The final Sun & Moon set we will get introduces a new mechanic into the game as well as a new rarity. But is this all this set has to offer or will the meta get shaken up before Sword & Shield cards make their way into the TCG? Let’s find out!
Note; most of this was written before the English cards were revealed, so mistakes and mistranslations may always have snuck in. Also, cards that were too uninteresting to talk about, as well as reprints have been left out of this review.
[C][C] Sun Power: During your next turn, ignore all Energy in the attack costs of each of your [G] and [R] Pokemon in play (including Pokemon put in play during that turn).
[G][C][C] Solar Beam: 80 damage.
A novel idea for a card, but impossible to play effectively. Assuming you want to attack without paying any Energy Energy cost after going through the trouble of using ‘Sun Power’, there are very few options as it leaves the colorless Energy cost. As if that was not bad enough, the Effort put into setting up a Stage 1 Pokemon with 2 Energy can just as well be put into whatever attack is supposed to become less expensive thanks to ‘Sun Power’s effect. Sunflora gets points for originality though. Let’s hope this idea gets built upon in the near future.
[G] Carefree Concert: 30+ damage. If you have exactly 1 card in your hand, this attack does 100 more damage. If you have exactly 3 cards in your hand, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Confused. If you have exactly 6 cards in your hand, this attack does 30 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon (don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon).
For a single Grass Energy, ‘Carefree Concert’ is three attacks in one, each mode serving a different purpose from the other two modes. Though it may be very difficult to build a deck in such a way that each mode is available whenever needed, the possibility of a single Pokemon adapting to whatever deck it is facing is amazing. This card has potential but is unlikely to thrive in the current environment.
[G] Sharpshooting: This attack does 40 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)
[C][C] Tracking Shoot: 80 damage. This attack does 80 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon that has any damage counters on it. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)
Spread decks are becoming a rarity after Promo Tapu Koko rotated out of the Standard-Format. With the release of ‘Blast Bomb’ Koffing and Weezing, this may change and make Decidueye ‘Blast Bomb’ a valid deck, even in a meta that is dominated by high HP Pokemon. Tough ‘Sharpshooting’ requires Grass Energy, ‘Tracking Shot’ does not. This means that the deck can be mixed with any color of Energy.
[C] Grass Knot: 10+ damage. This attack does 30 more damage for each [C] in the Retreat Cost of your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
[G][C][C] Slam: 80x damage. Flip 2 coins. This attack does 80 damage for each heads.
A surprisingly potent card, especially in combination with Absol (Team Up 88). For a single colorless Energy, ‘Grass Knot’ is capable of dealing impressive amounts of damage, especially against the heavy Tag Team Pokemon we currently see a lot of. With multiple Absol on the bench, ‘Dark Ambition’ makes the retreat cost of many Pokemon way too high to pay for a regular retreat and allows for ‘Grass Knot’ to knock out any Tag Team Pokemon in two hits. It does not affect evolved Pokemon though, which makes some matchups rather difficult for Tangrowth to deal with.
Ability: Beast Burst
This Pokemon’s attacks do 20 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon for each Prize card you have taken (before applying Weakness and Resistance).
[G][C] Touchdown: 60 damage. Heal 30 damage from this Pokemon.
The damage boost ‘Beast Burst’ provides only is useful late game, but up to 160 damage can be quite devastating for only two Energy. ‘Touchdown’ provides a small heal that will rarely impact the game, but it’s nice to have nonetheless. A strong card that is likely going to see play in most aggressive Grass-Type decks as a single copy per deck.
Vileplume GX 7/10
Ability: Fragrant Flower Garden
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may heal 30 damage from each of your Pokemon.
[G][C] Big Bloom: 180- damage. This attack does 10 less damage for each damage counter on this Pokemon.
