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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day



 Reserved Ticket

- XY BREAKthrough

Date Reviewed:
January 4, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary


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

Back to the main COTD Page


Ahhhh, 2016. A new year of new possibilities and new and exciting cards! 

Which is why we're wrapping up the BREAKThrough set first. 

Starting off, we take on Reserved Ticket, a simple coin flip of a card that has a pretty neat effect. Effectively, this card gets you any card you need - Energy, Supporter, Item, Tool, Pokemon, anything! Whatever it is, you get it! 

...provided you flip heads. 

...and you don't mind waiting a turn, since it goes on top of the deck... 

Of course, there are numerous ways to just draw the card you've placed on top - Sycamore being the obvious candidate, but then there's stuff like Octillery from this set, Slurpuff from XY, Shaymin-EX, Bicycle, Colress, Cheren - freaking Cheren could draw whatever card you place on top! All you need to do is get it out of your deck and on top...and that's determined by a coin flip. 

If you don't have a card draw, it's not going to be a terribly huge problem in Standard, since we don't tend to have "shuffle your opponent's deck" type of cards there, but Expanded runs N, which is notorious for shuffling your opponent's cards back into their deck (as well as your own). This can reverse the good that Reserved Ticket brings, if it brings it, and makes it a bit more chancy in this format. 

Overall, Reserved Ticket is a bit of a toss up, since most decks that would run it don't want to be giving their spaces towards an Item that doesn't always pull through. Decks will want to run cards that can get them what they want, when they want them. It's why cards like Skyla, Ultra Ball, Trainers' Mail, and even Archie's/Maxie's are good - you get instant payment and minimal cost for what they do. Reserved Ticket just sets things up like a reservation at a nice restaurant. 

And even then, you might find the seating's full cause you came too late.


Standard: 2.5/5 (a chancy card with good payoff...if you're successful) 

Expanded: 2/5 (N's presence alone - never mind that he's run in a majority of the decks here - will cripple this card's appeal) 

Limited: 3.5/5 (50/50's worth a shot here, since there aren't really cards that can mess you up, and in fact there are cards that can benefit from this effect!)

Arora Notealus: Moral of this story - always arrive on time for your reservations.

Next Time: Let's kick some ice!! :D


Our first review for the new year is Reserved Ticket (XY: BREAKthrough 147/162) is proving far more difficult to review than I expected.  Why?  It is a Trainer, specifically an Item: the good news is that Items are so easy to play… until you crash into an Item lock effect, which is the bad news.  Still, you won’t have to pace them as a once-per-turn thing like Supporters or Stadiums, though like both of them competition for deck space is fierce.  Reserved Ticket allows you to search your deck for a card, set it aside, shuffle your deck and then finally put the selected card on top of your deck… if you flip “heads”; if you flip “tails” it does nothing. 

On its own, the effect isn’t that impressive even when you flip “heads”.  It is nice to get exactly what you set-up for the next turn, but situations can change pretty quick: it takes skill and luck (or just a lot of luck) to make sure something particular good is prepped for the next turn.  If you or your opponent uses any effect that shuffles your deck, you lose the benefit of topdecking a particular card (though at least you still got to peek at your deck and thin your hand, should those be relevant).  So… how about not using it on its own?  A compatible form of draw or search power makes a successful Reserved Ticket amazing: ensure you have exactly what you wanted to draw (or discard) with Acro Bike, ensure Trainers’ Mail snags the Trainer you needed most, etc.  Obviously drawing (so long as it doesn’t alter your deck order) provides a natural combo but as you simultaneously thin your hand by a card, “draw until you have X cards in hand” effects enjoy added synergy.  There are also the various effects that work if you have a specific card on top of your deck, like Ether or certain attacks (usually revealing and then discarding that card). 

Other than thinning your hand, all of that only applies on “heads”.  Your exact performance will vary: few people will actually find themselves constantly alternating between a perfect split between “heads” and “tails” and a split that is one away from being perfectly balanced but few people will get significantly vary from an “average” performance, especially as the sampling size increases.  There is also the misleading nature of “success” in a TCG; sometimes a card or effect technically works but the nature of the situation makes it less meaningful.  For example, failing to get “heads” when you use Reserved Ticket immediately before Professor Juniper or Professor Sycamore means you’re no worse off than if you had not used that copy of Reserved Ticket at all and just discarded it with the rest of your hand.  If you were trying to discard cards from hand and didn’t need anything particular off of your new draw, success hardly mattered as well.  Sometimes you’ll need a particular card but it will be Prized (or already used); again suddenly “heads” didn’t matter as much.  Little things like this are almost a nitpick, but I’ve met enough players - some otherwise quite skilled - who have overlooked such things. 

I’ve been forced to acknowledge a mistake recently; for a while I’ve oversimplified the situation with “tails fails” and similar coin-flip based effects.  I don’t much care for them as if the effect is not “worth the risk” of the card doing nothing (or getting the less desirable effect), it amounts to fancy filler but with the chance of something later coming along and either breaking or being broken by it, while one generally wants a near broken effect to justify a card that has a 50% chance of whiffing built into it.  I didn’t think cards that fell somewhere between “awful” and “awesome” were all that likely, but they do exist.  It is just a lot of them still seem abusively potent and are mostly “in between” because the field is so crowded.  Instead of being “balanced” they are just “less broken”.  See cards like Crushing Hammer and Super Scoop Up, which are hardly deck staples but definitely have a place in certain builds, including being a major part of why the deck works (or at least worked at one time).  Right now, I’m just not sure where Reserved Ticket ought to fall in the spectrum.  Perhaps it is just a bit better in Standard where the card pool is smaller and thus there might be a touch more room.  Decks that already run several compatible combo cards ought to experiment with Reserved Ticket, but in the end for all but Limited I think most would rather something that reliably got them a card or helped them counter something the opponent’s deck is doing.

In Limited it is most likely a must run but you’ll notice the score doesn’t suggest that, at least when compared with past scores.  For the last few months I realized that my scoring was too misleading; a card that was really only a small help might get a “must run” rating (or at least a score suggesting that) simply because of how Limited play works.  What would be considered a “win more” card you ran only because you real deck had space left over and you pulled something that would help in some circumstances but wasn’t vital… that shouldn’t be scored as high as something that you just need to run period.  So… if you end up with a deck of largely interchangeable Pokémon and Basic Energy cards, still include this for when it turns out they are not interchangeable as well as for deck thinning and a chance to see the contents of your deck.  When Reserved Ticket does work, it will make any lucky pulls you are running a little more reliable. 


Standard: 2.5/5 

Expanded: 2.25/5 

Limited: 4/5 

Summary: I want to brush Reserved Ticket off as the kind of card that is just too temperamental to bother with but there have been enough Items I’ve underestimated that I’m tempted to give it a try… when I find a deck that has room for more cards.

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