Looker – Ultra Prism
March 14, 2018
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
SURPRISE IT’S ACTUALLY TWO CARDS HAHAHA NO SUBTLE HINTS THERE
Looker is a Supporter that draws 3 cards…from the bottom of your deck. In what universe would you wanna draw 3 cards from the bottom of your deck? I don’t know. It’s not something you’d normally think about, but it is a thing. At least with Oranguru from yesterday, you get the benefit of “stacking” those three cards to draw with Looker.
Looker Whistle lets you snag two copies of Looker from your deck and adds them to your hand. So now you’ve got an essential three-piece combo, using Looker Whistle to grab Lookers in your deck, Oranguru to put the cards you want back in, and Looker himself to actually draw those cards, maybe even the 3 before on the turn you use Looker Whistle. That is pretty decent thinning of the deck by about…5-8 cards (2 Lookers +3 cards per Looker, depending on you using Oranguru), but aside from using Oranguru, what’s the real benefit to a Looker Whistle-Looker combo that…can’t already be done by a better Supporter?
Sure, Looker draws 1 more card than most draw Supporters in the SM era, but those other Supporters usually have benefits. Even Pokemon Breeder, who is among the worst of them, still heals Pokemon. All Looker has going for him is…one card more. That and you can search him out with the Whistle, I suppose, but how many Whistles are you running? 1 for every 2 Lookers? 1 for every Looker? It’s hard to justify one without the other, and even then it’s hard to justify a pair of cards that thin your deck out by at most 5 cards on the turn they’re played.
On the other hand, Cynthia draws out 6 cards in the one turn you play her, and you only need her to play. Sure, it could be less than that if you have cards in hand that get shuffled back…but consider that you could play her when she’s the last card you’ve got in your hand. And you only have to play her.
Overall, Looker has niche use, and Looker Whistle in turn as well. There may be potential if more cards come out that put stuff at the bottom specifically, but until then, Looker is a bit limited especially compared to other Supporters.
Standard: 1.5/5 (a good deck-thinning trick and great to get to cards you wouldn’t draw otherwise most of the time)
Expanded: 1.5/5 (but generally there are better cards)
Limited: 4/5 (this format is an exception, as every bit of deck thinning is great)
Arora Notealus: Apparently his Japanese name is “Handsome”, which makes his English name more of a double entendre – not only is he a “looker” in the investigative gumshoe detective sense, but he’s also a “looker” in the figurative sense too…at least to some people, I guess. Dude looks kinda average to me. Or maybe that’s the point of the codename?
Side Review: Salazzle – Salazzle is a neat card for sure, but she’s extremely niche in her potential similar to Looker. She can nab any 2 cards from the deck with Nasty Plot, the only downside being that it’s your attack for the turn (which honestly makes it a HUGE downside), but with Severe Poison, she can present a relatively notable threat to any Pokemon with an extra 40 damage every turn. Since neither of these do damage on their own, it’s important to have another Pokemon be the heavy-hitter, since Salazzle clearly won’t do it herself. And I don’t think Salandits will cover for it.
Next Time: We’re not quite done looking at Looker yet though…
Looker makes another appearance in the TCG competitive scene. His latest appearance was Looker’s Investigation from Platinum. Actually, we’re looking at two cards today: Looker and Looker Whistle. Looker lets you draw three cards from the bottom of your deck, something most Supporters couldn’t do, which is unique. Looker’s Whistle fetches two Looker cards from your deck, so that you can use Looker if you wish, assuming you didn’t use up your Supporter for that turn. How much difference does that make for drawing from the bottom of your deck as opposed to from the top of your deck?
Very, very different! There are some cards whose trainers, attacks, or abilities reference putting at the bottom of your deck. Oranguru’s Resource Management puts three cards from your discard pile to the bottom of your deck, waiting to be drawn by Looker, except that you just used your attack. That attack also badly telegraphs your opponent by thinking that you would get those exact cards, so that player can try to respond by shuffling your deck such as N or Red Card (won’t always happen, though). I have yet to find a moment where you can actually do both putting cards from the discard to the bottom of your deck AND use Looker on the same turn. Oranguru is a near-miss, it could almost be helpful.
Looker cannot hope to compete against big draw supporters like Professor Juniper/Sycamore, N, or Cynthia, but it sets itself apart by doing the opposite way. At the moment, Looker will have some decent usage due to its niche, and Looker’s Whistle improves consistency…
…unless we somehow get a reverse Professor card that discards your hand and draws 7 cards from the BOTTOM of your deck, then that’s a different story!
Notes: Looker’s effect does resemble the personality of an investigator, looking at the bottom for clues, not flailing about stuff from the top. He’s been here since his debut on Platinum, and would probably continue to show up on every generation at any rate. He already showed up in BW (looking for Seven Sages from Team Plasma), XY (Lumiose Mission), ORAS (albeit giving you a Audinite, no side quest), and SM (Ultra Beast Mission).
Reverse Professor? Haha, that came out of nowhere. Though if anyone ask me which one is better (Sycamore or Reverse Sycamore), I say they’re equals. It’ll be ridiculous to have four of each!
Edit 1: Bump up the scores by one notch!
Looker (UP 152) stealthily snuck into the meta from the UP expansion set. This card allows you to draw three cards from the bottom of your deck. This card is closely tied to Oranguru (UP 114) as well as Looker Whistle (UP 127), a surprisingly underrated Item card that lets you grab two Supporters (good luck finding an Item card out there that’ll let you do that for any other Supporter… could you image an Item card that let you grab even a single Supporter?).