[G] Allergy Bomb GX: 50 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned, Burned, and Paralyzed. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Though the Ability ‘Fragrant Flower Garden’ heals quite a decent amount of damage per turn, the incredible power that Fire Pokemon currently have makes running this card a big risk, as all the popular Fire Type Pokemon easily knock Vileplume GX out in a single attack. Against many other decks though, Vileplume GX in combination with Shaymin (Lost Thunder 33) and Celebi & Venusaur GX can make for a pretty dangerous stall deck with decent firepower. Vileplume GX being a Stage 2 Grass GX also creates synergy with Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor GX, potentially allowing for ‘Big Bloom’ to be used on turn 2. If the meta shifts away from Fire-decks, this might be a decent card.
Venusaur & Snivy GX 8/10
Ability: Shining Vine
If this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon, whenever you attach a [G] Energy from your hand to this Pokemon during your turn, you may choose 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon and switch it with their Active Pokemon.
[G][C][C][C] Forest Dump: 160 damage.
[C][C][C]+ Solar Blast GX: This attack does 50 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.) If this Pokemon has at least 2 additional Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), heal all damage from each of your Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
The most important part of this card is easily the Ability ‘Shining Vine’, which allows for some incredible stalling. In combination with the many ways Grass Pokemon can heal, Venusaur & Snivy GX, this can lead to unwinnable matchups for many decks as their support Pokemon are continuously dragged into the active spot, unable to attack. Add in some mill effects or damage from other sources than attacks and you have a winning deck. The only real issue this card has is the weakness to the very powerful Fire-Type. Two Switch-effects or even manual retreat are possibly enough to win a game against Venusaur & Snivy GX, as 140 damage (280 with weakness) are easy for Fire-decks. Weakness Guard Energy may be the way to go there.
Ability: Power Cheer
The attacks of your Pokemon GX that evolve from Eevee do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon (before applying Weakness and Resistance). You can’t apply more than 1 Power Cheer Ability at a time.
[R][C][C] Flamethrower: 90 damage. Discard an Energy from this Pokemon.
Cosmic Eclipse introduces the original Eeveelution trio as a support engine for the Eeveelution Pokemon GX. Though none of them have any decent attacking capabilities themselves, they greatly support any Pokemon GX evolved from Eevee. This seems to be a much stronger effect in the expanded format as we have the ‘Energy Evolution’ Eevee there. Regardless of that though, ‘Power Cheer’ is a strong effect that can make any Eeveelution GX into a much more potent attacker.
Ability: Steam Dance
When you play this Pokemon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon during your turn, you may look at the top 8 cards of your deck and attach any basic Energy you find there to your Pokemon in any way you like. Then, shuffle the remaining cards into your deck.
[R][C][C][C] Heat Crash: 160 damage.
Though Energy Acceleration is always welcome, evolving into a Stage 2 Pokemon is way too much effort for a random amount of Energy. In some decks, this effect may be quite powerful but with cards like Welder, Beast Ring and Tapu Koko Prism Star already do an exceptional job at accelerating Energy. Emboar asks for too much and delivers too little to be of any worth.
Volcarona GX 7.5/10
Ability: Scorching Bomb
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may discard a [R] Energy from your hand. If you do, put 2 damage counters on 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon.
[R][R][C] Backfire: 160 damage. Return 2 [R] Energy from this Pokemon to your hand.
[R] Great Heatwave GX: Discard an Energy from each of your opponent’s Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Volcarona GX fills a few gaps many decks have but is not a card to build a deck around. ‘Scorching Bomb’ gives the deck a way to deal extra damage while setting the discard pile up with Fire Energy to later be recycled with Fire Crystal. In some situations, ‘Backfire’ allows you to deal damage with Volcarona GX while stacking your hand with more Energy to use later, either with Welder or ‘Scorching Bomb’. A great card to deal with bench-sitter Pokemon, add another level of resource management as well as a decent attacker in certain situations.
