Welcome to number nine on our countdown…
Most translations I saw of this
got the name wrong; or rather the
Japanese name may not translate well
into English and/or was changed
I on the other hand have no
excuse for a mistake I made in
Groudon EX review.
The mistake in question was on
the card’s Weakness: I claimed it was
Grass when it is actually Water.
It made no difference to the
card’s final score, and I hope to have a
correction up shortly where I’ll explain
why those two Weaknesses, at least at
this exact moment in the game, are so
close in value.
is a Trainer, specifically an Item.
In Modified there are a few
effects that can block Items and several
Several things in Unlimited can
recycle Items (usually by recycling
Trainers in general) but the only really
effective method in Modified is to use
Some Items are strong, no “if”,
“ands”, or “buts”, while some are great
because they can be recycled repeatedly
Seriously greener players, when
people grouse that
Junk Arm “breaks” an Item, they may
be right or wrong depending on the
specific Item but the phenomenon is well
This is the second card we have
with “Hammer” in its name (the other
Crushing Hammer), so we might be
getting a new “family” of cards… or
maybe it’s just going to remain these
discards a Special Energy card from one
of your opponent’s Pokémon.
This is a solid effect; great
against some decks but weak against
others; the format will modify (pardon
the pun) the usefulness of the card.
Obviously a format where Special
Energy cards are seldom (if ever) used
or the only ones used discard themselves
right away (none like that this format,
but several past examples exist), the
card’s going to be useless.
In a format built on Special
Energy (during many periods, this
describes the Unlimited Format) a card
like this is an amazing must play
(unless you’ve got something better like
Another aspect of Special Energy
relevant to various past formats but not
this one are Special Energy cards that
act more like Trainers, usually having a
weak effect made useful because it is
attached to a Colorless Energy (like
Heal Energy, or
Warp Energy); such Energy can be
discarded, but the effect will already
Energy acceleration also can
affect how useful Energy removing
effects; while attaching Special Energy
via an effect is uncommon, if you can
throw down enough basic Energy it can
This mostly matters when a deck
is also using a card that provides
multiple units of Energy (like
Double Colorless Energy), it is
extra devastating when it is removed.
I already mentioned Special
Energy with Trainer-like effects.
In both cases, a deck that runs
those in addition to being able to
attach multiple Basic Energy cards in a
turn can usually compensate quite well.
Most of what I’ve said in the last two
paragraphs would probably fit just as
well in the “Usage” section, but the
overlap is just more obvious here than
on many other cards; it is hard to
evaluate an effect without considering
how it is used, after all.
The above gives you the tools to
deduce how useful this card is, but in
the next section I’ll state it more
Right now the format has a lot of Energy
acceleration, but fortunately the most
universal source is
Double Colorless Energy, which
Enhanced Hammer can crush.
Some decks with other forms of
Energy acceleration still use it because
several of the most potent Pokémon in
the format make excellent use of
Double Colorless Energy.
Following that are
Prism Energy and
Rainbow Energy, also quite common in
decks with or without Energy
acceleration because splashing in an
off-Type Pokémon is quite important for
The thing is, in Modified right now we
have a superior choice:
It is almost impossible to
reclaim a Special Energy from the
discard pile, but it
is not possible to get one back from
the Lost Zone.
In Modified, there are a few
Pokémon that can retrieve a Special
Energy from the discard, but only one
easy to play Item (Recycle),
and none are common plays.
Still, there is absolutely no
downside to using
Lost Remover over
Enhanced Hammer, so why even take
I don’t think there is heavy
enough Special Energy usage to warrant
Now this next bit requires a
SPOILER warning since I’ll address a
card we’ll most likely get in the next
set; stop reading if you want to be
According to translations from
www.pokebeach.com (that is a link to
the main page, check the navigation bar
on the side and you’ll find a listing
for Japanese Sets as a sub-heading) this
100 HP Stage 1 Psychic Pokémon will have
an attack for (C) that does 50 points of
damage times the number of Special
Energy in your opponent’s discard pile.
This has many players excited,
and is one of the two reasons I believe
Enhanced Hammer made this list.
With that I
There is another reason not mentioned in
the spoiler for why
Enhanced Hammer is catching people’s
eyes… it is May so our minds are on the
No official word what, if
anything, is being cut.
I speculate making a clean break
from the older mechanics and switching
to Black & White and later sets,
but that is quite literally an educated
guess; no more or less logical than
making it Call of Legends-On
since that was a reprint set or no
rotation to please a large segment of
the player base down since we rotated
early the previous year.
Lost Remover may be gone as soon as
we rotate, and thus
Enhanced Hammer is almost certainly
going to replace it as a solid but not
universally used card.
We would also be losing
Junk Arm in such a rotation, and
that will really hurt… well all Items
Lost Remover and
Enhanced Hammer are the kind of
Items that are run as TecH with single
copies (and the option of
Junk Arm to get up to four extra
Unless we see a major upsweep in
crucial Special Energy usage, it would
be hard for the average deck to justify
running more than two copies of
Enhanced Hammer, and a TecH copy you
can’t recycle requires precise timing…
so precise it may not be worth it in the
In Unlimited, we have
Super Energy Removal,
Item Finder, and
Between these four cards I find
it hard to believe that you’d have
either the room or need for
In Limited play, there is no
Special Energy in this set, and even if
you’re pulling from both BW: Dark
Explorers and another set with them,
the odds of having
Enhanced Hammer in hand to counter
it are low enough I wouldn’t bother.
I realize this review, like so many of
mine, is quite lengthy already but I
need to comment on something.
Energy removing effects are a
potent thing in Pokémon.
Under normal circumstances you
only get one manual Energy attachment
per turn, and of course Energy fuels
attacks (and sometimes other effects),
making them the second most inherently
valuable cards in the game; only Pokémon
themselves have greater intrinsic value
since if you’ve got none in play, you
Items are a class of Trainer that have
no built in cost save the universal
costs of running and playing the card.
In practice, Trainers drive a
deck because they aid in your own set-up
and frustrate your opponent’s.
Still, technically they are the
least important cards in terms of
So I always worry when something
you can usually use as many of as you
want per turn can blow away something
you can only make use of once per turn.
In the current format Energy
removing cards are a blessing, but this
is a format of ludicrous Energy
acceleration, massive Basic Pokémon
(Pokémon EX or plain), and even bigger
I bring this up because I have heard far
too many experienced, knowledgeable
players who rightly point out that
Energy removing Trainers often bring a
lot of skill to the game.
That skill comes at a big price;
other aspects of the game have to be
unbalanced for such cards to improve
If you cure a disease, the
medicine is no longer good for you.
As you probably gathered,
Enhanced Hammer did not make my Top
I lack the ability to see the
future, so while I do consider how the
following set and pending rotation will
affect cards, most of my picks were
chosen for how they affected the
Japanese game (when they had a similar
card pool), how I believe they will
impact the game right now, and how they
could affect the game based on the
almost unpredictable nature of players
in general; sometimes we flock to
specific cards and shun others, even if
they are equals.
Despite what I fear is a negative tone
for this article, you should be snagging
a play set of
Special Energy are rarely
unimportant to the game, after all.
It is just right now we have a
slightly better alternative.
That Modified score is much more
impressive when you realize that right
Enhanced Hammer is the “second