Should You Really Buy This? Analyzing the Hype and Prices Behind BREAKpoint

Hello PokeBeach! Like many other Community Blog writers, this is my first time writing an article on this site! If you don’t know me, I’m just a simpleton who comes every day to this website for their daily share of news. You can find me sometimes making snarky remarks in various comment sections. But today, I’m going to put my life on the ‘Beach to use.

For the past two months I’ve been constantly pondering the applications of the newest set to the Pokemon TCG, XY BREAKpoint. As if I wasn’t obsessed with Pokemon enough, I’ve distracted myself so much with reading the cards and their possible uses that I’ve finally decided to compile my conclusions into a single paper. Before we begin, I must discredit myself as I will only cover the strengths and weaknesses of a few select cards of the set that have received insane amounts of attention or have been unfairly shoved aside. I’m not liable for your purchases – I’m just trying to help inform what cards may see more success than others. It’s up to you to make the final judgement.


Treacherous Card Prices

Flashback to November, right as BREAKthrough appeared on store shelves. The new set had so many viable Pokemon, such as Zoroark, Gallade, Octillery, M Mewtwo-EX, and Magnezone, that it became confusing to determine which card would be most used in the metagame.  Additionally, the value of a Holo rare hadn’t risen much above 3 dollars since XY’s Raichu or Trevenant, and nowhere near the astronomical price of Dusknoir – previously up to a whopping 10 dollars. So when the these cards finally released, I expected them to remain at the moderate prices of recent Holo rares. However, my expectations were proven wrong.

Let’s take a look at the price of Zoroark during its first few weeks on TCGPlayer:

Don't Hesitate To Buy Good Cards
It’s a Default Preorder price for a decent card. I’ll buy it when it gets cheap

With This Kind Of Exponential Growth, It Should Be Easy To Predict The Trend...
Maybe it’s some sort of artificial hype?

Once The "cheap Sellers" Run Out Of Cards, They Aren't Going To Comeback Cheap Anymore
Goodbye wallet!


Some expected this event, some did not. Unfortunately I was an ignorant fool. Zoroark’s price rise was due to both it’s role in the popular YZG (Yveltal/Zoroark/Gallade) decklists as well as its sheer versatility and power. Its ability mocked Keldeo-EX‘s “Rush In”, which, when combined with a Float Stone, could be used to freely switch between attackers every turn. But that’s not all – Zoroark’s attack, “Mind Jack”,  could hit 180 for a mere Double Colorless Energy and a Muscle Band, given your opponent has 5 benched Pokemon in play.  Due to Shaymin-EX being popular among many decks, players fill up their benches more often. Thus, Mind Jack has become more viable than ever. It’s power and splashability makes this card a good option for most decks, and so it remains at the the high price it currently is.


"Night" And "Darkness" Seems To Creep All Over The Meta, Doesn't It?

A cards price also may be determined by its plausibility against the meta. Take a look at the (nearly complete) list of top contenders from Cities to the right. Night March and Yveltal/Zoroark seemed to dominate the Standard format metagame. Second place included Entei/Charizard-EX, M Manectric-EX, Manectric-EX/Crobat, Raichu/Crobat, Lucario-EX/Crobat, and M Mewtwo-EX variants. Last, there were a few Seismitoad-EX, Vespiquen, Dragon (usually consisting of Giratina-EX and Tyrantrum-EX), and Fighting Variants.

For a card to be deemed competitively viable, it will have to compete with these top decks in Standard, with a special focus on dealing with the OHKO’s from Night March and Yveltal/Zoroark Variants. That, or it needs to fit nicely in these given decks. If you can’t beat ’em, join em!


Now you may be thinking, why not buy all the cards? Why do I waste so much effort pondering the individual possibilities of each card when you can spend your money on everything? Why do I need to read an article that discusses the plausibility of cards when their preorder prices and popularity can already tell me what will be used? Why do prices even matter?!

Stop. You don’t want to overpay for anything. Remember that this is still a game that you lay down cash for slips of paper, and there are thousands of other “better uses” you could spend that money on. One misjudgment and you can have a binder full of bulk that nobody will take. Not being pro-active on cards and their prices will cause you to sink more bucks into a few mere uncommon Trainer cards whose rarity can’t sustain neither a feasible nor secure value, such as a playset of VS Seeker. Imagine if that card recieved a devaluing reprint right after you paid 28 dollar for a playset!