Charizard & Braixen GX 8.5/10
[R][R][R][C] Shiny Flare: 180 damage. You may search your deck for up to 3 cards and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
[R]+ Crimson Flame Pillar GX: Attach 5 basic Energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like. If this Pokemon has at least 1 extra Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Burned and Confused. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
This card is unlikely to take Charizard & Reshiram GX’s spot, but they will complement each other nicely. Searching for any 3 cards while dealing 180 damage is very powerful and can quickly overwhelm the opponent, especially when used in succession. Giving the already oppressive Fire-decks the option to play a control-style when necessary is going to make Fire decks even more dominant. Possibly just as important is the GX attack ‘Crimson Flare Pillar GX’ which does not only set up your field in a hurry but also has the potential to protect your Pokemon from an attack thanks to confusion. Just as expected; another Charizard GX, another strong card.
[W][W][W] Bubble Hold: 80 damage. If the Defending Pokemon is a Basic Pokemon, it can’t attack during your opponent’s next turn.
[W] Water Drip: 20 damage.
[W][W][W] Direct Dive: Discard all Energy from this Pokemon and do 100 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon.)
and Empoleon 4.5/10
[C] Recall: Choose an attack from this Pokemon’s previous Evolutions and use it as this attack.
[C][C] Aqua Fall: 130 damage. Discard all Energy attached to this Pokemon.
Quite an original series of cards, where every single stage of the evolution chain has a decent attack. Empoleon’s ‘Recall’ gives access to ‘Bubble Hold’ and ‘Direct Dive’ for a single Energy, the latter will only discard a single Energy in the process unless you attach more for some reason of course. In total, Empoleon has 3 viable attacks, but future Prinplup and Piplup might mix this up a bit. Sadly, being a Stage 2 evolution line pulls this card down as much as it is its strength. Normally, Rare Candy skips the Stage 1 part of the chain, drastically increasing the speed. For Empoleon however, it would also take away ‘Direct Dive’ and defeats the entire purpose of ‘Recall’. This will make efficient use of Empoleon more difficult than it should be.
Ability: Vital Air
As long as this Pokemon is in play, the maximum HP of each of your Pokemon GX that evolve from Eevee is increased by 60. You can’t apply more than one Vital Air Ability at a time.
[W][C][C] Cure Rain: 60 damage. Heal 30 damage from each of your Pokemon in play.
Vaporeon sitting on the bench makes your Glaceon GX and Vaporeon GX as well as other Eeveelution GX as resilient as a Tag Team Pokemon. Not much else to say, this card will see play in combination with Flareon from this set, making an Eeveelution deck quite scary.
[W] Cold Wave: 60 damage. Your opponent can’t play any Trainers from their hand during their next turn. You can’t use this attack if any of your Pokemon used Cold Wave during your last turn.
[W][C][C][C] Blizzard: 120 damage. This attack does 10 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon.
Though the effect of ‘Cold Wave’ is incredibly strong, even with the restriction, it is not worth it. The damage is so low that most decks will have no problem dealing more damage without using any trainer cards, easily beating out Walrein. If ‘Cold Wave’ was stronger and cost more Energy, Walrein would be a much better card.
Ability: Whirlpool Drag
Once during your turn (before your attack), if this Pokemon is on your Bench, you may have your opponent switch their Active Pokemon with 1 of their Benched Pokemon. If you do, discard all cards attached to this Pokemon and put this Pokemon at the bottom of your deck.
[W] Wave Splash: 10 damage.
Phione can easily be searched from the deck multiple times within a game. This makes ‘Whirpool Drag’ a threat that is always present and can force the opponent to switch Pokemon multiple times, likely exposing a better target to an attack or costing them resources. A single copy of Phione is likely going to find its way into most decks.
If this Pokemon has any damage counters on it, flip a coin at the end of your opponent’s turn. If tails, shuffle this Pokemon and all cards attached to it into your deck.
[W][W][C] Hydro Splash: 130 damage.
Boasting massive HP for a basic non-GX Pokemon, Wishiwashi is clearly designed to be put into a stall-deck, possibly even be the heart of one. Most Pokemon can not knock out Wishiwashi in a single hit while stall-decks do not hit back at all. Hitting back with Wishiwashi is a bad idea anyway, as Wishiwashi and any Energy attached to it have a chance to just leave the field at any point after the opponent tried to deal with the school of fish. A potential card for stall decks, if they ever become viable.
