Today we’ll cover what the review crew collectively
considers the fifth best card of 2012, and that card is
Ultra Ball (BW: Dark Explorers 102/108).
We ranked it as the best card of BW: Dark
Explorers; you can read the reviews
here but remember they were written for the previous
was a very good card when it was first released, but has
become better over time.
It was introduced into a format with some
powerful alternatives; while those alternatives were
usually restricted to searching out Basic Pokémon and/or
were not Items, then like now the format was heavily
focused on Basic Pokémon and some of those options
searched them in multiples!
It also had to compete with discard resources
against Junk Arm;
running both could easily wipe out your hand.
That was then, however, and this is now.
Any deck can
use Ultra Ball
for an adequate return, with many using it to set-up
combos and generating significant advantage; thus its
impact is both wide and reasonably deep.
It is seldom critical to a deck, as it is a
search card and not itself achieving a win condition. It
does aid decks in running more smoothly and may open up
some combos through its discard cost.
Several decks actually are stronger for the discard
costs; able to utilize what is being tossed.
Some can mitigate the drawback through recycling
tricks; not generating advantage but merely returning
what was spent to the deck.
Still some decks can’t do either, and find the
discard cost so burdensome that they must supplement
with a different search method or replace it entirely.
The cards that placed higher than
on our list simply outperform it, which is quite a feat!
I stand by previous statements about its
usefulness in other formats; there are better options
for Unlimited but like any general search it is a must
for Limited play.
works in any deck, it works well in most decks, and
simultaneously searches Pokémon while setting up for
“from the discard” combos in a few prominent decks; any
player not strapped for cards should have a play set
even if you’re not going to run the full four in most
You’ll find the odd deck that can make better use of
something else, but it is just that, the exception and
not the rule.
I had Ultra Ball
as my sixth place pick.
From what I had outranking
one already been reviewed:
(BW: Dark Explorers 90/108, 108/108) since the
other reviewers weren’t quite as impressed by it as I
Another didn’t make the list at all (sadness), and we’ll
come to the other three soon enough.