– Unbroken Bonds
May 23, 2019
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
If Silent Lab isn’t enough to cause mayhem, then perhaps Power Plant will! This is a Stadium card which make both players’ Pokemon-EX and Pokémon-GX have no abilities. This is a fantastic effect as long as it benefits you while you aren’t phased by the same effect against you. This also makes it that Green’s Exploration can be used a bit more freely. Not all EX/GX Pokemon needs abilities to succeed, and you may find yourself thinking that Power Plant is no better than to get rid of other stadiums, which could be sent to the discard or to the Lost Zone. I’ve seen some of the time that the main attacker that is a EX or a GX without abilities gets supported by other non-EX/GX Pokemon with abilities, so already Power Plant is being thwarted due to not affecting single prize Pokémon. Still, Power Plant cripples a good amount of EX/GX Pokemon that really needed their abilities to function, and this stadium card ruins them all! I can’t find much to say about this card, but just for the fun of it, I’ll just list as many EX/GX Pokemon as I can remember, maybe ones that seem more important.
-Darkrai-EX, Manaphy-EX, and Zeraora-GX cannot utilize Dark Cloak for free retreating, even if your Pokemon has the respective energies attached. Dark, Water, and Lightning.
-Keldeo-EX and Dawn Wings Necrozma-GX cannot utilize their maneuvers to save you from using up your manual retreat. Rush In and Invasion are disabled.
-Necrozma-GX is no longer protected by damage by Colorless Pokemon due to Light’s End being disabled.
-Shaymin-EX, Detective Pikachu’s Greninja-GX, Zoroark-GX and Dedenne-GX cannot draw extra cards for you. Set Up, Elusive Master, Trade, and Dedechange are disabled.
-Jirachi-EX and Tapu Lele-GX cannot fetch any Supporters. Stellar Guidance and Wonder Tag are disabled.
-Decidueye-GX and Greninja-GX from SM Forbidden Light cannot harass you with their arrows or their shurikens. Feather Arrow and Shuriken Flurry are disabled.
-Deoxys-EX and Regirock-EX cannot provide extra damage output to their respective categories: Team Plasma and Fighting types. Power Connect and Regi Power are disabled. Also Volcanion-EX’s Steam Up gets disabled, too!
-Mew-EX and Marshadow-GX won’t have access to other attacks with Versatile and Shadow Hunt being disabled.
-Virizion-EX and Cobalion-GX cannot protect your Pokemon from status Conditions, even if it has grass or metal energies attached to your Pokemon due to Verdant Wind and Metal Symbol being disabled.
-Aegislash-EX and Xurkitree-GX cannot protect themselves from damage from other Pokémon with Special Energies since Mighty Shield and Flashing Head are disabled.
So far that’s 20+ examples that I think are important, and I don’t think I covered at least 25%. But that should give you an idea of what Power Plant can do!
Standard: 3.5/5 (Not always a must run, since that depends what players uses at tournaments.)
Expanded: 4/5 (There’s more EX/GX Pokemon there that will not like this Stadium)
Limited: 4/5 (GX Pokemon with abilities aren’t so frequent, maybe except for Whimsicott and Persian here.)
Today we look at Power Plant (SM – Unbroken Bonds 183/214), a new Trainer-Stadium card with an effect that states all Pokémon-EX/GX in play have no Abilities. Stadiums can be a rather odd duck at times; Stadium cards can only be discarded from the field by effects that specifically target them or by putting another Stadium with a different name into play. They’re not the easiest things to search out or recycle, though it can be done. As such, it can vary from incredibly easy to impossible to get rid of Power Plant; it all depends on who has what resources left, and those resources showing up in a timely manner. There is an easily overlooked upside as well; if you only need to disable Abilities on Pokémon-EX/GX for a certain amount of time, you can get rid of your own Stadium so long as you have a different one, a Field Blower, Marshadow (SM – Unbroken Bonds (81/214), etc. to spare.