Wishiwashi GX 4/10
[W][C] Schooling Storm: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage for each of your Wishiwashi and Wishiwashi GX in play.
[C] Big Catch GX: Look at the top 12 cards of your deck and put any number of Basic Pokemon you find there onto your Bench. Shuffle the other cards back into your deck. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
This card seems to be meant to be played with Wishiwashi (Dragon Majesty 31) and is immensely powerful with all four Wishiwashi on the bench, as unlikely as this situation may be. For two Energy, a full bench of Wishiwashi and Wishiwashi GX lets ‘Schooling Storm’ deal 200 damage. This setup also causes Wishiwashi GX to have 210 HP, which is nowhere as impressive as the potential damage, but still above average for a basic Pokemon GX. The glaring problem with Wishiwashi is that using it requires to have a bench filled with Pokemon that are worthless by themselves. A deck built around Wishiwashi GX leaves the deck with a very specific focus and little to no room for other attackers. Wishiwashi GX will see many attempts to be played at tournament level but is unlikely to succeed.
Blastoise & Piplup GX 8/10
[W][W][C] Splash Maker: 150 damage. You may attach up to 3 [W] Energy from your hand to your Pokemon in any way you like. Then, heal 50 damage from each of those Pokemon for each Energy you attached to them.
[W][W][C]+ Bubble Launcher GX: 100+ damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed. If this Pokemon has at least 3 additional [W] Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), this attack does 150 more damage. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
A promising, all-around good card. Though ‘Bubble Launcher GX’s Paralysis can rather easily be bypassed with a switch-effect, it’s still either forcing a switch or leaves the affected Pokemon vulnerable. The real star here is ‘Splash Maker’ though, which is acceleration, healing and decent damage all in one attack. All this packed onto a Tag Team Pokemon with pretty high HP makes this the Pokemon Fire-decks should watch out for.
[C] Nuzzle: Flip a coin. If heads, your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Paralyzed.
[L] Powerful Spark: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage times the amount of Lightning Energy attached to your Pokemon.
As if Lightning-Type decks were not strong enough already, Raichu gives the deck a powerful single Prize attacker next to Zapdos. Just like Zapdos, Raichu can attack for free if Thunder Mountain Prism Star is on the field. Lightning-Type decks have outstanding Energy-Acceleration, which allows ‘Powerful Spark’ to deal impressive damage fast and consistently. But the already existing Lightning-Type decks are not the only place this card can find a home in. With Raichu, ‘Nuzzle’ decks can finally be a thing and Raichu is their strongest and most consistent attacker. Pachirisu accelerates Energy, Emolga searches for all pieces of the deck and Raichu deals massive damage, a deck that is not to be underestimated.
Ability: Speed Yell
Each of your Pokemon GX in play that evolves from Eevee pays [C] less to use its attacks. You can’t apply more than 1 Speedy Yell Ability at a time.
[L][C] Head Volt: 70 damage.
As strong as the effect of ‘Speed Yell’ may be, resource management is important in a deck revolving around the Eeveelution Pokemon, as there are only 4 Eevee allowed in a deck. This means there is space only for the Eeveelutions that are invaluable to the deck. The great amounts of Energy-Acceleration the Standard-Format currently has makes reducing Energy cost by a single Energy much less valuable than more damage or more HP. Perhaps there will be more Eeveelution Pokemon GX later on, which make Jolteon more useful.
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may choose up to 3 Supporter cards from your deck, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck. This Pokemon is now Knocked Out.
[L][L][C] Magnet Blast: 50 damage.
Magneton, being part of Lt. Surge’s team, seems to be appropriately made for use with Lt. Surge’s Strategy. The Ability ‘Beacon’ not only allows you to search your deck for 3 Supporter cards but also makes the opponent take a Prize Card, which enables Lt. Surge’s Strategy’s condition in a neutral board-state. This then allows you to play the other two Supporter cards, three in total with Lt. Surge’s Strategy. Of course, you can look for any three Supporter cards, but Lt. Surge’s Strategy seems to be meant to be used with Magneton. Using two Supporter cards in one turn is always a powerful effect and Magneton enables this perfectly. A very strong card in the right environment and possibly the card to make the Battle Chatelaine Sisters (Evelyn, Dana, Morgan, and Nita) work.