So building upon yesterday’s review, I scratched my head a little bit and thought, “Hmmm… what else could we pair with Oranguru / Looker. What other card would we love to play time and time again, over and over, multiple times every turn if we could? What other card out there is completely broken for Basic Pokemon, has completely shifted the game in their favor, has gone so far that even Tord Reklev suggested that it should be banned in a recent interview with Omnipoke?”
Yes, the card that the designers got backwards when they built it, this card should attach to Stage 2 (or at least evolution) Pokemon and not Basics, although it’s hard to believe, but this card is even more AMAZING with Oranguru / Looker. So then I said to myself, “Hmmm… what’s the baddest of the Big Basics, what card could absolutely abuse multiple Max Elixirs over and over again, what card just came out of UP with as much hype as any card since Shaymin EX?”
Cherubi (UP 10)!
Ok NOT Cherubi, clearly it’s DM Necrozma GX (UP 163). Here’s the list I used to go a smashing 9 W 1 L… and I completely misplayed on the last turn of the 1 loss. I promoted a Mew with two energy attached against a Garchomp when I had an energy in hand and would have drawn an Elixir from Looker that turn. Completely gaffed. And my DM Necrozma on the bench had a Float Stone attached. I had no idea what I was thinking, I just completely misplayed, otherwise I would have gone 10 W 0 L with this decklist.
Now in full disclosure, I only faced 1 meta deck – Volcanion – but I smoked that deck because the whole key here is to continually attack with Mew early on and don’t bring up Necrozma or Solgaleo Prism until late. Everything revolves around Mew. Use its versatility to choose attacks and take advantage of its free retreat to let your benched Pokemon collect energy from all those Elixirs that you’ll be streaming – one time I was even able to get three Elixirs in a single turn thanks to the Resource Management / Looker combo.
And Mew can easily use Radiant Star to get energy back on to other Mews or Solgaleo or Necrozma. Mew is very valuable and synergizes well with these cards. I am almost starting to think that this might just be the optimal Metalcrozma build.
Standard: 4 out of 5
So I just want to take a minute and thank you dear readers who come to this page every day and read our reviews while you’re eating breakfast, or sitting on the bus, or hanging out at soccer practice or ballet rehearsal or whatever you might be doing and sharing some of your down time with us. I think we’ve given you some really good deck ideas this week, ideas that you’re not getting anywhere else out there… I mean, where else are you going to get a suggestion for a reverse Sycamore? It blows my mind to think you could possibly get 3 cards from the discard and four cards in addition to that. Vince is a mad genius!
And we still have two more days to go this week! I’m not doing a review tomorrow because I don’t have a clue about Expanded (I play less Expanded than Tord Reklev), but Friday’s review might actually be the best of these disruption cards that we’ve seen this week.
Today we have a double review as we look at Looker (SM – Ultra Prism 126/156, 152/156) and Looker Whistle (SM – Ultra Prism 127/156). Both are Trainers, with the former being a Supporter that has you draw three cards from the bottom of your deck and the latter being an Item that has you search your deck for up to two copies of Looker and add them to your hand. Sadly, Looker Whistle cannot search for itself or any other card with “Looker” in its name; you cannot use one to grab another, and you cannot snag Looker’s Investigation – the original Looker card – though that wouldn’t matter outside of the Unlimited Format anyway. It also means, should we receive any more Looker-themed cards, Looker Whistle won’t be able to fetch them, either.
Supporters that could draw three cards go back to the very first wave of Supporters released, in the form of Bill’s Maintenance. That Supporter had you shuffle a card from your hand into your deck, then draw three cards. I recall it being seen as a little weak, even back then, and it just got weaker as more Supporters were released. What might surprise you is the card that easily outperformed it – TV Reporter – released only 15 months later, and she also had you draw three cards, BUT you discarded a card after instead of shuffling a card into your deck before the draw. Fast forward about eight years to the BW-era, and we received Cheren, a Supporter that had you draw three cards with no additional effect. Since then, each generation has gotten a Supporter with the same effect but themed after a different character. I don’t recall the specifics, but I think one of these “Draw 3” Supporters actually saw a tiny bit of successful competitive play, but it was fleeting. Compared to these cards, Looker has only two differences; draws off the bottom of the deck instead of the top, and having Looker’s Whistle. If Looker is going to actually prove useful, he’ll need to exploit one or both of these things.
As you know from yesterday’s review of Oranguru (SM – Ultra Prism 114/156) may be one such example of where Looker pays off. Oranguru has an inexpensive attack that stacks the bottom three cards of your deck with picks from your discard pile; used with a few more pieces, it can create a nasty lock and go for a slow win. I’ve not seen it place in any recent events, so I can’t tell if its just a popular troll deck, or an up-and-coming competitive deck. I suspect the former, but I won’t rule out the latter. This gives Looker and Looker’s Whistle a big bump in the score department, as this is still more than cards like Cheren can claim.
Even with it, I cannot rate the cards too highly; without such a combo – and there weren’t any others I found worth mentioning – you’re just getting the same underwhelming three cards of draw power without even having access to some of the tricks for manipulating the TOP of one’s deck. Having its own Item dedicated to searching it is worth a small boost… because that is ALL Looker Whistle does. If it also got them back from the discard pile, it might have been enough to make it all worthwhile in Standard. In Expanded, even with the changes, we’ve got so many better options for draw and I suspect the Oranguru deck won’t function as well. Enjoy these two in Limited Format play; weak draw power is far better than no draw power here, and you aren’t going to pull enough “good” draw cards to crowd out stuff like Looker. Even without Looker, Looker Whistle has a small use here; seeing and shuffling your deck!
Note: Like the other reviewers, this score reflects both cards, together. Drop the scores by 0.1 for Looker on his own, and just know that Looker Whistle scores much lower across the board. Pity it only can get the card from the deck and not both the deck and the discard pile.
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