The Great List of Trainers

Hello everyone! Well, I am not sure how many people on this site actually play Unlimited format, however, I am a huge fan and decided that a list of every notable Trainer, Supporter, Stadium, and Special Energy card from all sets would be very useful for people to have access to when building Unlimited decks.

Even if you only play Modified format I hope this article may be interesting or helpful to you (or in the very least serve as a nostalgia trip for some). Naturally this list is quite long, so I hope you enjoy whatever you read!

A Few Notes

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The cards are listed in no particular order other than the sets they were released in. I am not going to bother explaining how some cards work if I think most people know what they do. If not, I sincerely apologize, but just check Pokébeach or BebesSearch for help!

If my description does not specifically mention if the card is a Stadium or a Supporter card, then it is a Trainer (or Trainer-Item or simply Item if you want to get technical). I will not bother relisting reprinted cards in every set; instead I will simply list the card in the first set it came out in and what the best print or similar print of that card was.

I will also not bother putting in a note at the end of the set over cards that were made obsolete by something I already listed. If in doubt, just look them up! Also, this list was written after the release of the first BW set, so if you stumble upon this list way later and are confused about an errata or something, that may be why. To make things easier, I will underline cards that I think are particularly elite.

Finally, of course there will be cards I may miss or skip over or do not think are as important as you. You may notice I am not particularly fond of flippy cards and sometimes leave them out while on the other hand I am quite fond of disruption cards.

I also think flexibility is HUGE in Unlimited format and therefore skip over some cards that are only useful in very specific circumstances. Sorry! Feel free to post any you feel deserve better treatment below.

FIRST GENERATION

Base Set

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Gust of Wind – Absolutely a staple in any Unlimited deck in my opinion.

Energy Removal – Absolutely a staple in any Unlimited deck in my opinion.

Super Energy Removal – Very useful for Energy-rich decks like Base Blastoise, Feraligatr Prime, or Emboar BW.

Professor Oak – Very, very powerful card (aka Professor Juniper except not a Supporter).

Energy Retrieval (with new BW errata)

Potion (with new BW errata)

Revive (with new BW errata)

Computer Search – Fantastic combo with Oak and Item Finder for first-gen decks.

Item Finder – aka Junk Arm except better because any card that refers to Trainer from pre-DP sets refers to ANY Trainer, Supporter, or Stadium from ANY set.

Double Colorless Energy – A staple, of course.

Scoop Up – Can be useful if avoiding Supporters. Otherwise cards like Mr. Briney’s Compassion from EX Dragon are infinitely better.

Pokémon Trader – aka weaker Pokémon Communication.

Pokémon Breederaka Rare Candy with new errata.

Switch

Bill has been reduced to a Supporter – yuck! PlusPower has also been reduced by the new BW errata, however, it is still a viable card.

Jungle Set

Poké Ball is rather obsolete now even with the EX Unseen Forces errata in my opinion. Cards like Luxury Ball and Dual Ball just outshine it.

Fossil Set

Energy Search

Mr. Fuji can be useful for donk decks with Crobat G that burn through a deck in almost one turn; these can be the most cruel yet effective decks in Unlimited format. The Mysterious Fossil from this set was made obsolete by a reprint from the Ex series such as Ex Legend Maker which was basically the same card with 40 more HP.)

Rocket Set

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Rainbow Energy – There are many different “rainbow” Energies out there. This one puts ten damage on the receiving Pokémon. Double Rainbow Energy from EX Magma vs Aqua does not make this card entirely obsolete, however, due to the fact that the Double can only be attached to an evolved Pokémon.

Goop Gas Attack – The original Power Spray except it locks ALL Pokémon Powers which includes Poké-Powers and Poké-Bodies for both your turn and your opponent’s.

Challenge! – An interesting card that either allows you to draw two cards (BILL!) or both players set up their bench with basic Pokémon from their deck (Pichu HS). Whichever your opponent picks, its good for swarm decks like base Wigglytuff, Jumpluff HS, or Cinccino BW.

Imposter Oak’s Revenge – A fantastic disruption card that basically Judges your opponent’s hand without Judging your own. In other words, your opponent shuffles their hand into their deck and draws four cards after you discard something. Oak’s Revenge paired with Energy Removal and Gust of Wind is some very sick disruption for first gen decks.

Nightly Garbage Run – This gets an honorable mention as it is the first REAL recovery card printed as it allows up to three of any basic and/or evolution Pokémon and/or basic Energy to move from your discard to your deck. This text was basically reprinted in Night Maintenance from MT except better as it was changed to saying just “Pokémon.” Supporters like Flower Shop Lady from UD easily bests it, however you are reduced to only one per turn.

Rocket’s Sneak Attack – A disruption card that lets you pick a Trainer (so any Trainer, Supporter or Stadium) from your opponents hand and have them shuffle it back into their deck.

(Here Comes Team Rocket! was made rather obsolete by Azelf LA.)

Gym Heroes (first set with Stadiums)

Erika – Both players draw three cards. Perhaps the best drawing card out there for pure speed. The fact that you are helping your opponent so much is not much of a threat if you run Imposter Oak’s Revenge in there to counter all that drawing for them.

No Removal Gym – One of the only two Stadiums (the other being Ecogym from Neo Genesis which is better in my opinion) that can hinder Energy Removal.

