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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

Top 10 Fates Collide

#2 - Carbrink BREAK - Fates Collide
May 19, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Standard: 3.9      Expanded: 3.9      Limited: 4.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.
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Our #2 pick is a pretty powerful Pokemon...to be, that is. It's the second time a BREAK Evolution has hit so high up on our list - the first being Zoroark BREAK, of course - and it's arguably even better than him! But let's just get right into the meat of it - Carbink BREAK hits the scene! 

First of all, it's another BREAK Evolution of a Basic Pokemon, meaning that it's more accessible than most other BREAK Evolution cards at the moment. The only other BREAK Pokemon to hold that honor is Lugia BREAK, but by comparison to what Carbink BREAK does, well it's certainly no wonder that he's so high up. And with such high HP and such a powerful attack too. 

...okay, I'm being a little sarcastic about that, but it's still very useful. Carbink BREAK's only thing is its attack, and it is quite a doozy. Diamond Gift is a mere 1-for-20 hit that allows you to attach 2 Energy cards - read, ENERGY cards, not just Basic Energy but Special too - onto one of your Benched Fighting Pokemon. That is a HUGE effect - just what we needed, a recycler for those lost Strong Energies that kept showing up in the discard pile. 

Now Carbink BREAK on its own isn't much - 110 HP and a great attack can only get you so far - but that's where being a BREAK Evolution actually comes in handy. See, now he can be placed down on any Carbink to instantly give it a boost AND an amazing attack. But what options are there? Oddly enough, there are the Fairy-typed Carbink from Flashfire and Roaring Skies that are still around (though Flashfire may not be around for that much longer), but there's also the new Fighting options over in this very set. That's right, we have TWO NEW Carbink to look at. 

Personally, Carbink (FCO-50) strikes me as the best, since it's got the classic Safeguard effect. Carbink (FLF) isn't that impressive, with Crystal Barrier being its main protective attack and Wonder Blast being its version of Hydro Pump - neither's great considering you'd want to use Diamond Gift. Carbink (ROS) can protect itself on the Bench at least with Jewel Armor, and Carbink (FCO-49) is really nifty with Energy Keeper keeping those Basic Energies on your Basic Pokemon safe! Actually would combine well with Carbink BREAK on one front.

Obviously there's a few options for Carbink BREAK to try out in the long run, but I think the Safeguard-Carbink will be the favored option, making Carbink BREAK not only a powerful Energy recycler but a near-untouchable one to any form of EX! Hope you guys enjoyed the Furious Fists format, cause Fighting decks are back and better than ever. 


Standard: 4/5 (on his own, he wouldn't be that great, but combining BREAKs with the right bases are what makes them so powerful) 

Expanded: 4/5 (and needless to say, Carbink BREAK's got options!) 

Limited: 5/5 (if you can get BREAK, you can play hard to beat!) 

Arora Notealus: Carbink BREAK ended up in an up-and-down spot on my list. I've been overall undecided on whether or not he'd be good enough for Standard play, but seeing him rank so highly on the list seems to confirm my suspicions. Really, his main weakness as a BREAK Evo is just the lack of searchability specifically for him, but Evosodas and Wallys can make him work faster if he's just hanging out in the main deck. I'm sure we'll see a few different lists to see if those are even necessary to make the inevitable Zy-Car-BREAK deck viable or not. 

Next Time: And our strong competitor for the #1 slot is...


Second place on the Pojo Top 10 Cards of XY: Fates Collide goes to… Carbink BREAK (XY: Fates Collide 51/122)!  It has come up in some of our other reviews during this top 10, but what really makes it so promising?  To begin, it is a Fighting Type.  As I outlined yesterday the Fighting Type may have a few things going against it but mostly has a lot going for it.  Fighting is the most Resisted Type in the TCG, but Resistance isn’t overly important even when it is present and no Resistance is more common than Fighting Resistance by a wide margin.  Those anti-Fighting Type only get mentioned because I feel bad completely ignoring them… even though that is what the competitive scene seems to do.  The positives for the Fighting Type on the other hand are numerous and significant.  Most Colorless Pokémon and nearly all Darkness Types and Lightning Types are Fighting Weak; while -20 damage from Resistance often doesn’t matter, x2 damage from Weakness usually does.  Fighting has a tremendous amount of Type specific support that also happens to be great, like Strong Energy (the best of the Type specific Special Energy cards we received in the XY sets).  Then there are the cards that help the Fighting Type more than all or nearly all other Types, but can work elsewhere.  Cards like some Fighting Type attackers that aren’t too hard to splash into other decks or Scorched Earth, a Stadium that allows you to discard a [F] or [R] Energy from hand to draw two cards. 

