Ever since the BREAK Pokemon mechanic was revealed, some fans have questioned whether Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick and Archie's Ace in the Hole can be used to play BREAK Pokemon to your Bench from your discard pile. Well, the official Pokemon Card website has just updated with ruling questions for XY8, and the answer is simply no. While no reason is given as to why, I could’ve told you from day one it’s because without the retreat costs and weaknesses of their previous evolutions, they’re not complete cards. They’re just “boosts.”
Unfortunately, BREAK Pokemon probably won’t see much play since they’re essentially Stage 2 and Stage 3 cards. And not very good cards in the first place. But perhaps BREAK Pokemon will become much more powerful in future sets. After all, the first Pokemon-ex in EX Ruby & Sapphire also sucked, but obviously Pokemon-ex became major powerhouses as the EX block went on (so much so that they were reincarnated again a few years ago as the Pokemon-EX we love and hate today – lookin’ at you, Shaymin). In other words, Pokemon Card Laboratory probably has to test the waters first before they change the balance of the game with this new mechanic. Unless their plan with BREAK Pokemon is to more entice collectors than it is to be a serious gameplay mechanic. Though with that ’90s CG gold and horizontal alignment where you have to turn your head sideways to see them right-side up in your collection, I’m not even sure if that plan will work.
What do you think of BREAK Pokemon? Does anyone actually like them so far? Right now they seem to fail as a serious gameplay mechanic and I’m not even sure collectors like them. You’d think that if you have to evolve three times, the final evolution would be ultra-kick-butt-run-Arceus-is-coming-to-kill-your-Magikarp. I personally thought BREAK Pokemon were finally going to make evolution rewarding again or somehow speed up the process of evolving your Pokemon. But nope. Just another stage of evolution you have to pull off.