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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 BREAKpoint Cards

#5 - Puzzle of Time

- XY BREAKpoint

Date Reviewed:
February 15, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.95
Expanded: 3.65
Limited: 4.38

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

Back to the main COTD Page


...wait, this is our #5? This? Ummm...alright then. 

Well, Puzzle of Time is a very unique card, to say the least. When you use one of these cards, you're actually allowed to play 2 of them simultaneously. Kinda reminds me of the LEGEND cards, but at least with Puzzle here, you don't need 2 halves to play it. That's kinda neat, I suppose. 

So what do we get for playing Puzzle of Time? Well its first effect triggers when you play 1 Puzzle of Time, and that lets you look at the top 3 cards of your deck and rearrange them as need be. Which, you know, that's not bad, it gives you more information and can set you up over the course of the next couple of turns, I'll give it that. Neat trick for just one. 

Now for 2 Puzzle of Times, you get its second effect, which adds back 2 cards from your discard pile into your hand. I'm just gonna start by stating the obvious: DON'T USE THIS TO BRING BACK 2 OTHER PUZZLES OF TIME!! Seriously, it's not gonna do anything anyway, so please don't be that guy who runs 4 copies of this just to mercilessly loop and waste time for other people. That'd be stupid. Anywho, this is the part of the card that does raise eyebrows and expectations, I wouldn't doubt it. It is an amazing ability to gain back 2 cards that you've used up during the battle already or sent there due to Battle Compressor - a much needed Supporter or just abuse of Items like VS Seeker perhaps? 

Here's my own thing about the card: to get the arguably better effect, you need to be running 2 copies already, and to really effectively run Puzzle consistently, you should be running 3-4 copies. Ideally, you're running the full 4 to profit off of Puzzle's second effect twice, which means: 

1) you're taking up 4 slots to devote resources to gaining back stuff you've lost

2) there's a higher chance at least 1 of those copies will end up in the Prizes; naturally there's always a chance of this happening, even if it's only starting out as a 1/60th chance and increasing that it'll end up in the Prizes, but that's the way it works 

On top of that, you'll need the 2 copies of the card in your hand already, which while there's so many ways to go about it (mostly drawing and stuff like Skyla), it means you need ways to retrieve those cards and get them in your hand - anyone else seeing my minor inconvenience with this? I may just be making a bigger deal about this than need be, but I'd like to think the most practical way of running a deck is using cards that get you the cards you need, not using cards to get you the cards that get you the cards you need. 

But what do I know? I ain't that competitive. 


Standard: 3.5/5 (it's got 2 good effects, sure, and there's no doubt it may see play even if just the first one) 

Expanded: 3/5 (but the space it takes up to run well, in my opinion, along with the cyclical way it may operate on - where you get the cards first then use them to get more cards - makes me believe that it may only work in very specific decks) 

Limited: 4/5 (still, it's nice for what it does, so expect to see a copy or two floating around) 

Arora Notealus: Puzzle of Time is a bit like Parallel City from the last set - an interesting concept implemented into a card to see how it'd play. I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun to pull off, but only time will tell if it's going to be a competitive hit or blunder. 

Next Time: An old favorite returns!...in a new way!


Clocking in at the number five spot and beginning our second week of our Top 10 Picks of XY: BREAKpoint is… Puzzle of Time (XY: BREAKpoint 109/122)!  This Item revives a mechanic last seen on cards like Poké Blower+ (PL: Stormfront 88/100), Poké Drawer+ (PL: Stormfront 89/100), and Poké Healer+ (PL: Stormfront 90/100).  I was failing to keep up with the game, either effectively gone or actually gone due to school and/or work, so I don’t know much about these three.  With these cards, you had the option of playing them as normal for one effect, or playing a second copy of the same card at the same time for a second, different effect.  Poké Blower+ as a single gave you a coin flip where “tails” did nothing while “heads” allowed you to place a damage counter on one of your opponent’s Pokémn; but if you play two copies of it at the same time, it functions like a Lysandre.  Poké Drawer+ as a single allows you to draw a card, while if you played two copies of it at the same time you could search your deck for up to two cards and add them to your hand.  Poké Healer+ as a single removes a single damage counter and single Special Condition from your Active, like the “Busy Body” Ability found on Audino (BW: Boundaries Crossed 126/149); playing two copies at once removed eight damage counters and all Special Conditions from your Active Pokémon.  Note that at this time you still sometimes saw references to the 2-on-2 rules (not Team Multi-Play but each player having two Active Pokémon): any references to selecting one of your opponent’s Active Pokémon are talking about that. 

