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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 15 Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

#4 - Choice Band
- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
May 30, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.30
Expanded: 4.13
Limited: 4.50

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Remember how dominant Muscle Band was when it first came out? A card that just added a flat 20 damage to every attack? And you could put it on anyone? It's arguably one of, if not the best Tool cards ever printed. 

Choice Band is similar in its damage-boosting powers, putting it in the iterations of damage-boosting Items like Muscle Band and Fighting Fury Belt. The good news is that this boost goes up to 30 damage, but the catch is that it only affects Pokemon-GX...or EX? Oooooh, that's a great bit of text to add! 

Choice Band is a great damage booster in many decks and can hit the Pokemon with the highest HP even harder, tilting things in its favor more! You can use it with Turtonator-GX's Shell Trap to threaten for 50 damage and protect yourself with another 80 if they attack, or you can boost up Lycanroc-GX or Sylveon-GX's vanilla 3-for-110 moves so they hit for 140, threatening the 2HKO on most GX/EX save for the Stage 2 GX and Wailord-EX. Even Trevenant can effectively count another "Trainer" in its Poltergeist attack, making OHKO ranges much easier to manage! 

Of course, Choice Band won't work against everything - like the aforementioned Trevenant from this set, or the infamous BREAK Evolutions that came out in previous sets. It also doesn't affect smaller Pokemon like Volcanion (STS) or Garbodor (BKT), so its primary use is boosting against the EX/GX threats of the format. It's a powerful card, but against non-EX/GX, it's practically a non-issue, and in Expanded that may mean it's a shifting card that works to compete against the default Muscle Band for attention. 

It may not appear in as many decks generally if GX aren't going to be a defining issue in Standard, but whenever EX/GX are present, you can bet Choice Band will be there to sort things out and even the playing field! 


Standard: 4.5/5 (it's the primary means of damage-dealing against a lot of big Pokemon) 

Expanded: 4/5 (it does fall short of Muscle Band's utility though) 

Limited: 4/5 (and it only works against certain Pokemon, so be wary against others) 

Arora Notealus: Choice Band will probably appear in many decks to combat ongoing GX Pokemon, and it's a great Tool to have in that aspect. That being said, it shouldn't be considered a must-run - if anything, it's dependent on what's competitive at the time, so again, keep an eye on the ever-shifting metagame so you know what you're dealing with and can figure if you need Choice Band or another card - it's your choice, after all! 

Next Time: Speaking of Garbodor...


Choice Band (Guardians Rising, 121/145) originates in the new Guardians Rising expansion set.  It allows the Pokemon attached to it to do an additional thirty damage if attacking an EX or GX Pokemon.   Finally, a little bit of help against GX Pokemon who have had absolutely nothing to reign them in for the first three months of their existence.

However, Choice Band’s effectiveness has been tempered by the inclusion of Field Blower (Guardians Rising, 125/145), just four cards after it in the same expansion set.  Field Blower will remove Choice Band from the Pokemon and cast it down into the discard pile.  Therefore, if you choose to play Choice Band, you should assume that it will only get one use out of it before your opponent knocks it off you.  So should you even make room in your deck to play it?

Several factors affect that decision:

·         Since Guardians Rising came out, decks I have faced have had at least one EX or GX Pokemon in 247 out of 310 matches.  That means that in 80% of the matches I play, I face a deck that has at least one EX or GX Pokemon.  80% is such a significant number that that statistic alone makes it difficult to justify NOT running Choice Band.

·         Another factor depends on the amount of damage your primary attacker does on its main attack.  For instance, if your main attack does 100 or maybe 110 damage, you will probably want to include Choice Band in order to avoid having to three shot Pokemon with 210 HP or more.  However, if your primary attacker does 120, 130, or 140 damage, you might not want to include Choice Band as it falls in this narrow gap where you’re not doing enough damage to one shot basic EX and GX Pokemon with Choice Band, but you do enough to two shot the very high (240 or 250 HP) Stage 2 Pokemon GXs without Choice Band.  And then if you’re doing 150 or 160 damage or more, you’ll probably want to include it again because now you’re in the territory where you can one shot basic EX’s and GX’s.

·         How scared of Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145) are you?  I lovingly refer to Field Blower as Trashalanche fuel.  If you are already running a ton of items, meh, what’s a couple more?  Really, if you have a Pokemon with, say, 130 HP, who cares if Garb does 130 or 230 or 330 damage?  Honestly, if I’m running a single prize Pokemon deck, I just use my items normally.  Chances are, if your running a single prize Pokemon deck, then you know your active’s probably going to get KO’d frequently, and you’ve accounted for that in your strategy.  If you’re running a two prize Pokemon deck, you probably have more HP (maybe even up to 250 HP), so you know you can use ten or maybe even twelve items and Garb still isn’t one shotting you.  Some decks also can get by with less item cards, so those might be the ones to be more inclined to include Choice Band.

