Tool Jammer – Battle Styles
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Tool Jammer (SW – Battle Styles 136/163) is a Trainer-Item and Pokémon Tool. Beyond the universal opportunity cost associated with running any card, all Tool Jammer costs you is the opportunity to have a different Tool attached to that specific Pokémon. Perhaps because Items are so easy to use, they are some potent anti-Item effects in Expanded Format card pool. There are also proven anti-Tool effects in addition to the anti-Item ones, and some truly outstanding Tools to compete with for deck space. In the Standard Format, the anti-Item, anti-Tool, and other Tools you could be running aren’t as numerous or as strong, but they still exist.
Tool Jammer’s effect only works while the Pokémon it is attached to is your Active. It causes all Tools attached to your opponent’s Active Pokémon to have no effects, except for an opposing copy of Tool Jammer. This exemption only really matters if one or both Actives are capable of equipping multiple Tools at the same time. For the vast, vast majority of Pokémon, it is pretty meaningless; there’s nothing else to negate so what does it matter if your Tool Jammer keeps working while opposite your opponent’s Tool Jammer? For that matter, Tool Jammer only matters if your Active Pokémon equipped with it is squaring off against another Active with a Tool. If they have no Tool, your Tool Jammer is just eating up your own Active’s Tool slot.
Timing matters. Say your opponent has Muscle Band equipped. If your Active with Tool Jammer is attacked by something with Muscle Band equipped, Muscle Band will not provide its usual +20 damage increase. However, what if your opponent is focused on KOing something else that turn? Either because your Pokémon with Tool Jammer is on the Bench, or it is forced out of the Active position? When you eventually the Pokémon with Tool Jammer up front, it won’t matter that Muscle Band no longer works, because Muscle Band has already done its thing.
The good news is that Tool Jammer, equipped to something you want up front that is hard to KO, it may end up negating multiple Tools. You can even attach it before getting Item-locked, whether by your opponent or because you’re using a card like Vileplume (XY – Ancient Origins 3/98) to prevent both you and your opponent from using Items. The bad news is that the reusability isn’t that great of a deal. For starters, we’re in a mostly OHKO or 2HKO format, be it Standard or Expanded. So, maybe one or two Tools negated. With Tool Scrapper you can take out up to two Tools at once, and they’re discarded, not just negated while a particular Pokémon with a particular Tool is your Active.
In Expanded, Tool Jammer has it worse because Tool Scrapper has it worse: Field Blower is still legal. Even in odd lock situations, like with Vileplume, you could instead just include a Pokémon-based effect, Supporter-based effect, or Stadium-based effect to deal with Tools. Tool Jammer just seems far too niche for its own good.
- Standard: 1/5
- Expanded: 1/5
Even though I’m handing out minimum scores in both Formats, there really is a chance Tool Jammer could prove useful. The main things that need to change are more useful Tools where discarding them doesn’t really matter (like U-Turn Board), more support for Tools (Tool Scrapper isn’t easy to search out or recycle), and/or more “lock” situations where Tool Jammer can already be in-play but other Item-based options can’t be used, and the non-Item alternatives aren’t cost effective. I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Tool Jammer from Sword & Shield Battle Styles is a Pokémon Tool card that only works when the Pokémon attached to it is on the Active Spot. It makes your opponent’s Pokémon Tool cards attached to their Active Pokemon have no effect, except for an opposing Tool Jammer. Looking it in isolation, this seems like an extremely underwhelming card.
1-You’re giving up your tool slot just to disable other Pokémon Tool cards.
2-Your opponent’s Benched Pokemon isn’t affected by Tool Jammer.
3-Your opponent can simply use Tool Scraper to get rid of Tool Jammer and regain back their effects.
4-They could use a “gusting” card to bring out a different Pokémon without Tool Jammer, regaining back their effects.
I suppose Tool Jammer is slightly useful of disabling certain Pokémon Tool cards that benefit of their turn that they’ve just played, but even then, point 3 still applies, they got ways around it. Even though Tool Scraper is not in every deck, even one or two copies of Tool Scraper is suffice to occasionally remove certain tools that might hinder them. And if your opponent doesn’t play Pokémon Tools, then Tool Jammer has no use.
Maybe somewhere along the lines Tool Jammer might be a surprise move in certain decks, but I’m just not seeing it at the moment. With so many outs from Tool Jammer due to restrictions, it undermines what this card is trying to accomplish.
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