Misty’s Wrath – Reckless card that is great for decks that need to burn through their deck in one turn as you get to look at the top seven cards in your deck, pick two, and discard the rest. This Trainer paired with Item Finder can burn through anything.

Sabrina’s Gaze – Both players reshuffle their decks and draw that many cards. A decent disruption yet simultaneous hand refresher.

Secret Mission – Look at your opponent’s hand, then discard as many cards as you like and draw that many from your deck. An interesting card though a somewhat weak hand refresher.

Rocket’s Training Gym – Each player pays one more Energy to retreat a Pokémon.

Sabrina’s ESP – Allows you to attach the card to a Pokémon with Sabrina in it’s name and re-flip all coins once more if your attack calls for flipping coins. I only mention this because Sabrina has a Kadabra that for one Energy allows you to flip a coin, and if heads, put damage on the defending Pokémon until it has 10 HP left.

That means with this card you would on average take out all the HP on the defending Pokémon except 10. Wow. Think about that against something like Wailord TR… that’s 170 damage for one Energy.

Energy Flow – Lets you pick up as many Energy from your Pokémon as you like to your hand.

Gym Challenge

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Warp Point – The first set this is seen in! A decent card to replace Switch if you want a minor disruption to your opponent (hopefully).

Chaos Gym – Very disruptive and powerful card if your deck runs very little Trainers or Supporters as it requires any of those cards (except Stadiums) from any set to have a coin flipped before they are used. If tails, not only does that person not get to use the card, the opponent can use it’s effects if they so desire.

Misty’s Tears – Decent for water decks as it is a double Energy Search in one card as long as you discard something.

(Note: Many of the Trainers from the Gym sets are useful for those specific gym leader decks if you are actually running them.)

SECOND GENERATION

Neo Genesis

Super Scoop Up – Only really useful if you wish to skip out on Supporters that can do this without a coin flip.

Ecogym – All Energy except Colorless is returned to each player’s hand instead of being discarded (unless the Pokémon is Knocked Out of course). A great counter to Energy Removal.

Recycle Energy – Provides one colorless that goes back into your hand if it is discarded in any way.

Special D Energy – First print!

Special M Energy – First print!

Miracle Berry would see similar reprints like Lum Berry from Ex Ruby and Sapphire, but ultimately Unown G from GE that can become a Pokémon Tool made cards like these obsolete.

Neo Discovery

Ruin Wall – Lets you pick out any card with Unown in the name from your deck and put it on the bench. This can be useful with cards like Unown G from GE.

Neo Revelation

Rocket’s Hideout – Decent Stadium for decks running Dark Pokémon as they will gain 20 HP. This card was reprinted in EX Team Rocket Returns to include Pokémon with Rocket in their name. Just think, this Stadium would give a belted T-Tar Prime from UL 200 HP!

(Balloon Berry was made obsolete by Fluffy Berry from EX Unseen Forces.)

Neo Destiny

(Nothing really worthy of note here. Be sure to look at the art for Lucky Gym though… it is perhaps the most terrible stuff I have ever seen. Hilarious.)

Expedition (first set with Supporters and Pokémon Tools)

Professor Elm’s Training Method – Supporter that lets you grab an evolution and put it into your hand

Multi Technical Machine 01 – In my opinion this Pokémon Tool is not bad as it ensures an auto paralysis on the opponent’s active for one turn. That can be devastating in a fast-paced, hard-hitting format.

Copycat – Shuffle your hand and draw as many cards as your opponent.

(Professor Oak’s Research was made obsolete by Professor Oak’s New Theory from HS.)

Aquapolis

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Energy Switch – Move one basic Energy from one Pokémon to another.

Juggler – Supporter that is a great draw power for decks that run a lot of Energy. Discard one Energy, draw three cards. Discard two Energy, draw five cards

Boost Energy – Provides three C Energy that can only be attached to an evolved Pokémon and must be discarded at the end of the turn. This is useful for cards that would be discarding the Energy anyway like base Charizard or Charizard ex.

Warp Energy – Provides one C Energy and allows you to swap the receiving active Pokémon with one from your bench. A substitute for Switch or Warp Point if need be.

Memory Berry – The best print of this card comes from PL as you do not have to discard the card once it is used.

(Pokémon Fan Club was made obsolete with Pokémon Collector from HS. Same story with Seer when compared to Interviewer’s Questions from UL. Town Volunteers fell to Flower Shop Lady from UD and Weakness Guard to Protective Orb from Ex UF. I mention all these simply so no one ever finds themselves using an inferior card when there is something hands down better out there.)

Skyridge

Desert Shaman (aka Judge)

Fisherman – Draw up to four basic Energy from your discard and put them in your hand. One of the best Energy recovery cards out there for decks that breeze through them.

Mirage Stadium – Each player must flip a coin when they try to retreat a Pokémon. If tails, they cannot retreat. This can be devastating in some decks.

Cyclone Energy – Provides a C Energy and your opponent must switch their active Pokémon.

Underground Expedition – Look at the 4 cards on the bottom of your deck. Choose 2 and put them in your hand. This Supporter works well for cards like Uxie LA that get sent to the bottom of your deck.

