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Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day

 

Junk Arm

HS Triumphant

Date Reviewed: Nov. 3, 2010

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 3.75
Limited: 1.75

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

Combos With:
 

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Junk Arm (Triumphant)

 

Junk Arm is the only Trainer card in the Triumphant set. Luckily for us it’s a very good one. We’re definitely on a roll this week on CotD!

 

Although Junk Arm seems simple enough, there are a couple of rulings that players need to be aware of. The card works by discarding two cards and then searching your discard pile for a Trainer and putting it into your hand. The fact that you discard first is important: it means you CAN get back a Trainer that you discard with Junk Arm’s effect (making life a lot easier if you are dumping cards to boost draw from Uxie’s Set Up). The one restriction is that you cannot use one Junk Arm to get another from the discard. (This is where it differs from the similar, but ancient, Item Finder).

 

Is Junk Arm useful? You bet. Useful enough to justify losing 3 cards from your hand to play it (Junk Arm + discards)? Sure it is. Just think of the possibilities: Luxury Ball is now re-usable; SP decks can have a fifth Poke Turn or Power Spray; Stage 2 decks can grab a used Rare Candy . . . any deck that has the space could benefit from running this card.

 

Obviously, the decks where it does best are the ones that can make a virtue of the discard. Gyarados is the first one that comes to mind, as Junk Arm will now replace the rotated Felicity’s Drawing as a quick way to dump Magikarps. Steelix Prime decks also enjoy having Metal Energy in the discard pile to use with Steelix’s Energy Stream attack, and Regigigas decks will love this card too. There are other, less mainstream, options as well (such as Typhlosion Prime and Honchkrow UD’s Vengeance attack). As a sidenote, the ability to discard Supporters and Trainers can also be an effective way of minimising damage from Gengar SF’s Poltergeist attack.

 

Not every deck is going to find room for Junk Arm (just as they don’t for VS Seeker, the Supporter recovery card), but most decks will find it useful, and others (like Gyarados) will positively depend on it. This is a card that you are definitely going to see in tournament play.

 

Rating

 

Modified: 3.75 (some decks love it, others might not find the space for it. It’s a good card regardless)

Limited: 1 (Junk Arm is the only Trainer in the set, and you can’t use it to get Junk Arms, so it’s completely useless)

virusyosh

Happy midweek, Pojo readers! Today we are continuing our reviews of the Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums of HS Triumphant by looking at a new card that is a functional reprint of a card last printed in Base Set. Today's Card of the Day is Junk Arm.

Junk Arm is just like Base Set's Maintenance, but with one minor exception: You discard two cards from your hand to choose a Trainer card from your discard pile and get it back into your hand. However, on this new print, you can't choose Junk Arm as a target for return (then again, I can't really think of a reason why you would want to anyway).

This card has a natural place in Gyarados decks, where the loss of Felicity's Drawing greatly affected the ability of the Gyarados player to get Magikarps into the discard pile easily. Junk Arm alleviates that problem, and also allows you to get back that crucial Warp Point, Poke Turn, Expert Belt, Pokemon Rescue, or even Rare Candy. Outside of Gyarados decks, Junk Arm may see some play because there are so many important Trainers in the game today, especially for the ever so popular SP engine. However, as with everything that is a Trainer nowadays, it is highly susceptible to Trainer lock, meaning this will be dead in your hand if your opponent happens to have an active Spiritomb, Vileplume, or Dialga G Deafen locking, or if you somehow don't have a legal target for it in your discard pile. Even still, Junk Arm is a good card and is definitely worth a look.

Modified: 3.75/5 It doesn't belong in every deck, but it's really quite good for recursion. Trainer lock and the loss of card advantage bring it down a bit, but being able to reuse that crucial Energy Gain/Poke Turn/Power Spray/Warp Point/etc. can really make a huge difference in the match.

Limited: 1/5 Junk Arm, along with Alph Lithograph, are the only Trainers in the Triumphant set. Since Junk Arm can't be targeted through its own effect and this set's Alph Lithograph is really only useful once, there's really no reason to use the card here.

