This time around for Feature Card, we are going to look at a Trainer card that has been around since the early TCG days. It may have went by a different name back then but it made a return during the Black and White era with no signs of disappearing anytime soon. It had a slow raise to popularity but due to the ever changing format, this card has returned to full force to wreak decks and help decide winners. The card we are looking at is Crushing Hammer.
Crushing Hammer made it’s first appearance in the Emerging Powers TCG set. If you want to get technical, there was a card that had the same effect called Energy Removal 2 in the Expedition Base Set. If we go back even further , there was Energy Removal from the Base Set that did the same thing as Crushing Hammer and Energy Removal 2 but without the coin flip.
What does this all means? That the ability to remove your opponent’s energy has been with the Pokemon TCG since the beginning. Crushing Hammer is just the latest way to remove energy via a Trainer card.
When you play Crushing Hammer, you have a fifty-fifty chance of discarding any Energy card attached to the opponent’s Pokemon. It isn’t as powerful as the original Energy Removal but when you have something that powerful, you can’t allow it to be easily to pull off. We saw that with Pokemon Catcher. A coin flip is all that can be done to make sure that it isn’t overly abused.
Now, why would you play a card that isn’t guarantee to be successful? It is all about putting your opponent in a bad position while you stall for time to prepare your attack. It can make your opponent who is setting up a Cobalion EX to wait an extra turn or two to attack because you got heads with your Crushing Hammer. Then who knows when they will get another Energy to attack with. Denial of Energy is the game you play when you use Crushing Hammer and those who can get heads are the ones who raise their chances of victory.
Crushing Hammer had a slow start when it first came out in Emerging Powers. People would use it but not as frequent due to it having to rely on a coin flip. That all changed as Darkrai–Sableye began to gain popularity. The use of Crushing Hammer rose as people realize that they can fail on the flip for Crushing Hammer and try again next turn thanks to Sableye’s Junk Hunt attack to retrieve those Crushing Hammers. That means people who use this strategy were able to spam Crushing Hammers until they got heads from coin flips. This could make opponents feel frustrated due to how much luck is being place into the game as they watch their Energy go into the discard pile. As for the player using Darkrai-Sableye, it just means they can keep powering up their Darkrai and ensure that their opponent can’t retaliate.
The ability to remove Energy from the field has been with the TCG for a long time. Crushing Hammer is proof that this strategy is still one that can be used especially when you can spam it as much as you want. It was gone for a little bit during the 2014 TCG Season due to rotation but it was brought back. Crushing Hammer was reprinted in Legendary Treasures with new art but the same effect. So this card isn’t going anywhere for a long time.