Also, as I am unable to attend the Regional Championships, the remainder of this article will focus on cards and their application to the Standard format. But hey, you might be able to pick up a few things from this article even if it’s not directly applied to the Expanded metagame.


And so, without further ado, let’s take the time to look at BREAKpoint’s cards and their potential!

Floating Mine

Bursting Balloon – Trainer


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

If this card is attached to 1 of your Pokemon, discard it at the end of your opponent’s turn

If the Pokemon this card is attached to is your Active Pokemon and is damaged by an opponent’s attack (even if that Pokemon is Knocked Out), put 6 damage counters on the Attacking Pokemon.

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

It’s a single-use item, requires your Pokemon to be attacked, can be discarded with startling megaphone, takes up a valuable tool space – There are tons of things easy to find wrong with this card. But every card has a purpose, and so does this one.

Bursting balloon is extremely similar to Rock Guard in the sense of its effect: it places 6 damage counters on the opponent’s Active Pokemon when the bearer of this item is attacked. Yet Rock Guard was an Ace Spec; it could only be teched in as a 1-of in a deck, and would eliminate the possibility for any better Ace Spec to be used.  Up to Four Bursting Balloon can be thrown in a deck, but they don’t provide a lasting benefit like Rock Guard.

But who said that’s a bad thing? Think of putting a Bursting Balloon on a Pokemon during a turn you can’t attack (such as your first turn), and then swapping it out the next turn for an offensive tool such as Muscle Band?

Imagine the possibilities this could have in decks with Mega Pokemon; protecting a mega target with one of these bad boys, discarding it by the time it gets to your turn, and then using a spirit link to Mega Evolve without wasting a turn.

That’s not all, the six damage counters that this item places is a perfect number. Why six? Because it only takes 6 damage counters to OHKO a Pumpkaboo or Joltik, the main attackers of the Night March variant. It would apply an unusual amount of pressure for a Night March player to find a Startling Megaphone or Lysandre early game, and if they don’t attack, that’s a wasted turn for them and practically a free Prize Card or two for you!

I don’t see this getting immediate play, but keep this card in the back of your mind as an option for extra damage.

Super-Aweseome Cape

Fighting Fury Belt – Trainer


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

The Basic Pokemon this card is attached to gets +40 HP and its attacks do 10 more damage to your opponent’s active Pokemon (before applying Weakness and Resistance)

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

This card has already seen quite a lot of hype from the point of its reveal, and frankly it deserves it. It’s like a combo of Muscle Band and Giant Cape (a Tool from DEX that provided a Pokemon with 20 more HP), but exclusive to Basic Pokemon. Even without much thought, this card will be important to keep on hand as it is our next out to extra modification damage if Muscle Band does get rotated out in the foreseeable future.

There have already been many exaggerated comments on how this card makes any basic “into a mega Pokemon”, but such assumptions are overkill. First, take a look at the attacks of a mega Pokemon, such as M Manectric EX – two Energy are needed to hit for 110 AND attach two Energy from the discard to your Pokemon. I don’t quite believe we have a basic Pokemon this powerful and complex – the most base damage for two Energy set on a basic EX is around 60 such as on Yveltal-EX or Lucario-EX. Second, the HP boost from this tool is only part of the tool and nothing more. Tools fly off so fast nowadays that it only takes the press of a Startling Megaphone and they will all fall off. In fact, due to the presence of recycling cards such as Time Puzzle (explained later) and Milotic, it’s likely your tools will never be secure.

Once this tool falls off, if the basic Pokemon this card was attached to had more damage than its original HP, it will be Knocked Out. Thus, using this card without any means to remove damage will open up other ways for your opponent to take Knockouts late game.

Since this card could at least permit you to endure at least one hit, I can see this as

very game-changing. Many have pointed out that it would allow a Joltik to survive an “Oblivion Wing” from a Yveltal, but it also is a very powerful tool against Night March as well. With one of these attached, a first turn KO from a Night March deck

becomes less possible as they would need 11 Night-Marchers in the discard or 10

and a Muscle Band, as well as one on the field to attack. And if they did just that, they would run out of Night Marchers before you ran out of attackers.

The existence of this card could also allow Fairy Toolbox decks to operate once more – with the return of Max Potion and the defensive capabilities of this tool, attackers can last a few turns without having to fear the dreaded OHKO’s of turbo decks like Night March and Vespiquen variants.

This card is too good to pass up, but should still be used with caution.


