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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Plasma Storm
#3 - Scramble Switch

- Plasma Storm

Date Reviewed:
February 13, 2013

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.40
Limited: 4.88

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

#3 Scramble Switch 

It’s time to move into the top 3 and here we find three cards which are definitely going to be in demand. Today’s choice may well be my favourite card out of the whole set. 

The card in question is Scramble Switch, an ACE SPEC Trainer with an absolutely wonderful effect: it switches the Active Pokémon with one of your Benched Pokémon . . . and then it allows you to move as much Energy as you like from the old Active to the new one! Wow. My brain hurts just thinking of the ways that this card is useful.  

The great thing is, it can be used both offensively and defensively. If you have a Pokémon that is one hit away from a KO, you can use Scamble Switch to swap in a new attacker, power it up, and then use Max Potion on the damaged Pokémon. This way you avoid having to discard all your Energy. Alternatively, provided you have enough Energy on your active, you can use it for a surprise drop-and-switch which your opponent won’t see coming (and it likely won’t even matter if they do). Just to give an idea of how powerful this can be, suppose your opponent has an EX active with 120 HP or less remaining, while you need to take three Prizes to win. Sure, you could KO the active with (for example) a charged up Landorus-EX and take two Prizes, or . . . you could drop Lugia-EX, play Scramble Switch, attach a Plasma Energy, and win the game right there. Honestly, a move like that is not so difficult to pull off as it seems if you plan for it and build your deck accordingly. 

In my opinion, this card really does give Computer Search a run for its money. It’s only going to get better in future when Deoxys-EX will make finishing games with Lugia-EX that much more easy to pull off. Right now, I think Scramble Switch is best used in Big Basics decks involving Pokémon like Landorus, Mewtwo and Tornadus (in their EX versions), all of which need to keep their Energy on the board. Prize denial and surprise attacks . . . two very good reasons why you should be testing out this card. 


Modified: 4.25 (good now, may well be the ACE SPEC of choice in future)

Limited: 4.5 (gives you the kind of flexibility rarely seen in this format) 


Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we're reviewing the #3 card on our Top 10 Plasma Storm countdown, and this one is a very potent ACE SPEC card. Today's Card of the Day is Scramble Switch

Scramble Switch is an ACE SPEC Item card, meaning that you can play it as many times as you'd like during your turn, but can only run one per deck (and can't run any other ACE SPEC cards, as well). Scramble Switch's effect is very powerful: you switch your Active Pokemon with one of your Benched Pokemon, and then move any amount of Energy attached to the new Active Pokemon from the old one. Scramble Switch is very effective in a metagame often defined by switching and Energy movement, and will be a major boon to decks that rely on such, like Darkrai variants. More generally, Scramble Switch works incredibly well in any situation where you have a weakened Active Pokemon as well as a powerful new Pokemon on the Bench to take its place. However, as an ACE SPEC, Scramble Switch has stiff competition in Computer Search and Dowsing Machine for the ACE SPEC slot in a deck, meaning that you'll have to make sure that this card can serve your deck more effectively than either of those two. At any rate, Scramble Switch is a very effective card that should see quite a bit of play in Modified.

Modified: 4.5/5 Like I previously said, Scramble Switch is an incredibly powerful card, but it has real competition in Computer Search and Dowsing Machine for the ACE SPEC of choice. I personally believe that Computer Search is still the best ACE SPEC option for most decks, but Scramble Switch is definitely an excellent inclusion if you are more focused on Energy manipulation (like in Darkrai or even Blastoise/Keldeo) or don't have a Computer Search available to you.

Limited: 5/5 Scramble Switch is fantastic in Limited. Powering up Pokemon in Limited is generally a slow, arduous process, but Scramble Switch can easily give you tons of tempo against your opponent but switching out your nearly-KOed Active for a new, very powerful Bench sitter. The odds of you pulling another ACE SPEC in Plasma Storm Limited is also incredibly low, so you shouldn't have too much trouble deciding which one to use (although this one is still probably the best in a Limited format).


At last we crack the top three of the Top 10 Promising Picks of Plasma Storm countdown!  In the number three spot is Scramble Switch (BW: Plasma Storm 129/135), which I will like even if it doesn’t prove good simply because its name reminds me of Transformers… the five figure combiners where one figure has four others plug in to form larger limbs is known as “Scramble City” style combiners.


There is a lot more to this card than a fun name, so let’s dig in.




Scramble Switch is a new Item, a subcategory of Trainers, making it Skyla bait.  This is more important than normal since it is an Ace Spec card, something you are only allowed one of overall.  While everyone who isn’t new already knew that, it bears repeating just because this is as important to the card as its effect: you must run this to the exclusion of every other Ace Spec card, after all.



Scramble Switch allows you to switch your Active Pokémon with one of your Benched Pokémon, and then move as many of the Energy from the former Active Pokémon to the new Active Pokémon.  The restrictions are almost negligible: one of the Pokémon involved needs to be your Active and the other needs to be on your Bench, and you can’t just move the Energy and keep your original Active up front.  You can move any kind of Energy, basic or Special.


