Holon Scientist – Delta Species
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
At long last, we come to the final card in the Holon Trainer Engine. If you’re just joining us, the Holon Trainer Engine (or Holon Engine) is a series of Supporters tied together by one incredible Item card, Holon Transceiver. That metagame defining card gives you the choice between adding a Supporter with Holon in its name from your deck or your discard pile to your hand. The Holon Supporters all require you discard a card from your hand in order to play them, and have a variety of effects. Here’s what we’ve already covered, both the original review(s) and the Throwback:
- Holon Transceiver (Original, Throwback)
- Holon Adventurer (Original, Throwback)
- Holon Farmer (Original, Throwback)
- Holon Lass (Original, Throwback)
- Holon Mentor (Original, Re-review, Throwback)
- Holon Researcher (Original, Throwback)
- Holon Scientist (Original)
Holon Scientist (EX – Delta Species 97/113) is today’s subject. His specific effect is that, if you have fewer cards in hand than your opponent, you draw until you have the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent. You can check here to find the ruling which states you cannot play Holon Scientist unless you’ll draw at least one card. Which means you cannot play Holon’s Scientist if your opponent’s hand is two or more cards smaller than your own. Yes, two cards; thanks to requiring you discard a card in order to play it, your hand size immediately drops by two at that point. So, even if your hand is one card larger immediately before playing Holon Scientist, when it is time to draw it will be one card lower.
If you read the original review, you’ll see the two reviewers for that day didn’t think much of this effect… yet one mentioned it was a one-of for the Holon Engine. Which makes sense, even if you weren’t there. Cards like Copycat are all about your opponent having a large hand, while cards such as Lillie are about shrinking your own to improve its yield: Holon Scientist requires both. Fortunately, such an occurrence isn’t as uncommon as I may have just made it sound. Most decks, both then and now, had some strong draw power. It was just a matter of your opponent having just used some without having been able to play a lot of cards after, and you having an already small hand, or one you can effectively thin. You’ll be down at least two cards just from using Holon Scientist!
Copycat was a contemporary of Holon Scientist, and if you were not running the Holon Engine or trying to build a combo in hand, its clear superior. Copycat won’t let you build a combo in hand, but if you’re doing that then Holon Scientist isn’t going to draw as much, anyway. What Copycat will let you do is shuffle your hand away, regardless of whether it is large or small, and try for a new hand equal to your opponent’s. If your large hand is currently useless, better a chance at drawing something than none at all, though if your opponent is top decking, neither card is drawing you anything. It is when you factor in the combos with Holon Transceiver and company, however, that Holon Scientist proves itself. Ambush your opponent if they do get a larger hand, or have a decent source of non-shuffling draw power if their hand is only a little bigger than yours.
We don’t have a good record of the top performing decks of this era, but we can at least look at the World Championship decks from the time when Holon Scientist was Standard-legal.
Yeah, Holon Scientist (along with the rest of the Holon Engine), show up in all four World Championship decks from 2007, plus one from 2006. Just one of these ran two copies, the rest were find with just a single Holon Scientist and four Holon Transceiver to search and/or recycle it (or any of the other Holon Supporters). That’s actually pretty good in my book.
What if Holon Scientist was legal now? Enter the Expanded-legal Battle Reporter. This Trainer-Supporter lets you draw until you have the same number of cards in hand as your opponent. Not having to discard a card from hand means you can still use Battle Reporter if it is your only card in hand, but it also means you can’t reduce your hand size even a tiny bit immediately before drawing. Its real problem, however is… he’s all on his own. Battle Reporter isn’t part of a related family of effects, which is why he rarely, if ever, saw real success in competitive play. Even with VS Seeker in the same Format, which was the case when it was Standard-legal as well, Battle Reporter was disappointing. If we got the full Holon Trainer Engine back, then maybe a modern reprint of Holon Scientist would be worthwhile, but both its own effect and the effects of most of its colleagues aren’t what they used to be in terms of quality.
If you can somehow afford to use such old cards for a Limited Format event, and can actually get such a thing going right now, Holon Scientist is a pretty good pull. While thinning your own hand won’t be easy, that applies to your opponent as well. If you pull Holon Transceiver, even just for Holon Scientist you’ll be far better off.
- Standard: N/A
- Expanded: N/A
- Limited: 4/5
I hope you enjoyed our extensive look at the Holon Trainer Engine. Holon Scientist isn’t the highest note to end on, but it ended up being a good, solid Supporter. Looking back, it probably deserved a solid three-out-of-five.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉
Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 3500 Pokemon cards over the last 17+ years!