– Rebel Clash
May 7, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
9th-place in our countdown is Capture Energy (SSH – Rebel Clash 171/192). This new Special Energy card provides [C] while attached to a Pokémon, and has an effect that triggers when you attach it to one of your Pokémon from your hand. When that happens, you may search your deck for a Basic Pokémon and Bench it, shuffling your deck afterward. As with all non-generic search, you’re allowed to fail this even if you still have Basic Pokémon in your deck.
While this isn’t a reprint, it does let me fake a Throwback Thursday, because it seems to be the modern successor of Call Energy (DP – Majestic Dawn 92/100). Call Energy also provides [C] while attached, but its effect does not trigger when attached from your hand. Instead, you can choose to activate it once, during you turn if the Pokémon to which it is attached is your Active. You then search your deck for up to two Basic Pokémon, Bench them, and your turn ends. Looking at it from today, it seems like a good effect, especially Turn 1 when you can’t attack or play Supporters.
I don’t remember clearly how Call Energy was used back in the day, but I can read our review of it and look through the World Championship Decks that are released annually – though I guess not this year – to see if any included it. The review crew of the time – this was a hiatus for me – loved Call Energy. During the three World Championships where Call Energy was legal, it wasn’t in all decks, but at least one of the World Championship decks ran it, and at a three or four count. Even though it was clearly an early game card, it was a valuable one you wanted to use on your first turn.
Which finally brings us back to Capture Energy. It may only be a one-time deal (per copy), and it may only work when you attach it from your hand, but you still can attack that turn (or use a different turn-ending effect). Anytime you need something on your Bench, it can be a lifesaver. I get the feeling we’ll see Capture Energy used in a manner similar to Call Energy. I’m not sure if it will be great, but it will still be good. Call Energy – were it legal – would be better than Capture Energy Turn 1, and for certain decks without a worthwhile first turn attack Turn 2. However, the rest of the game Capture Energy is better even though it grabs half as many Basics, because your turn doesn’t end.
If Capture Energy let you add the Basic to your hand, it’d be a staple, maybe even a true “Run as many as you can fit in your deck!” staple. It doesn’t, so using it to grab a Dedenne-GX, Shaymin-EX (XY – Roaring Skies 77/108, 77a/108, 106/108) is pretty pointless most of the time. What it can let you do is grab your evolving Basics, or those with useful Abilities that work while they’re in play like stuff like Oranguru (Sword & Shield 148/202) to further your setup. If your early-game attacker has a single [C] Energy requirement to fill, unless you need to focus on basic Energy cards, why not go with Capture Energy?
Capture Energy may fare a hair worse in Expanded, but not enough to differentiate its score there. In Expanded, we still have Ultra Ball, and also some anti-Special Energy effects that prevent them from being attached. We also have a few more that discard Special Energy, but you’ve gotten most of the benefit you were looking for from Capture Energy by the time your opponent can discard it. In the Limited Format, if you pull Capture Energy, you run it. Even if you have no [C] Energy requirements for it to fill, its another bit of Basic Pokémon search. Yes, even in a Mulligan deck; look at the current contents of your deck while bluffing you’re not running a Mulligan build!
Capture Energy is a good card, and it is an example of something that’s one piece or change to the metagame away from being a great card. A slightly slower pace would do it. More Pokémon with worthwhile attacks for [C]. Something to help search Capture Energy out reliably Turn 1 (Guzma & Hala have Turn 2 and later covered). A really strong “setup” Pokémon with an Ability that is not bypassed by playing it from your deck. Etc. Capture Energy isn’t for all decks. It may not even be fore most decks, but its good enough you’ll need to test it with many decks. It was my 11th-place pick and – even if it looks like I scored it low – 9th-place still feels about right.
Boy, if only every Energy card came with an effect of a Trainer attached to it. I guess that’s partially the theme of some of these recent Special Energy cards. Memory Energy, Draw Energy, and now we’ve got Capture Energy!
Capture Energy is a searcher of sorts, in that once you attach it to one of your Pokemon, you get to search your deck for a Basic Pokemon, and then you celebrate as you put it directly onto your Bench. I bring this up in context of yesterday’s massive Falinks review of love, since this is a good way to fuel up Call for Family or Team Attack while putting more Basic Falinks and Falinks-V onto your Bench. Quick reminder that Pokemon-V do count as Basics!
Course they’re not the only ones that count as Basics – Tag Team-GX are still very viable, and they are just even bigger Basics! The only real drawback to a card like this, is that it’s taking up an Energy slot that could’ve been a specific kind of Energy for certain attacks. I think of the Zacian-ADP deck in this regard, where Zacian-V can’t attack with Brave Blade if any of the 3 Energy are Colorless (he needs at least 3 Metal Energy to attack with it), and while ADP-GX can work with it for the Ultimate Ray attack, Altered Creation-GX needs both Metal and Water Energy to get the full effect.
Still, getting a free Basic Pokemon onto your Bench is nothing to snuff at, and I can imagine a few decks will want to run at least 1 or 2 Capture Energy for that reason alone.
Standard: 4/5 (strong for certain decks, it just needs the right partners – like the Falinks)
Expanded: 4/5 (lots of various Basic Pokemon here to work with, it might even do better here)
Limited: 5/5 (can’t argue with results here)
Arora Notealus: Reading the title of Capture Energy, I would have initially thought it had something more to do with Pokemon Catcher in terms of effect. Basically it would nab an opposing Benched Pokemon into the Active slot. That kind of power might be too strong for an Energy though, if the same effect is now restricted to Supporters, but then again, sacrificing your Energy attachment for the turn does come with its own risks and rewards if that kind of effect is attached to it.
Next Time: Charging in like Lightning, comes the speediest pupper around!
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