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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Dark Patch

- Dark Explorers

Date Reviewed:
Aug. 21, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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
Seniors
Champion

#2 Dark Patch 

The runner up in our countdown is the card that has fuelled the astonishing success of Dark decks over the last three seasons. During that time, Dark decks have won two World Championships, multiple Nationals, and more State and Regional tournaments than I can be bothered to count. A lot of that success has been down to Dark Patch. 

Anyone who has any experience of the game knows that Energy acceleration is great. Especially Energy acceleration from the discard pile. When you can get that from an Item card and use it for such powerful Pokémon as Darkrai EX and Yveltal EX . . . well, it’s no wonder this card has seen a ton of play since it was released. Oh yeah, and the synergy with Sableye’s Junk Hunt didn’t exactly hurt either. 

Because of Dark Patch, we have had turn two, and even turn one, Night Spear wreaking havoc. Because of Dark Patch, Evil Ball is able to reach an insanely good damage output extremely quickly. It’s really one of those cards that doesn’t need much explanation: it’s pretty obvious why it’s good, and anyone who has played in the last couple of years can testify to its effectiveness first hand. 

With Dark Patch gone, Dark decks have taken a substantial hit, though I would not rule them out of contention. Yveltal EX in particular is too good an attacker to go away any time soon, and it can always use its non-EX version for acceleration, even if it isn’t as explosive as that which it got from Dark Patch. As for Extended . . . I’m sure that Dark will continue to feature, and will be only too happy to get its key card back. 

Rating 

Overall impact: 4.75

Extended: 4.25


aroramage

Hey guys, welcome to the countdown! Today, we've got Dark Patch on the mind today and with good reason! It's about to leave the format forever, and it might take Dark decks with it into Expanded! Is it that crucial to it? ...well, maybe not, but there's no denying that alongside Darkrai-EX and Sableye, this card made the present-day Dark deck what it is!

And of course it's a very simple effect: you get to attach a Dark Energy in your discard pile to a Dark Pokemon on the Bench. That's usually an instant Junk Hunt on Sableye or a set-up to Darkrai-EX or Yveltal-EX's attacks! It turned that hand of Juniper and several Dark Energies into an advantage and allowed up to two, three - four if you were incredibly lucky - cards into your hand!

So why is Dark Patch ranked so much higher than Sableye, another card on the list that supports Dark decks? Well, the short answer is that Dark Patch has a different usage than Sableye, and while they combo incredibly well together with great synergy, individually they have very different means of getting stuff done.

Dark Patch has always been a true Dark deck staple since its release, allowing for easy Energy acceleration from an area of the board that you wouldn't normally think to use for such a thing (if not for cards like Dark Patch). It only has the one effect, so it's clearly defined on what you use it for and isn't that complex a card to deal with. On the other hand, Sableye's Junk Hunt has a broader range to it, expanding across all the Item cards in the format including Dark Patch, but it's important to recognize that this costs your attack for the turn. There's a distinct difference in strategic usage with Sableye bringing back two Items at the cost of an attack than there is with just using Dark Patch, and it's because of this difference that Dark Patch has been seen in several decks across Worlds rather than Sableye - not because the players at Worlds aren't strategic enough to know how to use Sableye but because Dark Patch is a better safer option that doesn't cost you a potentially critical attack.

What it all comes down to is consistency and speed, and given that most decks run 4 Juniper/Sycamore, having something like Dark Patch on hand was invaluable. Sableye worked well with Juniper/Sycamore as well, but while functionally he did something similar to Dark Patch, it wasn't a freebie move that could be done at any time. And that's why Dark Patch is ranked so highly on this list, and that's the kind of impact it's going to keep with it in Expanded. Now the question at this point is how will Dark decks in Modified deal with the loss of their greatest asset? We'll find out soon enough, I'm sure!

Rating

Modified: N/A

Expanded: 5/5 (it is the single most important card that any Dark deck should be running 3-4 of, no questions)

Limited: 4.5/5 (considering this set featured stuff like Darkrai-EX and Sableye and a host of other pretty good Dark Pokemon, this is a must in a limited Dark deck!)

Arora Notealus: It really does look like one of those band-aids you see that are super small and stuff. I just imagine a Trainer smacking one of their Pokemon with one of these and saying, "Go get em!"

Next Time: Wait, there's a next time? What card could possibly be ranked higher than Dark Patch?!


