Other than the usual stuff, this set gives us several reprints from Ultra Prism with altered types, some of which actually make them more useful this time. I will only mention the ones that get better due to the type change. (For reference, cards with “Reprint” in their title can also be found in my previous set review on Ultra Prism).
Only the cards at least somewhat interesting for competitive play are discussed in this review. I would also like to note that from now on I will give ratings on each card and the set as a whole in my reviews.
The release date for this set is May 4th.
Note: this review was written before the release of the set and might contain mistranslations, missing cards or other mistakes.
Ability: Psycho Recharge
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may attach a [P] Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched Pokemon.
[P][P][C] Psy Missile: 60 damage.
Even only glancing at this card makes it obvious, the attack Psy Missile can be ignored completely and should not even be used in the most dire of circumstances (Seriously, if you are forced to use Malamar’s Psy Missile, just give up.). Psycho Recharge, on the other hand, provides a decent energy acceleration, at least for psychic energy, which currently does lack acceleration quite a bit. Not much more to say about this card, a decent bench sitter that should probably be played at one copy of Malamar and Inkay each.
Magnezone (Reprint) 8/10
Ability: Magnetic Circuit
As often as you like during your turn (before your attack), you may attach a [L] Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokemon.
[L][L][L][C] Zap Cannon: 130 damage. This Pokemon can’t use Zap Cannon during your next turn.
Another reprint with changed type, but there is not much to say about this card other than what I already said about the Metal version and that it will see play, guaranteed. Though Electric needed this way less than Metal did previously.
Empoleon (Reprint) 8/10
[M][C] Total Command: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage times the number of Pokemon on each player’s Bench.
[M][M][C] Whirlpool: 90 damage. Discard 1 Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
Thanks to the massive amount of recent Metal support, this version is better than its water counterpart. My suggestion is to play both types of Empoleon though, since the Water version covers for the Metal version’s weakness perfectly and you do not auto-lose to Fire or Electric decks. Though Electric decks are going to give that deck the most issues, as they either hit the Water Empoleon for weakness or resist the Metal one’s attacks. A great card all around that I personally will experiment with a lot.
Gible, Gabite & Garchomp (Reprint) 7/10
[C][C] Quick Dive: This attack does 50 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)
[F][C][C] Champion’s Blade: 100+ damage. If you played Cynthia from your hand during this turn, this attack does 100 more damage.
In the Ultra Prism set, the Garchomp line was Dragon type and thus, had a very dangerous weakness and hit nothing for weakness itself. That now changes though, as Gible, Gabite and Garchomp all return as Fighting types. This changes barely anything but their weakness, which is now Grass. It also gives them the ability to hit electric types for weakness. However, they also get access to Fighting support like the new Diancie Prism Star…
Froakie, Frogadier & Greninja GX 7.5/10
Ability: Wind Shuriken
When you play this card from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon during your turn, you may put 3 damage counters on 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon.
[W][C][C] Haze Slash: 110 damage. You may shuffle this Pokemon and all cards attached to it into your deck.
[W][C][C] Shadow Assassin GX: This attack does 130 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance.) (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Greninja BREAK was, and to some extent still is, very popular. These new cards can help this archetype out a lot. Up until now, an active basic Froakie was easily knocked out in a single attack. Here we have a Froakie with 70HP, 10HP more than the regularly used one. I would like if it was able to stall in some way instead of the minimal damage attacks it has. But the extra 10HP help a lot already. The 50HP Froakie, while a bit easy to knock out, has a very useful ability for builds that use some stall/support Pokémon besides the Greninja line. The Water Duplicates Frogadier from BREAKpoint still easily is the best choice, though this one is far from bad. Free damage never is a bad thing. Greninja GX is the real star here though. Additionally, we have to keep in mind that Greninja, Greninja BREAK and Greninja GX all are separate cards in a deck. That means up to 4 of each of these can be put into a deck. Find a good balance between them and shoot away with all kinds of shuriken. Looks like we will not have to miss these croaking ninjas anytime soon.
Dialga GX (Reprint) 9/10
[M] Clock Up: Draw cards until you have 6 cards in your hand.
[M][C][C] Shred: 80 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by any effects on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
[M][M][M][C][C] Timeless GX: 150 damage. Once this turn is over, it’s your turn again. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
By far the best reprint in this set. While Prism Star Dialga GX has many issues, mostly related to its terrible typing, it now has one of, if not the best typing currently in the game. The huge amount of metal support that is currently available make Timeless GX much easier to use and way less of a hassle to pull off. Magnezone, Solgaleo Prism Star and other cards can help set Dialga GX up very quickly and put the opponent behind by a lot. Shred still is a less than stellar attack, but metal has other very strong attackers like Dusk Mane Necrozma GX that you can now set up even easier with the extra turn you get. Let’s just hope we do not get a way to use GX moves more than once a game.
