Super Boost Energy Ruling

Discussion in 'Cards: Strategy and Rulings Discussion' started by necronzero, Jul 23, 2018.

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Do you think the ruling for Super Boost Energy is fair?

  1. Yes

    100.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. necronzero

    necronzero New Member

    I am aware of the ruling that says Super Boost Energy only provides the 4 rainbow energy effect when it is attached to a Stage 2, but I personally feel like that is unfortunate ruling that is somewhat unfair towards super boost.

    The card text reads as such,
    "This card provides Colorless Energy.
    While this card is attached to a Stage 2 Pokémon, it provides every type of Energy but provides only 1 Energy at a time. If you have 3 or more Stage 2 Pokémon in play, it provides every type of Energy but provides 4 Energy at a time."

    So there are three separate effects here, even though there are only two blocks of text.
    The first effect,
    "This card provides Colorless Energy. "
    This one is really obvious.​
    The second effect,
    "While this card is attached to a Stage 2 Pokémon, it provides every type of Energy but provides only 1 Energy at a time."
    This one is also not really confusing in any way... standard rainbow energy effect.
    The third effect, which I think needs a different ruling is this
    "If you have 3 or more Stage 2 Pokémon in play, it provides every type of Energy but provides 4 Energy at a time."​

    First thing to that I would like to point out is that this is a new conditional, meaning that you need to satisfy this condition to gain this effect. This means that if we go by the wording of the card, in order to gain the 4 rainbow effect, you simply need to have three stage 2 pokemon in play since nowhere in this sentence to it mention having to be attached to a stage 2, whereas the last effect it did. Now as for the reasoning as to why I disagree with the ruling other than simple grammar. Does anyone remember the Miracle Sphere cards back from the Skyridge set? Well, they had similar effect text's in that they had multiple conditionals in the same block of text without a paragraph break, which is something my friend tried to argue was why the second effect was predicated on the first. In case you don't remember it, or have never even heard of it here is a link to the bulbapedia page for one of them.
    https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Miracle_Sphere_γ_(Skyridge_131)
    Anyways, as you can see the effect is all in one block of text. So if we were to rule it the same way as we did super boost energy, in order to receive the effect of the water and lightning energy, you would first have to meet the condition of having a grass and lightning. I thing most people would safely say that wasn't what was intended to be the case right?

    Well, this is something I believe should apply to Super Boost Energy as well. Super Boost Energy, like all cards that require a lot of set up should provide a large payoff in return otherwise there would never be any benefit to play a card that requires lots of investment.

    Given that and the fact that things like Miracle Sphere don't follow the same logic of the second effect being predicated on the first one, I don't think it's too unfair to have Super Boost Energy apply it's second effects to non-Stage 2 pokemon, as long as you meets it's condition of having at least three stage 2 pokemon in play.

    In the interest of making sure that it wouldn't be too unfair, I put some thought into comparison of value to other prisms and just investment in general. Given the fact that special energies are not hard to deal with at all i.e. Enhanced Hammer, Eneporter, and many others, I feel that Super Boost Energy is a powerful yet balanced card that is very hard to set-up, easy to remove, and hard to maintain and that's exactly what a card like Super Boost Energy is supposed to be.

    It's a powerful card because it creates 4 cards for the price of one, but requires the investment of requiring at least 9 cards out of your deck to currently be in play, aka the cards required to get three stage 2's into play. So including the Super Boost Energy, that literally a 6th of your total deck size, and that means you need to have at least a 6th of your deck in play and setup before it's even close to being called useful, otherwise it's not better than a basic energy card. So if we were to compare this to say, Beast Energy, it's trading the "ultra beast" tag for a "Stage 2" tag conditional. It is then trading the +30 damage buff for the other conditional based effect of providing even more energy, and the conditional isn't all that easy to set-up let alone maintain.

    Your opponent has several ways of dealing with super boost. The first way is of course to remove the energy with a Trainer card or ability. The second way is to knock out the Pokemon it's attached to. The reason I feel that it's not unreasonable for a prism card like this to be very powerful is that super boost cannot be recovered if it ever goes to the discard pile, and given how easy it is to deal with, I don't see it as unreasonable to let it's second conditional effect apply to non-Stage 2's as long as it's being met.

