Imposter Professor Oak – Base Set
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
This Throwback Thursday, we need to discuss English being… English. We’re looking at Imposter Professor Oak. I mean, Impostor Professor Oak. They’re the same card, but there is a subtle difference in the name, whether the first word ends with “or” or “er”.
- The Base Set 73/102 1st Edition printing uses “or”.
- All other Base Set 73/102 printings use “er”.
- Base Set 2 102/130 uses “er”
- The Celebrations reprint is based on the non-1st Edition printing from Base Set.
Both spellings for the word are correct in English. Historically, the “or”spelling is slightly older from what we can tell, and tends to be the preferred spelling, but the “er” spelling is more common in some English-speaking parts of the world and still considered correct. As TPCi seem to have picked the “er” spelling, I will use that for the rest of the review. Well, attempt to use it. Spellcheck is fine with either spelling, and I tend to default to the “or” version myself.
Sadly, that might be the most interesting part of this review. Imposter Professor Oak is a “normal” Trainer, meaning it functions – and was retroactively classified as – an Item card. Its effect forces your opponent to shuffle their hand into their deck, then draw seven cards. This was… not good. Sure, there was a small chance you could force your opponent to deck out, but that would require your opponent have less than seven cards total between their hand and deck. Yes, the early days of they game had insane draw and search power, with the original non-Supporter version of Bill, the original non-Ace Spec version of Computer Search, Professor’s Research in the form of an Item via Professor Oak, and Dowsing Machine as a non-Ace Spec thanks to Item Finder. There was even a lack of good card recycling options all the way until Team Rocket, the fifth set released in North America but…
…yeah, decking an opponent out just wasn’t likely. Okay, but forcing your opponent to shuffle away their hand was still disruption, right? Technically, but remember those three cards I just listed? Odds were good your opponent would draw at least one card that could keep their deck flowing. If they weren’t saving up anything in particular in their hand, you’re probably just helping your opponent. It could just be because it has been long enough for me to forget, and because I only did a few quick searches, but I don’t remember Imposter Professor Oak being a worthwhile inclusion while it was legal. I used to wonder why they didn’t just design it so that it discarded your opponent’s hand… but I finally did the math quick and realized mill decks would probably be the only competitive deck, given the cardpool.
- Standard: N/A
- Expanded: N/A
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