(Relic Hunter was made obsolete by Scott from Ex Emerald.)

THIRD GENERATION

EX Ruby and Sapphire

(Nothing really worthy of note here.)

EX Sandstorm

Rare Candy – First set to offer the Rare Candy, which up until BW, was a monster of card. Now with the new errata, it does exactly what Pokémon Breeder does.

Wally’s Training – A very interesting Supporter for decks that run stage two lines. Although you cannot jump from a basic to a stage two, you CAN set down a basic Pokémon, switch it to being active, then use Wally to evolve it to its stage one on the same turn. You can also evolve a basic normally, then use Wally’s on the same turn to evolve it to a stage two.

Finally, you can also use this card on your first turn, allowing for a nice, quick evolve. So if you want to jump straight into action without a real “starter”, go with this guy. Example: You set a Phanpy as your active, use a Wally, place a F Energy on Donphan from TR, and boom! You are hitting for 60 on turn one!

Root/Claw Fossil – If you are running Anorith or Lileep (all the reprints of these cards are basically the same but avoid those from LA – they count as Knocked Out Pokémon!)

Multi Energy – This card is just a Rainbow Energy except instead of placing ten damage on the user, its drawback is that the user cannot have any other special Energy cards on it, otherwise the card only offers one C Energy. A very decent card if you don’t need to use a DCE or anything else of the sort with the Pokémon but basic Energy.

(Lanette’s Net Search was made obsolete by Pokémon Collector from HS.)

EX Dragon

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Low Pressure System – Stadium that gives all grass and electric Pokémon 10 more HP.

Mr. Briney’s Compassion – Best “scoop up” card in Pokémon TCG in my opinion. Unless it is an Pokémon-ex, you can pick up one of your Pokémon in play with this Supporter and return ALL cards attached to it to your hand. No strings attached.

EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua

Dual Ball – First one! Flip two coins. For each heads, grab a basic Pokémon out of your deck and put it into your hand.

Double Rainbow Energy – Wow. You can only attach this to evolved Pokémon, and it does reduce the user’s attack by 10, but hey, its two Energy of any type!

(Like the Gym sets, this set has great Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums for decks running cards from this set.)

EX Hidden Legends

Ancient Tomb – Stadium that removes all weaknesses (except for Pokémon-ex and Pokémon with an owner in its name). Very, very useful Stadium.

Magnetic Storm – Stadium that removes resistance to fighting and psychic attacks.

Steven’s Advice – Supporter that lets you draw cards up to the number of your opponent’s Pokémon in play. If you have seven or more cards (including Steven’s Advice), you cannot play this card. Out of all the Supporter drawing cards printed, this is perhaps the most powerful.

This means that after you play Steven’s down on the table, you could have potentially up to five cards in your hand before you even start drawing. Then, depending on how many Pokémon your opponent has in play, you could draw up to six cards. That could potentially be an 11-card deck on turn one! More likely it will be three to four cards drawn early game and four to five mid to late game.

EX FireRed and LeafGreen

Celio’s Network – Perhaps the best search Supporter printed. If you are running a deck with generally normal Pokémon (no Pokémon-ex, LV.X, or Legend), this is a better card than Bebe’s Search as it simply allows you to grab either a basic or evolution card from your deck and put it into your hand; no strings attached other than showing it to your opponent.

VS Seeker – Grab a Supporter from your discard pile and put it into your hand.

(Great Ball was a great search Trainer from this set until its new errata from the Japanese White set reduced it basically to a Master Ball print. This is assuming this is how it shall be printed in English.)

EX Team Rocket Returns

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Pokémon Retrieval – An interesting recovery Trainer that is somewhat flexible. You either pick a basic or evolution card from your discard pile, show it, and put it into your hand OR you pick up to three basic or evolution cards, show them, and put them into your deck.

Surprise! Time Machine – Another cool Trainer that basically allows you to devolve your Pokémon, shuffle that highest stage evolution into your deck, grab an evolution for that same Pokémon, and evolve it. In other words, you can swap evolution cards which is a great thing if you are running two different types of the same Pokémon, such as Umbreon for example, in the same deck.

Swoop! Teleporter – A powerful Trainer that lets you search your deck for a basic Pokémon (excluding Pokémon-ex) and replace any of your basic Pokémon in play with it. Any cards, damage, effects, or special conditions on the original Pokémon (which you discard but does not count as being Knocked Out) now moves to the new Pokémon.

So! Let’s say you start your deck with a good starter that helps you speed up your set up. You attach an Energy or two, the starter gets knocked around by some low damage, then boom: you move that Energy and damage to the likes of a Reshiram or Zekrom. Eeeeek! (Yes, Cleffa reference intended.)

Dark M Energy – Special Energy card that counts as both Dark and M Energy, but only one at a time. A decent card if you are mixing the types in your deck.

(Like the Gym sets, this set has great Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums for decks running cards from this set and the original Rocket set like Dark Vileplume.)

EX Deoxys

Meteor Falls – This Stadium allows any active Pokémon to use any move from its previous evolutions. Can be useful if you have a heavy hitter that may take an extra turn to fully set up, so instead you just use one of the cheaper moves from an earlier form until ready.

Space Center – This Stadium stops all Poké-Bodies for basic Pokémon (except Pokémon-ex). In other words, a counter to cards like Spiritomb AR.

