I know, I know, another twofer on
another Top 10 list, but considering that both of these
guys are functionally the same, I think you can let it
...I mean, we don't have to, we
So Archie's and Maxie's, as I'm
just gonna call them for the review and for simplicity's
sake, are effectively the same card, just for different
decks. Both of them need to be the last card in your
hand to be played, both bring back a Pokemon from the
discard pile, and both let you draw 5 cards. Really, the
only difference is that Archie works on Water Pokemon,
and Maxie works on Fighting Pokemon.
Now both cards have a slew of their
own Pokemon to play with. Archie's proved to be popular
for getting out Evolutions like Empoleon and Blastoise
with ease, though he could also be used to get out the
mighty Primal Kyogre-EX with ease! Maxie's could
similarly draw out Primal Groudon-EX, albeit to less
effect, but he could even grab onto stuff like Machamp
or even Archeops in Expanded!
There's a certain sense of
creativity with these cards - they're not just
"catch-up" cards that work to mitigate the uphill battle
of fighting off the opponent's Pokemon, they can easily
be taken advantage of to benefit more off of! I mean,
how many other cards can bring out an Evolution without
playing it on some other Base form? There aren't many,
but then how many of THOSE cards also let you DRAW MORE
cards?! They're nuts!
And that's why they've ended up as
our #6 spot!
Standard: 4/5 (really powerful
cards when used in the right manner, providing support
for a deck that needs it to comeback and an already
ridiculously powerful deck)
Expanded: 4/5 (they'll see just as much play here as
they would in Standard I'm sure)
Limited: 5/5 (running Water or Fighting? or both? PLAY
Arora Notealus: Much advantage to be gained indeed. And
heck, as the card pool expands, so too do the uses for
Weekend Thought: What cards do you
think ought to have made our list so far? I'm sure there
are a few that already are on-board for the next couple
of weeks anyway. How about our picks so far? What do you
think of those? You facing some of these on your own?
I'll bet you are.
Next Time: Should I even bother hinting at this one?
THIS card? I mean really, we've only deemed it "broken."
the week by… cheating? Oh my!
aside, what I mean is that we have a tie, but not
because the cards each received the same amount of
voting points (they didn’t) but because each card has
the exact same effect except for what
Pokémon-Type they target: that’s right sixth place is
shared by Archie’s Ace in the Hole (XY: Primal
Clash 124/160, 157/160) and Maxie’s Hidden Ball
Trick (XY: Primal Clash 133/160, 158/160)!
We did the same thing when we first looked at them
(again, together) as our
9th place pick
from XY: Primal Clash!
that original review aroramage is the one that
called it, but in defense of both Baby Mario and
myself, at first it looked like we had called it!
Why? Let us review what these two cards do; both
have the tricky requirement of being the last card in
your hand in order to be played. We’ve got decks
that can pretty reliably pull this off now, but when
they first released? We had only just gotten
Acro Bike, didn’t yet have Shaymin-EX (XY:
Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) or Trainers’ Mail.
We also have been getting more and more useful targets
for these cards, which brings us to the rest of the
effect: your reward for getting your hand down to one of
these is to select a Water-Type (for Archie’s Ace in
the Hole) or Fighting-Type (for Maxie’s Hidden
Ball Trick) from your discard pile and put it
directly onto your Bench.
isn’t a big deal when it is a Basic Pokémon but Stage
doesn’t matter so long as the Pokémon is a complete
card: Basic, Restored, Mega Evolutions, Stage 1 and
Stage 2 are all legal targets but BREAK
Evolutions as well as some older things no longer in use
(like Pokémon LEGEND) don’t work because they
don’t have all of the relevant information for a Pokémon
on a single card. Once you do this, you get to
then draw five cards. If you don’t have a target
in the discard pile or don’t have room on your Bench,
you can’t use the card which means you can’t draw any
cards, either. Also, a Pokémon played in this
manner still counts as it’s printed Stage but is an “unevolved”
Pokémon: Training Center (for example) still
grants its HP bonus to Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokémon
played in this manner, but “Intimidating Mane” will
protect Pyroar (XY: Flashfire 20/106).
first people used this card about how Baby Mario and I
predicted; it wasn’t the main (or at least only) means
of getting a particular Evolution card onto the field in
a deck, but it was used to augment a more traditional
method. By the time World’s 2015 was over I had to
admit it; I was wrong and Archie’s Ace in the Hole
was proven as it was the only way Masters’
Division World Champion Jacob Van Wagner had to get his
either of his two copies of Blastoise (BW:
Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm
137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101) into play.
Even I got it right (aroramage said it plainly and
probably better) that you just run one or two copies of
whichever of these two Supporters your deck need and use
VS Seeker if you need more than that. What
I find interesting is that, while I am often tempted to
rate one over the other, I’m starting to think that is a
bad idea because it keeps changing. I
originally favored Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick over
Archie’s Ace in the Hole but the latter has
usually been noticeably better represented, at least in
Expanded. As such, I’m just going to give them a
join score because they are both amazing in all formats,
even if the finer points do differ.
Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden
Ball Trick are amazing in decks built around them,
with Limited being a bit awkward because while they are
even more potent they are also even more difficult to
pull off. What I thought would be an occasional
trick is now the basis for decks and the default method
for running Stage 2 Pokémon of the appropriate Type, at
first time we looked at these two cards, I missed the
ball as my own personal XY: Primal Clash Top 15
list. This time I initially had these two as the
tops of my list, but that was in the first draft, then
they plummeted, and in the end Archie’s Ace in the
Hole was my fourth place pick but Maxie’s Hidden
Ball Trick just missed out as the 11th place pick
(we weren’t sure if we were reviewing them together or
separately at first). On the actual Pojo Top 10
list for 2015, the combined duo managed to beat the
7th place pick
by two voting points and only missed tying for fifth
place by one.
Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick (Primal
In Expanded, a Turn 1 Archeops can
shut down any evolution deck before your opponent has a
chance to even play a card. In Standard, you can use it
to get an easy Gallade.
Archie’s Ace in the Hole (Primal
How good is Archie’s Ace in the
Hole? Good enough to be the center strategy of Jacob Van
Wagner’s Masters Division World Championship winning
deck. Combined with Ultra Ball, Battle Compressor, and
other useful trainer cards, Archie’s Ace in the Hole
allows players playing the Expanded format to get out a
Turn 1 Blastoise or Empoleon, or even recover knocked
out Pokémon, plus the bonus of drawing five cards.