After the cards are finally released in Japan, we get to look at the entirety of the set as well. One of the cards in the set, which I initially did not even know about, excites me especially. I will only mention the cards I personally think are worth writing about for some reason. Consider me very hyped to write this article, I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Of course I am always open for discussion, so if you disagree (or agree), please leave a comment. Prove me wrong, I dare you! 😀

(This article is based on translations of the Japanese cards and thus may include mistakes. The names of attacks and abilities may also differ from the English release).

Pokémon

Victreebel

[G] Pollen Hazard: 20 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned, Burned, and Confused.

[G][C][C] Stick and Absorb: 80 damage. Heal 20 damage from this Pokemon. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon can’t retreat during their next turn.

I actually am curious to see if this card will see play or not. As long as Forest Of Giant Plants is legal in Standard, some people very well may try this card out. Pollen Hazard causes Poison, Burn and Confusion, all for a single energy. If the opponent does not retreat quickly, the damage may rack up fast and attacking is reduced to a 50/50 chance thanks to confusion. But even if they want to retreat, for only a Double Colorless Energy, Victreebel prevents the opponent from retreating without the use of “Switch”, “Escape Rope” or “Olympia”.

A nice card overall, but probably too clunky to get working effectively.

Golisopod

Ability: Armor
Damage done to this Pokemon by attacks is reduced by 30.

[G][C][C] Resolute Claw: 80 damage. If the opponent’s Active Pokemon is a Pokemon-GX or Pokemon-EX, this attack does 70 more damage.

 

The newest “Lugia”, aka a card that reduces damage taken with an ability all while dealing extra damage to EXes ,and now GXes too.

While 150 damage for 3 energy are more than decent, this card is nothing special for a stage 1 nowadays.
The damage is still just a twoshot on most EXs and GXes, which ends up not being enough payoff for the work.
Choice Band may help some, but 180 damage is still just below what you need most of the time.

Phantump (And Trevenant)

[G] Tackle: 10 damage.

[C][C] Confuse Ray: Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Confused.

Interestingly, the important one in this evolution chain ends up being the basic Pokemon, plainly because of its typing. While neither of the attacks are even worth looking at, the Grass typing Phantump + Forest Of Giant Plants may very well see a lot of play in the Expanded format, thanks to the massively dangerous “item lock” Trevenant. The Trevenant in this case though, is interesting, but in my opinion not even decent. An interesting attack is “Poltergeist” if used alongside any item lock ability (ironically). So there may be some Vileplume + Trevenant decks as long as Forest Of Giant Plants will be Standard legal.

Victini

Ability: Victory Star
Once during your turn, after you flip any coins for an attack, you may ignore all effects of those coin flips and begin flipping those coins again. You can’t use more than 1 Victory Star Ability each turn.

[R][C] V Flame: 50 damage.

While this ability is nothing new, it is as strong as ever.

Though at this point, the Standard format does not have much in regards of attacks which benefit a lot from being able to re-flip coin(s). However, I assume that this will change soon. Keep this card in the back of your mind whenever new cards get released.

Being a basic Pokemon with only 70HP enables you to grab this card with Level Ball and Nest Ball. Since the ability does not stack, having a single one of them in a deck very well may be enough for now. Incineroar GX may be the best partner for Victini.

Oricorio

[R] Passionate Dance: Search your deck for up to 3 Basic [R] Pokemon and put them onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck.

[R][R] Kindle: 30 damage. Discard an Energy from this Pokemon. If you do, discard an Energy Card from your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

Kindle is pretty bad, but in a pinch, can be used to discard a Double Colorless Energy (or any important energy card) at the cost of a fire energy. Passionate Dance on the other hand, has a few uses. In Volcanion decks, it can quickly grab you all the Volcanion EX you need within a single move, though they can be shuffled back into the deck with N, if you are unlucky. It als can set your bench up for Incineroar GX´s Hustling Strike, to quickly deal massive damage with it. In the end, Oricorio Baile Style is nothing more than a fun gimmick.

Salazzle

Ability: Hot Poison
Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this card from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned and Burned.

[R][C][C] Flamethrower: 90 damage. Discard 1 Energy attached to this Pokemon.

A very interesting ability, on a pretty bad card overall.

While Hot Poison is effectively (at least) 30 free damage, it just is not enough to warrant wasting deckspace for a bunch of Salazzle and its pre-evolution. Having to evolve a weak and useless basic Pokemon to get the effect also is an issue by itself. Probably fun to use, but not worth the effort.

Alolan Sandslash

Ability: Snow Shovel

Once during your turn (before your attack), you may draw 1 card.

[W][C][C] Smash Turn: 50 damage. Switch this Pokemon with 1 of your Benched Pokemon.

A strong ability, a near useless attack.

Though having one or two of these on the bench allows you important extra draws, they also are easy to drag into the active spot with, for example, Lysandre. While they are capable to switch themselves back out with Smash Turn, it costs way too much, especially for only a mere 50 damage.

I think this guy will see some play, however, as a “sit on the bench and draw cards for me” gimmick in some decks.

Wishiwashi

Ability: Schooling

Once during your turn (before your attack) you may switch this Pokemon with a Wishiwashi-GX in your hand. (It retains all attached cards, damage counters, Special Conditions, etc.).

[W] Sharpshooting: This attack does 10 damage to one of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)

Not much to say about this card, but maybe this…

Why does this card even exist?!

Politoed

[W] Roll Call: Search your deck for a Poliwag, Poliwhirl, and Poliwrath and put them onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck.

