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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 VS Seeker

- Phantom Forces

Date Reviewed:
Nov. 25, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.17
Expanded: 4.20
Limited: 4.75

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

VS Seeker 

This is a neat little card that we have seen a couple of times before in the Fire Red/Leaf Green and Supreme Victors sets. It’s always been a useful card for being able to re-use Supporters, and I usually ran one myself in SP decks to help chain Cyrus’s Conspiracy (among other things). It never saw massive use though and was really the quintessential ‘61st card’: you know, one that is undeniably useful, but gets cut for reasons of space. 

However, we are now living in a very different TCG world. In those past formats, draw and search was often Pokémon-based (Pidgeot FRLG, Uxie LA, Claydol GE). Now we are almost entirely reliant on a very limited range of Supporters for the draw that makes our decks run efficiently. Because of this, I expect VS Seeker to shed its 61st card status and become a virtual staple in today’s decks. With only Juniper, N, and maybe/sometimes Colress as our decent draw cards, VS Seeker gives us the capability to re-use them instead of having to look at mediocre cards like Shauna and Bianca to make up the numbers. It also gives us the chance to get more use out of single copies of Supporters like Lysandre, Xerosic, or AZ. We even have a couple of sweet combos for VS Seeker: use it with Battle Compressor to search out and recover the exact Supporter you need, or play it with Lysandre’s Trump Card for infinite cycling of your entire deck. 

When you consider our huge Supporter-dependancy, coupled with the massive amount of discarding in the game (Ultra Ball, Juniper, Computer Search, etc.), it’s easy to see why this card is now so good. It improves deck stability and consistency by increasing the utility of all Supporters. Right now, I wouldn’t write out a decklist without including at least two copies of VS Seeker, and I’ll run three whenever I can find the space. 

Rating 

Modified: 4.5 (decks run on Supporters, Supporters can run on VS Seeker)

Expanded: 4.5 (just as good here, though space may be a little tighter)

Limited: 4.75 (assuming you draft a Supporter or two, this card is your best friend) 


aroramage

Welcome back to our reprint week! Today's card was first introduced back in EX FIreRed & LeafGreen over 10 years ago! And it's going to be a very VERY relevant card here in today's format! It's VS Seeker, and it's got a powerful effect!
 
Most people who've played the games know the VS Seeker from Gen III and IV (and the Seeker-esque function on the new PokeNav Plus in ORAS), and its TCG effect is similar. Most Supporters tend to represent a person or a Trainer you've fought in battle previously, and most of the time (with the exception of your rival and the Elite Four), you could only battle Trainers once. In Gen II, this list expanded to a few Trainers via your Poketch, which could record numbers and have people call you up anytime during your journey, sometimes to tell you about rare Pokemon in the area and other times to challenge you to battle.
 
Gen III took that number-calling concept and made it a "find the Trainers" function, allowing you to revisit areas you'd already been in, activate the Seeker, and cause any number of Trainers to pop up and say, "I'm ready to battle again!" VS Seeker's TCG function works similarly; as I've said, Supporters tend to resemble Trainers you've fought, so it makes sense that VS Seeker's function is to search your discard pile for a Supporter to get back.
 
This is one of the cards we've mentioned Battle Compressor works well together with, as you can send any Supporter you want to thin out your deck and then use VS Seeker to add it to your hand to use. It's very efficient and has a wide variety of uses. Random Receiver did something similar, grabbing a Supporter from your deck to add to your hand, and while that's fine and dandy, you'd have to reveal your deck to your opponent and rely on the chances of you grabbing the Supporter you needed before you get some other Supporter - VS Seeker/Battle Compressor takes the guesswork and revelation out of that.
 
Keep an eye out for this guy - you may want a couple for your own deck!
 
Rating
 
Standard: 4/5 (retrieving some of the most powerful cards in the game is always nice)
 
Expanded: 4/5 (more Supporters to grab for sure!)
 
Limited: 4.5/5 (there's a nice chunk of Supporters to grab here, and you'll be able to utilize the Battle Compressor combo effectively here!)
 
Arora Notealus: Personally, I think the VS Seeker mechanic in the video games is one of the best ideas GameFreak came up with in so long, and I'm glad it's stayed relevant in some form or other with the more recent games.
 
Next Time: Two's always better than one!


Otaku

VS Seeker (EX: FireRed & LeafGreen 100/112; PL: Supreme Victors 140/147; XY: Phantom Forces 109/119) returns! VS Seeker originally, officially released outside of Japan with the rest of EX: FireRed & LeafGreen on August 30th, 2004, a little over 10 years ago.  It left the format when PL: Supreme Victors rotated out (along with other sets) on July 1, 2011 as the Modified Format of the time shifted to HeartGold/SoulSilver and later sets, so it hasn’t been gone too long (not quite three and a half years)... and yes three and half years is not long in this game: the TCG itself is already nearly 16 years old outside of Japan!  You can see the crew’s first review of it here and the second here: I sadly missed both. 

