Energy Recycler – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 22, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Energy Recycler (XY Ancient Origins 72/98, SM Guardians Rising 123/145, SM Forbidden Light 143/131, SS Battle Styles 124/163) is our throwback for this week because it has once again reprinted in Sword & Shield Battle Styles, making it Standard legal again. This is also another card that has received an errata. Before, you had to put EXACTLY five basic energy cards from your discard pile onto your deck, now it lets you put UP TO five basic energies from your discard pile onto your deck. Most of the time, this errata makes almost no difference, but there are extremely few situation where you want to put fewer than five energies from your discard pile onto your deck. Perhaps you don’t want to bulk up your deck and have a lower chance of drawing what you need.
The only unfortunate thing about Energy Recycler is that those energies doesn’t go into your hand and you may have to use up another card just to fetch those basic energies. On the bright side, you’re less likely to deck out and there are even some cards that can attach energies from your deck to your Pokémon. Cards -in both Standard & Expanded – like Rillaboom’s Voltage Beat, Turbo Patch, Bea, Max Elixir, etc. are great examples. Even certain Pokémon have attacks that needs basic energies to be revealed from their deck or to be discarded from your deck for massive damage output such as Coalossal VMAX’s Eruption Shot.
This card was only reviewed once and some of the other reviewers might find it underwhelming, but I think this is a solid card because players already knew how to use it under the right circumstances. Despite facing competition from other existing energy recursion cards, Energy Recycler still had its uses.
Energy Recycler was originally released nearly six years ago as XY – Ancient Origins 72/98. It even got a review. It was re-released As SM – Guardians Rising 123/145, then again as a the Secret Rare in the form of SM – Forbidden Light 143/131. No reviews at those times because… the original was still legal: the 2017 Standard Format (which actually began in the last half of 2016) contained XY – Primal Clash through SM – Burning Shadows. Which means Energy Recycler didn’t leave Standard Format-legality until August 15 of 2019. So… what is it?
Energy Recycler is a Trainer Item that has you shuffle up to five basic Energy cards from your discard pile into your deck. Originally, it did not say “up to”, but this was changed in the latest printing and an erratum was issued. This makes the card a little better as before you had shuffle the full five unless you had fewer than five total basic Energy in your discard pile. Now, if you need to leave something behind, you can. Is it worth an Item to recycle five basic Energy cards? I think so. This has been the going rate since Nightly Garbage Run released back in Team Rocket, an expansion from 2000! Yes, power creep matters…
…but the modern equivalent is Ordinary Rod, which gives you the choice to shuffle up to two Pokémon from your discard pile into your deck, up to two basic Energy cards from your discard pile into your deck, or shuffling both up to two Pokémon and up to two basic Energy into your deck from your discard pile. You’re only shuffling in (up to) one more card than you would with Ordinary Rod, but that is still some compensation for only being able to affect basic Energy and not both Pokémon and basic Energy. Is it as much as I’d like? No. Unless you can afford to use a more costly or specialized option and you need to prioritize, it is as good as it gets right now.
Therein lies the rub. I already mentioned Ordinary Rod, but there’s also Brock’s Grit, Energy Retrieval, Fire Crystal, Energy Recycle System, Fisherman, Nessa, Superior Energy Retrieval… there might be more but these are the ones I easily remember. All are competition for Energy Recycler, though Energy Recycle System, Fisherman, and Superior Energy Retrieval are Expanded-only. Some have higher costs and/or more restricted targets, but are more powerful. Others offer more flexibility or other benefits. There are many decks that don’t need any basic Energy recycling at all, and others that will use an alternative.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
Yes, I am being generous, and if we see even a little more power creep in this area, drop the above scores by one. Until then, Energy Recycler is a solid card for helping to manage your basic Energy resources, but it really only shines when you need a lot of basic Energy recycled, especially if you need the recycled Energy in your deck and not your hand.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!