Zygarde GX 5/10
[C][C] Cell Connector: 50 damage. Attach 2 [F] Energy from your discard pile to this Pokemon.
[F][F][C][C] Land’s Wrath: 130 damage.
[F][F][C][C] Judgment GX: 150 damage. During your opponent’s next turn, this Pokemon takes no damage from the attacks of your opponent’s Pokemon-GX and Pokemon-EX. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Zygarde GX seems to be as basic as a big beater can be, and thus, simply lacks. Attaching a Double Colorless Energy, then using Cell Connector to quickly get up to the necessary 4 energy for the other two attacks seems like a good idea, but then you see that those attacks are barely worth the effort. Strong Energy is currently still legal in the Standard fomat, and Cell Connector does not state that the energy cards have to be basic energy, so they seemingly can be used here too. However, 130 damage for 4 energy is simply not enough on a Pokémon GX and the effect of Judgment GX can easily be bypassed with effects like Guzma or by not using a GX/EX Pokémon to attack. Even though the huge 200HP make Zygarde GX pretty bulky and Strong Energy makes it hit decently hard, it just is not enough to make this card viable in my opinion and takes too much resources and effort to viably run.
Lucario GX 9.5/10
(Lucario GX was released seperately for us, while in Japan it was included in the Ultra Force expansion which is part of our Forbidden Light set.)
[F] Aura Strike: 30+ damage. If this Pokemon evolved from Riolu during this turn, this attack does 90 more damage.
[F][F][C] Cyclone Kick: 130 damage.
[C][C] Cantankerous Beatdown GX: 30x damage. This attack does 30 damage for each damage counter on this Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Without any outside effects taking place, Cantankerous Beatdown can deal up to 600 damage! Unrealistic in most situations, but possible. Though with only 9 damage counters on Lucario GX and 2 energy attached, it is able to knock out pretty much any Pokémon in a single attack. Aura Strike is very strong for a single energy if the requirement is met, but if focused on can leave benched Riolu as easy targets. With Strong Energy/Diancie Prism Star and Focus Band, Aura Strike can knock out a wide array of Pokémon GX in a single hit, for a single energy. Cyclone Kick is decent and can just like Aura Strike, with the help of Diancie Prism Star/Strong Energy and a Choice Band, knock out most basic Pokémon GX and EX in one strike. A great card overall, that will likely make quite the impact in the meta and will be the go-to Fighting type Pokémon GX for a while.
Naganadel GX 7.5/10
[C] Beast Ride: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage for each Ultra Beast you have in play.
[P][C][C] Jet Tackle: 110 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.
[C][C][C] Stinger GX: Each player shuffles their Prize cards into their deck. Then, each player takes 3 cards from the top of their deck and puts them face down as their Prize cards. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
This Ultra Beast with an originating German name opens up a new kind of deck theme; Ultra Beasts. Setting up a full board of Ultra Beasts should be no problem, especially with the new stadium card Ultra Space (more about that later). Beast Ride does not require you to use a specific type of energy, which is very good, since the Ultra Beasts are all kinds of different types. Using the Unit Energy cards, specifically Unit Energy LPM, seems to be a must in this kind of deck. Many of the Ultra Beasts base their attacks and effects on the amount of remaining prize cards, and Stinger GX might be the key to forcing the amount of remaining prize cards to suit the Ultra Beasts. If not used this way, however, it is only a useful GX attack if you are way behind the opponent in prize cards.
Ultra Necrozma GX 8.5/10
[P][M] Photon Geyser: 20+ damage. Discard all basic [P] Energy from this Pokemon. This attack does 80 more damage for each Energy card discarded in this way.