Garchomp – Fighting– HP130
Stage 2 – Evolves from Gabite

[F] Turbo Assault: 60 damage. Attach an Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Pokemon.

[C][C] Bite Off: 80+ damage. If your opponent’s Active Pokemon is a Pokemon-EX, this attack does 80 more damage

Weakness: Grass(x2)
Resistance: None
Retreat: 0

Right off the bat you can notice that Garchomp is a Stage 2 Fighting-type. A Stage 2 Pokemon under normal circumstances would be hard to get out normally and some have even resorted to measures such as Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick or Archie's Ace in the Hole to get the card out. Don’t worry though – thanks to Korrina and its great synergy with Fighting-type decks, Fighting-type Stage 2 Pokemon become easier to get out as one Korrina can fetch a Garchomp and a Rare Candy within the same turn.

This Pokemon also has free retreat, giving it lots of versatility. If it is somehow put in a state where it cannot attack, or has not enough Energy to do so, Garchomp can reatreat to another benched Garchomp to attack, or even another attacker altogether, such as Hawlucha or Landorus. For this sake, Garchomp can be even used as a wall in times of desperation, sporting more than a hundred HP and only giving up one prize.

Here comes the criticism: only 130 HP? We are in a format where Stage 2 Pokemon are being printed with 150, 160 HP, but why does this have to be set back so much? 130 Is also the perfect number for a Zoroark to KO a Garchomp granted you have 4 Benched Pokemon and the perfect number to receive a OHKO from a Yveltal EX with three Energy and a Fighting Fury Belt with two Energy already attached to Garchomp. Nevertheless, this lack of HP may necessitate measures such as Focus Sash to be used so that Garchomp is not instantaneously Knocked Out. It has a weakness to the Grass-type, so it becomes easy pickings for a Vespiquen! You aren’t going to want your Garchomp to remain only a turn on the field; with the setup required of a Rare Candy, you are going to want this beast to keep attacking and stay as long as possible. This also becomes Key when trying to use Garchomp’s second attack as it requires two Energy to do so – if Garchomp is continuously KO’d. The addition of Focus Sash means one less possible modifier, and thus a greater reliance is created upon getting a Strong Energy or Fighting Stadium in play.

Now lets Look at Garchomp’s First attack, “Turbo Assault”. It does 60 damage for one Fighting Energy AND attaches ANY kind of Energy

from your discard pile to ANY one of your Pokemon. Some may be reminiscent of a similar effect on Thundurus-EX, being used in TDK to recycle a Double Colorless Energy or Rainbow Energy onto a benched Team Plasma Pokemon. But in this case, it does not need to be benched nor Team Plasma – it can recycle a Strong Energy onto a benched attacker or even the attacking Garchomp if needed. The damage output is respectable – placing 60 or more (thanks to modifiers such as Strong Energy, Muscle band, or Fighting Stadium) on the defending Pokemon, setting up a 2HKO for next turn. What I find strong potential in this card is the recycling of Double Colorless Energy; this card can be fit in as a tech in various decks alongside Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick to get back precious resources. Though, what I’m very interested in is a Garchomp line as a tech in a Gallade/Octillery Deck to recycle Gallade’s DCE usage AND set up perfect 2HKO’s. Garchomp’s free retreat also plays a good role in this attack, so a new powered up benched Pokemon could attack immediately after a Turbo Assault.

Finally, you can finally see the whole picture that you can just take a “Bite Off” it. Garchomps second attack, “Bite Off”, recieves the most attention from most of the crowd. In theory, this Pokemon would OHKO a normal 180 HP Pokemon-EX given that Garchomp has something in play to increase its damage output by 20. But look a bit deeper at what it would be fighting.

Quick! Choose The One In The Top Left!
“Good Matchups”

Among the most used Pokemon-EX is Yveltal-EX, which has a Fighting resistance and would require another damage modifier in play. Manectric-EX already is weak to Fighting, so it isn’t worth the effort to produce the excess damage. Mewtwo-EX would likely have a mega Evolved before you are able to pull one “Bite Off”, and would require two more damage modifiers for a KO. Seismitoad-EX and Giratina EX would stop you early from getting Garchomp or any damage modifiers even into play fast enough. To top it off, the presence of Fighting Fury Belt can easily create a situation where even more damage modifiers are required for a OHKO. We have to face the facts; the damage alone isn’t worth building a core strategy around. To top it off, the attack requires two Energy, so if your opponent has already developed a main attacker enough by the time you get a Garchomp in play and attacking, it can be very hard to stream “Bite Off’s on your opponent.

