Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing
– Darkness Ablaze
October 24, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
It’s usually the job of Pokémon Breeders to take care of some of your Pokemon, and in in-game terms, some of your Pokemon that you’re left in their care gets EXP Points (like 1 point every step), which can make them level up and learn moves, though sadly, it will replace your first move and it doesn’t evolve your Pokemon. But in the TCG, anything can happen.
Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing from Sword & Shield Darkness Ablaze is a Supporter card that lets you choose 2 of your Pokemon in play and search your deck for a Pokémon that evolves from that Pokémon and put it on that Pokémon to evolve it. I don’t know if it still counts as evolving that Pokémon since that text got left out; I still think it does. If it does, then unfortunately you can’t evolve that Pokémon again if you used Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing first, which can be irritating for Stage 2s. However, if you manually evolve your Pokemon into a Stage 1 first and then use Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing, then you can get your Pokémon to be on Stage 2! Even if you can’t use this card on your first turn, the fact that T1 rules state that you can’t play Supporter cards on your first turn makes this last block of text moot. However, I believe the player going second still can’t play this card either since it’s their first turn as well. And you can’t even evolve your Pokemon the turn you just played.
How useful would Pokemon Breeder’s Nurturing be? Well, even though you can thin your deck due to grabbing 2 Evolved Pokémon, they can’t make use of coming-into-play abilities that usually needs to be played from their hand. The restrictions might seem like this card won’t be worth your turn, but as far as balancing/pacing goes, it does a good job to not be banned. Wally from XY Roaring Skies was banned from Expanded a few years ago due to being able to play him on the first turn of the game AND evolve their Pokémon on their first turn. This speed was definitely worth the Supporter for your turn (despite the exclusion of EX Pokémon), and Zoroark-GX, for example can still draw cards via Trade ability without the need for a Supporter, so niche Supporters like Wally can be used a bit more freely. There’s also other Stage 1 Pokemon that can be abused to great effect, like Trevenant XY locking item usage.
Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing does twice as much as Wally does, but it does give your opponent a turn to try and disrupt your plans. And since it doesn’t exclude any game mechanics, that means they CAN let you evolve into Mega Evolutions, BREAK Evolutions, Stage 1 or Stage 2 GX Pokemon, and VMAX Pokemon. I can see this card be played in some decks that have a good Evolution Pokemon that requires only one stage to evolve. This will be used in not only VMAX decks, but also some of the Stage 1 GX with a very good ability, Silvally-GX from SM Cosmic Eclipse and SS Frosmoth being some examples.
This is one of those cards that I’ve have missed considering for the top X countdown of Darkness Ablaze, but at least we get to review this card. It’s not for every deck, but those that can make use of this card will definitely add them.
Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing (SW – Darkness Ablaze 166/189, 188/189, 195/189) is a Trainer-Supporter that has you select two of your in-play Pokémon. Then, for each of those Pokémon, you search your deck for a card that evolves from that respective Pokémon and play it onto that Pokémon (evolving it). As usual, you shuffle your deck afterward. Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing also states quite clearly you cannot use it during your first turn or select a Pokémon that was turn into play this turn. If you’re not sure what this mean, think of it like playing two copies of Evosoda simultaneously, with each targeting a separate Pokémon.
This is not evolution acceleration. The card clearly says you cannot use it unless the Pokémon (in play) selected are already able to evolve, and it doesn’t let you skip a Stage. Can it be combined with actual evolution acceleration? If it is worded properly, I believe so… but I’m not 100% certain so I won’t be giving examples. Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing does have you evolve from your deck; good for getting around the “Primal Law” Ability found on Dracovish (SW – Darkness Ablaze 053/189), but it means you wouldn’t trigger the “Untamed Shout” Ability found on Galarian Obstagoon (Sword & Shield 119/202).
If you really need to guarantee two evolved Pokémon hit the field and they do not have coming-into-play Abilities, this is your Supporter. I don’t think that describes a lot of decks. Stage 2 Pokémon are likely to want to use Rare Candy to skip their Stage 1 forms. Stage 1 Pokémon and Pokémon VMAX are fairly easy to snag through general draw power, and decent to search out through Evolution Incense or Pokémon Communication, which can be used alongside your Supporter for the turn. Expanded has Ultra Ball but also more anti-Item effects, plus VS Seeker for when Items are working. This is a nice pull for the Limited Format; odds are much better you’ll have room for another Supporter, and have some thin evolution lines you really want to hit the field.
I didn’t think Pokémon Breeder’s Nurturing would finish this high, but I can think of some theoretical scenarios when it would be worth your Supporter for reliable search. To the point it seems probably some competitive deck will eventually make use of it.
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