Scramble Energy – One VERY cool Energy. While in play, if you have more Prize cards than your opponent, this counts as THREE of any combination of Energy when attached to an evolved Pokémon (excluding Pokémon-ex). That is some serious comeback power. The plus side is, if you catch up on prizes or have less than your opponent, this card still counts as one C Energy.

EX Emerald

Battle Frontier – This Stadium stops all colorless, dark, and steel type evolved Pokémon from being able to use Poké-powers, Poké-bodies, and therefore, Pokémon Powers (from older cards) as well.

Mr. Stone’s Project – One of the only cards I am aware of (other than Roseanne’s Research from SW) that ensures you grabbing more than one basic Energy card from your deck. Energy Search and Energy Exchange are only one, while Interviewer’s Questions is basically a gamble. With this Supporter you can either grab two basic Energy out of your deck, or two basic Energy out of your discard pile.

Scott – This is one fantastic Supporter. It is one of the only cards I am aware of that let’s you search your deck for a Stadium card. On top of that, you can search for up to three in any combination of Stadium or Supporter cards!

EX Unseen Forces

Fluffy Berry – A Pokémon Tool that makes your Pokémon’s Retreat Cost zero. WOW. Oh, it doesn’t work on Pokémon-ex or Pokémon with Dark or an owner in its name (which most people are not going to be playing anyway).

Protective Orb – A Pokémon Tool that removes your Pokémon’s weakness. WOW. Oh, it doesn’t work for a basic or Pokémon-ex (which is fine by me – this is a great card).

EX Delta Species

Holon Energy FF – This set produced some GREAT Energies that can be teched into decks depending on what Energies you are running. They are brilliant in that they are an easy way to avoid having to use a Trainer for something while also providing an Energy. This card provides one C Energy.

If the Pokémon its attached to also has a R Energy attached, then that Pokémon has no weakness. If it has or also has a F Energy attached, then its attack isn’t affected by resistance (this doesn’t work for Pokémon-ex, as usual, though).

Holon Energy GL – Same story as above except with grass and lightning. With grass, the Pokémon cant be affected by special conditions. With lightning, its bleh. All it does with lightning is that the opponent’s Pokémon-ex attack’s are reduced by 10.

Holon Energy WP – Same story as above except with water and psychic. With water, prevent all effects excluding damage (Unown G!) done to that Pokémon. With psychic the Pokémon’s Retreat Cost is zero. *Drools* (Retreat Cost is a big deal when Gust of Wind runs amuck.

Holon FarmerFlower Shop Lady made this card obsolete.

Like the Gym sets, this set has great Trainers, Supporters, and Stadiums for decks running cards from this set.

The Holon engine, when it first came out, was a serious force to reckon with. This engine, however, along with the Dark/Rocket, Gym, and Magma/Aqua ones, are rather weak nowadays when compared to mixing and mashing the “best of” cards from all sets

EX Legend Maker (this set has some nice Stadiums)

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Cursed Stone – Stadium: Any time between turns, each player places on damage counter on any Pokémon with a Poké-Power.

Full Flame – Stadium: Put 4 damage counters instead of 2 on any burned Pokémon in between turns. Burned Pokémon remain burned even if evolved or devolved. This card can make some mean combos with guys like Houndoom Prime from UD or Heatran LV.X from SF.

Giant Stump – Great disruption Stadium: each player can’t have more than 3 Pokémon on their bench. If they do have more than that when Giant Stump comes into play, they have to discard those Pokémon and all cards attached to them until they have three. Wow.

Power Tree – Once during each player’s turn, if they have no special Energies in their hand, this Stadium allows them to draw one basic Energy from their discard pile. Great for decks that burn through a lot like Reshiram and Emboar.

Strange Cave – Decent Stadium (if you are running a deck with these cards) that lets you skip fossils and place an Omanyte, Kabuto, Aerodactyl, Aerodactyl ex, Lileep, or Anorith directly on your bench as a basic Pokémon once per turn.

EX Holon Phantoms

Holon Fossil – This Trainer works hand in hand with Strange Cave. You flip a coin, if heads you may search your deck for one of any of those Pokémon listed directly above this and put it on your bench. If tails, you may put one of those Pokémon from your hand on your bench. Either way you treat it as a basic Pokémon.

This set has a few more cards that run very well in the Holon engine such as Holon Lake and the Delta Species Rainbow Energy.

EX Crystal Guardians

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Castaway – Perhaps the best Supporter card printed in the Pokémon TCG. This card is just a better Cyrus’s Conspiracy designed to fit ALL decks. It allows you to search your deck for a Supporter card, a Pokémon Tool card, and a basic Energy card. With Expert Belt floating around out there in the cosmos, this card is amazing.

Example: I evolve Phanpy to Donphan on turn one with Broken Time-Space in play. I play my hand out, and use Castaway last. I attach the Expert Belt and F Energy I picked out to Donphan, hitting for 80 damage. Next turn I use the Professor Juniper I also nabbed for a fresh hand of seven cards. BOOM!

Cessation Crystal – This Pokémon Tool stops all Poké-Powers, Poké-Bodies, and therefore Pokémon Powers as well if it is attached to your active Pokémon (no Pokémon-ex). DISRUPTION! Aiyeeeee!

