Bandit Ring Set Review!

Like many of you, I have been patiently awaiting the release of yet another set of scans. Scans for Bandit Ring have been slowly bleeding onto the Internet day by day and accumulating here on PokeBeach. Finally, the taunting is over and all of the scans have been released.

Thoughts on Bandit Ring

This new set, as a whole, is nothing to take lightly. With the rotation coming up and the recent ban of Lysandre's Trump Card, the overarching format for Pokemon Organized Play is shifting greatly. Bandit Ring, or “Ancient Origins” as it will be named in the West, offers a great deal of competitive diversity. Although, as a competitive player I was born in a time when the format was severely static (the SP era), I am looking forward to what may be the most creative cardpool in my competitive career.

First I will discuss cards that I imagine have the most potential in the upcoming format. Because Ancient Origins will not officially be released until August of this year, and will not be legal for play until well after the World Championships, I am going to assume that these cards will be present in an XY-on format. The article will conclude with cards that I believe have potential but no guaranteed impact.


Sceptile EX Bandit RingSceptile-EX – Grass – HP170
Basic Pokemon

[G] Sleep Poison: 10 damage. Flip a coin. If heads, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Asleep and Poisoned.
[G][C] Assassin Claw: If your opponent’s Active Pokemon is affected by a Special Condition, this attack does 70 more damage.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

At first glance, Sceptile-EX isn’t anything to write home about. If the opponent is affected by a Special Condition (we will go into this more later), Assassin Claw swings for 130 damage for [G][C], but that’s about it. Sceptile-EX is a decent Pokemon-EX, but when it Mega Evolves, it really shines.

Mega Sceptile-EX

M Sceptile-EX – Grass – HP220M Sceptile EX Bandit Ring

Mega Evolution – Evolves from Sceptile-EX

When 1 of your Pokemon becomes a Mega Evolution, your turn ends.

Θ Stop: Prevent all effects of your opponent’s Pokemon’s Abilities done to this Pokemon.

[G][C] Jagged Saber 100 damage. You may attach up to 2 [G] Energy from your hand to your Benched Pokemon in any way you like. If you do, remove all damage from each Pokemon you attached them to.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

M Sceptile-EX is a powerhouse. Jagged Saber is a low cost attack with the potential to two-shot most Mega Evolved Pokemon-EX using meager damage modifications. Couple that with consistent Energy attachment in similar form to that of Virizion-EX, and the added ability to fully heal two Benched Pokemon each turn. I imagine that Professor's Letter and Energy Retrieval will become staples in M Sceptile-EX decks. With Switch and Escape Rope it is possible to constantly heal your Pokemon as long as you maintain the flow of Grass Energy.

Θ Stop is a nice little bonus. By disallowing Abilities that directly effect M Sceptile-EX, it can protect itself from the likes of Crobat‘s Surprise Bite and Crawdaunt‘s Unruly Claw. It is a great Trait for protecting M Sceptile-EX from any malicious Abilities.


Ariados – Grass – HP70Ariados Bandit Ring

Stage 1 – Evolves from Spinarak

Ability: Poison Nest
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may use this Ability. Both Active Pokemon are now Poisoned. (Excluding [G] Pokemon.)

[G][C] Corner: 30 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon can’t retreat during your opponent’s next turn.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

Ariados is a decent addition to Grass-type decks to add extra damage, especially in the aforementioned Sceptile deck. This extra 10 damage each turn can be the tipping point between Knocking Out high HP Mega Pokemon or not.

In the case of Sceptile-EX, Poison Net provides the Special Condition needed to take Assassin Claw into the 130 damage threshold. Just beware when the opponent is leading with a Grass-type Pokemon themselves. It’s situations exactly like that in which Ariados turns from a viable strategy into a wasted gimmick.


Vespiquen – Grass – HP90Vespiquen Bandit Ring

Stage 1 Pokemon – Evolves from Combee

[C] Information Control: 10 damage. You may draw cards from your deck until there are 6 cards in your hand.

[C][C] Bee Revenge: 20+ damage. This attack does 10 more damage for each Pokemon card in your Discard Pile.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Retreat: 0

An attack exactly like Flareon? Yes, sir! Attacks for the cost of a Double Colorless Energy? Absolutely! A non-EX that can Knock Out EXs in one hit? Awesome! Free retreat? Great! Why don’t we just throw in an attack that allows you get out of a pinch with a bad hand? Sure, I’ll take it. If you couldn’t tell, I like this card, and with Lysandre's Trump Card banned, it has a chance to make a huge splash in the metagame. Bee Revenge is a great attack that can hit some staggering numbers but, like Flareon, it has similar weaknesses. Low HP, an even lower HP basic (Combee has 40 HP), and a hard limit of four Vespiquen in a deck are serious realities that a player is forced to consider. I imagine Vespiquen will be played alongside Night March Pokemon or other attackers in case players need a plan B(ee).