[W][C][C] Hyper Jump: 100 damage. You may shuffle this Pokemon and all cards attached to it into your deck.

Politoed makes for a fun gimmick deck, but nothing more. Roll Call can quickly set up your bench with all you need for the next turns, to create a strong setup.
The biggest problem here though, is that neither Politoed nor Poliwrath is actually good enough to get much out of playing them. At least you can choose between the Evolutions Poliwrath and the Sun&Moon one. Having the option to choose whether or not to shuffle the frog back into the deck when using Hyper Jump is amazing, if it didnt have that, the card would be much worse. Though even like this, it is not very good to begin with.

Alolan Golem

[L][C][C] Electro Rock Wrecker: 80x damage. Flip a coin for each [L] Energy attached to this Pokemon. This attack does 80 damage times the number of heads.

[L][C][C][C] Heavy Bomber: 200- damage. Does 30 less damage times the amount of Energy in the retreat cost of your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

 

One of my favorite cards of the set, but the reason behind that is purely personal preference. I am actually quite happy that Golem is not absolutely useless this time, though not even close to “good”. The first attack, Electro Rock Wrecker, is hit or miss, literally. If all three required energy are [L] energy, you can get quite massive numbers out of this, up to 240 (or more with more energy, duh). The average damage with this attack is 120, which is decent.

Heavy Bomber is one of the few attacks with a “minus” effect to it. The way this attack works, it actually is able to take advantage of people using Float Stone in almost every deck. Dragging a floating Volcanion into the active, just to oneshot it with Heavy Bomber might be lots of fun. The attack also is able to oneshot a Yveltal EX equipped with a Fighting Fury Belt thanks to weakness.

Though Alolan Golem has quite a few interesting uses to it, a stage 2 with 4 energy cost as requirement just won’t see much, if any play sadly.

Oricorio

[L] Feather Dance: During your next turn, this Pokemon’s Pom-Pom Punch attack’s base damage is 100.

[L] Pom-Pom Punch: 20 damage.

Just like the Baile version, the Pom Pom version is nothing more than a fun gimmick. Starting up with this card in the active spot and giving it one energy to blast a massive 100 damage a turn later can be great, but pretty much any turn from the 3rd one onwards, this card ends up being useless. If only Feather Dance´s buff didnt end after one turn.

Garbodor

[P] Trashvalanche: This attack does 20 damage times the number of Item cards in your opponent’s discard pile.

[P][C][C] Acid Bomb: 70 damage. Flip a coin. If heads, discard an Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

 

With the sheer mass of item cards in almost every deck (Ultra Balls, Trainer Mail, Super Rod, Max Elixir, Float Stone and so on), the damage of Trashvalanche racks up incredibly fast.

If the opponent is not prepared, this attack can easily reach 200 damage for a single energy. Oneshotting EXs and GXs for a single energy is very scary and i honestly do expect quite a few fun decks to be built around this card, possibly even serious ones.

Oricorio

Ability: Vital Dance
When you play this Pokemon from your hand onto your Bench, you may search your deck for up to 2 Basic Energy, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.

[P][C] Casual Slap: 30 damage.

A Professor’s Letter that takes up a bench space. Not good, but since i wrote about the 3 other Oricorio, i thought id say something about this one too.

Oricorio

[C] Supernatural Dance: For each Pokemon in your opponent’s discard pile, put 1 damage counter on your opponent’s Pokemon in any way you like.

[C] Revelation Dance: 30 damage. If there is no Stadium card in play, this attack does nothing.

A pretty nice counterplay to Vespiquen decks, but that is just about it. Lategame, the damage you can potentially deal for a single energy may be somewhat scary, but it really does not pay off to play this card just for that. Maybe a combination of a mill deck and Oricorio can be interesting. Just ignore Revelation Dance even exists, unless you badly need to hit for those 30 damage early game, or 60 with weakness.

Dhelmise

Ability: Metallurgy

As long as this Pokemon is in play, each of your [M] Pokemon’s attacks does 10 more damage to the opponent’s Active Pokemon.

[P][C][C] Anchor Shot: 70 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon can’t retreat during your opponent’s next turn.

Another one of those Pokemon that should sit on the bench forever and better never even get into the active spot. Sadly, metal does not have enough Pokemon that benefit from this ability enough to warrant wasting bench space for it. Maybe soon we will see an attack on a metal Pokemon that just misses out on oneshotting popular GXes by 10-20 damage, then this card will shine. Better keep this one in the back of your head too though.

Machoke

Ability: Intimidating Stance
Prevent all damage and the placement of damage counters from your opponent’s attacks and Abilities to your Benched Pokemon.

[F][F] Cross Chop: 30 damage. Flip a coin. If heads, this attack does 30 more damage.

Interestingly, here we have a middle-stage Pokemon that outclasses its evolution in usefuless. Intimidating Stance allows Machoke to just sit on the bench and prevent most Feather Arrow shenanigans and similar. It does not, however, prevent the effect onto the active Pokemon. Also, Lysandre has a field day with the fat 3 retreat cost Machoke and will gladly pull him out from the bench.

The 100HP are just above what level ball can search for, which makes it kinda difficult to retrieve Machoke when it is needed. A great counter to a currently pretty popular deck, but probably too much of a hassle to pull off effectively.

Minior

[C] Swift: 20 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness, Resistance, or any other effects on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

[F][F][F] Cosmoplosion: 190 damage. This Pokemon is now Knocked Out.

