Welder (Unbroken Bonds UNB 214)
Welder (Unbroken Bonds UNB 214)

#6 Welder
– Unbroken Bonds

Date Reviewed:
May 10, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 4.17
Expanded: 4.17
Limited: 4.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:


And you thought I was referring to some kind of Fire Pokemon. Ha! Obviously not! I was talking about the Fire deck Supporter that everyone should know by now, the Welder! Kinda like the Blacksmith, but not like the Blacksmith at all!

Welder is a Supporter that lets you practice the delicate art of arc-welding on your opponent’s side of the table. Sometimes things aren’t put together that well, and you never know when you’re gonna need to put on that protective face-mask and start super-heating metal parts together to form stronger structures. Course, you could just attach up to 2 Fire Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokemon, then you can draw 3 cards if you did that. But then where’s the fun in securing the structural integrity of the table you’re playing at?
Welder is absolutely one of the best cards in any Fire deck. We’ve gotten a few good bits of support for Fire decks in the last few sets, and Welder continues that line-up with her own power. Instant Energy acceleration, and a total replacement of the cards you played including Welder itself? Hard to say no to that kind of deal! The best part is, you don’t even have to attach 2 Fire Energy to get the full draw 3! That “up to” line means you could just play down the only other Fire Energy you have available in your hand, and then suddenly you get to draw 3 cards with ease! Course you’ll want to play 2 Fire Energy when you can, since most Fire Pokemon like having multiple Fire Energy attached…for various reasons.
Undoubtedly a must-run in any Fire deck, and definitely one of the best draw cards in Standard right now, Welder fulfills multiple criteria to be on-par with some of the best Supporters out there. It’s just a shame that it operates best in a Fire deck, though to be fair, giving this kind of power to EVERY deck would definitely have gone overboard.
Standard: 4.5/5 (really strong, really solid Supporter for a specific Type)
Expanded: 4.5/5 (it’s these sorts of cards that usually push decks through the roof)
Limited: 4/5 (it might even be worth running a couple Fire Energy in your deck if you end up pulling a Welder here)
Arora Notealus: I do rate Welder pretty highly on the grounds of its impact for Fire decks…but I will have to admit, I’m not entirely sure where Fire decks will end up in the current meta. Certainly they’ll be able to compete with others, but the last meta-relevant Fire deck was…maybe Blacephalon? The truth is, Fire hasn’t been a strong Type meta-wise since the best decks don’t suffer a major Weakness to it, not to mention they didn’t have a lot of great attackers or great support that could compete with other decks. This set does help out, with Welder bringing massive consistency boost, and Reshiram & Charizard-GX looks to be pretty strong in its own right. Which if that didn’t make the list, then you’ve got wonder what our Top 5 looks like; needless to say, it’s undoubtedly looking very, very interesting.
Weekend Thought: As always, do you agree with our picks? Think that some cards ought to be higher up on the list? Or some cards that didn’t make it on the list – like Reshiram & Charizard-GX for instance – should have made the list in place of other cards? I think this is some of the best ratings we’ve given to Tag Team-GX Pokemon in a while – what do you guys think of the new Tag Team-GX introduced in this set? Excited to try them out? Or are you looking more for smaller, quicker attackers?
Next Time: Rounding out the Top 5, no one bests the Lightning American!


Welder is a new Supporter card from Sun & Moon Team Up that lets you attach two Fire energies from your hand onto one of Pokemon. And you draw three cards afterward. Naturally, this would be a staple in Fire based decks or decks running Fire Energy. There just isn’t enough Fire typed support, is there? You’ve got Heat Factory to discard and draw cards, Roast Reveal Salazzle doing the same as Heat Factory, and Fire Crystal to recover three Fire energies. Expanded even adds Scorched Earth to discard a fire or Fighting energy to draw two, and even Fiery Torch doing the same! This greatly reduces over-reliance on other draw Supporters, though you may still need to use 4 Cynthia cards. It opens up more opportunities of non-draw Supporters like Guzma or Lysandre Prism Star. As with nearly all type specific cards, while it is useless most of the time, it excels in a very specific field, and that affects how I would rate this card.