Vileplume – Grass – HP130Vileplume Bandit Ring
Stage 2 – Evolves from Gloom

Ability: Frustrating Pollen
As long as this Pokemon is in play, both you and your opponent can’t play Item cards.

[G][G][C] Solar Beam: 70 damage.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 3

Vileplume from Bandit Ring is nearly a reprint of Vileplume from Undaunted in the 2011 season. For those of you who played back then, you will remember Ross Cawthon’s The Truth deck that nearly won him the World Championships in 2011. It was one of the most unique decks ever played, so it stands to reason that many people are excited for this spiritual reprint. As we saw this season with Seismitoad-EX (which I covered here), Item lock is a big deal. Although Vileplume disables both players from using Items, it is very powerful because unlike Seismitoad-EX, it does not need to be Active or attacking to do so. Frustrating Pollen will make for some strong plays, especially with Giratina-EX from Bandit Ring, which I will discuss later. Some players have mentioned combining Vileplume with Exeggutor in the Expanded format to lock both Items and Supporters, but this would force the player’s damage cap to max out at 10. I cannot condone this combination on that factor alone.

Unlike Vileplume from Undaunted, Bandit Ring’s Vileplume exists in a format with hard counters. A single Lysandre can make the Pokemon vulnerable to attack or trapped in the Active position. Hex Maniac, another Supporter card from Bandit Ring which I will discuss later, can simply shut of Frustrating Pollen for a turn.

Giant Plant Forest

Giant Plant Forest – TrainerGiant Plant Forest Bandit Ring


Each player’s [G] Pokemon can Evolve during the first turn and on the turn they were put into play.

This card stays in play when you play it. Discard this card if another Stadium card comes into play. If another card with the same name is in play, you can’t play this card.

Since we are on a roll with Grass-type Pokemon, why not finish up with Giant Plant Forest? Another nod to a card of the past, Broken Time-Space. Essentially Grass Pokemon can evolve at any time, unrestricted, as long as Giant Plant Forest is in play. Vileplume, Vespiquen, and even Mega Sceptile-EX can come into play immediately. Through the use of Mega Turbo, even a turn one M Heracross-EX Evolution can be very intimidating.

Flareon / Jolteon / Vaporeon

Flareon – Fire – HP90Flareon Bandit Ring
Stage 1 – Evolves from Eevee

Ability: Flare Effect
As long as this Pokemon is in play, all of your Stage 1 Pokemon are [R] as well as their original type.

[R][C][C] Heat Breath: 60+ damage. Flip a coin. If heads, this attack does 20 more damage.

Weakness: Water (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

Jolteon – Lightning – HP90
Stage 1 – Evolves from EeveeJolteon Bandit Ring

Ability: Electric Effect
As long as this Pokemon is in play, all of your Stage 1 Pokemon are [L] as well as their original type.

[L][C][C] Thunder Blast: 80 damage. Discard 1 Energy attached to this Pokemon.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 0

Vaporeon – Water – HP90
Stage 1 – Evolves from EeveeVaporeon Bandit Ring

Ability: Aqua Effect
As long as this Pokemon is in play, all of your Stage 1 Pokemon are [W] as well as their original type.

[W][C][C] Hydro Splash: 70 damage.

Weakness: Grass (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

I have chose to group these three Pokemon because their Abilities are essentially the same. Flareon’s Ability makes the player’s Stage 1 Pokemon Fire types as well as their original type, Jolteon changes them to Lightning, and Vaporeon to Water. The aforementioned Vespiquen is currently at the top of my list to take advantage of this mechanic. Flareon grants Vespiquen with the ability to easily Knock Out Grass Pokemon like Mega Sceptile-EX, Jolteon to Knock Out Pokemon like M Rayquaza-EX, and Vaporeon handles any Fire Pokemon that try to abuse Vespiquen’s Weakness; however uncommon that may be for a Pokemon with 90 HP. In a deck like Vespiquen, which utilizes large Pokemon counts, it is possible to have 1-2 or 2-2 lines of these three Pokemon in order to take advantage of diverse typing. In a match up where Jolteon is unusable, simply discard it with your Trainers.

