Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah, dear
For better or worse, this became
a surprisingly lengthy CotD.
Yes I realize that for you it
probably comes as no surprise, but I
really thought today’s pick was going to
be a short, fast, easy review.
is our final CotD this week.
It is a Trainer, specifically an
Item, while it must fear effects that
block either of those card types, it
also is easy to use and can be recycled
Anyone playing this format should
be well aware of how much increased
utility the ability to recycle an Item
gives such a card, even at the cost of
three other cards (Junk
Arm and two discards), and in fact
this will prove quite important for
The effect is coin flip based, something
I missed when spoilers for it first
appeared; if you ever read the older
CotDs, you can get a laugh at me in some
reviews on account of this.
I was also spelling it wrong and
missing the pun.
So is the rest of the effect
worth using since the card is expected
to fail half the time?
That effect is searching your
deck for the Supporter of your choice,
and I have to say: probably.
A good Trainer engine is vital for any
deck, and Supporters are chief amongst
them, barring some questionable design
The raw power of a Supporter
coupled with the inability to legally
play more than one per turn, barring
some special exceptions through other
card effects, means a deck can neither
afford to flood itself with them for
fear of becoming bogged down by cards
dead for the rest of the turn after the
allotted Supporter is used; neither
should you find yourself, except in very
specific circumstances, skipping your
Supporter usage for the turn.
Had my original misreading of the card
Xtransceiver would have been a
staple, maybe even a four-per-deck
staple for Modified (and probably a near
staple for Unlimited).
With the flip, there will
definitely be decks that won’t want to
or need to run it.
So what decks will want to use a
card that will likely fail half the
time, and even when it works might not
be able to get the Supporter you really
want because you’ve burned through your
entire supply or the last copy is
I would say decks where a specific
Supporter is incredibly advantageous, if
not outright vital.
While I am not fond of losing
through my only Pokémon being KOed first
turn, “donk” decks should be testing
I won’t promise every build will
be enhanced but if every card isn’t 100%
vital (that is, if
Xtransceiver fails it won’t cost you
the entire match) better you draw into
it and have a chance at getting exactly
what you need than some “extra” Pokémon
or Energy card.
Speed decks (which would be most of them
right now) are the next candidate.
If build space is tight, test it
Think of this a lot like when
Pokémon Reversal was so vital before
Pokémon Catcher released: when it
fails, you just recycle it until you
can’t anymore, or it works!
When it works, barring
unfortunate circumstances beyond your
control such as a Supporter blocking
effect or the target being Prized, you
exact Supporter you need.
If your hand is almost empty, the
risk versus reward likely stays the
same, because hey that is the perfect
time for getting that
Juniper buried in your deck.
Opponent threatening to run you
out of Pokémon next turn?
Make sure you have a
Pokémon Collector and aren’t just
hoping to luck into a blind draw with
Set-up decks that don’t block out their
own Item or Supporter usage also could
use this card, but by this point making
room for it does become painfully
Still just as above, when it
works it will be amazing, and unless
you’re low on resources it failing is
just… one card gone, not a huge deal for
While it might fall into any of the
above categories (probably not “donk
decks”) decks where Supporters aren’t
the only draw power are the best
Xtransceiver: you are most likely to
be able to afford it failing, and have
Junk Arm with discard fodder to try
In these decks, it is most likely
Xtransceiver usage will allow you to
cut back on the amount of particular
Supporters you run.
I don’t recommend this for all
decks since a failed
Xtransceiver becomes a game loser if
you don’t have access to even your third
best Supporter option already in your
When you have something like
Magnezone Prime sitting on your
Bench, waiting to refill your hand?
Now you can afford to no longer
max out the Supporters important to your
can also make some of the situational
Supporters more potent.
Again, most useful when your deck
has built in draw/search power to keep
you covered when
Xtransceiver fails, but even outside
of that if you’re just replacing a
second copy of
Twins you run just so you stand a
real chance of having it in hand when
you are down on Prizes, the increased
Xtransceiver (even with the times it
fails) will probably be equal or better
for your deck than a
Twins that remains dead.
