– Sword & Shield
June 11, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Energy Switch is another good candidate for being a Throwback card since it was debuted on Aquapolis; so it has been on the Pokémon TCG for almost 20 years! This card lets you move a Basic energy attached to 1 of your Pokemon to another of your Pokemon. This one-and-done card comes in clutch in certain situations.
Granted, there are many card that outclass Energy Switch utterly. Abilities that move a certain type of energy around as many times as you want; Stadium, Pokemon Tools, and Supporter cards are no stranger of moving energy around; though each category have its own set of advantages and disadvantages. How often you would bust out a Stage 1 or a Stage 2 just for the transfer ability (and the risk of abilities being inactive)? Can you keep them from being K.O.ed? Is it worth giving up your Supporter moving energies around? Or a Stadium effect? Or from a Pokémon Tool (and the risk of being Tool Scrapped)? Maybe, maybe not.
Energy Switch holds the distinction of being usable in any deck that might sometimes need to move even one basic energy around just to attack early. It does not rely on abilities, supporters, etc. and is more economical to run as opposed to a Stage 2 line (with the risk of some of the pieces being in the prize). No matter which format Energy Switch is in, there’s will be a time where players need this card. Ho-Oh EX from BW Dragons Exalted greatly benefits from Energy Switch (the one with the Rebirth ability) so that you can deal massive damage if you have even more different basic energy types.
Overall, this is a useful card that withstood the test of time.
Theme?: 4/5 (don’t recall if it was in a theme deck or two, but I imagine it’d be very useful if a certain Theme Deck uses two types of basic energy)
Wow. I’m the one who put Energy Switch on the schedule, but even I forgot just how much of a Throwback it was! Here are its past printings with official release dates:
18 printings spread out over 20 years! So what is it and what does it do? Energy Switch is a Trainer-Item that lets you move a basic Energy card from one of your Pokémon to another of your Pokémon. Earlier printings specified “basic Energy card” but, at least in this context, the difference is insignificant as you’re able to use all past printings in Standard or Expanded.
I don’t recall what I thought when I first saw this card, but apparently not enough to suggest it for a Card of the Day, as our first review of it is from September 29, 2005. It was for its fourth printing, and I didn’t even chime in on this review. The reviewers who did were pretty evenly split: two 1/5’s two 3/5’s and a 2/5. The the second time we reviewed Energy Switch was a few years later, and seven of us weighed in (including me). There was one 3/5, two 1.5/5’s, and the rest were 1/5’s. One of those was even from Jason “Ness” Klaczynski, who opened his short review with by calling it “One of the worst trainers in the game.” If you’re wondering, I was one of the 1.5/5’s.
Jump ahead a few more years to 2012. Only two reviewers, neither of them being me, with one awarding Energy Switch a 2.25/5 and the other scoring it 1.5/5. About a year and a half later, and Switch we did a special countdown, the Top 5 Cards Reprinted From Legendary Treasures, since the set had so many reprints, many of them significant. Energy Switch topped the list! Baby Mario and I weighed in, and both awarded it a 3.5/5. Why? We finally had some well-known, high performing decks regularly running it. Decks built around Ho-Oh-EX (BW – Dragons Exalted 22/124, 119/124) or Darkrai-EX (BW – Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108; BW – Black Star Promos BW46; BW – Legendary Treasures 88/113) or the combination of Genesect-EX (BW – Plasma Blast 11/101, 97/101) and Virizion-EX.
If you’ve played the Legacy Format, you’ve probably seen Energy Switch doing its thing in these decks and others. Both in the Legacy Format of the present and the Standard Format of the time, we’d finally gotten to the point where we had the right combination of several factors. In fact, there were enough that they didn’t all need to be true at once for Energy Switch to prove useful:
Which shows, as the review from three years ago once again features lower scores. It was just me and one other, again, and we both scored Energy Switch as a 2/5, with me giving a pretty detailed explanation as to why it was such a bad time for a formerly great, formerly even worse regarded card. In the present, Energy Switch is doing well again, with multiple high performing decks (including recent tournament winners), including it some of the 1st-place finishers! Decks like Zacian ADP and Pikachu & Zekrom Tag Team aren’t the only ones that can make use of this old trick, but they’re the highest performing.
The last time we saw a major event for the Expanded Format was before SSH – Rebel Clash released, but if things haven’t changed too much, Energy Switch may be suffering due to the success of Item-lock strategies, as well as hand control or disruption decks. Decks that can rapidly, reliably, and repeatedly score OHKO’s are also a concern: Energy Switch is a combo card and these three strategies just wreck those combos. I won’t be giving it a minimum score, however, because it still has long term potential. In the Limited Format, unless you’re running a Mulligan build, include Energy Switch. Your deck probably has the space, and the nature of this Format makes it more likely you’ll have and want to move a single basic Energy card.
I’m out of time, so I can’t pour through all the Theme Decks to see which ones have Energy Switch and which ones don’t. I’m also debating whether or not my recent approach of scoring cards based on how well they perform in a given Theme Deck is the best, anyway. So, at least for today, I’ll revert to scoring Energy Switch as a general Theme Deck inclusion: its usually pretty good here, as you’re more likely to have something move to the Bench but still have some Energy, be running multiple basic Energy Types, need just a single bit of Energy acceleration, etc.
No, no time to list the various World Championship decks that include Energy Switch, either. Energy Switch is at the point where its really good in a good chunk of decks, but not in the vast majority. I’m optimistic about it in Expanded, but that’s still where I’m scoring it the lowest. Legacy would have a bit friendlier Format than Standard except there’s some good anti-Item effects there (just not as strong as modern Expanded). You may wonder why Limited or Theme aren’t higher, but for all Energy Switch’s many uses there, those decks are also less likely to have the needed search effects or other combo elements to really show off what Energy Switch can do.
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