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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



- BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
December 2, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 2.5
Expanded: 2.5
Limited: 4.0

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being horrible.  3 ... average.  5 is awesome.

Back to the main COTD Page


Another Supporter has shown up in the form of Fisherman. Truth be told, I've always thought of Fishermen as the real nerds of the Pokemon world - they're all literally obsessed with catching Pokemon with a fishing rod and will hang out in houses all day long waiting for Trainers with equal enthusiasm (or at least very mild interest) to come inside so they can hand them a stick with some string to them. 

...dang Fishermen. 

Anywho, this guy actually first appeared in Skyridge (yeah, in eReader card days) before making a return appearance in the HGSS expansion. And now he's come back to us again with the same effect he's had since day one: retrieve 4 Basic Energy cards from your discard pile and put them into your hand. Sure, the wording's changed again and become even simpler, but at least with Pokemon you don't have to worry about having 4 or more Basic Energy to use him. 

So what decks really stand to benefit from this? We're looking for a deck that really uses a lot of Basic Energy to get what it needs done, and it doesn't have to rely on Special Energy as much since that can't be used with this. Personally, Primal Kyogre looks like a good candidate for this, since you can't really use Alpha Growth with Special Energy, but there may be some other decks that could stand to benefit from it. I just don't know off the top of my head which ones would. 

It's a bit of a difficult thing to gauge when decks will only run so many Energies, and not many of them are even Basic Energies. There are even a couple of decks which don't even bother with having Basic Energy, and a lot of the ones that do already have some means of bringing it back. Fisherman may be more of a one-off if that, seeing as how tight Supporter space has been. 


Standard: 2/5 (it's not like he's got a terrible effect or anything - it's rather decent!) 

Expanded: 2/5 (but all things considered, not many decks have a ton of Basic Energy - if anything, it's not even necessary to run Fisherman because of how many other ways the Energy can be retrieved, some of it in more useful ways) 

Limited: 3/5 (...okay, I don't know exactly how bad Energy situations get in Limited, seeing as you only have so many cards to pull from and an unlimited stock of Basic Energy, but if it's really that tight of a problem, I suppose go for it?) 

Arora Notealus: Fisherman as of now is a lot like a Magikarp: not very useful at the moment. But looking a little down the road, I do see a bit of...potential for him to really leap out of the water and astonish us all. 

Next Time: An old favorite returns!


Today we look at Fisherman (XY: BREAKthrough 136/162): this isn’t a new card but one that has two prior releases: the original Skyridge 125/144 (reviewed here) and later as HeartGold SoulSilver 92/123 (covered here).  Reading my older reviews of those cards was painful for the oldest one (I forgot how bad I was when I was still new to reviewing) and weird (one of the few times when I allowed a re-review to be so short); not sure if they were accurate or not for the time.  If that sounds bad keep in mind the original review is now over 12 years old and the second release turns five-years-old next March.  I don’t bring this up just to wax nostalgic; though re-releases of older cards can be better or worse than when they debuted, knowledge of how to use the card already exists.  In this particular instance, you can also view the card text and see how that has progressed; I am pretty sure Skyridge 125/144 has a massive typo and both it and HeartGold SoulSilver 92/123 have a lot of clunky, unnecessary reminder text.  Today’s version has the usual Supporter text but simply states “Put 4 basic Energy cards from your discard pile into your hand.” 

Our third Trainer this is our first Supporter; typically your save your Supporter usage for potent effects, be it discarding your hand to draw seven cards or forcing your opponent to promote his or her Benched Pokémon of your choice.  Reclaiming four Basic Energy cards from your discard pile to your hand seems a bit underwhelming; when this card released, Energy Retrieval still required you discard a card from your hand to use but now that Item has no cost to play and we’ve got a lot of options, the best of which are all Item based.  Besides the lower yield Energy Retrieval we have it’s big brother Superior Energy Retrieval: it may require a two card discard but still grabs the same four basic Energy cards.  If you don’t need the Energy added to hand, just out of the discard, Energy Recycler lets you transfer five basic Energy cards from the discard pile to your deck, or you can go with Super Rod to recycle three cards from discard to deck and they can be either basic Energy cards or Pokémon. 

Even though I just named a lot of competition, I believe there is still a place for Fisherman and surprisingly it is because it is a Supporter, not in spite of it.  Item locking effects are still a regular hazard so having a Supporter to fall back on can be a real boon.  Even when you do have access to Items, Fisherman has an advantage because VS Seeker is a staple (often maxed out) in decks and Battle Compressor is not an uncommon sight.  Just VS Seeker is important as a single Fisherman can become up to five, while Battle Compressor allows you to toss Fisherman and two basic Energy cards (hopefully while you already have another two in the discard pile) so that a VS Seeker can become Fisherman can become four basic Energy in hand.  You still need a reason for wanting that much Basic Energy in hand, but we’ve got a great example: Blastoise (BW: Boundaries Crossed 31/149; BW: Plasma Storm 137/135; BW: Plasma Blast 16/101)!  I’ve already seen it squeezed into the already crowded Deluge decks and at least a single copy seems to work well.  That doesn’t mean it’s the deck’s new most valuable play but when it wasn’t especially useful it wasn’t useless and when it was needed, it was a lifesaver. 

In Standard it may be even better; no Blastoise but we have Magnezone (XY: BREAKthrough 54/162), with a similar Ability to rain down multiple Basic Energy cards per turn (just [L] Energy this time).  If Magnezone can come through with a viable deck - Blastoise was restored to potency by Archie’s Ace in the Hole but Magnezone lacks an equivalent shortcut - then Fisherman is pretty important to it because it won’t have the Expanded-only Superior Energy Retrieval.  Besides the usual reason of “You’re not using your Supporter for anything else most turns.” Limited decks often have to run a lot of Energy and of multiple Types, to ensure you don’t run dry as you have less draw/search power.  As you usually don’t have a lot of draw/search, this can backfire when either you have the wrong Type of Energy on hand (even if you can use it for [C] costs, you might need it later for something specific) or just end up stuck drawing it turn after turn when you need something different.  Fisherman ought to let you get by with fewer Energy in the deck and with less of a concern about having to use the “wrong” Energy for a particular Pokémon. 


Standard: 3/5 

Expanded: 3/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Fisherman doesn’t have a flashy effect, but it is a familiar one that we already know how to use, give or take it being a Supporter and not an Item.  Those differences are both a strength and a weakness, but even if Fisherman doesn’t prove worth the space for Blastoise decks in Expanded and if Magnezone never takes off in Standard, it remains a solid card because we know that it can be useful under the correct circumstances.

Emma Starr

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