I am not quite sure what to think of this card.

Yes, it has low HP, easily gets wiped off the board and is near useless against anything that isnt a GX/EX. But when facing exactly that, it shines. Cosmoplosion easily knocks out most basic EXes and GXes in one hit, with a single Strong Energy, even stage 1 GXes are not safe. Minior does knock itself out in the process, but trading a 1 prize basic for potentially a 2 prize stage 1 is a trade i am willing to make any day.

The only problem is that the attack needs 3 fighting energy, and thus, 3 attachments. Max Elixir may come in useful. Having a fully charged Minior on the bench always will be a threat to anyone using GXes or EXes.

Absol

[D] Future Sight: Look at the top 4 cards of either player’s deck and put them back in any order.

[D][C] Doom News: Put all Energy attached to this Pokemon into your hand. At the end of your opponent’s next turn, the Defending Pokemon will be Knocked Out.

Future Sight can occasionally be useful in a normal game, however with hand destruction effects like Tsareena and Delinquent, you can make your opponent draw useless cards over and over. Doom News on the other hand does not really need any additional support to be useful. While switching the affected Pokemon nullifies the effect, the opponent needs to do so to avoid a knockout. Float Stone and such put a heavy dent into this attack´s usefulness though.

Comfey

Ability: Flower Shield
As long as this Pokemon is in play, each of your Pokemon with any Fairy Energy attached to it can’t be affected by Special Conditions, and remove all Special Conditions already on those Pokemon.

[Y][C] Sweet Kiss: 30 damage. Your opponent draws 1 card.

This card is probably going to be a one-off in every fairy deck to come.

Preventing status effects always was good and Comfey effectively does so for your entire team. In the Expanded format, Aromatisse’s Fairy Transfer even supports Flower Shield, allowing you to protect any of your Pokemon from status effects with a single energy.

A great card, just never ever attack with it.

Whimsicott

[C] Overabundance of Fuzz: If the Defending Pokemon is Knocked Out during your next turn, take 2 additional Prize cards.

[Y] Fairy Wind: 30 damage.

The only problem with this card is, that it is a stage 1 that needs to evolve from a useless basic. Besides that, it is a really cool gimmick. Not requiring any fairy energy even allows you to use Whimsicott in almost any deck. But why would you want to use this ball of fluff at all?

Well, beating the opponent with only 2 knockouts, thats why. Yes, Whimsicott allows you to beat your opponent by knocking out 2 EX/GXes, one of which has to be affected by Overabundance of Fuzz, or 2 non-GX/EXes instead, which both have to be affected by that effect. Whimsicott having no retreat cost makes this even easier, just retreat into a benched hard hitter for free. Just be aware that the effect goes away if the opponent retreats or uses Pokemon Ranger.

Blissey

Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this card from hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon, you may heal 80 damage from your Active Pokemon.

[C][C][C][C] Double-Edge 160 damage. This Pokemon does 80 damage to itself.

With a little support, Blissey could actually finish some basic GX Pokemon, but that surely is not the main use of this card. When you play Blissey onto your Chansey, you can give your active Pokemon quite a decent heal, potentially combining this with cards like Fairy Drop, Pokemon Center Lady or another Blissey to heal massive amounts of damage in one turn.

If your deck focuses around a single large 240-250HP Pokemon-GX, Blissey may be worth considering, though Lysandre loves that big 4 retreat cost butt. Interesting taste, there. But i wont judge.

Bewear

Ability: Rake It In
When you play this Pokemon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon during your turn, you may draw 3 cards.

[C][C][C] Dangerous Blow: 60+ damage. If your opponent’s Active Pokemon is a Basic Pokemon, this attack does 60 more damage.

Since the one attack this card has is less than mediocre, it will probably only see play for its ability in decks that require you to draw into a certain combo and/or do not care about filling up their bench with benchsitters, like M Rayquaza EX.

Swellow

[C] Agility: 20 damage. Flip a coin. If heads, prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokemon during your opponent’s next turn.

[C] Swallow Dive: 40 damage. If this Pokemon used Agility during your last turn, this attack does 80 more damage.

Swellow is capable of dealing decent damage for a single energy, but is a fragile stage 1 itself. Level Ball and Winona can help setting Swellow up pretty fast. Nothing really special about it though, it may be fun to annoy your opponent with agility, until Swallow Dive is enough to finish the opponent off. If only this card had free retreat…

Komala

Ability: Certain Sleep

If this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon, when you attach Energy from your hand to this Pokemon, this Pokemon is now Asleep.

[C][C][C] Hypno Roll: 100 damage. This attack can only be used if this Pokemon is Asleep. If this Pokemon isn’t Asleep, this attack does nothing.

Not all is bad with this card. At least it can heal itself from confusion and paralysis.

Jokes aside, Komala is pretty bad. Having to attach an energy to this active card to even be able to attack is a huge drawback for a mere 100 damage attack for 3 energy. If you attach the third energy to this card while it is on the bench, it just can not attack. It has some synergy with BREAKpoint Hypno though. Moreover, Komala has only 80 HP which is way too low.

An interesting gimmick, but overall a card that should never be used.

GX Pokémon

Turtonator GX

[C][C] Trap Shell: 20 damage. If this Pokemon is damaged by an attack during your opponent’s next turn, place 8 damage counters on the Attacking Pokemon.

[R][R][C] Crimson Flame: 160 damage. Discard 2 [R] Energy attached to this Pokemon.

[R] Nitro Tank GX: Attach 5 [R] Energy from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack per game.)