Ability: Blast Bomb
Once during your turn (before your attack), if this Pokemon is discarded by the effect of “Roxie,” you may put 1 damage counter on each of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Resolve Roxie’s effect first.)
[P][C] Poison Gas: 10 damage. Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Poisoned.
and Weezing 7/10
Ability: Blast Bomb Once during your turn (before your attack), if this Pokemon is discarded by the effect of “Roxie,” you may put 1 damage counter on each of your opponent’s Pokemon. (Resolve Roxie’s effect first.)
[P][C] Balloon Burst: 90 damage. Discard this Pokemon and all cards attached to it.
The Ability of both Koffing and Weezing are identical to one another, down to the name. These two cards will see play in the spread damage decks that have established themselves in the Expanded format. The Standard format, however, has almost no way to deal spread damage currently, but this may change later on. Koffing and Weezing may be a part of decks revolving around Garchomp & Giratina GX, as ‘Blast Bomb’ allows ‘Calamitous Slash’ to deal massive damage to any Pokemon. Since Roxie does not only enable Koffing and Weezing’s Abilities but also functions as a more than decent draw supporter card in decks with few or no Pokemon GX/EX, Roxie, Koffing and Weezing are very likely to be played quite frequently.
Ability: Double Type
As long as this Pokemon is in play, its type is both [P] and [F].
[C][C] Power Cyclone: 120 damage. Move an Energy from this Pokemon to 1 of your Benched Pokemon.
Gallade’s ‘Double Type’ allows it to cover the weakness of two very popular Pokemon, Mewtwo & Mew GX and Pikachu & Zekrom GX, the latter of which gets knocked out in a single hit by ‘Power Cyclone’. Even though Gallade covers two separate weaknesses, it does not require Energy of either of those types to do so, which allows it to be used in a variety of decks. Being a Stage 2 Pokemon limits the usefulness of Gallade drastically though.
[C] Impersonate: Discard a Supporter card from your hand. Then, use the effect of that Supporter as an effect of this attack.
[P] Mischievous Hands: Put 2 damage counter on 2 of your opponent’s Pokemon each.
Long-time players will be reminded of Sableye (Stormfront 48) when looking at this card. Mimikyu’s ‘Impersonate’ is a more balanced version of Sableye’s attack, making it less volatile. Not only does ‘Impersonate’ allow you to use two Supporter cards in one turn, but it also bypasses effects such as Rosa’s “You can play this card only if 1 of your Pokemon was Knocked Out during your opponent’s last turn” restriction. There are several strong Supporter cards Mimikyu allows you to use with even more impact than normal. Mimikyu will likely see some play in decks that require a lot of setup, but the drastic differences Sableye’s ‘Impersonate’ attack make Mimikyu a much weaker card than Sableye was.
Ability: Soul Evolution
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may discard 3 cards from your hand. If you do, search your deck for a card that evolves from this Pokemon and put it onto this Pokemon to evolve it. Then, shuffle your deck.
[P] Ominous Eyes: Put 2 damage counter on 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon.
and Dusknoir 6.5/10
Ability: Fainting Stamp
If this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon and is Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack, put 4 damage counters on your opponent’s Pokemon in any way you like.
[P] Psych Up: 60 damage. During your next turn, this Pokemon’s Psych Up attack does 60 more damage (before applying Weakness and Resistance).
Dusknoir requires only a single Energy to attack with ‘Psych Up’ but Duskull’s Ability ‘Soul Evolution’ can be used to feed Malamar’s ‘Psychic Recharge’ Ability. This makes Dusknoir a possible candidate for a GX-less Psychic deck that uses Spell Tag, ‘Fainting Stamp’ and Giratina to deal damage while leaving the opponent always at a disadvantage when knocking a Pokemon out. A promising card but likely too weak to win a tournament. I’d be happy to be proven wrong though.
