Triple Feature (Heat [R] Energy, Hiding [D] Energy, & Powerful [C] Energy)
– Darkness Ablaze
August 25, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Welcome to the biggest cheat in our countdown: I convinced everyone to count all three of the new Special Energy cards as a single entry! So that means
are all our 4th-place pick! These are three very different cards, why did I insist we cover them all at once? Maybe it was a mistake, but all three of these share similar base mechanics, just distinct in terms of typing and the bonus offered.
All three of these Special Energy cards only count as their Energy type and provide one unit of that Energy while attached to a Pokémon. Each provides the Energy mentioned in the card’s name, which means Powerful [C] Energy actually is a bit weaker here: Heat [R] Energy can meet [R] and [C] requirements, Hiding [D] Energy can meet [D] and [C] requirements, but Powerful [C] Energy can only meet [C] Energy requirements. There are not attachment restrictions on these cards, a big improvement over the type-specific Special Energy cards of the XY-era. What makes them “type-support” is that each card has an effect that can only be accessed by Pokémon of the corresponding type:
I believe the best of these is Hiding [D] Energy, at least in Standard. This is like a Float Stone that does not eat up your Tool slot and doesn’t have to worry about Item-lock… but you have to use your Energy attachment for the turn and deal with anti-Special Energy effects. The next best I think is Powerful [C] Energy. This may seem odd because Strong Energy, the XY-era Fighting-type specific Energy, was so great. Is a free retreat cost that much better than +20 damage? Strong Energy worked so well because of a combination of factors. The Fighting type had a lot of great attackers that only needed one Energy, it was good a stacking damage bonuses, and three types were majority Weak to it.
Powerful [C] Energy says you apply the damage bonus before Weakness and Resistance, but there aren’t any [C] Weak or Resistant cards in Expanded, let alone Standard. Maybe this is a hint that will change, but besides some older cards that can give something [C] Weakness or Resistance, but it is probably just there because it is typical of such effects. Anyway, this means you’re not ever getting a sweet +40 bonus because of Weakness, or using Powerful [C] Energy to effectively reduce Resistance. Maybe we’ll get more damage bonuses to stack with it, but that isn’t usually the Colorless type’s way. All of this matters so much because +20 damage? Definitely times when it matters, but there are plenty of times where it won’t because it isn’t speeding up how fast you take a KO.
There are also the other Colorless Special Energy cards: Double Colorless Energy (in Expanded) Triple Acceleration Energy, Twin Energy, and Recycle Energy. Nothing says you cannot use them with Powerful [C] Energy… but space is often limited. Double Colorless Energy and Recycle Energy can work for any Pokémon, while Triple Acceleration Energy works for any Evolution, and Twin Energy works for anything that is not a Pokémon-GX or Pokémon V. As for Heat [R] Energy, it strikes me as the most disappointing. As with doing extra damage, extra HP only matters when it delays being KO’d for at least a turn, or is important for triggering or avoiding an effect. +20 HP does have a chance of mattering, especially if you’re able to play multiples to the same target…
…but unlike with doing damage, you don’t benefit right away. You may get no real benefit from Heat [R] Energy over having run basic Fire Energy if your opponent can discard it before the HP bonus matters. If something is currently still alive because of the HP bonus, your opponent can discard it to take their delayed KO… which is usually better than them taking the KO right way, but not necessarily worth running a Special Energy over a basic Energy… especially in Fire decks. Fire tends to have some great tricks – like Welder – that run on basic Fire Energy, but Heat [R] Energy isn’t compatible with that. Fire types also like to discard Energy from themselves to fuel additional damage and/or effects, which doesn’t work too well with Heat [R] Energy.
In Expanded, there’s more competition and counters for these cards to worry about, but also more opportunities. Heat [R] Energy seems better than Burning Energy, its XY-era type-specific Special Energy counterpart. That isn’t saying much, though; Burning Energy looks like a good idea at first, as it counts as [R] when attached to a Fire type, and reattaches itself if that Fire type discards it as part of one of its attacks. It doesn’t do that if it is discarded from play for any other reason, and it can’t be attached to non-Fire types (sometimes useful in a pinch). The big thing is that, again, Fire has so many great effects that are fueled by basic Fire Energy. This is a concern for any Special Energy like this, but it just seems to hit Fire harder.
