Single Strike Energy – Battle Styles
March 29, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Finishing in 5th-Place is Single Strike Energy (SW – Battle Styles 141/163, 183/163), though this is another cheat as we’ve got two Honorable Mentions alongside it, because Houndoom (SW – Battle Styles 096/163, 179/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH090) and Urn of Vitality (SW – Battle Styles 139/163) tie directly into what makes it so great. Getting back to the card itself, Single Strike Energy is a Special Energy that has three effects.
- Single Strike Energy may only be attached to Single Strike Pokémon. If it somehow winds up on a non-Single Strike Pokémon, it discards itself from that Pokémon.
- While attached to a Pokémon, Single Strike Energy provides one unit of Energy that counts as being both [F] and [D] at the same time.
- The attacks of the Pokémon to which this card is attached do an extra 20 damage to your opponent’s Active before Weakness and Resistance. This only applies if the attacks do damage in the first place; it can punch through things like Resistance, but if the attack normally does no damage, it will not suddenly let it.
This should sound familiar. Mixing Darkness and Fighting in Energy form dates back to Magma Energy (EX – Team Magma vs Team Aqua 87/95), which got a pseudo-reprint in the form of Double Magma Energy (Double Crisis 34/34). Both of these cards provide two units of Energy that simultaneously count as both [D] and [F]. The former may only be attached to Pokémon with “Team Magma” in their name, while the latter can only be attached to “Team Magma Pokémon” (slight difference), and both discard themselves at the end of the turn in which they were attached. As for the damage bonus, that’s just Strong Energy, but restricted to a Battle Style instead of the Fighting type.
As it is much closer to Strong Energy than the other two, that pretty much tells you how Single Strike Energy is best used. Its damage increasing effect stacks, so each Single Strike Energy adds 20. So two of them attached mean a total damage bonus of 40, three means 60, and four means 80. It also makes it easier to meet Energy costs between Fighting and Darkness Single Strike Pokémon. Strong Energy was one of the best of the type-specific Special Energy cards released in the XY-era. Unless Single Strike Pokémon and/or the rest of their support drop the ball, it is likely a staple for Single Strike decks and should significantly affect the metagame.
It gets better! Houndoom (SW – Battle Styles 096/163, 179/163; SW – Black Star Promos SWSH090) is a Stage 1 Single Strike Pokémon. We’ll ignore the bits that don’t matter as much to Single Strike Energy; the part we’re worried about is Houndoom’s Ability, “Single Strike Roar”. This Ability may be used once per turn, but if you have multiple instances of it in play, each can be used once during the same turn. Single Strike Roar lets you search your deck for a Single Strike Energy, attach it to one of your Single Strike Pokémon. Then you shuffle your deck and place two damage counters on the Pokémon that received the Energy.
Even though you’re damaging the Pokémon receiving the Energy, this is still a good deal. Energy acceleration means you’re already likely to hit harder because you can access more expensive attacks in fewer turns, but you still get the damage bonus from Single Strike Energy! Depending on the match-up, the two damage counters placed per Single Strike Roar may save a turn off how long it takes your opponent to score the KO, or may not matter at all. You may even be able to use it to fuel certain effects which utilize damage counters. While you can use multiple Single Strike Roars in a single turn, you need the Energy in your deck to fuel it, and if you use them to ready a big attack in a single turn, you’ll quickly run out…
…unless you use Urn of Vitality (SW – Battle Styles 139/163). Well, this Trainer-Item still won’t make a difference if all your Energy is already attached or in your hand, but if it hits your discard pile, Urn of Vitality can shuffle up to two Single Strike Energy back into your deck. While not a massive amount, you could theoretically attach a full four Single Strike Energy in a single turn up to three times if it hits the discard pile and you use two copies of Urn of Vitality to recycle both of them. In the Expanded Format, you could just use Special Charge, but Urn of Vitality does still count as a Single Strike card, which matters for other bits of support.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 4/5
On its own, Single Strike Energy is useless; if you don’t have a Single Strike Pokémon worth fueling with it, then there’s no point to it. If you do, then its their version of Strong Energy, and that is easily worth three-out-of-five, maybe even four. Add in the support, and we’ve got a solid four-out-of-five card for both Formats. Which is why it was my 4th-Place pick, but 5th-Place is close enough.
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