Fire Crystal (Unbroken Bonds UNB 173)
Fire Crystal (Unbroken Bonds UNB 173)

Fire Crystal
– Unbroken Bonds

Date Reviewed:
May 31, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.65
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 3.55

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Well, this is going to be pretty simple. Fire Crystal does what it says: grab three Fire energies from the discard pile onto your hand! While marginally better than Energy Retrieval, it can be run alongside Fire Crystal if you feel like there’s not enough recovery. From there, you can use those energies to make multiple energy attachments or pay for the cost of certain attacks or trainer cards. It’s good on a specific type but mostly useless on others.


  • Standard: 4/5
  • Expanded: 4/5
  • Limited: 4/5
Otaku Avatar

Welcome to a special Twofer Friday. Why? Fire Crystal (SM – Unbroken Bonds 173/214, 231/214) is a simple but important card, useful to a few other strong decks right now. Reviewing Fire Crystal all alone feels like a bit of a copout while reviewing it alongside something that makes use of it is probably too messy. So we’re just going to do two related reviews today, as Fire Crystal shouldn’t take much effort to cover. Though as you can see, I managed to find a full review’s worth of stuff to cover. Then again, I’m prone to going into excessive detail.

Fire Crystal is a Trainer-Item, so you can use Fire Crystal pretty freely. It lets you add three [R] Energy cards from your discard pile to your hand. Only basic Fire Energy cards count as [R] while in the discard pile. You can use this if you have fewer than three Fire Energy cards in your discard pile, so long as there is at least one; you just add as many as you can under those circumstances. This is very similar to Energy Retrieval, but snagging a third Energy card in exchange for them all having to be [R] Type. Is that a good deal? For your typical [R] deck, yeah it is. Regardless of your attackers or supporting Pokémon, you’re probably running Heat Factory {*} and Welder. You might be running Ninetales (SM – Team Up 16/181) or Salazzle (SM – Unbroken Bonds 31/214). In Unlimited, there’s Volcanion-EX. All of these cards have effects that require you discard (or use) one (or two) Fire Energy from your hand. There are also attackers, like Blacephalon (SM – Unbroken Bonds 32/214); its “Fireball Circus” attack does damage based on how many [R] Energy you can discard from your hand… and you cannot discard them from hand if they aren’t in hand in the first place.

There alternatives to Fire Crystal: Energy Retrieval, Energy Recycle System, Fisherman, Starmie (XY – Evolutions 31/108), and Superior Energy Retrieval, with those last two being Expanded-only options. Why go with one of these? Maybe you need to recycle more than just basic Fire Energy cards. Maybe the metagame is very anti-Item. Maybe you need more than four copies of Fire Crystal can provide. Maybe you’re already running Exeggcute (BW – Plasma Freeze 4/116; BW – Plasma Blast 102/101), so discard costs are a non-issue. You might even be better off using cards that shuffle Energy from the discard back into the deck if you’re are also already running a lot of Energy searching effects. Right now, the Standard Format has some great [R] Type attackers that are best off focusing on Fire Crystal for basic Fire Energy recovery. We don’t have formal results for the Expanded Format, so I’m operating on pure Theorymon, but if [R] decks can make a comeback there, then I’m guessing Fire Crystal will play some role, but Superior Energy Retrieval is better if you can handle its discard cost. For the Limited Format, you just need a deck that can make decent use of basic Fire Energy to make Fire Crystal worth including.


Standard: 3.3/5

Expanded: 3/5

Limited: 3.1/5

Fire Crystal is already showing up in winning [R], at least in the Standard Format. Had our countdown of SM – Unbroken Bonds top picks started high enough, Fire Crystal would have taken 26th place. So I’m glad we’re giving it its due now, but also that it didn’t show up in the actual countdown. Though I probably should have paired it up with Welder; that was a missed opportunity.

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!