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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

 Super Scoop Up

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 8, 2014

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.0
Expanded: 2.75
Limited: 4.20

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


aroramage

Here's a simple card with a simple effect, because it's an Item card that you get to compete for! Welcome back, today we take a look at the great vacuum, Super Scoop Up!
 
All you gotta do is flip a coin!
 
...this is never going to be competitive, is it?
 
Well, we'll see about that. For anyone familiar with Super Scoop-Up (aka anyone who's played from Neo Genesis onward), it flips a coin and if it's heads, you put a Pokemon and ALL the cards attached to it back into your hand. This includes previously evolved forms, Energy cards, and any Tools attached to it. Now this isn't the kind of card you'd want to use on a fully evolved Pokemon, given all the resources going in to make it in the first place and then just resetting that.
 
You'd actually probably want to use this card to return an EX to the hand with a lot of damage on it in danger of getting KO'd, or maybe to swap out the Tool on one Pokemon with one who's actually going to use it like a Muscle Band or Sparkling Robe, something like that. That's a pretty nice card to have in that scenario, and while you're only going to be getting that effect off 50% of the time, it's still worth the chance to go for it and save yourself from losing a valuable Pokemon and 2 Prizes.
 
The only issue beyond that is space - where you going to put that Super Scoop Up while there's stuff like Muscle Band, Sycaper, Skyla, Hypnobank, Rare Candy, Lysandre, and a whole other mess of less chancy Trainers? But if you feel like you can grab a niche space amidst all of that, well then it's going to get you out of a jam for sure!
 
...well, half of the time, at least.
 
Rating
 
Standard: 2.5/5 (a halfway mark for a half-n-half kind of card)
 
Expanded: 2/5 (honestly, you've got more access to more Trainer cards here, so you've got more space to compete for)
 
Limited: 3.5/5 (denying an opponent a KO here is actually really beneficial, I'd imagine, even if it's a 50/50)
 
Arora Notealus: What exactly is Super Scoop Up supposed to suck up? Let's be honest, you're not fitting something like, say, Steelix or Snorlax in that tiny little funnel tube, let alone the container!
 
Next Time: I need to fix something real quick, hang on...

 

Today we are re-reviewing a card: Super Scoop Up, recently reprinted as XY: Furious Fists 100/111.  We first got this card with slightly different wording as Neo Genesis 98/111, then came Expedition 151/165, EX: Fire Red/Leaf Green 99/112; EX: Delta Species 100/113; DIamond & Pearl 115/130; DP: Majestic Dawn 87/100; HS: Unleashed 83/95; and the next most recent Black & White 103/114.  Strangely, there is only one previous review here from nine years ago.

Super Scoop Up is a “tails fails” Item; the card has no effect unless you get “heads” on the initial coin toss.  In theory this is meant to balance out a somewhat potent effect; you can’t truly rely on a coin toss, and it requires good luck to significantly deviate from the average 50/50 split between “heads” and “tails”.  In practice, such cards seem to rarely be well balanced; either the results of “heads” are too weak so no one plays it or too strong so its okay that (on average) half your copies will whiff. 

As of right now, Super Scoop Up is of the “too good” variety, though it is by no means a deck staple.  On “heads”, you select one of your Pokémon and return both it and all cards attached to it to your hand.  It provides healing, as the card you bounce naturally ditches all damage counters, Special Conditions and any other effects that were on the card.  It allows for advanced resource management, as you can reuse coming-into-play-Abilities, reclaim Pokémon, Items and Energy cards and replay them down, either onto the original Pokémon (after Benching it) or onto something new.  As it can target your Active, it can help you get it out of the Active slot… when it works. 

