Defiance Band – Scarlet & Violet
Date Reviewed: May 5, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today we are looking at Defiance Band, which is (wait for it) not an item card! Yes, Pokemon Tools are a separate category, which means anything that affects item cards does not affect Pokemon Tools! In a way, it makes older cards before the Scarlet & Violet-era get headaches because they could no longer lock down Pokemon Tools. It gets even brutal in Expanded; even while being item locked, players can still attach Pokemon Tools to Garbodor with the Garbotoxin ability to negate all other abilities! However, Tool Scrapper still removes Pokemon Tools, but good thing that card is no longer Standard legal.
Anyhow, Defiance Band is another one of those damage boosting cards that have some merit in competitive play over the years. They allow certain thresholds to be passed with the help of those cards, even if the boost is minimal like Vitality Band. Even a measly 10 extra damage can still shift certain attacks from 3HKOs to 2HKOs and from 2HKOs into OHKOs. The benefit can be great when it happens; conversely you are also wasting resources if the extra damage output does not help you reach OHKOs. It could even backfire if you encounter a Pokemon that deals the same damage back to you. Same could be said for other damage boosting effects that is not a Pokemon Tool, be it a Stadium or an Ability. Even while stacking from three different mediums, if it still doesn’t help you achieve something, then you are wasting even more resources!
That 30 extra damage boost from Defiance Band isn’t as huge as it once was, with HP scores continuing to inflate, but we have not reached a certain condition. This is not only a damage boosting card, but also a coming-from-behind card. If you have more prizes than your opponent, then this effect goes online. If you have equal number of prizes like your opponent, or when you are ahead of the Prize race, then that effect goes offline at the worst time. Pokemon VMAX was the last mechanic to have the rule that let makes your opponent grab three prizes when a VMAX is KOed while Pokemon-ex only gives up two prizes, which is still enough to fall behind in prizes when you really needed the damage boost. But I think I would prefer something reliable that can happen every turn, and there is a plethora of other Pokemon Tools that does not necessarily boost damage output, but have their own unique effects that can still help some Pokemon to a certain extent, even if it does not happen that often.
Not saying that Defiance Band is suddenly a bad card overnight, just that there were some factors that affect how often you would be running Defiance Band. Still, you can test this card to see if that +30 damage would make the difference when you are behind in prizes because it will in some cases, at least for Standard when there are very few options regarding damage boosting cards. In Expanded, Muscle Band is, still, a reliable Pokemon Tool card that provides your Pokemon a +20 damage boost against any Pokemon regardless of mechanic and does not have to rely being behind of prizes. For Limited, if you pulled one, you would run this.
Depending on certain decks’ playstyles, not every deck needs a damage boosting card, but it can be helpful. Currently, the most that players would use Defiance Band was either one or two copies, with few examples shown at Limitless: Lost Zone toolbox and a Gardevoir-ex deck featuring Mewtwo V-UNION. At least that’s something; maybe one day more decks might find some use of Defiance Band.
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