This card pretty much begs to be used as addition to already existing Volcanion decks.

Dealing proper damage with Trap Shell, thanks to Volcanion EX Steam Up, while threatening 8 additional damage counters if the opponent dares to retaliate the next turn is downright evil. After discarding a few energy with Steam Up and other effects, Turtonator GX can also simply grab 5 of those energy from the discard pile and attach them to your several strong EX and GX attackers, like himself.

Speaking of Turtonator being a potential attacker, Crimson Flare deals just below what is needed for a one hit knockout on most GX and EX Pokemon. But Steam Up (again) adds exactly what it needs to finish off the several stages of GX Pokemon. One Steam Up and Crimson Flame oneshots all the basic GX Pokemon except for Wishiwashi GX. Two Steam Up are enough to oneshot any stage 1 GX Pokemon or Wishiwashi GX.

Three Steam Up result in Crimson Flare dealing massive 250 damage, which is enough to oneshot any stage 2 GX Pokemon. The only flaw of this card might be the high retreat cost, but running a bunch of Float Stones is nothing new for Volcanion decks.

Alolan Ninetales GX

[C][C] Ice Blade: Does 50 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)

[W][W][C] Blizzard Edge: 160 damage. Discard 2 Energy attached to this Pokemon.

[C][C] Clear Gate GX: Move all damage counters from this Pokemon to your opponent’s Active Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack a game.)

Ice Blade lacks just 10 damage to finish off most basic critters on the bench, like Beldum, Rowlet or Rockruff, or twoshot Low HP EXes like Shaymin. However it still can finish off heavily damaged Pokemon or Magikarps/Wishiwashis.

Blizzard Edge just doesn’t deal enough damage as well, and the additional cost of discarding 2 energy may be even worse than Lapas GX Blizzard Burn. Maybe Aqua Patch (more details further down) can remedy some of that issue. Clear Gate GX on the other hand may be one of the best GX moves in the game. All damage on Ninetales GX gets transferred over to the opponent’s active Pokemon, healing you completely while the opponent gets payback for what they did to Ninetales GX. Though this card has potential, it just lacks in comparison to the in my opinion already underwhelming Lapras GX.

Wishiwashi GX

[W] Water Gun: 20 damage.

[W][W][W][C][C] Microburst Vortex: 120 damage. Discard a Special Energy card attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

[W][W][W][C][C] Blue Surge GX: 220 damage. Move all Energy attached to this Pokemon to your Benched Pokemon in any way you like. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack a game.)

This card feels like it is supposed to be the “new Wailord EX”.

Way overpriced attacks, higher than usual HP and, of course, water type. Even with a Fighting Fury Belt, however, it only reaches the same HP as Wailord EX has, making me wonder why Wishiwashi GX has such low HP compared to it.

Blue Surge GX is the only move on this Pokemon that i would deem useful and even that is just terrible.
Charge this fish school up with 5 energy on the bench, hoping not to get it dragged into the active spot and oneshotted. Then use its GX attack to knock something out and rearrange all the energy on Wishiwashi GX to your benched Pokemon so the fat 3 retreat two prize card stays defenseless in the active spot.

Stay away from this card unless new cards turn up that make it more useful somehow.

Toxapex-GX

[P] Spike Cannon: 30x damage. Flip 4 coins. This attack does 30 damage times the number of heads.

[P][P][P] Ultra-Toxic Poison: Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned. Put 10 damage counters instead of 1 on that Pokemon between turns.

[P][P][P] Toxa-Shelter GX: 150 damage. Prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokemon during your opponent’s next turn. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

Spike Cannon can deal up to 120 damage for a single energy, with an avarage of 60 damage, which still is more than decent for a single energy. However, under normal circumstances, you will not want to use a GX´s single energy attack to actually deal damage.

Ultra-Toxic Poison is the strongest poison effect in the game as of now, and it does actually work pretty well like this. It basically deals 100 immediate damage and if the opponent doesnt switch out right away, the affected Pokemon is pretty much guaranteed to be knocked out. Of course Float Stone, Switch and similar can bypass the additional poison damage, just like any other poison effect. However, if Toxapex GX is not knocked out right away after that, the cycle starts anew. With the new Field Blower item card, you can get rid of any Float Stones the opponent might have and decrease their chances of retreating, making the poison even more dangerous.

The only real negative about the attack is, that it requires 3 psychic energy and thus, 3 attachments.
Same goes for the GX attack, Toxa-Shelter GX however.
Dealing 150 damage while giving itself complete immunity for one turn is great, though Lysandre and Pokemon ranger can bypass this effect quite easily.
But if the opponent uses Lysandre to bypass the effect, they at least do not attack your fully charged up Toxapex GX and the evil poison can do its job once more.

Tapu Koko GX

Ability: Aero Trail

Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this card from your hand onto your Bench, you may move any number of [L] Energy attached to your Pokemon to this Pokemon. If you move any Energy, switch this Pokemon with your Active Pokemon.

[L][L][C] Sky Claw: 130 damage.

[L][L][C] Tapu Thunder GX: Does 50 damage times the number of Energy attached to all of your opponent’s Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack per game.)

I would assume the ability is in reference to the sequence with Nebby in the Sun&Moon video games. And just as awesome as it was there, it now is in the TCG.

While it is pretty much only a carbon copy of Dragonite EXs “Bust In” ability, it still is very useful. Tapu Koko can easily enter the field completely set up and quickly deal big damage. Sky Claw is decent, dealing above avarage 130 damage for 3 energy, capable of twoshotting any GX or EX Pokemon and oneshotting them if they have weakness.

