The Draw and Hand Refresh Supporters In the Current Format

by Pikkdogs ~ October 2nd, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKoers out there, this is Pikkdogs and his sidekick Pedro here with an article about the drawing and hand refresh supporters we have available to us in the current format.  A big thanks to www.onehitko.com reader “Quarter Turn” for the idea for the article.

You mean someone actually asked you for advice on cards?

Yep.

Don’t they know you’re a crappy player?

I guess nobody has told him yet.  Hey Pedro, I was wondering something.  Why do you always speak in Italics?

Well that’s how all people from my dimension speak.

Huh.  What dimension is that?

Well I can’t tell you that, the people have to go about and buy my auto-biography.

You wrote an auto-biography?

Oh hell yeah.  It’s called “Stick it in my inter-dimensionary port hole”.

I suppose it’s available on Amazon.com?

Well yes, but not in this dimension?  You have to go to my own dimension’s Amazon. 

Your dimension has an Amazon?

Of course, how else do you think South American countries get their water.

Oh so you live in Earth just a different dimension.  Hmmmmm interesting……. Anyway let’s just go to the article.  Today we are talking about the drawing and Hand Refresh Supporters.  We will start by talking about the history of using these cards.  Then we will examine the most used cards and examine what their ups and downs are.

History

Well I haven’t been involved in the game for more than 2-3 years, so I don’t know what originally happened with draw/ hand refresh (DHR) supporters.  So I will just pick up in the Diamond and Pearl era.  After the release of Great Encounters, anybody who used a DHR supporter was thought of as a noob.  Hand Refreshing was done solely with Claydol Ge (and a couple sets later Uxie La would join him).  You got all you needed in the drawing department with your Poke-Powers, and your Supporter slot was filled with search cards like Bebe’s Search or Roseanne’s Research.

A couple decks did use Draw Supporters, Gyarados used Felicities’ Drawings and Scizor/Cherrim used Buck’s Training.  But, these cards were mostly used for their other effects rather than the draw power.  Felecities’ was used to discard Magikarps, and Buck’s Training was used for the extra Plus Power.  And some disruption decks did use Team Galactic’s Wager, but that was just because people liked to play Rock-Paper-Scizors.

And people think that the current format is a “Rock-Paper-Scizors” format, they should have played when that card was used.

As we moved into the SP era, things again changed.  SP decks dominated the format, and this deck rarely used Claydol.  Instead, it used Uxie La for a little draw support.  They didn’t really need to draw a lot of cards because they had a lot of trainers and supporters that could search.

That changed at Worlds 2010 when the winner used Professor Oak’s New Theory.  A lot of SP players decided to copy the winner, and PONT became a staple card in SP decks and others.

DHR supporters were first used exclusively as Claydol and Uxie started to rotate out.  We could no longer rely on Poke-Powers for Draw Power (there were still Pokemon like Magnezone Prime and Ninetales, but Magnezone is too slow as a Stage 2 and Ninetales is not as reliable throughout the game like Claydol was), so we had to use supporters.  As mentioned, PONT was the first DHR supporter to gain wide spread acceptance.  But as the HGSS sets were released, more DHR cards were being used.  Judge was used because of its disruption power,  Cheer Leaders Cheer was used a little, as was Copy Cat and Sage’s Training.

The world of DHR supporters was thrown on its side when Professor Juniper came out.  The ability to draw 7 cards at once gave you a draw power that we haven’t seen since Uxie, and cemented DHS supporters as very important in the current format.  So let’s look at what these cards bring to the current format.

Current Drawing and Hand Refresh Supporters

The cards are ranked according to how well I like them in the current format, but I’m sure Pedro will tell you that I don’t know too much.

It’s more like you don’t know enough.

However you wanna put it, let’s look at the current supporters we have.

Professor Juniper

Effect– Discard your hand and draw 7 cards.

Positives– No other card in the format will let you consistently draw this many cards at once.  There is no reason not to like drawing 7 cards at once.  It is very good for this format that relies on quick knock outs, because you can easily play out your hand on the first or second turn, and then draw a new 7 card hand.  It also is nice because after you discard your hand, there is no chance that you will then draw them with Juniper, like you could with the shuffle and draw supporters.

Negatives– It does make you discard your entire hand.  If you run a deck that has evolutions, there will is a significant chance that you will not want to use Juniper every time you get it, because you will not want to discard everything in your hand.  Yes shuffling these cards in your deck does force you to lose those cards, but at least then there is a chance to get them back.  Using Juniper could put you into a situation where you will either lose if you don’t use a draw supporter or you lose if you discard your valueable hand.

