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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 Cards of 2014

#5 - Battle Compressor

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 23, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.17
Expanded: 4.25
Limited: 4.75

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

#5 Battle Compressor 

I must admit, I am a little surprised to see this card feature so highly on our top 10 list. Battle Compressor is undoubtedly a good card that can do a lot of useful things, but it hasn’t really had much time to prove its worth since it was released in November. 

Battle Compressor is an Item which puts stuff in your discard pile. This can be a good thing in and of itself, as it allows you to get rid of stuff you don’t need (for example a Garbodor line against a deck that doesn’t use Abilities) so that you don’t draw into it during the game. Perhaps more important, though, is the way that Battle Compressor works with other cards. Together with VS Seeker, it can be used to grab whatever Supporter you need for the current situation: a very powerful effect, and less risky than using Jirachi EX to do the same job. There are also decks which need to get cards in the discard to work properly, and they will love Battle Compressor more than anything. It can fill the discard with Pokémon to fuel the attacks of Flareon PLF and the Night March Pokémon, or it can dump Energy which can then be attached via something like Bronzong PHF’s Metal Links Ability, or an attack such as Yveltal XY’s Oblivion Wing. 

This is one of those cards that can be useful in any deck, but won’t really ever be a general staple, as it will get squeezed out for reasons of space. Between all the Muscle Bands, Lasers, Enhanced Hammers, and Head Ringers, competition for places is fierce. Nevertheless, Battle Compressor is worth experimenting with as a kind of mini Supporter-search engine, and is pretty much a ‘must run’ for decks which like to exploit the discard pile. 


Modified: 4 (useful card, but not so useful that it won’t get bumped from lists)

Expanded: 4 (Eels will like it, I assume) 


Funny how a lot of these cards are coming out of the most recent set, huh? Well, in the case of Battle Compressor, the #5 spot on our countdown is well worth it. In fact, it's the best Item on the list  - well, except for Tools *wink wink*!

Battle Compressor has a seemingly useless effect that, as I mentioned upon reviewing it a few weeks ago, has a wide and versatile set of uses. It can accelerate any deck that wants to dump Energies into the discard pile for boosting its members include Bronzong with Metal Decks, Blacksmith for Fire decks, and in the case of Expanded Eeleketrik and Dark Patch. It can combo with VS Seeker to grab any Supporter you want from your deck in essence, all the while thinning out your deck and assuring consistency! And if you've played any Night March or Flareon (PLF) decks, you've probably seen them run Battle Compressor to dump Pokemon to power their attacks!

Amazing, right? So with a card as powerful as this at only #5, what cards could possibly top that? Pretty scary!


Standard: 4.5/5 (all of those consistent decks, man!)
Expanded: 4.5/5 (same thing here)
Limited: 4.5/5 (even with a smaller pool of cards to grab from, this card is still wildly beneficial)
Arora Notealus: Combo pieces are just so much fun and add a little complexity to an otherwise simple game. I guess that's why I like Battle Compressor so much - it's simple, yet complex and strategic, rather than just brutally strong!
Next Time: I know I've seen you hanging out in some cafe before...
Happy Holidays/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Festivus to you all!


Welcome to the second week of the Top 10 Cards Of 2014 Countdown!  If you’re new or just haven’t been reading this blurb until now, the lists were collected and averaged out from the CotD crew to create the rankings for the master list.  As with our Top 10 lists for individual sets, reprints are excluded: without this rule cards like Double Colorless Energy place (if not place high) most years.  For my own list, my main guideline was card impact.  I evaluated the card according to breadth of impact (how widespread its usage/response to its usage was), depth of impact (how deeply it affected the decks that used it/needed to counter it) and time of impact (how long did it affect how we played in 2014). 

Our first CotD for this week is our number five pick, Battle Compressor (XY: Phantom Forces 92/119) and to be honest, its another one that is kind of a cheat.  What do I mean?  The short version is that this provides deck thinning to any deck all by itself, provides a potent Supporter Engine vulnerable to Item lock in most decks and in some specific decks, enables some amazing plays that usually involve sending Energy to the discard pile where another card can then attach them to Pokémon in play.  So why did I call this a cheat?  Well, this is something of a proxy for what might have topped the list otherwise: VS Seeker.  For more details, you can read the original review from a little over a month ago here. 

