Now for a giant-sized review of
(BW: Dragons Exalted 114/124)!
That would be by general
standards; my reviews are often this
is a Pokémon Tool, a sub-type of Item
which is in and of itself a subdivision
Trainer cards in general.
Trainers in general are quite
strong with a variety of effects.
Currently no cards specifically
affect Trainers, though one piece of
overall Trainer support is supposed to
be coming in our next set.
Items are perhaps the most powerful
cards in the game, at least if you
define “ease of play” as potency.
Unless an Item itself has a built
in “to play” restriction (such as a cost
or requiring specific Pokémon be in
play), the only reasons you won’t be
able to play an Item are that it isn’t
in your hand, it doesn’t have a legal
target, or one of the few cards
possessing an effect that specifically
blocks Items, like
Gothitelle (BW: Emerging Powers
Items don’t have much in the way of
supporting cards, and the most relevant
one that specifies Items is
Sableye (BW: Dark Explorers
62/108), famous for its “Junk Hunt”
attack that grabs two Item cards from
your discard pile.
Of course, Pokémon Tools are a
bit more restricted than Items, since
they need a Pokémon in play that doesn’t
already have a Pokémon Tool equipped in
order to be used; much like with
Supporters, this creates an effective
“resource” to utilize, your “Tool slot”.
A few cards Pokémon Tools in some way.
In terms of support you have
Cofagrigus (BW: Dark Explorers
Mienshao (BW: Next Destinies
Cofagrigus has an attack called
“Chuck” that lets you discard Pokémon
Tools to do damage, but it hasn’t seen
much play because off the difficulty of
running enough Pokémon Tools to keep up
a steady barrage.
Mienshao has an attack called “Haul
In” that lets you search your deck for
two Pokémon Tools and add them to your
hand… but is a Stage 1 and prone to
being OHKOed, making it a much less
appealing trade than that of
Sableye and Junk Hunt.
Everything else that references them
aren’t worth mentioning (considering the
two I just listed see next to know play,
that’s saying something) and/or discard
Pokémon Tools from play.
A few use attacks, but the most
noteworthy would be
Tool Scrapper, which can discard two
Pokémon Tools for the price of… playing
Yeah, a two-for-one is a pretty
good deal unless Pokémon Tool usage
becomes scarce as a result of it.
I feel it important to note that
is raising both the maximum HP and the
current HP of the card to which it is
While more complicated to split
those effects, they could indeed be
separate; either having the card act as
a healing Pokémon Tool or could have
placed damage counters when played from
hand so that
only maximum HP went up, but you
weren’t actually HP any ahead at the
has a useful, but technically narrow,
Most of the time it will only
matter if a Pokémon with it equipped has
been damaged to the point that it has
accrued damage equal to its maximum
printed HP or maximum printed HP plus
Anything more and the Pokémon
will still be KOed; anything less and
Giant Cape isn’t actually doing
anything, barring a few specific cards
with Item dependent or HP dependent
Still, it is a good effect since even
just barely surviving an attack
simultaneously delays an opponent
winning (and thus you losing), and
retains your access to the Pokémon that
would have been KOed.
Even if the best that Pokémon can
do is absorb another attack, you’re
ahead of where you would have been
I’ll begin by addressing a common
concern with Pokémon Tools at all:
Its own usage will be based
largely on the perceived “metagame”;
some decks will spam it like made while
others won’t even bother with the single
TecH copy I believe should be a staple.
Part of the reason is that unlike
Supporters, Pokémon Tools can often be
safely left out of a deck.
Not only can skipping them not
hurt a deck, but it may even improve it
overall if the now vacant slots are used
That just doesn’t really happen
with something as fundamental as the
draw power or search power most
Supporters grasp, which is necessary for
setting up all but a few decks.
The other part is the natural
relationship created between
Tool Scrapper usage and Pokémon Tool
usage; if the best decks don’t really
use Pokémon Tools, then
Tool Scrapper usage will be less
vital and it will go down.
Some decks that really rely on
Pokémon Tools may then be lucky if they
aren’t quite popular enough to warrant
being hard countered in this way.
