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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

Starmie BREAK - Evolutions
Date Reviewed: May 10, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary
Standard: 1.17    Expanded: 1.25      Limited: 1.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Hey, if a person came up to you and asked if you'd like a card that did 100 damage to multiple Pokemon for only 1 Energy, what would your reaction be? 

Something along the lines of either, "DANG I'M SOLD, GIMME!!" or "What's the catch?" 

If you asked the question, of course, you'd find this hypothetical person trying to give you a Starmie BREAK, and that's exactly the attack it's got. Break Star costs 1 Energy and deals 100 damage to multiple Pokemon...buuuuuuut there is a catch. It only deals that damage specifically to one group of Pokemon: BREAK Evolutions. Not Pokemon-EX, not Pokemon-GX, not Pokemon with Abilities, not Pokemon with two Types, not Pokemon of a specific Type, not even just Pokemon that Evolve or Basics - BREAK Evolutions. 

And that trend is clearly a dying one, which leaves Starmie BREAK in a rough spot. Why bother with it when its only attack affects only a niche part of the game? It's a shame it got printed out at the end of the BREAK Evolution life cycle. 


Standard: 1/5 (unless your plan is to use Starmie BREAK to get rid of Trevenant BREAK or Greninja BREAK over the course of a couple of turns...) 

Expanded: 1/5 (...it ain't happening.) 

Limited: 1.5/5 (never mind that Starmie BREAK would be dead in the water the other 95% of the time) 

Arora Notealus:...heh, dead in the water. For a Water Pokemon...I wonder if that's how Jellicent form? But I digress: Starmie BREAK could've been a momentous card if the BREAK Evolution mechanic was better supported and kept coming out the way Pokemon-EX did. But since it looks like they've decided to halt the BREAK Evolution in favor of Pokemon-GX, I guess we'll never really know how good Starmie BREAK could've been. 

Next Time: Time to switch it up to some kind of throwback!


Starmie Break (Evolutions, 32/108) floated into the meta from the Evolutions expansion set.  Like most of the other cards out of this set, it seemed like it would not see a lot of play because it filled more of a niche role in that it would dominate Break Pokemon but would have no worth against anything else.  Starmie Break’s attack Break Star does (for a single water energy) 100 damage to each of your opponent’s Break evolution Pokemon.  This Pokemon just never saw much play, and now that Break Pokemon have all but vanished from the current game, it definitely will never see any use now.  Its Stage 1 prior evolution of Starmie (Evolutions, 31/108) saw some limited use because of its ability Space Beacon, but the Break evolution just never really caught on. 

And I did not bother trying to put a deck together featuring Starmie Break either.  What I will do, though, is give you my top ten list of the BEST Break Pokemon:

1.    Greninja Break (Breakpoint, 41/122) – I’ve seen Greninja rematches vs. M Audino (Fates Collide, 85/124) and Greninja wins

2.    Trevenant Break (Breakpoint, 66/122) – Still a BDIF in expanded

3.    Xerneas Break (Steam Siege, 82/114) – Can hit for a ton of damage and is essentially a Stage 1 Pokemon

4.    Yanmega Break (Steam Siege, 8/114) – Senior division champion last year

5.    Zoroark Break (Breakthrough, 92/162) – Still may have a place in the meta as you can use Foul Play to steal your opponent’s GX attack for only a single energy

6.    Carbink Break (Fates Collide, 51/124) – Used currently as a complement to many Fighting decks

7.    Raticate Break (Breakpoint, 89/122) – Very trolly and presents a tremendous mismatch against EX and GX decks

8.    Omastar Break (Fates Collide, 19/124) – Never got the play it deserved because it was so hard to get into play but its ability is without par.  If this weren’t on a fossil Pokemon, it might well be number one on the list

9.    Delphox Break (Fates Collide, 14/124) – Maybe the hardest hitting Pokemon in the game, it had the misfortune of being a Stage 3 Pokemon in an era of fast big basics

10.  Golduck Break (Breakpoint, 18/122) – Unfortunately, there was no good Golduck to accompany it

Hope you enjoyed the list – and in a normal, four set rotation all of these Pokemon will still remain Standard legal, so some of them might return to prominence in September (I’m looking at you, Blue Frog!).


