Trash Exchange


Rarity Common
Artwork A Zubat pulling trash out of a garbage can.

Count the number of cards in your discard pile and shuffle them into your deck. Then discard that many cards from the top of your deck.


One of the most annoying things in the PTCG is having a Trainer that you need in the discard pile. It is far easier to recover Pokémon and Energy from the discard pile: Nightly Garbage Run will recover either, and several Trainers, Pokémon Powers and even attacks can recover Energy. Trainers such as Super Rod can get Pokémon back. However, there is only one Trainer, Item Finder, that can recover Trainers consistently.

Trash Exchange, like most PTCG cards, offers a great promise (put whatever's in your discard pile back into your deck) with a strong catch (discard an equal number of cards back out of your deck). The sheer uncertainty of losing something you really need limits the usefulness of this card—unless you put the right strategy behind it.

Riptide's Best Friend: The rise of the Riptide archetype has stoked interest in this card. This card plays a ital role in the Riptide strategy. Riptide puts the Water Energies in your discard pile back in your deck. After Riptide, your discard pile contains only Trainers and Pokémon. If you do a Trash Exchange when your discard pile contains only Trainers and Pokémon, some of the cards that will be discarded will be Energies. This is great for Riptide, since with Riptide you want Water Energies in your discard. It's also great for your deck, since once you do Riptide, you deck now has more cards in it than it did before. The net effect of the Trash Exchange-Riptide cycle is to put cards, including Trainers and Pokémon, back in your deck.

Recovering Trainers and Valuable Cards: A Riptide player's discard pile will contain mostly Pokémon and Trainers. If you need to recover a Trainer, non-Basic Energy or something else valuable, you can use Trash Exchange to attempt to recover them. Play Nightly Garbage Run or Time Capsule to reduce the size of your discard, then Trash Exchange what's left back into your deck and hope that whatever you wanted to recover (and anything else that's important) doesn't come back out in the discard.

If you play Pokémon that discard a lot of Energies, Trash Exchange can help you get some of them (but probably not all) of them back. Use Nightly Garbage Run after Trash Exchange to pick up whatever was not recovered. Keep in mind when you do this that Energies will be replaced with Pokémon and/or Trainers. Again, you will want to have plenty of Item Finders and other recovery cards in your deck to fetch anything useful that comes out with Trash Exchange.

Other Strategies: Make sure that you don't end up with all of your Trash Exchanges in you discard pile. Item Finder is a good idea in any deck, but it is almost essential in a deck with Trash Exchange. If you have two Trash Exchanges in your hand and have to do an Oak or otherwise discard them, play or discard one of the Trash Exchanges, then play the other Trash Exchange. Hopefully the one that you played will put the Trash Exchange back in your deck without discarding something that you really need.

If you plan on using Trash Exchange a lot, use plenty of Item Finders and plenty of Computer Searches. This will help you recover whatever you need.

Overall: Trash Exchange is a card that demands judicious use of strategy. It's great for Riptide and can work in other decks. If used properly. Used without strategy, it is nothing but a gamble.

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