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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Throwback Thursday

Scramble Energy

Date Reviewed:
Sept. 14, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Ratings Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


In lieu of a card that was announced for...not the next mini-set but the next BIG set, we're looking at a similar card called Scramble Energy! 

Basically Scramble Energy only gets attached to Evolved Pokemon, and it only provides 1 Colorless Energy. But on the chance that you have more Prizes left than your opponent, it'll instead apply 3 of ANY Energy you'd like to that Pokemon. That's pretty intense! 

The upcoming "Counter Energy" works the same way, just that you can attach it to anything and it applies 2 of any Energy while you have more Prizes left. I can't speak for how impactful Scramble Energy might have been, but considering it could provide 3 of any Energy at all? I'm sure it was very very useful. 


Standard: N/A (even on just Evolved Pokemon, 3 Energy is great) 

Expanded: N/A (it wouldn't be useful on most EX though) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (but for GX? there are a few good candidates) 

Arora Notealus: It oughta be interesting to see Counter Energy's impact on the game. It might be a "catch-up" card, but it's also a great means of Energy acceleration in a single card. Imagine being able to power up things that much faster - if Scramble Energy was around, most GX could get their strongest attacks with ease! Though you do have to have MORE Prizes left than your opponent. 

Next Time: Shiny shiny rocks!


Today’s Throwback Thursdays is Scramble Energy (EX Deoxys, EX Dragon Frontiers, Pokemon Organized Play Series 4).  It was reviewed by the crew on March 11, 2005.  There’s a lot of effect text, so to pinpoint the important parts:


-It can be attached to evolved Pokemon (as of right now, it would be Stage 1, Stage 1 GX, Stage 2, Stage 2 GX, all BREAK Evolutions, and all MEGA Evolutions)


-It cannot be attached to Pokemon-ex (this affect ALL ex Pokemon from EX Ruby and Sapphire to EX Power Keepers) (EX Pokemon from BW and XY era are allowed since capitalizations are different, making them separate from their old counterparts)


-It provides one Colorless energy initially, but if you have more prizes than your opponent, it provides THREE units of energy of all type!


-When this Pokemon evolves to a Pokemon-ex or devolves down to a basic, this special energy is automatically discarded. (Devolving is still a thing in Expanded, with Espeon-EX’s Miraculous Shine devolving all of your opponent’s highest staged Pokemon)


Well, there’s some important information to be aware of.  Alongside Boost Energy, Scramble Energy is one of the very few Special Energies that provide three units of energy.  There are several other Special Energies that provide two units of energy (which had their own limitations and setbacks), but they couldn’t compare to Scramble Energy’s raw power.


Scramble Energy could be used as a “catch-up” or “insurance” card, giving the player who is behind on prizes get back to equal footing.  Since it provides three energies of all types, it can be splashed on any evolved Pokemon with ease regardless on type, even dragons who need two different energy types in order to attack.  This energy singlehandedly can meet any attack cost up to three energies.  It could also pay for discard costs such as an effect text of an attack or performing a manual retreat cost of three or less.


Not only Scramble Energy can be a “catch up” card, but there are decks that benefit from having as much energy loaded on one Pokemon or all of your Pokemon in play.  Gardevoir GX with Scramble Energy means you could be doing 90 more damage, and factor in with four uses of Secret Spring abilities and a Choice Band, your damage output goes from zero to 240 damage, almost a OHKO on any Pokemon currently in the Standard and Expanded formats.  Unfortunately, loading this much energy on one Pokemon may be a bad idea, since opposing Gardevoir GX or Mewtwo EX X Ball returns fire for a revenge KO, thus losing most energies on the process.  Mega Mewtwo EX is on the same boat with its Psychic Infinity attack.  Delphox XY has Blaze Ball which does more damage for every fire energy attached to it, which Scramble Energy alone covers (110 damage).


