Unit Energy Cards – Ultra Prism
March 2, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
OH BABY A TRIPLE!! A Triple Twofer this week. Kinda crazy, huh? But then again, is it really a twofer when they’re the same card? HA HA!
Unit Energy GFW and LPM are…almost virtually identical to yesterday’s Blend Energies. Might as well have reviewed them all yesterday, right? Each Unit Energy provides one of three Energies, Grass/Fire/Water and Lightning/Psychic/Metal respectively. It’s pretty much the same sort of thing as the Blend Energies…except they cover different Types?
I ain’t saying the Unit Energies are bad, far from it. They provide a necessary utility in mixed decks, which gain a consistency boost with cards like this, and there are still Dragons in Standard that use mixed energies. This opens up the possibilities of running new decks in the game. The only issue is that these decks are fairly limited right now based on just the Unit Energies. GFW mixes don’t feel like they’d work that well, the one big exception being Volcanion-EX with Fire and Water, and even then Volcanion really works best being run as a pure Fire deck. As for LPM…I guess you could put some Ultra Beasts in the same deck with that?
Their usage is limited, and they won’t show up in every deck, but for the decks that can run them, Unit Energies are fairly useful. In Expanded, the best Type mixes are anything that can benefit from both the Unit Energy and the Blend Energy that shares its Typing!
Standard: 2/5 (they’ve got their uses in Standard right now as the new Blend Energies)
Expanded: 2.5/5 (but keep in mind how limited they are in their own utility)
Limited: 4/5 (not to mention…what decks you’d run them in)
Arora Notealus: Honestly if it was up to me, I’d have just reprinted Blend Energies and given them different color schemes, possibly one including Fairy Energy. Having 4 Energies in combination is better than having just 3, as it expands the variety of decks it can appear in, but I’m sure Unit Energy has its place even with only 3 Energy apiece. It’s tough to see where these kinds of cards will end up, but it’s important to remember that the Blend Energies came out in a time period where they were a necessary piece. Unit Energies are just kinda…coming out.
Weekend Thought: What are your thoughts on this week’s cards? Any cards from the previous month that you think ought to be re-reviewed in the Side Reviews? Will Unit Energy have an impact on the game the way the original Blend Energies did? Did you notice that all the Dragon Pokemon in this set only rely on one Type of Energy each? Yeah, that includes Alolan Exeggutor – that one caught me off-guard when I saw it again. Surprise!
Unit Energy GRW (UP 137) & Unit Energy LPM (UP 138) debuted in the Ultra Prism expansion set that came out four weeks ago today – I know! Hard to believe it’s been a whole month already. These cards provide only a single energy BUT count as any one of the three energy listed on the card.
I have not run these in a single deck yet. I tried to bend my brain about what decks might potentially use Unit Energy:
And I freely admit I have not tried any of these decks … and yeah I think I’m busy like uh um organizing my closet this weekend so shoot I just don’t think I’m going to get a chance to try them out.
But here’s why I think these cards were produced – and this is totally my thought, my suspicion, my conspiracy theory… so – shhhhh – lean in close and I’ll tell you the wild and crazy idea I have about Unit Energy cards:
So the one Ability that I don’t think has ever existed in the game – and Otaku can correct me if I’m wrong – is the Ability to change into a different type of Pokemon. We’ve seen it in attacks where you can change types to try to take advantage of the weakness mechanic, but not in an Ability. The Pokemon with this ability could potentially dominate the meta. If a Pokemon (hereafter referred to as Pokemon X) possessed the ability to morph into any type of Pokemon on demand… well… I think you could imagine how good Pokemon X could be. I saw it this week in Silvally GX with the Memory Cards – WOW that deck was GOOD … and it could only change into 3 or 4 different types. Imagine being able to turn into ANY type….
The designers would have to put SIGNIFICANT constraints on Pokemon X. I believe such constraint would constitute a severe limitation on its attack. I believe that the constraint will be this: that Pokemon X can only attack if it has at least one Energy of the type it turns into.
Enter Unit Energy. Pokemon X is going up against Golisopod. It morphs into a Fire type and uses Unit energy to attack. Or let’s say it’s going up against Buzzwole. It morphs into a Psychic type and uses LPM 138 to hit Buzz for weakness.
The only thing that goes contrary to my sensationally insane theorymon is that Rainbow energy would be a far superior card to run than one of the Unit energies for this Pokemon X. But you can only run four Rainbows. Even with Energy Loto, you’re going to whiff if you’re only running four energy in a deck. Plus, because it has an ability, its base attack is going to cost three energy, probably all three Colorless, but that means you’ll have to run four DCE with Pokemon X as well (4 Rainbow 4 DCE… you get the picture – it’s going to be hard to squeeze in more than a couple of Unit energy). And – besides Mallow and Puzzles – we have no possible way of grabbing SPE on demand. That just makes it REALLY hard for Pokemon X… but that’s kind of the point. If it were any easier, Pokemon X would be the most broken Pokemon in the game.