Remember Medicham? It shares the same concept of abusing Fighting-type modfiers on a two Energy attack in order to take KO’s. It often struggled against decks that could take down at least two Medicham in the game early because it would not be able to respond fast enough. The exception we find here is that Garchomp is an even slower Stage 2 that takes less tools, and can also pull off an attack that provides Energy acceleration. But doing so wastes a turn which can cost a Prize Card altogether.

It’s role in Night March decks which are techhing this in alongside a Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick is very mediocre. It is supposed to recycle DCE’s back onto Night Marchers, but think of the plausibility of that option. Building a deck that can fit in Garchomop would leave you with 3-4 Basic Energy in the deck. That Basic Energy will likely be discarded early when searching for an early KO. Thus when you want to finally use Garchonp’s attack to get back a DCE, you’ll have to face the first problem of finding a Fighting Energy. Next, what can be done in Garchomp’s attack can be much easily accomplished through non-attacking methods, such as Time Puzzle or Milotic. Garchomp’s attack is going to provide irrelevant damage as Night March will already be able to hit OHKO numbers, and with 60 damage, it won’t knock out anything but another Joltik. Thus, you are likely better off using Milotic, Time Puzzle (Explained later), or Bronzong to keep Night March attacks going, and never having to skip a beat.

Garchomp has potential- its attacks could help it find its way into a few decks, but the its limitations and setup requirements seem to restrain it from being a standalone top-tier deck.

The Dropout with a Minun Jacket

Delinquent – Trainer


Discard a Stadium card in play. If you do, your opponent chooses 3 cards from his or her hand and discards them.

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

When I first saw this card, it appealed to me with a treasure trove of Potential. It basically was a version of Hooligans Jim and Cas without the coin flip, and offered serious possibility of disruption. Granted, a Stadium does have to be in play to use the effect of this card, but Stadiums have been rampant throughout most decks, and as such there aren’t many games where a Stadium won’t be in play.

But this card is dangerous. Really dangerous – I daresay as much as the beloved N.

The first thing this card can do is open up the possibility for “no hand decks”, as in, decks that rids your opponent of his entire hand before he/she has a chance to setup. A possible combo is to start with a Phantump, use Crushing Hammer to rid your opponent’s field of any attached Energy, play Red Card (if necessary) to reduce your opponent’s hand to 4, Play delinquent to reduce your opponent’s hand to only one measly card, and then use Phantump’s Astonish attack in order to reduce their hand to 1 card, and force them to rely on the luck of the draw. You will be able to evolve into Trevenant next turn and lock them from using items such as VS Seeker or Ultra Ball, and the odds are that your opponent will likely be able to do nothing to return the favor for the rest of the game.

Some were also suggesting to use the new Phantump from BREAKpoint, as it can evolve into Trevenant the turn it was set down. This also can be very valid as it destroys their entire setup, AND prevents a topdeck Sycamore or Shaymin-EX from progressing your opponent’s side of the field. It also covers for you if you aren’t able to pull off any Delinquent shenanigans

The other role this Supporter plays is that of a 1-of tech. Pulling off one of these in the endgame would severely limit the resources your opponent has access to; i. e. suddenly your opponent might not be able to afford pulling off a Lysandre to nab a Shaymin-EX because he won’t have a supporter for next turn.

Delinquent is a powerful threat that surely will see an impact on the metagame, and the fact that this kind of powerful disruption that can be available with a VS seeker is not something to overlook.

Defect Washers

Time Puzzle (or “Puzzle of Time” for all you who like stretched out English Names) – Trainer

You may play 2 Time Puzzle at the same time.

– If you played 1, look at the top 3 cards of your deck and put them back on top of your deck in any order you like.

– If you played 2, choose 2 cards from your discard pile, show them to your opponent, and put them into your hand.

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

The first comments that came about when this card was revealed was how this card finally provides a way to grab Special Energy out of the Discard Pile.

And that’s exactly what it will be used for.

It seems so good until you realized that two of this card must be played at the same time in order to achieve this effect.

That means any deck that wants to actually use its effect will need about 4 copies in order to hopefully pull of the combo. Doing so would clog your first few hands with copies of the card, forcing you throw it away. Imagine the struggle starting with two copies of this card and no Battle Compressor – just using a Professor Sycamore would further throw away most possibility of pulling of the combo in the future. Furthermore, if Night March ran four copies, wouldn’t they further be adding to their 4 Lampent and VS Seeker which can already clog the hand without proper cards to chain a combo?