Of course, I truly hope that
decks that run
Xtransceiver will give
Black Belt a second look: when you
only run a single copy and have a
Trainer that can search it from your
deck, suddenly that situational extra 40
points of damage is less desperation and
more strategic risk.
So after saying all this, I have to
seemingly do an about face by pointing
out there is another option, one that
some might consider of equal or better
Pokégear 3.0 since HeartGold/SoulSilver
You can read the first
impressions the review crew (myself
included) had of
You’ll notice in my review will
note that I liked the card, but thought
the format of the time rendered it
I still scored it relatively high
– ‘twas a time of ridiculously powerful
cards all around instead of just Basic
Pokémon, so if it wasn’t “Broken/5” was
what a 3/5 was competing against for
half your deck slots.
Fast forwarding to the current
metagame, I’d probably give
Pokégear 3.0 the same score, but now
it doesn’t face anywhere near as steep
of general competition.
Pokégear 3.0 and
Xtransceiver have overlapping areas
of usefulness, but
Pokégear 3.0 is more about ensuring
you have a Supporter in hand while
Xtransceiver is a gamble at getting
exact Supporter you need.
That may seem a fine difference,
but playtesting will tell you which (if
either) a deck should run.
In Unlimited play this card isn’t worth
using outside of very specific decks.
First and foremost, Supporters
are just less important here, where you
have access to
Item Finder, and
Computer Search, and those very same
cards not only replace most Supporters
players would use, but also ensure that
whatever you have to use a Supporter
for, that Supporter is available.
In fact, the only decks that
should consider it are those focusing on
First Turn wins that absolutely must
have a specific Supporter.
I don’t promise it will improve
all such decks, just that it should be
considered and will likely enhance at
least one such deck.
In Limited play, it is all about how
many Supporters you pulled alongside it.
Noble Victories, the set
Xtransceiver comes, has a single
Supporter in it, though it is an
excellent one (N).
If you manage to pull multiple
you should then run that lucky
If you only get a single of each,
look at your deck and weigh it out: you
might be better with an extra Pokémon or
Energy: when you draw into
Xtransceiver first and it works, it
will be amazing, the rest of the time it
will be awful.
Obviously if you only get
Xtransceiver, don’t run it.
Before I go to the scores, let me state
how much I miss
Vs Seeker and
The former if re-released will
just increase the versatility of
Xtransceiver, and I could see a 1-1
pairing becoming a staple.
I know of no such re-release
coming, but this is the kind of thing
that has come out of seemingly no where
in the past.
sadly will almost certainly never be
re-released, but perhaps someday a
similar card effect will be given to a
If that happens,
Xtransceiver becomes an incredibly
specific niche card, only useful really
for donk decks.
If you never played with
Scott being legal, many of us
scoffed at the card at first (using one
Supporter to clog your hand with up to
three more you can’t use that turn), but
if we get any Stadiums with immediate
returns, suddenly the beauty of
Scott is revealed.
It becomes common to run multiple
Scott to force your opponent to use
hand disruption because if not, you’ve
thinned your deck, lined up all of your
Stadiums to help you control the field,
and ensured you had a non-shuffle
draw Supporter to keep your deck humming
If you didn’t play during this
period, take some time to go back and
read-up on it:
Scott came out when Pokémon-ex were
in full swing, and TPC chose to counter
Pokémon-ex with a Stadium of all things
(and it worked pretty well).
1/5 to 5/5, see text above.
Oh how I wish
Xtransceiver had just been given a
discard cost, but perhaps that would
have been broken.
As is, it is a luck based card
Pokémon Reversal won’t make or break
most of your games, but generally the
riskier it is to play, the greater the
reward and thus it is almost always
worth consideration when building a
Yes, I am going to risk being crass by
still linking to my
eBay sales; some of us have bills to
pay and downsizing to do before moving,
and in my case it is both.
Please don’t take this as
cheapening the season: for one thing,
various complications mean most of my
latest offerings won’t be up until this
Saturday, and thus far too late to be
received in time for Christmas. ;)