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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Top 10 New Pokemon Cards of 2015

#2 - Trainer's Mail

- Ancient Origins

Date Reviewed:
December 29, 2015

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 4.25
Expanded: 4.25
Limited: 5.00

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Been a little while since we checked our mail, hasn't it? No? Just me?...I should really check that box more often. 

ANYWHO, Trainers' Mail is by and large one of the best Trainer cards out there today. It's like how stuff like Bicycle took off in terms of draw power, only in Trainers' Mail's case, it's more like adding more Trainers to your hand. Giving yourself the ability to use effects outside of Supporters always saves on room, at the very least, and at most it grants you the power to thin your deck out - something that gives consistency, which every competitive player should strive for with their decks! 

Sure, there are ways to shut down Trainers' Mail - Seismitoad-EX and Vileplume are the two big culprits that come to mind that can effectively keep Trainers from their Mail, thanks to its characteristic as an Item. This can make things very difficult for players if they rely too much on it, but thankfully it's not the only Trainer-getter - Skyla's around to help, but she does have the slight detriment of being a Supporter, making such searches, while extended to the entirety of the deck, ironically a bit more limited than the Mail call! 

Build your deck well enough though, and even Seismitoad-EX can't keep you from your Mail! 

...Vileplume might thought. 

Standard: 4/5 (a very good card to grab whatever you need!)

Expanded: 4.5/5 (retrieving Trainers has never been more valuable!)

Limited: 5/5 (thinning your deck is always worth it, even if it's just by a single card) 

Arora Notealus: So the Pokemon World doesn't really have mailmen, they have mail Pokemon. I know that cause it's clearly shown in a few episodes of the anime and hinted at in the games that there are Pokemon who get used to deliver the mail you keep buying in the PokeMart - DON'T THINK I CAN'T SEE YOU THINKING ABOUT SENDING FLOWER MAIL TO SOMEBODY!! I'M ONTO YOU!! 

Next Time: And the #1 card of 2015 is...unanimous!


The second best Pokémon TCG card of 2015 is… Trainers’ Mail (XY: Roaring Skies 92/108; XY: Ancient Origins 100/98)!  Originally this card finished in fourth place for our Top 10 list from XY: Roaring Skies because like with Sky Field, some of the reviewers just didn’t see how good it really was; yes I was one of them as I barely included it as my number 10 pick.  Ouch.  Trainers’ Mail is an Item that allows you to look at the top four cards of your deck and if you want, reveal a Trainer card you find there before adding it to your hand.  In my defense, Lysandre’s Trump Card had not yet been banned and Item lock decks (especially Seismitoad-EX) just seemed to be getting stronger and stronger.  Not that I predicted the specific abuse we saw between Seismitoad-EX, Lysandre’s Trump Card, a vast amount of Supporters and Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108; 106/108) so that you could basically throw your deck at your opponent up to twice in a single turn, with multiple turns of ripping through some or all of your deck before resetting it again and again. 

Why is a card that just gives you a chance of snagging a Trainer from the top four cards of your deck so good though?  Tying into what I didn’t see coming, for TCGs in general decks are a balancing act between reliability and versatility.  The former means running as many copies as you are allowed of your best cards, in addition to many draw, search and recycling card effects, while the latter focuses on running as many different cards as are needed to handle all the challenges a deck may face.  Trainers’ Mail helps with both of these, though more the former than the latter.  Decks have been, currently are and most likely will continue to be Trainer heavy so while you are only looking at the top four cards of your deck and yes you will whiff (either totally or at least for something worth grabbing) some of the time, a well built deck will often enough snag something worth playing if not that you really needed.  Though not to the level of Skyla (a Supporter) or Computer Search (an Ace Spec which required a two card from hand discard), Trainers’ Mail at least gives you a chance of pulling lower count cards (like but not limited to TecH) as well, hence slightly improving versatility through indirect means. 

As you have the option of taking no card with Trainers’ Mail, it is very useful for some well known combos; if you don’t find another Trainer worth grabbing a follow-up Shaymin-EX just draws an extra card, and while it can be used to grab VS Seeker or Archie’s Ace in the Hole/Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick it again proves useful as something you can safely play without having to add another card into hand, unlike say Acro Bike.  I cannot say with much confidence, but based on what I have seen of Standard and Expanded play (almost entirely based on PTCGO play as I haven’t been able to keep up with real world tournament results), Item lock is still a major part of Expanded and with only so much deck space in general, I find it harder to make room for Trainers’ Mail there.  As such I think Trainers’ Mail is just a little more useful in Standard than Expanded.  Unless you fail to pull anything, it is still a great pull in Limited as well. 


Standard: 4.25/5 

Expanded: 4/5 

Limited: 5/5 

Summary: Trainers’ Mail is a potent card that lessens the need to draw exactly what you need in a given hand.  With draw power that doesn’t shuffle the deck it effectively extends your reach by four cards, which lets you really dig deep as Professor Sycamore plus Trainers’ Mail means you can access a Trainer up to 11 cards in.  Even though it is so good I don’t know if it has reached “staple” territory yet, or perhaps it has and that is why some of my decks aren’t working as well; need to trim the fat and make room for it.  Even if I am not just making a terrible mistake and it is a luxury some decks can’t afford, it definitely functions in any deck and fairly well even if it isn’t the optimum choice, perhaps excepting Vileplume (XY: Ancient Origins 3/98) decks since you shut down your own Items as well.  So… it still scores phenomenally high. 

I had Trainers’ Mail as my second place pick… and everyone else’s as well, hence why out of three lists it scored 27 voting points.  It only lost out to tomorrow’s card by three points, but then again a card with 30 points had to top all three lists, so perhaps it wasn’t as close as it looks on paper.

Jason Klaczynski
(Three time
World Champ)

#2 Trainers’ Mail (Ancient Origins)

Decks that rely on playing a lot of trainers early in the game, such as Night March, or in Expanded, Blastoise decks like the one that won this year’s World Championships, rely on Trainers’ Mail to search out the key trainers they need, all while helping their deck find a crucial Turn 1 supporter.

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