Boost Shake – Evolving Skies
September 2, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This Throwback Thursday, we’re looking at Wally (XY – Roaring Skies 94/108, 107/108; Generations RC27/RC32). This card was banned in the Expanded Format for a little while, but was returned to us all the way back in March. This Trainer-Supporter lets your search deck for a Pokémon that evolves from one of your Pokémon that are already in play, then plays that Evolution directly onto the Pokémon in question. Its text clearly states that it can be used the first turn something is in play, including a player’s first turn. Also that it doesn’t work with Pokémon-EX. If you’re new to this effect, know that you cannot use it to skip a Stage like Rare Candy.
Wally was banned because it could be used to get certain Pokémon into play Turn 1, most notably Trevenant (XY 55/146). Trevenant is a Stage 1 with the Ability “Forest’s Curse”. An Ability that only works while this Trevenant is your Active, but which keeps your opponent from playing Item cards from hand. With the SW-era Turn 1 rules, you can no longer play Supporters Turn 1, so you cannot lock your opponent out of Items before they even have a single turn and…
…okay, enough of the “reviewing the wrong card” bit. Thanks for indulging me. I thought it was the best way to explain why Boost Shake (SW – Evolving Skies 142/203, 229/203) is our 9th-Place pick from SW – Evolving Skies. If you haven’t bothered to read the card yet, Boost Shake has the same effect as Wally. Almost. The three major differences are
- Boost Shake is a Trainer-Item, not a Supporter.
- Boost Shake has no restrictions as to what Pokémon can use it.
- Immediately after using Boost Shake, your turn ends.
So, does Difference #3 balance out Difference #1 and Difference #2? In a word, no. There is one other major difference, but it isn’t with Wally or Boost Shake, but the metagame, and that might be why Boost Shake can be “balanced enough” so as not to be a problem. Simply put, in Standard we currently have nothing equivalent to Trevenant in terms of effect or scope of influence. A player can, for example, use Boost Shake on their Active Koffing, evoving it into Galarian Weezing (SW – Rebel Clash 113/192; Shining Fates 042/072, SV077/SV122) on Turn 1 (Player 1’s first turn). In doing so, they will lock their opponent out of any Abilities from their Pokémon in play. However, Player 2 will still be able to use any Trainer and Energy cards they wish, and even some Abilities, as those which occur in the hand or discard pile should still work. As far as TPC and TPCi are concerned, this is “acceptable”.
Boost Shake strikes me as a time bomb. Could I be wrong and this one will end up being a dud? Absolutely. As I write this review, I’m reminded of a few things that may keep Boost Shake in line. Item cards aren’t typically as easy to search out as Supporters… so while being an Item means you can use Boost Shake on your first turn, it also means you’re having to run four and hoping to draw into one with something like Crobat V. While Boost Shake means you can go Basic => Stage 1 => Stage 2 faster than normal, it isn’t any faster than just going Basic => Rare Candy => Stage 2, but requires one more card and ends your turn. Plus, as with Wally, Boost Shake won’t activate coming-into-play Abilities as those specify the Pokémon must have been played from your hand.
If the powers that be forget something, though, it could be nuts. Seems like it should be in Expanded; Turn 1 Trevenant is back! Moreover, you can combine it with Silent Lab or Path to the Peak to deny your opponent many or most of the Abilities that can help supplement setup early game. Except… that’s on paper. I haven’t been testing it out. It is possible power creep has left Trevenant behind. Boost Shake was my 9th-Place pick, but I’m starting to suffer from buyer’s remorse. Boost Shake just reads like one of those cards that’ll be broken, sooner if not later.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 4/5
Editor’s Note: Vince had this as his 8th-Place pick.
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