Fortunately, Flareon, Jolteon, and Vaporeon do not affect Mega Evolved Pokemon. Having quadruple type, 220 HP Pokemon running around unabated would get messy.


Volcarona – Fire – HP100Volcarona Bandit Ring
Stage 1 – Evolves from Larvesta

[C] Sunbath: Search your deck for a Basic Pokemon and put it onto your Bench. Then, attach up to 2 Basic Energy cards from your deck to that Pokemon. Shuffle your deck afterward.

[R][C] Flamethrower: 60 damage. Discard one Energy attached to this Pokemon.

Weakness: Water (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

Volcarona has the potential to be either a very efficient set up card, or just another cute gimmick. Think of Volcarona as a lesser Virizion-EX – it doesn’t do any damage, it is a Stage 1, and it has 70 less HP, but it can load up your Bench. The only realistic target for Sunbath is a Benched Pokemon-EX, likely with a high Energy cost. Otherwise it makes more sense to manually attach to that Pokemon, rather than to set up a weak Volcarona and have it stuck in the Active position going into the opponent’s turn.

M Ampharos-EX

M Ampharos-EX – Lightning – HP220M Ampharos EX Bandit Ring
Mega Evolution – Evolves from Ampharos-EX

When 1 of your Pokemon becomes a Mega Evolution, your turn ends.

[L][L][C][C] Exavolt: 120+ damage. You may make this attack do 50 more damage and your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed. If you do, this Pokemon does 30 damage to itself.

When a Pokemon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Metal (-20)
Retreat: 3

M Ampharos-EX does not have an Ancient Trait or an Ability. What it does have is one very solid attack. Exavolt gives the player a choice of doing 170 damage plus Paralysis at the cost of 30 damage done to Mega Ampharos-EX. Protection Cube will still be legal next season, so it is worth considering to counteract that damage. Guaranteed Paralysis can be huge. Putting the opponent in a position where they cannot attack or retreat on their next turn forces them to find other means of removing their Pokemon from the Active position. If they cannot, it is essentially the same as a one hit Knock Out for Ampharos.

Exavolt does have a high attack cost. Luckily, Mega Turbo and Double Colorless Energy can speed things up. M Manectric-EX is a great partner for this card. The combination of these two Pokemon functions much like M Manectric-EX and Black Kyurem-EX did this season, but without the need for combining multiple Energy types.


Unown – Psychic – HP60Unown Bandit Ring
Basic Pokemon

Ability: Last Will
Once during your turn, if this Pokemon is on your Bench, you may discard this Pokemon and all cards attached to it. (This doesn’t count as a Knocked Out Pokemon.) Then, draw a card.

[C] Hidden Power: 10 damage.

Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

This modest Pokemon is (in this author’s opinion) one of the best cards in Bandit Ring. It has been quite some time since we have seen Pokemon based draw and it is nice to see it slowly creeping back. Decks like Night March which use Revive can abuse a single Unown’s Last Will Ability multiple times.

On its own, Unown isn’t much, but with multiple Unown and other draw support, it adds up. With the ban of Lysandre's Trump Card, players are going to need to step their game up and conserve resources. Resource management is going to become a harsh lesson for newer players who have gotten comfortable with Lysandre’s Trump Card in the past few months.


Hoopa-EX – Psychic – HP170Hoopa EX Bandit Ring

Basic Pokemon

Ability: Bandit Ring
Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this Pokemon from your hand onto your Bench, you may use this Ability. Search your deck for up to 3 Pokemon-EX (excluding Hoopa-EX), show them to your opponent, and put them into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward.

[P][P][P] Hyperspace Fury: Discard 2 Energy attached to this Pokemon. Choose 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. This attack does 100 damage to that Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)

When a Pokemon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Hoopa-EX is a great limited use tech for EX-based decks. Its Ability, Bandit Ring, essentially performs like an Ultra Ball on steroids. With one use of Bandit Ring, you can search your deck for a Mega Pokemon, its Basic EX form, and a Shaymin-EX, letting you draw cards at the same time. It is a great search tool for decks like M Rayquaza-EX, which can evolve the turn it is put into play with Δ Evolution, and M Sceptile-EX, which can do the same through the use of Giant Plant Forest. Bandit Ring could also be used to fill the Bench for M Rayquaza-EX, netting an additional 120 damage with Emerald Break (including Hoopa-EX). Oh, and it is very pretty.