[P][M] Destructive Light GX: This attack can only be used if there are 6 or less total Prize cards remaining in play. Place 6 damage counters on each of your opponent’s Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
High risk, high reward. That’s what I see when I look at this card. Metagross GX and/or Malamar can help setting Photon Geyser up with 3 Psychic and 1 Metal energy, which equals 260 damage and is enough to knock out pretty much any Pokémon in a single attack. One less Psychic energy for 180 damage still is enough to knock out most Basic Pokémon GX/EX. Of course, Choice Band adds another 30 damage on top of that if needed. After the use of Photon Geyser, Ultra Necrozma GX is more or less helpless in the active spot and needs to recharge Psychic energy to unleash another massive attack. This, however, should not be much of an issue if you have the previously mentioned Metagross GX on the bench, giving Ultra Necrozma GX access to 2 Psychic energy right away (one regular attachment, one from Metagross GX) for another massive 180+ damage. Destructive Light GX can be devastating and secure your victory very easily in late game situations, easily knocking out damaged Pokémon or softening up ones that might survive an attack otherwise. Like all Dragon type Pokémon in the TCG right now, Ultra Necrozma GX has a very dangerous weakness to Fairy and can not hit anything for weakness itself. The former can easily be circumvented by using Metagross GX as your attacker, the latter does not matter much when most attacks are one-hit-knockouts anyway. Looks like Metagross GX has a new best friend.
Palkia GX (Reprint) 8/10
[W] Spatial Control: Move any number of Energy cards from your Benched Pokemon to this Pokemon.
[C][C][C] Hydro Pressure: 60+ damage. This attack does 20 more damage for each [W] Energy attached to this Pokemon.
[W][W][W][C][C] Zero Vanish GX: 150 damage. Your opponent shuffles all Energy attached to their Pokemon into their deck. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
A reprint from Ultra Prism and a great one at that. The new weakness of Grass is good, since it makes Palkia way less fragile against Gardevoir GX, and Grass attackers are not that common right now. Also, unlike Dragon type, Water type can hit for weakness! But most importantly, Palkia GX now has access to the very strong item card Aqua Patch, vastly increasing its setup speed and accessibility. The type change made Palkia GX much better and I assume now it will see play as a 1-off in many water decks.
Xerneas GX 8/10
[C] Run Through: 20 damage. This attack does 20 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance.)
[Y][Y][C] Aurora Horn: 120 damage.
[Y][Y][C] Sanctuary GX: Move all damage counters from each of your Pokemon to your opponent’s Active Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Basically, Xerneas GX is going to see play only to unleash Sanctuary GX and nothing else. Run Through is alright, but we’ve already seen the same kind of attack with 30 damage on both targets years ago. Aurora Horn is only going to be used when Sanctuary GX was used already and Xerneas GX still stands in the active spot. A simple one-off in Fairy decks, to use the incredibly strong GX move. Xerneas GX might even see play in other kinds of decks that somehow can give it the necessary energy, just for this GX move.
Yveltal GX 2/10
[D] Absorb Life: 20 damage. Heal from this Pokemon the same amount of damage you did to your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
[C][C][C] Evil Sonic: 100 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness or Resistance.
[D] Death Count GX: If your opponent’s Active Pokemon has exactly 4 damage counters on it, it is Knocked Out. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Sadly, I see no potential in this card. The GX attack does not play well with Yveltal GX’s other attacks and is very unreliable. Healing 20 HP with Absorb Life is laughable and even with a Choice Band, I would much rather have my Pokémon GX put an actual dent into the opposing Pokémon, not slowly suck them dry. Evil Sonic is weak in damage and ignores weakness which is an obvious big problem. There is a possibility to use Yveltal GX to stall with Absorb Life and a Choice Band, but it is a weak stall, especially for a Pokémon that gives up 2 prizes. Yveltal GX is just bad all around and perhaps even the worst Pokémon GX I have yet seen.
Prism Star Pokémon
Arceus (Prism Star) 3.5/10
Ability: First Commandment
Prevent all effects of your opponent’s attacks (excluding damage) done to this Pokemon.
[C] Trinity Star: 30 damage. You can only use this attack if you have a [G], [W] and [L] Pokemon on your Bench. Search your deck for up to 3 basic Energy cards and attach them to your Pokemon in any way you like. Then, shuffle your deck.
The possibility to attach 3 energy cards directly from your deck sounds beyond amazing. This, however, is very inconsistent because of the requirements for the attack to even be usable. The likeliness of having Arceus Prism Star in the active spot and a Grass, a Water and a Lightning Pokémon on the bench at the same time, in a situation where you want to set up and still have 3 basic energy cards in your deck is just too small for my liking. The ability is useful in a vacuum, but wasted on this Pokémon. Thus, I will have to pass this card, not worth the deck space in my opinion.
Volcanion Prism Star 9/10
Ability: Jet Geyser
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may discard a [W] Energy from your hand. If you do, your opponent switches their Active Pokemon with 1 of their Benched Pokemon.
