Horror P Energy
– Rebel Clash
May 23, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
So, we have another Special Energy card designed to support a specific type, mainly Psychic types. Whereas there was a older Special Energy card for Psychic types, Mystery Energy was useful for pivoting Psychic Pokemon by reducing the retreat cost by 2. Combined with Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX (which is about to rotate out soon), you wouldn’t need an Air Balloon to do the same thing (which could be at risk of being removed by Tool Scrapper).
Horror P Energy, however, takes on a retaliatory approach. Shortly put, it provides Psychic Energy while it has the effects of Rocky Helmet from Noble Victories (for Psychic Pokemon). Long story, if the Pokémon gets damaged by your opponent’s attack, you put 2 damage counters on the attacking Pokémon. This tiny damage counter placement could matter if the attacking Pokémon would be KOed if it attacks, trading prizes; or if it would shift from 3HKOs into 2HKOs. The effects stack based on how many of those energies you’ve attached to it. If you had 4 Horror Energy on 1 Pokemon, then that means the attacking Pokémon will get 8 damage counters placed on it. Combined with other retaliatory related cards from both Standard and Expanded, such as Spell Tag, Bursting Balloon, and Rock Guard, then your opponent will have to think twice about mindlessly attacking. A potential 14 damage counters at the opponent’s Active Pokemon is a high chunk of HP, like almost half of V-Max’s maximum HP.
Horror [P] Energy (SSH – Rebel Clash 172/192) is a new Special Energy card. It provides [P] Energy, but only while attached to a Pokémon; in the deck, discard, hand, etc. it counts as… I’m actually not sure, but I think it doesn’t even count as [C]. The rest of Horror [P] Energy’s effect only works when it is attached to a Psychic Pokémon that is also your Active and that Pokémon is damaged by an attack from your opponent’s Pokémon. When that happens, even if the damage is enough to KO your Active, you put two damage counters on the Attacking Pokémon.
As a reminder, placing extra damage counters can be misleading; if you’re not scoring KO’s faster, triggering certain effects, etc. you’re not actually helping yourself. Still, its promising as it has a good chance of softening up whatever is attacking your Active. Horror [P] Energy is very similar to Dangerous Energy, one of the XY-era Type-specific Special Energy cards. Where Dangerous Energy differs from Horror [P] Energy is
If that wasn’t clear, I mean that Dangerous Energy has the same “place two damage counters” effect as Horror [P] Energy except it only worked against Pokémon-EX. Maximum and – I think – typical HP scores are higher, two damage counters isn’t really as much now as it was then, so that’s technically different as well. Working against all Pokémon, and not just Pokémon V – the modern equivalent of Pokémon-EX – is much better.
Dangerous Energy wasn’t all that good. We had competitive – even dominant – decks featuring [D] Type Pokémon while it was legal, but they worked better with basic Darkness Energy or other Special Energy cards (like Double Colorless Energy). That’s still a real risk for Horror [P] Energy. Fortunately, that was only part of the problem; the other issue was that Dangerous Energy was no good against non-Pokémon-EX. Their successors, Pokémon-GX, were unaffected, as were all the various single-Prize attackers. Horror [P] Energy works against everything, barring counter effects.
Unlike Speed [L] Energy, Horror [P] Energy’s Type-specific effect is passive; if I use something like Faba to banish Speed [L] Energy, its already had my opponent draw two cards and they’ve already had at least a turn of it providing [L] Energy. Under those same circumstances, Horror [P] Energy has had at least a turn of providing [P], but I may not have attacked into it in a manner that triggers the damage counter placement. I also think it really ought to work against all attacks if it is only going to work while the Pokémon to which it is attached is Active or it should work even if the Pokémon with it attached is on your Bench.
Which doesn’t mean it is a bad card. Yes, many [P] decks have effects focused on basic Psychic Energy, but at least some have the flexibility needed to still work in Horror [P] Energy. Unlike with Dangerous Energy, we also have several other forms of damage counter placement already performing well with it. The only “big” recent tournaments for which I have results are the Limitless Online Series Qualifiers, and #3 is the first that includes SSH – Rebel Clash. 23 decks were running Horror [P] Energy! 21 of those were running a full four copies, even! The highest finishing of them was the 3rd-place Dragapult VMAX deck, so Horror [P] Energy is already a big part of the metagame!
In fact, 22 out of those 23 decks were Dragapult VMAX decks, ranging from the 3rd-place to the 148th-place finisher, out of a 1158 player event. I won’t promise that it will always be that abundant, or that it couldn’t possibly lose some steam, but it’s definitely part of the metagame now. The one non-Dragapult VMAX deck running it was a Mew & Mewtwo-GX/Dusknoir & Trevenant-GX deck. I cannot easily check to see how many Psychic Decks ran without Horror [P] Energy, but I’m thinking most Psychic decks from now on should at least consider it.
The same goes for the Expanded Format, though I have no proof of that, just conjecture. I will qualify that there will likely be more exceptions as well; I don’t expect this to work well in Night March decks, though you could try. There’s also the usual circumstances; more competition and counters, but also more combos to support Horror [P] Energy. I’d probably run it in any Limited Format deck, even ones without Psychic Pokémon. If you pull multiple Horror [P] Energy but no worthwhile Psychic Pokémon, just run one to bluff. Yes, I should have prescribed the same thing with Speed [L] Energy.
Wait… did I just score this card better than Speed [L] Energy? Yes, I did, but I’m also thinking I low-balled that card (for sure in the Limited Format – bluffing is handy). They’re both very good, at least right now. I think Speed [L] Energy will have better staying power, due to the simplicity of its effect and how it works during your own turn, but for now they are each doing well in their respective decks. Horror [P] Energy would have been our 21st-place pick. Personally, it was my 13th-place pick, and if Qualifier #3 is indicative of even just the short term future, I should have had it a lot higher.
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