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EX Dragon Frontiers
Flip 2 coins. If both are heads, search your
discard pile for a Basic Pokémon or Evolution
card, show it to your opponent, and put it into
your hand. If both are tails, search your
discard pile for a Trainer card, show it to your
opponent, and put it into your hand.
Trainers hit a low point in the Neo sets. There
were a few that were potent enough to hang with the
Base Set Trainers, most were either weak or flippy.
Old Rod is an example of this latter
problem. What makes it sad is that it is so close
to being a really useful card. Old Rod has a
25% chance of being a “free” Item Finder. It
also has a 25% chance of being half a Pokémon
Retriever (the half that lets you return a
Pokémon to hand). The problem is that half the time
it does nothing. I wouldn’t want the successful
part to be anymore potent: that tends to lead to
overpowered cards like Focus Band, even when
they are “tails fails” more than a potent but “safe”
card like Energy Removal 2 or Pokémon
Reversal (which were thought horrid when they
first came out). Still, I think with this card
needed was to get a Pokémon (as it does) on a
heads/tails split, and only do nothing on double
“tails” (getting a Trainer on double “heads”). A
quarter of the time it’d be a waste, but as long as
you had a useful Trainer in the discard, a quarter
of the time it’d rock as well, and half the time
you’d get something of potential value.
Okay, enough “what ifs”: I seriously doubt TPC’s R&D
read these CotDs, so what is the practical use for
the card? Well, if it wasn’t for Holon
Transceiver and the
Supporters: it may be limited to
said Supporters, but Holon Transceiver
isn’t flip based and can of course search your deck
Supporter as well.
There still might be one, very small, use though.
If you discover a deck that needs a lot of a certain
Trainer (and it isn’t a
Supporter), then it is the only Modified, Trainer
based form of Trainer recursion you’ll find. In the
future, maybe they’ll consider creating some
Trainers that are sort of the Trainer equivalent of
Pokémon* and thus recycling one might be worth the
effort, but realistically such cards would just
cause Pokémon that can recycle Trainers via attacks
to be worth trying, and even if not then Old Rod
would have to remain legal.
1/5 – We have Item Finder.
1.25/5 – We have the
4/5 – With resources so limited, the only reasons
even a 50% chance of recycling something doesn’t
score a perfect 5/5 are the fact you may not get
that many Trainers, you may not often draw into it
when you have that many in the discard, and you
might need the room in your deck for something more
reliable and/or needed by the deck. Old Rod,
even though recycling a Pokémon is so powerful here
(let alone a Trainer), would still just be optional
Good idea, poor execution, this card was from a time
when TPC seemed to be unable to find a happy middle
for Trainers: either they were too good or very
bad. Old Rod is probably best left on the
ash heap of TCG history, remembered for three
reasons: as an example of what not to do, a
challenge of how to make a card or cards to combo
with it an be worthwhile, or to try and inspire an
updated, useful-but-balanced modernization.