  • Standard: 4/5
  • Expanded: 4/5
  • Limited: 4.75/5


Topping the bottom half of our countdown, sixth-place is Welder (SM – Unbroken Bonds 189/214, 214/214), a new Trainer-Supporter with an effect that reads

Attach up to 2 [R] Energy cards from your hand to 1 of your Pokémon. If you do, draw 3 cards.

I don’t often quote the card text directly, BUT this time the wording is quite significant. At least in some instances, “up to” means “zero” is a legitimate option but this is not one of those times. If you cannot attach at least one [R] Energy from hand to one of your Pokémon, then you cannot play Welder, nor could you play Welder while you had a [R] Energy in hand but opt not to attach it. Welder does NOT specify “basic Energy” but the only Energy cards that count as [R] while not in play are basic Fire Energy cards. As you can play Professor Kukui even if you’ve got no cards left in your deck, you should be able to play Welder even if you have less than three cards remaining in your deck. As such, we can view Welder in one of two ways:

  • Energy acceleration that also has you draw
  • Draw power that requires you accelerate Energy

There are times when you won’t have any basic Fire Energy in hand to attach to your Pokémon, will only have one Fire Energy when you wished you had a second (and may even draw into it via Welder) or when you’ll have at least one Fire Energy card in hand but nothing you actually want to attach it to at the moment.

If it sounds like I’m being picky, I am. Welder is a fantastic card and is likely to make decks running on [R] Energy dominant for at least a little while; to come up with a “downside” to her, I have to nitpick! She doesn’t even care what Type the Pokémon is who receives the Energy; that means you can use her not only to bolster a [R] Type Pokémon but any Pokémon with [R] or [C] Energy requirements. She’s certainly isn’t going to be in most decks, let alone every deck, but probably every [R] deck for the foreseeable future. That includes Expanded. Blacksmith and Kiawe aren’t being totally replaced, either; the former lets you accelerate from the discard pile while the latter from the deck. While Kiawe ends your turn, it still may be worth it in certain situations (usually Turn 1, when you can’t attack anyway). Blacksmith does require the Pokémon receiving the Energy be a [R] Type, but Kiawe also works with Pokémon of any Type. Given that Welder can work with Pokémon of any Type, this means she fits into many (if not most) Limited Format decks; skip her only if you can’t run five (or more) Fire Energy or truly won’t need the Energy acceleration and draw.

I know I should be grateful for having a relatively short review but I want to highlight a few key cards Welder will be working with, including several just released. As we may be reviewing some of them soon, perhaps even in the top five of this countdown, I won’t go into massive detail. I’ll get the “postermon” of this set out of the way: Reshiram & Charizard-GX (SM – Unbroken Bonds 20/214, 194/214, 219/214). It made up about a third of the metagame in the Top 64 of a nearly 1500 person tournament held in Kyoto. While the cardpool available for that event included several cards we law, even a few bits of [R] support, the safe bet is that Reshiram & Charizard-GX will be at least a strong, competitive deck as soon as it officially becomes tournament legal on the 17th of May. We also just received Arcanine (SM – Unbroken Bonds 22/214), Blacephalon (SM – Unbroken Bonds 32/214) and Volcanion (SM – Unbroken Bonds 25/214; SM – Black Star Promos SM179)) for new single-Prize attackers that have at least some promise. She’ll help out a current contender like Blacephalon-GX, might revive some older attackers like Ho-Oh-GX, and give a second chance to a near-miss like Turtonator (Dragon Majesty 50/70). Trainer-wise, Fire Crystal (SM – Unbroken Bonds 173/214, 231/214) joins Heat Factory {*} and Fiery Flint.


Standard: 4/5

Expanded: 4/5

Limited: 4/5

SM – Unbroken Bonds has several important, potent cards. Some are general usage, others are more specialized, like Welder. I only had her as my tenth-place pick, but even now I could see an argument for ranking her higher. Yeah, even as first-place, though I don’t think it is a strong case. In this crowded field, she may have had to settle for sixth, but know it is a strong sixth-place. Fuel your fire.

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