– Boundaries Crossed
October 19, 2017
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Today’s throwback goes back to ACE SPECs again, kinda like what we did during those two weeks of reviews, only this is one of the ones we didn’t review. That might be because, unlike the others, this one only works with a very specific Pokemon in mind, White Kyurem-EX.
Yep, Crystal Edge is one of the ACE SPECs that was only usable if you used it with the Pokemon it was associated with. There was a counterpart with Black Kyurem-EX, as well as a couple for Genesect-EX, but I’m sure we’ll talk about those in time if you don’t know them already. For now, Crystal Edge is the focus, and it’s a doozy of a card!
While it can only be attached to White Kyurem-EX, Crystal Edge does it a MASSIVE favor by boosting its attacks with an extra 50 damage. To compare it to some of the other powerful cards we’ve had, Fighting Fury Belt only boosts by 10 damage, Muscle Band does it by 20, and Choice Band boasts a boost of 30 but only if the attack target is an EX or GX. So by all means, this card being limited to only 1 in the deck isn’t unreasonable, and limiting it to only White Kyurem-EX isn’t too bad either…but would you run this card?
Obviously there are some contenders for the slot, so if you’re not opting for a Computer Search or Master Ball for whatever reason, what puts Crystal Edge…over the edge? Well as of now there are only 2 White Kyurem-EX in the game – there’s the one that came from Boundaries Crossed and has been reprinted a few times, and then there’s the one from Plasma Storm that…got printed once. And that was it.
White Kyurem-EX (BCR) could get powered up by Crystal Edge and unleash a powerful Dragon Stream onto the opponent, hitting for 110 damage at 3 Energy with the potential to accelerate some Energy onto itself for Ice Burn to be usable. And Ice Burn starts at 4-for-150, but not only will it Burn for an extra 20 damage on its own, but Crystal Edge can boost that to OHKO anything short of a Mega-EX or Stage 2 GX! Meanwhile, White Kyurem-EX (PLS) comes with a generic 3-for-60 vanilla Slash that can be boosted to 110 damage easily, and then it can hang onto its Energy for White Inferno, dealing out 4-for-100 on its own, PLUS the 50 from Crystal Edge AND the extra damage it deals for each damage counter on it. In short, with enough damage on him, this guy can OHKO anything in the game – something you can’t quite say about his BCR cousin.
It’s hard to say that one or the other deserves the Crystal Edge more. Their first attacks both rival each other in terms of power, but BCR boasts an Energy accelerator that PLS doesn’t. Course, that’s to fuel Ice Burn, which has to also discard 2 Fire Energy in order to work, whereas White Inferno deals less initial damage but can build up over time as PLS takes damage. Whichever choice works out, Crystal Edge can work solidly for either of them, and the potential to push back against the swarming masses of ever-higher HP and EX/GX would likely be the main reason for running this ACE SPEC in your deck.
Then again, you’re playing White Kyurem-EX. Maybe you need all the help you can get.
Standard: N/A (obviously this card rotated out of Standard, along with White Kyurem-EX)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (and it’s not like I’ve heard many success stories with this guy in recent years)
Limited: 4/5 (then again, if you can land both, it can be wildly useful…otherwise, it’s a 1/5 useless shiny card)
Arora Notealus: Crystal Edge is, bar none, the most powerful damage-boosting Tool in the game to date. Its limitations on the number to run and what it can be used with do restrict its overall potential, but in the right build, it can be just as devastating as even some of the decks of today. That being said, it runs on a very specific set-up, and I’d be hard-pressed to suggest it over some of the other ACE SPEC choices.
Next Time: Sometimes it’s the sneaky cards that are the most dangerous…
Crystal Edge (BW: Boundaries Crossed 138/149) is one of the Pokémon-specific Ace Spec cards we skipped when we reviewed the eight more general Ace Spec cards not long ago. We are looking at it now because… I really needed to pick a Throwback quickly while making the schedule and you know I also hate leaving things out. So without further ado, Crystal Edge is an Aec Spec card, specifically, a Trainer-Item Pokémon Tool with an effect that states if it is attached to White Kyurem-EX, then the attacks of that Pokémon do +50 damage before applying Weakness or Resistance. This means we’ll need to at least glance at White Kyurem-EX, but this isn’t a double (it would actually need to be a triple) review, but that was intentional. We’ll probably never see a new White Kyurem-EX printed but I also want us to focus on Crystal Edge itself; while all cards involved might be awful or awesome, it seems more likely that they’ll split with some being better than others.
