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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Cover Fossil

Noble Victories

Date Reviewed: Nov. 23, 2011

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 1.13
Limited: 1.67

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

Combos With:

Baby Mario
2010 UK National

Cover Fossil (Noble Victories)

This is a strange card to be reviewing, but completely worthwhile. Cover Fossil is part of the new Fossil mechanic that is introduced in the Noble Victories set. Except they aren’t called Fossils any more . . . what we have now are ‘Restored’ Pokémon.

In the past we have had many Fossil Pokémon that have been pretty powerful cards. Think of Rampardos PL, or quite a few Aerodactyls for example. However, this power has always come at the hefty cost of having to deal with the whole Fossil mechanic. When the Basic Pokémon of an evolution line is a Trainer, it makes things a bit difficult: they can’t be played under Trainer Lock, they can’t be grabbed with the staple Basic search cards (currently Pokémon Collector), and they can’t be recovered by the usual methods either. It seems as if the trend for powerful Fossil Restored Pokémon is continuing in the Black and White era: Carracosta has big HP and a damage reduction Ability, while Archeops prevents evolution just like the old Aerodactyl from the Fossil set. But will these type of Pokémon be any more easy to play than they were in the past? Let’s take a look at Cover Fossil and find out.

Cover Fossil’s text tells you to look at the bottom seven cards of your deck and, if you find a Tirtouga (the Stage 1) there, put in on to your Bench. Well, I suppose the good news is that you don’t need to bench a vulnerable Basic and you can go ahead and evolve it on the next turn without needing Rare Candy. The bad news though? Where do I start?

For one thing, there is no reliable way to make sure you have a Tirtouga in the last seven cards of the deck. Yes, you can try and achieve this with Research Record, but this only shifts the problem: now you need a Tirtouga in the top four cards. So to even begin to minimise the inconsistency and luck factor, you need to run the maximum number of copies of the Stage 1 AND a playset of Research Records. Even then, a successful outcome is not guaranteed, though you can increase your chances further by running Junk Arm to get back wasted Cover Fossils.

I don’t know about you, but I am not thrilled about a mechanic that makes me rely on Trainer card combos and sheer luck in order to be able to set up a main attacker (Carracosta) or a bench sitting tech (Archeops). Why would I be, when there are many other Pokémon I could be searching out easily and reliably with Pokémon Collector and/or Pokémon Communication? For a Restored Pokémon to be worth this much trouble, it would have to be a virtual game winner and, although Carracosta and Archeops are decent Pokémon, they are a long way short of that.

Basically, Pokémon just made playing Fossils a lot harder than it has ever been. Unless they start releasing some seriously good support for the mechanic, such as a card which would let you put the Stage 1 from your hand to the bottom of the deck (Claydol GE reprint anyone?), then these new Restored Pokémon are going to be completely unplayable in a tournament setting.


Modified: 1.25 (A Fossil Basic that makes playing Fossils virtually impossible)

Limited: 1.25 (well, you have a smaller deck here, so if you somehow pull 4+ Tirtouga you could try it)

Mad Mattezhion
 Professor Bathurst League Australia

Cover Fossil (Noble Victories)
Ah, we are in murky waters now! Black & White brought us two more ancient, theoretically extinct Poke'mon lines: the Archen/Archeops line and the Tirtouga/Carracosta line. Unlike previous editions of the card game however, the matching Fossil cards are not playable as Poke'mon, but follow a new rule instead.
The Revived mechanic means that you have to play the matching Fossil card (Plume fossil for Archen and Cover Fossil for Tirtouga) from your hand and then look at the bottom 7 cards of your deck. If you find the Archen/Tirtouga/whichever Fossil Poke'mon marked on the card then you put it into play on your Bench but if not you just wasted a Fossil.
The previous method was to play the Fossil onto your Bench as a Basic Poke'mon (which also counted as a Trainer/Item Card) and then evolve when you got the chance. Fossils haven't been popular for a while now because all of the Trainer denial in the last format stopped players from getting them into play, and with Trainer denial still being prevalent (Vileplume and Gothitelle send their love) I don't see that changing. Throw in the added uncertainty of having to find a specific Poke'mon within the bottom seven cards and the extra penalty of having Tirtouga and Archen always being dead cards in the hand, and I can't help but feel that the design crew hate Fossil Poke'mon
So, we have random chance, Trainer denial and dead cards in the hand as drawbacks for Clover Fossil but are there any upsides? Fortunately, there are. Tirtouga isn't much to look at but if you manage to successfully get it into play then you can evolve to Carracosta on the next turn, rather than having to evovle the Cover Fossil and wait another turn to evolve again. Also, Carracost has an interesting Ability to severely reduce incoming damage, but I'll wait until it comes up for review to give it the nod or the gong.
For those of you who love Fossil Poke'mon, this new ruling is a death sentence. I'm afraid we'll have to wait until we get an absolutely broken Fossil Poke'mon and even then it may not see play with all of these hoops to jump through!
Modified: 1 (the new Revived Poke'mon bring me to tears with how unfairly they are being treated, but if you want to play Carracosta then you don't have a choice)
Limited: 2 (you can include Cover Fossil just to shuffle your deck and Carracosta is pretty decent in this format. Also, the smaller deck size improves your odds)
Combos with: a return to the Ruby & Sapphire era or Fossil mechanics, when Fossils were actually able to compete fairly with other cards.

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