Speaking of weakness, Tapu Koko has none. Often times, fighting type decks easily take electric decks apart, but this card can take them head on without fear. Tapu Koko also has a great GX attack in Tapu Thunder, easily capable of oneshotting a large GX Pokemon if the opponent had some time to build up.
Imagine the numbers this attack will deal against Darkrai EX…

Tapu Lele GX

Ability: Wonder Touch
Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this card from your hand onto your Bench, you may search your deck for a Supporter card, reveal it, and put it in your hand. Then shuffle your deck.

[C][C] Energy Drive: Does 20 damage times the number of Energy attached to both Active Pokemon. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Weakness or Resistance.

[P] Kapu Cure GX: Restore all HP to 2 of your Benched Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack per game.)

What can i say, i love pink. Thus, Tapu Lele is my favorite of the Tapus and i am very happy to see this card being as powerful as it is. This card, i assume, is going to be the most expensive card of this set, quite possibly reaching Shaymin EX levels.

First, searching for a supporter from the deck for free is amazing. This was why people played (and still do, in the Legacy format) the 90HP Jirachi EX, which has a useless attack. Tapu Lele however, does not have a useless attack. In fact, both attacks are great. Energy Drive can be used for any 2 energy and thus, makes it possible to use this card in any deck and still attack with it. The damage also is pretty good, being Lugia EX Aeroball, just without weakness but also ignoring resistance (…i say as if Lugia had those either as a colorless type…).

The GX attack pretty much is the whip cream on the already amazing sundea. For a single psychic energy, Tapu Lele heals 2 of your benched Pokemon completely. There is no need to add extra psychic type energy to a deck for this GX attack because this card already is amazing without it, but if you can use it, go ahead.
And just to add extra sprinkles, Tapu Lele has, just like all the other Tapu, no weakness.

I can not point out any real flaw with this card, it is easily the best card of the set and quite possibly the best card released for quite sometime now.

5 stars, 10/10, i need it in my life.

Lycanroc GX

Ability: Bloody Eye
When you play this Pokemon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon, you may switch 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon with their Active Pokemon.

[F][C][C] Claw Swipe: 110 damage.

[F][C] Death Rogue GX: 50x damage. Does 50 damage times the number of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

An amazingly strong ability, considering that Lysandre is very effective and often requires you to use your VS Seekers for him. Up to 4 additional “Lysandre” uses are possible with Lycanroc GX, as strong as it may sound though, they should be used carefully and not be wasted. Claw Swipe is easy to use for pretty standard 110 damage, thanks to the Double Colorless Energy requirement within the 3 energy cost.

The GX attack, Death Rogue GX (which surely will have a different name in the official release…) makes your opponent think twice about benching Pokemon like Shaymin EX or Tapu Lele GX just for their effects. And if they decide not to do so, you slow them down in the process, which is a huge benefit.
If they do, however, Death Rogue GX can easily oneshot any GX or EX Pokemon, even the massive stage 2 ones like Incineroar GX if the opponent has a full bench.

This card does not feel like it should be the focus of fighting decks though, but rather a strong support.

Metagross GX

Ability: Geotech System
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may attach either a [P] or [M] Energy from your discard pile to your Active Pokemon.

[M][M][C] Giga Hammer: 150 damage. This Pokemon can’t use Giga Hammer during your next turn.

[C] Algorithm GX: Search your deck for up to 5 cards and put them into your hand. Then shuffle your deck. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack a game.)

My favorite card from this set. Sadly, not because it is downright amazing, but more so because Metagross is my favorite Pokemon. Metagross GX also shows to be playable, but probably not in anything actually competitive, sadly. But, i am getting ahead of myself here. Giga Hammer is a generic move that forces you to either use Metagross GXs GX move next round or switch it out. Thanks to the high retreat cost of 3, switching it would only really work with Float Stone, Olympia or what not.

With a little support like Dhelmise, Giga Hammer might oneshot an opposing GX/EX, but by itself it just is not a great attack. Even stage 2 Pokemon start to get 160 and more HP, so 150 just is not enough. Algorithm GX fills your hand with exactly what you want and potentially makes your next turn devastating. However, N makes this move worthless. So as long as your opponent has an N at their disposal, they will use it. The ability, Geotech System (that sounds pretty cool), gives you additional free energy every turn, helping you to quickly charge up energy to your team. Only downside is, they already need to be in the discard pile. Now the (to me) obvious problem with this card. We already have Solgaleo GX, which does everything Metagross GX does, but better. They make a pretty cool team though. I do not recommend using two stage 2 Pokemon in one deck though.

Vikavolt GX

[L] Charge Beam: 50 damage. Attach 1 Energy card from your discard pile to this Pokemon.

[L][C][C][C] Super Zap Cannon: 180 damage. Discard 2 Energy attached to this Pokemon.

[L][C][C][C] Gigatron GX: Does 60 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.) (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

I know this card has quite a few fans and i can see why, but i just do not like it.
Once fully evolved, it can charge itself up with Double Colorless Energy from the discard pile while dealing some damage. Once fully charged though, the 180 damage can oneshot some EXes and GXes, but needs a little bit of help with most of the popular ones.

The GX attack however, seems to be more of a gimmick than anything else.
I personally like to be able to rely on my GX attacks, knowing they will be gamechanging when i use it. Gigatron GX however, seems very situational, potentially cleaning up a few damaged Pokemon on the opponent´s bench in the late game, while almost a wasted attack in the early game.