Now besides the fact that it always has a 50% chance of failing, there are a few other issues, however they are things you can address with proper usage.  First, the rules states you lose if you don’t have a Pokémon so if you’ve got only one Pokémon in play, this is actually worse than a dead card… because you can legally still play it and thus you’ll lose if you get “heads”!  Second the card isn’t foolproof like some simpler options; you can waste a Hypnotoxic Laser, using it when you didn’t need the damage or when Special Conditions are being blocked but it requires some pretty elaborate, specific situations where using one will ultimately help out your opponent as much or more than it aids you.  Super Scoop Up is a little trickier; sometimes it is better to give up a Prize and allow something to go down attacking (or having its Ability in effect).  Bouncing something that can’t (or cannot easily) be re-played is another issue: Stage 2 Pokémon that Evolved via Rare Candy or Restored Pokémon, for example, or saving your attacker when you don’t have a replacement handy and keeping up your offense was the better play. 

So it sounds like I am being kind of hard of this card, which I just told you was “too good”.  That is just the reality of most TCGs; even the best cards are far from perfect, and Super Scoop Up isn’t even one of the best, just a good card.  There are two reasons why this card is not a staple, and they are quite valid; you can’t bounce something that has been KOed and this is a format of frequent OHKOs, and deck space is sorely limited (which is of course often the case).  The latter is the same reason all decks don’t run Crushing Hammer or Pokémon Catcher: like Super Scoop Up not only is there always the risk of “tails”, but there is the risk of minimal to no advantage in getting them to work (no Energy worth discarding, nothing on the Bench worth forcing Active) and so the space goes to something that more reliably generates advantage, even if it carries a cost.  Speaking of “reliably”, I know some players refuse to use coin flip based cards.  This is somewhat understandable; reliability is key in TCGs because by their nature they are very “luck” based.  Why add the luck of additional coin flips when you’ve already got the luck of the opening flip, the luck of the match-up, the luck of what goes into Prizes, the luck of the draw, etc.?  The answer is because the risk is worth it, at least for certain decks unfortunately, this format already relies fairly heavily upon luck, just of the other kinds listed. 

So for Standard, this is a generally useful card that is especially useful when a deck can capitalize upon what it does.  So what decks are those?  Decks that need to reuse coming-into-play effects, reclaim Special Energy cards already in play and/or that can get whatever was bounced back into play and functioning ASAP (preferably the very turn it was bounced).  It also helps if you can search out Items.  So this might be a worthwhile pick for your typical Korrina backed Landorus-EX/Lucario-EX build; Max Potion is the “safer” choice (discard the Energy but reliably heal), but taking the risk allows you to get back precious Strong Energy.  If you are building a deck around Dragonite-EX, you find a similar divide and you may even have reason to run both.  Decks running Jirachi-EX may find this tempting as well, whether to remove an easy target from in play or to reuse its Ability. 

For Expanded, I once again must merely make my best guess due to a lack of first hand experience or significant second hand information… and as is often the case, that leads to a “more or less the same” prognosis as I am unaware of any cards that will significantly help or hurt the usage of Super Scoop Up.  For Limited, skip it if you are running a +39 deck (a deck built around a single Pokémon).  I am actually embarrassed I didn’t score it higher way back in that 9-year-old review; this effect should be worthwhile enough (if only as an unreliable Switch) that I am hard pressed to justify not running it even if you get several other amazing pulls. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.5/5 - One of the many potent cards that you wish you had room for in just about every deck, but will often have to skip because you just don’t have the space. 

Expanded: 3.5/5 - My best guess is that it will be the same as in Standard, as I can think of no major combos for or against it in the larger card pool. 

Limited: 4.9/5 - Just be careful to use it well and be prepared for it to fail. 

Summary: There are two important things to tuck into the summary, because you need to be aware of them and to prevent me from turning them into multi-paragraph rants.  The history of this card is that it is easily overlooked or crowded out, but in some formats it has been amazing, so keep testing to see when it truly does provide “technical advantage”, winning more matches for you than it loses.  Second, remember that you’re either building something that can handle when you can’t seem to flip “heads” to save your life (or rather the match) or you’re willing to win or lose based on that coin toss.  “Resetting” a Pokémon via Super Scoop Up is a potent thing (whether it sees competitive play or not) and honestly something I wish hadn’t returned to the game, just like so many of the other “tails fails” cards.


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