A belated Happy New Year, readers!
We begin by breaking down the top
five cards of last year, having finished
listing off numbers six through ten to
end that previous year.
Today we look at number five,
was also number five on my list, and
I’ll be happy to explain why.
For the sake of being thorough,
and as I missed out reviewing the card
initially alongside the rest of the crew
give a full review.
is a Trainer, specifically a Supporter.
The good news is that means it
dodges the blocking effects of cards
Gothitelle (BW-Emerging Powers
The downside of course is that
you are only allowed to use a Supporter
once-per-turn, on your own turns without
some special effect from another card,
and thus the competition for Supporters
is quite, quite high.
has a complex, variable effect, though
the simple wording may lead you to
requires both players shuffle their
hands into their respective decks and
then draws cards equal to his or her
This means either player may draw
from one to six cards off of
it may be identical or a large a
difference as a 1-6/6-1 split.
I quite enjoy effects like this,
because as we will discuss under Usage,
an almost identical card effect proved
fantastically useful in the past
and there are many ways to use this
well: draw power, disruption, and
even deck replenishment.
For those who haven’t been with the game
long, or experienced an unfortunately
absence during a period of the game I
think I enjoyed the most, this effect is
almost identical to that of
The only difference I am aware of
requires you draw a card for each of
your Prizes, while
Rocket’s Admin. made it optional.
In either case, this means not only
clever but appropriately experienced
and knew exactly how to use him to his
First turn you’re probably
helping your opponent out in terms of
quantity, but the same holds true of
The difference is you’ll be able
to intentionally maximize this by
playing out your hand, while your
opponent likely has to rethink their
entire opening strategy: the Basic(s)
they opened with were based on their
actual opening hand, which you now
forced them to shuffle away and replace.
This low risk/reward style of
usage can continue throughout the game
if both players continuously trade
If that is the case, it is what
you have in play that allows you to
maximize your return; a deck with built
in draw power and in particular draw
power that is “shuffle and draw” or
“draw until you have X cards in hand”
will allow you to almost certainly
inconvenience your opponent while
maintaining or even enhancing your own
A prime pick here would be
96/102) and its “Magnetic Draw” Poké-Power,
since said Poké-Power will let you
ensure you come off of
with a six card hand, while your
opponent preferably is drawing three or
Even without extra draw or search
power, just having a solid set-up when
your opponent is struggling to maintain
pace means dropping both of your hands
to three or less cards is a bold but
often effective gambit.
If you are facing an aggressive deck, or
your own is simply having a bad match,
becomes a comeback card to rival
Twins: devastating their hand while
refreshing your own.
This is the primary and most
obvious use of the card, though it is
unlikely to be available to most decks
until at least a few turns have passed.
It is quite, quite devastating to
force your opponent into nearly
top-decking when they ended their turn
with a large hand, and if you improve
your own all the better.
It is rare (and risky!) to pull
when you haven’t drawn a Prize and your
opponent has taken five.
As this is so risky, it also tends to
(in my experience) be more
fair than most other intentional
“come from behind” cards; a skilled
player who is up by five Prizes will be
inconvenienced but not shut out by
having his or her hand replaced with one
randomly drawn card from his/her own
Decks can be designed to
intentionally exploit this, but again it
comes across as balanced and requires
skill to be a reliable strategy: it does
not seem unfair when slow starting
decks, those that give up Prizes
abnormally quickly (like Pokémon LEGENDs
or the upcoming Pokémon-EX), or whose
Pokémon have effects that KO themselves
frequently are more likely than the
average deck to benefit from
pull of big “swings” with
especially since skillful play by
opponent’s can minimize such shifts.
The last use of the card, and again one
that any may enjoy is one that will
rarely come up, but is nice to have
nonetheless, that of replenishing your
deck at the expense of your hand.
Given how important your hand is,
this is unlikely to snatch victory from
the jaw of defeat when facing a
Durant focused depletion deck, but
it theoretically could.
More likely (though still a
somewhat rare occurrence) is that your
own deck is doing well but your opponent
managed to mount a desperate stall, and
you have a large but unneeded hand and
almost exhausted deck.
At this point,
allows you to not only avoid being
stalled out for at least a few more
turns and push for the win, but unless
your opponent had a truly poor hand
and/or hasn’t taken many Prizes; the
disruption factor stands a reasonable
chance of frustrating some last push for
mounting a comeback.
Specific usage of the card would be in
decks that self-KO, set-up slowly,
and/or give up Prizes quickly, as well
as hand control decks.
For one thing, such decks tend to
be one (or multiple) of the above three.
Still by controlling the Prize
count you can make sure your opponent is
forced to make a painful choice: play
out their hand and risk top-decking or
hold onto some cards only for
and friends to shred the hand and
The effectiveness of this
strategy may not sustain a top tier
deck, but it gives good reason to check
those lower stages or less used versions
of certain Basic Pokémon: a single TecH
copy that can combine with
to force top-decking can be worth the
space in many decks if such a card
So what of Unlimited play?
One must be concerned about decks
that will win first turn, create some
sort of “lock”, or cripple your opening
is actually a better version of
Rocket’s Admin. in most cases, and
Supporters are not as integral to decks
here, reducing the Supporter-based
competition it’d face for deck space.
A deck striving for a first turn
control scenario, forcing the opponent
into top decking, may even find
useful, but only if said deck is using a
self-KOing effect repeatedly first turn.
When not facing or running such decks, a
single copy is a lose staple: Unlimited
has great draw/search/recycling power so
getting that single copy isn’t an issue.
Unfortunately said power is not
only what enables the “problem” decks of
the format but also makes it much, much
easier to recover from getting hit with
forces the opponent to draw, it has
a small place in depletion decks,
ironically in the ones that otherwise
focus on discarding from the deck.
Anything that uses the other
cards to force an opponent to draw would
of course be ruined by running
would just undo you work.
In Limited this is a must run, a draw
clocks in as card number five because in
Modified play, a single copy is pretty
much a must for all decks.
You might be able to go without
it if you truly need the room for
something more crucial, but it functions
as the comeback card that a skilled
player can make good use of even when
Plus as it is practically a
Rocket’s Admin. a significant
portion of the player base already knew
how to thoroughly use it the instant
they first saw it, so the impact was
both sudden and deep.
Yes, I am still selling some of my
former collectibles on eBay: click
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