Crystal Beach – This Stadium makes all special Energy that count as 2 or more energy count only as one colorless. That’s some cold-blooded stuff for anyone running DCE, Double Rainbow Energy, Boost Energy or Scramble Energy.

Holon Circle – Prevents all effects of an attack including damage if someone tries to attack. After this, you discard this Stadium. So this means you automatically get one free attackless turn from your opponent, however, if they choose not to attack and continue setting up, you may lose your own unless you also refuse to attack and put the pressure back on them. Interesting, no doubt.

Windstorm – Choose up two of either Pokémon Tools or Stadiums in play and discard them.

EX Dragon Frontiers

(Nothing really worthy of note here.)

EX Power Keepers

Drake’s Stadium – A decent Stadium for colorless decks as it reduces all attack done to active colorless Pokémon by 10.

Glacia’s Stadium – A decent Stadium for water decks as it removes their weakness (excluding Pokémon-ex).

Phoebe’s Stadium – This Stadium was made basically obsolete by Moonlight Stadium from GE unless you really don’t want to help out dark Pokémon with their Retreat Cost.

FOURTH GENERATION

Diamond and Pearl

Speed Stadium – Once per turn, a player may flip a coin until tails with this Stadium in play. For each heads, draw a card. It seems like there are just too many cards out there that help out donk decks burn through their whole deck in one turn.

Mysterious Treasures

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Bebe’s Search – The first print of this extremely popular Supporter. While Celio’s Network does not require you to shuffle a card into your deck, it doesn’t work in all decks. Bebe’s has the privilege of simply saying “Pokémon” instead of “basic or evolution” which allows you to grab Pokémon-ex, LV.X, and Legend Pokémon.

Fossil Excavator – Probably the best Supporter printed for decks that run fossils or fossil Pokémon. You get to search your deck or discard pile for either a Trainer with fossil in the name or a stage one or stage two that evolves from a fossil, show it, and put it in your hand. This card with Strange Cave and Holon Fossil makes some very serious rapid fluidity in a fossil deck.

Lake Boundary – This Stadium makes all weakness x2. This is a good card when playing against cards from the DP sets as most Pokémon do not have this high of a weakness.

Night Maintenance – Better version of Nightly Garbage Run. Good recovery Trainer if you need to play multiple ones per turn for some very serious recovery instead of a Supporter like Flower Shop Lady or Palmer’s Contribution.

Quick Ball – Reveal cards from your deck until you reveal a Pokémon. Great for speed decks or donk decks that don’t care about showing cards as they will run through them all in one turn anyway.

Skull and Armor Fossils – If you are running Cranidos and/or Shieldon (count as Knocked Out Pokémon).

Dusk Ball – Like Underground Expedition, this card works well with Pokémon like Uxie LA that get sent to the bottom of your deck. You look at the bottom 7 cards of your deck, choose a Pokémon there, show it, and put it in your hand.

Secret Wonders

Roseanne’s Research – Grab up to two in any combination of basic Pokémon or basic Energy cards from your deck, show them to your opponent, and put them in your hand. This is a great flexible Supporter if you do not feel the need to run Pokémon Collector from HS.

Great Encounters

Amulet Coin – If the Pokémon Amulet Coin is attached to is your active Pokémon, draw a card at the end of your turn.

Felicity’s Drawing – This Supporter is a lot like Juggler, except a little more flexible yet weaker. Discard one card, draw three cards. Discard two cards, draw four cards.

Leftovers – If the Pokémon Leftovers is attached to is your active Pokémon, remove one damage counter from it at the end of your turn.

Moonlight Stadium – A better Stadium version of Phoebe’s Stadium. All psychic and dark Pokémon have a zero Retreat Cost.

Premier Ball – Great for decks that run LV.X as you get to search your deck or discard pile for one, show it, and put it in your hand.

Majestic Dawn

Dawn Stadium – Whenever a player attaches an Energy to a water or grass Pokémon, remove one damage counter and all special conditions from that Pokémon. This Stadium can work wonders for decks with cards like base Blastoise or Feraligatr Prime.

Old Amber, Dome, and Helix Fossils – If you are playing Kabuto, Omanyte, or Aerodactyl (counts as a Knocked Out Pokémon).

Legends Awakened

Cynthia’s Feelings – Only Supporter that allows you to shuffle your hand into your deck and draw 8 cards, but you need to have just had a Pokémon Knocked Out, otherwise it’s only four. Decent Supporter if you are running some weak Pokémon like Mew Prime that you can expect to get Knocked Out in one turn.

Snowpoint Temple – All Pokémon that is not evolved gets plus 20 HP. Great for SP decks and cards like Reshiram, Zekrom, or Legend Pokémon.

Stark Mountain – Once per turn a player may move a Fire or F Energy from one Pokémon to another.

Technical Machine TS-1 – a decent Trainer for setting up. You attach it to your Pokémon and can use the attack for no Energy to search your deck for an evolution card and evolve one of your Pokémon in play.

