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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 10 Boundaries Crossed Countdown!

#8 - Town Map

Boundaries Crossed

Date Reviewed: Nov. 7, 2012

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 2.75
Limited: 4.00

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: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Town Map (Boundaries Crossed)

At #8 on our countdown we have the first Trainer to make the list. In the video games, Town Map is a Key Item that . . . well, it’s pretty self-explanatory really: it shows you the way around. This card tries to translate that (sort of) to the world of the TCG.

One of the challenges that faces any Pokémon player is that of having to deal with the six Prize cards you put out at the start of the game. Of course you should be working out what’s in there at the very first opportunity when playing a search card like Ultra Ball, but that won’t tell you exactly which Prize is which: crucial information if you need to grab something important as soon as possible. In the past we have had a few cards that try to give the player a helping hand with the Prizes. Island Hermit, Alph Lithograph FOUR, and (best of all) Azelf LA are good examples. Another one is Here Comes Team Rocket! which had the effect of making both players play with their Prizes face up. Town Map (yes, I am getting back to the card now) is like a one-sided version of HCTR!, meaning that the person who plays it gets to reveal their Prizes for the rest of the game.

This can be very useful, for the reasons I outlined earlier, but it does also have its downsides. You are giving a lot of valuable information to your opponent who can use it to their advantage. It may affect their decision to deny you a KO by retreating or healing their Pokémon, or it could lead them to save an N in order to send back a needed card you got from your Prizes. It could also give away any techs you might play. Apart from this there is also the risk of not drawing into Town Map early enough for it to really be useful: it’s not the kind of card you will want to run in multiples, that’s for sure.

Even so, Town Map is useful enough to at least get some consideration when you are building a deck, even if it will almost always end up being the ‘61st card’. Just like Alph Lithograph FOUR it will end up being run only in those lists which absolutely, positively cannot afford to have something Prized (such as Durant decks last season). Although it has a potential use in every deck, Town Map is likely to be much more of a niche card than a staple, but that’s ok . . . it’s very nice to have that niche filled.

Rating

Modified: 3 (it’s nice to know it exists, even if you won’t use it most of the time)

Limited: 4 (you pretty much play any Trainer you can get your hands on here)

Jebulous Maryland Player

Town Map
 
Town Map is an Item that lets you turn all your Prizes face up for the rest of the game.  Pretty simple.  There is not too much reason to run more than 1 in a deck, seeing as how once one is played, the others are pretty much useless.  But that's even if you play 1 in your deck.  I know I won't be playing this card (except for my Aggron deck, but that's a maybe).  It's good to know what you are able to get from your Prizes, the main problem is that your opponent knows as well.  Especially when you take the Prize, they'll know what's in your hand.  This lets them prepare for it or try their hardest to N you before you get a chance to use it.
 
I'm sure there will be some decks that will get more advantage out of this card.  I mentioned my Aggron deck because it doesn't really take Prizes.  So if a key component is Prized (I run 2 Darkrai EX) I have no real way to get them.  Now, that's about all Town Map would be good for.  That deck runs Dark energy, so if Darkrai EX is prized, then nothing but Sableye can attack.  Do you think that Sableye will be taking Prizes?  Also, I will know what's in my Prizes when I look through the deck, so there is not much of a point of being able to see them if I can't take them.  So the one deck that I have that could use this card, I'm not going to play it in.
 
Maybe someone will find a good use for this card.  I haven't, so I'm not really sure how it made it into the top ten.  Check out the other guy's reviews to see if they have some ideas for it.  Until then it'll remain a card that would be nice to play, but isn't because there is so much more useful things that can be played instead.
 
Modified: 2/5
Limited: 2/5
Combos With:  ...
 
Questions, comments, concerns: jebulousthemighty@yahoo.com


Otaku

If you’re reading this, then I forgot to write an actual intro.

As I wish to be brief (by my standards, anyway) I’ll forgo most of my usual formatting. Town Map is an Item, so unless you’re totally new to the game I would mostly just be telling you what you know: Items are one of the three major branches of Trainers. Even the simple effects they have are often potent, since you can play as many Items per turn as you wish (provided you have them in hand and they would have an effect).

Unsurprisingly few beneficial effects target Items (at least that are Modified legal), and the only two worth mentioning are the new Supporter Skyla (which simply allows you to search your deck for a Trainer and add it to your hand) and Junk Hunt, an attack for (C) on Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers 62/108) that allows you to add two Items from your discard pile to your hand. A few (again, Modified legal) effects can hurt Item usage as well, but none are doing well regularly enough to be a major concern.

The effect of Town Map is quite simple; you flip your Prizes face up, and the text even states clearly they remain face-up the rest of the game. Knowing your Prizes, and especially knowing exactly which Prize is in which Prize “spot” is very useful. Exactly how depends upon how good of a player you are, but at the very least the only reason for you not to take the best Prize each time is because you misread the circumstances.

In some ways, Town turns your Prizes into an auxiliary hand. Let me emphasize “some ways”; even under the best circumstances it clearly is not the same thing. This is a format of mostly OHKOs and 2HKOs, so you should never be too far from having access to one Prize, and often two (due to combos or simply taking down a Pokémon-EX). Unlike your real hand, your opponent can’t directly mess with your Prizes without some very specialized cards (none are Modified legal).

Before I get to the drawbacks, let me state that learning your Prizes should rarely be part of the benefits of this card, at least if you’re a high level player. Knowing your deck is a fundamental skill if you wish to make it far in Pokémon, and thanks to frequently used search cards a serious player should at least have a general idea of what is Prized after having used a search effect. The best of course do know exactly what their Prizes are.

Now for the two major drawbacks of the card; your opponent has access to this information as well, and most other effects that work with Prize cards (again, none Modified legal) require they be facedown. The former is why I would only play Town Map immediately before you take a Prize; you don’t want to tip your opponent off that three of your four Pokémon Catcher are in your Prizes until you’re taking one of them, for example. You may even want to hold out until you really need to hit a key Prize (the preceding example would again qualify).

What hurts this card most isn’t a drawback, but a simple fact; deck space is tight! This card grants a potentially lifesaving advantage but there are times when it won’t be needed. We had a similar effect in Alph Lithograph FOUR, and that card didn’t see serious play. So why did this card make the top 10? You only need the effect once, so that is just one slot, and we just got Skyla, so running a single copy isn’t failed TecH.

As long as your deck runs Skyla (preferably three or four), you’ll be able to spare one should you realize something important is in your Prizes and you’ve got to make sure you get it. I wish I could say I’ve been testing this, but for various reasons I haven’t yet; I just know that the frequency of games that have been close (or lost) due to something critical being stuck in my Prizes means I would expect it to happen at least once a tournament, with the knowledge being help much more often than that.

Unlimited has had access to this kind of effect for some time, though not in this exact manner. It still does, and to better versions of it, so no need to play it here. In Limited, this is very valuable and you’ll almost always have room and it is quite common for something “good” to be stuck in your Prizes.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1/5

Modified: 3.25/5

Limited: 5/5

Summary

For a lot of us, this is going to be the “61st” card, that one that just barely misses being run. It is a good card easy to work into any deck, but requiring Skyla to work well and crowded out of most decks by other great cards. I actually had this as my number six pick, but probably should have had it in the number eight slot, barely beating my number nine and ten picks because they weren’t general usage cards.


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