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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Trick Coin

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Dec. 4, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.25
Expanded: 2.50
Limited: 2.83

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

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Trick Coin 

The Japanese card designers have always loved their coin flips. Players less so. On the one hand they introduce a kind of pseudo-balance to powerful effects (I say ‘pseudo’ because they aren’t balanced when they work); on the other they can lead to wasted cards and attacks and don’t provide the reliable basis that players need when planning strategies. 

Trick Coin is a Tool which aims to help with flippy attacks. Attach it to the Pokémon of your choice and you get a do-over (if you want it) for the flippy part of an attack. This increases (but by no means guarantees) you chance of getting the effect you want.  Downsides? Oh yeah. For a start, attaching Trick Coin means that you can’t use a Muscle Band, and you won’t be able to attach it at all if your opponent attaches Head Ringer or Jamming Net first. Item Lock prevents attachment, and Startling Megaphone consigns Trick Coin to the discard pile. Players hoping to combine Trick Coin with Victory Star Victini have been disappointed too, as the text specifically forbids using more than one re-flip per turn. 

To be honest, I would go with Victini over this card every time: despite the possibility of starting with it, or being Ability-locked by Garbodor, I would rather have something sitting on the Bench I could use with any flippy attacker and be free to attach Muscle Band. At the moment, this isn’t a choice I have to make, as there really isn’t anything in the format that either Trick Coin or Victini could turn into a competitive option (yes, I am aware of Malamar EX; no, I don’t consider it competitive). Those little evolving Basics that have a Status Condition flip are practically non-existent at tournaments, and it’s certainly not worth running Trick Coin to try and squeeze extra damage out of something like Kangaskhan EX when you could use Muscle Band instead. 

Maybe we’ll get something in future that will make Trick Coin worth a second look, but I would still prefer Fliptini. 

Rating 

Modified: 1.75 (not much to use it with, and a better option exists)

Expanded: 1.5 (play Fliptini)

Limited: 2.5 (if you pull a flippy card, like Dedenne, you might as well run this)


aroramage

Picture this: you're walking down the street towards your local Pokemon League when you pass by this alleyway and see this guy huddled in a corner. He beckons you over, making you promises of a rare coin that make you the luckiest person in the world. Reluctant yet curious, you walk over to him, and he hands you a golden coin picturing a Zoroark on it. If you know Zoroark well enough, you should know this guy in an alleyway - a suspicious character to begin with - is probably not giving you a lucky coin but a Trick Coin instead.
 
Welcome back to today's card of the day! Trick Coin here, or "Trickery Coin" as it's called in Japan, is a Tool-based Fliptini that works with the Pokemon it's attached to. We all know how Fliptini works by now, I'm sure, so Trick Coin just capitalizes on that and makes it specifically about the Pokemon it's attached to and only that Pokemon's attacks. There's going to be a lot of coin-flip cards around, I can't even begin to name a few, but I figured I'd look at one in particular that could have Trick Coin used with it: Malamar-EX.
 
There's a reason we haven't talked much about Malamar-EX, but the part I'm going to note for right now is his MAXamar attack. MAXamar is essentially another variant off of X Ball and Evil Ball, only instead of dealing 20 damage for each Energy, it deals 60 damage instead! The only catch? You have to flip coins, and that's where Trick Coin comes in. With it, you can potentially avoid the negative effect of flipping all tails and dealing nothing with a redo, or get another chance of hitting all heads for lots of damage!
 
But just like Fliptini before it, Trick Coin only redoes a luck-based factor, and because of that, it's not going to see much in the way of competitive play. Why risk flipping coins for damage when you can much more easily deal straight up damage with Aegislash-EX, Dialga-EX, even Gengar-EX? A printed number without the coin flips is going to be infinitely better than any number tied to a coin, and while Trick Coin can help alleviate the randomness, it won't be a cure for it.
 
Not to mention there are much better Tools to use out there.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 2.5/5 (fills a particular niche that didn't need to be filled while also robbing Pokemon of better Tools)
 
Expanded: 3/5 (here, I think it could work better with Vanilluxe (NVI), so it's got that AND Fliptini)
 
Limited: 2.5/5 (again, Malamar-EX comes to mind, but there's also Feraligatr, Gliscor, Escavalier, and Fearow as other options)
 
Arora Notealus: Apparently "Trickery" is the Japanese name for the Foul Play attack from the games, so this is a Foul Play Coin in a way. Go figure!
 
Next Time: From the shadows emerges the eye!


Otaku

A Pokémon Tool that helps with the thrilling-yet-annoying coin flips involved in many attacks: this has long been a dream of mine and I suspect most long time players (there have been formats practically made of attack-related coin flips).  So is Trick Coin (XY: Phantom Forces 108/119) the fulfillment of that dream?

No, but then again for me that dream wasn’t an aspiration but pure fantasy; most of us wanted something that worked for all coin flips (not just attacks) and/or had at least some guaranteed results.  In short, we wanted something that was probably broken or at least of dubious balance.  Trick Coin is instead the Pokémon Tool equivalent of Victini (latest printing BW: Legendary Treasures 23/113); if used immediately after you finish making coin flips required by an attack, you get to ignore the original results and flip all those coins again.  Technically you have the same odds for the second attempt as you did the first, but getting two attempts (and the fact that you should be smart enough not to use the effect when you get sufficient results the first time) means that in the end you should get improved results. 

