– Celestial Storm
October 15, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Apricorn Maker does what it says on the tin: search your deck for 2 item card with the word “Ball” in its name and put them onto your hand. This card is actually a reprint, first released on Skyridge and only received another print in Celestial Storm. With a variety of Poke Ball that made it in the Pokemon TCG, it is a good utility Supporter card. Here’s a list of Poke Balls in the TCG for Expanded (sorry, not counting Ball related cards in Unlimited, though Apricorn Maker would be overpowered with Luxury Ball and Dual Ball because that we’re some of the best Ball related cards in its time):
-Poke Ball: a coin flip; 50% chance to fetch a Pokémon.
-Great Ball: can look at top 7 cards of your deck for a possible Pokémon.
-Ultra Ball: discard 2 cards from your hand in order to get a Pokémon.
-Master Ball: can get any kind of Pokemon but it is a Ace Spec Card.
-Level Ball: gets a Pokémon with 90HP or less.
-Heavy Ball: gets a Pokémon with retreat cost of 3 or more.
-Team Plasma Ball: gets a Pokémon that is a Team Plasma Pokemon.
-Team Aqua Great Ball: ditto for team Aqua.
-Team Magma Great Ball: ditto for team magma
-Dive Ball: gets a water Pokemon
-Repeat Ball: gets a Pokémon that’s the same name as one of your Pokemon in play
-Nest Ball: puts a Basic Pokémon from the deck to the bench
-Timer Ball: for up to 2 coins, 50% chance to fetch an Evolution card
-Lure Ball: for up to 3 coins, 50% to put an Evolution card from the discard pile onto your hand.
-Friend Ball: fetches a Pokemon that’s the same type as one of your opponent’s Pokemon on play.
-Beast Ball: can fetch an Ultra Beast from the prize cards and put Beast Ball in the prize pile
-Net Ball: fetches a Grass Pokemon or Grass energy and put it onto your hand (incoming release)
So yup, that’s pretty much the scope of Poke Balls in the Expanded card pool. Even if Apricorn Maker isn’t a draw Supporter, you can fake being one by fetching Shaymin-EX to do its job.
Notes: Not something to run heavily, but at least it improves consistency instead of waiting to draw into a specific Ball related card.
Apricorn Maker (CES 124) returns to the Pokemon TCG after a more than ten year absence. Last seen in the Skyridge expansion set, this Supporter card allows you to go grab any two Ball cards – Ultra Ball, Nest Ball, Friend Ball, Happy Fun Ball, Schweddy Balls, maybe some spaghetti and meat balls….
IMO this card is better than Pokemon Fan Club because Fan Club goes and gets two Pokemon out of your deck – this goes and gets two additional cards, thereby helping to thin out your deck just a little bit more quickly. Also, you can go get two Ultra Balls, and – if you have an Oranguru or two on your bench – you’ll be able to get a few more cards as well with an Instruct or two.
This card is very versatile, and it’s what the game has lacked for the entire time I’ve been playing: a way to go get multiple non GX evolution Pokemon with a Supporter card. Zoroark GX players have figured it out – get Apricorn maker, a couple of Ultra Balls, and then start Trading away.
I’ve tried this with Timer Ball, but I’ve flipped double tails far too many times for me to continue playing that card. Plus, it’s theoretically flawed. There will be a number of times when you flip double heads but can only use a single evolution Pokemon. That’s when Timer Ball is a waste. I’ve been using Great Ball with my Greninja GX decklist, and it works pretty well if you’re able to hold off using it until you have 15 maybe twenty cards left in deck. And if you have all of your bench filled up with Basics, you can always grab a left over Nest Ball and use it as Ultra Ball fodder as well.
I’m sure Apricorn Maker will find its way into Lost Match March decklists as well, as the soon to be released Net Ball will let you grab a Grass energy and a Grass Pokemon. Overall, this is a good card to run in your deck if you have a good number of ball search cards and a non Supporter method of drawing cards.
Standard: 3 out of 5
You’ll find this in 22 of the 189 best finishing decklists from tournaments in the month of September – about 12% of the best decks. Those decks that ran it mostly employed only a single copy, although five of them ran more than a single copy. Only one of the top 77 decks played a single copy of it at Memphis (19th place).
And now it’s time to talk about Solgaleo-GX…what’s that? That was last week? Oh…wait, so what are we reviewing this week? Apricorn Maker? That guy from the Gen 2 games?…aight.
Apricorn Maker is a Supporter that simply says to search your deck for 2 Items and add them to your hand. Oh, and they have to be “Ball” Items. Jokes aside, this effect’s pretty good. You can grab Beast Ball for Ultra Beasts, Ultra Ball for most anything, Friend Ball in the mirror match – it’s pretty reliable for grabbing stuff to grab stuff, and at least you can use that stuff during your turn after you play this card.
So now you’ve got a search card for your search cards. Question is…how many do you play, if you play any? And that’s the general problem with Apricorn Maker – it’s not that he’s a bad Supporter, but there’s generally not a lot of room for a card like him. He’ll improve the consistency of a lot of decks that can run him, since he thins out the deck by upwards of 4 cards (the 2 Items he searches, plus the Pokemon that they’ll search in turn), but are there decks that would run him right now? There might be.
He’s pretty useful, so I can imagine him seeing a little play. Though it’s hard to justify a full playset of 4 – I think he’s better off as a 1-of or 2-of, depending on the number of Ball Items in your deck.
Standard: 3/5 (pretty good, just won’t always find a place in every deck)
Expanded: 3/5 (you need to be running Ball Items, and you need to be running enough to work with Apricorn Maker while not relying on him)
Limited: 3/5 (there’s actually some good Ball Items here – not great, but not bad either)
Arora Notealus: Apricorn Maker’s always been such a fascinating part of the Pokemon World. Can you imagine these devices being used to capture Pokemon being created from apricorns? Like of all things, why apricorns? Why not walnuts? Oak bark? Watermelons? And how do you use ancient methods to craft Pokeballs out of apricorns? So many questions…
Next Time: The ferocity of a renewed dragon!
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