Carbink BREAK is the BREAK Evolution of a Basic; it still counts as an Evolved Pokémon - not a Basic - making it function similar to a Stage 1, but unable to access any effects that mention Stage 1 Pokémon (like Training Center).  Although being a Basic is best, being a Stage 1 or BREAK Evolution of a Basic is still quite manageable, needing only one extra card of space and one extra turn to hit the field.  You may even use Wally to exchange on extra card of effort (and your Supporter for the turn) to search out and instantly BREAK Evolve.  The 110 HP of Carbink BREAK is low; typical competitive decks will have no problem managing a OHKO if they have their full setup.  Less than a full setup is iffy, which isn’t much but better than the alternative.  Mostly Carbink BREAK can survive against attacks focused on something other than damaging one Pokémon, like damage spread or effects.  The remaining card attributes will come from whichever Carbink we BREAK Evolution from so that just leaves the card’s one attack. 

“Diamond Gift” requires [F] to do 20 damage and attach two Energy cards from your discard pile to one of your [F] Pokémon.  While you can only use it with the Fighting Type, you can pick two of any Type of Energy, and Special Energy are also fair game!  As it does any damage, this also means you have the option of stacking buffs to even make it a decent offensive play; the common Fighting Type combo of Strong Energy plus Fighting Stadium plus Muscle Band will still deliver a solid 80 damage, and while that is a bit shy of taking out Fighting Weak Basic Pokémon-EX, by the time Carbink BREAK is legal for competitive play, so is the new Regirock-EX, which can buff it further so that it can OHKO Fighting Weak Pokémon-EX (even Mega Evolutions) and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/180).  It might seem a bit foolish to invest too heavily in Carbink BREAK but remember, while you are invest a Basic, a BREAK Evolution, time to Evolve (or Wally), and an Energy card (possibly a Strong Energy), plus any Pokémon Tools, you get two Energy from the discard pile attached to your Fighting Type of choice.  Why is that so important?  You can give up one Energy, even a Strong Energy, and either attach one from the discard to break even or two to still come out ahead.  With enough buffs, even if Carbink BREAK is just lightly damaging something, whatever you prepped can probably finish off that something.  Since the Lost Zone has been abandoned as a mechanic, anytime you lose Energy, it's ending up in the discard pile, and Carbink BREAK can reattach it over and over again.  At least while Carbink BREAK survives. 

So what are our options for Carbink?  Can’t skip it and whatever Weakness, Resistance, Retreat Cost, Ability (if any) and attack (or attacks) are going to also belong to Carbink BREAK.  There are four options, all legal for both Expanded and Standard play: XY: Flashfire 68/106, XY: Roaring Skies 47/108, XY: Fates Collide 49/122, and XY: Fates Collide 50/122.  All of these are Basic Pokémon without any Ancient Traits.  XY: Flashfire 68/106 jas 70 HP, Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance, Retreat Cost [CC], and two attacks.  First is “Crystal Barrier” for [Y], which blocks all effects of attacks (including damage!) done to Carbink itself during your opponent’s next turn but the attack is “tails fails”.  The second attack is “Wonder Blast” for [CCC] which does 40 damage plus 20 more for each [Y] Energy attached to Carbink itself.  We reviewed it here and I found it quite niche, basically meant to be a desperation or final attacker for a Fairy Transfer deck; load it up with all your [Y] Energy and go for a big shot but only if it doesn’t matter that it ought to be KO’d the next turn.  Now M Gardevoir-EX does it better so it would fair much worse, and doesn’t suit Carbink BREAK.  XY: Roaring Skies 47/108 is also a Fairy Type with 70 HP, Metal Weakness, Darkness Resistance, and Retreat Cost [CC].  It has the Ability “Jewel Armor” that protects it from damage while it is on your Bench and the attack “Spin Tackle” for [YCC] does 60 damage while having you flip a coin; if tails it also does 20 damage to itself.  This one was reviewed as well we were not impressed; again don’t bother BREAK Evolving from it, though technically since it would protect itself on the Bench it would make more sense than the other Fairy Type Carbink. 

XY: Fates Collide 49/122 is a Fighting Type with 80 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [C].  It has the Ability “Energy Keeper” which protects Basic Energy cards attached to your Basic Pokémon from being discarded by your opponent’s Abilities, attacks, or Trainers.  For [FFC] this Carbink can use “Stone Edge” to do 60 damage and flip a coin; on “heads” it does an additional 30 damage.  The attack is overpriced but the Ability is pretty sweet, though remember that while the Ability keeps working after BREAK Evolving, it will no longer apply to itself; Carbink is a Basic but as Carbink BREAK it is not.  XY: Fates Collide 50/122 is a Fighting Type with 90 HP, Grass Weakness, no Resistance, and Retreat Cost [C].  Carbink has a time tested Ability: Safeguard.  Being immune to damage and the effects of attacks made by your opponent’s Pokémon-EX.  There is an important change from before; this version of Safeguard specifies the opponent’s Pokémon while other recent versions (for better or worse) blocked damage and effects by attacks from your own Pokémon as well.  It also has the attack “Power Gem” that does 40 for [FC].  The Ability is great, the attack is okay.  With this under Carbink BREAK, it could buy several turns to attack Energy, no extra turns, or just a few depending on how hard it will be for your opponent to deal with Safeguard.  Unless you’re running very few basic Energy cards or are powering up mostly Evolutions, I recommend using both of the XY: Fates Collide Carbink. 

