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Yu Yu Hakusho
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Vs. System

Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day


Rescue Stretcher
- S&M: Guardians Rising

Date Reviewed:
June 7, 2017

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Standard: 3.63
Expanded: 3.38
Limited: 4.25

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

Back to the main COTD Page



Not really, but we have Rescue Strecher anyway. This is a card that provides *~OPTIONS~*, which is always nice for a card to have. Considering most non-Pokemon cards usually only have 1 function - either in terms of an effect they do or the Energy they provide - it's rare and worthwhile to investigate those cards that provide choice. The last card we had like that was Puzzle of Time, which needed to at least have 2 copies played simultaneously to access the second option. 

Rescue Stretcher doesn't need 2 copies to have both effects, which is already a plus for it in my opinion. Now it's just a matter of figuring the utility of its effects. You get to choose between either adding 1 Pokemon from your discard to your hand or up to 3 Pokemon from your discard to your deck. So it's all a matter of figuring out what's more useful to you. 

With adding a Pokemon from your discard to your hand, you can get anything you need at that moment - an attacker, a support Pokemon, a way to get to KO your opponent's Pokemon, a way to switch things around on your opponent, an evolution piece you need, anything! With adding 3 Pokemon back to your deck...well, you avoid decking out for a little bit. Sure, it'll take time to get whatever you throw in the deck, but if you're not in a super dire situation, you could get away with it. 

I dunno if Rescue Stretcher will be great in every deck...I'm not even sure people will have room for it in their current decks. It's useful, and it has options, though most of the time I imagine people wanting to go with option A over option B. Still, Rescue Stretcher shouldn't be overlooked, so try and keep it in mind when you're moving forward with your decks. 


Standard: 3/5 (who knows? getting a Pokemon back at the right time could be beneficial) 

Expanded: 3/5 (and there may be some use for getting multiples back into the deck) 

Limited: 4/5 (who can really say?) 

Arora Notealus: One thing I can say about this is though is that there are some MAJOR implications to it. I mean, why do we need a stretcher? Did something happen to one of our Pokemon that badly? What if it was just sent to the discard by Sycamore? In fact, what kind of implications could THAT be?! WHAT'S PROFESSOR SYCAMORE TOSSING POKEMON OUT LIKE USED NAPKINS FOR ANYWAY?!?! 

Next Time: Throwing ourselves back to the past with a card that...was actually banned?!


Rescue Stretcher (Guardians Rising, 130/145) hails from the Guardians Rising expansion set.  This card blends the functions of Revive (Evolutions, 85/108) Super Rod (Breakthrough, 149/162), and Revitalizer (Generations, 70/83).  Rescue Stretcher gives you two options: you may either place any one Pokemon in your discard pile directly into your hand or you may shuffle any three Pokemon from your discard pile back into your deck.

This card saw tremendous use this past weekend in both regionals in Madison and Birmingham.  I have watched quite a few matches from both these tournaments, and it seems like virtually every deck ran at least one copy if not two (the first place Drampa-GX (Guardians Rising, 115/145) Garbodor (Guardians Rising, 51/145) deck from Seattle ran two Stretchers and a Super Rod).  It goes without saying that the opportunity to bring any Pokemon back immediately into your hand can immensely help you continue your attacking strategy in evolution decks.  Like Revitalizer, it allows you to grab Stage 1 or 2 Pokemon and not just basics (although unfortunately only one), so if an evolution Pokemon is KO’d, you can reach into your discard, grab the evolution stage you need, and immediately evolve another Pokemon to continue attacking.  Even better than Revive, with Stretcher you don’t have to put the Pokemon directly back onto your bench, meaning that you can still use the abilities of Tapu Lele GX (Guardians Rising, 155/145) or Shaymin EX (Roaring Skies, 106/108) again. 

Rescue Stretcher hasn’t made Super Rod completely obsolete, however.  Many successful decks run one of both as Stretcher won’t help you bring energy back from your discard, but Stretcher has certainly found a place in many current top tier decklists.