As a reminder, I’ll be speaking primarily of the Expanded and Legacy Format unless otherwise stated, even if I mention a card legal for Standard play. Being an Ace Spec means you can only run a single copy of this card and you cannot run it alongside any other Ace Spec. Yes, even in Limited Format play, as the rules are printed on the cards themselves. The only Ace Spec-specific effect is an Ability on Spiritomb (BW: Legendary Treasures 87/113) which prevents either player from playing them from hand. Being a Trainer doesn’t mean much as we (thankfully) don’t see a lot of effects (counters or support) that affect all Trainers. The isn’t much support specifically for Items for Pokémon Tools, but one piece is incredibly relevant for the Legacy Format: Junk Arm. At the cost of discarding two other cards from your hand, it allows you to reclaim any Item from your discard pile, even Ace Specs! Item cards are naturally easy to play – costs or conditions are based on the individual cards – but that might be why anti-Item effects are huge in these Formats. Don’t count on being able to freely use your Items.
Being a Pokémon Tool is problematic. The good news is that you can benefit from the effect for as long as it is attached to White Kyurem-EX. The bad news is that it prevents you from using any other Tools and, again in both relevant Formats, there are easy ways to discard multiple Pokémon Tools at once, plus other counters both direct and indirect. Not a lot of great Tool support, either, and what there is probably won’t help Crystal Edge much (more on that later). Only working for White Kyurem-EX is also a pretty hefty restriction, but at least you can still attach it to something else on the rare occasion you just need it out of your hand or to trigger another effect. The plus 50 damage is great; with all we have going against it, I might like an additional bonus like being able to ignore effects on the opponent’s Active or being immune to the effects of your opponent’s cards, but this is more than twice the bonus provided by Muscle Band and almost twice the bonus provided by Choice Band. Neither of those two are legal in the Legacy Format, and Choice Band only works against Pokémon-EX/GX, so we should really appreciate how big a bonus +50 damage was and still is.
Okay, time to look at White Kyurem-EX itself, or rather “themselves” as there are multiple releases that cover two distinct versions of the card and we’ll breeze through both. White Kyurem-EX (BW: Boundaries Crossed 103/149, 146/149; BW: Black Star Promos BW63; BW: Legendary Treasures 101/113) is Basic Dragon-Type Pokémon with 180 HP, Dragon Weakness, no Resistance, Retreat Cost [CCC], and two attacks. So far, so good; a little chunky in the Retreat Cost and Dragon Weakness – while what all BW-era Dragons had – was pretty dangerous back in the day and isn’t exactly safe right now, either. For [RCC] it can use the attack “Dragon Stream” to do 60 damage and flip a coin; “tails” changes nothing while “heads” allows you to attach a basic Energy card from your discard pile to itself. The second attack, “Ice Burn”, requires [RRWC] and allows this White Kyurem-EX to do 150 damage plus Burn, but also requires you discard [RR] from itself. Dragon Stream is not a good attack; 60 for three is poor unless the effect is good, and a coin flip to attach just one Basic Energy to itself doesn’t qualify. Being mostly Colorless would normally help but it isn’t like Ice Burn can use Double Colorless Energy; unless you’re attaching extra sources of [R] or [W] Energy, they can easily go to waste with ice Burn. If your deck can quickly ready Dragon Steam, try to find a way to help it ready Ice Burn because… it’s a decent attack. Not great, but under the current Burn rules it can OHKO a decent chunk of competitive attackers and can take out all of it with some help.
White Kyurem-EX (BW: Plasma Storm 96/135) has the same stats as its predecessor and also two attacks with almost the same Energy costs. For [CCC] it can use “Slash” to do 60 damage, while [RRWC] pays for “White Inferno”, allowing it to do 100 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter already on itself. Even when it was new, 60-for-three was bad; being able to use any Energy would normally make it only “poor” but once again, we have a demanding second attack. White Inferno is also a poor attack, but this time it is because the messy Energy cost – the same as for Ice Burn – doesn’t reach OHKO levels against anything that isn’t small unless this White Kyurem-EX is injured. You can get some massive damage that will easily OHKO anything without protection but it means this White Kyurem-EX has to be injured, and not just a token one or two damage counters. Your opponent isn’t too likely to cooperate.