Sableye – Darkness – HP70Sableye Bandit Ring
Basic Pokemon

[D] Captivating Eye: Choose a Supporter card in your opponent’s discard pile and use its effect as the effect of this attack.

[D][C] Silent Placement: Put 3 damage counters on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

Weakness: none
Resistance: none
Retreat: 1

It is too early to say if Sableye will make it into competitive play, but the idea behind Captivating Eye has potential. Having the ability to use an opponent’s previously played Supporter can yield a spectrum of results. A player could use two draw Supporters in one turn, or they could abuse disruption Supporters. If Stage 2 Pokemon have a window of coming back, Sableye is a great choice for a starter because it gives the player the opportunity to get through their deck quicker. In Expanded play, Hypnotoxic LaserVirbank City Gym, and a slew of disruption cards may make Sableye viable in a different capacity. The player can still do damage after using Captivating Eye and use disruption to keep Sableye alive in the Active position.

Mega Tyranitar-EX

M Tyranitar-EX – Darkness – HP240M Tyranitar EX Bandit Ring
Mega Evolution – Evolves from Tyranitar-EX

When 1 of your Pokemon becomes a Mega Evolution, your turn ends.

Θ Double: This Pokemon can have 2 Pokemon Tools attached to it.

[D][D][C][C] Destroyer King: 110+ damage. Does 60 more damage for each damage counter on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

When a Pokemon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 4

I chose not to include Tyranitar-EX in this article because, quite frankly, it is terrible. Against popular opinion I don’t find M Tyranitar-EX to be all that great either, but I know many players will expect to see it discussed. M Tyranitar-EX is capable of doing a whole lot of damage, and people like that. With Golbat‘s Sneaky Bite, the aptly named Destroyer King adds up incredibly high damage quickly. The reason I am not in favor of M Tyranitar-EX is that it is overkill and then some. No one is arguing that 230 damage on a Pokemon with 20 damage already on it is powerful, but there are plenty of other Pokemon that have an easier time hitting necessary numbers. A high attack cost, Retreat Cost, and the reliance on timely Stage 1 Evolution is enough to turn me off of Tyranitar.

M Tyranitar-EX does have a couple things going for it, however. 240 HP is immense – it is a bulky Pokemon that most players will have a difficult time of Knocking it Out. Θ Double is my favorite thing about this card! All too often Mega Pokemon are stuck with a Spirit Link card attached post evolution. Having the freedom to attach a second (think Hard Charm, Rocky Helmet, etc) offers a flexible niche.


Giratina-EX – Dragon – HP170Giratina EX Bandit Ring
Basic Pokemon

Ability: Rebellious Wave
Prevent all effects of attack, including damage, done to this Pokemon by your opponent’s Mega Evolved Pokemon.

[G][P][C][C] Chaos Veil: 100 damage. During your opponent’s next turn, he or she can’t play any Pokemon Tool, Special Energy, or Stadium cards from his or her hand.

Weakness: Fairy (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 3

Definitely deserving of recent attention is Giratina-EX. Bandit Ring has fueled the plethora of Mega Pokemon with some very playable cards. Giratina’s Ability, Rebellious Wave, keeps them in check. In the same way that Sigilyph and Suicune were used as walls against Pokemon-EX, Giratina-EX is a wall against Mega Evolved Pokemon.

A great bonus to that Ability is its great attack. Played successfully alongside Vileplume from Bandit Ring, Giratina-EX has a greater lock potential than that of Seismitoad-EX. Imagine a game state in which your opponent cannot play Item cards, Special Energy, Stadiums, or attack with Mega Pokemon. They are limited to attaching basic Energy, playing Supporters, and attacking. It is worth keeping in mind however, that in many circumstances this may be enough to overpower the Giratina-EX player.

A high Energy cost of [G][P][C][C] is somewhat difficult to achieve, but in a deck containing four Double Dragon Energy and four Double Colorless Energy, it is attainable. Personally, in order to combat fast, aggressive, non-EX decks, I like the idea of Latios-EX. Latios can attack for a low cost and take advantage of Double Dragon Energy. Although its damage threshold is low, it is enough to combat decks like Night March and Vespiquen, since it can attack even if the user is going first.


Lugia-EX – Colorless – HP170Lugia EX Bandit Ring
Basic Pokemon

[C][C] Aero Ball: 20x damage. Does 20 damage times the number of Energy attached to this Pokemon and the Defending Pokemon.

