This is one of the most interesting topics that was on the old gym and I dont want it to die so Im going to start off by saying I believe elm is staple in EVERY deck. Here is some reasoning from a very qualified friend to back it up. You are obviously looking for something with these search cards. You are looking for a) energy, or b) pokemon. Because that's how you attack, and thus, win the game. So you want to get as many of those cards in your hand. Elm is simply amazing. It's anti-decking, it gives you SEVEN cards, which nothing else in the game will CONSISTANTLY give you, and you can still play cards afterwards. The only time that COPYCAT or JUGGLER (because Prof Oak's Research is simply A TERRIBLE CARD) would be better is when a) You're looking for a tech card such as Double Gust, or b) when you're pulling off a 2-card combo and you don't want to shuffle back one part of it into your deck. And regardless if you play those two cards, you STILL want 4 Elm because draw consistancy is the number one most important factor in a deck. The main thing that will allow you to win a TOURNAMENT is to get a consistant draw of the right cards EVERY game. That means playing a good ammount of draw, and draw that isn't dependant on any other cards. Lets take a look at what draw cards are dependant on other circumstances: Bill (You simply draw two) Prof Oak's Research (shuffle for 5 cards) Oracle (Put two cards on top of your deck) Professor Elm (The best draw card in the game) Bill's influence is so small, it's not worth playing. You're more than likely not going to impact at all. How often are you going to get the card you need in two cards? Not often. Prof Oak's Reaseach suffers the same fate. You argue against Elm in that if you've played an energy and draw 2 trainers, you only get 4 workable cards. If you've played an energy, and get a supporter with POR, you've now got 3 playable cards in your hand, which makes it worse than Elm. Plus, the card is especially bad early on, when you just want a LOT of cards in your hand to fill it up, you ARE going to be able to play those cards on your next turn. Oracle shouldn't even count as draw, as your hand size increases by ZERO cards. Elm is the best draw in the game. It will give you SEVEN NEW CARDS EVERY TIME. There isn't a time when it doesn't. Think about when you want to play draw the most. It's in the first turn of the game. You HAVE to find your main basic, and you HAVE to get set up. Most draw cards are Supporters anyways, so if you play a POR/CC/Jug/PFC, you can't play another one. Comparing Elm to all of those, which one gives you the most cards? ELM! Seven cards trumps all of the other ones, and on the first couple turns, double gust/strength charm/techy trainer cards don't see play. So you want sheer card advantage over your opponent. Elm is what gives you that. Backing up to my earlier point, most draw cards are supporters. Which means after you play a draw card, you're probably done! But not with Elm. Juggler+Elm and Copycat+Elm allows you to search through a SERIOUS portion of your deck on the first couple turns, allowing you to search for the pokemon you need to WIN THE GAME. Trainers are there to find and assist your pokemon, and to disrupt your opponents. But using these trainers won't matter if you don't have your own pokemon out, which is why Elm is so good. Juggler and Copycat are the only draw cards that can TOUCH Elm, POR is trash. Juggler is amazing in Typhlosion and Gatr-Sect decks, because it turns a disadvantage of the card into an advantage, making it a 7-card draw for you. The reason it's not better is because it's dependant on how many water you have in hand, making it inconsistant. Copycat is also good, since it can draw even MORE than Elm, but suffers the same inconsistancy drawback. Elm is PURE consistancy. If you play it you get 7 cards every time, and you're going to play it in the turn you need the cards the most- the first one. The no-trainer drawback is also less painful during these turns as well. You can simply play everything in your hand, then Elm. You're most likely looking for Pokemon, so if you get your basic the first turn, you really can't do much but wait until the next turn to evolve. Drop your basic, then play Elm, and wait to evolve next turn. Or you could simply not listen to any logic whatsoever. To believe me, all you have to do is look at every decklist from the ECSTS, WCSTS, Worlds, Origins, GenCon, every SBZ, every QT and every local league tournament filled with randoms and you will see that ALL of the best decks at these events ran FOUR Elm. The deck has been the best draw card since it was released in Neo Genesis. If you don't believe that it was and is the best draw card, tell my why every deck that wins, regardless of that deck's theme, runs four of them. Elm is the best draw card in the game right now.