Otaku

The runner up for our list of Top 10 key cards cut by rotation is Dark Patch, originally reviewed here; once again it is a card we haven’t looked at in over two years, but its been amazingly influential during its run.  Dark Patch is an Item that allows you to attach a basic [D] Energy card in your discard to one of your Benched [D] Pokémon.  Now for many Darkness-Type Pokémon, this card was essential as they were underpowered without it; those are the Darkness-Type Pokémon that rarely if ever saw competitive play.  What did see play were things that were at least somewhat good to top notch even without Dark Patch. 

It is pretty easy to see why Dark Patch is so good; Items are the easiest cards in the game to play, barring specific requirements.  If an Item is in your hand and no effect is preventing them from seeing play, as long as you can pay any costs to use said Item and it isn’t being played for no effect (exactly what constitutes no effect can at times be confusing)... you can play it.  It isn’t like Energy or Supporters that are once per turn, or Pokémon that need Bench space or a target to Evolve from or Stadiums that are once per turn and you can only have one out on the field at a time and you can’t play another copy of one that is already in play.  As such, you would expect them to have the weakest effects in the game; it is just a matter of balance. 

Instead, we have a very potent effect (Energy acceleration) performed via an Item.  It is a one-and-done form of Energy acceleration, restricted both in what Energy it accelerates and what can receive the acceleration, but its still potent, especially as it attaches Energy from the discard, possibly the best place from which to attach as it allows spent, “dead” Energy cards to have a purpose once again.  Even if there were no additional combos to be had from this, its a good effect.  As there are many, many combos, it is a truly stellar effect.  Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) was used to spam almost every worthwhile Item, and this was one of them… actually so were most of the other combo pieces like Ultra Ball (search for something by discarding Darkness Energy, attach Energy with Dark Patch) and Energy Switch (in case you needed the Darkness Energy to end up on a different target), plus many others. 

Honestly, its too good of an effect, and I’m glad to see it go; it will be really hard on Darkness decks, however; they do have some options, like Yveltal (XY 78/146) to pick up some of the slack, and in fact Yveltal already sees play for that reason.  Still, it now has to pick up the slack for both Sableye and Dark Patch.  In Expanded, I very much expect this to be a must run for decks running a decent amount of basic Darkness Energy and Darkness-Type Pokémon, and the exact counts can fluctuate pretty wildly.  If you’re fortunate enough to be playing in a Limited tournament with BW: Dark Explorers boosters, this is nearly a must run.  Obviously if you’re running a +39 deck, you don’t need it because you won’t have anything on the Bench to attach to even if you are running Darkness Energy (and have a means of discarding it).  While unlikely, the same thing can happen in a “regular” Limited deck as well; if your deck does have a reason to run Darkness Energy and at least one Darkness-Type Pokémon, it is at least worth consideration as you tend to have plenty of room for such tricks… and if you’re running mostly Darkness Pokémon and basic Energy, its a must of course!

Ratings 

Modified (NXD-On): 4.5/5 - Scored for decks that are purely or mostly built around Darkness-Type Pokémon basic Darkness Energy cards; the less you have of either, the less reliable it becomes (though technically it can be more valuable when it does actually work in the case of lower Energy counts).  It doesn’t quite hit a perfect score, because running a full four is no longer the standard to my knowledge, and of course even in a true mono-Darkness-Type deck it can still be a dead draw. 

Modified (BCR-On): N/A - If it were legal, it would score as above, perhaps a bit less due how hard the contents of XY: Furious Fists are expected to be on Darkness-Type decks. 

Expanded: 4.5/5 - Back to form here; unless Expanded diverges in an unexpected manner, I see no reason it would differ from the current Modified Format. 

Limited: 4.25/5 - The score allows for those odd pulls where whatever Darkness-Type Pokémon you received just aren’t fit for any kind of deck you can build, as well as those built around a single Basic Pokémon and 39 other cards… which is to say most of the time it is indeed a must run. 

Summary: Dark Patch and its success may be while Blacksmith is a Supporter; notice that the next time we got Item-based, Type-restricted Energy acceleration, it was put on the kind of Trainer you could only use once per turn!  The loss of Dark Patch should at least force a small but noticeable shift in Darkness-Type decks, and in the worst case scenario may even kill off the ones we currently recognize… which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. 


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