[W][W][W] Sauna Bomb: 100 damage. This attack does 20 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)
The sign of a good Prism Star card is, when you wish you could play more than one in your deck. Volcanion is one of those, boasting a useful ability that can feed your Aqua Patch plays and a pretty powerful attack that quite literally sprays damage counters all over your opponent’s field. Massive 160HP for a basic Pokémon that is not a GX or EX is great, though standard for Prism Star Pokémon. In the right situation, activating Jet Geyser gives the opponent a choice what Pokémon on their bench they are okay with getting knocked out this turn, or disables effects like Toxapex GX’s Total Shelter GX. The only downside to this card is the energy cost of three water energy to use Sauna Bomb. But even that is not too much of an issue, because most of the time, Volcanion Prism Star will sit on the bench and spray his Jet Geyser at opposing Pokémon.
Diancie Prism Star 9/10
Ability: Princess Veil
If this Pokemon is on your Bench, your [F] Pokemon’s attacks do 20 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokémon.
[F][F][F] Diamond Rain: 90 damage. Heal 30 damage from each of your Benched Pokemon.
Simply put, Diancie Prism Star is a must play in every Fighting type deck. Princess Veil alone is enough to warrant me saying this. But just as the cherry on top, Diamond Rain is actually a viable attack that can come in handy when in a pinch. If this card was not a Prism Star, it would probably be played with a full playset in every Fighting type deck. Diancie Prism Star is finally a prime example of a good Prism Star card.
Beast Ring 8/10
You may only play this card when your opponent has 3 or 4 Prize cards remaining.
Search your deck for up 2 Basic Energy, reveal them, and attach them to 1 of your Ultra Beast Pokemon. Then, shuffle your deck.
An incredibly strong effect, with a somewhat severe limitation that makes this card pretty much useless half of the game. But getting to the limit of 4 prize cards is not too difficult, especially when using Pokémon GX. It can be a dead card in your hand once you get to 2 or 1 prize card(s) and thus, might mess up late game situations for you.
Steel Frying Pan 7/10
The [M] Pokemon this card is attached to takes 30 less damage from attacks and has no Weakness.
This ridiculous item helps Metal decks have a real fighting chance against Fire decks and helps Pokémon like Metagross GX or Solgaleo Prism Star take even more hits, making them even harder to get rid of. Depending on the current meta, a few of this item may be necessary in a metal deck. The simple fact that this card saves some Metal decks from auto-losing to Fire decks makes it worth keeping in the back of your mind at least.
Move a Special Energy from 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon to another 1 of their Pokemon.
With the resurgence of Special Energy cards, thanks to the Unit Energy cards, this card can cause a few problems for the opponent. However, Enhanced Hammer seems to be a plainly better version of this card. I see no reason to play this over Enhanced Hammer.
Fossil Excavation Map 5/10
Search your deck or discard pile for 1 Unidentified Fossil card, show it to your opponent, and put it into your hand. If you searched your deck, shuffle it.
A search card without cost always is nice, but the fossils are fragile and the Pokémon we can currently evolve from them are just not worth the effort. Maybe in the Future, a new Pokémon GX can spring from the fossils, then this card is a must play in that deck. There is nothing wrong with this card, but only the semi-archetype it supports. For now, it remains in the binder.
Mystery Treasure 10/10
Discard a card from your hand in order to play this card.
Search your deck for a [P] or [N] Pokemon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
Psychic and Dragon type Pokémon get a huge boost in playability with this card. An Ultra Ball with one less discard cost is a must play in decks that focus on a Dragon type or Psychic type Pokémon. I would even consider playing 4 Mystery Treasure and a few Ultra Ball as well. This card will be played a lot until it rotates out, no questions asked.
Search your deck for up to 4 basic Energy cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
This beautiful young lady is a great addition to decks like Volcanion EX, that need a lot of energy quickly or want to get energy into the discard pile quickly. Any other deck will likely pass on this card, as drawing into the single energy attachment a turn is much simpler when playing more Cynthia and similar cards.
You can only play this card if 1 of your [Y] Pokemon was Knocked Out during your opponent’s last turn.
Choose 2 cards from your discard pile and put them into your hand.
This card reminds me a lot of Puzzle Of Time, a great card that was played at 4 in a lot of decks. Diantha does the same thing as the second effect of Puzzle Of Time, but only if one of your Fairy type Pokémon was knocked out last turn. Of course, you never really want your Pokémon to get knocked out, but it is bound to happen eventually. And being able to then access your discard pile as a resource is very strong of an effect. Sadly, using Diantha for this, is your one and only Supporter card for that turn, unlike Puzzle Of Time, so it does have a risk factor. Fairy deck players will want to keep an eye on this card.
