Martial Arts Dojo
Martial Arts Dojo

Martial Arts Dojo – Unbroken Bonds

Date Reviewed:  August 25, 2021

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 2.00

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

Reviews Below:

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Even though it is a relatively new approach for them, thanks to the XY-series and SM-series, I’m used to Fighting types hitting hard and fast, usually with low cost attacks sporting multiple external damage bonuses: Regirock-EX, Diancie {*}, Strong Energy, and Fighting Stadium.  However, they haven’t been Standard-legal for a while, but the last damage buff we had for [F] types is today’s card, Martial Arts Dojo (SM – Unbroken Bonds 179/214; SM – Cosmic Eclipse 268/236).  Strictly speaking, what I just said is false, because Martial Arts Dojo says nothing about Fighting Pokémon.  What it does is provide +10 damage to the attacks of Pokémon with at least one basic Fighting Energy card attached, or +40 if your opponent has fewer Prizes remaining in play than you do.  Ultra Beasts are also singled out as not receiving either bonus.

Fighting Energy support isn’t the same as Fighting Pokémon support, but Fighting Pokémon are the most likely to utilize basic Fighting Energy well, so it is close enough.  Looking at either, there are no more damage buffs for [F] types in Standard.  There are some forms of Energy acceleration that are left, but so far, those haven’t proven competitive.  Let that sink in: even in Supporter form, the [F] types Energy acceleration hasn’t proven effective!  Yeah, plenty of Energy acceleration fails, but Trainer-based is usually among the best, not something that gets ignored.  Which means 2022 Standard Format [F] decks are going to be missing something not only the decks, but we the players are going to miss.

The small consolation Prize is that a lot of the cards that we’re used to seeing use Martial Arts Dojo?  They’re rotating as well, plus most of them haven’t been making the Top 16 in the Players Cup Global Finals.  Out of all four tournaments, only the Players Cup III Global Finals had decks using Martial Arts Dojo.  All three were Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX decks, and their counterparts in the Players Cup IV Global Finals did not bother with it.  Could just be because we’re dealing with so few tournaments, and they’re quite spread out but… I think Martial Arts Dojo hasn’t had a real powerhouse partner.  That means it still will be missed heading into the 2022 Standard Format, because of new cards that might have used it, we aren’t feeling this like we were cards that all decks ran (Dedenne-GX), or the decks that really need their Pokémon Communication, Viridian Forest, etc.

I’m uncertain of Martial Arts Dojo’s future in Expanded.  It not only has to compete against some great older Stadiums, plus whatever is good and current, but Fighting types are somewhat infamous for relying on Special Energy here.  I mean, Strong Energy is still legal here.  A flat +10 bonus that might become +40 versus a straight forward +20 bonus that applies against anything, and where multiple copies can stack: what do you choose?  Some decks might be able to use both, but I think Martial Arts Dojo is going to be useful but niche in Expanded.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

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