Super Boost Energy Prism Star
– Ultra Prism
March 7, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Sometimes a card comes along that offers you unlimited power. Sometimes that card comes with a price. And sometimes that price is TOO DAMN HIGH!!
…heh, Jimmy McMillan references in 2018, what was I even born in.
Super Boost Energy <Prism> is a Special Energy Prism card, meaning you get to only run one copy of it. So this better be doing something absolutely unreal if it’s going to be run in any deck. And it does! SBE<P> comes complete with 4 Energy of any color – yes you’re reading that right, 4 Energy. That is enough to power up just about any attack in the game! For only one card!
Okay…so what’s the catch.
First off, it doesn’t do anything special it it’s not attached to a Stage 2 Pokemon. That would probably be fine on its own, except that it won’t provide all 4 Energy even then – it only provides 1 Energy of any color. To get access to all 4 Energy, you need to have in play at least 3 Stage 2 Pokemon. At least it’s not 3 other Stage 2 Pokemon, but the idea being that, even if you do decide to attach this to something that isn’t a Stage 2 Pokemon – and keep in mind that it doesn’t actually prevent you from doing that – you still have to have 3 Stage 2 Pokemon in play to get the full benefit of that.
And how likely is that to happen? Keep in mind that, at minimum, you’re running 3 sets of a Basic, a Stage 1, and a Stage 2 in the same deck. Chances are you’re going for some weird ratios to try and boost the consistency of the ones you actually want out in play versus the ones you don’t want out in play, never mind that you need to also be running stuff that’ll get them out quickly so you can benefit off of the one card in your deck that works best when you’ve got all of them in play.
…yeah, no, pass. I know the benefits of 4 Energy is really tempting, and I’m sure you’re thinking of all the Stage 2s that could possibly benefit from this, or heck just all the Pokemon in general that could benefit from an instant 4-of, but no. You’re not making me play an inconsistent mess to try and get one card to work. I’d rather have the whole deck work together rather than the whole deck devoted to making one card work.
Standard: 1.5/5 (I am definitely not a fan of this card)
Expanded: 2/5 (in some spaces, it might be good, but only with things that can evolve quickly)
Limited: 1.5/5 (and you’re not getting it to work without consistency)
Arora Notealus: It may be a quick boost to your power plays, but at one copy in the deck that gets sent to the Lost Zone if it ever hits the discard, I don’t think Super Boost Energy <Prism> is really worth the space. Especially since you end up building the deck more around taking advantage of it in order to get the most out of it. I’ll admit though, if you can pull it off – and it’s not inconceivable to actually do that – it could make for a big surprise on your opponent when you decimate them with your super-powerful move in one go.
Side Review: Mount Lanakila – I can’t really speak on whether this has made any significant impact on things here and there. In theory it can, but it depends on what’s going on in the game and what big Basics might be around. Could work well against Ultra Beast decks or things like Dawn Wings/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX, but I dunno how many people are running this to specifically counter those.
Next Time: Taking a look at an older Pokemon that has some…familiar things about it.
Super Boost Energy Prism Star tries to do something wonderful to be worth experimenting, but gets cursed with restrictions and requirements that would take a quite some work to accomplish. Being limited to one copy instead of four makes it hard to search for and risks being in the prize card pile (although Gladion may help you a bit). Being a Special Energy can be a drawback; it will fall to anti-special energy cards such as Enhanced Hammer (which will send this card to the Lost Zone instead of discarding it due to the Prism Star ruling) or Xurkitree GX/Aegislash EX (which walls any Pokemon with Special Energy due to their respective abilities). It only works for Stage 2 Pokémon while providing one energy of all types. And to achieve the maximum effect, you must have at least THREE Stage 2 Pokémon in play! Wow, as if being a Prism Star card wasn’t restrictive enough…
If you manage to overcome those hurdles, then it will provide FOUR units of energy covering all types. Think of it as 4 Rainbow Energies in one card without placing damage counters. Now that’s phenomenal! What can you make use of four Rainbow Energies? One can easily say Pokémon whose attack costs are four energy or less. If you look deeper, however, this could be useful in Gardevoir-GX or Delphox FCO decks! Attach a Choice Band, Super Boost Energy, and use four Secret Spring abilities to bring your damage output from zero to 270, and that’s even before factoring how many energies the Defending Pokémon had!
Outside of one example (Gardevoir-GX), I can’t see Super Boost Energy being used anywhere else. Having at least three Stage 2 Pokémon in play is hard enough and only Gardevoir-GX, Metagross-GX, and Decidueye GX manages to see a reason to have more than three Stage 2 Pokémon in play because they are a great card overall.
Limited: 1.25/5 (highly unlikely you would be able to get at least three Stage 2 Pokémon in a Limited format consisting of 40 cards, even with favorable evolution packs from prerelease)
Notes: Super Boost Energy isn’t giving as much of a boost with those types of requirement. If it worked for any Pokémon, then this card would’ve been worth consideration. As it stands, it’s supporting a category (Stage 2 Pokémon) that isn’t seen as much play as one would hope.
Super Boost Energy Prism Star (UP 136) originates as the first Prism Energy card from the Ultra Prism expansion set. This card has three conditions:
Again, come on Pokemon! Show some love for Stage 2’s. This is like saying, “If you can run a mile in less than six minutes, you get to eat this entire cake. If you can’t, you can have a cookie. If you run it in more than ten minutes, you get a cracker.”
So I’ve detailed here the plight of the Stage 2 Pokemon in the game today. They are becoming a vanishing breed, definitely on the endangered species list. I spent a lot of time this weekend focusing almost exclusively on Stage 2 Pokemon. I tried Gardevoir variants, Delphox, Rampardos, Greninja, Decidueye, Torterra, Solgaleo… and all with the same result: I couldn’t break .500 with these decks.