Lysandre Prism Star 5/10
For each of your [R] Pokemon in play, put the same number of cards from your opponent’s discard pile into their Lost Zone.
Too weak of an effect to consider playing, not worth the effort. I would much rather play a Supporter card that gives me more advantage than potentially maybe sometimes removing something the opponent might want to access sometime later. In most cases, this effect will end up being useless. Or the single allowed copy in your deck will simply not be available at a time when the opponent has something in their discard pile you really want to get rid of for good. Poor Lysandre, he went from a must play regular Supporter card to a Prism Star that will barely ever see play.
Discard a Stadium in play. During this turn, your Zygarde-GX may use its GX attack even if you have already used a GX attack this game.
Still not enough to make Zygarde GX worth playing. Repeatedly playing Bonnie to use Judgment GX over and over may seem strong, but every competitive deck should be able to find ways around the effect. Also, clogging up your deck with multiple Bonnie just to maybe use them with a slow, plain beater is not a good strategy.
Ultra Recon Squad 3/10
Discard up to 2 Ultra Beasts from your hand. Then, draw 3 cards for each card you discarded in this way.
Purely mathematically, the most you can get out of Ultra Recon Squad are 4 cards, 6 newly drawn but 2 discarded. That does not sound very impressive, especially since Ultra Beasts do not have anything to do with the discard pile (for now). If I want card draw in a supporter, I will likely rather stick to cards like Cynthia and Lillie, those are at least guaranteed to give me the advantage I want and do not end up dead in my hand if i have no Ultra Beasts to discard.
Discard 2 [W] Energy from your hand in order to play this card.
Search your deck for up to 2 cards and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
I wanted to make a pun with his name, but I just can’t come up with one that is not absolutely terrible. Wake himself though, is anything but terrible. Discarding 2 Water energy should not be too much of a problem most of the time and it even helps you with accelerating your Energy, thanks to Aqua Patch. If you do not have 2 Water energy in your hand though, Wake does absolutely nothing. You could use Wake to discard 2 Water energy, just to search 2 Aqua Patch and attach the discarded water energy onto your benched Pokémon for a free 2 energy attachments in a single turn. This way, a benched Lapras GX for example is set up fully in a single turn. There are better plays for sure, this is just the first and most obvious step. Wake has a lot of potential. Do not sleep on Wake (Yes, that was the best pun i came up with, sue me).
Lysandre Labs ?/10
Pokemon Tools in play have no effect (both yours and your opponent’s).
Lysandre has laboratories that are worth more than he himself is, it seems. Some decks might find a use for this card, i just can not think of any right now. I am sure there is some combo with a tool somewhere.
Ultra Space 8/10
Once during each player’s turn, that player may search their deck for an Ultra Beast, reveal it, and put it in their hand. Then, that player shuffles their deck.
While this card may help the opponent, it still is very powerful. It keeps gaining you advantage every single turn for virtually no cost but itself and at its worst, is an Ultra Ball for an Ultra Beast without the discard cost. A must play in the previously mentioned Ultra Beast deck (see Naganadel GX).
Unit Energy [F][D][Y] 10/10
This card provides [C] Energy. When this card is attached to a Pokemon, this card provides [F][D][Y] Energy, but provides only 1 Energy at a time.
Just like all the other Unit Energy, this one is a must play in decks that have some kind of combination for the named energy types.
Beast Energy Prism Star 10/10
This card provides [C] Energy.
While this card is attached to an Ultra Beast, it provides every type of Energy but provides only 1 Energy at a time. The attacks of the Ultra Beast this card is attached to do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon (before applying Weakness and Resistance).
A must play in every deck based around one or more Ultra Beasts, no matter which one. A Rainbow Energy without drawbacks that includes a Choice Band-like damage boost? Yes please! There really is not much more to be said about this card, other than if this was not a Prism Star card, it should be played at 4 copies in every Ultra Beast deck.
There are a few new essential pieces for the Ultra Beast Archetype in this set, but other than that, not much interesting. Mystery Treasure and Unit Energy [F][D][W] are must have playsets, while most other great cards in the set depend on the likes of the respective player. Overall though, I was disappointed with the amount of cards in this set that I found interesting enough to write about, or consider playing. The few good cards in this set are very good, while the many bad ones are very bad. Most players might want to consider trading for, or buying singles of the few cards they want from this set, as a very high percentage of this set will most likely end up being utter garbage.
Full Art Supporters
6.5 / Decent