Darkrai-EX (XY Breakpoint), Gallade (BW Plasma Storm), Delphox (XY Fates Collide), and Xerneas BREAK (XY Steam Siege) are another group of Pokemon that benefits having energy on the field instead of one Pokemon.  Gallade and Xerneas respective attacks (Powerful Storm and Life Stream) does 20 damage time the amount of energy attached to all of your Pokemon.  With 12 energies loaded (or 4 Scramble Energy), that’s a total of 240 damage, needing only Muscle Band or Choice Band to OHKO anything!  Delphox is even better, taking into account not only energies on your side, but on your opponent’s side as well.  Darkrai-EX’s Dark Pulse would love to have Scramble Energy as well, given that Darkrai has been paired with Dragon Pokemon with their Double Dragon Energy, Scramble Energy amplifies the damage output!  Unfortunately, Skarmory’s Metallic Sound discards all special energy from each Pokemon, which brings their setup down to a halt on both groups.


Given that Scramble Energy provides any type of energy, this card can tap on type specific support.  Again, just to name a few:


-Scramble Energy can be moved via energy transfer abilities such as Klinklang’s Shift Gear (Black & White), Hydreigon’s Dark Trance (BW Dragons Exalted), Aromatisse’s Fairy Transfer (XY), and Lunala-GX’s Psychic Transfer (Sun & Moon).


-Shadow Circle provides Pokemon with dark energy attached to them no weakness!


-Fairy Garden, Darkrai-EX Dark Cloak, and Manaphy-EX Aqua Tube provides free retreat to Pokemon that has appropriate energy attached to it (Fairy, Dark, and Water), which Scramble Energy covers.


-Fairy Drop or Lana heals 50 damage to your Pokemon that has water or fairy energy attached to it.


That’s what I can think of in regards to type specific support.  Unfortunately, strategies revolving attaching energies from deck, hand, and/or discard pile does not work on Scramble Energy since that counts as a colorless energy.  However, it can be retrieved by using Special Charge, Puzzle of Time, and very few Pokemon attack effects.  Enhanced Hammer has been reprinted, so having a way to recover Scramble Energy is handy.


If Scramble Energy would be reprinted, it will see play on nearly all Evolution decks, but not so much on other subjects.  Assuming no errata has been placed on Scramble Energy, I believe that’s how players might use on some paragraphs that I’ve mentioned.  Unfortunately, Enhanced Hammer and some anti-special energy has deterred player from heavily relying on Scramble Energy.  Giratina-EX (XY Ancient Origins) and Noivern-GX (SM Burning Shadows) prevents special energy attachments for one turn (Chaos Wheel and Sonic Volume).  Aegislash-EX (XY Phantom Forces) takes no damage from Pokemon with Special Energy attached to it.  Skarmory (Sun & Moon) gets rid of those energies.  Fortunately, you’ll be able to take advantage of Scramble Energy’s effect for the turn you played this card, so time it right!


Overall, Scramble Energy is a very good card for what it does.  I still have one copy left, but I probably won’t put it in my deck.  The reason the crew looked at Scramble Energy is that there is another Special Energy that is similar to Scramble Energy.  The card in question is Counter Energy.  I won’t go too much in detail, but long story short, it is a modernized weakened version of Scramble Energy.  At least it’s better than nothing!




Standard: N/A (would be 4/5 if reprinted)


Expanded: N/A (would be 4.25/5 if reprinted)


Limited: 3/5


Unlimited: 3.5/5


Summary: Scramble Energy is a powerful card that provides three energy of any type, something that we won’t be able to fully enjoy for a very long time.  This was probably useful since back in the day damage output for three energy attacks was around zero to 70 damage while now it is between zero to 230!  Solgaleo-GX can actually stream Sunsteel Strike every turn (well, up to four times due to having just four Scramble Energy in one deck).  What used to be a helpful card in the past suddenly becomes too power if it were reprinted!  Having to be behind on prizes keeps this card from being broken, hence why I didn’t award it perfect scores.


            Its Throwback Thursday again, and we got a very powerful card that defined the meta that it has ever been. And that is the legendary Special Energy in the late Gen 3 – mid Gen 4 meta; Scramble Energy. And although this website has made a feature of this card, it doesn’t hurt to review it again, no?

            Scramble Energy is an Evolution Pokemon only Special Energy that works its magic on slow decks. It can’t be attached to Pokemon-ex however (its the EX/GX of the generation) but it can be attached to Lv.X Pokemon, which is where the card abuse goes crazy. Normally this card gives one Colorless energy, but when you are behind on prizes, the Scramble Energy gives 3 of any Energy color at any one point. So its 3 colored energy for just 1 energy attachement, in a meta that has no Special Energy hate? That’s too good to be true, is it? But that is what happened; and in the Gen 4 meta, where the big chase cards are Pokemon Lv.X, the usage of Scramble Energy soared.

