Island Challenge Amulet
– Cosmic Eclipse
January 29, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Island Challenge Amulet tries do revert certain Pokémon back to what it was, though I don’t think they did a good job at it. What it does is to reduce the Max HP by 100 from Pokémon-EX/GX, and if the holder does get knocked out by damage from your opponent’s attack, they get to take one fewer prize card. So that means that if the holder is knocked out between turns or damage counter placement…they still get to take two prizes. The HP reduction is definitely not worth it at all.
The same can be said for Expanded for when EX Pokémon with 110 HP is reduced to just 10 HP, and it still is worth two prizes for unconventional methods. Perhaps even the worst thing to happen intentionally is to attach Island Challenge Amulet to Jirachi-EX…which has only 90 HP. Yeah, that immediately knocks your own Pokémon and your opponent takes 2 prize cards!!! But there are players doing that on purpose…
…which is why Island Challenge Amulet is banned in Expanded. Purposely knockout out two Jirachi-EX due to self destruction gives your opponent four prizes; Mismagius’s ability makes your opponent take another one. Play Reset Stamp to drop your opponent’s hand size to one card, Mars discards that last card, and Chip Chip Ice Axe manipulates your opponent’s top three cards of their deck.
Making your opponent do nothing before they even get a turn warrants a ban, but other than that, it’s general usage is very very bad.
Island Challenge Amulet (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 194/236, 265/236) is a Pokémon Tool. Right now, that is a pretty good thing. Anti-Tool effects aren’t overly potent but there also isn’t one Tool or a small group of Tools that are must-runs for most decks. Island Challenge Amulet’s actual effect is that the equipped Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-GX has its maximum HP reduced by 100, and it gives up one fewer Prizes when KO’d by the attack of an opponent’s Pokémon. It does nothing for non-Pokémon-EX/GX. Please note that the amount of damage on the Pokémon in question doesn’t change, just how much is required to KO it.
Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX enjoy many benefits and have to deal with many draw backs that don’t apply to their single-Prize counterparts; increased HP and giving up extra Prizes are just one part of it. It will not let a Pokémon-EX/GX attack and damage a Keldeo-GX through the latter’s Ability, because a Pokémon-EX/GX with Island Challenge Amulet attached is still a Pokémon-EX/GX. What it will do is help you give up fewer Prizes while accessing the perks of being a Pokémon-EX/GX, but sans their elevated HP scores. The HP reduction may not always matter. Say you have a TAG TEAM Pokémon with 110 HP left, facing an opponent that will attack for at least that much damage next turn. Slapping Island Challenge Amulet on your TAG TEAM won’t lead to it being KO’d any sooner but it will cause your opponent to take one less Prize!
Island Challenge Amulet is banned in the Expanded Format, because of a clever exploit. I’m not going to detail the entire thing, because it involves almost an entire deck once you factor in the use of various supporting cards. The end result is that, even on T1, you strip your opponent of their entire hand, then use Chip-Chip Ice Axe or similar effects to control what your opponent can draw. This doesn’t win you the game; you then either go on the offensive, quickly KOing what little your opponent has, or you focus on maintaining the lock while slowing milling away what is left of their deck. Island Challenge Amulet is used in this combo because you actually need your opponent to take Prizes, so that cards like N or Reset Stamp can reduce your opponent’s hand enough for other cards to finish it off. This is done by attaching Island Challenge Amulet to Jirachi-EX, which is KO’d by having its HP set to zero.
Surprisingly, there is more to Island Challenge Amulet in the Limited Format than I thought. It won’t help you if you are running a big, Basic Pokémon-GX on its own, in a +39 build, but in a fleshed out deck, you can still use it to try and deny your opponent at least one Prize. Damage output tends to be lower here, so you may have a bigger window of opportunity to pull it off. There are also a few card effects that can make use of Tools, even if those Tools can’t do anything in and of themselves. This can include just running it for Guzma & Hala to fetch from your deck (for deck thinning purposes), or to trigger attacks effects for Alolan Sandslash (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 138/236), Alolan Ninetales (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 135/236), and Kommo-o (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 163/236).
Island Challenge Amulet is another card that suffers for not being “future proofed”. Pokémon V are technically already here, thanks to the promos Meowth V and Meowth VMAX, and more are on the way. For now, though, it remains a handy little trick that certain decks are employing, like some Gardevior & Sylveon-GX decks.
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