Double Colorless Energy
– Shining Legends
July 26, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
With the only cards that could come close to rivaling it already on our list, Double Colorless Energy (Base Set 96/102; Base Set 2 124/130; HeartGold SoulSilver 103/123; BW – Next Destinies 92/99; BW – Legendary Treasures 113/113; XY 130/146; XY – Phantom Forces 111/119; Generations 74/83; XY – Fates Collide 114/124; XY – Evolutions 90/108; Sun & Moon 136/149; SM – Guardians Rising 166/145; Shining Legends 69/73) takes first place in our countdown. If you’re familiar with the expansions I just named, you’ll notice there is a massive gap: Double Colorless Energy officially released January 9, 1999 in the very first set ever released, next showed up about 13 months later in the very first all reprint expansion, but then doesn’t show up again until the first of the HS-series releases 10 years later. In spite of this, we’ve only reviewed three times total prior to today, all of them from after Double Colorless Energy’s 10-year hiatus.
Double Colorless Energy is a Special Energy card that provides two units of [C] Energy. Unlike basic Energy cards, where you can run as many as you want in your deck, provided you still have at least one Basic Pokémon, meet the required deck size, etc. [C] Energy can only meet [C] Energy requirements, something Energy of any Type can provide. Attacks typically give a little less bang for the buck, or rather the amount of Energy required, when it comes to [C] Energy requirements versus non-[C] Energy requirements. So you’re getting two Energy at once, but they can’t pay for as good of attacks, right?
Maybe that was the idea, but it has never really worked out that way. It is technically possible, but the-powers-that-be seem to always release something that ends up being a little too good thanks to shaving a turn off the time it takes to fuel attacks. Unless your Pokémon can already ready itself just as quickly through other means, whether because it can attack for a single unit of Energy or makes use of some other form of Energy acceleration, being “DCE compliant” became fairly important, sometimes being a prerequisite for success. This also likely justified counters for Double Colorless Energy, but of course they were actually anti-Special Energy cards as countering just Double Colorless Energy would have made them too niche. There have been many attackers from the various Formats where Double Colorless Energy has been legal that people have complained about… and typically, if Double Colorless Energy didn’t exist, said attackers wouldn’t have been noticeably weaker. Which also means those cards that would have been well-balanced for use with Double Colorless Energy instead seem underpowered.
Like so many of the cards on this list, it has helped to shape the Standard Format, and will continue to shape the Expanded Format. There are highly competitive decks that run primarily or exclusively on Double Colorless Energy, even in Standard, where we can no longer recycle it with an Item (or other Trainer). Even if you don’t have a good attacker capable of using it, that Double Colorless Energy can be used by any Pokémon and still covers [CC] worth of Retreat Costs, means it is quite useful for Limited Format play, though it is probably getting a bit pricey to use those boosters now. I don’t recall how many Theme Decks it has appeared in, but I took a few minutes to confirm it hasn’t shown up in any SM-era ones. That means it might be important to those older (by PTCGO standards) Theme Decks, but it won’t actually do much good (because the rest of the deck will be so weak).
Limited: N/A (would be 4/5)
As you can tell, I’m someone who is pretty happy Double Colorless Energy is rotating, though I’m also paranoid they’ll sneak in a reprint before too long. Double Colorless Energy “only” took second place on my personal top 11, barely losing out to Guzma because Guzma is pretty much a two-per-deck (or more!) staple and because I expect the metagame to adjust better to losing Double Colorless Energy than to Guzma. However, I’m not losing any sleep over Double Colorless Energy taking first. Indeed, scores aside, out of our top five, any of these cards were worthy of taking first place.
If a reprinted card is gonna leave rotation once more, perhaps one that hurts the most is Double Colorless Energy! This one has a very long history that I can hope to be concise as possible. Double Colorless Energy was first released on Base Set, about 20+ years ago, and this was one of the most useful special energy card ever made. Basic energies count as one unit of energy, but Double Colorless Energy counts as two units of energies. Attacks that had part of its cost CC can easily be met with DCE, as opposed to spending two turns with basic energy to meet the same thing. While you can make use of DCE at the time, Energy Removal and Super Energy Removal was also there to ruin your day, and even Super Energy Removal can remove even TWO DCEs! Very few decks thrive at the time, whether it be a Pokémon providing unlimited energy acceleration (Blastoise Rain Dance/Deluge) to counter energy Removal or having Pokémon with very good single energy attacks (looking at you Haymaker). Even if it is not the case, DCE can even help you retreat easier because a DCE alone can pay for C or CC.
