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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 15 Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising

#2 - Field Blower
- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
June 1, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.50
Expanded: 4.67
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


aroramage

Field Blower is the new and improved Tool Scrapper of today. Back in the Dragons Exalted set, Tool Scrapper became a useful Tool-disposal card to get rid of things like Float Stone and eventually Muscle Band from Pokemon - notably it got rid of Float Stone from Pokemon like Keldeo-EX and Garbodor (DEX). 

Field Blower improves on Tool Scrapper's utility and thus makes itself far more useful. By playing the card, you can not only get rid of Tools but even Stadium cards, up to 2 cards in total in play. Now you've got the ability to not only get rid of your opponent's Choice Band or Float Stone, but also you can take out their Forest of Giant Plants, Rough Seas, or any of the other Stadium cards that could see play. The Stadium Wars can now be fought with Field Blowers! 

...ain't that weird to see, leaf blowers defeating fields. 

Field Blower's extra utility will undoubtedly make it a bigger part of decks and make Tool Scrapper virtually obsolete in Expanded, and in Standard it'll remain a strong card to counteract some of the more popular Tools and Stadiums that come up over the next couple of years. It's a strong card to be sure, and it'll no doubt see a lot of dominant play over time, though there may be cards like Garbodor that might stifle the amount of Tools - and thus, targets - for Field Blower's effect. 

Rating 

Standard: 4.5/5 (being an Item card right now is alright, all things considered)

Expanded: 5/5 (and having utility makes it a powerful asset to wield) 

Limited: 5/5 (so be sure to keep a couple of these guys handy in your binders!)

Arora Notealus: Field Blower is, similar to Garbodor, a bit of a format-defining card. With Garbodor, people may be incentivized to run less Item cards, and with Field Blower around, they may try to run less Tools overall. Most decks that focus on Stadiums can't really say no to having one, and even if they could, it just gives the player with the Stadium a lot more field presence, thus necessitating the use of Field Blower. It's one of those staple cards that you can't really just get rid of because part of its aspect goes down - even if Tools get weaker due to Garbodor's presence, Stadiums are still a large part of the game, and while Garbodor may mean you're not running a full 4-of playset of Field Blower, you may still have incentive to run at least 1 or 2 against your opponent's Stadiums.  

Next Time: And our #1 card of the set goes out to...another GX? Yet you seem familiar...


21times

Field Blower (Guardians Rising, 125/145) breezes into the meta from the Guardians Rising expansion set.  This item card allows you to discard not one but TWO, yes two, stadiums or tools! 

And there was much rejoicing throughout Alola!  Finally, after more than half a year, tool removal returns to the game!  Woo hoo!

I have mentioned in prior reviews and discussions that, for the last eight months, we have all been living in this wonderful world where if you attach a tool card to a Pokemon, that tool card stays on that Pokemon.  It’s been a blissful happy place filled with Float Stones (Breakthrough, 137/162) and Exp. Shares (Sun & Moon, 118/149), Fighting Fury Belts (Breakpoint, 99/122) and Lucky Helmets (Ancient Origins, 77/98).  It was so great!  You put a tool on a Pokemon and you never have to worry about it going anywhere, it just sticks there forever.  The huge advantage to this is that you can use defensive tools (Lucky Helmet, Assault Vest (Breakthrough, 133/162), Bursting Balloons (Breakpoint, 97/122)) as an integral part of your strategy.  Stick that Fighting Fury Belt on there and your Pokemon will forever have an additional forty HP.

Today, however, that has all changed with the introduction of Field Blower into the meta.  No longer can you simply play down a tool onto a Pokemon and assume that it will reside there until the game has finished.  No, now we have to carefully judge when to put a tool down as well.  For example, in the case of Choice Band (Guardians Rising, 121/145), we have to take special care.  If you put down Choice Band before you intend to use it, you run the risk of wasting it.  For example, a month or so ago, we would get a tool card we liked in our hand and we would instantly play it down on the appropriate Pokemon without a second thought.  Now, we have to judge, “Will I actually be able to attack this turn?  If so, is Choice Band really going to be an asset to me this turn?”  Spirit Links now also fall into this category.  In these cases, it’s better to hold the tool until you really need it because Field Blower might be just around the corner to come along and completely wreck your strategy by knocking it off your active Pokemon.

