Opinion: Why Rare Candy is No Longer a Good Card.

by Pikkdogs ~ June 6th, 2011.

Hey all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with an opinion article, about the playability of Rare Candy.

Before we begin the article I want to introduce some new writers to the site.  Kurt and Kyle, known on YouTube as Misnos, will soon be joining the onehitko family.  For those of you that do not know, Kurt and Kyle post Youtube videos about play-testing sessions that they have.  The videos are fairly fast paced and gives you a lot of information about some pretty cool decks.  The videos are really cool and should be good for the website.  I got a sneak peek at the first article they are writing, and let me tell you, you guys are in for a treat.  Look for their first article/video soon, in the meantime, if you would like to check out their videos, you can find them here.  Now, onto the Rare Candy issue.

The Old Rare Candy

When I first returned to the game, Rare candy was a very important card in almost all decks.  It was one of the first cards that I knew I had to have to make a decent deck.    It was what gave Stage 2 decks a chance against all other decks.  You could go from basic to Stage 2 easy.  It let you do the unthinkable, get a turn 1 Stage 2.  Because it was such a good card it saw a lot of play.  Every stage 2 deck needed at least 2.

I was fascinated by the card and began to collect a bunch of them.  Every player needed a lot of this card to be competitive.  What was good about the card was it let you get a Turn 1 2 Stage 2.  It brought a lot of speed to a Stage 2 deck, and made them really good.

The New Rare Candy Rules.

When I first saw the new rare candy rules, which were put into effect after the release of the Black and White set, I knew that Rare Candy would not be as good as it once was.  But I did not think that Rare Candy would no longer be a playable card.  The official rule change was this, Rare Candy cannot be played on the first turn, or the same turn in which you played the Basic Pokemon.  This took away any chance of a turn 1 stage 2, and made a turn 2 stage 2 very hard to make happen. 

Bye Bye Candy?

Whats the fun of Rare Candy now?  You can no longer get a stage 2 Pokemon on turn 1, which was why the card was good in the first place.  You also can’t Rare Candy right into a Stage 2 from a just played Basic, you have to wait.  Well, if I wanted to wait, why did I waste deck space on this card?  If I have to wait to evolve Pokemon either with Rare Candy or with a Stage 1, why on earth would anyone rely on Rare Candies.  Though they are faster, Stage 1’s are searchable, and do not hurt you as much later in the game when you draw into them.

When I first tested the HGSS-on format I included 4 Rare Candies into each list, I thought that since the card was weakned I needed to have them at exactly the right time.  What I found out that it was really slow to get a stage 2, with Rare Candy or not.  The candies just got stuck in my hand early in the game, and later in the game.  It seems that even when I ran 4, I could never get one at exactly the right time.  And, if you don’t get the candies at the right time, they aren’t any good.  So, I took a candy or two off my list to see if that would help, but I found that I was evolving through stage 1’s even if I had RC in my list. Not having to dedicate 2-4 slots of RC just seem to make my deck more consistent, even without any hopes of skipping stage 1 Pokemon.

The Future of the Card

To my knowledge I am the only player who has completely jettisoned the card from their lists.  However, I know that a lot of players are no longer relying on Rare Candy.  It is much more common to evolve through a Stage 1.  In the current HGSS-on format, you will probably be able to manually evolve without losing your starting Pokemon.

Perhaps when Pokemon Catcher comes to the format Rare Candy will be more important, but for right now, I do not see the need for Rare Candy.  A deck without RC is just more consistent, and has more room for other things.

What do you guys think?  Do you still like Rare Candy? Or did Play Pokemon kill the card when they released the new errata?

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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  • Anonymous

    I Dunno man, I see your theory, but I think the 1 turn could be helpful. 3 rare candy is the right play, and 4-4-4 stage 2 just makes a list look bad.

    But good article. You are a very intelligent person and I think you have good opinions, but this isn’t one. I could be wrong, but I am going to try to avoid playing stage 2’s, including Emboar.

  • Bob

    I believe it is not the rare candy nerf that makes stage 2’s unplayable, but rather the lack of playable ones. Many stage 2’s left the format including Gengar, Machamp, and maybe even Charizard to some extent. However, rare candy itself is still a great consistency booster. It is still faster than manually evolving it. 

    Rare candy may have lost some power, but then again other cards did too (ie Pokemon Collector w/ loss of Uxie) This is all P!P’s plan to slow down the format. 

    • Skyler Knopp

      See, I actually disagree with one part of this because many of what might be the most dominating field presences this format are stage 2’s. Examples: Magnezone, Machamp, Emboar, Typhlosion, Samurott.

      • Bob

        Examples of non stage 2’s dominance: Reshiram, Zekrom, Donphan Prime, Yanmega Prime, Cincinno, Steelix Prime, Scizor Prime, maybe stuff like Lanturn Prime and Beatric. This coming format will, imo, be all about stage 1’s/basics.

  • Anonymous

    4 Rare Candy 4 Junk Arm 4 Juniper + Communications is enough to ensure a stage 2 is ready turn 2 / 3 most of the time.

    Rare Candy remains a good card.

  • Skyler Knopp

    I Absolutely Agree Pikkdogs. Some stage 1’s like machamp are REALLY useful, to boot. But yeah, i am findind that not having the rare candies makes a little more room to pump up the deck or add consistency cards (ie: professor elm’s research or that 4th communication). Also, this format hearkens back to the days of Neo when thick lines were THE way to go for consistancy. better to have a machoke benched and waiting for just a communication/elm instead of having a machop benched with a candy in hand waiting for the same two cards. The reasons for this are twofold: 1.because you can’t use Oaks/Junipers because the pseudo-stage 1; the candy, is in that hand! Consistany with the same potential, as any veteran player knows, is far more desireable than explosivity. 2. Because the basic is in a more vulnerable state than its stage 1. (even without catchers out yet)

    • Skyler Knopp

      **EDIT** Stage 1’s like MACHOKE.

  • Andy Wieman

    I just got around to reading this, and this is just plain wrong. Because of the new Rare Candy rules Stage 2’s are actually just as fast as Stage 1’s, except they are more powerful. With a good trainer/supporter engine it is not hard to find a rare candy, and due to Junk Arm, finding the first one is all you need.

  • Dudelookslikealady

    I have a deck with the pokemon seedot, and shiftry. In my opinion there are hardly any good nuzleafs out there (not trying to hate just my opinion) so I use the rare candys instead of nuzleaf. It takes the same amount of turns for me to evolve it so thats why I believe the new rare candys are not obsolete.

  • doople

    This is not a rule change at all, and I think people were very mistaken on the original Rare Candys. In parentheses they all say “this counts as evolving that Pokémon.” You were never allowed to evolve on the first turn or on the first turn the Pokémon is in play. The reason it chooses to include Stage 1, is not so you can evolve any Pokémon into its Stage `1 on the first turn in play, but rather so you can evolve a Pokémon like Magby into Magmortar without the use of Magmar.

    • medoli900 .

      It says on the card that if we have a STAGE 1 or a stage 2 pokemon, we can put it on a basic pokemon. So, basically, evolve it in the turn the pokemon was played.

  • brandon

    you do realize that you could never use it in one turn right? it says right on the card that it still counts as evolving the pokemon and the rules specifically say you cant evolve the pokemon on the same turn that it was set