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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Pokegear 3.0

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Date Reviewed: 03.10.10

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.25
Limited: 3.25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Baby Mario
Top 4 UK Nats

Pokégear 3.0 (HGSS)

 

Today we are looking at what is apparently the third version of Pokégear.  The original Pokégear was in one of the Neo sets. Not sure I remember Pokégear 2.

 

Pokégear 3.0 is a Trainer, so there are no restrictions on how many you can play per turn.  Its effect  is to let you look at the top 7 cards of your deck and choose a Supporter that you may (or may not) find there and put it into your hand.

 

This is one of those cards that seems useful at first glance. Everyone who has played the game has been in situations where they were desperate for a Supporter that was lurking in the top few cards of the deck. Really, though, those problems are solved by good deck construction: making sure that you have sufficient draw in your deck, and that you run four copies of your staple Supporters. That should save you from having to rely on a luck based card like Pokégear. Sure, it may get you that vital card, but most of the time you will find yourself drawing the wrong Supporter, or even none at all.

 

Those decks which rely on a heavy Supporter engine (such as Porygon 2 GE) have better options too in the shape of Staraptor FB LV X (with uses its Fast Call Power to search the deck for any Supporter) and VS Seeker (which gets a Supporter back from the discard). Staraptor is rarely, if ever, used in competitive play, and VS Seeker occasionally appears only as a one or two card tech. That they are both miles better than Pokégear should give you some idea of how viable that card is.

 

Sometimes it will work, most of the time it will be a waste of space. If you ever find yourself wanting to play this, then it’s time to brush up on your deck building skills.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 1.5 (an unreliable crutch for poorly built decks)

Limited: 2.5 (quite a few good Supporters in the set, and with 40 card decks the chances of it working are reasonable)


Otaku

PokéGear3.0 is a normal Trainer of the “top seven” variety.  That is to say, like many other Trainers before it, its effect has you look at the top seven cards of your deck.  In its case, it lets you snag a Supporter from the top seven cards of your deck, then shuffle the remaining six cards back into your deck.  Seven cards is a lot for a Pokémon deck: even using this on your first turn with a “standard” set up, your 60 card deck is already short 14 cards: your seven card opening hand, six prizes, and single card draw for the turn.   You’re picking from over 15% of your remaining deck, barring extenuating circumstances.  The longer the game goes on, the better the odds you have of hitting the Supporter you want most.

 

There are three things that make this strategy less than optimal:

 

1)       It can fail to grab any Supporter, let alone the desired one.

2)       The current Supporter pool is deep but not wide.

3)       The current Pokémon pool.

 

Point number one is pretty straightforward: while the odds are good you’ll get at least one of your Supporters, it isn’t guaranteed.  In order for it to be guaranteed, they’d have had to saddle the card with an actual cost to play.  They could have made the gambling aspect more pronounced by making it depend on a coin toss, but I much prefer this: in a deck tuned for it, PokéGear3.0 will rarely fail to get a Supporter.  More pressing is what we have currently for Supporters.  If you need to make sure you open with a draw Supporter… we have plenty you can run.  Search is only slightly less prominent.  If we had more “other” cards, with useful non-building effects like the classic Pokémon Nurse, PokéGear3.0 would be better.  Right now your deck basically has to be at the point where running more Supporters would be a waste and you run PokéGear3.0 because it thins your deck by a card and gets yet another Supporter to your hand.

 

The third point may be the biggest reasons for PokéGear3.0 not seeing play: many Pokémon clash with its use.  We have Claydol from Great Encounters with Cosmic Draw: a non-attack, non-Supporter based form of reusable draw power gives you a better way of getting Supporters into your hand while still saving your Supporter use for the turn.  If your deck actually does need a specific Supporter, we have Staraptor FB Lv.X.  Since it is the leveled up form of a Basic, a two-two line of it would use the same amount of room as maxing out on PokéGear3.0.  Lastly a quick search found 10 Pokémon that can prevent play of Trainers.  Fortunately most rely on attacks, but they still exist and some even have whole decks built around them.

 

Overall, I think PokéGear3.0 is a good card but it won’t see a lot of play right now.  It functions perfectly well, but there are better alternatives currently available.  I will point out that its value in Limited events is high.  As long as you have at least one Supporter, you probably will use it.  After all, Supporters are even more potent in this format, so even getting to that lone one can be game breaking.  If you have at least two, it’s a must.  With the 40 card deck thinned by 12 cards (7 card opening hand, 4 prizes, and one opening draw), your worst odds are going to be one in four!

 

To my knowledge, there is only one other PokéGear card in English: makes me wonder if we missed a middle form amongst some of the few Japanese exclusive cards of the TCG’s past, or if they just skipped any intermediary forms.

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 3/5

 

Limited: 4/5


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