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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 New Pokemon Cards of 2016

#10 - Special Charge
- Steam Siege

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 16, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.75/5 

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Wait a sec...a Top 10 list? Starting on a Friday? WHAT IS THIS I CAN'T EVEN

Well it's about that time of year again, and all things considered, this is just about the perfect time of year to cover our tracks with the Top 10 Best Cards of 2016! It's certainly been an interesting year filled with tosses and turns, ups and downs, moving this way and that. Now we get to come together and figure out just what the heck was going on this year. 

We start with our 10th place pick, Special Charge. It hasn't been around that long, but it's a neat piece of equipment for any deck. The ability to get back any Special Energy from the discard pile is certainly well warranted, so it's no surprise that this card hits the Top 10 list. Maybe it's more surprising that it didn't get higher... 

That may be more because of its recent release than anything else. It hasn't really had a breakout impact like Volcanion did, and it hasn't been in the game long enough to prove its impact the way some other cards have. On top of that, it is throwing the cards back into the deck instead of adding them directly to your hand, but nevertheless, it's a great card in its own right, and it'd be a shame to not have it on the list. 

...not that I helped get it on there or anything, I just kinda forgot about it.


Standard: 3.5/5 (pretty much as long as there are Special Energy cards around and about, this card will see play) 

Expanded: 4/5 (especially if there's an Energy like Plasma Energy that's essential to the deck's strategy!) 

Limited: 1/5 (...just uhh...kind of a shame there's not really any Special Energy in its own set) 

Arora Notealus: Kinda odd to start it off like this, but considering Monday's a vacation day, it's better to start it now anyway. It gives us the remaining 9 weekdays to keep you guys constantly in the loop! 

Weekend Thought: Any thoughts on this week's cards? How about that #10? Do you already think it should've been higher? Well let's see what else made the list first and go up from there, eh?


Welcome to our annual countdown for the top ten cards of the year.  We’ve been doing this since 2007 and the rules are similar to the Top 10 lists we make for the individual sets, except instead of being restricted to new cards in the set, any new card released this year was eligible.  We ended up with 19 nominees our our 10 card list, and yours truly got to average them out and break any ties.

Claiming the 10th place spot is Special Charge (XY: Steam Siege 105/114).  We first reviewed as the seventh best of its set, an Item that allows you to shuffle two Special Energy cards from your discard pile back into your deck.  As Special Energy has historically been difficult to reclaim from the discard pile and Item cards easy to play, Special Charge quickly made its way into decks.  Not every deck runs Special Energy, but those that do and especially those that rely on it tried to make room for at least one copy of Special Charge.  This was especially important to multiple decks that didn’t run just only on Special Energy, but specifically were running on four Double Colorless Energy and nothing (or at least very little) else.  This applied to many Night March builds, Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98), and their variants (including being run together).  So why isn’t this card higher up? 

Besides the obvious (other great cards), there are a few things keeping this near the bottom of our list.  First we have timing; while not a last minute release, XY: Steam Siege and its cards weren’t tournament legal until August, and so weren’t legal until the year was nearly two-thirds over.  Second is the dominance of Item lock decks, which did quite well throughout this year.  Third is competition, as though few cards (and even fewer Items) can reclaim Special Energy cards from the discard pile, XY: BREAKpoint gave us Puzzle of Time, an Item card that allows you to either look at and rearrange the top three cards of your deck, or to add two cards from your discard pile to your hand.  Puzzle of Time allows you to play two copies of it at once, and in fact that is the only way to access the second effect.  Between Item lock, ripping through your deck with Professor Sycamore, and luck in general, you can see why decks would shift to Special Charge, but Puzzle of Time isn’t totally obsolete; it adds the cards targeted to hand and it can snag anything, not just Energy. 

I’m actually altering my scores from when we first reviewed this card; originally I scored Expanded higher than Standard, but now the situation has changed.  Standard has less Item lock, making it easier to use than in Expanded.  This would result in a larger hit to Expanded, however there are more decks that I believe need it in Expanded.  Limited remains a minimal score because there are no Special Energy cards in its set. 


Standard: 3.75/5 

Summary: When Special Charge released, I was worried that people would stick with Puzzle of Time.  That was because I valued Puzzle of Time snagging things other than Special Energy and having it all go to my hand instead of being shuffled into the deck.  Instead Special Charge became preferred because instead of running two, three or a full four it could reliably function as a single card. 

Special Charge earned six voting points, tying with the 11th and 9th place finishers.  It missed making my own list because I went with Puzzle of Time, due to it having been the first Item released this year that allowed us to reclaim Special Energy from the discard pile with (relative) ease.  Now as is often the case, I made something larger than a Top 10 list; Special Energy was my 12th place pick for 2016.

Zach Had this at #5 on this Top 10 List.

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