– Delta Species
October 29, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Holon Farmer is the next in the Holon Trainer Engine series. If you’re just joining us, “Holon Trainer Engine” or “Holon Engine” is a fan term for a collection of related Trainer cards. It can be misleading, because there are a few Trainer cards with “Holon” in the name that are not part of this Trainer Engine. The focus is the Item card “Holon Transceiver”, which lets you choose: snag a Supporter card with “Holon” in its name from either your deck or your discard pile. The rest of “the Engine” are the Supporters you could target with Holon Transceiver. Today, we look at Holon Farmer. If you turn your head and squint, I suppose it barely fits our Halloween theme.
Holon Famer, as already implied, is a Trainer-Supporter. As with all older Supporters, Holon Farmer states you place it beside your Active Pokémon when you use it, then discard it at the end of your turn. Ignore that; this is how Supporter cards originally worked, and the text is no longer enforced. The other Holon Supporters, its text states you must discard a card from your hand in order to play the card; this does still apply. The rest of Holon Farmer’s effect says you shuffle three basic Energy cards and three Pokémon from your discard pile to your deck. It actually is worded in a much clunkier manner; they used to specify “Basic or Evolution” in an attempt at being less confusing, but especially after they introduced some Pokémon which were neither, it became more confusing.
This is a familiar effect for a Supporter. The first Supporter like this was Town Volunteers, which let you shuffle five Pokémon cards or basic Energy cards or a combination of both into your deck from your discard pile. Town Volunteers would get a pseudo-reprint in the form of Palmer’s Contribution; very different wording, but the same effect. After that would come Flower Shop Lady, which also lets you shuffle three basic Energy cards and three Pokémon from your discard pile into your deck; there’s no discard cost or equivalent to Holon Transceiver for her, though. Eventually, we got the insane recursion of Lysandre’s Trump Card, which shuffled both players’ discard piles back into their respective decks, excluding copies of itself. After this was banned, we got the slightly less crazy Karen, who does the same thing except only for Pokémon. Most recently, we have Brock’s Grit, which lets you shuffle six basic Energy cards or Pokémon or a combination of both from your discard pile back into your deck.
Where does Holon Farmer fit into all of that? It was released after Town Volunteers but before Palmer’s Contribution. The original review for the card is… different. I can’t complain; this was a very busy time in my life so I had to miss a lot of reviews, and this was one of them. Anyway, we only have a review for Unlimited, even though this was about five years into the Modified (Standard) Format, and Unlimited was a seldom-used Format. I remember Holon Farmer seeing some use, but I also remember a lot of decks skipping it, either using another effect for Pokémon and/or Energy recycling, or just doing without. If we check the World Championship decks, only Suns & Moons (2006) and Swift Empoleon (2007) bother using it, even though they were not the only decks running on the Holon Engine. It actually isn’t too different from the present; Brock’s Grit is not everywhere for a reason; giving up your Supporter to shuffle Pokémon and/or Energy back into your deck, even when it is for six of them, is still often a bit pricey.
In the unlikely event you’re able to not only get a Limited Format event up and running but are also using such old packs, Holon’s Farmer is a very good pull. Unlike in the regular game, you’ll often see your Supporter usage go to waste, you may be running a lot of Pokémon singles, and you’ll probably have to include a lot of filler in your deck. Well, unless your pulls are spectacular. However, the fact you did not have the same kind of draw and search meant it was quite possible you’d recycle something only to never actually use it. If the Holon Trainer Engine were revived or homaged, Holon Farmer might actually still work. It would be inferior to Brock’s Grit, of course, but having your own Item-based search and recycling for your Supporters is amazing.
Holon Farmer is a decent card, but it really counted on being part of the Holon Engine back in the day to prove worthwhile. Where it was used, it was almost always as a single, in a deck using the other Holon Supporters, and in many decks it wasn’t included at all.
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