– Sword & Shield
February 29, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Details: Lucky Egg seems to be one of the most sought after item due to boosting the EXP by 1.5. The method of getting it, however, varies from game to game. While Professor Juniper would hand one to you, other games force you to encounter a wild Chansey and hope you have a Pokémon with the Thief attack to get that Lucky Egg. Sadly in Generation V, items received from Thief, Trick, and other means didn’t carry on after battle, so even if you grabbed the Leftovers, you didn’t get Leftovers (tested on B2W2). So looks like you’ll have to get those items the hard way.
Anyhow, Lucky Egg makes another return to Standard. It’s debut appearance is in Platinum Arceus. Despite this card being over 10 years old, the effect is still the same. If the Pokémon holding this tool is knocked out, you get to draw cards until you have 7 cards in your hand. With the draw at the beginning of your turn, you’ve got 8 cards to work with at the expense of your opponent already taking prizes. Is it worth it? Depends on the situation. If you could make a comeback from that consolation prize, then it’s definitely worth losing prizes, if not, then you might as well concede.
That’s not the only issue, though. Tool Scrapper is slated to be reprinted, so they could remove Lucky Egg before you get a chance to use it.
Lucky Egg (PL – Arceus 88/99; Sword & Shield 167/202) is a card which originally debuted over 10 years ago. It is a Trainer-Item, specifically a Pokémon Tool. Yes, that makes this the third one we’ve looked at this week. No, that wasn’t intentional. Tools are an odd thing; on one hand, they’re important because most Pokémon can only equip a single Tool at a time, that Tool remains in place until another effect discards it, you can only have up to six Pokémon in play most of the time, and Pokémon remain in play until KO’d or discarded by a card effect. There are supporting effects and counters for Trainers, for Items, and for Tools specifically, with all applying to Lucky Egg.
Lucky Egg’s individual effect is that, when the Pokémon to which it is attached is KO’d by damage from an opponent’s attack, you draw until you have seven cards in hand. That is a lot of conditions:
Your reward for meeting these four conditions is to draw until you have seven cards in hand; given the existence of Bianca and Lillie, that seems safe to classify as a Supporter-tier effect. The timing of this draw means you’ll begin your turn with seven cards in hand (eight after your draw for the turn), a very useful thing.
As you draw until you have seven cards in hand, that means it has a variable yield. If you end your turn with no hand and your opponent does nothing to put cards in your hand, the payout is a massive seven cards. The healthier your hand size, the less you’ll be able to draw; you may even satisfy all conditions for Lucky Egg, triggering its effect, but draw zero cards! Talk about risk versus rewards! Remember, you’re still having a Pokémon KO’d as part of this deal.
Time for more bullet points, because we need to list your opponent’s options for dealing with Lucky Egg
Yes, that is a lot of ways around Lucky Egg, though most decks aren’t able to easily pull them off, at least at present in the Standard Format.
The biggest reason to not run Lucky Egg is the simplest: your deck doesn’t have the room. This is related to the second biggest reason Lucky Egg wouldn’t be used; your deck needs you to use a different Tool much more! From this set alone we’ve already looked at Air Balloon, Big Charm, and Vitality Band. There are proven, commonly used Tools like Escape Board, as well as more deck-specific fare like Spell Tag. Which sounds like we’re about to end on a bad note but Lucky Egg has already seen successful Standard Format use!
I’m just going by the results of the recent Oceania International Championship that LimitlessTCG has made available. Lucky Egg was only used in two decks, but one was the second place finisher’s Reshiram & Charizard-GX Fire Box! The other was a Blacephalon (SM – Unbroken Bonds 32/214) list that still had a respectable 45th-place finish (there were 405 Masters in the tournament!). Both decks are run Welder and only Welder, and need to hit it most turns (or else they would run other Supporters).
In these decks, Lucky Egg joins a few other cards in terms of non-Supporter draw/search effects. Lucky Egg acts a bit like an insurance policy. How so? Assuming your opponent cannot just discard or negate Lucky Egg, then one of two things happens when you slap it onto your attacking Active, your stalling wall, your juicy Bench-sitter, or whatever reason makes that Pokémon a valuable target. Either it survives another turn (whether because they couldn’t or because they wouldn’t KO it), or it does go down, but you’re gaining some compensation. This can be particularly important when your main attacker goes down and you need to quickly re-ready another… like in many Welder decks.
I haven’t seen it happen in yet, but I wonder if Lucky Egg could prove useful in certain stall or control decks. Obviously a bad fit if your strategy is all about preventing your Pokémon from being KO’d, but sometimes these decks are more about sacrifices. Again, reload your hand so that it doesn’t sting as bad to lose a Pokémon. A combo that sounds particularly fun would be equipping Lillie’s Poké Doll with Lucky Egg. Lillie’s Poké Doll counts as a Pokémon being KO’d, even though it gives up no Prizes. This combo forces your opponent to waste an attack and refreshes your hand at the same time!
Lucky Egg’s future in the Standard Format is is not bright. Tool Scrapper has been confirmed for a reprint in Japan. That same Japanese set contains a Trainer-Supporter with the effect of Lysandre. We ought to receive both in our May expansion. They don’t completely spoil Lucky Egg antics, but come close. Lucky Egg’s remaining value may be as a decoy, or for effects that require a lot of Tools in general, such as the attack found on Alolan Ninetales (SM – Cosmic Eclipse 145/236).
That future is the present in Expanded. It is a long shot, but old, budget decks in decks like Tool Drop – see Trubbish (BW – Plasma Storm 65/135) – or newer ones might create a niche for Lucky Egg. Then again, we have Lucky Helmet here, a Tool that lets you draw two cards when the equipped Pokémon is Active and damage by an opponent’s attack (whether it is KO’d or not). Where Lucky Egg should remain great is the Limited Format unless you’re building a deck around a single, Basic Pokémon V; if your lone Pokémon is KO’d, you lose!
This review has a more negative tone than I like, but a lot of that is due to the reveal that Tool Scrapper is returning. Such a card really hurts passive, triggered Tools such as Lucky Egg. All the requirements to get Lucky Egg to work aren’t as bad as they sound when your opponent has to use something like Faba to discard it. As Lucky Egg is seeing some current success, I suggest enjoying it while we can in Standard!
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