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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Eco Arm

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
September 14, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.63
Expanded: 2.65
Limited: 1/25

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Otaku

Welcome to a somewhat odd two weeks for Pojo.com.  The short version is that for various reasons, the site is having a five day weekend: no articles from this Thursday through next Monday.  While not the reason why, it will give the CotD crew a nice break to recover from out Top 15 list that wrapped up last week.  This week and next we will be looking at Trainers and Special Energy from the new set that didn’t make the Top 15, which is a pretty typical thing for us to do the last few sets. 

Eco Arm (XY: Ancient Origins 71/98) is one of our new Items.  In general it is good to be an Item; their “one and done” nature is accompanied by the only cost being those specific to the card (like Ultra Ball requiring a two card from hand discard) and that you aren’t allowed to play them for no effect.  There are some odd exceptions to the second one owing to how the game processes certain information: like most (possibly all) search effects, Evosoda may be used to search for an Evolution you know is not in your deck, even if your opponent also knows it is not there (such as through another card effect), because “the game” doesn’t recognize non-public knowledge like that.  Yeah, I’d just start writing everything so that you can always fail a search instead because I still find this concept problematic.  On the other hand, “the game” is smart enough to know some things: you can’t use Evosoda if none of your Pokémon in play have an Evolution that exists in the current card pool.  In fact the only reason why all Trainers wouldn’t be better as Items is because there are some potent Item locking effects in the game (and they are more numerous and prominent than Stadium or Supporter locking effects) and many Stadium cards are useful because as a Stadium they discard whatever Stadium was already in play and you may be able to use their effect more than once. 

So after all that… the actual effect of Eco Arm allows you to shuffle three Pokémon Tool cards from your discard pile into your deck.  It is not worded as “up to” so while you can use it with only one or two Pokémon Tools in your discard, you must select them them all if there are less than three and cannot choose less than the full three.  Shuffling three back for a single Item is less than other Items like Sacred Ash or Energy Recycler enjoy, but the same amount as Super Rod and one more than Pal Pad.  So in terms of quantity it falls in the middle, but how about quality?  Sacred Ash is restricted to Pokémon only, but works on any Pokémon.  Energy Recycler only works on Basic Energy, though that is half the subclassifications for Energy cards and about half of the actual Energy cards in the Standard Format as well (about a third in Expanded).  Super Rod can snag anything that either Sacred Ash or Energy Recycler can grab so while it grabs less, that makes it much more versatile.  Pal Pad only works on a single subclassification of Trainers - Supporters - and while those are an important card Type it was never heavily played and as soon as VS Seeker was an option, even the decks running it replaced it: a Supporter in the hand is worth more than two in the deck. 

Unlike Pal Pad, Eco Arm doesn’t have to face off against an Item that returns a discarded Pokémon Tool to hand.  I don’t recall there being an Ability or worthwhile attack to do that either.  Infact apart from Supporters via Versus Seeker, most Trainers are tricky to get back from the discard pile, requiring an Ability or attack.  As such the real competition Eco Arm faces is… just running another Pokémon Tool.  Most decks don’t have a method that is all three of reliable, fast and cost effective to get the Pokémon Tools you return to your deck back to your hand.  Most decks also don’t need a lot of Pokémon Tools and both only need (and can only have) so many in play at one time.  As such if you’re not getting the full three shuffled back into your deck, there is a decent chance you’re better off just running an extra copy of said Tool (or another useful Pokémon Tool) in your deck instead.  The big exceptions are decks that have a serious issue with cards being discarded and those that have a particular Pokémon Tool that is advantages to return to your deck.  The competitive metagame may have given us both. 

Most decks have a lot of discards because of Professor Sycamore and Ultra Ball, as well as cards like Startling Megaphone (which discards all Pokémon Tools on your opponent’s side of the field).  Pokémon Tool F cards as well as a few other decks that really rely on a particular Tool or have a good way of searching out Eco Arm and/or Pokémon Tools (Oh hello Korrina) have valid reason to at least consider Eco Arm.  So in general for Standard, this is a functional card but at best average until you factor in some specific decks.  It still isn’t a must run in those, so I’d say overall it is a little above average.  Expanded adds some more Pokémon Tools to consider, Tool Scrapper (both friend and foe to some Pokémon Tools) and while I don’t think it is remotely worth it, the cards needed to run a Tool Drop deck.  All in all, I’d give just a slight bump here.  In Limited play, it all depends on if you get any Pokémon Tools.  There are four Pokémon Tools in XY: Ancient Origins but three are Spirit Link cards.  I’d actually lean against using this unless you also pull multiples of Lucky Helmet. 

Ratings 

Standard: 3.25/5 

Expanded: 3.3/5 

Limited: 1.5/5 

Summary:  Other than in Limited, Eco Arm is a good solid card, just not good enough to work its way into a lot of decks.  At the same time most decks have multiple Pokémon Tools in them and a lot of ways for one to discard them (with an opponent often “helping” you in that endeavor), so it isn’t truly “bad”, just “not good enough”.  Add in the decks that like to spam nasty Pokémon Tools and have an insurance policy for if they are dealt with and I think it nets a slightly above average result.


Emma Starr

            First of all, I’d like to apologize for disappearing last week. Lots of things happened, Amiibos were released, etc. However, things should start returning to normal now. Maybe.

            Eco Arm is an Item Card that lets you search for three Tool Cards from your discard pile. Which means that most likely, the Tool Cards would most likely be attached to one of your fainted Pokemon. If only there was a better way to make this card work…oh wait! There is! If you discard the Tools with Battle Compressor, you can easily use Eco Arm to retrieve them!

            There are some downsides to this strategy, though. First, you’re basically using two cards to find one Tool Card. It’s not like there are many other alternatives to this, however. If you really need to find the Muscle Band, Spirit Link, Rock Guard  (hey, it can be a pretty helpful, underused Ace Spec!) or Lucky Helmet your Pokemon went down with, Eco Arm can be pretty reliable, though not the most efficient at times. Not to mention that you could run into a stray Vileplume as well, if you aren’t lucky, rendering you incapable of using either card to get your Tool. 

            Modified: 2/5

            Expanded: 2/5

            Limited: 1/5 (The only Tools in this set are Lucky Helmet and the three Spirit Links. No access to Battle Compressor already hurts this, but you could always run a few multiples of Lucky Helmet if you felt so inclined, and if you have a Spirit Link in your discard pile, chances are your EX and Mega are in there too, and there’s no way to get them back!)


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