Ace of Specs – Choosing the perfect ACE – SPEC card for your deck I think it’s safe to say that decks are truly defined by their Trainer cards, and not their Pokemon. True, we don’t call Darkrai “Dark Patch” or Blastoise “Superior Energy Retrieval”, but it is apparent that if it weren’t for these cards, neither of these decks would be half as good. Imagine no dark acceleration. Or no way to fuel Black Ballista. These cards are the engine behind the curtains for every single deck in the format. A while back, in Boundaries Crossed, ACE – SPEC trainer cards were released. These Trainers were so powerful, you could only have 1 in your entire deck. Unfortunately, the only good one was Computer Search. However, as more and more sets continued this trend, a variety of ACE – SPECS hit the scene. Life Dew, Dowsing Machine, Scramble Switch, Scoop Up Cyclone ETC. In fact, there are so many with versatile uses, it’s safe to say that these in turn showcase a decks strategy as well. Low on resources? Run Dowsing Machine. Want a fast setup? Computer Search is the way to go. Taking your opponent off guard sounds nice? Try Scramble Switch. There are 13 to choose from, and that’s harder than it sounds. So in this article, I aim to help you in choosing the perfect ACE – SPEC card for your deck. Admittedly, there isn’t a right ACE – SPEC for every deck. Computer Search isn’t adherent to fast decks, as well as Scramble Switch being conspicuous in Plasma only. While many people say play style is a myth (and I tend not to disagree) personal preference or thought processing is. This makes ACE – SPEC cards notoriously hard to choose, simply because of how one plays the deck, and their deck list especially. This being said, I’m not here to say: Computer Search – Good in: Plasma Blastoise Darkrai Fairies Bad in: Rayboar VirGen What I don’t want to focus on is that it isn’t bad in any of these decks, but that it isn’t bad in any of these decks BECAUSE it all boils down to how one plays their deck. Not play style. What I mean by this is that someone’s fairy build may be slowed down, let your opponent attack you while you take hits, then come back with blinding speed. In this case, you must ask yourself: is my ACE – SPEC choice going to be the same as his? The answer should be known. Thus with our back up information… well… backed up, we will commence with the article. These are the steps I take in finding my ACE – SPEC: 1. Build your deck 2. Evaluate the cards, how you built it, and what would work best. 3. Test 4. Choose the best ACE – SPEC based on how you want to play the deck, and what you want it to do. Now, the first thing to evaluate is your deck in general. Take Virizion/Genesect for instance. The ACE – SPEC that will almost always be seen here is G – Booster. This may seem mandatory, and it quite possibly is, as I have almost no experience with the deck. However, by adding in G – Booster, you slow the deck down. By this I mean that Virizion has to come back out every time you want to utilize the attack, since it discards two Grass. Now, if this were all supporting my argument, I wouldn’t be writing this. You also take up your ACE – SPEC spot, removing an option for things like Computer Search. Now that you’ve chosen this tool as your OP trainer card, it is incredibly prone to being discarded. Genesect getting KOed, Tool Scrapper, and Discarded by other means, so on and so forth. This creates a scenario where you have to start to build your deck around it, adding in usually unwanted cards such as Shadow Triad. From what I know about VirGen, however, it has tons of extra space. There isn’t really any problem in building it around G – Booster. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Computer Search is inferior, what I wanted to drive home with this rant is this: It’s how you build the deck that determines what ACE – SPEC you’ll use. Following this analyze, the next question that arises is this: Now that I’ve built my deck, how do I infer what ACE – SPEC I want in my deck based on the cards I have? To answer this, I’m going to use my personal favorite deck, RayBoar. Before we begin this section, keep in mind this tip: Never choose your ACE – SPEC just from the type of deck you’re playing. This demotes creativity, and as you’ll see, may not be the best choice for your deck. I’m going to begin by giving you a 59 card deck list for Rayquaza/Emboar. The ACE – SPEC is all that’s missing. Pokemon – (15) Trainers/Supporters (32) Energy (12) 4 Tepig 4 Professor Juniper 4 Electric 1 Pignite 3 N 8 Fire 3 Emboar 4 Skyla 3 Rayquaza EX 4 Shauna 1 Rayquaza DRV 2 Tropical Beach 2 Fennekin XY 4 Ultra Ball 2 Dephox XY 4 Rare Candy 4 Superior Energy Retrieval 3 Professors Letter Now, all thoughts aside from how good or bad the list is, just by looking at it, it’s easy to tell this person wants maximum consistency. 4 Rare Candy, 4 Ultra Ball, 2 Tropical Beach, and an extra Professors Letter. They rely drawing their extra Tepigs rather than Level Ball. Why does this matter? Well, as we mentioned earlier, we want maximum speed. An obvious choice would be Computer Search. The way I see it, you will almost always have 1 component for an Emboar in your hand. As I already said, 4 of almost everything important is there. With 4 Tepigs, you’ll have one on your bench. The last thing needed can be grabbed with computer search, and it doesn’t just add to your consistency; it speeds it up. While this may seem logical to me, the key thing in that paragraph was this: “The way I see it, you will almost always have 1 component for an Emboar in your hand.” That is the way I see it. Which is why I feel personal preference is the biggest thing while choosing the right ACE – SPEC. From someone else point of view, Dowsing Machine may be the best choice, because of those key words: The way I see it. To refresh, here are the list of steps I follow when selecting an ACE – SPEC: 1. Build your deck 2. Evaluate the cards, how you built it, and what would work best. 3. Test 4. Choose the best ACE – SPEC based on how you want to play the deck, and what you want it to do. In conclusion, always keep in mind your personal preference, your bias, and your deck list when choosing one. But don't forget to take other peoples advice too! There is not one right ACE – SPEC for RayBoar, same with all decks. Because even if they are the same, every deck is different. Please, fell free to critique me in the comments, as I’m working to make these articles the best I can.