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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 15 Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

#5 - Aqua Patch
- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
May 30, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.83
Expanded: 4.25
Limited: 4.75

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Here is probably one of the most talked about Items as of late, Aqua Patch - doing for Water decks what Dark Patch does for Dark decks. 

The effect is pretty much the same, attach a Water Energy from your discard to a Benched Water Pokemon and all that jazz. It's gonna be an easy four-of staple in most Water decks that have access to some kind of discard, and even in the ones with less, it'll be useful as a means of acting like an Exp Share without taking up a Tool slot for your Benched folk. It's versatile, easy to access, and a great addition to any Water deck. 

However, it does have its weaknesses. Being an Item means it's going to suffer against Vileplume decks, especially those running around with Trevenant who can use Poltergeist to benefit from your wielding such Patches in hand. Furthermore, the card is reliant on there being Energy in the discard pile, and there aren't too many ways aside from Sycamore to get a lot of Energy in the discard for most Water decks. Thankfully, there's also Palkia-EX (BKT) for the time being, so with the right set-up, you can bet that Water Toolbox decks in Standard are going to be showing up in greater numbers. 

...though they might be aiming to run less Grass-Weak Water-Types, all things considered. It's not going to come that easily for a victory. 


Standard: 4.5/5 (this card's going to be run in every Water deck for sure) 

Expanded: 4.5/5 (but depending on the format or what's available, the deck itself might only be so good) 

Limited: 5/5 (if you run Water though, you run this card) 

Arora Notealus: Aqua Patch is a welcome addition to the game, and it'd be nice to see other Patches for other Types start to come out in turn. I can see a Grass Patch, a Flame Patch, maybe a Dirt Patch or Mystic Patch come out as well. It's one of those cards that's a necessity for many decks, and it does nothing but boost them up...well, mostly boost your deck up. 

Next Time: Another powerful Item to wield in most any deck!


Aqua Patch (Guardians Rising, 119/145) debuts in the Guardians Rising expansion set.  This item allows you to attach a Water energy card to one of your benched Water Pokemon.  Natually, all of the water box lovers out there have gone off the deep end for this card, and with good reason.  Many Water Pokemon have extremely high attack costs, and many of the costs involve multiple Water energy attachments, not just multiple Colorless energies.

This card makes Water Pokemon decks better, no doubt about it.  Water Pokemon, however, have the current misfortune of living in the golden era of Grass decks.  Let’s face it: Grass decks will never again be as good as they are right now.  Forest of Giant Plants (Ancient Origins, 74/98) raises Grass decks up to a level of dominance above every other type, especially Water as many Water Pokemon have Grass weakness.  Go look at all the top eight finishes for all of the Standard tournaments since Sun & Moon.  Now, I’ll give you that Lapras GX (Sun & Moon, 139/149) won Roanoke – peace, you’ve got no argument there.  But go count how many Water decks got top eight finishes since February.  It won’t take you many fingers; in fact, it won’t take you any at all.  In the six tournaments since SUM, except for Lapras GX at Roanoke, no Water deck has placed in the top eight.  Grass has had eighteen decks place in the top eight, an average of three per tournament.

In my own experience against Lapras GX, one of the most popular Water Pokemon currently in the meta, I have gone 33-34 against it since SUM.  However, if you take out the matches where I am playing decks that are built around less competitive Pokemon that I am running for the sole purpose of my reviews here at Pojo.com, the number becomes MUCH more lopsided.  Against decks that I would deem good to top tier decks, I beat Lapras GX about two out of every three times.  Manaphy EX (Breakpoint, 116/122), the staple of all water box decks?  I’m 15-8 against it this month. 

Look, it’s not that I don’t like Water Pokemon – I loved Greninja Break (Breakpoint, 41/122) back in January when at one point I was winning more than 80% of the matches that I started with Talonflame (Steam Siege, 96/114).  I don’t care what type a Pokemon is.  I don’t have a favorite type, or Pokemon that I particularly care for more than others.  I’m all about putting together winning decks irrelevant of what type or stage or classification.  It’s just that when you’re weak to the best type in the format, it’s going to be tough to put together a competitive deck.


Standard: 3 out of 5


Aqua Patch is a four of in Water decks.  I’m not even going to begin to argue against that.  When I run Water Pokemon, I include it as a four of.  I only gave it a three out of five and ranked it at number eleven on my list because it only benefits Water Pokemon.  If it let you attach Water energy to any benched Pokemon and not just Water Pokemon, it’d be five out of five and hands down the most broken card in the set.  Unfortunately, Water decks need more than just Aqua Patch to help them catch up to Grass Pokemon.  Rotation comes in just barely three months though – it’ll be here before you know it.  Then all you water box guys can have your revenge on all the Grass Pokemon… except that without FoGP nobody will be playing Grass anymore.