Darn You PTCGO!!!

It’s single use effect isn’t that bad, but most times it will prove useless. Rearranging the top 3 cards of your deck will get you out of dead draw faster, and it will make your draws from Shaymin EX or Octillery much more meaningful, but even those cards usually net 3 or more cards off of your deck anyways.

Pulling off a Time Puzzle will have its best chance in scenarios where you can search out another Time Puzzle in order to use two at once.

Such scenarios will come from grabbing them off of a Trainers' Mail, Korrina, Teammates or even a Skyla. Nevertheless, I believe the card will see the most success with in Night March, a deck that often has it’s low-HP attackers OHKO’d. Using Teammates after a Joltik or Pumpkaboo goes down would allow you to search your deck for two Time Puzzle, and ultimately provide you with enough resources for another attack. The downside is that the more consistent of these methods require using your turn’s Supporter, and that denies possibilities such as grabbing a DCE and Lysandre at once for a counterattack.

Time Puzzle’s “play two at the same time” condition harshly affects the viability of it’s main effect, which would only be useful in the endgame anyways. Drawing into two of them can provide a strong comeback, being able to have access to special energies and valuable supporters, but in a format where a hand is not kept very conservatively thanks to cards like Professor Sycamore and Ultra Ball, Time Puzzle should only be set aside for decks that absolutely need those resources.

Slow Dreams

Darkrai-EX – Dark– HP180

[C][C] Dark Pulse: 20+ damage. This attack does 20 more damage for each [D] Energy attached to all of your Pokemon

[D][C][C] Dark Head: 80+ damage. If your opponent’s Active Pokemon is Asleep, this attack does 80 more damage.

Weakness: Fighting (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 2

Potential for 180 Damage? Yes!

That’s what we said about Machamp-EX, and look how much it changed the meta. The main attraction here is Darkrai-EX’s “Dark Head” attack, which will hit the Defending Pokemon for 80 damage standard for [D][C][C], 80 Damage more if the defending pokemon is asleep (160 damage so far), and can be further boosted to 170 or 180 damage with a Fighting Fury Belt or Muscle Band respectively. It’s first attack, Dark Pulse, will do 20 damage plus 20 more for each of your Dark Energy attached to your Pokemon, but is considered rather irrelevant because it will only do around 100 damage at max in most scenarios.

So, in order to pull off a Dark Head attack relatively quickly, you need to

  1. Create a reliance on Double Colorless Energy. This is already an ongoing problem for lots of decks such as Night March or Vespiquen Variants, and I believe it needs no further explanation.
  2. Put the Defending Pokemon to sleep. Within BREAKpoint, there is a card, Hypno, which can leave both the Active and Defending Pokemon asleep each turn. Though this does make it relatively easier to put the defending Pokemon to sleep, it creates a necessity to wake up your own Pokemon using either the Stadium All Night Party, which will heal the sleep status along with 30 HP, or a Zoroark line with a Float Stone which can Stand in and retreat to heal any special condition. Another option would to combo this with Malamar-EX, which would take Hypno’s drawback out of the question, but at the same time severely slow down your pace of Energy attachment.
  3. Wait a turn. Unless you are playing Expanded where you have access to Hypnotoxic Laser and Munna, or you use some sort of Wally shenanigans alongside Hypno, there is no practical way  to put the Defending Pokemon to sleep on the first turn AND attack with Dark Head. This opens up possiblity to recieve early game damage, especially from Night March.

Currently, the card only slightly seems better than the qualities of Machamp EX, with the exception of it taking a only a Double Colorless Energy and one Dark Energy to execute its 160 damage attack. Even more, it has a strict reliance on other cards to execute its strategy. If a Hypno became KO’d and there was no other Drowsee on the bench, you’d be capped at an 80 damage Dark Head for a rather vital part of the game. Same deal would happen if you couldn’t search out an All-Night-Party or Zoroark line to heal the sleep condition that is put on your own active Pokemon.

What’s worse is that it’s simply not enough for the current metagame. As previously discussed above, 180 damage is a mighty fine number to hit, but the defensive qualities of the popular and hyped Fighting Fury Belt suddenly denies that needed OHKO. Darkrai is also weak to the Fighting-type, and there already enough Fighting-type threats running around in the meta, such as the Gallade tech seen in Yveltal/Zoroark decks that took a significant amount of Cities wins, or even Lucario-EX centered decks.