    I also think another reason for Super Boost to bestow it's 4 energy effect on non-Stage 2's is that your opponent has the ability to turn it back into a colorless energy by knocking out a Stage 2 Pokemon you are using to satisfy the conditional, thereby rendering the Super Boost drastically less powerful, and as any stage 2 player knows, constantly streaming Stage 2 Pokemon is difficult. If we compare this again to other prism cards, we see that super boost clearly requires the most previous investment in order to receive it's most powerful effect. Lysandre Prism requiring your field to be full of Fire type Pokemon, Arceus Prism requiring your bench to contain a Grass, Lightning, and a Water Pokemon to get the energy search and attack, etc. Each of those two prism cards require less cards than super boost energy, and Arceus even provides nearly the same amount of energy, and in a more versatile way to boot.

    So, please can someone give me a reason why they think Super Boost Energy deserves the ruling it currently has? I believe that a card that requires lot's of setup and investment should be incredibly powerful and there is nothing wrong with that, especially since it is also fairly easy to get rid of.

    If you can think of a situation where letting Super Boost Energy provide the 4 energy to a non-Stage 2 Pokemon would be way too strong, while still requiring it's condition to be met, please let me know... because honestly, even if it did, I don't see it affect the meta of Zoroark, Buzzwole, Malamar at all. Setting up a Stage 2 is already hard enough, but setting up three and then getting the pokemon you want and the Super Boost is a tall order.

    Please, let me know what you guys think or if I have missed anything please let me know.
     
  2. CrocGG

    CrocGG New Member

    I think you brought up some fine arguements for why the card's ruling is not so fair, and the truth is that I tend to agree with you. The fact that this card is limited to 1 copy in your deck also stiffen its requirments and the logical sense can rationalize its rules' "loosening", like you argued.
    However, and that's a bigger issue, the rules are solid that you can't interpret the text to which direction you desire. I agree with you that the English text can be interpreted to two directions if you overlook grammatical issues, but the Japanese text is much clearer from the English one because it is written in one sentence, where the condition that the card has to be attached to a Stage 2 Pokemon is in the beginning, and the 2 effects and scenarios follow it, so there is no room here for mistaking that the condition applies only for one effect.
    Therefore, though I justify your thesis, I can't overlook the ruling, so in the poll I vote "Yes".
     
  3. necronzero

    necronzero New Member

    Thanks for the reply Croc,

    Fair enough, the fact that the Japanese card text is one sentence certainly does lend credence to the concept of it being intended to only apply to Stage 2's.
    I think I disagree with your claim that the rules are solid, rules change all the time including in this game, again I point to Pokemon Catcher as a prime example. Cards don't need to just be nerfed, sometimes a buff is in order
    That being said, in the pursuit of mitigating power creep for certain cards only, fairness on a game state level(i.e. cards should produce power based on the level of investment into the card), and balance of the game overall(trying to make sure every card is playable), do you feel it should be errata'd to a state more fitting of a card that requires that much effort to make work? Keep in mind all there are far more cards than Super Boost Energy that suffer similar fates...

    I personally don't think that just because the rules are made a certain way, doesn't mean that they need to remain that way if a better rule surfaces. The nice thing about games is that the rules can be changed at will.

    I have a question now... given the opportunity and authority to perhaps "fix"/update Super Boost Energy and bring it more in-line with the talked about power level for the card (all things being considered, ), would you?

    For this part of the discussion I'm more interested in the principle of fixing under-powered cards to make the game better overall. Why even print cards non-Pokemon cards unless the intention is for them to be playable? In that vein, wouldn't it make sense to more actively and meaningfully attempt to improve game state by bringing more cards in-line power-wise with the rest?

    Anyways, I'm interested in your or anyone's opinion, so thanks again for responding.
     
  4. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    One of the biggest issues Pokemon TCG has had over the years is translation differences with the Japanese text.
    The fact of the matter is that (since Pokemon took over), the Japanese text always wins.
    Heck, the "intent" always wins, even.
     