Gimmicky trick: Using a Wide Lense tool on Vikavolt GX can make Gigatron GX oneshot benched Shaymin EX.

Kommo-o GX

[C] Adamantine Press: 30 damage. During your opponent’s next turn, this Pokemon takes 30 less damage from attacks.

[L][F][C][C] Shred: 130 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by any effects on your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

[L][F][C][C] Fierce Uppercut GX: 240 damage. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack a game.)

To be quite honest, i only mention this card here, because i generally talk about all the GX (and EX) cards in a set. Kommo-o GX will not see play, except in really clunky fun decks. A stage 2 that needs 4 energy to even do anything remotely useful just isnt anywhere good enough. Fairy Pokemon are fair(y)ly popular right now as well, so the weakness to fairy does this card no good. Also, if i am not mistaken, Double Dragon energy will rotate out, if not reprinted in the next set. If that is the case, this card is pretty much unplayable.

Sylveon-GX

[Y] Magical Ribbon: Search your deck for up to 3 cards and put them into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward.

[Y][C][C] Fairy Wind: 110 damage.

[Y][C][C] Plea GX: Pick 2 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. Your opponent returns those Pokemon and all cards attached to them to his or her hand. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack a game.)

Just like the other Eeveelution GXes, Sylveon has a single energy attack to play along the Energys-Evolution Eevee. This one, however, is much stronger than the other ones are.
Grabbing any 3 cards from your deck for a single energy is amazing, though N can mess with your hand after all.
There is not much to say about Fairy Wind. Decent damage for 3 energy, Double Colorless Energy can be used and the energy cost is equal to the GX attack. Nothing to complain about, though i would have liked additional 10 damage on it.

The GX move is simply amazing. While it does not win you games, it can slow down the opponent so much that i would consider it to be one of the best GX moves yet.
While putting two fully evolved stage 2 Pokemon with energy on them back into your opponent´s hand sounds like the best case scenario, i can think of a few more fun uses.
Keep in mind though, that they also get to keep all the attached energy and tools.
I am sure this card will see a lot of play and i am looking forward to seeing some of the ideas people come up with to maximize the usefulness of this card.

Drampa-GX

[C] Righteous Edge: 20 damage. Discard a Special Energy attached to your opponent’s Active Pokemon.

[C][C][C] Berserk: 80+ damage. If your Benched Pokemon have any damage counters on them, this attack does 70 more damage.

[C] Great Revolution GX: Shuffle your hand into your deck, then draw 10 cards. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

I saw this card being called the new Shaymin EX and i have to strongly disagree.
Righteous Edge is a filler attack with occasional usefuless, but should not be on a the focus of this card.
The focus should be on Berserk, a strong move that has easy to meet conditions, especially with cards like Rainbow Energy. The damage is enough to oneshot many stage 2 Pokemon, but not for EXes or GXes. Even with Choice Band, the damage is just below what you would need most of the time. Still more than decent damage for 3 colorless energy.

The GX attack is why people called this the new Shaymin EX. However, it has some major drawbacks compared to Shaymin, being that it takes up your attack for the turn as well as the single use GX move, while easily worked around by your opponent right after by playing N.
A decent move nonetheless, but i do not like the risk of having my single use GX move be wasted completely if my opponent plays a staple card they should have anyway.

Trainers

Mallow

Choose 2 cards from your deck and shuffle the rest of your deck. Put the chosen cards on top of your deck in any order.

An interesting card that surely will see some play.

With cards like Alolan Sandslash, Mallow can get you up to 2 specific cards right away, which greatly benefits combo-oriented decks. Sadly, N messes the order of your deck up. So if your opponent was to play N as his supporter after you used Mallow, you effectively wasted your one supporter.

Aqua Patch

Attach a basic [W] Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched [W] Pokemon.

The secret rare version of this card will probably reach Secret Rare Ultra Ball levels of prices.

If i were to talk about the uses of this card, the article’s length would double, so just take this as the short version: This card will greatly increase the viability of any water Pokemon to exist and to be released in Standard and Expanded. Water decks will always be a thing in both formats as long as this card is allowed in them.

Rescue Stretcher

Choose 1 Pokemon from your discard pile and put it into your hand or choose 3 Pokemon and shuffle them into your deck.

A variant of the popular Super Rod, that does not get you any energy, but potentially any Pokemon you want directly into your hand instead. Very useful for decks that require specific pieces for combo plays or just any deck that would rather have their energy in the discard pile.

Brooklet Hill

Once during his or her turn, each player may search his or her deck for a Water or Fighting Basic Pokemon and play it on his or her Bench. If a player does this, that player shuffles their deck.

As if Aqua Patch was not enough support for water Pokemon, we also have this.

Quickly get all your needed water toolbox Pokemon onto your bench without any extra cost.
But, it also benefits fighting types, so maybe a lineup of Rockruff to spam your pseudo-Lysandre Lycanroc GX whenever you need to. The possibilities are near endless.

One of the only drawbacks this card has may be that currently, water Pokemon have Rough Seas and fighting Pokemon have Scorched Earth. Though in my opinion Brooklet Hill surpasses Scorched Earth in usefulness.

Energy Loto

Look at the top 7 cards of your deck. You may reveal an Energy card you find there and put it into your hand. Shuffle the other cards back into your deck.