Although Darkrai-EX has a sense of potential, the setup needed for an attacker that may already suffer greatly in the metagame does not merit its hype.

M Scizor-EX and its Underling

Scizor-EX – Metal– HP170

[M] Steel Wing: 20 damage. During your opponent’s next turn, any damage done to this Pokemon by attacks is reduced by 20 (after applying Weakness and Resistance).

[M][M] Gale Thrust: 50+ damage. If this Pokemon was on the Bench and became your Active Pokemon this turn, this attack does 60 more damage.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)

M Scizor-EX – Metal– HP220
Mega – Evolves from Scizor-EX

[M][M] Iron Crusher: 120 damage. You may discard a Special Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon or a Stadium card in play.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: Psychic (-20)
Retreat: 2

These two cards didn’t receive as much hype as the rest of the set due to their mediocre damage outputs. I can see why – they aren’t the greatest or most outstanding cards, but I believe they deserve at least some sort of discussion here.

Don’t immediately write off the basic Scizor-EX as a meager step to its meta just yet; although it’s not as godly as a force like Manectric-EX, it still commands a respectable amount of power. Pay attention to Scizor EX’s “Gale Thrust”. For two Steel Energy, this Pokemon can swing for 110 damage with ease. That’s the perfect number for a OHKO on a Shaymin-EX. It also can set up a 2HKO very easily. this is great for closing out the game with a Lysandre or getting out early game damage. It’s other attack, “Steel Wing” can provide a great shield to prevent any early game OHKO’s, making it 20 damage harder to reach magical Knock Out numbers – a pain for decks which cap damage output around 180 – and leaving Scizor with 10 HP left. Not much else interesting to see here.

Admittedly, M Scizor-EX is where the real prize is, boasting an attack which hits with impact and still can keep the rhythm of the game. Although its attack, “Iron Crusher” deals only 120 and a discard on a Special Energy or Stadium, do you need enough for that OHKO? The Metal-type in general has a few supporting cards to take a few hits and afford a 2HKO, such as Shield Energy, Max Potion, Reverse Valley (A BREAKpoint Stadium which decreases damage to Metal-types by 10), and Bronzong. What’s more is it’s secondary effect. Cards such as Yveltal-EX and M Mewtwo-EX (Y), which also take advantage of high Energy costs, would end up falling flat of their desired OHKO’s, and an Iron Crusher would end up discarding any of their indispensable Double Colorless Energy. While Night March Variants may have trouble KOíng this 220 HP beast (especially with that Psychic-type Resistance), an Iron Crusher can not only KO a Night Marcher but also discard a Dimension Valley in play so that Pumpkaboo has a lesser chance of attacking.. Something to note, because Iron Crusher’s effect can also discard a stadium in play, it makes it harder for your opponent to follow up with a Delinquent.

Mega Scizor’s greatest problem is the new and popular Entei/Charizard Variants growing throughout the meta. The Fire-type weakness will gurantee OHKO hits upon Scizor that will occur no matter how many damage modifiers are used. At this moment I can’t think of anything you could even up the matchup; it’s almost an autoloss. Also note that, because of steel resistance, two Iron Crushers does not KO a M Manectric-EX

Although not the most Powerful, M Scizor-EX and it’s pre-evolution are interesting force to test out in our supposed “OHKO” format that boasts a reliance on DCE and Pokemon-EX.

Energy, Energy Everywhere!

Max Elixir – Trainer

Look at the top 6 cards of your deck and attach a Basic Energy card you find there to a Basic Pokemon on your Bench. Shuffle the other cards back into your deck.

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

What happens when you want to break the limits of the one attach per turn rule? When you want rush through your whole deck in order to pull off your combo? You use a card that relies on luck for your desired effect.

Max Elixir is the provides the final “Search top X cards” effect we’ve seen in the past, such as on a Great Ball or Trainers' Mail, but this one puts the fetched card directly onto the field once played.

There are two important constraints in play on this card:

It can only used on Basics; no Mega, Stage 1, Stage 2, or BREAK Pokemon will be able to enjoy the benefits of this card. That means your Double Colorless Energy reliant Stage 1 Pokemon (Vespiquen, Raichu, and Zoroark) will have to look for other methods of Energy acceleration, such as Bronzong or Milotic. It also cannot be used on Mega Pokemon, but such decks that include mega Pokemon usually have a mega amount of focus on setting up said Pokemon, and could use measures such as Mega Turbo instead. There is also the solution of simply postponing evolution until necessary, but that may result in throwing away evolutions early game in order to refresh your hand.