One last post script: I doubt this is very practical, but if you play Vaporeon (Ancient Origins, 22/98) then I’m pretty sure you could tech in some Aqua Patches if you have Stage 1 Pokemon as your attackers.  I don’t know how well that might work in reality, but it’s something to consider.


At last, we come to the Top 5 cards of SM: Guardians Rising.  We spent the last two weeks counting down from 15th place until now.  If you’re just joining us, we decided upon this list by combining individual Top 15+ lists from the CotD crew.  Reprints were excluded, as we already know those cards are good, and if they have an impact, it will only be by increasing the card supply or (in the future) affecting rotation. 

Aquabox.  Bluebox.  Waterbox.  Different names for the same deck, one focused on a collection of Water-Types, capitalizing upon their useful base of support.  There are also other Water-Type decks, and they also care about today’s subject: Aqua Patch (SM: Guardians Rising 119/145; 161/145).  It is an Item that allows you to attach a [W] Energy card from your discard pile to one of your Benched [W] Pokémon.  This is almost the exact same effect seen on the vaunted Dark Patch; besides swapping out [D] symbols with [W] symbols, it specified “...basic [D] Energy card…” but as only basic Water Energy cards count as [W] while in the discard pile, the difference is negligible.  This makes these decks both faster and more reliable, as not only do you access the Energy more quickly, there isn’t the luck factor of Max Elixir and you’re reusing Energy from the discard pile.  Yes, you’ll need to get Water Energy cards into your discard pile, but that is pretty easy given cards like Professor Sycamore and Ultra Ball.  Yes, you’ll need a way to promote whatever you power-up, but there are various Abilities and Trainer effects to help with that.  You may even just handle it by using your manual Retreat Cost if things work out.  The real concern here is Item lock, mostly from Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98), and feeding the “Trashalanche” attack found on Garbodor (SM: Guardians Rising 51/145).  The former leaves Aqua Patch dead in hand, possibly before you even get a chance to use it.  The latter hits harder the more Item cards you (not the player running Garbodor) have in your discard pile, with each allowing it to do another 20 damage. 

The Water-Type has the card pool to make Aqua Patch a phenomenal play, and thanks to the history of Dark Patch, we already know how to use it in general.  Are Vileplume and Garbodor really so strong that Aqua Patch isn’t higher?  Again I have to say “Yes” with the the bold font for emphasis, as well as “but” because there is a little more to it.  Garbodor appears to already be supplanting Decidueye-GX/Vileplume as the deck to beat, but besides that, this set happens to contains four cards that are just that much more important.  All should be obvious, but if you need a hint, I’ve brought up one of them several times in this review and the others are going to all competitive decks either directly (being used by a particular deck) or indirectly (because of the other decks using them).  From now on, Water focused decks are going to be even faster in both Standard and Expanded play.  Max Elixir may fall out of favor.  Palkia-EX (XY: BREAKpoint 31/122) is both enhanced and reduced by Aqua Patch; a slow deck may use Aqua Patch to swiftly ready it, then build on the Bench.  Most will probably just shift to Aqua Patch, either dropping Palkia-EX or saving it for things like Item Lock.  Alolan Ninetales-GX, Lapras-GX, Seismitoad-EX, and several others all become at least a little bit better, and Vaporeon (XY: Ancient Origins 22/98) means we might need to reexamine all our Stage 1 cards, as its “Aqua Effect” Ability allows any of them to potentially capitalize upon Aqua Patch.  If you pull this in Limited, the only reason to skip it is that your deck won’t have a Bench e.g. you pulled something worth running solo or because you didn’t get even mediocre Water Types or both. 


Standard: 4/5 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 


Apparently, the powers-that-be didn’t learn the lesson I’d hope from formats past.  Or even present.  Item-based Energy acceleration is good, even in a format that punishes Item usage.  This card would have scored much higher without such factors, as well as if it weren’t tied into a specific Pokémon and Energy Type.  Almost a literal staple for Water-Type decks from here on out, Aqua Patch adds speed and reliability to multiple Water Type decks. 

Aqua Patch beat out last Friday's 6th place Sylveon-GX by eight voting points.  It also tied tomorrow’s 4th place finisher.  Both Aqua Patch and tomorrow’s card appeared on all the lists I received for calculating the site’s Top 15, so in the end, the deciding factor was a roll-off.  Aqua Patch was my personal 4th place pick but I was wrong.  In the time since submitting my list, my personal 5th place pick has proven much more important than Aqua Patch.

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