Which leads me to my larger point – are we really running less tools because of Field Blower?  And how much does Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145) factor into how many tools we use?  I had initially thought that Field Blower would be a four of in every deck, and I still try to put four in every deck I can.  I definitely put four in my Garbodor decks.  If I had the foresight back on May 5th, I would have tracked tool usage since the release of Guardians Rising, but, unfortunately, I failed to have the wisdom to see the value in tracking that.  My feeling is that players are using less tools, but I still have games where I’m knocking off tools and stadiums left and right.  I have no scientific data to provide support to speak to the argument one way or another. 

So as I mentioned, there are a number of tools now that have become obsolete… or risky at best if you choose to employ them:

·         Assault Vest (Breakthrough, 133/162)

·         Bent Spoon (Fates Collide, 93/124)

·         Bursting Balloon (Breakpoint, 97/122)

·         Exp. Share (Sun & Moon, 118/149)

·         Lucky Helmet (Ancient Origins, 77/98)

·         Poison Barb (Sun & Moon, 124/149)

·         Weakness Policy (Primal Clash, 142/160)

If you run any of these tools, you run the risk of having them blown off your Pokemon before having the opportunity to use them.  These defensive tools have undoubtedly seen much less use, and I have stopped using them altogether in my decks.  Well, maybe at some point in the future we’ll have a tool that will prevent our opponent from knocking tools off our Pokemon.

Rating

Standard: 4.5 out of 5

Conclusion

Initially, I had Leaf Blower (again, you know a card is good when it gets a nickname) as my best card in the set, but now, especially as tools will probably see decreased use (especially with the dominance of Garbodor), I’ve dropped it just a little.  It’s still at least a two of in just about every deck and could be a four of in many others.  If we only had 62 cards instead of sixty…


Otaku

The number two ranked card from the latest expansion is Field Blower (SM: Guardians Rising 125/145, 163/145).  I’ve been having a fun time defending its placement, both to others and myself, and now it is time to do the same for everyone. 

To begin with, Field Blower is a Trainer, specifically an Item.  Its effect is that you may discard up to two Tools or Stadium cards or one of each that is in play.  The discarded cards may belong to either player.  You have options with this card: if you need to discard less than two cards, you may discard only one.  You can hit your own side of the field as well, for less common plays like ditching your own Spirit Link card to make room for a Choice Band.  If we ever get a way to have two Stadium cards in play at the same time, this card is even future friendly.  For a moment though, let us consider the past: Field Blower is nearly a reprint an older card named Windstorm (EX: Crystal Guardians 85/100).  Not an actual reprint, because the names are clearly different: the only other differences are minor. Items didn’t exist at the time, so Windstorm released as a “normal Trainer”, but retroactively it was classified as such once the concept was introduced to the TCG, just like all other “normal Trainers” from back in the day.  Even the effect text is almost 100% identical, with the one difference being in the parenthetical phrase: “yours or your opponent’s” versus “both yours and your opponent’s” but they actually mean the same thing.  Windstorm was reviewed once by the CotD crew, here: I didn’t review it at the time, but I came to loathe the card.  Why?  You have an Item card that can discard up to two cards from play, a two-for-one advantage only requiring skill to optimize it, not to utilize it.   

The lack of a truly effective means of discarding an opponent’s Pokémon Tools shaped this format.  Tools could be counted on to remain in play against most decks, and the “Garbotoxin” Ability found on Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122) steered people away from running certain decks, because eventually you were almost guaranteed to run into Garbodor in competitive play.  Now we have an answer to Garbodor shutting down Abilities, to Exp. Share safely sucking Energy onto Benched Pokémon, to Fighting Fury Belt allowing Basic Pokémon to stick around.  Well, technically we had all of this before, but it was not effective.  You had to use certain Pokémon attacks, or even Rattata (XY: Evolutions 66/108) if you could manage the timing (against Garbodor you usually couldn’t).  So I have to be thrilled that not only do we have an answer to these problems, but it also helps you deal with an opponent’s Stadium?  Nope. 