Only one thing needs to be said about this card to perfectly understand its use: it helps fetching Double Colorless Energy. There are several decks that use no energy but DCE, for example Vespiquen decks. These sometimes have issues getting the Double Colorless Energy when they need it, and Energy Loto helps with that. Helping speedy decks to build up even faster and more consistently makes this card an auto-include of 1-2 in every deck that focuses on their DCE as lone energy.

Field Blower

Choose up to 2 in any combination of Pokemon Tool cards and Stadium cards in play (both yours and your opponent’s) and discard them.

The card every player in Standard waited for. Not much to say here that isn’t clearly obvious.

Field Blower combats Ability-lock Garbador, gets rid of all the Fighting Fury Belt everybody seems to be using and it will keep being useful until it rotates out some day. It also removes nasty Stadiums, which might come in handy if you have no Stadium on your own to discard the opponent’s. But generally, what you’ll want to remove with Field Blower is Pokemon Tools.

Hala

Shuffle your hand into your deck and then draw 4 cards. If you’ve already used a GX attack this game, draw 7 cards instead.

Hala might see play in decks like Solgaleo GX where you want to use your GX move as soon as possible. Outside of decks like those though, he will probably not be used, and if he is, then as a single copy.

Choice Band

The attacks of the Pokemon this card is attached to do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon-GX or Active Pokemon-EX (before applying Weakness and Resistance).

Here we go, the single best tool card to come out in a long time. There really is not much to say about this card, it speaks for itself. We needed it, we wanted it, it will change how decks are built. An immediate staple for almost any deck within the next years.

Aether Paradise Conservation Area

Each player’s Basic Grass and Lightning Pokemon takes 30 less damage from opponent’s Pokemon’s attacks.

Here we have what i call the substitute for Electric decks when Rough Seas rotates out.

But, there is more to it than that. Thanks to Forest Of Giant Plants, people tend to look at Grass Pokemon with the “Will this be useful with Forest Of Giant Plants?” view. Now, basic Grass Pokemon get their share of support as well. With this card, Tapu Bulu GX coming out soon (not in this set) and very likely some more great basic Grass Pokemon as well, not every Grass deck will automatically be a “evolve your Stage 2 as quickly as possible with Forest Of Giant Plants” kind of deck.

Conclusion

A very strong set indeed, with many cards that will see play for some time. Especially Tapu Lele, Aqua Patch, Choice Band and Field Blower will be all over the place. I am happy to see that GX moves are not only sugarcoated oneshot moves or gamebreaking in any way. Sadly, many of the stage 2 GXes are not anywhere as strong as a stage 2 Pokemon should be, considering all the work that goes into getting one up and running.

I’d rather stick to basic GXes, even with Field Blower now able to remove my Fighting Fury Belts easily.

The Sun&Moon series seem to set new standards when it comes to strong cards and i personally would like to see the trend of new staple cards with every set continue.

Lastly, as value goes, i expect this set to come really close to the value of roaring skies, which is the most valuable set right now, especially online. But, it probably will not exceed it.

33 Comments
  1. Diancie23 3 years ago

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    Is tapu lele gx better than shaymin?

    • Kirstin22 3 years ago

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      I think so yes

  2. Darkrai_Fan_84 3 years ago

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    Leaf decks get stronger again with the “Aether Paradise Conservation Area” stadium card =/

    • Jake 3 years ago

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      Yeah, i hope Giant of the Forest Plants rotates out really soon… Playing against a first turn vileplume every single game is starting to get a little bit boring.

    • Sten 3 years ago

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      Play 4 Wobb xD

    • Jake 3 years ago

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      I don’t like Wobb @sercarlet, besides his ability he is completely useless.

    • SventheMan 3 years ago

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      me too!

  3. Sten 3 years ago

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    No problem. Japanese and Aqua Patch hype, also it’s a pretty card lol. The full art is just beautiful. Still hate any Rainbow/Hyper rare card xD

  4. Sten 3 years ago

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    Just went pre release this weekend, won the event against mostly casuals and collectors. Most of them telling me what to do and explaining what my cards did lol. Pulled zero ultra rare. But realized the baby Drampa and Rayquaza are actually pretty playable cards. Also super natural dance is your opponent’s discard pile. So it’s a counter to Bees not splashable in Bees. You should probably change that. Most wanted playable cards were Sylveon, Tapu Lele, Ninetales and ofcourse playable trainers.

    • Author
      Patric 3 years ago

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      I see, thank you. That is where the “sources might have mistakes” part comes into play. Sadly, that makes the card much worse. I will change that as soon as i can.
      Though i am somewhat surprised people badly wanted Ninetales. Well, we will see how the meta changes.

  5. Author
    Patric 3 years ago

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    After i wrote the original article, news came out that there will be several more cards in the Guardians Rising set than i anticipated, thus, the article is now updated.
    You can keep any and all typos, or trade them in for virtual hugs if you like.
    Have fun reading!

    • Kirstin22 3 years ago

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      THanks

  6. Kirstin22 3 years ago

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    Are the cards that are missing still gonna be added? @endlesssteel ?

    • Author
      Patric 3 years ago

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      They now are, i hope youll have fun reading.

    • SventheMan 3 years ago

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      Thank you!

  7. Gekki 3 years ago

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    Awesome article! But I think you guys forgot about the new Choice Band Tool card. +30 dmg to EX/GX Pokemon. Also I think Alolan Sandslash will be really good with Mallow and Reserved Ticket and Acro Bike. Use Mallow to get a card you want and a card you don’t want, then use Acro Bike to get the card you want, and then throw the other one out. Also, if you get heads with reserved ticket, you get any card you want ABSOLUTELY free when combined with Alolan Sandslash. #OP. And Mallow gets you two for the cost of your supporter, and one more sandslash. Or you could just hope your opponent doesn’t use N lol. And Tapu Lele! So awesome. Can’t wait for this expansion.