Power Plant has a good effect, something that Glaceon-GX players know. All non-Pokémon-EX/GX still have access to their Abilities, so Power Plant can work in more than just “No Ability” decks; Abilities on non-EX/GX Pokémon or those that don’t constantly need their Abilities can still make good use of Power Plant. A nasty early-game play is to use cards like Dedenne-GX and Tapu Lele-GX to further your own setup, THEN drop Power Plant to deny your opponent the same opportunity. The sooner Power Plant hits the field, though, the more answers your opponent will have for it. Even this has a silver lining as it means many (most?) decks will have to deal with Power Plant or suffer if it hits the field that early… which means one less Stadium counter for something else you’re running. Late-game, your opponent may have fewer single-use Abilities to block but also fewer answers to Stadiums… and it isn’t like no one ever goes Tapu Lele-GX=>Guzma=>attack for the win. Even if your opponent has no Abilities to deny, Power Plant can still counter other Stadium cards.
Now, Thursdays are normally dedicated to older cards, hence the name “Throwback Thursday”. We often play fast and loose with that, and this time is no different: a little over 16 years ago, the original Power Plant (Aquapolis 139/147) released. While also a Trainer-Stadium, its effect it had an effect that the turn player could use once, during his or her turn, before attacking. That player could discard a basic Energy from hand to add a basic Energy from the discard pile. Not mind-blowing, but handy I could see it helping multi-Type decks. Reprints aren’t as straightforward as they once were. Pokémon can have the same name, count against each other for the 4 Copy Rule, but not be seen as “reprints”. All the game relevant stats and effect text must mean the same things (if not actually be the same) to count as reprints… which would make all past copies legal.
However, sometimes they are still reprints even though things have dramatically changed, in which case the newer card does not make the older cards Standard or Expanded-legal, but instead the older cards stop being Unlimited Format-legal. This can only be avoided with an errata that forces the old card(s) to be played as the current version. Then stuff like “Alternate Reprints” (or whatever they are officially called) makes things even more confusing, but this isn’t an example of an Alternate Reprint so we won’t go into detail about that. Instead, the new Power Plant joins the cardpool and the old is no longer Unlimited Format legal… except… what if the names aren’t actually the same? I neither read nor speak Japanese (yeah, some Otaku I turned out to be), but thanks to the internet, I can still just look at card names.
The Japanese counterpart to Aquapolis 139/147 is “無人変電所” while the Japanese version of SM – Unbroken Bonds 183/214 is “無人発電所”. The center kanji are different. It could be a meaningless difference, such as how some cards are Professor Oak’s Research while others are named Prof. Oak’s Research, or perhaps they are different cards, in which case the original Power Plant may not have been erased from the Unlimited Format. Not that it matters too much either way. I submitted a question about it to the Rules Team, via PokéGym, but they haven’t had time to answer, because I only asked as I was writing this article.
The current version of Power Plant is a very good card, maybe even great. Think of it as a compliment or alternative to Shrine of Punishment; while it doesn’t punish every Pokémon-EX/GX it punishes many of them, which means it can work in more decks than Shrine of Punishment. There may even be some handy combos just for Power Plant. One that is already making the rounds is with Green’s Exploration; if you’ve got a spent Dedenne-GX, Tapu Lele-GX, etc. on your Bench but Power Plant is in play, they’re treated as if they have no Abilities (as opposed to just non-functional Abilities), so you can then play Green’s Exploration with no problem! Power Plant should be about as useful in Expanded as Standard; while there are more cards to counter or rival it, there are more cards to compliment it as well. As for the Limited Format, you’ll need a Stadium to counter other Stadiums; when Power Plant’s actually effect comes in handy, that is just a bonus.
Power Plant isn’t going to cause most decks to drop their current Stadiums or Stadium counters, but it should join a lot of what is already being played. Deck space is tight, and I’m guessing that is the main reason this card didn’t make our actual countdown. It came close, though, and would have been our 13th place pick if we’d countdown down from a big enough number. As for my personal list, Power Plant took 5th place BUT I am now thinking that was a bit high. Not because Power Plant isn’t that good, but because this set just had that many cards that seem to be even better!
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