There are a couple ways to approach this, but the short version is that Field Blower is too good.  It won’t seem “broken” given the insanity already gripping the metagame, but it is a long way from what I would call “balanced”.  How so?  First, Tool cards can only be played if there is a compatible Pokémon in play that doesn’t already have all of its “Tool slots” filled.  Second, if that Pokémon is bounced, KO’d, etc. then the Tool either goes with it or into the discard pile.  Third, many existing Tools have effects that, even if technically always Active, don’t really matter until certain conditions are met.  We know from past multiple Tool discarding effects like Startling Megaphone, Tool Scrapper, and ol’ Windstorm that introducing this kind of effect rewards certain Tools that didn’t need the help.  What do I mean?  Those that tap into the frenetic pace of the game and can be played in a manner so as to provide a more or less instant return.  This can be attaching Float Stone on your Active (or combo piece like Keldeo-EX) only when you’re going to make use of the zeroed out Retreat Cost this very turn.  It also looks like when you don’t attach Choice Band until you’re going to attack and the +30 damage will matter.  Even Spirit Link cards are going to be attached only the moment before Mega Evolution.  Stuff like Exp. Share?  Poison Barb?  Half the effect of Fighting Fury Belt?  If your opponent even discards one of them they get a solid 1-1 trade of an easy to use resource versus a less easy to utilize resource.  If you dare put two Tools into play you can’t cash in on ASAP, it becomes a serious advantage for an opponent if they can pop off Field Blower; a painless two-for-one.  Even when it comes to stuff you did already make use of, you won’t have gotten the full value; if you don’t plan on using the effect of Float Stone more than once, you’d probably have run Switch instead. 

Wait, there’s more!  Now we get to the Stadium affecting effect.  Stadium cards are a once-per-turn play.  Part of their value comes from your own Stadium card being the easiest, most cost-effective way of discarding your opponent’s Stadium card.  Like Tools, some Stadium cards carry an instant benefit, while others take some time or certain conditions to do their thing.  Unlike Tools, Stadiums affect both players; most apply the same effect to both sides of the field, rewarding a player for having a compatible deck.  Two-sided Stadium cards apply different effects to each side of the field, but still can’t be replaced by a Stadium with the same name, even if you want to switch the effects.  Decks that don’t want to run a Stadium (or for some reason can’t) have two other Trainer-based options.  The Pokémon which discard Stadium cards haven’t proven remotely effective in Expanded or Standard play, so we won’t worry about them.  So back to the Trainers, Delinquent is a Supporter that discards a Stadium from the field, then forces your opponent to discard three cards from hand.  Paint Roller is an Item that discards the Stadium in play and then allows you to draw one card.  Your Supporter for the turn is usually worth a lot to you, which would put Delinquent at a Disadvantage versus Paint Roller being an easily spammed Item, except Paint Roller is not easy to spam.  Discarding three cards from your opponent’s hand can be worth discarding even an otherwise helpful Stadium, even playing from from your hand just to use Delinquent; rarely will that be the case with Paint Roller.  While Item lock is also a factor, that ended up applying to Delinquent as well due to Battle Compressor and VS Seeker being natural partners for it.  Now it has Tapu Lele-GX and “Wonder Tag” for combo purposes.  Still, if you needed an Item to deal with Stadium cards, we have one, it just wasn’t as beneficial as Delinquent or simply playing down your own Stadium in most decks. 

We didn’t need an easier method to deal with Stadium cards.  Most decks don’t run a lot of Stadium cards.  Even decks that need to run heavy on Stadium cards, running multiple different Stadiums, tend to max out at a very rare eight.  Usually, it is more like six, with typical decks running two to four Stadium cards (even when running different Stadiums together).  Using a Stadium to discard another Stadium very balanced, and only really caused issues when something like Giratina-EX (XY: Ancient Origins 57/98, 93/98) could use its “Chaos Wheel” attack to prevent it and because of other aspects of the metagame.  Tools also aren’t heavily played except for oddities like the “Tool Drop” deck built around Trubbish (BW: Plasma Storm 65/135) and its attack of the same name.  While having fewer targets in the typical deck does mean Field Blower is less useful, it that isn’t enough to balance it out, just to keep it from being worth maxing out in most decks.  We’ll probably see the usual cyclical pattern: Tool/Stadium usage will wax and wane one step ahead of Field Blower usage for the general metagame, with the best players being in sync with these changes and the worst one’s being totally out of step.  Stadium cards will also suffer the same shift to “active” instead of “reactive” effects, but with more exceptions. 

