Team Galactic’s Mars
You can play only one Supporter card each turn. When you play this card,
put it next to your Active Pokémon. When your turn ends, discard this card.
cards. Then, choose a card from your opponent’s hand without looking
and put it on the bottom of his or her deck.
Busy busy busy.
I didn’t want to
miss a chance to review all of the Top 10 Pokémon Cards of 2007… but no,
this isn’t going to be a cut and paste of my original review of Team
Galactic’s Mars: click for that
here for that review and to see why this was supposed to be a funny
introduction. It could be worse: I had contemplated an Ultimate MUSCLE joke
Since we are
looking at Team Galactic’s Mars again, clearly I wasn’t crazy to
think it mattered. I haven’t even been able to attend League lately, let
alone any City Championships, so I am getting out-of-date. I mean, if I had
time to read a lot of tournament reviews, I could probably attend Pokémon
League: I only live like half an hour from the nearest one, and I work in
that town, too. Alas, by Friday night I am usually pretty drained and far
too tired to safely drive to League, play for a few hours, then drive home.
Especially in the poor road conditions we so often see during winter in a
“college town”. You know, it is the normal snow and ice but with many
people who clearly never had to drive in those conditions before.
So my big hope
was that this card would bring the return of hand disruption based decks to
Pokémon. Pokémon’s design makes this deck type feel less abusive than it
does in many other games. As attacks with no Energy requirements and Poké-Powers
are so common, you often can even make some effort with an absent hand, and
if you have something big and powered-up, you have a turn or two before a
lack of hand is an issue. With draw and search power at the normal level of
the Modified Format, this kind of hand control fits in perfectly. You draw
two cards. That is just a card less than is normal for the “straightforward
draw*” cards like TV Reporter, Professor Oak’s Visit, etc.
Now, the two examples I specifically mentioned give you another card, but
have a cost: TV Reporter discards, Professor Oak’s Visit
requires you shuffle a card back into your deck, and other cards I didn’t
list may have restrictions on when you can play them or dependency upon
events out of your control for how many cards they allow you to draw. So
you have the same net gain of cards you’d get from the reliable draw cards.
Instead of getting a way of improving quality (the drawing of one extra card
at a cost), you can just take a wild swing at the opponent’s hand. Why
should you want that over getting a better selection of cards drawn?
Because Pokémon is about big moves involving a lot of cards. When combined
with other effects to hit the hand, this becomes almost the “Strength
Charm” of hand disruption. One random card on a turn is a bit scary:
something good could get discarded. Two cards gone basically undoes the
advantage of those straightforward draw cards I keep mentioning if it hits
something useful. When multiple discards are combined, even loosing the
less desirable cards is cause to worry: when they are gone, they’ll have to
hit the “good” ones. Play in Pokémon progresses quickly enough that this
won’t lead to boring games where you lose after 20 turns of having no hand
whatsoever: no competitive deck is apt to have an important card in hand for
more than two or three of the opponent’s turn. Still, the best examples of
how hand disruption can win the game in Pokémon are the slow set-up and the
missing counter. Pokémon is a game of speed, so of course having to burn a
Supporter to search for a card you drew (or had just searched out via some
effect) is a waste of a resource. Lacking a counter is like forcing a poor
deck build upon someone.
If I seem
redundant, it is because the power of hand disruption has been fairly
underpowered for all but a short period of Pokémon’s life, as well as having
been overpowered for most of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG’s existence (there is a lot of
overlap in the player base for these games). I neither want to lull you
into a false sense of security nor cause you to panic over it. TPC would
have a hard time accidentally making hand disruption cards as overpowered as
it is in Yu-Gi-Oh without realizing it, but it can still be a great strategy
3/5 – The older bits of hand disruption were usually flippy, costly, or hit
yourself. Since you can do a lot of draw and searching with other cards,
this really could be a solid choice to smooth those out.
4/5 – As the article above said, it has brought back an old deck type to the
game in a fun way. Unless you have to face it all the time.
4.5/5 – It is draw power. The fact that it also is disruption in a format
of 1-1-1 Evolution lines and Trainers and Energy run in singles just makes
it that much better.
draw here refers to cards that don’t shuffle away all or most of your hand.
This allows them to combo with card affects that alter the order of the
cards in your deck as well as simply making it easier to build a combo piece
by piece in your hand.