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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Exp. Share
- Sun & Moon

Date Reviewed:
April 27, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.88
Expanded: 2.0
Limited: 3.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Exp. Share has been around since Neo Destinies, although back then it was just called "EXP. ALL". Its effect has overall remained the same, just gotten an update on the text every now and again. The basics are that whenever your Active Pokemon gets KO'd, you can take a basic Energy off of it and attach it to the Pokemon Exp. Share is attached to. Pretty simple stuff really. 

I don't think I've seen many deck lists that include Exp. Share on them, despite the fact that many decks will run few Energy to begin with. For some decks though, the majority of their Energy is Special, so Exp. Share won't have as great an impact. In other decks, they can just recycle the Energy from the discard pile through Abilities or Items. And in the remainder of decks, there's usually just another card that the deck wants to use more than Exp. Share. Why go for this when you've got Fighting Fury Belt for the extra damage? Or maybe another copy of Hypnotoxic Laser or an extra Sycamore? What about teching in something to counter a deck yours is weak against? 

I think that's really the main reason I don't see Exp. Share getting run. Either decks won't have much use for it, or it'll get outclassed by other cards in the decks that would use it. Still, Exp. Share isn't a bad card - it helps to save a precious resource in the game and can power up another Pokemon in the process. It could even be used in decks that recycle Energy to accelerate a Pokemon even faster if need be! But again, it gets outclassed by other options.

Exp. Share: willing to do what most other cards won't, share. 


Standard: 2.5/5 (again, I think it's a good card) 

Expanded: 2/5 (but compared to other options for many decks, it isn't a top priority) 

Limited: 3/5 (if it were run competitively, I suppose you might see 1 copy) 

Arora Notealus: Exp. Share can't really emulate its in-game effects, as there's no real "experience" system in the TCG. How crazy would it be though to have it emulate something similar to it though, eh? "When you KO an opposing Pokemon, attach Energy to all of your Pokemon!" I mean really that would be more accurate. Even if it was just 1 Energy to the Pokemon it's attached to, the KO clause would fit, and it would work better in many decks...hmmmm... 

Next Time: Mother knows best though, hm?


This Throwback Thursday we are looking at Exp. Share (BW: Next Destinies 87/99; Dragon Vault 18/20; XY: Primal Clash 128/160; Sun & Moon 118), which is very similar to the older Trainer EXP.ALL (Neo Destiny 93/105; EX: FireRed & LeafGreen 91/112).  Though these cards have different names and non-identical effects, they are close enough that we may as well discuss one with the other, plus it makes this more a throwback as we go back 15 years and not just five.  EXP.ALL was reviewed here and here; you can see our past review of Exp. Share here. 

EXP.ALL and Exp. Share are both Item cards, specifically Pokémon Tools.  This is a lengthy review, so I won’t dwell on the support and counters for either of these, but know that they exist and general Item support and counters are a big part of the metagame (especially the latter).  These two Items trigger when your Active Pokémon has been KO’d by an opponent’s attack (in the case of Exp. Share, specifically only due to the damage from said attack).  When that condition is met, you may move a Basic Energy from your freshly KO’d Active Pokémon (before you discard it and all cards attached) to the Pokémon with EXP.ALL and/or Exp. Share attached.  Like all Tools I can recall, this card eats up a Pokémon’s “Tool Slot” (for want of an official term).  Multiple copies of either card can trigger at the same time if conditions are met, including attaching multiple Energy to the same Pokémon if it is one of the few that may equip multiple Tools at the same time.  EXP.ALL discards itself after it works, but Exp. Share does not and so may activate multiple times while it remains on the field.  EXP.ALL could originally be attached to any Pokémon, just like EXP. Share, but the second printing of EXP.ALL overrides the text of the original now and said printing added a line excluding both Pokémon-ex and Pokémon with an owner in their names from having EXP.ALL attached.  The wording also now reads “1 of your Active Pokémon” because it released during the period when 2-on-2 Battle Format was added to the Pokémon TCG.  Using those or the Team Battle alternate rules, it is possible for you (or your team) to have more than one Active Pokémon at a time.  See the Play! Pokémon Rules and Formats document you can find on the Play! Pokémon Rules & Resources for details. 

