Tool Scrapper – Rebel Clash
Date Reviewed: December 20, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
All right! Time for the top cards of 2020! Well, we’ll be doing things a bit different this time around, covering runner ups on the weekends and covering the actual top 10 in the weekdays. And today’s COTD happened to be on the weekends!
Tool Scrapper is the 18th best card of 2020. Originally released on BW Dragons Exalted and getting another print in SS Rebel Clash, this card discards up to 2 Pokémon Tools from either player’s Pokémon: could be from your opponent or from your own. This card has been reviewed several times, being:
This card has made most passive Pokémon Tools useless because such tools require your opponent to have some input in order to trigger the effect. Not only that, it also serves as a check to Garbodor, as it also came out at the same time Tool Scrapper does. It’s Garbotoxin ability states that as long as this Pokémon has a Tool attached to it, no Pokémon in play, hand, or discard pile has Abilities! As long as Garbodor maintains a serious presence, then Tool Scrapper provides a mean to overcome that obstacle. Even without something as good as Garbodor in the 2020-2021 Standard Format (maybe Eeveelutions with Memory Capsule), Tool Scrapper is still a nice card to have around of Pokémon Tools runs rampant again…
…which is good, because it will see little to no play after Tool Scrapper rotates because Expanded has other options that are better than Tool Scrapper. Field Blower discards not only Pokémon Tool cards, but also any Stadium card (with the exception of Prism Star Stadiums). Startling Megaphone discards ALL Pokémon Tools attached to your opponent’s Pokémon. It’s not likely that you’ll need something beyond your 4th copy of Tool removing cards, but if it means to fulfill your condition of getting at least nine Pokemon Tool cards in your discard pile for the Roto Motor ability, then no reason not to. For the Legacy Format, this is still a very good card because it’s the only card in the format that gets rid of Tools.
- Standard: 4/5
- Expanded: 1/5
- Limited: 4/5
- Legacy: 4/5
With less than two full weeks left in 2020, it is time for the Pokémon part of the site to begin its countdown. Sort of; we’ll be staying in sync with with the rest of the site, and they don’t do weekend reviews. So, instead of covering some or all of the runners-up after the countdown, we’ll be covering a selection of them during the weekend slots. If you’re new to our countdowns, here’s an article I wrote covering it a few years back. The short version is that, like with most of our countdowns, we solicited lists from our current review crew, then combined them to create a site list (the actual top 10). Cards had to have been released during 2020, and reprints were ineligible unless they were significant e.g. returned the card to Standard Format legality.
Tool Scrapper (BW – Dragons Exalted 116/124; SW – Rebel Clash 168/192, 208/192) did not make the top 10, but it did make two of the individual lists, and seemed like a good way to kick things off. You’ll notice this is one of those exceptions to the “no reprints” rule, as Tool Scrapper originally released over eight years ago. In fact, it was our 6th-Place pick from its set at that time, and when it re-released earlier this year. Tool Scrapper is a Trainer-Item that lets you select up to two Pokémon Tools attached to Pokémon and discard them. You cannot select “zero” in a situation like this, but you may discard only one, even if more than one Tool is available to target. You can also target Tools attached to your own Pokémon, should you need to be rid of them.
Being a Trainer-Item has few serious drawbacks. There are anti-Trainer and anti-Item effects, but there’s no added cost to Tool Scrapper beyond the card itself and discarding at least one Tool from the field. Efficient Item search/recycling is rare, though. As for the card’s effect, unless a Tool discards itself, it remains attached to whatever Pokémon you attach it to until that Pokémon is KO’d. This means getting rid of them ahead of time can be very valuable. For as good as Tool Scrapper can be, though, it is fighting for space against many cards that are just as good. Maybe even some that are better. Tool Scrapper doesn’t do you any good against an opponent who doesn’t run any Tools, and some competitive decks don’t run any.
Even during the times when most decks are running Tools, they don’t tend to run more than a few. Throw in timing concerns from Tools that do their thing during your opponent’s turn and/or are going to hit the discard pile anyway because they aren’t stopping you from KOing the Pokémon to which they are attached, and you can see why a lot of decks do not run Tool Scrapper, and those that do include just one or two copies in Standard. In Expanded, Tool Scrapper is obsolete. Hypothetically, some deck that needs more Item-based Tool removal than four Field Blower, or four Field Blower and four Startling Megaphone, could then include Tool Scrapper. I can’t really conceive of such a situation; Field Blower is a Tool Scrapper that can also discard Stadium cards (so 1 Stadium, two Tools, or one two and one Stadium). Field Blower only discards Tools from your opponent’s side of the field, but it discards all of them.
Tool Scrapper is probably a must-run in the Limited Format, but that is as almost as much because your deck will have space for more specialized or less potent Trainer cards than for its own merits. There aren’t a massive amount of Tools in these sets, but there are enough to justify the inclusion. Tool Scrapper is old enough to be a legal option in the Legacy Format, where it is about as useful as it was in the Standard Format this year (both before and after rotation). Oh, and as a note for my future self; even though I swear I remember it being in a Theme Deck, I checked all the BW-era ones from after it released and all the SW-era ones from after its re-release, and it wasn’t there.
I also checked World Championship decks, and here are the names and year of the decks that contained at least one copy:
- American Gothic (2013)
- Darkrai Deck (2013)
- Emerald King (2014)
- Crazy Punch (2014)
Note that these are the only World Championships for which Tool Scrapper was legal, as the 2020 World Championships were canceled.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 1/5
- Limited: 3/5
- Legacy: 3/5
Tool Scrapper is a good card outside of Expanded, and there was a period where we didn’t have any Item-based Tool removal. Tool Scrapper does have one other issue I didn’t address earlier; it actually does its job a bit too well. When that happens, Tool use plummets so Tool Scrapper use also drops off. Maybe Tools come back, and so does Tool Scrapper use, but it isn’t guaranteed, and even when it happens, it isn’t always predictable. It only finished in 18th-Place, but was actually my 15th-Place pick (even though we’re only doing a Top 10).
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