Technical Machine TS-2 is the same as above except you get to devolve an opponent’s highest evolution of a Pokémon. In my opinion this card would be more viable if Rare Candy had not been weakened as you would have a lot more Pokémon running about without a stage one in between and thus really slowing them down if you devolve them and they do not have the right cards to recover that stage two next turn)

Stormfront

Conductive Quarry – Stadium: Once per turn, a player may flip a coin. If heads, they may put an electric or steel Energy from their discard pile into their hand after showing it. Decent for said type attacks that require discard. A very similar Stadium called Burned Tower was printed in UD, however, since it allows any basic Energy to be drawn, it actually seems weaker to me in that it will certainly be able to help your opponent out while Conductive is less likely to do so based on their deck.

Luxury Ball – A fantastic card that let’s you search your deck for any Pokémon (except LV.X), show it, and put it in your hand. You can’t play this card if there is already one in your discard pile. A staple in most decks as you pick it up with an Itemfinder from base set (a very flexible card), and use the card again if need be, thus only needing one per deck.

Poké Drawer + – If you play one Poké Drawer +, draw a card. If you play two, search your deck for up to two cards and put them in your hand. Wow. Great card for speedy decks.

Platinum

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Broken Time Space – The mother of all Stadiums. You can evolve whenever you want, including first turn, as many times as you want. Santa Maria…

Galactic HQ – Another Stadium like Snowpoint Temple that helps out basic Pokémon. Any time someone evolves their Pokémon, place 2 damage counters on it.

Level Max – This Trainer allows you a chance of a speedy level up as you get to flip a coin, and if heads, grab a LV.X card from your deck and put it on a Pokémon in play, even if you just put that Pokémon into play that turn or evolved it that turn.

Looker’s Investigation – Supporter: look at your opponents hand, then choose either you or your opponent to shuffle their hand into their deck and draw five cards. Not the best disruption when you have cards like Imposter Oak’s Revenge and not the best hand refresher when you have cards like Professor Oak. A bit more flexible, though.

Miasma Valley – Stadium: whenever a player puts a Pokémon on their bench (other than grass or psychic), put 2 damage counters on that Pokémon.

Pokédex HANDY910is – Look at the top two cards of your deck. Choose one and put it in your hand. Put the other on the bottom of your deck. Great for speed decks and if you REALLY need that other card you can always play Underground Expedition anyway.

Pokémon Rescue – Put a Pokémon from your discard pile into your hand. SOLID.

SP Engine (Energy Gain, Poké Turn, Power Spray, Cyrus’s Conspiracy) – Great cards for SP decks, otherwise not very splashable into other decks.

Cyrus’s Conspiracy is just a worse version of Castaway. But hey, it is still a good card!

Rising Rivals

Lucian’s Assignment – A bumped up version of Energy Switch in Supporter form.

Pokémon Contest Hall – A very interesting Stadium for setting up. Once a turn, a player may flip a coin. If heads, they may search their deck for a basic Pokémon, put it on their bench, then search their deck for a Pokémon Tool card and put it on that Pokémon. Great card for SP decks or for getting a belted Reshiram or Zekrom out without using anything other than this Stadium.

Sunyshore City Gym – Stadium purely for electric Pokémon. All electric attacks are not affected by resistance and all Lightning Pokémon have no weakness.

SP Engine (Aaron’s Collection, Bertha’s Warmth, Flint’s Willpower, Technical Machine G, SP-Radar, SP Energy) – Great cards for SP decks, otherwise not very splashable into other decks.

Upper Energy is just a worse DCE.

Supreme Victors

Battle Tower – Decent Stadium for decks that run a lot of LV.X as each level up allows you to remove 4 damage counters from that Pokémon.

Champion’s Room – Another SP engine card in Stadium form.

Cyrus’s Initiative – There are not many disruption Supporters out there, and this is one of the few. Since you flip 2 coins, you should average at least one heads which allows you to look at your opponent’s hand and put one card you find there at the bottom of their deck. Rocket’s Sneak Attack is still a better card, but Cyrus’ is a bit more flexible in that you are not reduced to Trainers.

Palmer’s Contribution – Fantastic recovery Supporter that is a little more flexible (but one less card recovered) than Flower Shop Lady in that you can grab up to five in any combination of Pokémon or basic Energy cards from your discard pile and put them into your deck.

Arceus

Beginning Door/Ultimate Zone – Arceus deck boost. ‘Nuff said.

Expert Belt – Good heavens, this card is just amazing. In Unlimited format this card can make broken cards even more broken. With help from cards like Expert Belt, a specific Stadium, and one or two benched Pokémon, it is easy to get combos going where you have added up to 40-70 additional HP and are hitting for 30-50 more damage per turn.

HeartGold & SoulSilver

Pokémon Collector – One absolutely fantastic Supporter for setting up. Grab three basics from your deck, show them, and throw ‘em in your hand. Boom.

Pokémon Communication – A new Pokémon Trader card except better in that it says “Pokémon” instead of a “basic or evolution card.”

Professor Oak’s New Theory – Ahhh, PONT. Some may ask: why bother ever using PONT when you could just use the old Oak man himself? Well, some decks have a Supporter infrastructure (Sableye SF) and can more easily grab a Supporter than a Trainer. OR the deck may just not want to burn through itself too quickly as it runs precious cards that will be necessary later on. Regardless, it is still one of the best hand refreshers out there.

