Toy Catcher – Evolving Skies
Date Reviewed: October 2, 2021
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Note: My review of Sylveon VMAX was posted yesterday, but was indeed late. So, feel free to take a gander at if you stopped by and it wasn’t up.
Toy Catcher (SW – Evolving Skies 163/203, 233/203) is the latest addition to what has become something of a “family” of cards: the Catchers. The original Pokémon Catcher was broken. Was? Pokémon Catcher used to be an Item that worked the exact same as Boss’s Orders. Pokémon Catcher did not require a coin flip to use, making it Gust of Wind under a new name. Then Pokémon Catcher received a major erratum, adding a coin flip to its effect, making it Pokémon Reversal under a new name instead. Fast-forward to the SM-era, and we received Great Catcher, a Trainer-Item that let you force an opponent’s Benched Pokémon-GX into the Active position, and proved to be a very good card!
Toy Catcher is like Great Catcher, but with a different restriction: Toy Catcher can only force an opponent’s Benched Pokémon with 50 HP or less into the Active position. The good news is that this does not apply to printed HP, but current remaining HP. If your opponent retreats their 340 HP Pokémon VMAX to their Bench when it is down to 50 or less HP, Toy Catcher can force it into the Active position without burning your Supporter for the turn. Toy Catcher is also good for taking out some Evolving Basics, by forcing them Active before they’ve evolved so your own Active Pokémon can easily attack them for the KO.
Now for the obvious question: is it worth space in your deck? Unfortunately, I just don’t know. I don’t recall seeing it in the winning deck lists I’ve reviewed, but unlike with larger events, I cannot simply go to LimitlessTCG and Ctrl+F all the deck lists in the top cut of an event all at once. I can only review each deck individually, and I just don’t have that kind of time right now. Sorry, dear readers! I don’t think Toy Catcher will prove as good as Great Catcher. The latter could force an opponent’s Benched Dedenne-GX into the Active spot for a quick OHKO by your main attacker. There are times when Toy Catcher can be just as valuable, but there’s also a decent chance it will have zero targets worth forcing Active.
Plus, the decks most likely to leave your opponent with nearly KO’d Benched Pokémon are the decks that least need to force something Active to attack it: damage spread. I still think Toy Catcher is a good but niche card, so it scores decently for Standard. In Expanded, there are enough glass cannons being prepped, tiny Bench-sitters, etc. that I will award it more than minimum marks. I’ll be quite happy if the metagame shifts – or I simply misunderstood the current situation – and Toy Catcher proves as useful as Great Catcher. Or maybe I’ll actually be frustrated. One of the tremendously frustrating things about the pre-erratum Pokémon Catcher – and Gust of Wind back in the day – was how decks with a slower setup would be crushed by beatdown decks forcing up small, evolving Basics to be OHKO’d before they could evolve.
- Standard: 3/5
- Expanded: 2/5
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