since Pokémon Tools are put into play, they can be used to bypass Trainer, Item, and Pokémon Tool blocking effects. This can make them great for a few key tricks. The most general is shuffle and draw effects; you can play up to one Pokémon Tool per Pokémon, so you can play them down before said shuffle and draw card, enjoying access to them later while thinning your deck. A little more specific is handling Trainer-denial effects: Trainer (and sub-types) denial I am aware of blocks the play of Trainers, but won't affect Trainers already in play. Thus if your deck is vulnerable to Trainer denial or uses Trainer denial, either can benefit from strategic Pokémon Tool use.

The slightly more unique characteristic of Pokémon Tools is that, like Stadium cards, they actually are put into play. This means they may last varying lengths of time, dictated by their own effects, at least barring an outside effect that discards them or the Pokémon they are attached to being Knocked Out. You can only have one Pokémon Tool equipped to a card at a single time, so much like Supporters Pokémon Tools have created an effective resource: every Pokémon essentially has a single "Pokémon Tool slot". You don't have to use it, and unlike Supporters it is far less detrimental to do so, but make sure it is a conscious decision while deck building.

The effect of Exp. Share is relatively simple: when your Active Pokémon is Knocked Out by damage from an opposing Pokémon's attack, if you have a Pokémon with Exp. Share equipped you may move a basic Energy card from that Knocked Out Pokémon to the equipped Pokémon. Unlike the older EXP.ALL Pokémon Tool that had an almost identical effect, Exp. Share doesn't discard itself after the effect goes off; it triggers each time the conditions are met. It also stacks, provided there are enough basic Energy attached to the Pokémon that was KOed to meet the demand; something loaded with four basic Energy cards that your opponent
KOs can have up to four basic Energy cards salvaged if four Benched Pokémon have Exp. Share attached.

Exp. Share is useless on an Active Pokémon (unless you are playing some of the older variant formats, like 2-on-2 or Team Multi-Play). In one way this is inferior to EXP.ALL: while EXP.ALL wasn't heavily used back in the day, when it was it could be supplemented by another Pokémon Tool relatively easily. You dropped EXP.ALL, and once it went off replaced it with a “better” Pokémon Tool. I’d say the benefits of it not discarding itself are superior: EXP.ALL was only good for a single Energy, while an early Exp. Share can snag multiple Energy cards, leading to a substantial increase in card advantage via Energy retention. Exp. Share is superior, but only a little. If you could voluntarily discard it would be the best of both. Be careful since a few decks may be able to bypass the effect through damage counter placement, Special Conditions, etc.

So is there any use for Exp. Share? Yes there is. EXP.ALL had very little use, but it first came out when the legendary Focus Band was still legal, and was similarly re-released at a time when there were several great Pokémon Tools available. Exp. Share, at least for now, exists in a format with just Eviolite and Rocky Helmet! So by default, it is at least the third best Pokémon Tool you can run.

How does it actually stand up? Well, let us think logically about using it. Does it help Pokémon with low Energy requirements for attacks? Assuming both Pokémon use the same Energy type, yes it does: a Pokémon needing a single Energy is powered up the instant your opponent
KOs an Active Pokémon with Energy attached. If your opponent uses Pokémon Catcher to take out your Benched Pokémon with Exp. Share equipped, they are ignoring whatever Pokémon you felt was worth Energy earlier, and that is probably a very good thing for you. In an identical scenario barring the second (or both) Pokémon needing two Energy, your manual Energy attachment will instantly ready the equipped Pokémon on your next turn.

If you need a lot of Energy, you need all the speed you can get, but again so long as you are keeping constant pressure on your opponent either they focus on taking out what already has Energy (allowing something big to be powered-up "for free" on the Bench) or they take out whatever has Exp. Share equipped (getting hammered by whatever you have already powered up). Few Pokémon need more than four Energy, and in this format requirements of three and up definitely qualify as being "heavy" Energy.

So where wouldn't Exp. Share be useful? The most obvious are decks without basic Energy cards. Where would it be less useful? Many (but not all) forms of Energy acceleration will render it redundant. This is why, despite it being useful in so many decks, you will not be seeing Exp. Share everywhere. Most decks running a form of Energy acceleration are better off running cards to search out or recycle Energy (either to the hand or deck).

Exp. Share can be tricky with multicolor decks as well: on one hand Exp. Share can act as a floating Energy type, making it easier, but on the other hand if all you can absorb is the Energy type you don't need, it may only help for retreat.

Factoring all of this in, at first it looks bad for Exp. Share use. The format is largely dedicated to big Basic Pokémon that can tap Energy acceleration. Such Pokémon will definitely want to keep using Eviolite to soak damage and last longer; they already have all the speed they need, and if Eviolite wasn't enough for Pokémon Tools then Rocky Helmet would make more sense. Big basic Pokémon get more out of Eviolite and Rocky Helmet because said Pokémon are so big they survive being attacked longer, after all.