Best Used in Decks Like– Juniper is best used in decks that require a fast start and don’t run a lot of evolutions.  This makes Juniper good in decks like Donphan and Dragons, Zekrom, Reshiram variants, and Mew Lock. 

Professor Oak’s New Theory

Effect– Shuffle your hand into your deck and draw 6 cards.

Positives– A fresh hand of 6 cards is great to have.  6 cards is basically a full hand, and should give you the resources that you are looking for.  It also does not make you discard your hand like Juniper forces you to.

Negatives– Once you shuffle your hand into your deck you are vulnerable to drawing those same cards that you tried to get out of your hand.  It also only lets you draw 6 cards.  Although 6 cards is great, Juniper does give you 7.

Best Used in Decks Like–  PONT is basically great in any deck.  But, I would rely on it more heavily in decks that don’t utilize Juniper too well.  This would be decks like Ross Deck, Gothitelle, Stage 1 Rush, decks with Kindgra Prime, and Prime Time (and other Magnezone Prime decks).

Judge

Effect– You and your opponent shuffle your hands into your decks and draw 4 cards.

Positives– There is nothing more disruptive than a first turn Judge.  A first turn Judge will set the pace, and should give you a good advantage (as long as they don’t get a lucky draw on the Judge).  It is also very disruptive later in the game.  If your opponent is trying to setup an evolution line and they just lied  a basic down, you can use Judge to  make it harder for them to evolve next turn.  But the thing that Judge is used for the most is to equal hand size in decks that run Yanmega.  It can be hard to equal hand size so you can use the “Insight” Poke-Body, but Judge makes this very easy.

Negatives– It only gives you 4 cards, no other cards will consistently give you a more pitiful number.  I know that Judge is used more for disruption and Yanmega-ing  than hand refreshing, but still it is considered a hand refresher.  Another negative for Judge is that you never know if Judge will be disruptive or not.  Your opponent may have a 10 card hand, but he/she might not have the card he/she wants for next turn.  So if you Judge that big hand away, you might be giving him/her a better hand.  

Momma always said Judge is like a box of chocolate you never know what you’re gonna get.

Well said Forrest, I mean Pedro.

Best Used in Decks Like– Judge is best used in decks that use Yanmega like: Stage 1 Rush, Primetime and Mew Lock.  It is also a very crucial card in disruption decks like Slowking/Ambipom and Sharpedo (which will be big once we get that good Victini card).

Sage’s Training

Effect– Look at the top 5 cards of your deck and put two of them in your hand, discard the rest.

Positives– This card lets you look at the top 5 cards and choose which two cards you want while keeping your current hand.  No other card gives you access to your deck 5 cards deep while keeping your current hand.  This card is great because it lets you keep what you got in your hand, then pick 2 more.  The upsides of this card are off the charts.

Negatives– Unfortunately, the negatives of this card are also off the charts.  It seems like every time I play this card there are at least 3 cards that I don’t want to discard. Infact, if you get a really “good” top 5 in your deck, you could cost yourself the game.  I have encountered situations where I have almost shot myself in the foot during the game by using a Sage’s.

Best Used in Decks Like– Sage’s is best used in decks that don’t have a lot of big evolution lines and require 1 or 2 cards in certain situations.  This means that good decks to play this card in are Stage 1 Rush, Donphan and Dragons, and Zekrom.

Cheren

Effect– Draw 3 cards

Positives– This card lets you draw the top three cards of your deck and keep your current hand.  No other supporter lets you consistently draw this man cards while not giving your opponent an advantage and keeping your current hand.  A lot of decks like to keep their current hand and just add a couple cards, like Stage 1 Rush.  It also works well with Junk Arm, if you need to use Junk Arm and you don’t have enough cards, Cheren will give those cards to you.  It also is nice with Junk Arm because if you are looking for a trainer like Pokemon Catcher, Cheren gives you a good shot at either drawing the Catcher or a Junk Arm which you can use to get a Poekmon Catcher.

Negatives– Three cards isn’t always enough to get the cards you need.  In a lot of decks it is better to jettison your entire hand for the 4 extra cards.  It just doesn’t stack up to cards like Proffesor Juniper in most decks.

Best Used in Decks Like–  Stage 1 Rush, Gothitelle, Prime Time, Reshiram variants, and Ross Deck.  (Note: I would never rely on this card in my deck for consistent draw Power, a bigger card like Juniper or Pont is needed more than Cheren.)