As the base set print was the only print of DCE at the time, it eventually left rotation as soon as the modified format came to be, starting Team Rocket-on. We haven’t heard from DCE since. Some cards tried to do similar things but requires a Condition and even placed restrictions. Upper Energy from Platinum Rising Rivals had a short time of fame, but was cursed due to not working on LV.Xs and have to be behind on prizes. DCE’s re-release in HGSS made Upper Energy obsolete, and many are overjoyed to have it back. LuxChomp decks finally was given the push to be the most successful deck at the time. There’s no shortage of Pokémon with attacks that cost CC, and I recall a handful of good attacks that costs just CC. X-Ball/Aero Ball/Energy Drive, Retaliate, Solgaleo-GX’s (SM104) Turbo Strike and Prominence, Night March, and much more! Not every deck needs DCE, but most did in specific cases. DCE also potentially present problems for the developer, as they probably have to make sure every single attack that they’ll make in the future is appropriate to be considered needing CC to attack or XC (X being type specific), as the proposed effects they wish to execute may make or break a game.
DCE will be greatly missed, and unless they reprint it later on, it will be very hard to use Pokémon whose one of their attacks costs CC. Triple Acceleration Energy does provide multiple units of energy, but it is restricted to Evolved Pokémon. And Pokémon that provides multiple energy acceleration like Magnezone (Magnetic Circuit) or Malamar (Psychic Recharge) doesn’t care about DCE. Even then, there are plenty of cards that punishes Special Energy usage, Energy Removal, few Pokémon whose abilities make it take no damage from others with Special Energy, or that it doesn’t let you attach any. It can even be useless on Pokémon with single specific energy attacks. After experiencing with DCE for this many years, I can say that this is a card that’s great to have in the format, but isn’t heavily demanding or centralizing than it once was.
Honorable Mentions (Expanded scores)
The Eevee family (Energy Evolution Eevee, Sylveon-GX, Espeon-GX, and Umbreon-GX): Energy Evolution was the reason Eeveelution decks thrive, as it helps get its Stage 1 into play at the same turn Eevee was played! 4/5
Decidueye-GX: Free damage via Feather Arrow isn’t something to scoff at, as it can lead to other power plays. 3/5
Professor Kukui: less than average draw yield but provides bonus damage. The successor to Buck’s Training. 3.5/5
Charizard-GX: With the advent of Tag Teams, this is the only card who does 300 damage without other requirement (other than five energy, but you got Kiawe or Welder). Crimson Storm is only good if you wanted to OHKO something. 3/5
Kiawe: loading 4 Fire energies at the cost of ending your turn is still worth it! 3/5
Max Potion: I think the latest print is in Guardians Rising unless I missed something. Healing all damage is amazing, but most of the time, bouncing is better as not only you remove all damage, but you can also re-use coming into play abilities. 3.75/5
Well, that’s all I can think of. Here’s to another season! If reprints weren’t considered to be in the top X spot, Choice Band would’ve been number one. Or we would’ve made two sections: top 5 reprinted cards lost to rotation and top 5 Sun & Moon cards lost to rotation.
DCE – THIS CARD is the one I’m the MOST surprised about! It feels like it’s been a staple of the format for the past…I dunno, when did I start picking up Pokemon again? Black and White? It might have rotated out of the game in the past few years, but still! Seeing it go always feels wrong, like the game has to include DCE to be considered “the Pokemon TCG”, it feels like such a staple. Course it also has a staple’s status, what with being included in any deck that benefits directly from having a bunch of Energy accelerated in one card. Needless to say, I’m not gonna hold my breath on this one until Gen 8 Base Set comes out and reprints it, but if they don’t, that’s when we’re potentially looking at years of no DCE.
Note: The above is an excerpt taken from an email discussion of our this Top 11 list, as aroramage was so busy he was unable to submit a full review. It was shared with his permission, though has a mild edit or two due to formatting issues.
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