Crystal Edge is a bit tricky to score; +50 damage is great, being your Ace spec hurts a little, only working with White Kyurem-EX hurts a lot. How a card interacts with other cards does affect its score; in a way it actually reflects all of it. Neither White Kyurem-EX has much hope in either the Expanded or Legacy Formats, and Limited events using BW: Boundaries Crossed boosters probably require you organize them yourself while costing a lot more than if you were using current product. If you can find such an event and get both Crystal Edge and White Kyurem-EX, go for it unless you also get a Computer Search. As I am a stickler for details, I will mention that Double Dragon Energy helps the White Kyurem-EX but more modern opponent’s easily outweigh that benefit. If you really want to give Crystal Edge a go, try the Legacy Format where Junk Arm and the current Burn Rules allow White Kyurem-EX and its Ice Burn (BW: Boundaries Crossed 103/149, 146/149; BW: Black Star Promos BW63; BW: Legendary Treasures 101/113) to flirt with being functional.
Though I want to focus on Crystal Edge, in the end its score still has to reflect White Kyurem-EX, and that means it can’t get very high. Unless it was available to an already amazing Pokémon, being an Ace Spec Tool would still be quite the ladder to climb. We’ll eventually look at the other, similar Ace Spec cards, because some of them at least were able to pull it off back in the day.
Today’s Throwback Thursdays is another Ace Spec card. I thought we were done covering some Ace Specs, but we decided to look at some Ace Spec cards that works on certain Pokemon. I still never owned this card; Now it is hard to find them in my local card dealer shop.
Crystal Edge is a Pokemon Tool card that can be attached to any Pokemon, but works only for White Kyurem EX. When attached, it makes White Kyurem EX deal 50 more damage to the Defending Pokemon. This is useful in putting pressure, if not OHKO, on your opponent’s Pokemon. The heart of the matter is if either White Kyurem EX is playable or not.
There are two versions on White Kyurem EX: one from BW Boundaries Crossed and one from BW Plasma Storm. Both have the same stats consisting of 180 HP, Dragon type, Dragon weakness, and 3 retreat cost.
The Boundaries Crossed version had two attacks. Dragon Stream does 60 for RCC and has a coin flip. If heads, you grab a basic energy from the discard to this Pokémon. Ice Burn costs RRWC for 150 damage, which requires you to discard two fire energies attached to this Pokémon. The Defending Pokemon is now burned. With the new Burn mechanics, the burned Pokemon takes 2 damage counters between turns. Then the player whose Pokemon is Burned flips a coin. If heads, the burn goes away, if tails, it still stays. Equipping Crystal Edge to this version makes it do 110 and 220 (200 plus 20 for burn) respectively. Ice Burn would do enough to OHKO almost all Basic EX/GX Pokemon.
The Plasma Storm version had two attacks. Slash does CCC for 60 damage. White Inferno that costs RRWC while doing 100 damage plus 10 more for each damage counter on this Pokémon (range between 100 to 270). Slash is terribly filler even though the cost is colorless friendly and does 110 with the tool. If your opponent falls short of an OHKO, White Inferno will punish almost any Pokemon that just attacked, and it gets even better with this tool! Making it 150 plus 10 would make even weaker attackers shudder in fear (range 150 to 320 damage)!
I was able to experiment both versions of White Kyurem EX cards because I just purchased Battle Arena Decks of both Black and White Kyurem. There are some ideas that I had constructed regarding those Pokemon.
Or that’s what I would’ve did if the review was about both versions of White Kyurem EX, but this review is about Crystal Edge. So all I can say is that Crystal Edge can help White Kyurem EX deal more damage to your opponent’s Defending Pokemon. If you don’t care about consistency, recovery, bounce, etc., and if you’re running a White Kyurem EX deck, then Crystal Edge is the way to go. Both versions of White Kyurem EX are playable, not meta-defining, but definitely functional to use.
So that’s about it in Expanded. In Limited, Crystal Edge itself is harder to pull as well as the EX, so trying to pull two of those ultra rares in four packs is very difficult, if not impossible. If you manage to get both of them, then White Kyurem EX with Crystal Edge can actually take care of almost any card from the Boundaries Crossed set. The attack costs will mean that White Kyurem EX won’t be able to attack for two turns due to not being able to meet attack costs, not even the cheaper RCC of Dragon Stream. Due to the discard from Ice Burn, you may need to alternate between Dragon Stream and Ice Burn. Opposing Defending Pokemon may not take 220, but some can take 110 such as Stage 2s and other Basic EXs.
Standard: N/A (would be 3/5 if legal)
Expanded: 3/5 (Crystal Edge works for only one Pokémon, but it does the job well, being able to enjoy the effect at least one turn before the inevitable happens such as Field Blower or other tool removal)
Limited: 3/5 (aggregate: the rarity of both Crystal Edge and White Kyurem EX makes it harder to access here, but if you do pull both, then it’s a 4.75/5! If not, then it’s a 1/5)