Small basic Pokémon aren't going to survive even with Eviolite, and odds are the two damage counters Rocky Helmet would place on the Defending Pokémon the one time it triggers wouldn't be worth the card slot. That doesn't automatically make Exp. Share the best choice - if it is a supporting Basic Pokémon that doesn't Evolve or that rarely, if ever needs Energy, then no Pokémon Tool may be the best strategy.

If it is a smaller basic Pokémon you'll need to power anyway, especially because it Evolves, Exp. Share obviously beats out Eviolite and probably beats out Rocky Helmet. Nothing might still be best if the deck has adequate Energy acceleration already, but there are a lot of Stage 2 Pokémon that were just a little too slow to hang with the likes of Reshiram and Zekrom that have a chance now.

As an example, let's look at Gothitelle (BW: Emerging Powers 47/98). Many are ready to write this Pokémon off because, after having some success with its own deck, the anticipated changes to the metagame BW: Next Destinies brings will make the current strategy obsolete. Fortunately it also introduces a new strategy for Gothitelle: using the new Gardevoir (BW: Next Destinies 57/99) to double the Psychic Energy provided by basic Psychic Energy cards. Exp. Share becomes useful to this combo because when combined with Gardevoir it is now worth (PP) each time it goes off.

With Exp. Share, a string of Gothitelle can now easily maintain an effective ( ); one basic Psychic Energy retained and another manually attached, then both are doubled by Gardevoir. Madkinesis can then hit for 110 points of damage... which isn't bad since of course this is the Pokémon that blocks your opponent from using Items while it is in play. If you can include even one other form of Energy acceleration (or just feel comfortable relying on things like PlusPower or Black Belt), Gothitelle will be able to OHKO many Pokémon, including ones that would normally be safe hiding behind Eviolite (since Magic Room is blocking your opponent's access to Items). If you max out Exp. Share (or recycle a copy or two with Junk Arm), you can even fairly painlessly hit three or four Psychic Energy attached to your third and/or fourth copy of Gothitelle; that would act like six or eight Psychic Energy due to Gardevoir, allowing Madkinesis to hit for 150+ points of damage!

I know Mewtwo EX is everywhere, but does it really hurt this deck as much as people say? Without support, Mewtwo EX isn't all that great: it is exceptional, but its full power requires more than a Double Colorless Energy to tap. Against a Psychic deck, it will easily score OHKOs, but is vulnerable to being OHKOed itself. Indeed, this is what made me take a second look at Exp. Share: it can help you keep enough Psychic Energy cards spread out after each successive KO to revenge KO Mewtwo EX back. It makes one wonder what it can do for other decks; think of all the “near misses” we have seen since HeartGold/SoulSilver came out, and how many would be better if their Energy costs were effectively one less: with proper play, that’s what Exp. Share equates to!

The other combo I can think of is Electrode (HS: Triumphant 93/102) Prime. I am not talking about any Energy that would have been attached to Electrode itself: the text on Exp. Share clearly indicates that wouldn't work. What I mean is that after giving up a Prize to your opponent and probably tossing away several cards you'd rather keep for a quick Energy boost, Exp. Share can keep that Energy in play several extra turns. The longer that Energy is in play, the less you effectively “paid” for it. The other, more standard, forms of Energy acceleration sadly don’t see the same return.

Unsurprisingly, all that I have expounded upon isn't going to matter in Unlimited. Here the game moves too fast and even if it didn't, you have access to the best Pokémon Tools ever printed. The list of general use Pokémon Tools that anything can benefit from may not be exhaustive, but it has got Focus Band right on the top, and so far that hasn't been beat except in specific combo situations. Special Energy are also practically the default Energy used.

Even if you doubt this card's use in Modified, in Limited play it is an obvious godsend. You pull this, you run it. Besides being a precious Trainer, besides providing a turn of precious Energy acceleration it, it also helps you avoid running out of a particular Type of Energy as easily, which is very important in a format where most decks are Colorless plus two other Types at least.


Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 3.5/5

Limited: 5/5

This is definitely not a card for all decks, though it is functional in all but a select few. Right now Eviolite fits most established decks better, and after that running no Pokémon Tools at all. This is the card that should make several "near misses" finally hit the target, possibly dead center. Its predecessor EXP.ALL was regularly overlooked, but I recall a British player doing quite well with a Legendary Birds ex deck several formats ago, securing a trip to worlds because saving a single Energy with EXP.ALL was all he needed to keep a steady stream of big, basic Pokémon ex attacking (and giving him a chance to use Super Scoop Up for Prize denial). I just wish I could remember his name. I even used to chat with him. >_<

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