Unleashed

Engineer’s Adjustments – The middleman Supporter between Juggler and Felicity’s Drawing. Discard an Energy and draw four cards.

Interviewer’s Questions – This Supporter allows you to look at the top 8 cards from your deck and grab as many Energy cards as you find there, show ‘em, and put them in your hand. One of the few cards that you can use to grab special Energy out of your deck. Runs well with high-Energy count decks, otherwise, bleh.

Judge is just a worse Supporter form of Imposter Oak’s Revenge. If you are REALLY against discarding one card or you need to run a Supporter, then Judge is your man. He is also useful with Copycat for cards like Yanmega Prime.

Undaunted

Energy Exchanger – This is a great way to fish out those special Energies from your deck as you swap an Energy from your hand to grab any other one from your deck. Also great for decks that are running multiple lines of different type.

Flower Shop Lady – My favorite recovery Supporter as far as moving cards from your discard pile to your deck goes. This allows up to three basic Energy and three Pokémon to move back to your deck. Yowza.

Legend Box – Desperate search card for decks running Legend Pokémon that really need to get them out as soon as they can. Very luck-based, however.

Triumphant

Black Belt – This is a Supporter that I feel that is not worth overlooking. With an easy way to grab a Supporter (Scott, Castaway) and assuming you will not have your hand thrown out by next turn, this can be a fantastic recovery card that adds plus 40 damage to your attack when behind on prizes. With such high HP being easily obtainable in Unlimited, Black Belt may more viable than people think.

Indigo Plateau – Stadium for decks running a staple of Legend Pokémon.

Seeker – This Supporter is the only “scoop up” card that also plays into disruption as your opponent must also scoop up a Pokémon from their bench and put it into their hand. The card is weaker than our friend Briney, however, as you are indeed reduced to the bench. It can also be worthless to play if it will help your opponent.

Twins – This is the best deck-drawing recovery card out there. If you are behind on prizes, you may search your deck for any two cards and put them in your hand. No revealing even required!

Junk Arm is just a worse version of Item Finder

Call of Legends

Lost World – When you have entire decks based around a Stadium, you know that card means business. Place six of your opponent’s Pokémon in the Lost Zone and you win. Excuse me, you may CHOOSE to win. Maybe for some reason you just are not in the mood to win and choose not to.

Lost Remover – Although this may be a weaker form of Energy Removal, it DOES place the special Energy in the Lost Zone where it cannot be recovered later.

Black and White

All the Trainers in this set were already covered except Professor Juniper, which I will gladly include on this list as it is just an Oak in Supporter form and Supporters can be more easily fished out of a deck than a Trainer can.

Don’t get me wrong though… Oak is still the better card. The bigger man. The head honcho. The big cheese. The top gun… okay, that is enough.

Reader Interactions

31 replies

  1. Ash

    This is an awesome article, thank you! I play quite a lot of Unlimited (on Lackey CCG, ever heard of?), but i also am trying to get into HGSS-on.

  2. MultX

    I’ve been waiting for this article for a REALLY long time

  3. tim h

    Awesome article! I don’t think that all the energy cards are specifically staple… because, it’s very easy to win with a deck which consists of 4 crobats, regice and 56 trainers and supporters, for instance (overexaggerating, of course.)

      • Lee  → tim

        This is true. First turn donk decks can be made to play so smoothly and easily with the right cards in Unlimited format that it is almost disgusting (to me decks like these are just the antithesis of what a good match should entail).

        • Celes Chere  → Lee

          It’s unfortunate, but the new rules kind of hurt the format – there used to be more Gastly vs Spiritomb standoffs where players had some time to play Supporters, and even if someone drew their whole deck, there were a variety of different strategies they might employ such as different donk combos, evolution locks, Vileplume Ex, Muk…

          But now, Sableye into Space Center into draw my whole deck and donk you is pretty much dominant and near uncounterable. The nerf to Rare Candy has made pursuing evolutions inadvisable as you can’t play Space Center and Broken Time-space in the same turn. There may still be a Muk deck that’s viable as most donk decks pretty much scoop when Muk hits the table, but I’m still working on that one as it’s difficult to tweak it to beat both the competitive decks and the jank that people commonly bring to the table (such as an old Modified deck).

          That said, I enjoy the format as I enjoy the deckbuilding and I like to goldfish. Noninteractive games don’t necessarily imply a lack of skill involved, as deckbuilding is still a very relevant part of the format (and one that 9/10 people are terrible at).

  4. Anonymous

    Curious, but is there a reason that you didn’t include cards like ATM rock?

    • Lee  → Anonymous

      I included a few technical machines, but found most to be very weak and slow when compared to attacks seen from newer Pokemon. As I mention somewhere in the article, if Rare Candy had not been weakened I think cards with effects like ATM Rock would be absolutely devasting as there would really be very few stage one Pokemon used in a stage two line. With the weakened Rare Candy though, I often find it much easier to fish out Pokemon in one turn (so many good searchers!) and lay down a BTS (which you can fish out too) than to try and rely on a trainer to pull it off. In the BTS scenario, cards like ATM Rock are just not that useful when it takes up your attack.