The second, and most important constraint, is that the Pokemon that can recieve Energy acceleration from this card’s effect must be on the bench in order to work. Due to this, it’s not likely that Max Elixir is going to support any sort of “Turbo Turn-1” decks happening without something they can freely retreat from. Max Elixir would be able to promote Energy acceleration mid to late game, once you have something like a Fairy Garden or Zoroark that can help switch between Pokemon up and ready. Even a Pokemon with a Float Stone can be utilized – it switches into the active spot when you suffer a KO and provides the opportunity to refuel a Basic Benched Pokemon for a comeback.

Interesting enough, there is one card that combo’s really nicely with Max Elixir that might have been disregarded. Enter Dragonite-EX – the Basic 180 HP Dragon-type which can hit decent damage outputs with an overwhelming amount of speed. When you play Dragonite-EX from your hand to the bench, you can activate its “Bust In” Ability, which will draw Basic Energy from your benched Pokemon to Dragonite-EX and switch into the active. Because Max Elixir provides Basic Energy to the Bench, you can pull of a Max Elixir on something meager such as Shaymin-EX and proceed to use Bust In to energize Dragonite-EX and put itself in the perfect spot to attack. Then you can proceed to attach a Double Dragon Energy to Dragonite-EX as well as a Fighting Fury Belt or Muscle Band to start swinging for 130-140 right off the bat! That’s enough to take down a Yveltal before your opponent even has the chance to use it! Although this strategy doesn’t produce the OHKO damage some so desperately desire, its damage output is very respectable for its fast setup and it will be interesting to see if it can finally get a good spot in the meta.

The power Max Elixir holds is immense. With an average of 6-8 basic Energy cards in a 60 card deck, you inherently have a good chance of finding a basic Energy off of the top 6 cards. I can already imagine 3 decks that will be buffed with this possible effect: Entei/Charizrd, Yveltal/Zoroark, and Lucario EX variants, although Entei/Charizard is on the lower end due to the amount of Energy discarded. Otherwise, this card’s application would have perfect use, increasing the damage from the attacks of Yveltal-EX and Lucario-EX exponentially while permitting room to switch between attackers.

Remember I mentioned this card being useful with a Fairy Garden in play, although Fairy decks have received a near irrelevant role in the meta? Max Elixir might be able to change this, As “Fairy Toolbox” decks have a bunch of basic attackers, around 10 basic energy per deck, and an Aromatisse to move energy in any way that pleases you, Max Elixir will inherently beef up the speed a this deck can operate at.


The Other Cards

There are still many other cards I haven’t even touched such as M Gyrados-EX, Palkia-EX, Golduck BREAK, Trevenant BREAK, and Manaphy-EX. These cards have a good amount of potential, but their role isn’t quite clear yet. Most Pokemon need to have thorough deck testing to determine viability, and that is not something I yet have access to. Yet, I can still give a few comments on them:

M Gyrados-EX: Provides great damage potential, but Lightning Weakness and high Energy costs could have it turn up short

Palkia-EX: It has fast Energy Acceleration that has been missing a long time. Could combo with Max Elixir, but overall seems to be threatened by Night March and Vespiquen

Golduck BREAK: It’s ability is very worthwhile due to the Max Potion reprint, but given it will take 2 turns to set up with a lot more cards involved, it might fall behind.

Trevenant BREAK: A worthwhile attack for a great lock Pokemon. Thanks to a new Phantump with the Ascension attack, it can be got out much faster. Yet, I have no clue what it can combo with, nor how it will surpass a glaring weakness to Yveltal.

Manaphy-EX: Provides good support to all Water-type and Fairy Toolbox decks, but its 120 HP makes it another target just as vulnerable as Shaymin-EX.



BREAKpoint has had a lot of hype. Too much, but what doesn’t? With every set we get there are sites boasting preorder prices through the roof, and many times they fall flat of their actual value.

