Recycle Energy
Recycle Energy

Recycle Energy
– Unified Minds

Date Reviewed:
July 9, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 3.00

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

Reviews Below:

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It hasn’t been all that long since we last looked at Recycle Energy about a year ago.  So why cover it again?  In a weird way, I suppose it helps to offset how the only other review we have for Recycle Energy is from over 19 years ago.  By Ness.  The main reason, though, is we looked at Recycle Energy after its reprint was announced, but before it was actually available… which means now, we can see what actually happened, and what didn’t.

If you’ve never bothered reading it before, Recycle Energy is a Special Energy card that provides [C] while attached.  Its effect activates if anything discards Recycle Energy from a Pokémon in play; instead of going to the discard pile, Recycle Energy returns itself to your hand.  You can discard it due to an Ability cost, attack cost, Retreat Cost, being KO’d, etc. and Recycle Energy will return to your hand.  It also doesn’t matter whether you or your opponent are discarding Recycle Energy from a Pokémon; the effect will work regardless.

Recycle Energy does not return to your hand if you discard it from your hand, deck or your Prizes.  If a card effect discards Recycle Energy and sends it someplace other than your discard pile, such as returning it to your deck or sending it to the Lost Zone, that takes precedence.  The final major exception of which I can think are effects that negate other effects.  If Special Energy cards lose their effect, that would do it.  If Recycle Energy was attached to a Pokémon with at least one damage counter on it, then Mr. Mime (SM – Team Up 66/181) will prevent Recycle Energy’s effect from working.

Heading on over to Limitless, we can look at recent tournament results.  Recycle Energy tends to show up in the “Cinccino Control” and “Cinccino Mill” decks.  These are built around Cinccino (Sword & Shield 147/202; SSH – Black Star Promos SWSH009) and a variety of disruptive effects… plus Oranguru (SM – Ultra Prism 114/156).  Oranguru is all about its first attack, which costs [C] and lets you add three cards from your discard pile to the bottom of your deck.  A variety of other Pokémon, and many, many Trainers further assist, but Cinccino helps you draw into them faster, while Oranguru lets you reuse them.  Recycle Energy lets the deck save space, because it can get by with much less Energy as Recycle Energy recycles itself over and over again!

Recycle Energy isn’t being used much elsewhere at present, but I think this is enough to prove its worth in Standard.  After all, some of the decks I just mentioned were making it into the top four, and in tournaments with over 1000 players.  As similar decks exist in Expanded, even if they use radically different Pokémon, I’m assuming its handy there.  In the Limited Format, a self-recycling Energy sounds pretty handy for just about any deck you could build.  I guess Mulligan decks would need it the least, but even then, may as well include it unless your attacker has no [C] Energy requirements.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 3/5

I didn’t get into Recycle Energy’s history, as I covered that in my previous review.  It was an important card back in the day, where we not only saw a lot of OHKO’s but also had most decks running Energy Removal and/or Super Energy Removal.  Thankfully, we don’t have stuff like those two Item cards in any of our current Formats, though that also means Recycle Energy isn’t vital to countering them.  Just to help with the few decks that do focus on discarding your Energy, plus the more general uses like paying for Retreat Costs or being reclaimed after your Pokémon is KO’d, keeps Recycle Energy useful.

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