Ancient Technical Machine [Rock]
– Hidden Legends
March 14, 2019
See Ratings Below
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Now this is something I’ve never physically owned.
It looks like a Pokémon Tool, but it’s not technically one. This is a Technical Machine! Which means that you can still attach a Pokémon tool! Just like in the games, it gives us an additional attack option to use. But in this case, this card only last for one turn and it can only be attached to Evolved Pokémon excluding ex Pokémon and Owner’s Pokemon (such as Brock’s Vulpix)! As for the attack, it gives you access to Stone Generator, which costs a single energy. What is does is if your opponent has any Evolved Pokémon, you remove the highest stage Evolution card from each of them and put them into their hand.
Devolving is a somewhat iffy tactic to perform because, in the case of today’s card, your opponent can simply evolve them back, and possibly reuse any coming-into-play abilities they might have. On the other side, devolving does reduce HP, and the difference between a Basic to Stage 1 Pokemon could be small or enormous. One example would be Rockruff having 60 or 70 HP while Lycanroc-GX has 200 HP. Additionally, if your opponent just used Rare Candy to skip from Basic to Stage 2, then devolving it can cripple your opponent, as they need an actual Stage 1 to evolve it and spend another turn waiting to evolve from Stage 1 to Stage 2.
So if you’re going to devolve several Pokémon, it is mostly for one reason, to knock them out! Let’s get back to the Rockruff example. Yes, it is true Lycanroc-GX has 200 HP. But you don’t have to apply for the full 200, just 60. Why? Because if you devolve a damaged Pokémon, you may have enough damage to automatically knock out the basic Pokémon because the damage now exceeds the max HP. Devolve a Lycanroc-GX with 60 damage? Rockruff is out of the picture!
Currently in the Expanded card pool, I can think of two examples that are similar to Stone Generator: Espeon-EX and Shining Jirachi. Espeon-EX’s Miraculous Shine does almost exactly what Stone Generator does albeit wording differences. Shining Jirachi’s Stellar Reign strips ALL stages of Evolution from the Defending Pokemon. Compared to Technical Machine Rock, assuming it got reprinted, you got three options: a once per turn deal from a item card that works only for Evolution Pokémon and possibly excluding EX/GX Pokemon, a splashable Pokemon that’s worth 2 prizes, or one that isn’t splashable or flexible. I would say Espeon-EX is the winner, but others may say otherwise.
N/A for Standard and Expanded
Note: My review for yesterday’s CotD went up, albeit late, yesterday. Feel free to check it out if you missed it!
Time to take us back in time with Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] (EX – Hidden Legends 85/101)! “Technical Machine” is more than a name; this is a mechanic introduced back in Expedition and last seen in PL – Rising Rivals. It has been almost 10 years since a Technical Machine card was released in the Pokémon TCG! Technical Machines are Item cards that you attach to a particular Pokémon but are not Pokémon Tools, nor does there appear to be a limit to how many Technical Machines can be attached to a single Pokémon. Most Technical Machines had attachment restrictions; in the case of Ancient Technical Machine [Rock], it could only be attached to one of your Evolved Pokémon excluding Pokémon-ex and Pokémon with an owner in their name. Pokémon-ex are the precursors to modern-day Pokémon-EX and Pokémon-GX, and actually have more in common with the latter, even though the former is spelled almost the exact same way. Pokémon with an owner in their name still pop up from time to time, like Ash’s Pikachu; both were pretty common at the time, so these were significant restrictions. Most decks were likely to have one or two Pokémon capable of equipping Ancient Technical Machine [Rock], however. You’ll also note that Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] discards itself at the end of your turn; most Technical Machines did that, with the exceptions being the last few Technical Machines released.
So, what attack does Ancient Technical Machine [Rock] grant a Pokémon? For [C] Energy the equipped Pokémon may use “Stone Generator” to bounce the highest Stage of Evolution from each of your opponent’s Evolved Pokémon back into your opponent’s hand. Mass forced devolution doesn’t seem like much, and it wasn’t… on its own. Your opponent could just re-evolve everything on his or her own turn unless you were preventing further evolution, your opponent had used Rare Candy to skip from Basic directly to Stage 2, and/or your opponent’s Pokémon were KO’d as devolving left them with more damage counters on them than their then-current max HP. Preventing your opponent from evolving wasn’t too big of a deal at that time, but the other two? This was a time when 2HKO’s were “fast”, when Stage 2 Pokémon were as good (or better) than the other Stages, and when Rare Candy worked the first turn a Pokémon was in play! It was also a time when it was plausible to sometimes hide an injured Pokémon on your Bench. It was a must-run for spread decks of that era, and some of the best decks at the time were spread. For everything else, it was nice if you had room and enough compatible Evolutions to bother, just because there were so many Stage 2 decks largely relying on Rare Candy. It wasn’t a staple, however.
This card is not being reprinted. It is not receiving a spiritual successor, an homage, or anything like that. It’d be a must-run for spread decks right now, even though it wouldn’t do much good against mostly or mono-Basic decks. It does tie into Battle Frontier, however… and we’ll look at the missing piece soon, schedule permitting.
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