Stone [F] Energy – Vivid Voltage
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
We have another special energy designed for Fighting types, but instead of helping you deal extra damage, it lets you take less damage.
Stone F Energy from SS Vivid Voltage could be considered to be parallel of Strong Energy from XY Furious Fists! While Strong Energy lets Fighting types deal 20 more damage, Stone F Energy makes Fighting types take 20 less damage. How useful this Special Energy would be depends on the Fighting Pokémon in question. It might not work well on low HP Pokémon if they’re going to be OHKOed anyways, but it would be useful on others with high HP. Something like Coalossal VMAX with its 330 HP that can avoid certain thresholds with this Special Energy card. Or a Basic Fighting Pokémon-V or Pokémon-GX with this Special Energy and/or Circhester Bath to further reduce damage taken. In Expanded, surprisingly both Strong Energy and Stone F Energy are useful under some circumstances, so I can’t really say that it faces competition from each other (and that one should use over the other).
I guess some drawbacks is that it is a Special Energies can be eventually discarded by card effects, and that it DOESN’T count as Fighting energy in your hand, deck, or discard pile. I remember that part via an email that I got regarding my review of Speed L Energy, so unfortunately Stone F Energy suffers a similar fate. But drawbacks aside, if your Fighting deck does have room for Stone F Energy, then it is worth using. You could even have 4 Stone F Energies and 4 Strong Energies in Expanded if you like!
The Fighting type in the TCG is ambiguous: they represent Pokemon in the video games that are Fighting, Ground, and Rock types. Regardless, they all share the same support for the Fighting type in the TCG, so it is one of the TCG types that represents the most multiple types (the other being Psychic, which represents Psychic, Ghost, and now Fairy types in the video games. Poison types also share the Psychic typing, but that type undergo several changes before, initially being Grass types in base set days, then Psychic type, then Dark types in Sword/Shield).
Years ago, before the Fairy Type was even a thing in the video games, I did a simple spreadsheet trying to work out how to best balance the different Pokémon types. Not only did I lose it, but I realize now it was far from finished; too many factors I hadn’t considered. Still, with what I did work out… I think the video game Rock type should be paired with the video game Steel type for the TCG Metal type. With what little I did check, they matched up reasonably well, better than Rock does with Fighting and Ground. Both in terms of types attacking and being attacked by this new compound type, as well as in general strategies.
I take Stone [F] Energy (SW – Vivid Voltage 164/185) as confirmation of this. Look up the Special Energy cards Metal Energy and Shield Energy if you need details, but what matters is that they’re both Special Energy cards for Metal Pokémon that reduce the damage they take by 10. There are also a few finer details that are different… including from the reviews for Metal Energy to which I just linked, as they revised the card extensively over its many printings. Probably due for a Throwback Thursday review, in all honesty. How is this all relevant to Stone [F] Energy? It is a Special Energy card that provides [F] Energy while attached to a Pokémon, and, if attached to a Fighting type, reduces the damage it takes from attacks made by your opponent’s Pokémon. Specifically, by 20 per copy attached, before Weakness and Resistance.
It soaks twice the damage of Metal Energy or Shield Energy! The VG Rock types that are part of the TCG Fighting type are outdoing the Steel (Metal) types in the TCG. This power creep is, however, necessary. Shield Energy was a decent card, but not overly good, back in the day. While some of this was because it was an XY-era, type-specific Special Energy card (only worked with its chosen type, discarded itself if somehow attached off-type), even two generations ago, -10 wasn’t really enough. Especially as the XY-era Fighting Special Energy, Strong Energy, granted +20 damage per copy of itself attached to a Fighting type (though with those same XY-era attachment restrictions).
-20 damage isn’t a huge margin, and it is a bit of a shame it doesn’t help with self-damage, but it works even against Bench or spread hits, as long as they do damage (not place damage counters). Still, I think it is enough; Vitality Band sometimes makes a difference and it only grants +10 damage. Stone [F] Energy also stacks, so if you get two, you get -40 (its like being extra Resistant, and to everything!), three means -60 (double Resistance, but to all types!), and the hard-to-achieve quadruple attachment of Stone [F] Energy means -80 damage taken against all sources. When being hit by your Weakness, it is only half as effective: the damage is doubled by Weakness before the subtraction occurs. It stacks perfectly well with Resistance, however.
In Expanded, the Fighting type now has two custom Special Energy cards that let you tweak your offense or your defense. While I wasn’t overly impressed with Bea, in this cardpool, you can fetch her from the deck relatively easily, as well as recycle her using VS Seeker… and that’s relevant here because her effect lets you attach either basic or Special Energy cards from the five she mills from your own deck. If you have to choose between the two, due to deck space, Strong Energy is usually going to win. In Standard, just slapping one or two of these on something massive like Coalossal VMAX can help its already impressive HP score last longer… and Coalossal VMAX’s “Eruption Shot” attack also works with Special Energy cards. As for the Limited Format, its great if you have at least a few decent Fighting types to work with it… and just maybe, if you pull it but whiff on worthwhile Fighting types, you sneak it into your deck anyway just to bluff.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
- Limited: 4/5
Stone [F] Energy is a great type-specific Energy card, and so far, it is in the running for the best of the SW-series of type-specific Special Energy cards. It isn’t the clear winning by a long shot, and its a closer race than with its predecessors from the XY-era (Double Dragon Energy and Strong Energy were easily the best). As I keep saying, adding and reducing damage only matter if it shifts how many turns it takes for a KO, or is used to trigger or avoid triggering some effect, but it turns out -20 is just enough for certain match-ups, and it doesn’t take a lot more than that to be good. If the right match-up(s) become central to the metagame, it might even wind up being great.
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