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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Super Scoop Up

- Furious Fists

Date Reviewed:
Oct. 14, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

See Below

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Otaku

We close out the week with our 11th place finisher, Super Scoop Up which has been released nine times: Neo Genesis 98/111, Expedition 151/165, EX: FireRed & LeafGreen 99/112, EX: Delta Species 100/113, Diamond & Pearl 115/130, DP: Majestic Dawn 87/100, HS: Unleashed 83/95, Black & White 103/114, and XY: Furious Fists 100/111.  That means it officially released in North America back on December 16, 2000; I am uncertain if there are any gaps due to the specifics of when sets were tournament legal versus when specific formats went into effect, but that means this card may have been Standard legal… forever.  What we call the Standard Format was more commonly referred to as the “Modified” Format for most of the Pokémon TCG’s history, it the very first Modified Format began in 2001.  It is an Item card that allows you to flip a coin; if “tails” it does nothing but if “heads” you put one of your in play Pokémon and all cards attached to it back into your hand.  Being a Trainer is almost always a good thing, as playing Pokémon (even Basics!) and Energy are more restricting.  Being an Item means you don’t give up your Supporter or Stadium for the turn, though of course you do have to deal with a lot of anti-Item effects; not only Item lock but cards like Ghetsis. 

The effect is either a total whiff or the perfect bounce; the designers believed this balanced but the history of the TCG suggests this is either quite bad, or fairly good, with periodic spikes of weeping and gnashing of [your opponent’s] teeth.  The reason is that in general, this is a handy, but in specific?  The decks where it would underperform skip it and the ones where you’re bouncing a coming-into-play Ability, attacker capable of taking a hit and powering up in a single turn, or both make sure to run it in multiples.  Cards like Trainers’ Mail and Korrina help it out as either TecH or multi-card strategy.  The only catch is that your deck really, really needs to be able to handle those games where you just cannot flip “heads” when it counts.  Notice I said “when it counts”; sometimes you might need to “burn” a Super Scoop Up for little or no effect, or at the very least when the bounce isn’t especially important.  You might run four copies of Super Scoop Up and have all four be “tails”, but if the game didn’t hinge on them, those “tails” aren’t a big problem.  Same for if you get less than all “heads” but all the “tails” are the times when it wasn’t critical. 

As for those critical moments, there are a lot of opportunities, even in general deck usage.  Got something stuck in the Active slot or which is especially vulnerable?  Bounce it, even if it’s got a Special Condition or a lot of damage; in fact that just made it sweeter.  Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108) is the obvious; with 110 HP but being worth two Prizes, it is a tempting target for your opponent to save until KOing it leads to an easy win.  Getting it back into hand denies your opponent that chance, or at least let’s you try to cash in on the card’s fantastic Ability once again.  Bouncing a Seismitoad-EX with a Double Colorless Energy and Muscle Band that your opponent spent two or three turns chipping away at because your Item lock, supplemented by Team Flare Grunt, Crushing Hammer, and Enhanced Hammer to keep you Energy poor, had finally almost scored a KO is one of the most frustrating things my Pokémon TCG opponent has done to me in recent years.  DId I mention the part where Seismitoad-EX, the Double Colorless Energy, and Muscle Band were immediately played back down, sometimes then promoted via retreating or Switch, to resume the lock?  Fighting Types could get pretty vicious as well, either because they had a low Energy attacker like Landorus-EX, Lucario-EX, or Zygarde-EX that got in a solid hit or three before bouncing, having a Benched Hawlucha (XY: Furious Fists 63/111) come up front, only for the attacker in question to hit the field, get at least one Strong Energy attached, and come up front swinging again.  Sometimes they would have a damage increasing Tool, and sometimes Focus Sash that that if you did hit them hard, you were probably just going to see all that damage go to waste.  I am only now getting to Crobat (XY: Phantom Forces 33/119) and Golbat (XY: Phantom Forces 32/119; Generations 31/83); spam their “Surprise Bite” and “Sneaky Bite” Abilities for extra damage counter placement. 

We’ve reviewed it twice before, first on November 30, 2005 and the second time on October 8, 2014; I actually weighed in on both occasions and I am not mortified by re-reading my old reviews.  I mean while I hope you can tell the difference in quality between past and present, I seemed to be more or less spot on (adjusting for the then current card pool).  It will still see fairly heavy play in key decks on Expanded, with general usage an iffy prospect due to Item lock; a deck that already runs a useful combo partner like Korrina might be more inclined to using it as TecH.  Decks that really want to spam bounce effects will need to make room for multiple copies, but unless their luck is horrid Super Scoop Up should serve them well.  Even in decks where Super Scoop Up should work wonders, it can backfire.  How?  If you forget yourself and play it when you have just your Active Pokémon in play, you just did a fancy concession because you can target your only Pokémon, bounce it, and then lose for having no Pokémon in play.  One of the reasons Super Scoop Up didn’t catch on right away (even after the introduction of Modified took away access to the original Scoop Up) is that when your attackers are slow to set up, you may not be able to capitalize upon the bounce properly; instead of (for example) taking one last Prize with your heavily developed Mega Evolution, you bounce it but before you can get it all reassembled your opponent steamrolls it.  So you are KO’d just as fast (or nearly just as fast) but burned up Super Scoop Up and gave up a chance to swing at full strength. 