[P] Rock Tumble: 40 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.
[C][C] Fist of Antiquity: 160 damage. If you have a Supporter card in your discard pile, this attack does nothing.
The drawbacks of this card are glaringly obvious. However, the actual impact of not having Supporter cards in your deck needs to be found out first before this card’s value can be evaluated. It is likely that ‘Fist Of Antiquity’ is simply not strong enough to make up for the lack of Supporter Cards. Golurk will always have some people intrigued though, trying to find out how to make a valid deck without any Supporter Cards. Without Double Colorless Energy in the Standard-Format though, this is highly unlikely to happen there.
[P][C] Depth Bomb: Put 4 damage counters on your opponent’s Pokémon in any way you like. If your opponent has exactly 3 Prize cards remaining, put 12 damage counters on them instead.
A simple card that similar to many other Ultra Beast cards, Buzzwole (Forbidden Light 77) being the most well-known one. Mildly useful in most of the game but a serious threat when the Prize Cards are at a certain amount. Blacephalon is going to be seen in several decks in the future, likely as a single copy.
Ability: Lunar Ring
Once during your turn (before your attack), if you have Solgaleo in play, you may search your deck for up to 2 Energy cards and attach them to your Solgaleo and Lunala in any way you like. Then, shuffle your deck.
[P][P][C] Lunar Blast: 130 damage.
Assuming you have Solgaleo and Lunala on the field, they have great synergy, making Solgaleo the attacker while Lunala keeps providing Energy-Acceleration. This makes for a wonderful dream scenario that quickly becomes a nightmare when you look at the execution needed to provide a field full of Stage 2 Pokemon. A possible solution to this is Meganium (Lost Thunder 8), which sounds like a fun deck to try on PTCGO but not something to bring to a tournament.
Oriocorio GX 7.5/10
Ability: Dedicated Dance
Once during your turn (before your attack), if 1 of your Pokemon was Knocked Out during your opponent’s last turn, you may draw 3 cards. You can’t use more than 1 Dedicated Dance Ability per turn.
[P][C][C] Razor Wing: 80 damage.
[P][C][C] Strafe GX: 100 damage. Switch this Pokemon with 1 of your Benched Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Oricorio GX will likely rarely be used to attack with, as either attack is way too weak. ‘Dedicated Dance’ however is enough of a reason to play this card as a single copy in many decks. Unlike Persian GX and its ‘Cat Walk’, Orocario GX is a basic Pokemon and works with non-GX Pokemon as well. There is not much else to say about this card other than single copies of it will find their way into quite a few decks.
Solgaleo & Lunala GX 2.5/10
[P][P][P][C] Cosmic Burn: 230 damage. This Pokemon can’t use Cosmic Burn during your next turn.
[P][P][C]+ Light of the Goddess: 200 damage. If you played “Lillie’s Best Effort” from your hand during this turn, during your opponent’s next turn, prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to each of your Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
This is the first Tag Team Pokemon to not require extra Energy to get an extra effect for the GX attack, but rather the use of a specific Supporter card. This makes Solgaleo & Lunala GX as well as any other Pokemon GX that requires a specific other card very much reliant on the value of that other card. Lucky for Solgaleo & Lunala GX, Lillie’s Best Effort is pretty decent and may even see play in decks without Solgaleo & Lunala GX. As for the Tag Team GX Pokemon itself, ‘Cosmic Burn’ is not a good attack. ‘Cosmic Burn’ falls into a weird spot where the damage is so high that the attack has to have a drawback, but the damage is not high enough to be viable against the strongest threats we currently see in the game. No matter if the ‘Cosmic Burn’ deals 230 or just 150 damage, it takes 2 hits to knock out a Tag Team Pokemon. This makes the card not viable against the strongest cards we currently have, which is a massive issue. Though the extra effect on ‘Light Of The Goddess’ is very strong, it does not save the card from finding a place exclusively in few Mewtwo & Mew GX decks for the GX attack only. The weakness to Mewtwo & Mew GX does not help the card there.
