An engine in the Pokémon Trading Card Game is a player-made term used to refer to a card or a series of cards that, when played, greatly increase a player's drawing or searching speed, thus helping them burn through their deck faster. The most well-known and effective engine is probably the Holon Engine, which consists entirely of Trainer and Supporter cards. However, while engines are often centered around Trainer cards, some engines are centered around Pokémon cards. However, if an engine is based around one or more Pokémon cards, the Pokémon will generally sit on a player's Bench and utilize its Poké-Power. Some cards could be considered engines by themselves, such as Delcatty. In essence, the power of an engine is its drawing or searching ability.
Single-card engines are engines that are able to function virtually by themselves. However, they are often used in combination with other cards.
Magnezone Prime Magnetic Draw engine
The Magnetic Draw engine was centered almost entirely on Magnezone Prime's Magnetic Draw Poké-Power. Once per turn, Magnetic Draw allowed a player to draw cards until they had six cards in hand. Magnezone Prime-centric decks were particularly prevalent during the HeartGold & SoulSilver-on format, when Magnetic Draw provided one of the only Pokémon-based draw engines. It was often used in combination with Judge in decks such as MegaZone to potentially leave the opponent with a small, useless hand while giving the Magnezone Prime player an out with Magnetic Draw.
Ninetales Roast Reveal engine
The Roast Reveal engine was based around Ninetales' Roast Reveal Poké-Power. Since it required a player to discard a Energy from their hand, it was used primarily in Fire-type decks, most notably Charizard and TyRam. Roast Reveal complemented Typhlosion Prime well, as it could discard an Energy for later reattachment through Typhlosion Prime's Afterburner Poké-Power.
Claydol Cosmic Power engine
The Cosmic Power engine utilized Claydol's Cosmic Power Poké-Power to simply draw cards. Cosmic Power allows the player to put up to two cards from their hand on the bottom of their deck and draw cards until they have six in their hand. Cosmic Power is one of the simplest, yet most effective engines to date, yet it is not without its problems. Since Claydol sits on the Bench, it is vulnerable to being sniped by attacks such as Garchomp C LV.X's Dragon Rush, at which point the Claydol player may be left without a way to reliably draw cards.
Delcatty Energy Draw engine
The Energy Draw engine was centered around Delcatty, from the EX Ruby & Sapphire and EX Power Keepers expansions, and its Poké-Power, Energy Draw. Energy Draw allows the player to discard an Energy card from their hand to draw up to three cards, once per turn. This was exceptionally useful in decks that actually benefited from discarding Energies, such as Infercatty.
Pidgeot Quick Search engine
The Quick Search engine utilized Pidgeot from the EX FireRed & LeafGreen expansion. Pidgeot had a Poké-Power called Quick Search which allowed the player to search for any one card from their deck and add it to their hand, once per turn. This was not stackable, meaning that if one had multiple Pidgeot in play, they could still only use the power once. However, Pidgeot was the backbone support Pokémon of many EX-era decks. It was often used in combination with a variety of searching and drawing Trainer and Supporter cards, most notably Rare Candy to make it easier to get out.
The Castaway engine was centered around Castaway, a Supporter card from the EX Crystal Guardians expansion. Castaway was often used in non-δ decks during the EX Holon Phantoms-onward Rotation. Castaway was often used in combination with Scott, Cessation Crystal, Battle Frontier, and others to disrupt the opponent's strategy while making sure the Castaway player always had resources in their hand as well as Basic Energy cards.
- Main article: Holon Engine (TCG)
Cyrus engine/SP engine
The SP engine, also known as the Cyrus engine, centered around the Cyrus's Conspiracy Supporter from the Platinum expansion, as well as a number of SP Trainers. Generally, Cyrus's Conspiracy was used in combination with SP Radar, Energy Gain, Power Spray, Poké Turn, and a number of single copies of other Supporter cards. Cyrus's Conspiracy was remarkably similar to Castaway. However, Cyrus's Conspiracy allowed the player to search for a Trainer card with Team Galactic's Invention in its name, rather than a Pokémon Tool card. The Cyrus Engine was the primary manner in which SP decks, such as LuxApe and LuxChomp, set up and caused disruption. It was often used in combination with Uxie for drawpower.