[C][C][C][C] Deep Hurricane: 80+ damage. If there is any Stadium card in play, this attack does 70 more damage. Discard that Stadium card.

When a Pokemon-EX has been Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Lightning (x2)
Resistance: Fighting (-20)
Retreat: 1

Lugia-EX is a straightforward card with two decent attacks. Aero Ball is an exact copy of Mewtwo-EX‘s X Ball, and Deep Hurricane is Donphan‘s Wreck with a more attainable Energy cost. It is likely that Lugia-EX will be splashed into decks the same way Mewtwo-EX was as a versatile attacker for situational combat. Deep Hurricane will see occasional use, but it is highly doubtful that players will desire a [C][C][C][C] Energy cost over other attack methods. Double Colorless Energy is going to continue to be the preferred method to pay for Lugia-EX’s attacks for a long time, as it has been with Mewtwo-EX.

Color-Drained City

Color-Drained City – TrainerColor Drained City Bandit Ring

Between turns, place 2 damage counters on each Mega Evolved Pokemon in play.

This card stays in play when you play it. Discard this card if another Stadium card comes into play. If another card with the same name is in play, you can’t play this card.

Color-Drained City, like Giratina-EX, is a great card to keep the burgeoning Mega Pokemon in check. This card’s damage can add up very quick, and will force players to strategically decide when to Mega Evolve their Pokemon-EX.

This card will likely see a lot of play in anti-meta decks and decks that do not run Mega Pokemon. Night March, Vespiquen, and Giritina-EX instantly come to mind. Recently we have seen a spike in Stadium wars with the introduction of Sky Field. With so many Stadiums already viable, and more to come, there will likely be a turn-by-turn scramble for dominance of the Stadium spot.

Paint Roller

Paint Roller – TrainerPaint Roller Bandit Ring

Discard a Stadium card in play. Then, draw 1 card.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

If Stadium wars were not enough, we now have Paint Roller to contend with. A very simple card, Paint Roller can discard an opponent’s Stadium without the need for one of your own, with the added bonus of netting the player an extra card. Paint Roller is a good choice for the small handful of decks that run few to no Stadiums, or those who are severely hindered by specific Stadiums, like Color-Drained City or Sky Field.

Lucky Helmet

Lucky Helmet – TrainerLucky Helmet Bandit Ring

Pokemon Tool: Attach a Pokemon Tool to 1 of your Pokemon that doesn’t already have a Pokemon Tool attached to it.

When the Pokemon this card is attached to is your Active Pokemon and is damaged by an opponent’s attack, draw two cards.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

How could you not hesitate to attack when you know that every time you do, your opponent draws two cards (or four with Θ Double)? That is what Lucky Helmet does. Lucky Helmet can be a great draw card, but in order to preserve its longevity one needs to preserve the Pokemon it is attached to. That is why Lucky Helmet is a great draw card for decks that primarily run Pokemon-EX and Mega Pokemon-EX. Smaller, fragile Pokemon will go down too fast and the player will only get one use out of their Lucky Helmet. It is a great way to punish your opponent for attacking, and provides balance against disruptive decks that survive off of one sided gameplay.

Ace Trainer

Ace Trainer – TrainerAce Trainer Bandit Ring

You can only play this card if you have more Prize cards left than your opponent.

Both players shuffle their hands into their deck. Then, you draw 6 cards and your opponent draws 3 cards.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

Since in order to play Ace Trainer the player needs to be behind on Prizes, this card is somewhat situational. It can however even out a losing game state. If mill based decks make a comeback, or if disruption decks continue their popular trend, Ace Trainer will be a great fit. Any deck that takes Prizes slowly, or aims to achieve victory without taking Prizes at all can largely benefit from Ace Trainer. I anticipate seeing this card played in varying amounts in Pokemon-EX based decks to start. Fast, aggressive decks that rely on non-EX Pokemon to attack (Night March and Vespiquen come to mind) benefit less from Ace Trainer because if they are successful, they will likely never be behind on Prizes. Still, with VS Seeker in the format, a single copy can do a lot of damage to an unprepared opponent.

Level Ball

An exact reprint, Level Ball is a pleasant, nostalgic card returning just in time. Level Ball has been a go-to set up card for decks that rely on non-EX Pokemon. Vespiquen and Night March are great examples of decks that can benefit from the search that Level Ball offers. Bronzong is another card that, although already viable, becomes more-so with the reprinting of Level Ball. Watch out for the little guys, it is getting much easier for them to compete with the heavyweights.

