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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Skyarrow Bridge

Next Destinies

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 13, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.38
Limited: 4.50

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

#8 Skyarrow Bridge 

Starting with Zekrom and Reshiram BLW, the post-Black and White era of Pokémon has been characterised by its emphasis on the big Basic Pokémon. Not only were they incredibly powerful and fast, they were also extremely well supported: think of Prism Energy, Eviolite, and today’s card . . . Skyarrow Bridge. 

Giving Basic Pokémon a retreat cost reduction was and is pretty sweet. Energy attachments are one of the most important resources in the game, and no-one likes to spend them retreating (well, maybe for decks that like Energy in the discard pile). Single-use Items like Switch aren’t always available either, and that made Skyarrow Bridge a very valuable asset for decks that had Pokémon that needed to be retreated. Rayquaza/Eelektrik is probably the most obvious example, with Skyarrow Bridge allowing the big Dragon to retreat for free in order to be re-charged on the Bench after discarding Energy to attack. Virizion/Genesect decks also used Skyarrow Bridge to switch between the two without losing any in-play Energy. 

Skyarrow Bridge usage dropped considerably after Eelektrik NVI was rotated, and even more so once Virbank City Gym became the Stadium of choice to use with Hypnotoxic Laser. However, with Rayquaza/Eelektrik predicted to make a very big comeback in the Extended format, it looks like this card will once again become an important part of a top tier deck. 


Overall Impact: 3.5

Extended: 3.75


Welcome to our #8 spot on the Top 10 Cards Lost to Rotation! Today we take a look at a Stadium card that aided all sorts of Pokemon-EX, the great Skyarrow Bridge! 

It's a simple card with a simple effect: all Basic Pokemon lose 1 Energy from their Retreat Cost. I don't think I need to go in-depth as to why this is good for Pokemon-EX, seeing as they are all Basic Pokemon. That means that Mewtwo-EX and Yveltal-EX retreat for 1 instead of 2, Groudon-EX doesn't need to spend so much to move his massive bulk, and Keldeo-EX can charge in and come out for almost nothing! This card single-handedly provided massive support to Pokemon-EX, defining an entire format!

Now because it's a Stadium card, there are a couple of catches. First off, it affects BOTH sides of the field; that means your opponent's Pokemon-EX can retreat for less too! It's a dangerous card to play in a mirror match of Big Basics, as it makes things easier for both sides. On top of that, it's a Stadium card, and all the weaknesses and exploits that come from being a Stadium card come with it; while it can replace the likes of Virbank City Gym, it also is vulnerable itself to being replaced by another Virbank City Gym. Just something to keep in mind. 

Skyarrow Bridge brought a redefining mechanic to the format just as Basic Pokemon were coming in with massive HP and monstrous attacks that helped define the way we play today. It added immense support to immense Pokemon, and that's what puts it at our #8 slot on the list!


Modified: N/A (we've got enough Pokemon-EX to worry about without their being able to retreat)

Expanded: 3.5/5 (while it does have a expansive range of support, it also will only get better as more Pokemon-EX enter the format, demanding more than just running a Float Stone or two)

Limited: 4/5 (if you got this and any of the Pokemon-EX within the Next Destinies set it came in, you played them both. Unless you're going +39, but then you're going +39)

Arora Notealus: Skyarrow Bridge was the coolest bridge in the Pokemon games, even if its main purpose was more to display what the DS could do with 3D models and such prior to the 3DS and its 3D-vision. 

Next Time: I'mma whack ya more!


Today we look at the seventh place key card we’ll lose to rotation and that is Skyarrow Bridge.  When it was first released, we didn’t have the greatest of Stadiums available and the format had already come to be dominated by decks using big, Basic attackers (the original and oft-reprinted versions of Reshiram and Zekrom).  We also had Eviolite and Prism Energy as more Basic Pokémon support, and if I remember correctly the previous first turn rules were already in effect (when a player going first could also attack).  It was natural to include a Stadium that knocked your Retreat Costs down a notch for your Basic Pokémon, unless you had one of the few decks that weren’t focused mostly on them (or could use another Stadium better).  You can read our original reviews here. 

By the end of its life, Skyarrow Bridge is probably lucky it is still useful in certain Basic focused decks that either run it in addition to another Stadium or on its own.  There are some potent Stadiums available right now; many decks like Tropical Beach for helping with early game set-up and countering an opponent’s use of N late game or Virbank City Gym (usually along with Hypnotoxic Laser or don’t focus on Basic Pokémon enough not to help another deck more than itself by running Skyarrow Bridge.  There are also so many other options for lowering the cost of retreating (or bypassing manually retreating in its entirety).  Still VirGen decks are known to sometimes run it, as it drops the already single Energy Retreat Cost of both Virizion-EX and Genesect-EX down to zero. 

I honestly worry now that I overrated this card on my own list; I tended to favor more generic cards over more specific ones, but forgot that while almost any deck can use this for a little bit, most have something better to use instead.  Still it will be missed, especially by VirGen decks.  In Expanded, I think it will retain its niche usage, but that’s pure speculation on my part as I haven’t been testing or even read any well documented results of testing in the format… actually any results at all.  In the unlikely event you’re able to participate in a Limited event with BW: Next Destinies packs, take it!  Even in a +39 deck you might need to knock out a Pokémon Center. 


Modified (NXD-On): 3/5 - It just isn’t as important as it once was, though it is still a solid card that sees play in the right decks… or at least deck. 

Modified (BCR-On): N/A - As is the point of this week, this card won’t be legal for this format (but leaving this section out annoys me, hence this comment). 

Expanded (BW-On): 3/5 - Still niche; I am playing it safe and scoring it the same as for NXD-On, but I suspect it to be effectively as useful, with differences averaging out. 

Limited: 5/5 - I think I underscored it before, forgetting that a counter-stadium is a must, and as this set features two generic Stadiums, even if one suits you better most of the time you might still need to discard it… so if you get both run both. 

Summary: Skyarrow Bridge is no longer as impressive as it once was; there are just so many useful Stadiums right now (with some really obvious superstars) and so many players trying to avoid purely Basic builds thanks to various factors.  It still has its place in Standard… until rotation.

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