– Rebel Clash
May 10, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Just missing out on the top five is our 6th-place finisher, Tool Scrapper (BW – Dragons Exalted 116/124; SSH – Rebel Clash 168/192, 208/192). This is the second reprint to make our countdown; yes, normally they’re not permitted but we make exceptions for cards that would have made the list otherwise if they were new, and are being introduced or returned to Standard (or Standard and Expanded) Format legality. Tool Scrapper was legal for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 Standard Formats, and has been Expanded-legal since that Format was founded. According to us, Tool Scrapper was also 6th best card of BW – Dragons Exalted!
Tool Scrapper is a Trainer-Item that lets you choose up to two Pokémon Tools in play, then discard them. The Tools themselves can be attached to either player’s Pokémon. There aren’t a lot of times when the average deck will require you discard Tools from your own Pokémon, it is a nice option to have. Very few Pokémon can have more than one Tool attached at a time; Tool Scrapper is worded so that you are able to discard two Tools from the same Pokémon, but each counts against the “up to 2” you may select.
To understand Tool Scrapper, we need to understand using Tools themselves. With most Pokémon only able to use a single Tool at a time, few adding cards to your hand and none doing so during your own turn, most competitive decks only have room for a few Tools. Decks typically run zero to four Tools. As with other cards attached to a Pokémon, Tools leave play if/when that Pokémon leaves the field. As such, while a player needs something like Tool Scrapper to specifically target and discard Tools, scoring KO’s will ultimately discard Tools as well.
All cards are ultimately reliant on the metagame, but Tool Scrapper is the kind that is more sensitive to it than most. When your opponent’s Tools can generate big gains by sticking around, whether through turn-after-turn accumulated benefits or one big power player is triggered during your turn, Tool Scrapper is amazing! If Tools are mostly generating their advantage during your opponent’s turn, especially small bits of advantage you can ignore, or they’re attached to something you’re just going to KO anyway, Tool Scrapper can be a total waste.
At a glance, it seems like most decks run two to four Tools, and they’re the kind that provide small, repeated benefits that become quite significant over the course of play: Big Charm, Escape Board, etc. Given how many decks run Escape Board for Jirachi (SM – Team Up 99/181; SM – Black Star Promos SM161), which needs Escape Board for its potent combo with “Stellar Wish”, Tool Scrapper has a good chance of either reshaping the metagame, by forcing players to move onto a different supporting Bench-sitter or becoming a single in most decks.
At least, that’s the case in Standard. In the Expanded Format, Tool Scrapper is an obsolete card; Field Blower does everything Tool Scrapper can do, but with the option of discarding a Stadium card from the field as one of the “up to 2” cards. No, you really shouldn’t need more than four copies of Field Blower, but if you did, there’s Startling Megaphone, the first card to supplant Tool Scrapper. Startling Megaphone discards all Tool attached to your opponent’s Pokémon. Both Field Blower and Startling Megaphone are Trainer-Items; if we include Pokémon or Supporters, we gain more options, though none have proven as good.
For the Limited Format, the specifics of Tool Scrapper’s performance differ, but the end result is the same; you try to include Tool Scrapper for the lucky opponent who has some worthwhile Tools. In the Legacy Format, Tool Scrapper has no competition while still having some great Tools worth discarding. I don’t recall Tool Scrapper appearing in any Theme Decks, so no score there… but I’ll mention its should there should function there similar to how it does in the Limited Format.
Tool Scrapper is going to bounce between “staple” and “loose staple” status, with Tool usage adjusting accordingly. Which is how it performed while it was Standard-legal, at least until the introduction of Startling Megaphone. I had Tool Scrapper as my 5th-place pick but 6th-place is still pretty reasonable. It helps that four out of the five card that placed higher on our site’s list also placed higher on my personal list, and the one that didn’t still has a strong case.
Since reprints are eligible to be on the top X list, naturally when an older card with a pretty good effect was on the countdown before, you can expect a certain card to reappear on another top X list. While Skyla did made it on this countdown, another familiar card also made it on the countdown. And that is Tool Scrapper.
First debuted on BW Dragons Exalted, it was also the sixth best card of the set, and that’s because it can remove up to two Pokémon tools from either your or your opponent’s Pokemon. This card single handedly renders most passive Pokemon Tool cards – such as Eviolite, Big Charm, Cursed Shovel, etc. – near useless because those effects require your opponent’s actions to trigger the effect. As for other tools that provides benefit during your turn such as Muscle Band, you only get to benefit this effect for one turn at best. It still doesn’t change the fact that the effects of such tools are activated before you get rid of them.