Hex Maniac

Hex Maniac – TrainerHex Maniac Bandit Ring

Until the end of your opponent’s next turn, each Pokemon in play, in each player’s hand, and in each player’s discard pile has no Abilities.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

Ability lock has played a major role in this game for a long time. Most recently Garbodor held the crown for most effective Ability lock in the format. Now, we have Hex Maniac. A Supporter that disables all Abilities in play, in the discard, and in the hand during your opponent’s following turn. It is similar to Mesprit from Legends Awakened in the 2009 season, a card that saw its fair share of play.

Because there are so many Abilities in Pokemon with so many varied effects, Ability lock is very powerful, but Hex Maniac takes the place of your single Supporter for the turn, and it has limited use. Fortunately, we have strong non-Supporter based draw from cards like Shaymin-EX and Acro Bike, for example.

With enough non-Supporter based draw it is possible that Hex Maniac could take hold on the format. It all depends on how well players balance the use of draw and disruption Supporters from turn to turn. Without planning ahead, the player may force themselves to break an ongoing lock to fetch themselves out of a dead hand.

Flash Energy

Flash Energy – Special EnergyFlash Energy Bandit Ring

This card can only be attached to a [L] Pokemon. If this card is attached to anything other than a [L] Pokemon, discard it. While in play, this card provides 1 [L] Energy.

The [L] Pokemon this Energy is attached to has no Weakness.

Flash Energy is a straightforward, good card. There are several popular Lightning Pokemon, like M Manectric-EX, as well as a handful of popular Lightning-Weak Pokemon, like M Rayquaza-EX. Flash Energy buffs Lightning-type Pokemon by negating their Weakness, any Pokemon’s greatest threat.

It is worth mentioning that with Bandit Ring’s Jolteon, any Stage 1 Pokemon can have its Weakness removed in combination with Flash Energy. Keep this in mind when building decks. Flash Energy is a powerful defensive card.

Bad Energy

Bad Energy – Special EnergyBad Energy Bandit Ring

This card can only be attached to a [D] Pokemon. If this card is attached to anything other than a [D] Pokemon, discard it. While in play, this card provides 1 [D] Energy.

When the Pokemon this card is attached to is your Active Pokemon and is damaged by an opponent’s Pokemon-EX’s attack, put 2 damage counters on the attacking Pokemon-EX.

Perhaps it’s not the best Special Energy ever printed, Bad Energy is not too far off from Darkness Energy, in that they both act as a damage modifier for Dark Pokemon. Currently there are not many viable Dark-type Pokemon. Sure we have the new M Tyranitar-EX, but does it really need Bad Energy? I don’t think it does; Destroyer King does more than enough damage on its own. The only viable Pokemon I can think of in Standard play are Yveltal and Yveltal-EX, and it remains to be seen if it can hang in there for another season after likely losing Hypnotoxic Laser and Virbank City Gym. It is more likely, in my opinion, that Bad Energy will shine in Expanded play where it can benefit from Dark support in the form of Darkrai-EX and Dark Patch.

Shining M Rayquaza-EXM Rayquaza EX Bandit Ring HQ

Three new shining Mega Pokemon are printed in Bandit Ring. They are essentially exact reprints of Primal Kyogre-EXPrimal Groudon-EX, and M Rayquaza-EX, but each has been given the Θ Max Ancient Trait in lieu of their respective original Traits. Of these three M Rayquaza-EX is the only one worth playing. Of the other two, the original Ancient Traits outweigh Θ Max. Even in a M Rayquaza-EX deck, Δ Evolution is superior to Θ Max. M Rayquaza-EX from Bandit Ring may be worth considering as a one-of in a M Rayquaza-EX deck because mid to late game it can heal a damaged Rayquaza-EX, but it lacks the early game momentum Δ Evolution gives.

Closing Thoughts

Time and time again I have witnessed a pattern in competitive play. Before a quality set releases, a handful of good cards get equally associated with one or two great cards. Bandit Ring could very well be a repeat of this. Until we can start playtesting however, and the tectonic activity of an ever revolving format settles, it remains to be seen. One thing is certain: Bandit Ring offers a spectrum of choices, and it is the prevalence of choice that fosters an environment of creativity.

Thank you for reading my new article. I have a huge appreciation and respect for my reader base. As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below; I am always up for a discussion! Good luck at the National and World Championships, and never forget to have fun! I will be keeping my eyes open for the changes to come this summer.

Have a wonderful summer,