  8. TapuKokoFTW 3 years ago

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    @sercarlet Hi Sten! Think Raikou could come any close to the meta with the guardians rising set coming out?

  9. Harambe 3 years ago

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    M Mewtwo > Ninetales GX

    • Sten 3 years ago

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      With Guardians Rising, just put your Mewtwos in a binder, Garbodor hits M Metwo for weakness for 1 psychic Energy. It’s not even fair, you trade an efficient 1 prize for 2 prizes easily. Garbodor will be meta so it will be everywhere. So sadly RIP M Mewtwo unless you run 4 Weakness Policies lol.

    • Harambe 3 years ago

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      Well yes and no, you have to play some less items especially at the beginning, and just take garbodor out before he can do serious damage. If you are able to take him out early game without using too many items, you should be fine.

    • Gekki 3 years ago

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      Yeah, but Mega Mewtwo is very reliant on Mega Turbo to hit huge numbers fast.

    • Sten 3 years ago

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      You only need 4 items in your opponents discard pile plus choice band. Playing around Garb is tough plus you wont be attacking with Garb early anyways. You will be putting pressure early with Tapu Lele forcing your opponent to dig and discard items. Late game you clean up by streaming Garb

    • Gekki 3 years ago

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      Yeah. Mewtwo is done.

  10. TapuKokoFTW 3 years ago

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    Raikou is going to love Aether Paradise Conservation Area as it already removes 20 damage with its ability… 50 damage with perhaps a parallel city removing another 20 is 70 damage reduction! Throw in a couple of pokemon center ladys and this legendary beast will be hard to take down. I for one can’t wait for Raikou to be relevant again ^^

  11. LuNALA 3 years ago

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    I think Tapu Lele will be so great in a M Mewtwo based deck… Getting the supporter you want is so damn powerful and fully heal two damaged M Mewtwos on your bench is also amazing… Wow this card is gonna cost quite a lot lol.. I would like to see a turbo darkrai deck against a tapu lele deck… that would be interesting to see as well 🙂

  12. Sten 3 years ago

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    Honestly you are underestimating Garbodor and Alolan Ninetales GX, they have already proven they are dominant forces in the Japan when both archtype dominated the most recent Champions League . I know in Japan they play XY-on format, but that only justify their playability in our PCR-on format. And please don’t say Lapras GX is underwhelming when one of the best decks in the format right now is Quad Lapras. You also missed Sylveon GX and Drampa GX wich will definitely see play when Guardians RIsing comes out, Sylveon GX will be the new fatigue pokemon with it’s magical ribbon attack searching for 3 cards and it’s GX attack returning 2 of your opponent’s benched pokemon. Drampa will be a nice tech attacker in Yveltal or it’s own archtype. I see Tapu Koko seeing lots of potential with it’s great typing support from Electrode , Rough Seas and Aether Paradise and the baby Tapu Koko is also pretty good for one DCE it deals 20 to each of your opponent’s pokemon. Also Darkrai is weak to Fighting, I think you mean Yveltal EX or other birds.

    • Author
      Patric 3 years ago

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      How am i underestimating a card (Garbodor) on which i stated that it can get very scary very quickly?
      On Alolan Ninetales GX, i still have to see it in action to say if i underestimated it.
      About Sylveon GX, ive not seen (until now) that it also was announced for our Guardians Rising set, it will be added shortly. Ive yet to see confirmation that Drampa GX is coming in Guardians rising too, if that is the case, it also will be added.
      Lapras GX is, to me, a very underwhelming GX Pokemon with a near useless GX attack, a mediocre first attack and a “normal” attack that requires support to be used properly. Thus, underwhelming. Of course, anyone can disagree. However, in my opinion, Lapras GX only takes a spot that any basic water GX that isnt Wishiwashi could fill, while discarding Lapras into the “never to be seen or played again” Abyss.
      Lastly no, i meant Darkrai EX, i did not speak of weakness but of the GX attack that deals damage according to the energy on the opponent´s field.
      Since Darkrai EX decks swarm the field with energy very quickly, Tapu Koko´s GX attack can deal massive damage to them.

    • Sten 3 years ago

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      Oh lol, true the GX attack of Tapu Koko, my bad. I say you underestimate them because Garbodor is broken and you say it could “possibly” see play in serious decks, it’s that good in my opinion. And you say Ninetales just lacks to the already underwhelming Lapras. In my opinion Ninetales in combination with Tapu Koko that does 20 spread is amazing. In Quad Lapras you are happy to just Collect all day, you only want to attack when you can remove all their energy on the board with it. Ice Beam GX can potentially guarantee a KO on anything unless they get a switching card. Look at Lapras with a Belt as a 230 HP Wailord that can draw you 3 cards at the end of your turn.

    • Jake 3 years ago

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      Isn’t Sylveon GX for the SM2+ set in Japan? Which will probably be SM3 in EU/US.

    • LuNALA 3 years ago

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      No it is confirmed SM2, it was SM1+ in Japan

  13. MelanieZ 3 years ago

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    I really want Tapu Lele GX! Will it have a hyper rare card too?

    • Author
      Patric 3 years ago

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      Tapu Lele will have a regular full art and a “Rainbow” full art as well.

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