·         How many Field Blowers do you think your opponent is running?  When I first learned of Field Blower, my second reaction (shortly after singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah) was: it’s got to be a four of in every deck!  I lost a bet on that, though, and it seems that most players are running only one or two copies.  I try to run four Field Blowers in all of my decks, but it just doesn’t always happen.  In every deck that doesn’t have four, though, I always wish I had more.  However, I have little doubt that you can out tool your opponent, though, since they’re probably only running two, and, because they’re carrying a limited number of Field Blowers, they’re not always going to get it when they need it.  When I run four, I don’t always get it when I need it, and sometimes I have to Professor Sycamore (Steam Siege, 114/114) or Ultra Ball (Sun & Moon, 135/149) it away early.  In short, chances are your opponent won’t be able to knock off all of your Choice Bands.


Standard: 4 out of 5


Choice Band can definitely help the right deck.  Thirty extra damage might push you into OHKO or two shot range, even if you do only get to use it once.  There are good reasons not to use it, though, and it doesn’t do anything for non-EX or non-GX Pokemon, and that’s why I only gave it a four out of five.  Still, a card that’s going to help you win the game 80% of the time is a very valuable card and should be included as a multiple in most decks.


Just missing the Top 3 of our countdown is our fourth place finisher, Choice Band (SM: Guardians Rising 121/145).  This is a new Pokémon Tool, making it fairly easy to play; just have a Pokémon with an open Tool slot.  Well, you do have to worry about Item lock like Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) or feeding the damage output of Garbodor (SM: Guardians Rising 51/145).  So, why risk such counters?  Choice Band causes the attacks of the Pokémon to which it is attached to do 30 extra damage when used against Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX.  This happens before Weakness/Resistance are applied, so the bonus is effectively doubled against Weakness and more than cancels out Resistance.  The attack also needs to do damage in the first place; it won’t help a non-damaging attack at all.  This card is basically the powered-up update of Silver Bangle, a card that granted +30 damage when the Pokémon to which it is attached do an extra 30 damage when attacking Pokémon-EX.  The big difference?  While Silver Bangle didn’t cover the previous Pokémon gimmick, it released long after they had left Standard play it didn’t matter.  No, the big difference is that Silver Bangle also stated that its damage-boosting effect didn’t work if it was attached to a Pokémon-EX. 


CHOICE BAND WORKS FOR EVERYTHING!  Well, like I said, not something that can’t do damage in the first place, and there might be some other exceptions I can’t remember, but all those Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX attacks that were falling short against fellow Pokémon-EX and/or Pokémon-GX?  We have a way to close the gap!  It was already going to be an impressive card before that, especially in Standard where we lack Muscle Band, but now?  The only decks that won’t use this are ones that need the Tool slot for something else or that hit damage numbers unlikely to benefit from +30.  Besides some of the attacks that hit crazy hard already, remember that increases in damage usually only matter if it alters how quickly you score a KO.  If you attacker is going to score a 2HKO with or without Choice Band, it isn’t really helping you.  Basic Pokémon may also prefer Fighting Fury Belt, as it still grants +10 damage but also +40 HP to the Pokémon equipped with it.  In Expanded play, Muscle Band is still an option, so you can do +20 against everything instead of +30 against the targets you’ll most likely need to hit harder.  Again, look at the numbers you’re hitting; sometimes Muscle Band will be better, but sometimes Choice Band will be better.  Expect this to show up, in multiples, in most Standard and Expanded decks.  Count yourself lucky if you pull it at a Limited Format event. 


Standard: 4.35/5 

Expanded: 4.25/5 

Limited: 5/5 


Hitting harder is usually a great thing, and Choice Band is no exception.  It can be attached to anything and decreases or even exceeds the HP bonus enjoyed by some Pokémon-EX/Pokémon-GX over their regular counterparts. 

Choice Band tied with yesterday’s Aqua Patch but missed tying tomorrow’s 3rd place pick eight voting points.  I am glad it won the tie with Aqua Patch, which was determined by dice off.  I rolled a d6 for each card.  Aqua Patch got a “4”, but Choice Band got a “6”.  For my personal Top 10, Choice Band ranked 3rd, but with what we’ve seen since I created that list I can accept a 4th place finish.   The final thought I want to leave you with is that if Choice Band had released as part of Sun & Moon, it probably would have ranked higher, maybe even taken 1st place.

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