Z-nogyroP asks:

what do you make of the move trump card? for a lot of weird, obscure attacks there’s at least something you can make of what gets them (quash is on a lot of “royal” pokemon, bestow is on pokemon that help others, etc) but i can’t for the life of me make out what trump card is supposed to say about the pokemon that learn it.

So… Trump Card is a Normal-type special attack that powers up as its PP is reduced, starting from a base power of 40 and climbing to an enormous 200 – though you only get one shot, and need to use a seriously sub-par attack at least four times to get there (it has a similar effect in Mystery Dungeon).  Its attack animation shows a flurry of literal playing cards.  In single-player you could exhaust all but the last PP of Trump Card on wild Pokémon before going into an important fight like a gym battle or something, but against a human opponent I can’t ever really see this move working.  It’s only been featured once in the anime, where an Eevee belonging to Ash’s friend Virgil pulls it out as a finishing move to win the final battle of the Unova League tournament in Vertress City.  I’m pretty sure it’s also only ever appeared once in the trading card game, on a Slowking card from the Diamond and Pearl-era set Great Encounters – here it’s a Poké-Power (an activated ability that can be used even by a benched Pokémon) that allows Slowking to search your deck for any card (something that should make regular players of almost any card game salivate), provided one of your other Pokémon was knocked out during your opponent’s last turn.  In theory, this should be your “trump card” – the card that you hope will win you the game.  The common thread in all these cases is that, much like Last Resort, Trump Card allows you to do something very powerful, but only in a desperate situation.  When the chips are down (to mix gambling metaphors a little), luck is on your side.

Ten Pokémon in the core games can learn Trump Card: Eevee, Slowking, Minun and Magearna naturally; Farfetch’d, Kangaskhan, Dunsparce, Corphish, Shellos and Oshawott as an egg move.  Dunsparce and Farfetch’d are both strongly associated with luck and good fortune, so the move fits there; you can make an argument that the same applies to Slowking (who evolves through a strange chance event) and Eevee (whose evolution is to an extent determined by chance).  Magearna, Kangaskhan and Corphish, on the other hand, are associated with tenacity, which also fits the way Trump Card works across various media.  Minun is paired with Plusle, who gets Last Resort at the same level; here the point is probably something about their constant cheer and, again, refusal to give up.  Oshawott might be on this list to evoke tenacity as well, but it could also be a joke or visual pun on drawing a card versus drawing a sword.  And Shellos… ehhh, I gave you nine out of ten, right?

2 thoughts on “Z-nogyroP asks:

  1. I legitimately didn’t realize this move existed until within the past year. I think it was something random too like I used metronome in Ultra Moon and it happened to come up and I was like, “the heck was that?!?” I looked it up immediately, it’s weird how I’ve played every gen and there’s still a few attacks I’m just recently learning exist.

    To be fair, I guess I haven’t fiddled with egg moves much and never leveled up an Eevee high enough without evolving it or actually used Slowking, Minun, or Magearna.

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    1. Gonna be honest, I’m pretty sure there’s still a few moves introduced in generation VII that I don’t know about… hell, there might even be one or two from generation VI that slipped by…

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