i would like to discuss fishing engine variants. i don't want to bother explaining what a fishing engine is (if you don't know, listen to the latest podcast) but i do want to discuss the merits and shortcomings of the variations i am aware of. Cosmic Power claydol has become the centerpiece of modern fishing engines, and rightfully so. but beyond the common use of various balls, pokedex and pokenav trainers i have noticed that there are two distinct subgroups of trainer/supporter cards powering these engines. it is these two main variations i want to discuss. painting with a very broad brush i would say that: Group A has claydol substitute for the draw card part of the trainer engine, while still leaving celio's, bebe's, and/or roseanne's in place for a consistent, reliable set up. Group B forgoes all supporters EXCEPT for draw cards. usually the supporters that remain are professor birch, team galactic's wager or professor rowan, depending on the specific deck. I am interested in people's thoughts and experiences especially with Group B types of claydol engines. i have heard it said that claydol works best in stage 1 decks. but i do see people running claydol with powerful stage 2 lines (GG, Garchomp, Feraligatr). to me it seems that in a stage 2 deck running a Group B engine that Professor Rowan is the safest choice. that many times one will have either the stage 2 or the rare candy in hand but not both and you need a way to look for the missing piece. but one of the unspoken rules of claydol engines is not playing supporters which can be easily abused by opposing gardevoirs. professor rowan violates this rule much more than birch or tgw does. i should note that Group A engines ignore this rule completely, only trying to deny Gardevoir an additional random draw supporter. i wonder about the decks trying to disrupt furret set up decks by running TGW. i tried this at states and the problem i had was that one needed to play TGW early while furret was setting my opponent up, yet quite often i did not have claydol or even baltoy established yet and if i lost at RPS it pretty much meant i was going to lose the game. yet i see decklists with it all the time, so maybe somebody knows something i don't. Professor Birch is THE standard supporter for fishing engines (esp. stage 1 only decks) because in many regards it acts alot like an extra Cosmic Power. the only real hazard i see with this card is if your hand becomes clogged with too many 6+) unhelpful cards. then it becomes another dead card you are stuck holding. now on the verge of a new set i see three main challenges to fishing engines and i wonder how people are planning on coping with them. the first challenge is going to be glaceon lvl x turning claydol's power off. i guess the most obvious solution to this is warp point but this leads directly to challenge number two which is the polar opposite of glaceon and that is the pokebody of kabutops, which blocks warp point but would be susceptible to a palkia lvl x tech (which of course doesnt work against glaceon, sigh). lastly there is the new aerodactyl and its stackable pokebody which means claydol will KO itself rather quickly. latilock or battle frontier may help but now we're talking a lot of hoops to jump through just to get a search engine to work. are there any other big challengers out there that i have neglected?