Probably one of the most overlooked and underrated cards is also one of the oldest Pokémon cards available: Poké Ball. Now I’m sure everyone is having negative thoughts on the card and how much you ‘hate flipping coins’, but if you can take a few minutes to read through this article, you might figure out something new you hadn’t considered before about this card.
First consider what this card can accomplish: fetch you ANY Pokémon card you need, with a 50% chance of success.
To really make my point, I have to illustrate a common scenario in which you could find yourself during a game, where the use of this card could come up. Consider the following:
It is only Turn 3 of the game. You went first and you did have a Basic Pokémon card in your starting hand, so you lay down your prizes. That means so far you have gone through 14 cards of your deck, leaving it with 46 cards left: 7 from your starting hand, 6 Prizes and drawing 1 card for your turn.
On turn 3 you draw your card and lo and behold it is ‘x’, where ‘x’ can be any of the following cards and you need a Claydol GE (of which you run 2 and neither is prized) to evolve your Baltoy GE this turn because your hand is dead otherwise:
First consider Dusk Ball. You take the bottom 7 cards in your deck in order to try and find one of your 2 Claydols. Only finding a Claydol GE there will help you out, that means only 2 out of 43 cards left in your deck are helpful, or 5%. And since you only take a look at 7, or 16% of your deck, combining these 2 conditions, we are left with a less than 1% chance of true success, i.e. finding a Claydol GE as you could consider success as finding any Pokémon card, but this does not hold true for the situation at hand, which is a very likely scenario during a game.
Secondly we consider Quick Ball. You are pretty much always guaranteed success with this card, but here we don’t even get a choice. You have to keep the first Pokémon card that pops up, and thus the chances come down to either of your 2 Claydols being at the top of your deck. Since you assume your deck is sufficiently randomized, and that you run an average of 24 Pokémon, this means you have around an 8% chance of finding one of your Claydols first than any of your other Pokémon cards.
Finally consider Poké Ball. No need to touch your deck before hand or depend on its randomization. You have a 50% chance of success, as it allows you to search your entier deck, unlike the limitations imposed by Dusk Ball’s 7 bottom cards or Quick Ball’s ‘first come first keep’. Now I don’t think one need to be a maths expert to realize how much greater are the odds of getting the Pokémon you need with Poké Ball compared to the other 2, even if the other 2 are able to get other less useful Pokémon for the situation at hand.
Most players will have a hard time even finding the space to use these types of cards in their decks, but if you do, it is always good to know all your options available and which one is the best choice for you. Quick Ball’s success rate is significantly better if you play a very low amount of Pokémon, and becomes comparable or even higher than Poké Ball’s in certain decks, but for the average Stage 2 or SP based deck, Poké Ball offers the best chance for you to get the Pokémon you need, exactly when you need it. Some people will never grasp the fact that it requires a flip, but if you take a less biased look at the cards, you’ll soon realize Poké Ball is one of the best non-Supporter search cards this game has to offer.
Do you guys agree? Did you ever consider the math revolving around these cards, instead of just looking at the ‘flippy’ side of things? Have you ever used Poké Ball with success before?