[F] Eleventh Hour Tackle: 30+ damage. If you have 3 or fewer cards in your deck, this attack does 150 more damage.
[F] Drill Bazooka: 120 damage. Discard 4 cards from the top of your deck.
A single Energy for 120 damage is insane value, even when ‘Drill Bazooka’ discards 4 cards from your deck. In a deck revolving around Excadrill, you are probably more likely to lose to the deck being empty than the opponent taking 6 Prize cards, but that does not matter if you win before that happens. Excadrill can also use Martial Arts Dojo and Diancie Prism Star to further enhance its damage, making it a very real threat even to the most popular Tag Team Pokemon. It also hits one of the most popular Tag Team Pokemon, Pikachu & Zekrom GX, for weakness. An excellent card that will see play for sure, but to what degree remains to be seen.
Ability: Smooth Over
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may search your deck for a card, shuffle your deck, and then put that card on top of it.
[F][C][C][C] Tremor Fist: 80+ damage. This attack does 30 more damage for each of your Benched Pokemon with any damage counters on them.
Here we have what seems the big attacker of the self-damaging deck that every set recently seems to push. While ‘Smooth Over’ is not new, as Magcargo (Celestial Storm 24) has the same Ability, it still is great at providing consistency which a deck that damages its own Pokemon surely needs. Sadly, ‘Tremor Fist’ is not quite as impressive as it should be for how much effort it takes. If as unlikely it may be every single benched Pokemon of yours has at least one damage counter on it, ‘Tremor Fist’ deals 230 damage for the massive investment of 4 Energy on a Stage 2 Pokemon. This is just not feasible, especially since the attack needs to be used twice against the biggest threats in the current meta. Seismitoad is a nice gimmick but ‘Tremor Fist’ should have much-reduced Energy cost to be remotely viable.
[C][C] Ancient Blast: 20+ damage. This attack does 50 more damage for each Unidentified Fossil in your discard pile.
[F][C][C] Mach Claw: 100 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.
Of all the Pokemon to have attacks that are way too difficult to use effectively, Armaldo takes the cake. In a best-case scenario, Armaldo deals 220 damage for only two Energy, but this only works if you used Pokemon Research Lab and never evolved any of your Pokemon on the field from Unidentified Fossil. A very conditional card that is probably great for fun decks but will never see play in a tournament setting.
[F][C] Counter Throw: 30+ damage. This attack does 90 more damage if any of your Benched Pokemon have damage counters on them.
This card has a pretty simple place in the deck that likes to put damage counters onto its own Pokemon. In that specific deck, this card is a must-play, but useless anywhere else.
Ability: Boiling Blood
If your opponent has any Pokemon GX in play, the Energy cost for this Pokemon’s attack is reduced by [C][C][C].
[C][C][C] Voltage Claw: 60+ damage. If your opponent’s Active Pokemon has any Special Energy attached to it, this attack does 70 more damage.
Even for free, ‘Voltage Claw’ is not a good attack. This may change sometime in the future with the release of more Special Energy, but at the same time, Pokemon GX are going to be less common with Pokemon V around the corner. This is not a good card no matter how you look at it.
Ability: Annoying Buzz
When your opponent plays a Supporter card from their hand, prevent all effects of that card done to this Pokemon.
[F][C] Flap: 40 damage.
and Flygon GX 7.5/10
Ability: Sandstorm Protection
As long as this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon, any damage done to your Pokemon from your opponent’s attacks is reduced by 30 (after applying Weakness and Resistance).
[F][F][F] Desert Hurricane: 120+ damage. If there is any Stadium card in play, this attack does 120 more damage. Then, discard that Stadium card.
