Holon Transceiver
Holon Transceiver

Holon Transceiver
– DS

Date Reviewed:
September 24, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: N/A
Expanded: N/A
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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Holon Transceiver (EX – Delta Species 98/113) is a Trainer-Item, though at the time it was just referred to as a “normal” Trainer.  Its effect lets you fetch the Supporter with “Holon” in its name from your deck or your discard pile: just one Supporter, not one from each!  Depending on what Holon supporters are like, Holon Transceiver could vary from awful to awesome.  I am thinking we will – sooner or later – look at the Holon Supporters in detail, but for now, here’s a quick rundown:

  • Note that all Holon Supporters require you discard a card in order to use them.
  • Holon Adventurer (EX – Holon Phantoms 85/110) has you draw three cards, or four cards if the card you discarded to play Holon Adventurer was a Pokémon with δ on it.
  • Holon Farmer (EX – Delta Species 91/113) lets you shuffle three basic Energy cards and three Pokémon cards from your discard pile into your deck (six cards total).
  • Holon Lass has you count the total number of Prize cards remaining (both yours and your opponent’s).  You then look at a number of cards from the top of your deck equal to the total number of Prize cards remaining.  You may add any Energy you find their to your hand, but you must show your opponent that Energy card (or those Energy cards) before adding them to you hand.  Afterward, shuffle the cards you didn’t (or couldn’t) select back into your hand.
  • Holon Mentor lets you search your deck for three Pokémon that (each) have less than 100 HP, then add them to your hand.
  • Holon Researcher let you search your deck for a [M] Energy card or a Pokémon with δ on its card and add it to your hand.
  • Holon Scientist let let you draw until you had the same number of cards in your hand as your opponent.

Most – maybe all – of these don’t sound that great in the modern game, but you need to understand some things about that time.

  1. This is the modern game less 15 years or so of power creep.  The draw and search yields for these cards varied from “decent” to “good”.
  2. Basic Pokémon rarely had more than 100 HP unless they were Pokémon-ex; Basic Pokémon-ex did not exceed 120 HP while evolved Pokémon-ex did not exceed 200 HP (and other than Wailord-ex, had no more than 160HP).
  3. [M] Energy did not refer to basic Metal Energy cards, as those weren’t introduced until about a year and a half later.  Instead, it referred to the special Energy card also named Metal Energy.
  4. Pokémon δ or δ Delta Species were the fresh, new gimmick.  They are Pokémon that with the wrong type, with “δ Delta Species” printed between the card’s name and its HP.  They have the same names as “normal” Pokémon, and count as such for evolution purposes; you can even go back and forth between regular and δ versions of the evolution line.

Most Holon Trainers were a bit weaker their the contemporary non-Holon counterparts… but being compatible with Holon Transceiver meant they were often better overall.  Which is why so many decks ran on the “Holon Trainer Engine”.  The following World Championship decks ran at least partially on the Holon Trainer Engine:

  • Flyvees (2007)
  • Legendary Ascent (2007)
  • Rambolt (2007)
  • Suns & Moons (2006)
  • Swift Empoleon (2007)

Yes, all 2007 picks used it, but by 2008 Holon Transceiver (and most of its targets) were no longer Standard-legal.  VS Seeker was legal for the 2006 Standard Format, but for some reason, it was not a 4-per-deck staple.  Nowadays, VS Seeker makes it easy to explain what made Holon Transceiver great: in exchange for only working with a “decent to good” selection of Supporters, it was a VS Seeker that could get your Supporter from your discard pile or your deck.  You had to have all your Supporters stuck in your Prizes or already in your hand for Holon Transceiver to “whiff” completely.

The Pojo CotD crew reviewed this card once before, but this appears to have been during a time when I was more “miss” than “hit” as there is no review for me.  Seems like they understood how good this card was, so no worries.  Not that I can remember from back then, but I’m pretty sure this was a great pull in the Limited Format; at worst, you used it just to get a peek at your deck, so you could work out your Prizes.  If you had any Holon Supporters, you still got to see your deck, but then you could get a Supporter in hand.  This was back when you only got to use the contents of six booster packs (plus however many basic Energy cards you needed) to build your 40 card deck for a Pre-Release.


  • Standard: N/A
  • Expanded: N/A
  • Limited: 4/5

Straight-up reprints of the Holon Trainer Engine would be poor in the modern game but because power creep has left nearly all the Supporters lagging behind.  One or two might still be decent, but especially the draw power is not.  A reprint of Holon Transceiver with new and/or updated Holon Supporters, even keeping the trend of them being slightly nerfed versions of contemporary Supporters would probably work well.  The same for a family of Trainers aping how the the Holon Trainers worked.

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