October 14, 2020
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Pojo.com has been posting Card of the Days for 20 years as of this review. Originally, it began with Ness’s Card of the Day: Jason Klaczynski, who would go on to win three separate World Championships in the Masters Division, would review a card or group of related cards. In January of 2002 is when it became a group effort, though Ness was still one of the reviewers. I wouldn’t get my chance until late in 2003, though if I’d read the contact instructions correctly, I might have started sooner. Probably for the best; as much as I can overestimate my abilities now, the further back you go the worse it was.
To commemorate the occasion, we’re looking at semi-obscure promotional card Victory Medal that was awarded during the Battle Road series of events from 2007 to 2011; you can refer to this Bulbapedia article for a bit more detail. The card was indeed Standard-legal, though it is old enough that it is not nor ever has it been Expanded-legal. Somewhat annoyingly it is not a Black Star Promos series card, which is why it took a bit for me to verify that yes, it had been legal for competitive play back in the day. At a glance, it seems pretty pricey, though some versions are far rarer than others. Some versions feature a bronze medal, others a silver, and (of course) others a gold.
Victory Medal is a Trainer-Item, though all printings predate that classification. This means it is nice and easy to use, barring anti-Trainer effects. Victory Medal has you flip two coins; if one is “heads”, you draw a card. If both are “heads”, you get to search your deck for a card. Double “tails” does nothing. The quarter of results where it does nothing are awful. Half the possible outcomes mean Victory Medal draws a card; Victory Medal replaces itself in your hand, so as long as you wouldn’t have been better served with a different card in your deck, you break even in terms of card counts while thinning your deck ever so slightly. The quarter of the time when it provides unrestricted search for your deck are amazing. How does it all balance out?
Looking at it now, I’d say quite well. If the metagame is dominated by anti-Item effects, it is an obvious “no” anywhere. Otherwise, any deck could make use of it, though plenty probably should not. As great as searching out a card is for nearly every strategy, especially for just an Item, there’s a problem when your “reliability” card just isn’t that reliable (only works about a quarter of the time). The decks that should consider Victory Medal are those that either don’t really need it, or those that desperately need it. With the former, I do not mean they shouldn’t run it; I just mean they’re a deck that has all its bases covered with 56-59 cards, and if Victory Medal whiffs it isn’t a problem, if it draws one it is fine, and when you get the search it is a great bonus. The other extreme are the decks that are trying to be as “turbo”, “aggro”, etc. as can be, and/or which need to set up a complicated combo ASAP; while whiffing could cost you the game, nailing the search effect wins it and the draw result means you can keep trying to pull it off that turn.
For everything else, Victory Medal would be nice when you have the room or metagame demands make it disproportionately good, a bit like Super Scoop Up or Crushing Hammer. Before anyone gets too excited, remember the preceding was for a hypothetical reprint, because Victory Medal is not Standard or Expanded legal. I think it would be legal for the Legacy Format… except it doesn’t appear to be in the PTCGO at all. Finally, it is was never released in a manner where it would be legal for Limited Format play…so everything is “Not Applicable”, but I’ll include theoretical scores in parenthesis. However, still no score for the Unlimited Format, because it has been so long since I played or saw reliable information on it.
Thanks for 20 years, dear readers. Here is hoping for another 20! I don’t think we have to worry about Victory Medal being re-released anytime soon.
Today’s COTD is a very special day because this is the 20th Anniversary of the Pojo.com site. What card can be a perfect candidate for this special occasion? How about one of those cards that was given at events?
That’s right! Victory Medal was distributed during the years between 2007-2011 in tournaments, specifically Battle Roads. Because this card can only be given at players who attend Battle Roads as well as being placed very well to get the Bronze, Silver, and Gold medal prints of that card, supply seems pretty low. Not as low as Tropical Beach but still low enough that even if you can afford a single copy of the Victory Medal Silver (which costs maybe less than $20 USD) or even the Victory Medal Gold (which costs around $70 USD), not many players would want to give up their copies as not only this was a very good card at the time, but also they would keep it as sentimental value of them going through the struggle to reach the semi-finals (Top 4). Plus, chances are that they are heavily played and may never be mint condition after this many years.
