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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokemon Card of the Day




Date Reviewed: 12.29.08

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Unlimited: 1.50
Limited: 4.00

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


Hello readers.  If you are wondering where I’ve been let me solve the mystery: I currently lack home internet access and as such, can’t make enough time to review (and still can’t play test online either).  I am not in a position where I can afford to visit the local library often, nor even my sister and brother-in-law’s place to use there computer, so the reviews I do this week may be the last I do for anywhere from one month to several.


Gambler is an old Trainer card.  So old calling it a “fossil” is appropriate, because that is the expansion set it came out in, Fossil (the third English set ever released).  I am opening the week with it so that I can review my favorite first, second, and third generation Pokémon in order but still have my absolute favorite, tomorrow’s CotD, on the 30th.  Why would I do that?  Because this is my birthday week and tomorrow is my actual birthday.  Simple, isn’t it?


Gambler has two straightforward effects: either shuffle your hand into your deck and draw eight card or shuffle it in and draw just one.  The catch is that the first effect only works when you flip “heads” on the coin toss the card calls for, and the second only works when you flip “tails”.  This was an interesting first attempt at solving the early problems of balanced draw power in Pokémon.  The penalty for either result is technically less harsh than the classic Professor Oak card (discard your hand to draw seven cards), since no matter how much you shuffle back you aren’t permanently out the cards.  Shuffling in and drawing eight new cards is of course a stellar deal.  It is that second possibility of only drawing a single new card that scared players away.


I on the other hand ran this card often and didn’t abandon it in Unlimited play until we got Professor Oak’s Research.  The reason was I’d often get opening hands where I couldn’t afford to part with more than a few cards, usually hands with multiple important Trainer cards like two or three Professor Oak or Computer Search.  I’d then just search out or wait on drawing a Gambler (usually didn’t take long) and restart things so I didn’t have to trash my future hands.  Usually, when I’d flip heads I’d want to draw those eight cards, and when I got tails I’d draw into one incredibly useful card.  Sometimes it’d be the exact single card I needed anyway, like that last Plus Power or a Double Colorless Energy.  Other times it would be a Professor Oak I could use guilt free.  Late game I could use it to avoid decking out when I had a massive hand.  All in all, it served me rather well.


Then TPC developed and realized Supporter cards.  I no longer needed this because I could safely burn my once-per-turn Supporter usage on it.  It has of course never been reprinted in so it has never been legal for a Modified Format, and I doubt it ever will.  It might be fun if it were… until someone figured out it was worth the risk to run four of it with some solid Pokémon with either a lower Energy/high damage attack and/or a way to energize it quickly and reliably, and then four copies of Plus Power.  Basically, it’d make it possible to re-invent the old “First Turn Knock Out” decks and risk plaguing the metagame with those again.  There’d be a somewhat high risk of failure, but generally players who take that risk do so because the odds of lucking into a win are better than getting one through more skill oriented approaches.


So I will just fondly remember this card unless TPC can figure out a way to revive it.  I would not like it to get the Here Comes Team Rocket! treatment since as a Supporter, it’d be too weak/unreliable.  A similar mechanic might be interesting for a Poké-Power, new normal Trainer (with lower rewards/bigger risk), or new Supporter.  Unless someone has a lot of money and feels generous enough to let me sit in on a booster draft for Fossil. ;)




Unlimited: 1.5/5


Modified: N/A


Limited: 5/5

Name: Gambler
Set: Fossil
Rarity: Common

Analysis: This was a decent card way back when, especially if you are good at flipping heads. It was a decent idea to put one in a deck. You would really only want to use it if it is one of two or less cards in your hand. I do prefer Bill and Professor Oak, though, because they are not luck-dependent.

At time of release: Not bad. Flippy though. (2/5)

Unlimited (now): There are many more better choices now. (1/5)
Jigglypuff13 12/29 Gambler (Fossil) (How have we not reviewed this card yet?)

Hello everyone, hope you all had a good Christmas and got what you wanted from Santa. Being New Years week, we have another reduced week of reviews. As you may have guessed from the card today, they aren't the standard thing you may be used to. They are, in fact, Unlimited cards, the reason for why you should probably already know, but I have to say, thanks Otaku for choosing this card. Back to today's card, and what a card, Gambler from the 3rd Pokémon set, Fossil. This was the first Shuffle-Draw trainer made I believe, and it's not too bad really. You shuffle your hand into your deck (duh) and then one of two things can happen based on the flip of a coin. Heads, you draw 8 cards. Tails, you draw 1. This really is the original all or nothing card. Getting a new 8 card hand is brilliant. Getting 1 card to replace your hand isn't, unless you get really lucky and get another Gambler or a Professor Oak. However, the 8 card draw is really good and should net you what you need. Being a normal trainer, it doesn't have the limitations of other, newer Shuffle-Draw of not being able to use a Supporter that turn. Mind you, this being Unlimited, there aren't many supporters you'd want to use.