For the duration for when it was Standard legal (2012-2013, 2013-2014), this was a loose staple or two due to its flexibleness, but it did face competition from Startling Megaphone from XY FlashFire, since it gets rid of ALL Pokémon tools attached to your opponent’s Pokemon. And that card seemed to take over since Tool Scrapper was eventually going to leave rotation. So Startling Megaphone became legal for the 2014-2015, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 rotation, where it was the fifth best card lost to rotation. At the time, there was little to no methods to discarding tools, except for Rattata from XY Evolutions. For a brief period of time, Pokemon Tools – regardless of what it does – had a moment to shine since they don’t fear about being removed (until they leave play or get KOed, of course), but eventually Field Blower debuted on SM Guardians Rising.
Which is a upgraded version of Tool Scrapper, hence why Tool Scrapper will see almost little to no play in Expanded due to being outclassed. Field Blower removes up to two of any combination of Pokémon Tools and/or Stadium cards in play. While Field Blower could lead to power plays, – such as using an effect from a previous Stadium and then play yours and get another effect – it also fails to remove Prism Star Stadium cards. It would’ve been useful to play around Chaotic Swell’s effect, but Field a lower left rotation before Chaotic Swell debuted. Ultimately, though, couple factors may or may deter you from including it in your deck:
-Your opponent runs no Pokémon Tool or Stadium.
-Removing Spirit Link cards are pointless if they Mega Evolve, usually on the same turn after they played their respective Spirit Links.
-If removing tools means benefitting from Rotom’s Roto Motor ability.
These factors don’t amount to much in Standard where 2 of 3 doesn’t apply, but can be a little irritating for Expanded when such factors exist. Still, Tool Scrapper is coming back to Standard and will continue to wreak havoc on passive Pokemon Tools since day one. For Expanded, I would’ve almost dismiss Tool Scrapper completely except for the fact that running both Tool Scrapper and Field Blower means more opportunities to discard your own Pokémon Tools to either quickly meet the requirement of Roto Motor and/or removing Spirit Link cards after you Mega Evolve your Pokemon. Those exceptions saves Tool Scrapper from getting the minimal score. For Limited, regardless of expansion, if there’s Pokémon Tools in the same expansion Tool Scrapper is in, then there’s your target. It is still a power play in Legacy format since there are no other cards that removes tools.
Well hey would you look at that! It’s a card that we haven’t reviewed since…2012? Geez, it has been a while then.
Tool Scrapper is an Item that very simply detaches 2 Tools from various Pokemon on your opponent’s field. Simple enough in effect as it is in application! Years ago back in Dragons Exalted, there were a few good Tools running around that made Tool Scrapper pretty useful, but the biggest reason it saw play was to get the Tools off of Garbodor (DEX). It had Garbotoxin, which shut off Abilities – kinda like Galarian Weezing from yesterday – as long as Garbodor had a Tool attached.
No Pokemon recently is quite like Garbodor from those days, and indeed the Tools have become very different in today’s game. Could Tool Scrapper see the same kind of play? Absolutely! Air Balloon is the latest favorite Tool to work with for anything in need of a free Retreat Cost, so long as it’s 2 or less. There’s also the Island Challenge Amulet Tool which sees…some play, but then there’s Vitality Band! And the Sitrus and Lum Berries have been updated, so they may see some level of play as well. I’d say there’s a fair amount of Tools to work with, which gives Tool Scrapper plenty of targets!
There’s always going to be more Tools that show up in the game, so be sure to keep an eye out for them while you keep Tool Scrapper handy!
Standard: 4/5 (it will definitely have a use here in Standard)
Expanded: 5/5 (if not sooner then definitely later
Limited: 3/5 (there’s really only Burning Scarf and Cursed Shovel here, the latter more likely to see play than the former but still not that crazy)
Arora Notealus: I don’t really put reprints on my rankings, if Skyla was any indicator, but that doesn’t mean I’m underestimating the power of things like Skyla and Tool Scrapper. They were strong in their previous Standard lifespans, and the results of that indicate a strong presence in their current Standard lifespans. Course it also might be a testament to how well both of these did on the others’ lists, since they ranked so favorably on the Top 15!
Next Time: Curving into the Top 5, we’ve gotta make sure we’re charged to go fast!
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