            There are a lot of Lv.X decks that fully abused Scramble Energy back then, but it found home in a deck that is destined to be slow and amazing; the Psychic Lock deck, featuring Gardevoir, Gallade and Gardevoir Lv.X from DP Secret Wonders. These 3 cards has the same deck basics as the Gardevoir-GX/Gallade deck of the modern age, with both evolving from a Kirlia, abusing Broken Time Space or with a Rare Candy. As they all needs an average of 3 energies to attack, and both of them are Stage 2 Pokemon, using Scramble Energy is a match made in heaven and it propelled them to greater heights. Gardevoir’s Psychic Lock is basically ability-lock in the meta, and combined with Scramble Energy that made Gardy ready in a single turn by purposefully giving your opponent a prize, it made for an extreme balance of lock and damage. Gardevoir Lv.X is the main cleaner of the deck; it has the Teleportation Poke-Power (basically its Solgaleo-GX (SM Base Set)’s Ultra Road but centered around Gardevoir) to pivot around the battlefield, and it also can use Bring Down for 2 Psychic energies to clean up any Pokemon with the lowest HP at any given moment; useful to destroy deck engines back then while gaining 1 prize. Gallade is the wallbreaker with Psycho Cut; the attack costs a weird 1 Psychic and 2 Colorless energies to deal as much as 180 damage from your first turn. But it also has Sonic Blade which costs 1 Fighting and 1 Colorless energies and it deals damage until your target has 50 HP remaining, useful to clean up for a late game Bring Down.

            As you can see from the utterly weird energy costs needed by all 3 attackers, it makes perfect sense to use Scramble Energy as it seriously helps smooth deck speed at the point. And just that one example might just describe the Special Energy as a whole; as most attackers has expensive and weird energy costs at the time, and the Double Colorless Energy isn’t heard off in this meta, Scramble Energy and also Double Rainbow Energy ruled the format, fueling the energy costs of these strong attackers.


2008-2010 meta: 4.7/5 (A perfect Special Energy to accelerate aggression; although it has a weird if clause, it fits the slower meta back then.)

Next on SM Burning Shadows:
Another Gardevoir tech. Duhh...

Pojo Note Last time we reviewed this card in 2006 ... William Hung, from American Idol fame, chimed in!   :-D


I’ve been trying to schedule cards early enough so that we reviewers at least have the option of doing a little testing before the actual review - not everyone wants to run on Theorymon - so this card was inspired by a card leak from the new Japanese set goes on sale Friday (but was translated almost two weeks ago).  That card will probably be named Counter Energy; as a reminder, I’m a lazy otaku, so I’ve never gotten around to actually learning Japanese and am relying on translations from other sources.  If they are correct, Counter Energy will provide [C] when its effect isn’t Active.  That effect triggers when you have more Prizes left in play than your opponent, at which point it provides two units of Energy that count as all Energy Types.  The only catch appears to be that it cannot be attached to Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX.  If you’re an old hand at the game like me, Counter Energy probably rang some bells and prompted me to select today’s subject: Scramble Energy! It has the following release history:

  • EX: Deoxys 95/107 (February 14, 2005), adding Scramble Energy to the 2005-2006 Standard Format about halfway through.
  • POP Series 4 10/17 (August 2006), keeping Scramble Energy legal for the 2006-2007 Standard Format.
  • EX: Dragon Frontiers 89/101 (November 8, 2006), not affecting legality as it was the last release but rotated from Standard play at the same time as the previous release.

So what does Scramble Energy do?  It is a Special Energy card that can only be attached to Evolved Pokémon other than Pokémon-ex; it provides [C] Energy unless you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent, at which point it provides three units of Energy that count as all Types!  Three-for-one is great, Energy that counts as all Types at once is great; even with the restrictions, even with the difference in cardpools and even rules, this was an amazing card for its day.  Though a bit obvious now, back at the time when this released the only other card that provided three Energy was Boost Energy, so we were amazed that Scramble Energy stuck around.  Well, unless by Evolving/devolving your Pokémon stopped being Evolved or started being a Pokémon-ex.  Boost Energy provided [CCC], could only be attached to an Evolved Pokémon, prevented you from retreating that Pokémon, and discarded itself at the end of the turn.  Scramble Energy could lurk on the board, waiting to trigger and meeting a [C] Energy requirement until then. 