Standard: 1 out of 5


Starmie Break didn’t even make my list of top ten Break Pokemon.  It never saw play six months ago when Greninja Break and Yanmega Break turned up in every other match on PTCGO.  Today, you just wouldn’t put it into a deck, even if you did tech in Starmie.


Starmie BREAK (XY: Evolutions 32/108) is the final BREAK Evolution left to review.  Unless I missed one (hey, it happens).  As the BREAK Evolution of a Stage 1, Starmie BREAK comes with almost all of the baggage of a Stage 2 but none of the (few) perks.  Being a Water Type is pretty good right now; some Fighting and nearly all Fire Types are Water Weak, with Volcanion-EX decks making that relevant to the competitive scene, SM: Guardians Rising is about to add to their growing pool of Type support, and they’ve already got a nice, deep Bench of handy attackers, Bench-sitters, etc.  Even though some of those work well off-Type, most work best when used with their peers.  There are a few anti-Water effects, but the only one I recall seeing often is Parallel City… and that’s because the other side of that Stadium has a highly coveted Bench-shrinking effect.  Starmie BREAK has 130 HP, which is a bit low for a pseudo-Stage 2; you’re not so fragile that you’re an easy OHKO, but thanks to the need to tackle 250 HP Pokémon-GX, 130 seems to be the new “magic number” for 2HKO’s.  Starmie BREAK will gain the Ability (if present), attack (or attacks), Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost of the Starmie from which it Evolves, so we’ll cover the last thing it brings to the table, the attack “Break Star”. 

This attack costs [W] and does 100 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokémon BREAK.  Much like Type-specific counters, Stage specific counters are only useful when that particular subject is seeing heavy competitive play.  Even then, BREAK Star has an issue; if you can stagger your BREAK Evolutions, having just one actual BREAK Evolution in play while everything else is waiting to Evolve, BREAK Star becomes an “okay” attack (100 damage for one Energy is still very good).  There is also a matter of the specific amount of damage; as time is fleeting, I cannot double check, but I do not recall any BREAK Evolution with 100 HP.  I definitely remember those with as little as 130 HP, but unless you are attacking a Water Weak Active, you won’t be scoring a OHKO in Standard.  In Expanded, where it is easier to OHKO something, there Break Star could OHKO some of the smaller BREAK Evolutions, but with combos that work with almost anything.  There is also the matter of the BREAK Evolution mechanic having been yet another “gimmick” in the TCG; a mechanic that exists for a few set and then goes by the wayside.  Sure, we still have several existing BREAK Evolutions, but they are a very small minority compared to most other Stages and as more sets release, power creep and the growing card pool will make them less and less relevant.  Put it all together, and this is a nice niche attack, but you’ll need a really good Starmie to justify running Starmie BREAK. 

We actually have a Starmie that is almost there, XY: Evolutions 31/108.  It is a Water Type Stage 1 sometimes used for its Ability “Space Beacon”, which allows you to discard a card from hand to add two basic Energy cards from your discard pile to your hand.  We reviewed it here, and while I’m still unable to confirm or deny its usefulness (though I mostly lean towards “deny”).  None of the Staryu stand out either, as they focus on doing a quick bit of damage, but not enough to justify attacking with an easily OHKO’d Evolving Basic.  In the end, you might rarely consider slipping this into a deck that wants to use Starmie (XY: Evolutions 31/108), because with its Ability, adding in a single basic Water Energy (if needed) will enable to you use Break Star for those odd moments when it is worthwhile.  You would probably have space for it in Limited, as well, and so could risk it. 


Standard: 1.5/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 2/5 


A pseudo-Stage 2 counter for BREAK Evolutions is almost never worth the deck space.  Almost.

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