Copy Cat

Effect– Shuffle your hand into your deck and draw as many cards as your opponent has in his/her hand.

Positives–  This card can give you a hand of about 20 cards in some situations.  There is almost no limit to the number of cards you can grab with Copy Cat.  It also works great with Yanmega Prime.  And unlike Judge, Copy Cat does not set a cap at four, you could use this card to equal hand size and still get a lot of cards out of it.

Negatives–  This card is just not consistent and reliable.  This format does not give you any insurance that your opponent’s hand size will be good.  Your opponent’s hand size could be big or it could be small, you don’t know if you can count on the hand size to be big.  There were times that I have used Copy Cat to give me 1 card, or 3 cards.  It was not a pleasant experience.

Best Used in Decks Like–  Anything that uses Yanmega Prime, like Stage 1 Rush, Mew Lock, or Prime Time.

Other Draw and Hand Refresh Supporters

There are some other decent DHR supporters out there, here is a little bit about the best of the worst.

1.        Bianca– It lets you draw until you have 6 cards in your hand.  I would rather use PONT or Juniper unless you can consistently play out your entire hand fairly early.  So if you run a lot of trainers, Bianca is not a terrible choice.  But I would wait until there are more trainers in the format to use this card.

2.       Team Rocket’s Trickery-It lets you draw 2 cards and your opponent discards one card from his/her hand.  Yes the disruption is nice, but unless the year is 1998, only drawing 2 cards is not a good thing.

3.  Engineer’s Adjustment’s– It lets you discard an energy and draw 4 cards.  It is good for decks that run a lot of energy and decks that have ways to get energy back from the discard pile.  That means it fits excellently into Reshiphloison and Steelix.  It is a good card, but unless you run the kind of deck that you want energy in the discard pile, it’s not really that great of a card.

So I guess that’s all I got for you today.  Do you have anything to add Pedro?

Ummmmmm…… stay in school?

Okay we officially ran out of material.  Let’s just end the article.  How do we usually end the articles here?

Well we usually share our favorite bones. 

Is that code?

Well yes we do do that too, but I actually do want to talk about our favorite bones.

Okay?  What’s your favorite bone?

I think you know.  The Coccyx.

Oh yeah, that’s a funny sounding bone.  Speaking of funny bone, my favorite bone is the Humurus.

Ahhh, the original funny bone.  I thought you were going to with Clavicle, but the Humurus is a classic choice.

Good Bye Everybody!

Category: Card Discussion | Tags: , , , ,
  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget Engineer’s Adjustments!

    • Anonymous

      thanks, will add that.  I did forget that.

  • Quarter-Turn

    Yay! Thank you! I’m really pleased you wrote this.

    I just have another note about Sage’s Training. From what I have found, it can be useful in a couple more situations:

    – In toolbox decks that only need certain lines for specific matchups and have no qualms discarding unnecessary Pokémon.

    – In decks with Stage 2 lines. I find that I often have the evolution card, but no rare candy, or the rare candy, but no evolution card. Sage’s can help get that other necessary component.

    – And against trainer lock variants. Late game, it won’t hurt to discard trainers you don’t want to draw anyway.

    Thanks again, this article is definitely something I will refer to when I’m looking for how to best support my draw. What about numbers? If you don’t have Ninetails or Magnezone, do you think nine to twelve is a pretty safe amount of draw supporters?

    • Anonymous

      It depends on the deck of course.  With the number of trainers in the format, you are going to want to have access to the each turn, so you will want to have an option to use a supporter each turn.  Some decks can get away with 7-8 (ninetales or magenzone), but in tool box decks or something like that I do like somewhere around 10.  You have to adjust depends on what the supporter is, decks that run Judge might run more.  In my Donphan and dragons list I think I ran 11 and Tropical Beach, and I liked that number a lot.  Most decks wont have the luxury of running that much draw power, but that is probably the optimal.  

      And of course playstyle is big, you might wanna start with 10 supporters and test a lot and see if you like  that number or want one more. 

      In this format, most decks want to use a supporter each turn, so you need a lot of them to access all your trainers. 

  • I’m pretty sure that your opponent gets to choose which card they discard from their hand.

    • Anonymous

      you are right, I will change that

  • This whole Pedro shtick is getting outta hand.

    • Joel Howe

      I agree, Pedro should be killed off.

      • i think pedro is cool. wish i was friends with it

      • Someone

        Allow me. *shoots Pedro* Done :)