Top 4 UK Nats
Pokémon Communication (HGSS)
We end our week of Supporters and Trainers with Pokémon
Communication, which is a reprint (under a different
name) of the very old Trainer called Pokémon Trader
which appeared way back in Base Set.
With Pokémon Communication, you can return one Pokémon
from your hand to your deck in order to search out any
one Pokémon from your deck. Think of it as being a bit
like a Bebe’s Search: the upside is that it is a
Trainer, so you can play as many as you like per turn;
the downside is that you have to send a Pokémon back to
the deck, rather than just any old card you don’t need.
Pokémon Communication combines well with some already
existing cards to pull off some nice tricks. If you need
an Evolution card, but only have a Pokémon Collector in
your hand, then search out three Basics and swap one of
them for the Evolution with Pokémon Communication. Need
a LV X but only have a Luxury Ball? Well Pokémon
Communication is your friend here too: grab any Pokémon
with the Luxury Ball, and then exchange it for the LV X.
Sure, you are burning an extra card (Communication) to
do this, but it’s better than waiting around to draw
into a Bebe’s Search or a Premier Ball.
So, does this mean that Pokémon Communication will
become a staple card in future? Well, a lot depends on
whether or not players can find the space for it. You
should still run sufficient draw and search in your
deck, and that might leave you very little space for
this card. Another issue is the fact that Trainer Lock
is very big in the format right now, and it will only
become more common with future releases. Even now, if
your opponent uses Dialga G’s Deafen, Gastly SF’s Trick
Gas, or if there is a Spiritomb AR in play, Pokémon
Communication just becomes a dead card in your hand.
For these reasons, I don’t see this card quite making it
to staple status, but I can see players running two
copies in decks that can make room for them. If you ever
find that you have the space for filler cards like
Pokedex, Pokégear or Pokedrawer, then do yourself a
favour and run some Pokémon Communication instead. It’s
definitely a tournament-level card and I recommend that
all players try and get their hands on a playset before
the secondary market prices start getting silly, if they
Modified: 3.5 (a very good card, but Trainer Lock plays
a large role in the Format, and that isn’t going to
Limited: 5 (you probably have 1-2 good Pokémon in your
deck and a whole bunch of filler in your hand . . . this
card is the perfect solution)
Pokémon Trader with modernized
wording: trade a Pokémon in hand for one
you need from the deck and shuffle
The end result is the same,
though: a great card!
We have had a card that has a superior
Pokémon Communication for 11 sets
It has even been reprinted twice,
with the most recent from Rising Rivals.
Why wouldn’t I run a card that
let me trade any card from my hand, not
just Pokémon, for a Pokémon from my deck
instead of one that has to trade one
Pokémon for another?
Bebe’s Search is a Supporter, and
the entire point of
Pokémon Communication is that it is
a normal Trainer.
We got a taste of how good
Pokémon Trader was during the last
days of Wizards of the Coast running
Pokémon, as they included it in the
reprint set known as The Legendary
If you aren’t familiar with that
set, look it up or ask around: it’d take
a page to adequately explain its
Pokémon Trader allowed players to
focus most of their Supporter usage
(still “new” to the game at the time) on
draw power and then swap out for any
Pokémon they missed.
Jump back to now.
Pokémon Communication does the same:
enabling valuable Pokémon search without
expending your Supporter use.
You probably will still run some
search Supporters, but you can focus on
quantity instead of quality.
Pokémon Collector, or the very
Roseanne’s Research and trade in
that extra Basic Pokémon for the
Evolution you needed.
Add some insurance to your raw
draw power cards in case you can’t draw
into the Pokémon you needed.
It isn’t for every deck, but it’s
perhaps the best at what it does:
getting a Pokémon without burner your
Supporter use for the turn.
I know Trainer Lock is a popular
strategy right now, but it’s the potency
of cards like
Pokémon Communication that are the
reason, so I won’t dock points for it.