Today we look at
Reversal Trigger (BW: Plasma Blast 86/101);
whether good or bad I’ve always preferred prioritizing
the review of Trainers because they usually can work in
any deck (though not always well).
That isn’t the case this time.
I’ll also be eschewing my usual card breakdown
(or at least its formal formatting) because I think I
need to tweak it again as it is slowing me down and
artificially lengthening the review, instead of allowing
me to concisely and precisely target each feature.
Trigger can’t be just a “regular Trainer” because
such a category doesn’t exist anymore; it is an Item and
specifically a Pokémon Tool.
As such there are many cards that can affect it
for better or worse; anything that affects Trainers in
general (such as
Skyla), anything that affects Items (Sableye,
BW: Dark Explorers 62/108), and anything that
specifically targets Pokémon Tools (Tool
I just named the big three but there are of
course many more that just haven’t proven as
Pokémon isn’t a game of perfect balance, but it succeeds
better than some because I can’t cite a particular
branch of cards as being the “most” important.
You lose the
game without having a Pokémon in play and they are the
primary mechanism for achieving win conditions, but
without Energy to fuel their attacks they are just
punching bags and without Trainers to aid in set-up and
supply some tricks are only slightly less helpless.
Trainer-Items lack the raw-but-focused-power of
Supporters but aren’t restricted to usage on your turn,
while they also tend to have stronger effects than
Stadium cards and aren’t accessible to your opponent but
won’t of course are “one and done”.
Pokémon Tools add one more level of consideration; they
require a Pokémon in play to be attached to in order to
have any effect.
Plasma Blast 41/101) a Pokémon may only have a
single Pokémon Tool attached to them, leading them to
behave a bit more like Supporters.
Pokémon Tools also remain in play until their
effect says to discard them, the Pokémon they are
attached to is removed from the field (usually by being
KOed), or another card effect specifically acts upon
often can have an effect that is applied constantly
(making them behave a bit more like
(appropriately enough) is of the variety with a
“triggered”, one-and-done effect.
With all of that set-up out of the way, I can finally
Trigger itself; I apologize for the delay but I keep
seeing new cards being championed “because they do X”
without explanation of how to avert their “Y” costs, so
I felt the need to lay down the underlying mechanics so
you can more accurately compute whether or not you are
getting what you pay for.
is a Team Plasma card, giving them a second Pokémon
first was Team
Plasma Badge, which would be pretty pointless to
equip to a Team Plasma Pokémon, so a second one is
Trigger will be able to tap some of the Team Plasma
support; most of it is for Pokémon but a few apply to
any Team Plasma card or at least target Trainers.
None of the direct Team Plasma counter-cards
target Trainers, so all in all it is a good deal.
only works for Team Plasma Pokémon as per its own
effect is that when the Pokémon it is attached to is
KOed via damage from the attack of an opponent’s
Pokémon, you get to search your deck for the card of
your choice and add it to hand.
In isolation that effect is marvelous, so
hopefully you can appreciate why I had to go into so
much detail because the card itself is very poorly
designed, given the metagame.
We just got a new, mass-Pokémon-Tool discard option from
Plasma Blast 77/101), which ended up being our 11th
most Promising Pick of Plasma Blast (click
here for the CotD) and
even if it hadn’t,
still discards up to two Pokémon Tools in one shot.
There is a definite advantage for Pokémon Tools
that aren’t “passive”, which benefit you on the turn you
play them, like
Silver Bangle – attach and enjoy +30 points of
damage attacking a Pokémon-EX before your opponent gets
a chance to discard it or KO the Pokémon to which it is
Not only could
Reversal Trigger not go off until you didn’t really
need a card from your deck (including after you’ve
already lost the game), not only does it allow time to
discard it before it can trigger, but it is very
specific about what triggers.
This card really needed to trigger anytime it hit
the discard pile after being attached to one of your
Team Plasma Pokémon, because attacks that don’t KO the
opponent through damage (so via effects, including
Special Conditions), Abilities that can KO the Defending
Pokémon (rare, but there are a few), and of course
Trainers that can KO a Pokémon (extremely rare, but
is still well known).
This is before we get to the really obscure
tricks, like attacks that send a Pokémon back to the
hand or deck!
All this before we compare it to other Pokémon Tools;
the competition here is fierce because a card has to be
worth using in light of things like
or space that could be used for other cards, and older
cards that were near staples like
now just seen on occasion.
We just received
Mirror, two Pokémon Tools that explicitly counter
popular, heavily used mechanics, plus there is
which has also proven quite useful and seen heavy play.
Trigger just doesn’t stack up.
A good pull here unless you are running very few Team
Plasma Pokémon, and even then there is an exception: if
you are running very few Pokémon but most/all are Team
Plasma, it again becomes a great pull.
Yes, some of the Pokémon-EX this set are Team
Plasma affiliated, so even in some “+39” builds.
reminds us that a card can lack discard costs, coin
flips, etc. and still be unreliable.
By running it, you’re including a form of search
that only triggers if your opponent
your Pokémon “plainly” (with damage from an attack).
That may be the most common way of KOing
something, but it isn’t by enough of a margin to be
reliable, especially after factoring in tricks to
discard Pokémon Tools.
Unrestricted search for a single card is good,
but not better than the other options provided by
popular Pokémon Tools.
I actually rated this card as the seventh most Promising
Pick of Plasma Blast on my personal list, and you can
bet I’ve got buyer’s remorse… but it probably would
still make a newer list.
That is because it is bad due to competition from
even better Pokémon Tools and fact that the metagame is
such that bypassing the effect is easy; disregarding the
lack of Team Plasma Pokémon (since they didn’t exist
until recently) this card would have been much more
promising in various past formats (just assume it was
re-worked for the appropriate generation’s “Team”).
A lot of cards that made the list fall into this
category – not bad but badly outclassed.