So what does Puzzle of Time actually do?  A single copy allows you to be voiced by Dan Green while two allow you to wield the dread power of the Shadow Games! 


One copy allows you to look at the top three cards of your deck and rearrange them as you wish before replacing them on top of your deck, while two lets you select two cards from your discard pile and add them to hand.  Though the first effect can actually be handy to see what you can hit or - in edge cases - tweak what you can hit, the second effect is why this card could change the game.  There are no restrictions on what you can reclaim: anything in your discard pile is fair game.  Stuff like Pokémon and Basic Energy cards are pretty easy to recycle, Supporters have VS Seeker and even Pokémon Tools have Eco Arm, but most other Items along with all Special Energy and Stadium cards are a lot more difficult to reclaim.  There are effects that can do it, but most are deck exclusive or Milotic (XY: Primal Clash 44/160), which is a Stage 1 Water-Type with the Ability (Sparkling Ripples) that only triggers when it Evolves so you must go through Feebas in order to get just a single card back… and yet I’m hearing of people using it and it working at least some of the time.  So how about Puzzle of Time? 

I expect Puzzle of Time to see a lot of play but there is a threshold for it: getting two copies of an Item card in hand at the same time is far easier for some decks than others.  Decks that already have a lot of “moving pieces” like Acro Bike and Trainers’ Mail, decks that use Skyla, Teammates, and/or Korrina all have it a bit easier.  Battle Compressor can be important as well; it becomes a clunky combo but Battle Compressor + (2 x Puzzle of Time) = double deck search.  While we are adding to the combo, VS Seeker and one of the previously mentioned Supporters (especially Teammates) can play as well.  It still isn’t easy or simple, but it becomes quite likely that if you run four Puzzle of Time, you’ll be pulling it off at least once.  Will you have room though?  I’ve been testing just two right now because not only are my decks tight for space but also because that is all I’ve got on the PTCGO right now.  Mostly this is in decks like Night March or those builds around Vespiquen (XY: Ancient Origins 10/98) and Flareon (BW: Plasma Freeze 12/116), though also in my old Landorus-EX/Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119) deck as well.  I can’t think of what I can cut to include more when I get them, but I’ve cut back some or all of my other “retrieval” cards in favor of these two. 

So at the very least experiment with Puzzle of Time in your decks for Standard and Expanded; if you’ve got something really important (like Special Energy cards) you’ll need to snatch back from the discard pile it’ll be worth it to at least run two copies.  A few decks might warrant the full four count, and three is for decks that want a slightly better chance of pulling it off once (and hey, again it isn’t totally useless as a single).  I am finding this useful for TecH as well: we’ve recently gotten some strong Pokémon Tools and they are showing up in some top decks.  Slightly older Tools like Focus Sash have been showing up more and more as well, so I’ve been trying to find room for some copies of Startling Megaphone, but I usually could only manage one.  Now I’ve got a way to use it twice, so I’m a lot more comfortable with it now that I can use it up to twice or toss it without it being impossible to retrieve later one.  For Limited play, no reason to skip it, but I want my Limited scores to actually mean something so I’ll point out that both effects are great here, even if the second will rarely be an option. 


Standard: 4.35/5 

Expanded: 4.35/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: Puzzle of Time is one of the best cards this set; you should be getting a playset.  The score for the Constructed formats does need a bit of an explanation: any deck can use Puzzle of Time, though some not very well.  I think most can use it really well and a few use it fantastically well; the net result is a high scoring card.  It is metagame dependent; if we didn’t have so many decks dependent on their Special Energies, if most of the supporting cards for using it weren’t also already in decks, etc. then it wouldn’t be so good. 

On my own list I had Puzzle of Time as my as my third place pick and I may have placed it too low.  Then again it obviously didn’t impress others as much, so just maybe I’ve having more luck than I realize with my early testing.  It isn’t like I’ve been thoroughly putting it through its paces.  It tied with last Friday’s card, Palkia-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 31/122) with 13 voting points.  As they had the same amount of voting points and both appeared on a single list with equally high placement, normally I’d just flip a coin or go alphabetically to break the tie, but this time I went with generality: Puzzle of Time could just be used in more decks and I thought affected both Standard and Expanded more than Palkia-EX would.  I mention this as normally I try to avoid deciding ties based on my own estimate of the card, but since I did I wanted to be honest and make note of it.  For the curious, our next subject beat them both by five voting points.

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