Here are my final deductions on these cards and their prices…

Bursting Balloon: It’s going to start low, and it’s going to stay low. This isn’t the card that will suddenly rise up as everyone plays a handful of copies. But don’t feel as if it’s redundant to buy it – the bulk-like price you’ll find it at undershows the use this could have in today’s meta. Keep a playset on hand. It will likely be less than 50 cents a copy at release and will decrease to around a quarter in a few weeks

Fighting Fury Belt: Always be on the lookout for a deal on this card. Some sites are selling it as low as $2.25 or as high as 4 bucks. At this moment in time, like all uncommons, it isn’t worth paying more than $1.50; be on the lookout to get it as cheap as possible, but don’t feel guilty if you can’t find them in the usual 50 cent price range. These cards are going to cost something to get a hold of a playset due to overwhelming demand. This card, as it is the only other flexible damage modifying tool, will always have some sort of prevalent role. It’s ability to stop a OHKO without sacrificing much power is very unique, and could heavily impact the format. This is likely the most important card from the set. I can imagine in a few months this card’s value might jump past a dollar or two, and that’s scary for mere uncommons.

Garchomp: This card has been filled with sheer hype and favoritism from the moment it was released. Although it has some potential in it’s attacks, they fall flat to a lot of the current meta and there are usually better options, such as Gallade BKT (due to it’s single Energy attachment cost). Expect the card to release at 4 dollars, but drop down to the 2-3 range a bit later. It doesn’t boast the versitality that Zoroark BKT did, and it is a stage 2 after all. But in the end, people are going to still cling to the sheer favoritism of the card, much like how Swampert PRC has stayed at 2-3 dollars despite seeing barely any use.

Delinquent: It’s very important and very powerful, but there isn’t going to be the need for more than 1 tech copy in a standard deck, unless decks solely focused on reducing your opponent’s hand become a thing. You can find it for a dollar on some sites, but in reality, this uncommon card is going to go for 50 cents on a dedicated site like TCGPlayer upon release of the set. Expect it to have a price similar to Hex Maniac

Time Puzzle: It’s a gimmick to be able to somehow “Draw 2” of this card and play it in order to get back your valuable resources like Supporters and Special Energy. The card will operate mostly when the deck has a built in search mechanic. The likely 4 of’s you are going to see will likely just clog up the hand even more in a format where we already dedicate 4 items to every deck which grab cards out of the discard. They are popularly being sold for around $1.50 at this moment, but it doesn’t even merit that price. It will likely drop down to 75 cents after a few weeks, and drop even lower afterwards. Look for a good deal if you can.
If you happen to doubt my opinion on this card, try to pick up a playset for around 4 bucks flat.

Darkrai-EX: In my thoughts, it’s just another Machamp-EX. But this time, it’s damage cap is even more limited, setup can be harder, and its weaknesses are more prevalent. Although it can combo nicely with Yveltal XY to even the Night March Matchup, Darkrai-EX can’t pull it’s own weight, especially now that Fighting Fury Belt can come and revolutionize the “Perfect Numbers” than we associated with 180 and 170 damage outputs. It’s selling for around $7 now, but expect it to be around $3-$4.50. It’s not the new Seismitoad or Giratina. It’s just a gimmicky attacker that relies on another frail Pokemon to operate it’s strategy

Scizor-EX and M Scizor-EX: It’s not that bad, promoting a great amount of low Energy defensive play. Although it may struggle with some matchups, don’t disregard it as bulk. Might make a very competitive deck, but not enough combos and decklists have been put out there yet to make a final judgement. Scizor-EX and it’s Mega are at 7 dollars and 11 dollars respectively, but don’t expect those numbers to stay. Those are pre-order prices for you: they will likely drop to $4 and $8 respectively, given past trends of “mediocre” Pokemon-EX with Mega evolutions. Don’t feel bad if you happen to open a few out of some packs – they might make a real neat deck.

Max Elixir: Another versatile card, thus flexible in price, Max Elixir boasts Energy acceleration already seen before but with a twist of luck. It’s bench requirement is often overlooked and people hype the card with aggressive play in mind. They can be found at $1.25 at the moment, but it will likely decrease to 60 cents or less. Yet, its price likely won’t be stable: if the card finds wide immediate success like VS seeker or the like, and given the card’s ability to fit in a wide variety of decks, it might see quite a rise in value. Pick it up when you find a cheap opportunity, and if you notice an increasing trend in price, act on it.

The cards from this set have finally provided our format with some long needed defense. This may be a push into a defensive format, or just a failed attempt to stop the accelerating speed of our current format.

I hope I’ve at least shared with you my opinions on this set. If you feel indifferent to my logic, or need further explanation, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll be sure to check them as often as I do with these card prices. Anyways, thank you for reading this through!