Hiding [D] Energy won’t work with sweet tricks like Dark Patch, and this cardpool has Float Stone and Darkrai (BW – Dark Explorers 63/108, 107/108; BW – Black Star Promos BW46; BW – Legendary Treasures 88/113), so it may be redundant… but sometimes, that is a good thing. This means a particular Darkness Pokémon can still enjoy a free retreat cost even if Abilities and/or Items are locked away. What about Dangerous Energy? It wasn’t a good card when it was new, and its damage counter-placing effect only works against Pokémon-EX so it is even less useful now. Powerful [C] Energy has no XY-era counterpart, but this is the Format where Double Colorless Energy is legal, so it still feels the sting.
If you pull these any of these Energy in the Limited Format, it all boils down to whether you pull enough compatible Pokémon to justify playing them. How much is “enough” depends on exactly what; just one Pokémon V will do the job, but several poor (for Limited) Pokémon may still not be “enough”. There is one exception, and that is if you think you have enough room to bluff. After all, you can still use it on some random [C] Energy cost, so it isn’t dead in hand… and your opponent may fear attacks from Pokémon of a type you’re not even running. I will add that Powerful [C] Energy is probably the best here; not only is +20 damage more likely to matter, but you’re also more likely to pull and be able to run Colorless Pokémon.
Ratings (Heat [R] Energy)
Ratings (Hiding [D] Energy)
Ratings (Powerful [C] Energy)
As you may gather from the scores, I wasn’t as impressed by these new Special Energy cards, though I still think Hiding [D] Energy and Powerful [C] Energy are good. Not great, though, and Powerful [C] is best thought of as a nerfed Strong Energy. All three Energy cards did make my list, but collectively and because merging Rose and Rose Tower had left me one card sort. I was the least impressed with the Special Energies, though… well, maybe not Heat [R] Energy, as it would not have made the countdown at all if we hadn’t decided to cover all three at once.
Our fourth best card(s) of Darkness Ablaze is Powerful (C) Energy, Hiding (D) Energy, and Heat (R) Energy. It seems like the designers isn’t done with what they did in the XY series when they made type specific energies, so they did it again on the Sword & Shield series. Those three Special Energies has some potential and we’re going to be looking at each of them, all in one review.
Powerful (C) Energy does live up to its name, as not only it provides a colorless energy to any Pokémon, but it also makes your Colorless-Type Pokemon deal 20 extra damage to the Defending Pokémon. We’ve seen how Strong Energy impacted the competitive scene during the XY and SM days. Just a single attachment of Strong Energy to any of your Fighting Pokemon makes some of their cheap single energy attacks become lethal, with other damage boosting cards to even bolster their damage output even further. I guess with one Strong Energy, Diancie (*), Fighting Stadium (even though it’s outdated, and Martial Arts Dojo doesn’t work with Strong Energy), and Muscle Band together makes any attacks that need only a single energy deal sixty or eighty more damage! Fighting Weakness makes it reach triple digit damage, with the first digit possibly start with 2XX! Powerful (C) Energy is good, but it doesn’t have any more colorless based support, well, not as much than Fighting types. Colorless Pokemon also has no weakness to exploit.
Next is Hiding (D) Energy, which not only provides D energy, but also makes Dark Pokemon have no retreat cost, letting you retreat for free! Granted, that actually saves you a tool slot so that you can attach a different tool other than Air Balloon or Float Stone in Expanded. That’s probably gonna be an important Special Energy Card for Eternatus VMAX decks or other dark based decks.
And finally, there’s Heat (R) Energy, which I think falls short of being playable. It does provide R energy and makes Fire Pokemon get +20 Max HP…..which is not permanent. Being discarded via Enhanced Hammer means you’ve just lost the HP gained, and if the damage you already had exceeds your Max HP, then it’s instantly Knocked Out! On the other side of the coin, you could have a potentially beefy Pokémon like Centiskorch VMAX which could have 440 Max HP if it had four of those Heat (R) Energy and a Big Charm attached to it! Still, I just don’t like cards that boost HP because the Pokémon is on borrowed time.
Overall, those triple type specific special energy cards have potential that could be experimented. I think these cards are meant to run a full four, but looks like I’ll have to wait and see.
Yup, average scores across the board. They are so specific, though they did a somewhat good job of supporting them.
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