To give you an idea, Altar of the Sunne removes the Weaknesses from your Fire- and Metal-Type Pokémon.  Without some zany combo that (I think) requires cards from Unlimited, you won’t be able to cash in on that effect during your own turn, and if you are really counting on it against your opponent, odds are he or she will save back his or her copies of Field Blower to make sure Altar of the Sunne isn’t actually in play to protect your Pokémon.  Scorched Earth allows you to discard a Fire Energy card or Fighting Energy card from hand in order to draw two cards from your deck; in the right build, both the cost and the effect are benefits.  Barring some bad luck, you should be able to use this effect at least once, right away, even if your opponent uses Field Blower.  For the oddballs, we first we have Dimension Valley, which shaves [C] off the Energy costs of the attacks on Psychic Type Pokémon.  While this is something with an ongoing, always working effect, it only really matters on your turn.  Except decks are usually built around it, so they do not want to see it discarded, often maxing it out and running something like Puzzle of Time to reclaim discarded copies.  I’m drawing a blank on a purely “reactive” Stadium that won’t suffer from Field Blower, but there is are some oddballs that kind of fall in between. 

Parallel City is one such oddball.  One side has an effect that reduces the damage done by that player’s Fire-, Grass-, or Water-Type Pokémon, while the other caps that player’s Bench-size at three (if the player has more than three Pokémon on the Bench, he or she chooses which ones to discard).  This effect remains active as long as Parallel City is in play, so shouldn’t it be a lot weaker now that there is another way to easily discard it?  Not really; while decks that need a large Bench are happy they can build or rebuild after discarding Parallel City, turns out that is only part of the story.  If it is indeed rebuilding, they are still out any Pokémon they had to discard when Parallel City first hit the field.  Some folks like to use the shrinking effect on their own Bench to discard cards like Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108); discarding Parallel City afterward allows them to put more useful Pokémon back down.  Finally, as a two-sided Stadium, if the “wrong” side is facing you, you may wish to discard it so that you can play your own copy facing the opposite direction.  All in all, Field Blower is a net gain for such cards. 

Field Blower is going to be run in Standard, and probably in Expanded.  Using it well will mean reading the metagame, knowing when to raise or lower your count, and knowing when it is best to use it.  Minimizing the damage done is about shifting your deck to Stadium cards and/or Tools you may make use of immediately, and avoiding having two out at once (if possible).  Some strategies are just no longer viable in the face of it, though this probably only applies to Standard as there are already three Tool discarding Trainer cards in Expanded: Startling Megaphone, Tool Scrapper, and Xerosic.  You’ll need to pay extra close attention to the Expanded metagame, as instead of needing more or less Field Blower, you may need to swap some or all of them out for one of those three.  Except for Tool Scrapper; Field Blower does everything it can and more.  The elephant in the room is actually a large pile of trash: what about Garbodor (SM: Guardians Rising 51/145)?  Field Blower can be a risk because it feeds the damage of that card, but as usual, it is total Item usage versus the HP/strategy of your deck that really matters.  Plus, Garbodor itself likes Field Blower because discarding your opponent’s Tools from the field feeds its “Trashalanche” attack.  If Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) decks make a comeback, or we are dealing with other Ability based Item lock (which may apply in Expanded as well), then Field Blower may actually be more useful than it looks; Garbodor (XY: BREAKpoint 57/122) is still a thing, and Field Blower is your best bet in Standard for discarding the Tool it needs to activate its “Garbotoxin” Ability.  In Limited play, your opponent is less likely to have Tools and/or Stadium cards, even less likely to have ones that really matter, but you also are less likely to have another means of dealing with them.  In the end, that still leaves Field Blower a valuable inclusion. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4.5/5 

Expanded: 4.25/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Conclusion 

Field Blower is the kind of card that matters even if you don’t play it, but odds are you’re trying to include at least one copy for those matchups where having it is crucial.  Whether we end up in a kind of cycle or usage stays steady at about one per deck, it matters.  Get an entire playset just in case you’d actually need them.  It scores lower in Expanded because you basically are choosing which of the current Tool removal to replace, and some decks can justify the risk of going without any of these four.  Something I failed to work in above, remember that cards like Head Ringer and Spirit Links give you even more reason to discard Tools from your own cards. 

Overall, Field Blower received 55 voting points, edging out Garbodor by just one voting point and missing a tie with our first place pick by two.  For my own list, Field Blower was my number one pick.  I no longer think it is the number one card from this set; that goes to tomorrow’s CotD.  I think Field Blower is of similar significance to Garbodor, so I am okay with either being second and third.  If I am going to choose between them, I’d say the long-term favors Field Blower.  Lately, single-Prize glass cannons seem to be popping up every few sets.  Tool discarding Trainers?  We went without from the past rotation until now in Standard, and Expanded has only three others.  What is more, the oldest of those only finally lost all relevance thanks to Field Blower, enjoying nearly a five-year lifespan, and nearly two years without competition in Standard play.


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