I love this card. Unfortunately, there are so many other good trainers in Unlimited that there really isn't much room for it. Oak, Bill, Plus Power, Gust of Wind, Computer Search, Rare Candy, Item Finder, probably even Poké Drawer +, one of few newer trainers that might be worth space in an Unlimited deck, and loads more besides, you will definitely have run out of room in your deck before you even think about adding Gambler or probably any Shuffle-Draw. In fact, the straight draw and search you can use here is so good, there probably isn't any need for any Shuffle-Draw at all. Also, it is risky. Mind you, that's quite obvious. Your average return from this card is 4.5 cards, which is the same as Team Galactic's Wager, .5 less than Rowan or Oak's Research, 2.5 less than Elm, and worse than a well timed Copycat. The only one this may be better than is Cynthia's Feelings, and even than, that can almost double the output of Gambler is you use it at the right time. Of course, all of these limit your trainer use for the rest of turn in one way or another (Elm being worst of all, since you aren't allowed to play any more of any trainer at all for the rest of the turn), where as Gambler doesn't. However, with Gambler, you run the risk of not ending up with any trainers at all from your 1 card draw.


Unlimited: Space is tight in Unlimited decks, especially with all of the great trainers you could play in your deck, Shuffle-Draw takes a very minor role in most decks. Even if you do go down the route of adding Shuffle-Draw to your deck, there is a lot of stiff competition, and all of them have they own advantages and disadvantages over Gambler. Because of that 50% chance of a 1 card draw, I probably wouldn't use this card, and would probably plonk with Copycat instead. Still, this is worth taking a look at. 2/5

Limited: Can you still play Fossil in Limited? If you are lucky enough to play Fossil draft or something, and you see this card in a pack, take it, no questions asked, since this is the only draw in the set, so if you don't take it, don't think there will be another for you to get. 5/5

Oh, an unlimited card!

This card had a brief heyday right after the release of Fossil. There was a certain “rush” about the all or nothing aspect of this card.

I have a feeling it was the basis for other great cards for the future, such as Team Galactic’s Wager, which is a greater card in every respect.

I remember playing these in my deck, oh the memories.

If I were playing an unlimited deck today, I would put this right up there with Imposter Professor Oak as a card NOT to play.

Sorry Otaku, this is not a winner, in any respects.

Unlimited 1/5 PLEASE DON’T PLAY IT.

Limited 4.5/5…If you are drafting fossil, this is one of the ONLY draw cards in the set, and well, in Limited any draw is good, even this.
of the Lake

aim PoJoMOTL
We're doing Gambler today! Woo!

This is Otaku Week™, where we review Otaku's favorite cards. Wait for Woche des MonsterOfTheLake™, where we review nothing but German Cubone cards. This is not a joke. It will happen.


Representing the testicular fortitude of WOTC over Nintendo, Gambler is one of those rare cards that isn't quite appropriate for children, lest they learn about the unclean. Gambling is awesome, kids! It's even better when you do it while drinking alcohol.



Being a tailsfails card -- tails, it fails -- you need to have a method of recovering from the dreaded 1 card hand through either topdecking or using a Pokémon. Or even donking several heads in a row with Speed Stadium. Claydol works wonders here -- as always --, allowing you to get a brand new 6+ card hand either way!

You can also combo it with a Neo Genesis Cleffa, but it's a push to suggest that it would be a combo. Kinda like calling a PlusPower and a damaging attack a combo. Technically, yes; but not really.

Ratings (1 - Sux, 3 - Meh, 5 - Rox)

Modified: 3/5. Assuming it was reprinted as a Promo or something, this card wouldn't be that bad in Modified, despite being tailsfails. You can always Cosmic Power if you lose, and if you don't, you get a brand new 8-card hand!
Limited: 2/5. Quite risky here. Alongside Double Full Heal, this is one of those cards where you should think twice before drafting, against the usual adage of grabbing whatever Trainer you can get. Winning the flip would be fantastic, obviously, but if you lose, you will be left in a really bad situation, as this is the only draw card in Fossil.
Unlimited: 1/5. Much, much better options available here.

Gambler: cool concept, with the mediocrity typical of tailsfails cards. Should it be reprinted? I wouldn't mind that at all.

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