Breadth: Almost any and every deck can make use of Battle Compressor for deck thinning.  It is a simple part of general TCG strategy, transcending the game of Pokémon.  In fact Pokémon makes use of it less than some of the other TCGs I’ve played, so you know there has to be more or else Battle Compressor would be niche use only.  Enter VS Seeker, a card I use heavily and that from what I can tell, others use as well (though maybe not the three or four copies I risk).  You really shouldn’t have to make room for VS Seeker to combo with Battle Compressor because you should already be running at least two copies of the former.  This gives you a somewhat flexible two Item combo (Battle Compressor has to be played first) to turn VS Seeker into any Supporter you run, though if using VS Seeker on a different turn from Battle Compressor, your mileage may vary. 

Did I mention Battle Compressor also affects Expanded?  That specific decks also have key combos that use it?  When you put all of it together, this might be the single card with the greatest potential breadth.  Potential, not proven, which is why (for example) when I made a Breadth “sublist”, it still didn’t come in as number one.  For me this card is a loose staple; sometimes it gets bumped but only when it absolutely will not fit, putting it in the company of some cards we’ve already reviewed and some we will be getting to later on the list.  This too might have been presumptuous on my part, as it isn’t like I’ve got high level competitive results to back up my claims. 

Depth: Echoing what was said in the previous section, turning every VS Seeker in your deck into a searchable, variable Supporter is huge.  Again the combo is not foolproof; sometimes you’ll still get a VS Seeker early game before you can ditch ditch any Supporters (with or without Battle Compressor) or will be staring down a Seismitoad-EX blocking your Items via Quaking Punch.  So far the pair allows most of my decks to flow better, including making it much less risky to include either lower Supporter counts in general or to include more specialized Supporters (I don’t recommend both).  The reason this is so deep is that some of these options can really change how your deck functions.  A good general example is that you have the option of ditching a Lysandre early on so that whenever you really need it, instead of trying to keep one safe in hand or hoping to draw into it at the right time, you just need to burn one of your VS Seeker (or if running it, Dowsing Machine).  While this still might telegraph the play to your opponent, its more effective than using Skyla and less luck reliant than having a Computer Search. 

Personally, I’ve long struggled with recovering from disastrous-but-necessary discard with an early game Professor Juniper or Professor Sycamore.  You know, like when you’ve got three of whichever one of those two you’re using in your opening hand and a Basic you at least suspect won’t survive your opponent’s next turn and no other search or draw.  I’ve also struggled as decks just run out of steam if not actually threaten to deck out, so you’ll usually see me Battle Compressor to toss the lone copy I’m running of Lysandre’s Trump Card.  Battle Compressor is both a potential counter and potential ally to Lysandre’s Trump Card; either player can use Battle Compressor to “un-recycle” some of the cards that were shuffled back into the deck, but most importantly allowing you to quickly toss Lysandre’s Trump Card into your discard pile where its just a VS Seeker away if you need it, and out of the way when you don’t (namely the rest of the time).  

Getting to more specific deck usage, it has provided a small but significant improvement to key decks that had resources they wanted in the discard pile.  You still can and should use previous options like Ultra Ball and Professor Juniper/Professor Sycamore but for cases like the new Night March Decks, it is pretty much a necessity to get the requisite number of “Night Marchers” into your discard to fuel your attacks. 

Time: This is of course the weakest area for Battle Compressor.  It is a new card, so even if this had become an instant four-per-deck-staple, it would lose out to cards that got to shape so much more of the year.  For the close of the year, its had an influence as described above, but with more time it would be less ambiguous whether its as important as I think it is or if its going to be another card some people swear by but most just take a pass on running. 


Standard: 4/5 

Expanded: 4.25/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary:  Obviously I am still heavily in favor of this card, but I failed to find adequate proof that I was right.  I tried to allow that I’m wrong about what it does for the game in general in my review, but the bias is still pretty clear.  The  value of Battle Compressor to specific decks is clear: if you’ve got something you want to get into the discard pile ASAP, you run multiple Battle Compressor.  On my own list, Battle Compressor took the fifth place slot as well: three of the cards above it were similarly “general usage” while one was not.  One of those cards (Startling Megaphone) we already reviewed as the others didn’t think as highly of it.  The other card to beat it was my number six pick… but more on that when we get to it in the Top 4.

Merry Christmas!

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