And it’s not just me. One popular youtuber did a video on Torterra and gave it a C rating with the summary “Don’t do it.” This came a day after a generous B rating for Empoleon. Only four decks at Collinsville had Stage 2 Pokemon (Gardy Gallade 15th, Buluvolt 23rd and 24th, and a single Gardy in a quad Sylveon build at 59th). There were a few more at Malmo (six Stage 2’s in the top 32) but that tournament was a quarter of the size of Collinsville.
Stage 2’s are inherently at a disadvantage to Stage 1’s and Basics. This is why they should get better attacks, more powerful abilities, and higher HP than their prior evolution counterparts.
This isn’t happening, however. Big Basics are getting great attacks, many of the games best abilities are being built into Basic or Stage 1 Pokemon, and the increase in HP is proportionally insignificant. Pokemon got itself into this situation, it needs to do something to get itself out of it, but Super Boost Energy isn’t the answer. I used it a few times, especially with Leafeon builds, but clearly it didn’t do much to help me win. Stage 2 Pokemon need a lot more help before they’ll get back to a point of being competitive again.
Standard: 2 out of 5
Again Pokemon underpowers another card. Why not simply let it be worth four of any type of energy as long as its attached to a Stage 2 Pokemon? Why build in the multiple condition Pokemon? And why make it three knowing full well in this super fast meta that its pretty hard to get three Stage 2 Pokemon set up. Especially when an Enhanced Hammer sends Super Boost Energy to the Lost Zone where it can’t be recovered. Super Boost Energy is just another example of how Pokemon takes a timid swing at the ball and completely whiffs on it.
Today we are looking at Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] (SM – Ultra Prism 136/156), a card that didn’t make any of our top 10 lists, but did make two of the top 20 lists that were submitted. This allowed it to earn 13 voting points, and while this tied with another card we’ll look at on Friday, that card only made one top 10 so Super Boost Energy edged it out to be our 22nd place finisher in a top 10 countdown. Yay? I actually was somewhat excited for Super Boost Energy, as it was my 11th place pick; that means 10 out of those 13 voting points came from me. So, why was I so excited?
Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] is a Special Energy card which may be attached to anything BUT only provides [C] if it isn’t attached to a Stage 2. When it is attached to a Stage 2 Pokémon, it provides one unit of Energy that counts as all Types… unless you have three or more Stage 2 Pokémon in play, in which case it provides four units of Energy, each of which counts as all Energy Types at once. To review the Prism Star mechanics, click here; the short version is that means you may only run a single copy of Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] AND it goes to the Lost Zone instead of the discard pile. That means, even with cards like Special Charge or Puzzle of Time, you can’t reuse it. While quite a few card effects work with Energy cards, most beneficial ones work only with basic Energy and some of the detrimental ones work only against Special Energy.
Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] is nearly useless to anything that isn’t a Stage 2, which is actually better than it sounds. At least, in the past, cards like this meant for a Stage 2 either couldn’t be attached to anything that wasn’t a Stage 2, would discard themselves if attached to something that wasn’t a Stage 2, or both. If you have to, you can drop Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] on a Basic Pokémon if you’re desperate to meet a [C] Energy requirement or because you plan on Evolving that Basic later but right now, you’re about to use Professor Sycamore (which would otherwise have sent Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] to the Lost Zone). Even just acting as a Rainbow Energy without the damage counter placement for only Stage 2 Pokémon is quite handy, but not worth the whole “goes to the Lost Zone when discarded” thing. Providing four such units of Energy, now that is worth the hassle of being a Prism Star card, but needing three or more Stage 2 Pokémon? That is a tall order in the current metagame.
Which is probably why this card isn’t seeing any success in the competitive sphere of either the Standard or Expanded Format. At least, it isn’t showing up in the decklists I’ve for recent, major tournaments (it is easier to find some lists than others). To be honest, when I saw this card, I figured most Stage 2 using decks would want it… but I forgot three very important details:
This is not to say that Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] is pure garbage; it isn’t. When you run it in one of the Constructed Formats, it needs to be as a lucky power play. If your deck can’t afford it being a no-show or serve as bait for your opponent’s Energy discarding effects half to three-fourths of the time, it doesn’t belong in your deck. When you can afford that, then the quarter of the time it does something (and probably only a tenth of the time when it gets the full effect) comes in handy. Right now, I’m doubting any competitive deck has that much leeway but I wouldn’t rule it out forever; had Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] debuted in SM – Burning Shadows alongside Gardevoir-GX, it would have been a must-run for the deck because Gardevoir-GX was the attacker in that deck until quite recently. It might have also benefited had it come out way earlier, when Archie’s Ace in the Hole an Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick were more popular (and potent). As for the Limited Format, I wouldn’t ever count on getting the full effect of the card, but having a Stage 2 exclusive Rainbow Energy is pretty nice, even if you might only have a Stage 2 due to your Evolution booster (I think – I don’t recall its contents for this set).
I know some folks saw this and thought “About time Stage 2 Pokémon got some support!”, and now biterly disappointed by how things turned out. I’d like to remind them that, years ago, there was a run of formats where Stage 2 Pokémon called the shots and it still was disappointing because too much Stage 2 support meant the other Stages were the filler. That support also allowed the powers-that-be to ignore the real game design issues, including but not limited to how Evolving Basic and Stage 1 Pokémon are so often filler, and bad filler at that. Even if Super Boost Energy [Prism Star] had worked, think about it; it is a single card that can’t hit the discard pile, which would have made it a textbook example of a lucky power play.
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