'Blue Impact' / 'Red Flash' Japan's XY8 Sets, Next Set Block Titled 'XY: BREAK!'

Otaku

The wise fool?
Member
I didn't realize how much I didn't like the BREAK cards until I just went off on them one day while talking to a friend. Both from a competitive standpoint and from a collector's standpoint, I don't care for them; they're pointless. (It's possible they'll become better in the future, but as of right now, there are no redeeming qualities.) Incoming rant:

I started playing the TCG at the end of the DPPt era, when the Arceus set had just come out, and Lv.X's were awesome! In my opinion, when comparing BREAK's to Lv.X's, I think BREAK's are just a little bit better, mechanic-wise, since your Pokemon doesn't have to be the Active Pokemon in order to BREAK evolve. But when comparing the two in the formats they were in, Lv.X's worked because they were the big, strong cards in that format. BREAK's are in a format with big Basic EX's, making them obsolete. Why on earth would I want to spend a minimum of three turns setting up a BREAK Pokemon that is not as good or is on par with a sub-par EX? There's no way Pokemon doesn't know that the general consensus of Stage 2's is that they're not very viable when compared to EX's. (Which is a shame since there are many Stage 2's with either strong or interesting attacks or Abilities--or both!) If they really wanted to BREAK evolution, I think they should have made some mechanic to speed up evolution while possibly also giving an increase in HP or damage or possibly both, just to be on par with EX's. (But who knows. Maybe that would spiral out of control and create even more of a power creep.)

And from a collector's standpoint, this might just be me, but it's frustrating to see even MORE ultra rares in sets. BREAKthrough is going to have 8 EX's + 10 FA's + 2 secret rare FA's, which is 20 ultra rares; that's plenty. Oh, but wait. NOW there's 6 BREAK cards! Let's bump the ultra rare count up to 26! What's the typical ultra rare count for a booster box again? 4 to 8? Sure feels good knowing that after spending around $100, I'll just be putting a dent in completing this set. And on top of that, the fact that the BREAK cards are being panned as not playable, that will probably mean they'll be worth less. (Thundurus EX from Roaring Skies, for example? $3.) So not only is the number of ultra rares increasing, but so are the chances of getting an ultra rare that's not playable. I will say, though, if they treat the BREAK cards like they did with Prime cards (making them take place of the reverse instead of the rare in a pack and also having 4 to 6 of them in a booster box on top of still having 4 to 6 other ultra rares), I would be completely fine with them. But I don't see that happening. They'll probably just take the place of the rare, like any other ultra rare.

As for aesthetics, I get why they made them sideways. It's just so you can still see the previous card's attacks, Abilities, Weakness, Resistance, and Retreat Cost. It looks kind of silly, but it's fine. As for the holo effect, I've always found that sort of design/pattern cheap-looking. It's like something you'd find on a sticker from one of those sticker vending machines. (Maybe it'll look better in person, but I don't think I'll be sold on it.) And the golden CG Pokemon themselves... I've never found CG appealing when compared to more traditional artwork. With traditional artwork, you have so many visually appealing options. The artist's style, the colors used, the detail--there's so much that can make a card's artwork visually pleasing! With CG, it's just that Pokemon. In 3D. With a 3D background. It all mostly looks the same, aside from maybe the effects added. I can absolutely appreciate the effort put into 3D models! It's just not my cup of tea. And making the Pokemon golden is pointless, in my opinion. Is it just to try to make them look more important than they really are?

TL;DR: Competitively, BREAK's are pointless when EX's also exist. They're increasing the amount of ultra rares in a set while also increasing the likeliness of pulling an ultra rare that isn't playable and is, therefore, basically almost worthless. And the holo pattern looks cheap and CG isn't visually appealing to me; golden Pokemon or not.

As a player, I assumed BREAKs were targeting collectors more to begin with but it sounds like some of the collectors are starting to come to the point where players like me are... wondering what the-powers-that-be are thinking.

I do think there is an even bigger problem being missed. I know there are players that swear this is a great, balanced format. I'm not one of them, because I want balance card pool wide and not just on small fraction of "competitive" cards and it includes balancing out the Stages, the Types and the styles of game play. A TCG like Pokémon that wants to be a friendly, all ages game should not turn itself into "dueling solitaire" where any competitive deck is "I set up first/second turn and begin steam rolling you with raw offense, so even though you can do things, they are all pointless unless I make a serious misplay or have awful luck while you are having good luck and/or making brilliant plays." or other alternative we see a lot, "I set-up first/second turn and prevent your set-up, slowly winning the game while you can do nothing of consequence unless I make a serious misplay or have awful luck while you are having good luck and/or making brilliant plays."

It may not have been for a long time, but I remember when I could still have fun while losing.
 

Rekon50

Aspiring Trainer
Member
I imagine Battle Reporter being useful as well with Glalie Ex. It allows you to draw until you have the same amount of cards as your opponent.
 

Matthew the Fairy Lover

The Lover of everything Fairy
Member
I don't know why people think this card is useless. With a Judge and a Muscle Band, you can do an instant 170 damage knocking out most EX's in one hit. This card is good in a control deck that uses Judge and Battle Reporter to match hand sizes then you just swing for 170. Add in some Regices and some consistency cards and there you go. Glalie isn't the best card but it does have it's place in some decks.

I imagine Battle Reporter being useful as well with Glalie Ex. It allows you to draw until you have the same amount of cards as your opponent.

Battle Reporter is good but Judge is better as it disrupts your opponent as well as giving you a fresh hand if you need it.
 

Otaku

The wise fool?
Member
Battle Reporter is...

...terrible under normal circumstances. If it really does work adequately in a Glalie-EX focused deck, that might be one reason why so few people consider Glalie-EX to be all that good. For the record I consider Glalie-EX to be roughly adequate because while it can deliver a solid hit, the kind of investment we are talking about yields as good or better results elsewhere. Could I be wrong? Absolutely; especially my Standard experience is lacking.
 

Brown_Unibrow

Aspiring Trainer
Member
I feel like this is just a budget Shaymin. I like how this card is a stage one so it resists silent lab, it's a non EX Pokemon so it's not super good Lysandre bait, can be searched out with level ball and dive ball, and it's ability can be used once per turn so that it's not dead weight. I've noticed that since this card came out Shaymin EX is way cheaper. Shaymin used to be $50 for non full art. Now it's $37 on Troll and Toad.
I personally really like this card because it's around the same level as Shaymin, but it costs a fraction of the price.
 
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