It is kind of like a Switch with a limited Celebration Wind.  For those that don’t remember, that would be the Poké-Power from Shaymin (HS: Unleashed 8/95).  That Shaymin was phenomenal and made certain decks, but it also had tricks to reuse it.  Still, this seems like an effect quite worthy of being an Ace Spec.



For my money, this seems like the best Ace Spec we’ve got: not for every deck, but for many Scramble Switch will give you a fantastic, powerful option.  This card allows you to preserve your Energy in play, shunting it to a different Pokémon (most likely a second attacker).  The way it does this also solves any issues with Special Conditions (unlike say a hypothetical card that shifted damage counters between two Pokémon).


Even if you have no advanced combos, you can use it as an over glorified Switch.  Most of the time you’ll be able to use it to force your opponent to burn an extra Pokémon Catcher for a Prize they had already earned without having to sacrifice momentum; Attacker A gives way (and all its Energy) to attacker B, and moving Energy around like this most definitely counts as Energy acceleration.


If you do plan ahead, Max Potion makes for an obvious combo.  Max Potion is already common to several decks, so unless they are already running something else to allow them to move Energy around, this instantly gives them the capacity to shed Special Conditions and all damage, probably wasting your opponent’s last attack entirely… maybe even a Hypnotoxic Laser.  Skyla of course gives you better odds of getting Scramble Switch into hand at the right time, and Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) can Junk Hunt to use it multiple times… and in fact could recycle a Max Potion at the same time, given Junk Hunt snags two Items from the discard.


So what are the draw backs?  Giving up the other Ace Specs: no Computer Search for a small (but important) reliability boost, no Dowsing Machine for a second shot at an important Trainer, and no Gold Potion for less complicated healing.  Gold Potion isn’t much of a loss at all, unless you absolutely can’t fit Max Potion in alongside Scramble Switch.  The others are great cards, and even though I consider Scramble Switch better, the difference is slim.


Computer Search is simpler to use and probably more comfortable for players; even though it’s a minor boost to reliability (unless paired with Sableye or something else that allows you to re-use Ace spec cards) it is easy to understand and is familiar.  Dowsing Machine is less versatile, but boosts reliability about as much while giving you the power of a variable, spare Trainer.  Scramble Switch simply gives your deck a new capacity, one that has made for power plays before.


When it comes to Modified decks, Dowsing Machine is my current default… just because I don’t think Computer Search boosts reliability enough to outperform it, and it is simple and easy to use.  If my deck at all can support advanced usage of Scramble Switch (like already running Max Potion) and doesn’t have another means of effectively moving a lot of Energy (like various Abilities we’ve seen in specific decks), then I make the switch.


For Unlimited, unless this enables a first turn win, Computer Search is probably more important.  Plus this format has the cards to abuse that Shaymin I mentioned earlier.  For Limited, this is a must run; even if you get one of the other Ace Specs, this is the easiest to use well.




Unlimited: 1.5/5


Modified: 4.5/5


Limited: 5/5




From now on, you’ve got three great Ace Spec cards to choose from.  I’ve made it clear that my favorite is Scramble Switch but I’ll be using Dowsing Machine by default.  Computer Search is still the best option for some decks as well, though I think the first two now outclass it by a small but significant margin.  If your deck can’t optimize either of the other two or if it can specifically be optimized for Scramble Switch, that’s the play.


Scramble Switch was my number five pick, mostly because of a lack of self-confidence.  Despite no where near enough testing (and given I already admitted to overrating Colress Machine and Ether), rewriting my list today I would stick Scramble Switch in the number two or three spot.  I am glad the group helped me get it right.

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Promising Pick #3: Scramble Switch (Plasma Storm)

This countdown is full of promising Trainer cards, and today's Ace Spec card will certainly be the centrepiece of some of the more spectacular turnarounds and surprise plays over the next few months. Say hello to Scramble Switch.

This shiny new Item card is a Switch on steroids, moving all of the energy from your Active Poke'mon to a Benched Poke'mon as well as switching them. While this is a trick the Darkrai/Hydreigon archetype and Klinklang rainbow decks have been using for months, they are restricted by type and so have to be careful in their use of Basic and Special energy lest they have their precious Prisms stuck on an Evolution (and they can't run off-type Blend Energy at all).

Of course, the power of Klinklang and Hudreigon comes from their repeatable Abilities, making sure you never lose an energy once you play it down. Scramble Switch trades that in for surprise. With Poke'mon being strictly a turn-based game, you can't affect play during your opponent's turn so both you and your opponent rely pretty heavily on being able to anticipate the moves available to the other. Scramble Switch throws that right out the door, rescuing the energy from a Poke'mon your opponent assumed was doomed and beating face using an attacker that wasn't even in play last turn (thank You Basic Poke'mon EX!).

If you don't want to run Computer Search or Dowsing Machine and you run a deck with plenty of both Special Energy and Poke'mon EX, Scramble Switch would make a great fit. Just drop a spare EX, switch out and beat face!

Modified: 4.5 (not much combo potential, but Scramble Switch can either stop you getting blown out or put you so far ahead that your opponent concedes)

Limited: 4 (a free Switch is awesome and moving the energy is useful)

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