      • Celes Chere  → Lee

        Pretty sure the mention of ATM Rock is because of it’s use in the Aerodactyl + Ninjask/Aggron ex/Ursaring/Mewtwo Lv.X + Dark Vileplume combo (or the similar Aerodactyl + Vileplume Ex one). Even if your opponent sets up, if they haven’t locked you from using your trainers, you can just set up yourself, undo their work, and lock them out of the game (BTS does not override Aerodactyl).

        Granted, with the nerf to Rare Candy, that strategy is much less viable – kind of a shame really, as it was one of the more interesting unlimited decks.

  5. michael newman

    brilliant article, we need more love for unlimited players

  6. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    Very interesting article.

    Do you think Lass and Gold Berry deserve to make the list?

    • Lee  → Jak

      Oh noes! I knew I would miss a few – Lass is one of them. Lass definitely deserves to be on this list as it is a good disruption card (particularly for first generation decks).

      Gold Berry I did not overlook, I just thought it wasn’t quite noteworthy simply because it takes up your tool space on the Pokemon for one turn and only removes one more damage counter than a Potion does. If I have my way, I always have that tool slot filled with either Expert Belt, Fluffy Berry, or Protective Orb as soon as possible, but hey, that is just my play style. It is still a good card especially for Neo decks and should not be dismissed (generally how I feel about most cards).

    • Lee  → Jak

      Oh noes! I knew I would miss a few – Lass is one of them. Lass definitely deserves to be on this list as it is a good disruption card (particularly for first generation decks).

      Gold Berry I did not overlook, I just thought it wasn’t quite noteworthy simply because it takes up your tool space on the Pokemon for one turn and only removes one more damage counter than a Potion does. If I have my way, I always have that tool slot filled with either Expert Belt, Fluffy Berry, or Protective Orb as soon as possible, but hey, that is just my play style. It is still a good card especially for Neo decks and should not be dismissed (generally how I feel about most cards).

    • Lee  → froggy25

      I knew I would have to answer for specific cards, haha. As mentioned already, I simply missed Lass. Oracle seemed just a little too slow to me for your use of supporter (although a good add-in for Sableye SF starter) when you could just play something like Castaway and Computer Search that could just grab exactly what you need on the spot. As for Rocket’s Trap, as I mention in the begining I do not like flippy cards, and prefer running Rocket’s Sneak Attack instead, but hey, that is just me. All good cards regardless.

  7. Mark B

    Recycle Energy’s ability kicks in only when it gets discarded in play. 

    Ex: You attach Recycle Energy to one of your Pokemon and then discard it as an effect of Super Energy Removal.  It returns because it was in play. 

    If it gets discarded from your hand (Oak, Itemfinder), it stays there.

    • Mark B  → Mark

      In addition, because the term “Basic or Evolution card” got reworded to “Pokemon” as of Diamond & Pearl, Pokemon Trader is only limited by Dark Vileplume as it never got truly reprinted and retains its “True Trainer”-status.

      • Lee  → Mark

        Im confused. Pre-DP cards still retain their text of “basic or evoution” and Pokemon Trader is still a trainer, which would include “trainer-item” from the BW ruling, thus something like Vileplume UD could also limit it.

        • Mark B  → Lee

          That’s been errata’d to have the umbrella term “Pokemon”.  You can check that in Pokegym’s Ruling Compendium.  Otherwise, pre-DP Supporters would be blocked by Allergy Flower as they have the name “Trainer” listed above “Supporter”.

        • Lee  → Mark

          I asked this question on Pokegym and got the answer that all pre-DP trainers that do not say Supporter or Stadium on them are indeed considered trainer-item under BW rules from Pokepop. I wish I could give you the link but right now I am on an open wireless connection and the site wont allow me in.

    • Lee  → Jakob

      You can argue the other way too. Take Torterra UL for example (one of my decks). You add Torterra Lv. X and add 20 HP. You attach an Expert Belt and add 20 HP. You play a Shaymin Lv. X and add 40 HP. You play Low Pressure System and add 10 HP. Thats using cards defensively for a Pokemon with 230 HP that can hit and heal itself for 70 (with a Cherrim SF out). That avoids OHKO without relying on OHKO.

  8. Anonymous

    Lee, I didn’t even notice that this was your article.  Job well done and I can’t wait until we can collaborate on the format when we get back to classes.  And this list is giving me great deck ideas for an unlimited disruption deck.

  9. Jayson

    A couple of things. You mentioned Mr. Stone’s Project as one of the few cards to get out 2 basic energy at a time from your deck. Lady Outing let you get out 3 basic energies of different types from your deck. Which also first appeared in EX Ruby & Sapphire to which you said had “(Nothing really worthy of note here.)” lol Another thing is you mentioned, Rocket’s Hideout giving “a belted T-Tar Prime from UL 200 HP!” Rocket’s Hideout only gives +20 HP to pokemon with Dark or Rocket’s *in its name*. It doesn’t give +20 to any ol’ dark type pokemon. Other than that, a great list! :)

  10. Ziggmiceter

    You don’t even know how much time this saved me with Bronzong Chef. Thank you.

  11. sotolinn

    hi dude, i created some “fake card” to print and play with my girlfriend, we have the pokemon we want, and this article help us a lot to get some good trainer cards to add to our decks. THANKS!!!!

  12. Shammysham

    This is an amazing article, well done! Do you have more on unlimited decks?

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