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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Fossil Excavation Kit

- Fates Collide

Date Reviewed:
June 6, 2016

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 1.5
Expanded: 1.5
Limited: 1.88

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

Back to the main COTD Page


Dusting off our old hats, we venture forth into the depths of the ruins in order to find the lost fossils of ancient Pokemon from an era long gone. Welcome back, explorers, and prepare yourselves for Fossil Week! We're gonna be covering all the new Fossil Pokemon cards that came out alongside Fates Collide this week, but we must prepare ourselves accordingly! After all, who knows what dangers lurk in the field of archaeology!! 

...okay, not that many, but it's good to be prepared anyway. 

And that's where we come to Fossil Excavation Kit, our first card of the week! Using this Kit lets you take any combination of two of the three cards - Helix Fossil Omanyte, Dome Fossil Kabuto, and Old Amber Aerodactyl - and put them into your hand from your discard pile. Now for any new cadets unfamiliar with the new mechanics, Fossil Pokemon are now known as Restored Pokemon, thanks to the mechanic revision in the Black & White sets. The Fossils no longer act as a Pokemon to put on the Bench but rather act like a reverse Great Ball of sorts for the Pokemon in question. For instance, Helix Fossil Omanyte searches out the bottom seven cards of your deck for an Omanyte card and lets you play it onto your Bench for free! 

So in short, the Kit helps you cycle back these Fossil cards, which in turn allow you to try again to bring out your Restored Pokemon. Now there are some cards like Caitlin that make this process easier, but as a whole, this card can only do so much. If it allowed you to look up any Fossil card (or Old Amber Aerodactyl) and add any combination of two to your hand, then it could have a broader outreach to other decks and such, but as it stands it's just a half-hearted way of making things like Omastar and Aerodactyl more consistent...by just giving you more chances. 

Unless you're running one of the Pokemon that are on those Fossil cards, you can probably give Excavation Kit a skip, but if you're aiming to bring out a great beast from ancient times, might I also suggest taking a look at what Maxie and Archie are up to? 


Standard: 1.5/5 (the card itself has limited use and potential, and that's not even looking at who it helps) 

Expanded: 1.5/5 (which the typings give away that you've got better options for your guys anyway) 

Limited: 2/5 (still, at least it's got...some good qualities?) 

Arora Notealus: Regardless of the card's practical usage in the TCG, an excavation kit is still a very vital asset to digging up fossils! You have to take great care not to damage them, or else they won't be held up as high in value when you're shipping them off to the Natural History Museum! And besides, we've gotta have the best stuff there. 

Next Time: Our first specimen demonstrates its cutting prowess with its arms...


Welcome to Fates Collide Fossil Week, because no one asked for it but I felt like having a theme anyway. 

First up is Fossil Excavation Kit (XY: Fates Collide 101/124).  This is an Item that allows you to add two copies of Dome Fossil Kabuto, Helix Fossil Omanyte, or Old Amber Aerodactyl.  You could instead add a combination (still limited to two) from among those three cards.  Now it is really important to understand what those three cards do: each is itself an Item that allows you to search through the bottom seven cards of your deck for a copy of the named Pokémon (Kabuto, Omanyte, or Aerodactyl, respectively) and put them into play.  This is the same mechanic introduced in BW: Noble Victories so that Cover Fossil could put Tirtouga and Plume Fossil could put Archen into play.  Not every Pokémon that (in the video games) are the result of SCIENCE!™ reviving them from fossilized remains have been given the “Restored Pokémon” treatment, but those that have appeared since the BW-era sets have.  As you cannot put Restored Pokémon directly into play without another card effect, running out of that card (and thus its effect) is a serious concern and unlike with just Benching a Basic or Evolving into a Stage 1, this can whiff, completely failing to even get you a Restored Pokémon.  So if all copies failed, you either needed another method to play Restored Pokémon or something to recycle Items, and that last one hasn’t often been easy.  Until now; Fossil Excavation Kit gives you two more chances to get Restored Pokémon into play.  So that makes it a good card? 

No.  Various Pokémon in the video games have gone extinct in the wild (usually in prehistoric times) and are only able to be obtained thanks to SCIENCE!™ cloning new ones from ancient DNA samples.  Unless overridden by another game mechanic - like when we received Aerodactyl [GL] (PL: Rising Rivals 55/111) as a Basic Pokémon SP - these Pokémon have never been allowed to simply be Basics.  The original three way back in Fossil (third set released in North America) all were Stage 1 cards that Evolved from Mysterious Fossil, a Trainer that has received numerous updates and corrections over the years.  All such subsequent Pokémon ended up getting their own specific Fossil card from which to Evolve, until the BW-era when Restored Pokémon were introduced.  This is very creative, somewhat flavorful, and have never really been a good idea.  Some of these cards have been amazing, but as you can tell by the previous mechanic having been abandoned after spending over a decade trying to refine it, this probably wasn’t the best idea. 

So getting back to the present, the current Restored Pokémon mechanic hasn’t fared much, if any, better.  Probably has been worse, honestly.  Nothing in game distinguishes the Stage 1 Pokémon which happen to Evolve from Restored Pokémon from other Stage 1 Evolutions, so they only get the same support as everything else.  Which normally would be a good thing, except again, this really awkward mechanic for getting their lower Stages into play is a problem.  It is bad enough when a Stage 2 suffers because Item lock is blocking Rare Candy, but Item prevents Restored Pokémon from hitting the field using their official default mechanic.  We do have at least one example of a Stage 1 which Evolves from a Restored Pokémon that has seen significant success in competitive play, and that is Archeops (BW: Noble Victories 67/101; BW: Next Destinies 110/108.  However it did this through Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick.  For most of these cards, that is the case; only a few can’t use Archie’s Ace in the Hole or Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick to hit the field.  Amaura and Tyrunt also have Fossil Researcher to snag them directly from the deck and Bench them, while any Restored Pokémon can take a chance with Twist Mountain.  The Stadium can only be used once per turn and requires a coin flip as well, but on “heads” you get to Bench a Restored Pokémon from hand. 

Fossil Excavation Kit helps out the various Restored Pokémon stuck relying on their specific Fossil card or Twist Mountain, but it doesn’t help them by a lot.  The bottom seven cards of your deck is a lot, but unlike say Max Elixir and Basic Energy cards, at most you’ll have four targets in your deck for the effect.  In any Format, if you insist on using something which has to rely on one of these Fossil cards to get into play, go ahead and run Fossil Excavation Kit (assuming you also pull it in Limited).  Mostly I would just avoid those Pokémon and stick to the ones that have a better shortcut. 


Standard: 1.5/5 

Expanded: 1.5/5 

Limited: 1.75/5 

Summary: The Restored Pokémon mechanic is burdensome.  This is one of the many things fans should be telling the-powers-that-be need to be fixed (or at least abandoned for the next generation).  Fossil Excavation Kit technically helps, but not enough to really matter.

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