Porygon-Z – Unbroken Bonds

Date Reviewed: July 29, 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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I thought we’d reviewed Porygon-Z (SM – Unbroken Bonds 157/214) around the time it released back in May of 2019. Time to rectify that, as two-years seems old enough for a “Throwback” to me… at least in a TCG with quarterly releases and a yearly rotation.  This Porygon-Z has the phenomenal Ability “Crazy Code”, which lets you attach a Special Energy card from your hand to one of your Pokémon as often as you like during your turn.  If you are running a mono-type deck, you can spam your type-specific Special Energy cards.  If you just need to cover non-Colorless Energy cards, that is what Rainbow Energy – and later, Aurora Energy – are for.  Yes, it can get tight for attacks that cost three of a specific Energy type…

…but plenty of cards run on mostly or all Colorless Energy.  There are many useful Colorless Special Energy cards.  Got an evolution with an attack that hits harder the more Energy it has attached?  Spam Triple Acceleration Energy.  Throw in some Twin Energy for attackers compatible with it.  Add a Weakness Guard Energy if that is a concern.  Use Draw Energy to draw as you attach.  Probably the biggest deal was/is Recycle Energy.  As long as Recycle Energy hits the discard pile from the field, it returns to your hand.  That includes hitting the discard because the Pokémon to which it was attached has an effect that discards its own Energy, and when it hits the discard pile because the Pokémon to which it was attached was KO’d.

The main, competitive deck to utilize Porygon-Z had Cramorant V and Cramorant VMAX as the main attackers.  The former can snipe the Bench for 160 damage if you have [CCC] attached, but must discard all its (the Cramorant V’s) attached Energy to do so.  Cramorant VMAX also needs [CCC] for its attack, and has you flip a coin for each Energy attached to itself, doing 80 per heads.  I don’t recall this being the absolute, dominant deck in the metagame, but it saw some success.  I haven’t heard much about it lately, and I can’t tell if it just isn’t up to snuff anymore, or if it is do to the lack of major events.  Now, if Crazy Code is so good, you may be wondering why we aren’t seeing more of this Porygon-Z.  The answer lies (mostly) with the rest of the card.

The good news? Porygon-Z is a baseline Pokémon, so there’s no Rule Box or extra Prizes or other extra rules to worry about.  The bad news is that means it is a Stage 2 Pokémon, so it requires a significant card and time investment to hit the field… and there’s a good chance you’ll need to keep it alive and use its Ability turn after turn.  Porygon-Z is a Colorless Pokémon, which doesn’t do it a lot of good.  That 130 HP really hurt, and the [F] Weakness plus lack of Resistance weren’t doing it any favors.  Nor did the rest of the Evolution line.  The Retreat Cost of [CC] and attack were decent.  “Tantrum” is the only other thing Porygon-Z can do, and it lets Porygon-Z do 120 damage for [CCC], though it also Confuses itself.

As has too often been the case, I’m uncertain about this card in Expanded.  Haven’t heard or seen anything about it there, certainly have it run it myself.  I think being a Stage 2 is harder on a Pokémon here, and there are hard counters to all Abilities here.  At the same time, you’ve got a lot more Special Energy cards to work with.  That’s enough to avoid a minimum score, as the powers-that-be forgetting about a Stage 2 like this, then releasing an amazing attacker that Crazy Code breaks seems plausible.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2/5

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