I don’t recall if this card can or cannot be used at tournaments, but nothing on the card states that you can’t use them. This is a Trainer-Trainer, but on Black & White onwards, cards like those becomes Trainer-Item. This card makes you flip 2 coins. If you flipped at least one heads, then you draw a card, but if you flipped two heads, then you get to search your deck for any card and put it onto your hand. So, the possibilities will look like this:
25%: nothing happens
50%: You draw 1 card.
25%: Computer Search!!! (Sort of, without the discard cost)
I don’t know any winning decklists at the time that used Victory Medal, but by reading this effect, this is actually an incredible card! Sure, the chance that nothing happens may be unfortunate, but you’re still thinning your hand so that Supporter cards like Cynthia’s Feelings, Professor Oak’s New Theory, and N can get you a higher draw yield. It also make the drawback of Professor Juniper inconsequential because you’ll be using Victory Medal anyways to either get what you want from your deck (and play it right away) or whiff on it. You should treat Victory Medal as a bonus and not something to heavily rely on. I can imagine a powerful effect like this on an item card – even if the effect relies on a coin flip – would prompt players to run a full four copies in their decks, but not many players would get the opportunity to use them because, again, supply is pretty low.
I don’t think that rating this card means anything in the present time, most likely it would be N/A across the board (because all of its prints aren’t Standard or Expanded legal, and it isn’t part of any expansion due to the lack of set symbol and number) except for maybe the Legacy Format as there were prints of Victory Medal that has the HGSS card template, so I assume this card could be used there, and it will be an awesome card in that format due to the reason that I mentioned earlier. If it were to be reprinted, or have an item card that does a similar thing, then no doubt players would definitely use them. The closest thing that could be just as good as Victory Medal is Computer Search from BW Boundaries Crossed in the Expanded format, except that you can only run one Ace Spec card in your deck. It would probably be efficient to use Computer Search than Victory Medal, but that’s another story of another day, so I won’t get too far to it.
Standard: N/A (In it’s time between 2007-2011, though, this probably would’ve been a 5/5 card)
20 years of Card of the Day?! Holy Cow! Time Flies! I had little kids when we started Card of the Day. And now my kids are both married and out of the house! Success!!
I don’t really have a review for you today. I only have average skills when it comes to playing the Pokemon TCG. I’m mostly a collector. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who volunteered to keep the Pokemon Card of the Day going all these years. As of today, we have reviewed 4,375 cards here! Wowza!!! Otaku, Vince and Aroramage really knock it out of the park week to week. If my math is correct, Otaku has been doing COTD for 17+ years! Vince has been here for 3 years. And Aroramage started in 2014. You guys are awesome!
My daughter Amy was a pretty good Pokemon TCG player back in the early days. She had just turned 11 in June of 2000. We were playing in one of the big Wizards of the Coasts events in the summer of 2000, where the winners and runner-ups qualified for the Super Trainer Showdown (STS). I would say these were kind of like the Illinois State Finals. Some players came from as far away as Texas as I recall. Amy made it to the finals, where she went up against a kid named Jason Klaczynski. Both had just qualified for the STS, and the winner was going to get a few more chachkies. Jason was down to one card in his draw pile. He needed it to be the perfect card in order to win, and he top-decked for the win. Pretty sure Yami Yugi was helping.
That was the first time I met Jason. As the dominoes fell, Jason started writing for Pojo’s monthly Pokemon magazine.
I was a big Magic the Gathering player before Pokemon was around. There had been a monthly article in Wizards of the Coast’s Duelist Magazine called Card of the Month (or something like that). Two guys would give an opinion on a Magic card, and the best way to use it. I thought it would be fun to start doing Cards of Day for the Pokemon site. I asked Jason, and he agreed. The rest is over 4,000 Pokemon cards of history.
Jason went on to become a 3-time Pokemon TCG Champ, and Card of the Day lives on in Pokemon COTD, Yu-Gi-Oh! COTD (4500+ reviews), Magic: The Gathering COTD (4700+ reviews), and Cardfight Vanguard COTD (1400+ reviews). Pojo is a hobby. I still have a lot of fun working on it. And I hope other reviewers do as well. Thanks again everyone for a very enjoyable 20 years of COTD!
Victory Medal is a nice collectors’ card. They usually go for $90-300 on ebay. This one here sold for $319 on October 14th, 2020.
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