So mini-lecture about how many new players don’t realize they are still new (just not “brand new”) to the game even if they’ve got a year or two under their belts aside… what about VS Seeker?  This is an Item that let’s you get a Supporter from your discard pile and add it to your hand.  Yes, that means you can play the Supporter that same turn and that is pretty good.  Obviously you’re at the mercy of whatever Supporters are in your discard pile, which often keeps the card from being as useful early game and makes Supporter diversity in your deck a potentially mixed bag: the greater the variety the more options you have, but the greater the risk you won’t have the desired Supporter in your discard pile, much the same as with Random Receiver. 

The card pool loves and hates this card.  The one thing purely going against this card is Seismitoad-EX and Trevenant (XY 55/146).  Of mixed usefulness are a few things.  Lysandre’s Trump Card resets your discard pile, robbing you of targets for VS Seeker… but is itself a VS Seeker target as Lysandre’s Trump Card specifically states it won’t shuffle cards named “Lysandre’s Trump Card” back into the deck, thus VS Seeker allows a single Lysandre’s Trump Card to be used over and over again.  Decks never seem to have the room they need, so working in VS Seeker can be tricky, except it allows you to reuse other Supporters and since it can be anything from the discard, it might allow you to run fewer copies of said Supporters.  As stated, keeping things simple means VS Seeker will almost always have the intended target in the discard but since it can be used on that TecH Lysandre or Xerosic or maxed out staple like Professor Juniper/Professor Sycamore. 

Moving into pure advantage, we have a format where discarding things from hand is huge, and outside of Lysandre’s Trump Card your discard pile is far safer than your hand from disruption: VS Seeker in hand can become whatever Supporter you need at that moment and any copy you get back of VS Seeker will suffice instead of a specific spare copy of a Supporter or using Pal Pad (remember that Item?  Shuffles two Supporters back into your deck) and hoping you can draw into or search out the Supporter you need.  Lastly, so many cards have discard costs/effects.  Battle Compressor means you can send no Supporters (if you’ve got what you need in the discard already), one, two or a full three.  This way you don’t draw “specialist” Supporters at the wrong moment; you just cash in a VS Seeker when you actually need a Lysandre, Lysandre’s Trump Card or Xerosic.  Battle Compressor allows you to optimize Lysandre’s Trump Card, don’t forget.  In addition to Battle Compressor, Professor Juniper/Professor Sycamore and Ultra Ball also often need to discard a Supporter due to timing or resource issues, and finally that is easily addressed, even turned into a possible benefit. 

Every Supporter benefits from VS Seeker, but what excites me is that is that while it of course helps the best to get even better, the amount it helps “the rest” is still significant.  Using it for the optimal draw card for the situation is a given, but Korrina and Skyla become even more effective search tools, as will perhaps the new Trevor (XY Promos XY33), which searches out a single Pokémon of your choice.  For Fire decks, Blacksmith being in hand “at the wrong time” can finally be reduced.  Of course, those see some play anyway, but there are a lot of Supporters that have always been “not quite” cards, the ones that just barely miss on making it into a deck or that a specific deck does run but is stuck running heavily and dealing with wasteful spare copies (like Fossil Researcher).  This applies to most Supporters in the Standard and Expanded card pool: Cedric Juniper is the only one that remains nigh useless (even that is only because you can’t directly control whether you or your opponent draws).  Even long shots like Cheren, Hugh or Tierno have better odds of proving worthwhile when you can dump one and recycle it for those odd moments. 

Ratings 

Standard: 4/5 - This is actually a conservative estimate; even if Item lock is common and it is just handy as a spare, variable copy of the usual Supporters, that’s actually amazingly useful.  Just mind the Item lock effects and run only one or two.  If you can cope with the risk of things like Seismitoad-EX and its Quaking Punch or you’ve got a specific combo in mind, it might rank even higher. 

Expanded: 4.05/5 - I am giving a bonus for having access to more Supporters, but from what I can see all that this format adds are Cilan and Hooligans - Jim & Cas, so its a really, really small bonus. 

Limited: 4.9/5 - I’d score it as “perfect” but the obvious exception is if you don’t pull a Supporter to combine with it.  This set as AZ, Lysandre’s Trump Card, Professor Sycamore, Shauna, Tierno and Xerosic: six possible Uncommon Supporters with the three new to this set also available in (much harder to pull) Full-Art versions.  The set contains enough Special Energy and Pokémon Tools that Xerosic is still a must run, so as long as you pull one of these, the only other exception is if you’re running a +39 deck and only get VS Seeker alongside AZ.

Summary: Between VS Seeker and Lysandre’s Trump Card (in general or as a combo), Pal Pad is pretty much obsolete; a Supporter to the hand is worth more than two to the deck.  Being able to pop off more than four copies of a Supporter is very useful, and unlike other options this is an Item that isn’t an Ace Spec and doesn’t require you draw into or search out what you just reclaimed.  There’s a reason I’m so disappointed that I can’t seem to pull (or really afford to trade for) any copies on the PTCGO; get a play-set in real life and online ASAP, as worst case scenario a single should prove to be a staple (and you can trade off the spares).  If this had been a “new” card, I probably would have made it my number one pick for the Top 10; its good to great in just about any deck!


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