If you think this review is too long to read, just skip
straight to the Ratings and Summary sections!
EX: Team Rocket Returns
Rocket’s Secret Machine
Search your discard pile for Basic Pokémon or Evolution
cards. You may either show 1 Basic Pokémon or Evolution
card to your opponent and put it into your hand, or show
a combination of up to 3 Basic Pokémon or Evolution
cards to your opponent and shuffle them into your deck.
Trainer time! Pokémon Retriever is one of a new Trainer
class (I believe): the Rocket’s Secret Machines. I do not
recall seeing anything that punishes the use of this Trainer
type, but some things positively combo with this kind of
Trainer, so it’s a good thing to be. Added bonus is that
this isn’t a Supporter: makes it much easier to use in
Another Pokémon recursion card. What makes it nice is that
instead of rehashing the same old thing, or trying to pump
it up to Supporter level, they added a nice twist to it.
This card gives you an option: get that one Pokémon you need
back into your hand from the discard, or send three of your
choice back to the deck for later use. This gives both
anti-depletion and tactical recursion uses. For example, if
I absolutely must, I can chuck a Dark Steelix for
Rocket’s Mission, and use this to get it back later on
where I need it most: either with two other friends sent to
my deck or back into my hand for immediate use. This is
also nice for getting back that Pokémon TecH you may had
added to your deck. For example, some of my decks run
Hidden Legends Corsola to
counter Fire Weakness. With this, when
Corsola bites the dust, I can just get it back and
bench it again.
Any deck should really consider running this: only a
precious few can get by without any. In spite of that, you
won’t see more than one or two in most decks: recursion
matters, but it’s mostly used as insurance, incase something
goes wrong. I’ll go into the specifics about general use in
the actual ratings.
One key bit of specific use is with Dark Slowking,
Rocket’s Meowth, and
Rocket’s Wobbuffet: all have abilities that can make
good use of Rocket’s Secret Machines.
4/5-Man, I am just so generous here lately. Why? How many
decks run a lot of Basic Energy here? Raindance is the only
tier one deck that runs a lot of basic Energy. Everything
else is almost all Special Energy (Darkness Energy,
Double Colorless Energy, Rainbow Energy,
Recycle Energy, etc.). This means Nightly
Garbage Run now loses its last niche: if you have
no Basic Energy, Pokémon Retriever can do everything
it can, and more! Town Volunteers may also see less play,
since it is a Supporter, and more of them are being
used here than before, and again, with no Basic Energy in
many decks, you have to weigh getting two more Pokémon sent
to the deck versus getting that piece of TecH back into hand
for immediate replay.
4.5/5-It’s beautiful here.
Given that my attitude on cards has changed since I started
here, I was tempted to give it a perfect score-it’s not
broken, and it’s far from underpowered. Not only is it the
only game in town for generic, Trainer-based, Pokémon
recursion, but it also gives you two options and is a
beneficial Trainer type (unless you face Vileplume ex).
5/5-Recursion is nearly as important as draw power. Not
only that, but it combos with several cards in this set (Dark
Slowking, Rocket’s Mission, Rocket’s
finally has convenient Pokémon recursion-either send one
thing to your hand or send up to three to the deck. Best of
all, it’s a Rocket’s Secret Machine but not a