Before I get onto application, let me just clarify the effect; again its all or nothing as you can’t keep some flips and redo others; if an attack requires four coin flips, you must flip again for all four, whether it is all four at once, four flips one at a time, or some other combination.  The card text also makes it clear that this effect won’t stack with any other coin flip manipulating effects: no pairing this up with the aforementioned Victini, or at least no using both to re-flip twice (having both so that you have options when facing Ability or Item denial is legit).  The coin flips have to be a direct part of the attack; for example if the Pokémon with Trick Coin is Confused, the check to see whether or not the attack works properly or if it merely places three damage counters on the attacking Pokémon cannot be affected by Trick Coin. 

Just like with Victini, there is no guarantee you will flip better or that you won’t do just as well without the re-flip and thus could have used a different Pokémon Tool.  One also needs to remember that even when using attacks with static damage, the effective average is what ultimately matters.  An attack might have a “120” printed beside it with no effect text, but even disregarding the difficulties of meeting its Energy requirements, overkill damage usually doesn’t matter.  You may “inflict” 120 damage, but the Defending Pokémon only “receives” up to as much as its HP.  This is why the attacks on both M Charizard-EX ended up being disappointing: besides the Energy costs and drawbacks involved, a situation where you would need that full 300 points of damage in competitive play would be viewed as a fluke.  Relevant to Trick Coin usage, sometimes you’re going to flip far better than you needed but that won’t offset the times when you do still flip poorly because the extra damage is wasted. 

So is Trick Coin a bad card?  No, but like most of this week it is quite specialized.  It has the same risk as all Pokémon Tools but as you’re using it with attacks, you have a chance to benefit before it can be discarded and/or to play it before Items or Pokémon Tools can be blocked by other card effects and obviously you use it to the exclusion of other Pokémon Tools.  This gives you a fallback option if you’re already running Victini but are worried about Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted 54/124; BW: Plasma Freeze 119/116; BW: Legendary Treasures 68/113), or lets you run your own Garbodor if Garbotoxin is a more valuable Ability to your deck than Victory Star.  Seismitoad-EX has made Item lock fairly common, and it isn’t even the only such threat, so I’m starting to warm to what I would have initially dismissed as the redundant pairing of Victini and Trick Coin, so instead we get to the final hurdle: what coin flip reliant attack is worth building a deck around?  That I am unfortunately not sure of: I’ve seen some nice fun decks (or horribly sadistic fun decks if you’re on the receiving end) but they aren’t the kind of things you should take to a competitive event unless you’re desperate (“luck” is the only real shot you have for winning). 

I am struggling to come up with examples for Standard; we’ll have to settle for Malamar-EX (XY: Phantom Forces 58/119, 115/119) and its MAXamar attack that gives you a coin flip for each Energy attached, with each “heads” result worth 60 points of damage.  Hardly great, but for whatever reason I’m drawing a blank here., For Expanded Victini (BW: Noble Victories 43/101) is a glass cannon for the luck (and even has an old review here) that does 120 for [P] and is small enough for Level Ball to search out; the “only” catch is that you need to flip two coins and have both be “heads”.  Gothitelle (BW: Dragons Exalted 57/124) is a card we never reviewed before, probably because it is a 130 HP Stage 2 Pokémon without an Ability that was released back when Pokémon Catcher didn’t need a coin flip but after Rare Candy stopped working the same turn you played a Basic.  Like Victini it also needs to get two “heads” on a double coin toss, but its attack requires [PC] and scores an automatic KO.  You know, not that Dimension Valley is out so you could perform that attack for just [P], that isn’t quite as desperate as it used to be… but again I’m drawing a blank for Standard.  In Limited play, as long as something in your deck has an attack that can benefit from it, you’ll probably have the space even if it is just improving your odds of inflicting a Special Condition or scoring +20 damage. 

Ratings 

Standard: 2.5/5 - Composite score; in a lot of decks this card is useless or close to it because they have no coin flip reliant attacks (or at least no important ones), but when you find the right attack, that extra chance at getting the preferred result is pretty clutch.  Both competing against and complimenting Victini with Victory Star, in such decks its value rises to near staple status, but the end result of the two extremes is that it scores below average. 

Expanded: 3/5 - Even if V-Blast Victini and Doom Decree Gothitelle are only good for a “joke” deck, having some concrete examples is enough for me to jump the score a quarter point over Standard, but the situation is indeed the same: this is a composite score again because most of the time this card is of no use, but where it does fit in its marvelous. 

Limited: 3.5/5 - No surprise that this is once again a composite score; the difference is that here, it is hard to build a deck without including a few Pokémon with coin flips in their attacks, so even if the combo isn’t amazing its actually functional (unlike in constructed formats) for general usage.  If there were more “big reward” options in this set - all I noticed for coin-flip based attacks was Malamar-EX - then it could have scored even higher. 

Summary: Trick Coin is our fourth card this week with a specific niche use, with competition in that niche.  Fortunately it’s only one other card of competition and both have separate counters, so even though Victini and its Victory Star Ability don’t stack with Trick Coin, they help to cover your back.  At least if you’re daring or foolish or apathetic enough to run a deck heavily reliant upon coin flips.  Don’t use it for tournaments unless you’re desperate and comfortable winning on coin flips, but go ahead and have some fun with flips when you’re playing with friends or at League. 


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