But anyways that’s my wild and crazy black helicopter theorymon of the day. It’s probably completely unrealistic and completely devoid of any shred of truth. But if it’s not….
Standard: 1.5 out of 5
I briefly remember Blend Energy – I had just started playing before those cards got rotated. Blend Energy didn’t see much use and they were four different types. Unit energy is only three… and probably won’t see much use.
And that’s Unit Energy GRW and LPM! Like Blend Energy from yesterday, GRW covers Grass, Fire, and Water while LPM covers Lightning, Psychic, and Metal. Most of what I said about yesterday remains the same, hence why I ran out of things to say for today’s cards, unfortunately.
We close the week with yet a third two-in-one review! We’ve (mostly) been looking at the cards that didn’t make the site’s top 10 list but did make at least one of our reviewer’s personal top 10 lists. In this case, Unit Energy GRW (SM – Ultra Prism 137/156) and Unit Energy LPM (SM – Ultra Prism 138/156) took second place on one reviewer’s list while sneaking into 20th place on my own; together that’s 20 voting points, enough to qualify as our 19th place finisher. At least, it would be if our countdown had started that high. These are both Special Energy cards that provide one unit of Energy that counts as three different Types while attached to a Pokémon: [G], [R], and [W] for Unit Energy GRW or [L], [P], and [M] for Unit LPM. Pretty obvious now why we gave the two Blend Energy cards their third review yesterday, as this is the same concept, just split into three cards.
Three cards!? While it hasn’t reached us yet, Unit Energy FDY has already been revealed in Japan, and with that, nine of the 11 TCG Types -[C], [D], [N], [Y], [F], [R], [G], [L], [M], [P], and [W] – have a Unit Energy to call their own, with the two exceptions being [C] and [N]. [C] Energy requirements can be met by any Type, so technically every Unit Energy can already do the job. There are no [N] Energy by design; it is supposed to be a Pokémon Type without an Energy Type even though it has its own Special Energy card. So, what do these cards mean? They make it just a little easier to run their specified Types in the same deck, which may prove enough to shape how future decks are built. Or they may just end up making those combinations easier to run where they naturally occur, but not prove enough to really change things. Rainbow Energy was most recently re-released as Sun & Moon 137/149, so it isn’t going anywhere until September of 2019 at the earliest. Come September of 2018, we’ll likely lose Professor’s Letter. Either could make the Unit Energy cards more important; to my surprise, they may already be important.
For the Standard Format, I found one deck between both the Collinsville, IL, and Malmö, Sweden Regional Championships that bothered to run either Unit Energy, but the one I did find is a Drampa-GX/Garbodor (SM – Guardians Rising 51/145)/Garbodor (XY – BREAKpoint 57/122) deck. The only Pokémon in it that required something other than [C] or [P] to attack were Kartana-GX and Tapu Koko (SM – Black Star Promos SM30), and the latter still an attack for [CC] that is probably the reason it was being used. Aaron Tarbell took 17th place using this deck, so I’m guessing that Kartana-GX being able to attack is pretty important. It may take some time, but I expect similar occurrences in at least one significant deck for Unit Energy GRW and (after it has released) for Unit Energy FDY. It may also be handy if we ever get more multi-Type decks that are willing to suffer Special Energy abuse in order to run off four Rainbow Energy and four of the appropriate Unit Energy cards, as with Blend Energy before them.
I don’t know how important these cards may prove for the Expanded Format; you have both Rainbow Energy and Prism Energy there, plus the original Blend Energy cards. Depending on what differing Energy requirements you need to mix and meet, it is possible that a Unit Energy will provide the best answer. For the Limited Format, I’m guessing either Unit Energy should prove handy; it is possible none of your pulls will be able to share a Blend Energy, but the arrangements are such that the odds shouldn’t be too bad. As with Blend Energy yesterday, I’m just going to give a composite score that will apply to each of them (even the one that hasn’t released yet), however, you really will need to pay attention as their actual effectiveness is likely to fluctuate quite a bit. Something similar happened with the Blend Energy; it was often a matter of which Type they covered currently had the most relevant TecH as to which of those two was currently the better card. Though I am not super-impressed by these two, Unit Energy LPM has already done better for itself than several of the cards we ranked (and rated) above it, so I’m pretty sure I lowballed it on my own list.
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