Combos With: Gyarados SF

conical

11/3/10: Junk Arm(Triumphant) 

It seems like every week, we have at least one card that has ties to an older card. This seems to be a common trend with the HGSS block(which may continue in the B/W cards?) , one I heartily approve of in some cases. Thankfully, Junk Arm is one such card. 

If you're wondering which old card Junk Arm emulates, the answer is Itemfinder, from Base Set. People used a single copy in plenty of older decks, because reusing a Professor Oak or Bill was worth discarding two cards. However, in today's format, Trainers are nowhere as powerful as they were back then. Perhaps an ambitious SP player could fit in a copy to reuse a Team Galactic's Invention of their choice, but considering how tight most SP lists are, it might not be worth the deck space, much less the two-card discard requirement. 

Still want to use this card, eh? Well, if there's a deck who could make this card work, it would be...dare I say...Gyarados!? Well, it's not that much of a surprise. Gyarados is still hurting from Felicity's Drawing's rotation, and is looking for a way to discard Magikarps without using lesser options like Regice LA and Banette PL. Junk Arm gives Gyarados a very useful option to get back the few trainers it uses, like Pokemon Rescue or Expert Belt, while setting up for massive Tail Revenge damage. In terms of copies per deck, Junk Arm may become more heavily used than its predecessor, if only because of Gyarados. 

Modified: 3.25/5
Limited: 4.25/5
Combos With: Team Galactic's Inventions, Pokemon Rescue


Otaku

Junk Arm is a today’s new Trainer from HS – Triumphant, but it’s effect is actually something familiar: “Discard two cards from your hand.  Search your discard pile for a Trainer card, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand.  You can’t choose Junk Arm with the effect of this card.”  It is an almost identical effect to Item Finder, a card that was first released in the original Base Set of the Pokémon TCG!  Item Finder is a heavily used card when it is legal: in Unlimited play it allows you to toss Trainers for the many effects that would discard them (Computer Search, Professor Oak) knowing you can snag them back and of course to recycle useful Trainers that you did already use.

 

There are two important differences between Item Finder and Junk Arm.  Besides slight wording changes, Junk Arm can’t retrieve itself.  A few decks would like to be able to “cycle” Junk Arm a few times to load up the discard pile with cards that they will utilize in some way.  As examples, think of Pokémon that can attach Energy from the discard pile or Pokémon that have attacks that gain damage based on what Pokémon are in the discard pile.  More important, Junk Arm uses the modern usage of “Trainer” that excludes Supporters and Stadium cards, so it most definitely is not the same card and isn’t quite as powerful.

 

You still should expect to see Junk Arm being played.  The two big reasons not to use it are fear of Trainer lock and simply not having the room.  Both are common problems facing most Trainers right now, but Junk Arm actually has an answer to the latter: it will act as a “variable copy” of the Trainers in your deck, thus you can cut a few of those Trainers and replace them with Junk Arm.  Unless your deck can’t handle the discard cost, you’ll be much better off having a card that can be any Trainer already in your discard pile than whatever Trainer you replaced.  Just remember that you can’t cut numbers too low: you still need to have a copy of said Trainer in the discard for Junk Arm to recycle it.

 

Junk Arm, like many cards, will really affect how moves play out.  Your opponent can afford to be less stingy with Trainer use, and that enables bolder plays.  You can’t feel safe because an opponent has used up four Plus Power: if they can build their hand up this turn, they can afford to throw it all away (via Junk Arm) to reload.  A piece of TecH they’d be crazy to run two of will get multiple uses.  Some decks will be running three or four, some might run zero, and I anticipate quite a few will at least work in one.

 

In Limited play, the only reason not to use this card is a good one: there are no other Trainer cards in this set!  With nothing to target, you can’t even use it for the discard portion (there are a few cards that could benefit from that).

 

Ratings

 

Modified: 4/5

 

Limited: 1/5

 

I am still selling my former collectables on eBay.  I’ve had a lot of hobbies over the years, so at various times I’ll have comic books, manga, action figures, and video games on the auction block.  You can take a look at what’s up for bids here.  Just a reminder, Pojo is in no way responsible for any transactions and was merely kind enough to let me mention the auctions here. ;) 

   


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