Otherwise if decks overall do run best
with at least a few key Pokémon Tools,
you’ll likely get a cyclical
relationship; Pokémon Tools become
heavily run and thus
Tool Scrapper usage increases, which
drives Tool usage back down, which
Tool Scrapper usage to plummet,
which allows Tool usage to rise back up,
which leads to more copies of
Tool Scrapper being run… etc.
The best players will know which
is the determining factor of
Tool Scrapper, and adjust
accordingly (staying ahead of the curve
in the cyclical relationship).
So what about
Is it worth using when
Tool Scrapper is a threat?
Provided your deck has room for
it, yes it is.
You can only afford to have one
Pokémon Tool in play if
Tool Scrapper is a real threat, but
if you do that means that you and your
opponent are ultimately just trading
Item cards; your Pokémon aren’t KOed any
faster than if you had not been running
The real concern is the other
Items it must compete against.
is already a niche card, as its effect
only works when it is equipped to a
Many times the best defense is a
good offense, and with things like
Max Potion backing decks that are
either Energy efficient and/or possess
Energy acceleration to the point that
it’s a OHKO or no KO, the extra damage
may be well worthwhile.
The main time this is an
exception is when surviving an extra
turn will yield more damage.
will almost always be superior when your
deck is focused on Basic Pokémon, unless
you have one of the odd effects that
require you have more HP than the
Even attacks that do extra damage
based on how many damage counters are on
the attacking Pokémon are better off
Eviolite, since surviving longer
means an extra attack and more damage in
the long run.
This is also the major exception
to “The best defense is a good offense.”
provides a small but badly needed source
of Energy acceleration for several
decks, and a skilled player will use it
It really is too good to leave in
play since its effect can trigger
multiple times to generate huge
Giant Cape can be left alone and
even after it has saved your Pokémon, be
discarded by your opponent to trigger
the KO just one turn late… and well
before it mattered to the actual game.
In a deck with the right Energy
requirements for attacks and running
enough basic Energy cards,
Exp. Share wins out.
exists for extremely fragile Pokémon
that HP boosting effects won’t really
The rough cut off seems to be 100
HP; below that neither
Giant Cape are going to make a
Again though that is an
approximation, and I will give you a
Garbodor (BW: Dragons Exalted
54/124 is played for its Ability that
shuts off other Abilities while it has a
Pokémon Tool attached.
It also has a horrible attack and
large Retreat of three, so you’re really
better off with
Rescue Scarf so that it gets out of
your own way as it is KOed.
So basically, Bench-sitters
Rescue Scarf to
Our last option is
Rocky Helmet, which still has a
solid effect but does poorly in a format
where OHKOs are so common.
Placing extra damage counters on
the opponent hastens their KO, and as
already stated Pokémon often obeys the
adage “the best defense is a good
Here I really think
finally wins hands down; only something
that is already a magnificent tank where
20 HP won’t matter (usually because of
“overkill” factor) will
Rocky Helmet be more useful.
doesn’t seem too impressive given how
many times I listed it as being inferior
to another option… except those were all
pretty specifically defined instances.
is the best.
When building a deck it should
probably be your placeholder Pokémon
Tool; it doesn’t care if you’re
attaching it to a particular Type,
particular Stage, particular HP level,
or particular strategy.
At times when Pokémon Tool usage
is on the heavy side, expect
Giant Cape to be one of the two
Pokémon Tools a deck runs unless the
deck is firmly settled into the
exception categories, like a mono-basic
deck that runs on mostly basic Energy
For Unlimited, there is
It really is that simple when it
comes to the ability to survive.
For Limited, it is a must run,
since any Pokémon can use it.
Yes, it is a bit anticlimactic
after going on so long about the other
is a useful Pokémon Tool that I kind of
wish had debuted before
Giant Cape would have seen a large
amount of play but crowded out most
other Pokémon Tools less, and
Eviolite would have been less
daunting if we were already used to most
Pokémon having a Pokémon Tool to
increase odds of survival… regardless of
Releasing now it won’t seem brilliant
and with the fear of
Tool Scrapper a lot of players may
skip it, but I think a play set is a
sound investment: +20 HP that your
opponent has to expend a resource to
neutralize is a sound investment unless
your Pokémon call into one of those
somewhat specific categories that favor
something else, like Basic Pokémon and
In my initial rankings for the
Giant Cape clocked in at 15th
place, and I think it fits there still.
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