Standard: 4 out of 5


I totally admit that I completely missed it on this card.  Of the three of us, only Otaku saw the value of Rescue Stretcher, ranking it as his number ten overall card.  In hindsight, that’s about where I would put it as well.  Clearly, its versatility gives you more options.  That’s actually what I took away from all the hours of matches I’ve watched over the past few days – top players build their decks to maximize their options.  Rescue Stretcher gives players options, including an ability that all decks not Grass have not had since rotation, and that’s what makes it such a valuable card.


So, continuing our first week of runners-up from counting down the Top 15 cards of the latest expansion, we have Rescue Stretcher (SM: Guardians Rising 130/145), our 18th place finisher.  This is another Item, so for better or worse, anything that applies to Item cards or Trainers applies to it.  It actually has two effects from which you get to choose one: either add a Pokémon from your discard pile to your hand or shuffle three Pokémon from your discard pile into your deck.  It also isn’t entirely new.  No, I don’t mean that the two effects are similar to other existing cards, but almost this exact card was released before, under a new name.  Pokémon Retriever (EX: Team Rocket Returns 84/109) has different wording, but the end result is the same, and is also a “Rocket’s Secret Machine” card.  The former made it hard to locate;  EX: Team Rocket Returns may be one of, if not my actual, favorite expansion but it also released nearly 13 years ago.  After several failed searches, I finally found a post by one “crystal_pidgeot” of PokéBeach that helped me find the right card.  The latter would only really matter in Unlimited play, where there are cards with effects that apply to “Rocket’s Secret Machine” cards.  You can check out the old review of Pokémon Retriever if you wish; I was part of the review team at this time and you’ll even see a lot of my trademark tendencies.  Including some I’ve abandoned because they are no longer needed, and I tend to run long enough as is. 

You also are fine if you skipped looking back because I’ll be repeating anything that needed repeating.  While we already have options like Super Rod shuffle three total Pokémon and/or basic Energy cards from discard pile to deck, or Buddy-Buddy Rescue to add a Pokémon directly from discard pile to hand (while forcing your opponent to do the same), Rescue Stretcher offers the flexibility of reclaiming several Pokémon by shuffling three into your deck or getting that one Pokémon you need and adding it directly to your hand.  Super Rod isn’t as big a deal for reclaiming basic Energy cards as it was while the second Buddy-Buddy Rescue can too easily backfire upon yourself, so now the only real question is do you need some Pokémon recycling, or do you need so much you can justify something like Karen?  Based on most competitive decklists, the answer is you’ll want Rescue Stretcher if you’re going to use any Trainer-based options.  Between Pokémon like Shaymin-EX (XY: Roaring Skies 77/108, 106/108), useful TecH options, or attackers you’re running heavily but still need to spam, this is just a really good effect right now.  The main reasons not to run it are you need the space for something vital to your deck, you’re really worried about Item lock, or you’re really worried about Garbodor (SM: Guardians Rising 51/145) and your deck would benefit from lowering its Item count. 


Standard: 3.75/5 

Expanded: 3.75/5 

Limited: 4.5/5 


I hope I’m not doing it again (see the Pokémon Retriever review), but this is a good card.  In any deck, the worst it will be is a suboptimal play.  Don’t get me wrong, including something that is less than the best choice for that particular deck can (and usually will) cost you wins, but Rescue Stretcher should almost always prove useful, except in situations where any Item or any Pokémon recycling card is going to struggle.  That doesn’t justify the score, however, it merely sets a baseline.  What spikes it to where it is are recent results and the decks that make excellent use of both options.  One copy is at least a loose staple, some decks are even making good use of two. 

Rescue Stretcher earned 11 voting points, one below yesterday’s Mallow and one above 19th place.  I had it as my 10th place pick and now wonder if I ought to have put it a bit higher.  With Item lock and possibly Garbodor already brought under control (though still relevant), my two of my three main reasons for not doing so no longer apply.  Given its recent performance where it isn’t being overshadowed by the options like Super Rod that preceded it, my third main reason for ranking it only 10th place also no longer applies.

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