In Limited play, this is a valuable pull; if you’re paying attention and notice that below I’m scoring it a bit lower than the last time, that is because I don’t evaluate cards quite the same as I used to for Limited play.  I was getting a lot of high scores because cards were “must-runs”, but often they weren’t particularly good or powerful, just better than another filler Energy or Basic Pokémon.  So with that out of the way… is it a significant loss to Standard?  Yes Super Scoop Up lost some of its combo partners, but not enough to leave the card useless, and we lost both this and AZ.  That means there is no longer inexpensive, Item-based bounce or reliable, Supporter based bounce.  In fact there is now no longer any general bounce based option, Trainer or otherwise.  Not unlike discarding Tools, it is something to which we have become accustomed and so it can be rather jarring operating without it.  Did I mention all the big Basics becoming even bigger due to Fighting Fury Belt and how Tools are difficult to discard?  I thought it was bad when Lucario-EX had Strong Energy and Muscle Band, but Zygarde-EX still has Strong Energy and Fighting Fury Belt means just a little less damage to survive an extra turn or two before needing healing. 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A 

Expanded: 3.5/5 

Limited: 4.75/5 

Summary: Super Scoop Up is one of the two bounce cards we have been using and enjoying for a while now, but which is now no longer available in Standard.  With one or the other left, not as big of a deal, but when both Super Scoop Up and AZ are gone?  I know I’ve already noticed it while multiple decks.  There are alternatives, but Ninja Boy, Max Potion, etc. aren’t close enough and require the decks play differently to perform a somewhat similar trick. 

Super Scoop Up racked up 28 voting points, missing a tie with our 10th place card by a single point.  For my own list I awarded it sixth place, though I have been fond of some of the decks that abuse this card.  11th seems kind of low, even taking my bias into account: five places is a bit much for difference but two or three I could see.


Zach Carmichael

When Furious Fists came out, it marked a new era in the format – one in which single Energy attackers could quickly pressure opponents and essentially tank while taking quick prizes. Attackers like Lucario-EX and Hawlucha took advantage of the Fighting-type engine by way of cards like Korrina, Strong Energy, and Fighting Stadium to deal massive damage. Super Scoop Up helped accomplish this goal by providing a way to heal off damage and recycle Energy cards with a single coin flip. If you have read my previous posts, you probably know that I am not much of a proponent for flip cards, however, this is an exception – being able to quickly recover HP and essentially reset your board and set your opponent back a couple turns is huge, and the card is definitely justified in a number of decks. 

Besides Fighting-types like Lucario-EX and Landorus-EX, Super Scoop Up was primarily used in decks that took advantage of Crobat lines from Phantom Forces to spread damage. You could use the “Sneaky Bite” Ability to place 20 and 30 damage from Golbat and Crobat, respectively, to set up future KOs by making the math perfect. Seismitoad-EX quickly became a partner with these Pokémon, as its Quaking Punch attack only cost a single Double Colorless Energy, and its meager 30 damage output needed a way to hit bigger numbers. The card was also prevalent in Wailord-EX decks, allowing you to heal a whopping 250 HP attacker completely as you slowly whittled your opponent’s deck away with cards like Hugh and Trick Shovel

In Expanded, the above decks continue to be popular. As such, Super Scoop Up is very playable and will continue to be so, assuming that the Expanded format does not rotate certain sets in the future. Coin flips are typically so-so because you are essentially relying on luck while using as many as four spots in your deck that could have been consistency cards like Supporters. But in this case – depending on the deck, of course – Super Scoop Up is inherently powerful and gives many decks a huge advantage. 

Ratings 

Standard: N/A

Expanded: 4/5

Limited: 3/5 

Summary: Super Scoop Up will be missed in Standard. A number of single Energy attackers still exist with the Primal Clash-on format, but these Pokémon will now have to rely on cards like Max Potion to provide defensive measures from being KO’d. The card will continue to see play in Expanded, as the ability to reset your board consistently is too good to pass up, particularly in the era of fast-paced, hard-hitting Pokémon-EX.


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