  5. necronzero

    necronzero New Member

    I'm aware of the fact that it does, but I'm asking whether it should?
    Just because the way something is done is the way it's always been done, doesn't mean it's the right or best way.
    If a better way presents itself, shouldn't we take the opportunity to make a choice to try and improve things?
     
  6. CrocGG

    CrocGG New Member

    Necronzero, I hope your'e fine with me quoting your last message. It will help trying to simplify and clarify your real wish towards this issue.

    "I'm aware of the fact that it [=the broad text] does[=always wins in rulings' arguements], but I'm asking whether it should?"
    I think erratas occur from time to time indeed, but most of them(if not all) restrict the card's strength instead of making it more powerful, like you suggested.
    "Just because the way something is done is the way it's always been done, doesn't mean it's the right or best way."
    There are two obstacles in your question:
    1) The first thing, do you mean improving specific card text and errata it to make it compatible to the game like the example of Super Boost Energy you gave? Or do you want to widen the scope and suggest changes of the game mechanics overall?
    2) The main obstacle is that ruling are objective and essentially you can't argue with them. These are the game "facts". The thing you suggest is truly subjective. The number of players equal the number of opinions. Who says that your\someone else's suggestion is good for the game? Maybe someone will think that Super Boost Energy is good as it is now and doesn't need any improvements. Do you see the difficulty?
    "If a better way presents itself, shouldn't we take the opportunity to make a choice to try and improve things?"
    The only solution is to have a consensus around a certain suggestion, and then a change can occur. But how do you suggest to achieve one? Is there even a way that players can suggest improvements\changes in a worldwide game? Is it even good to do so? I know you think it is, but I am sure other players disagree. Imagine that anyone will suggest a new rule\improvement. Wouldn't it be anarchic, not speaking about potential contradictions that may pop up? I think a body can't have more than one head.
     
  7. necronzero

    necronzero New Member

    Thanks again for replying Croc, and I absolutely don't mind at all quoting, I think that's actually important to do, because it creates direct conversational flow...
    I hope you don't mind me doing it as well...

    "I think erratas occur from time to time indeed, but most of them(if not all) restrict the card's strength instead of making it more powerful, like you suggested. "
    And? Why is that a problem exactly? If you can change the rules to make a card worse, you can change the rules to make a card better, i.e. Potion buff. Again, I want to emphasize that this is more a matter of principle.

    "do you mean improving specific card text and errata it to make it compatible to the game like the example of Super Boost Energy you gave?"
    Yes, in order for the game to get better, you need to balance things, which I get is very hard to do in printed media, but still, I think it's an endeavor worth undergoing, or at least discussing.
    "Or do you want to widen the scope and suggest changes of the game mechanics overall?"
    Yes, but one thing at a time, but I definitely think the game isn't perfect and could use a few tweaks to make things better overall. Nobody likes opening with a terrible hand, and I have a few ideas on some ways to solve that problem, but that's another discussion. If you want me to post them I will, just let me know if you would be interested in that discussion.


    "The main obstacle is that ruling are objective and essentially you can't argue with them. These are the game "facts". The thing you suggest is truly subjective. "
    I disagree. Ruling's are definitely subjective, I mean... I've had many judges rule identical situations in different ways, so how do you suppose we reconcile that? Also, who says game "facts" or rules can't be changed or amended? Personally, and I totally understand that this is all my opinion and that ultimately nothing will change because one person's opinion probably won't change much, I think that thinking any set of rules is absolute is narrow-minded, paradigms shift, all the time... the Earth used to be the center of the Universe and look how that turned out.

    "The number of players equal the number of opinions. Who says that your\someone else's suggestion is good for the game?"

    Of course it does, and I'm not saying that my opinion should be worth any more than someone else's, but I'm trying my best to remove my personal opinion from this argument I'm making and leave it up to reason. If I wanted to make a personal opinion argument, I would absolutely be arguing for Feraligatr and Groudon cards to be buffed purely because they are my two favorite Pokemon, but I don't because that's actually a personal preference.

    The argument for Super Boost receiving a buff is that it seems to not quite follow the whole "investment => reward" schema, and also that it applies to any and all decks that want to play Super Boost.

