Cram-o-matic – Fusion Strike
December 3, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Cram-o-matic (SW – Fusion Strike 229/264) is a Trainer-Item. Its effect lets you search your deck for a card (any card), then add it to your hand, shuffling your deck afterward. That sounds amazing! Too good to be true! Well, it is. What if I told you that this was a “tails fails” card? That you needed to flip a coin, and if “heads” you got that sweet search but if “tails”… Cram-o-matic did nothing? That… would actually still be a really good deal! There are some tails-fails effect that just aren’t worth it, but there are many like Crushing Hammer, Super Scoop Up, etc. that are worth the risk, give or take the specifics of the current metagame.
Okay, but what if I told you that Cram-o-matic required you discard an Item card from hand instead? That you couldn’t even play the card from your hand at all unless you tossed an Item card from your hand? Well, at first I thought that was awful, but then I remembered that there are some great cards that require you play two copies at once, either for their more desirable effect or for any effect at all, and at least some of those cards have proven great! So… this is like an easier version of that requirement; while some Items are TecH and some you run at three or even four copies, as long as they’re not overly useful at that moment, you can use them to pay for such a cost.
Cram-o-matic requires both! Yeah, that definitely hurts. There’s still that fantastic payout when Cram-o-matic works, but that means half the time you’re down not just two cards from hand, but two Item cards and Cram-o-matic did nothing. Would such a card still be worth it? I didn’t think so, and was shocked when Vince had this card in his Top 15 list. Well… just add this to the pile of times when ol’ Otaku was wrong. Cram-o-matic is already seeing competitive success. The best example is probably – you guessed it – Mew VMAX/Genesect V. Gensect V’s “Fusion Strike System” lets you draw until you have as many cards in hand as you have Fusion Strike Pokémon in play. Each instance of Fusion Strike System may be used once during your turn. The deck runs four Genesect V and usually zero non-Fusion Strike Pokémon…
…and a lot of Items. So you have both an incentive to rip through your hand and your deck and Items to spare. It is a natural, and apparently winning combination! It might even work in Expanded. No, not the Mew VMAX/Genesct V deck, but the same kind of approach. No examples of it yet, but there’s still a chance. My main concern is that, when Item-heavy decks begin to dominate, that usually means anti-Item decks will ascend and “balance” things out. Regardless, Cram-o-matic has proven itself in Standard and I’ll even give it some credit in Expanded.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 3/5
Editor’s Note: Vince had this as his 15th-Place pick.
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