EXP.ALL saw limited play during the course of its life, coexisting with more popular Pokémon Tools.  There were a few decks that used it well, though and Exp. Share has a similar story.  This is what I often refer to as a “passive” Tool because its activation relies on things you do not directly control.  Before either of these can trigger, your opponent has a chance to discard them.  Your opponent may instead sidestep the effect by not KOing your Active; that’s usually a good thing if it slows them down, but usually, it just means they have a sufficient workaround.  That can simply be a useful attack that doesn’t KO your Active (or in the case of Exp. Share, doesn’t KO it with damage) or using an effect to promote something without basic Energy to the Active position before scoring the KO or the Pokémon with EXP.ALL/Exp. Share (if only one Pokémon has that Tool at the moment).  There are three contemporary uses for Exp. Share I believe are worth discussing.  First are Pokémon with the “Ω Barrier” Ancient Trait, like Regirock (XY: Black Star Promos XY49); they are unaffected by an opponent’s Trainer cards (other than Tools and Stadium cards), and it has been ruled that this protection applies to cards attached to said Pokémon.  So a Regirock with Exp. Share may sit safely on your Bench, unmolested by an opponent’s Crushing Hammer, Lysandre, Startling Megaphone, etc.  This isn’t just useful for powering up the Pokémon with Ω Barrier, but also combos with things such as Energy moving effects or effects that count how many Energy you have in play.  Second is something similar; various effects that block Item usage offer a similar level of protection, though some interfere too much with your own Tool usage to bother with the combo. 

The third is Standard play and various attackers that do more damage based on the amount of a particular Energy you have in play.  How is that not the same as the first use?  Right now, there just is not a cost efficient way to discard a Tool from an opponent’s Benched Pokémon… which means those decks don’t need something like Regirock sitting on the Bench but can instead slap an Exp. Share onto a spare copy of an attacker.  The best example would be competitive Darkrai-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 74/122, 118/122) decks; though not universal, it is typical of them to run both Fighting Fury Belt and Exp. Share.  Each basic Darkness Energy card Exp. Share rescues from the discard pile translates to +20 damage for the “Dark Pulse” attack on Darkrai-EX plus helps build to power something else up to attack or retreat.  This is basically half of why we are reviewing Exp. Share today; the other half are Choice Band and Field Blower, two cards being released in SM: Guardians Rising.  The former is a new Tool causes the attacks of the Pokémon to which it is attached to do 30 more damage to either an opponent’s Active Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX; this means more competition for Exp. Share.  Field Blower is an Item that allows you to discard two Tool cards, two Stadium cards, or one of each from the field, whether they are yours or your opponent’s.  This hurts more passive Tools twofold; them being discarded before they can yield a return incentivizes the use of Tools like Float Stone or Choice Band, as you can cash in on their effects during your own turn. 

For Expanded play, Field Blower only hurts a little because this format already has Startling Megaphone to completely wipe Tools away from the opponent’s side of the field, regardless of how many there are.  Exp. Share may not be totally dead in either of these formats, but it is consigned to combos like the one mentioned with Regirock, in the decks where that is worthwhile.  In the Limited Format, Exp. Share should be quite valuable; due to the nature of this format, you’re building a 40 card deck from the contents of sealed product provided, so you’ll have a lot fewer draw and search resources.  Item searching and recycling effects aren’t too common in the first place, and while there are some Tool specialized ones, unless you’re at an event that mixes product from different expansions, you won’t be able to pull it from your boosters.  You also only play with four Prizes (instead of six) in Limited play, so Exp. Share triggers less often.  The other differences between Limited and Constructed play make Exp. Share more valuable instead of less, with the net results being favorable.  It may only have a chance to go off three times (at most), but when you draw into it and get it on the right target, that tiny bit of Energy acceleration is probably safe and super effective. 

Exp. Share performs similarly in the Theme Deck Format of the PTCGO, though some Theme Decks support it better than others.  In the Legacy Format (also found on the PTCGO), Exp. Share falls between current Standard and Expanded play in terms of usefulness.  The Legacy Format allows only cards from the HS-series, Call of Legends, and BW-series releases.  More recent competition like Fighting Fury Belt or Muscle Band are absent from the card pool, perpetual favorites like Float Stone or older tricks like Silver Bangle are still present.  No worries about Item lock, Startling Megaphone or Xerosic, but Tool Scrapper is still present and capable of taking out two Tools for the measly cost of being an Item.  I’ve no clue if the card has any use for the Unlimited Format (the actual Unlimited Format or its far smaller PTCGO counterpart) or the 30-card deck alternate format.  If you don’t know what that second one is, again please see the official Pokémon TCG documents linked to earlier, and (hopefully) join me in trying to convince the powers-that-be to add these to the PTCGO… or maybe even sanctioned play! 


Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 2/5 

Limited: 3.5/5 

Theme: 3.75/5 

Legacy: 2.25/5 


Exp. Share is a good, somewhat specialized card that needs particular strategies to perform to its fullest, but it isn’t too bad in general.  Decks running few or no basic Energy cards, that KO their own Pokémon, mess with their own Tools, and probably a few other specific strategies need not apply, but in general the downside to Exp. Share in Standard play is that there are better cards to run in its stead.  In Expanded and Legacy play, the threat of being discarded easily (outside of specific combos) is a big problem.  In the Limited and Theme Formats, the lack of resources ultimately helps Exp. Share shine brighter.  Not a bad deal, but soon Standard will look more like Expanded and/or Legacy, with some of the new cards from SM: Guardians Rising; probably good to enjoy it now, while you can. 

Also, I am serious; we really need to be asking for some of the fun alternate formats to be more mainstream, if not added to competitive play.  It might be a bit of a nightmare to balance them out, but I can’t really call our contemporary formats balanced either, so we may as well hope to enjoy different broken mechanics.


Exp. Share (Sun & Moon, 118/149) got another reprint in the Sun & Moon base expansion set.  This card has seen significant usage recently in decks built around Darkrai EX (Breakpoint, 118/122), Xerneas Break (Steam Siege, 82/114), and Brilliant Arrow Mega Gardevoir (Primal Clash, 156/160).  If an active Pokemon is KO’d by DAMAGE from an opponent’s attack (very important to remember, it HAS to be damage from the opponent’s attack), then you can move a basic (sorry, no special) energy from the active to a benched Pokemon.  This also stacks – if you have four basic energy on the active Pokemon and four Exp. Share and your benched Pokemon, each of those four benched Pokemon can take a single energy from the KO’d Pokemon.  This significantly aids Pokemon with high attack costs, and it also helps Pokemon whose attacks rely on the amount of energy on the board maintain a high energy count on their Pokemon in play.  It also can theoretically help you run less energy in your deck; however, I’ve found that the less energy you run, the harder it is to find it and get it initially on your board.  Exp. Share does no good if there are no basic energy cards attached to the active Pokemon. 

As I mentioned, many top tier decks that have seen tournament success in the current format use Exp. Share.  In the four standard major tournaments since the latest expansion, Sun & Moon, ten decks placing in the top eight of these events ran at least two Exp. Share.  Decks that won in Athens and Anaheim both ran Exp. Share.  All of these decks are built around Darkrai EX, but many other decks benefit from Exp. Share as well.  As mentioned above, Xerneas Break and Brilliant Arrow Mega Gardevoir will use it to great advantage.  I’ve also used it with Lycanroc GX (SM14), Trevenant Break (Breakpoint, 66/122), and a Damage Change Mewtwo EX (XY Promo 107) Weavile (Steam Siege, 61/114) deck.  For Pokemon that have three energy cost attacks or more, Exp. Share can definitely help you maintain pressure on your opponent by continuing to attack even though a powered up Pokemon was KO’d.  Personally, I think that Exp. Share is currently very under used. 

Unfortunately, Field Blower (Guardians Rising) will enter the meta in only a few weeks, and this will significantly impact the strategy of every deck in the format (spoiler alert: I actually have Field Blower rated as my #1 card from Guardians Rising.  People are saying it’s only a one or two of, but I think it’s going to be a four of in the majority of decks).  Exp. Share, like many other tools, is highly susceptible to Field Blower.  We currently live in a meta where tool cards happily sit on a Pokemon forever.  Very few decks run a Pokemon with the ability or attack to remove a tool card.  However, our oblivious, insulated little bubble will burst with Field Blower, and we can only begin to imagine how powerful Lysandre (Ancient Origins, 78/98) becomes in a meta where Float Stones (Breakthrough, 137/162) no longer provide permanent free retreat to the Pokemon they are attached to.  Field Blower will probably reduce the usage of all tool cards, including Exp. Share.


Standard: 3 out of 5


Exp. Share won’t benefit every deck, but in decks that only run basic energy and / or have high energy count attacks, it can greatly aid in your ability to continue attacking your opponent even though an attacking Pokemon gets KO’d.  Unfortunately, I believe that Field Blower will reduce the value of all tool cards, Exp. Share included.

One last thing: why is the Exp. In Exp. Share abbreviated?  I’m assuming it stands for “Experience.”   I’m just wondering why this was abbreviated.  If Battle Compressor Team Flare Gear (Phantom Forces, 92/119

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