    As far as what makes an opinion good for the game, I would posit the argument of... if the opinion is supported by reason/facts, then it is superior to one that isn't. Seems fairly simple no? If you printed a card, and suddenly that card was all that anyone ever played, something is wrong with that card right? Well, what if we flipped the scenario? If you printed a card, and nobody ever played it, at all... is something wrong with that card? (context = game balance) To me, the answer is absolutely yes. I totally get that it's impossible to balance every card, and make every card useful/playable, but don't you think that energy cards, that could work in any deck, be some of the cards that we should "try" for?

    "Maybe someone will think that Super Boost Energy is good as it is now and doesn't need any improvements. Do you see the difficulty?"
    Of course I see the difficulty, and I don't think that balancing a game is easy, that's entirely why I feel the need to have this conversation, because I feel like the people who are in charge of making the rules and such, are doing an okay job but just need a little help because not everyone can think of everything.

    As far as people who think Super Boost is fine as is, you will almost always have some sort of bias in that answer, until you remove people from the balance equation. A Zoroark GX player will almost always say the card is fine as is, because that means other cards will become more powerful and threatening to them and someone who plays Metagross GX or some other stage 2 deck will be more likely to say no, because of how difficult it is to play the card only for it to feel very restricted and preventing them from making awesome plays even though they have to put a ton of work into making it work.


    Again, I am not unreasonable, and I realize that the goal I'm striving forward is hard to achieve, but most goals worth achieving do actually require some effort to get there.

    Anyways, I look forward to continuing the discussion and thanks again for the response Croc.
    Sincerely, Kurt
     
  8. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Judges may rule differently in what appear to be identical situations when you are talking about play errors, but when you are talking about card interactions or card rulings, which we are discussing here, there should be ZERO differences in how those are ruled.
    We compile and maintain the Compendium specifically to have these rulings be consistent across the world.

    As far as making a change in how a card works, there really needs to be an overwhelming reason to do so. To correct a broken card that damages the metagame or dominates it, for example.
    There is no overwhelming reason to make a change to this card, that I can see.
     
  9. necronzero

    necronzero New Member

    I do think you make an interesting point about needing an overwhelming reason to make a change. I agree this is a useful criteria for keeping effort/maintenance to a minimum. And don't get me wrong about the card ruling thing, I do think the rulings should be based on card text not interpretations and therefore should be identical across the board, however, I know have a habit of asking multiple judges about specific card interactions, because I've gotten different answers from many of them on several occasions.

    However, from a fundamental perspective, does there really need to be a "overwhelming" reason in order to make a change? Shouldn't a regular, well supported reason be enough? It's not rushing to the ER because you fell and broke your arm, it's a planned back surgery because you've been having massive back pain for months and it's not getting any better anytime soon.

    To me, thinking that the game has to be entirely broken or close to it in order to make it better, seems like conservative status quo thinking to me, and for me that doesn't really go along way towards convincing me it's the right move in the long run. I believe that doing the right thing is almost always harder than doing the wrong thing, which makes it worth doing because you know things will be better in the end because of it and all the effort with not be in vain. Like for example, when you're building a house of fixing a car, do you just slap it together? Obviously not, you put care into it because you want it to last, right? Anyways, I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just trying to understand the principles behind the decisions people make with the game, because I care and want it to be as awesome as it used to be.

    The way I see it, cards used to follow the "investment -> reward" scheme pretty well, but today not nearly as much... certain cards how WAYYYY too much power with not enough drawbacks or investment, and I think the proof of this is pretty obvious. So, if an opportunity to make the game better presents itself, why not take the change and see what happens? I mean they've changed the first turn game rules many times over the years, and it's not like they couldn't just change the game back or to something else later.

    And thanks again PokePop for having the discussion with me, I really appreciate it.
     
  10. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    If you're concerned about things that "break" the game, focusing on this card is not the way to go at all.
    It's hardly played.
    Getting DCE banned would be something I could support.

    As for asking multiple judges and getting different answers, any answer that you get in our Ask the Rules Team forum is considered legally binding in Tournaments by OP.
    Answers are given by members of the Pokemon Rules Team, which has been designated by Pokemon R&D to speak for them in making rulings.
     

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