[M.A.P.L.E. VII-30] Broken!

I was searching for inspiration for today’s post, and the Daily Post suggestion actually jogged my mind for an idea.

The word is “broken,” but I’ll start by saying that in the sense that I will discuss, it has nothing to do with non-operational.

Rather, it’s a term in the Pokemon TCG. Might as well get a post about it since Madison is for a Pokemon TCG regional tournament!

Throughout the history of any trading card game, not all cards are created equally—some are much more powerful than others and many cards you would never see in competitive decks.

On the other hand, there are some cards that appear in almost every competitive deck because they’re so good—sometimes they are unbalanced or overpowered.

These cards are known in the community as “broken” cards.

For example, in the current format, I can think of several broken cards:

  • Float Stone. Ooooh… I’m going to be SO happy when this card leaves the Standard rotation. So many popular decks get to abuse this card, and since my usual playing style plays with under-the-radar decks and strategies, it’ll be nice to not have to deal with this card. When a Pokemon holds this card, its retreat cost is set to zero, which means that you have free reign with no other drawbacks.
  • Tapu Lele GX. In combination with bazillions of ways to search it out, it lets you grab a Supporter card from your deck, and the (usually-easy-to-do) turn-one Lele/Brigette means that your side is already well set-up, perhaps even before the opponent has gotten a turn. Plus, it has an attack that any deck can use which can do a lot of damage. This card will remain in the format for next year, and remains one of the most expensive single cards in the game!
  • Professor Sycamore. As compared to other trading card games, Pokemon has an insane amount of drawing and searching ability. This card / mechanic (discard your hand and draw 7 cards) rates to leave the Standard format for the first time since 2011.
  • Parallel City. It is a broken card because it’s a Stadium card that has different effects for the different sides of the table, unlike other Stadium cards. With this one, if the player is not playing a Grass, Water, or Fire deck, the “harmful” effect pointed toward the owner has no effect, but the “other” harmful effect of restricting the player’s Bench space to 3 really crams certain decks.  This was the first Stadium card to have non-symmetric effects in the game, and there were 2 others (Reverse Valley and Chaos Tower, neither of which saw any competitive play).
  • Double Colorless Energy. Many Pokemon have attacks that require at least 2 Colorless energy, and this card provides them. The card is unlikely to rotate out of the format, though, because it keeps getting reprinted, often in “base” sets. It is easy to abuse with certain cards in the format such as Zoroark GX. The only caveat to the card is that you can only play 4 in your deck, but that’s hardly a disadvantage.

There are certainly other broken cards, but I think I’ll cap it at five.


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Today is the thirtieth day of the seventh round of M.A.P.L.E. That makes four weeks and two days.

Madison: 2 days

Alaska: 30 days

Eau Claire: 62 days

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