Really explaining this card is a bit beyond the scope of this review; I was reminded of this in my first attempt at writing this Card of the Day.  Unless you already have a good idea of how game mechanics and even rules differed, and how the metagame worked, I’d probably need a few pages to communicate all of this.  So the broad strokes are that Pokémon-ex are not Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX, even though they are very, very similar.  Scramble Energy not working directly with them was a real drawback to the card but some decks didn’t bother running Pokémon-ex and most ran a mix of regular and Pokémon-ex attackers.  The first turn rules were different - you’ll need to look those up for yourself - so the fact that Rare Candy allowed you to Evolve a Basic Pokémon into either its Stage 1 or Stage from hand was not quite as broken as it should sound now.  Pow! Hand Extension and Rocket’s Admin. also fixated on Prize counts and were widely played; there were competitive decks that simply contained all three and some that focused on manipulating Prize counts and those three.  You had some surprisingly useful Pokémon like Electrode-ex that could KO itself via a non-attack effect to force your opponent to take Prizes.  That non-attack effect actually attached up to five Energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokémon, making Scramble Energy an even more obvious combo.  If you were thinking about holding off on taking the first KO to gain a stronger position, remember that Double Rainbow Energy was also legal during this time. 

Reliably pulling off such plays would seem difficult considering we lacked both older and modern powerhouse draw/search Trainers, but at this time Pokémon based effects were better at picking up the slack; go check out Pidgeot (EX: FireRed/LeafGreen 10/112) and Magcargo (EX: Deoxys 20/107).  Attacking for damage on your first turn was allowed even if you went first, but trying for damage was usually far less effective than spending that attack (sometimes another two or three) on setting up.  No examples here; just think of some of the openers and would-be openers that aren’t about taking an early lead in Prizes, and imagine them under such circumstances.  How well did Scramble Energy work?  If it was intended to help balance out the spikes of luck in the Pokémon TCG?  Poorly.  If Scramble Energy was intended reward players on the extreme ends of the skill spectrum?  Then it was brutally effective.  The environment I describe meant you had to expertly control your Prize count.  As someone who wishes skill was more important to victory, that sounds like I should have loved this card.  Well, when we first reviewed it, I just didn’t understand most of what I summarized, above, and was more focused on back-and-forth gameplay for any reason.  About 16 months later, when we looked at it again, I… didn’t submit a review.  I believe it eventually became a loose staple, with only decks that really couldn’t use it well skipping at least one copy (and most decks could use it well). 

Scramble Energy is long gone from all formats save Unlimited and Limited play (the latter being rather difficult and/or expensive to do).  I’m still pretty clueless about how the Unlimited Format is doing at present, so I cannot comment on how well it works there.  For Limited play, seems like a must run unless you’re going with the +39 approach.  It seems it is returning to Standard and Expanded play, though, in the form of Counter Energy; it can now work with Basic Pokémon but not Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX.  Even a new, potent Special Energy counter releasing in the same set, I expect Counter Energy to go far.


Standard: N/A 

Expanded: N/A 

Limited: 4.75/5 


By the time Scramble Energy rotated, I was thrilled it was gone.  Low skill players could too easily “steal” a win with it, even if it wasn’t happening all the time.  High skill players, however, could manipulate Prize counts to turn what ought to have been a fairly even match into a one-sided affair, where the other player was basically punished for not making a lucky play.  Even now, I worry that this is just sour grapes on my part as the notions seem almost contrary to each other.  Perhaps a better way to express it is that the net improvement to skill-based matches doesn’t seem worth the increase in luck based wins, especially if you found it more constraining than liberating in deck building and making plays.  Take the lead, and either a skilled or lucky opponent would clobber you with Scramble Energy.  Don’t take the lead, and a skilled opponent had time to set up and take the lead themselves, with just as much capacity to fall back on Scramble Energy as you.  It is the resource investment and turn count that is the thing.

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