So now that we know what we are BREAK Evolving from, in what decks do we use Carbink BREAK?  Any Fighting Type deck where you can fit Carbink and Carbink BREAK, even as a 1-1 line, probably should: adjust your Carbink based on whether you have Basic Pokémon with Basic Energy attached to protect or not and again, if you have more than one don’t be afraid to split between the two versions.  Carbink BREAK has another use, which sometimes will include its primary job of attaching Energy from the discard pile; dealing with Jolteon-EX, Safeguard Pokémon, and anything else that wall against a lot of more typical Fighting Type attackers (which tend to be Basic and/or Pokémon-EX).  You could even really commit to Carbink BREAK and try to stream it, making it your main attacker as most non-Pokémon-EX can be brought into OHKO range (though things like Greninja BREAK will be pushing it) while 2HKOing Pokémon-EX will still keep pace.  You’ll need to take out a Shaymin-EX, or just get Energy enough ahead so that you can periodically (or at least for your final attack) skip Diamond Gift in favor of one of the attacks Carbink BREAK gets from its underlying Carbink.  They weren’t great, but they do hit just hard enough to finally reach OHKO range with an optimal setup.  Might be fun, but I doubt it would be effective enough for competitive play. 

Otherwise enjoy it in most Fighting Type decks in Expanded and Standard.  I don’t want to say all of them can make use of it, but it is at least trying.  I suspect the exceptions will come from decks that simply do not have the space, decks that must attack with something else, and decks that have other special field requirements.  For Limited you should have good odds of pulling at least one other Fighting Type, and if you have the right Evolution Pack it looks like you’ll even get a few Carbink (the list I am using doesn’t specify which one).  Given the nature of Limited, as long as you can run Carbink BREAK (that is, you have at least one of the Carbink) just using it and attaching to itself to use whatever other attack it has is still a solid addition.  Well, unless those Evolution Packs are far, far more influential than I realized. 


Standard: 3.8/5 

Expanded: 3.8/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Summary:  I went back and forth over how to score Carbink BREAK.  It is a great card, but it is a great card for Fighting decks; if a deck isn’t at least part Fighting, it shouldn’t have Carbink BREAK.  It is also a great support card, but as support it needs something else to really shine.  After all, without Energy in your discard pile its main trick doesn’t work.  If it is your only Fighting Type Pokémon in play, it might barely work since it could attach to itself and might survive long enough to use a slightly stronger attack… and that hopefully clarifies why it scores lower than Zygarde-EX or (from Tuesday) Mew (XY: Fates Collide 29/124).  With their support, those two can be amazing main attackers, but without it Zygarde-EX is still a decent beatstick.  Mew is not but it’s also a flexible Basic that can try to search out a Pokémon to restart your deck. 

Carbink BREAK was my fourth place pick for this set.  Even as I quibble with myself over the specifics of its score, I actually don’t mind it taking second place; it really is high quality support and if I overrated Zygarde-EX, Mew and last Friday’s Lugia (XY: Fates Collide 78/124) - the cards that topped it in my personal list - then it probably the best remaining card.  As is it is nearly their equal.  No wonder it earned 32 voting points, just two points less than tomorrow’s first place finisher earned.


Most Pokémon BREAK in Fates Collide are at least somewhat playable, and Carbink BREAK is the best out of them all. To start, both the basic Carbink are very playable. One of them has the Energy Keeper ability, which prevents your opponent from removing any Basic Energy attached to your Basic Pokémon by attacks, abilities, or trainer cards. This is very powerful for most decks as a defence against energy denial decks. The other Carbink from this set has the Safeguard ability, which prevents all effects of attacks, including damage, done to Carbink by Pokémon-EX. While the format isn't as Pokémon-EX heavy as it used to be during the time of Sigilyph DRX and Suicune PLB, Safeguard is still a great ability that can wall out a portion of the metagame. The main draw here is Carbink BREAK, which was designed with Zygarde-EX and Power Memory in mind, does 20 damage for (F) and attaches 2 energy cards from your discard pile to one of your Fighting types. This lets you almost cycle Power Memory every other turn if you can attach from your hand repeatedly. Carbink BREAK also enjoys the fighting support like Strong Energy (which it can reattach), which can increase its damage output. It also gives the Zygarde archetype they wanted to create an out to Jolteon-EX. Carbink BREAK really gives life to Zygarde, and it wouldn't be playable without it.
I had Carbink Break as my fourth place pick.

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