Holon Researcher – Delta Species
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Throwback Thursdays brings in another Holon related card, this time being Holon Researcher! This is a Supporter which makes you discard a card from your hand first, then you get to search your deck for a Pokémon with the Delta Species symbol or a Metal Energy card. Now, the Pokémon search is straightforward, but as for the Metal energy, I think I am one of the guy who really wants to fetch for certain cards despite ruling uncertainties.
At the time there’s – for example – Special Metal Energy and Dark Metal Energy. The wording of Holon Researcher doesn’t say “Basic Metal Energy”; it just says “Metal Energy”, so I believe she should fetch for those two Special Energies. After all, both of those Special Energy cards has the Metal icon on the top right corner. Special Metal Energy can be attached to any Pokémon providing one unit of Metal Energy, but the extra benefit is that Metal Pokémon as it takes 10 less from attacks. Dark Metal Energy provides only one unit of energy, but covers the attack cost of either Metal or Darkness.
Now, if I am told that I can’t fetch for those special energies, then it’s no big deal. Holon Researcher is still a good search card in its time, even after using your Supporter for your turn. As I did not start playing the Pokémon TCG until June 2010, I’m drawing a blank on this card’s usage. I didn’t even own that card, so I actually have no idea if I’m allowed to search for those Special Energies. Energies aside, I’m sure there were valuable targets for Holon Researcher to search for.
Today we’re looking at Holon Researcher (EX – Delta Species 95/113), the next-to-last card in the “Holon Trainer Engine” (or just “Holon Engine”). These were a popular family of Trainers that drove many decks while legal, consisting of Holon Transceiver and a variety of Supporters with “Holon” in their names. Holon Transceiver is a Trainer-Item that lets you either add a Supporter with “Holon” in its name from your deck to your discard pile or from your deck. All the Holon Supporters had a common cost, beyond just your Supporter usage for the turn: you had to discard a card from your hand in order to play them. The rest of Holon Researcher’s effect is a choice: search your deck for a [M] Energy card or a Pokémon with δ on its card. In either case, show your opponent the card before adding it to your hand, and shuffle your deck after the search.
What is this “δ on its card” card thing about? The Holon Region is a Pokémon TCG-exclusive region. Simply put, it was created by the designers as an excuse to create Pokémon that were the “wrong” type, that is, a TCG type that did not match up with their video game type or types. This was used to help better balance out the amount of Pokémon from the different types against each other. Metal Pokémon saw their numbers dramatically increase from this, among others. Pokémon that were altered from their usual type(s) had “δ DELTA SPECIES” at the top of the card, between the name and the HP. So it was not actually part of the card name, and that is why this card’s effect is worded so oddly.
So, Holon Researcher is a Supporter that can either grab you any Pokémon δ (another term for δ Delta Species Pokémon) at a time when that was fairly relevant. This was long before Ultra Ball! Back then, this was decent, though we did have cards like Celio’s Network and the pre-errata versions of Great Ball and Master ball. As for the Energy search, basic Metal Energy did not exist at this time! This is a Supporter from the EX-series, the sets that correspond to Generation III of the video games. We didn’t get basic Metal Energy cards until the sets equivalent to Generation IV! Instead, we had a Special Energy card named “Metal Energy”. Its received some errata over the years, but at this time its effect meant it was a Special Energy that counted as [M] even when not attached to a Pokémon. When attached to a Metal Pokémon, that Metal Pokémon takes 10 less damage from attacks.
Now, most Metal Pokémon then – as now – had an attack or attacks requiring at least one [M] Energy to use. You had to use the Special Energy card named Metal Energy, or you had to use a different Special Energy card that could count as [M] while attached. These other Special Energy cards were not legal search targets for Holon Researcher. While Supporters didn’t typically draw as many cards back then, we still had some strong non-attack Pokémon-based draw and search, so there were alternatives to Holon Researcher. Which probably explains why it I only found one World Championship including Holon Researcher, as a single: Flyvees (2007). That is still proof of being a decent card, but I doubt Holon Researcher would have been there without the rest of the Holon Trainer Engine.
Obviously, this card is neither Standard nor Expanded-legal. If it were reprinted, only updating the card template, it’d be garbage; it could only snag basic Metal Energy, as the Special Energy card version of Metal Energy is long gone, as are δ Delta Species Pokémon. Even if they brought them all back, including the rest of the Holon Trainer Engine, this card would be very niche, maybe skipped; we just have better Pokémon search, and better general draw as well. If you somehow can play a Limited Format tournament using cards from EX – Delta Species, there are 35 δ Delta Species Pokémon in a 113 card expansion, plus the Special Energy card version of Metal Energy. As long as you get at least a few of those worth running, then so is Holon Researcher. Well worth it if you get the better ones.
- Standard: N/A
- Expanded: N/A
- Limited: 4/5
Holon Researcher hasn’t aged well, but she was decent back in the day. Which is close to what we said here, when we originally reviewed the card a little over 15 years ago.
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