[F][F][F] Sonic Edge GX: 220 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by any effects on your opponent’s Active Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
There is not much to say about Vibrava, other than that it is safe from Supporter cards and can be evolved into a Flygon GX without fear of a Guzma or similar messing with your plans. Flygon GX, on the other hand, has quite a lot of things to offer. Though three Fighting Energy is quite difficult to get on a Pokemon, ‘Desert Hurricane’ is an impressively powerful attack that deals with any Pokemon in two attacks or less. You will have to sacrifice your Stadium cards for this a lot of the time, but that should not be an issue. ‘Sonic Edge GX’ deals with pesky Hoopa, Alolan Ninetales and Keldeo GX if necessary. As a bonus, ‘Sandstorm Protection’ saves your field from certain spread damage attacks and protects Flygon GX from many one-hit-KOs and two-hit-KOs. It is worth mentioning that the Supporter card Red & Blue works great with Flygon GX. A great card overall, but possibly overshadowed by the huge amounts of already well established Pokemon GX.
[D] Mountain Munch: Discard the top card of your opponent’s deck.
[D][D][C][C] Red Viking: 120 damage. If your opponent’s Active Pokemon is Knocked Out by damage from this attack, take 1 more Prize card.
Dark decks may like a single copy of this to play around 7- or 8-prize game, maybe the so-called Beastbox decks will also like it for the same reason. Promising, but not more.
Alolan Persian GX 8/10
Ability: Smug Face
Prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokemon by your opponent’s Tag Team Pokemon, Ultra Beasts, and Pokemon with Special Energy attached to them.
[D][C][C] Claw Slash: 120 damage.
[D][C][C] Stalking Claw GX: This attack does 120 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. Don’t apply Weakness, Resistance, and any other effects on that Pokemon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
The variety and amount of Pokemon ‘Smug face’ makes ‘Alolan Persian GX’ immune to is very impressive. Many current decks would be near helpless when facing off against Alolan Persian GX. Though there are a few ways to bypass this very powerful Ability, every deck needs to be aware of this card from now on. Both of Alolan Persian GX’s attacks are rather mediocre but that does not matter when the opponent can hardly fight back.
[C][C] Thwomp Fall: 50x damage. You may discard any number of Pokemon from your hand that have a Retreat Cost of 4. This attack does 50 damage for each card discarded in this way.
[M][C][C][C] Iron Tail: 100x damage. Flip a coin until you get tails. This attack does 100 damage times the number of heads.
Though the big boys with 4 retreat cost have become relatively common in recent sets, Steelix’s ‘Thwomp Fall’ is almost impossible to fuel reliably. The best use for Steelix is likely a single copy in a deck that already revolves around a Pokemon with 4 retreat cost to finish off games unexpectedly. Lickilicky is currently the best candidate for this.
Ability: Sunne Armor
If you have Lunala in play, all of your Solgaleo and Lunala in play take 50 less damage from your opponent’s attacks (after applying Weakness and Resistance). You can’t apply more than 1 Sunne Armor Ability at a time.
[M][M][C][C] Solar Fang: 180 damage. Discard 2 Energy from this Pokemon.
Most that is to be said about this card was already said when talking about Lunala. ‘Solar Fang’ can knock out any Pokemon in two hits, which Lunala’s Ability enables. Lunala and Solgaleo make for a good combo but are difficult to use together thanks to being Stage 2 Pokemon.
[C][C][C] Doll Transformation: 60 damage. Return this Pokemon and all cards attached to it into your hand. Then, you may play a Lillie’s Clefairy Doll from your hand as your Active Pokemon.
Clefairy and Lillie’s Clefairy Doll are equally impressive and aggravating cards. The tactics that will stem from the interaction between those two cards is guaranteed to lead to stall-decks that are almost impossible for normal decks to beat. Florges (Forbidden Light 86) can be used to recycle knocked out dolls while Clefairy keeps repeatedly using ‘Doll Transformation’, switching into the doll while causing damage. This tactic and similar stall-decks involving Clefairy will see play and likely even dominate tournaments, as unprepared players will have no way to win against such a deck. For a Lillie fan such as myself, the CHR rarity of this card is an absolute must-have.
Ability: Flower Picking
When you play this Pokémon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon during your turn, you may choose a card in your opponent’s hand. Your opponent reveals that card and shuffles it into their deck.
[Y][C] Magical Shot: 30 damage.
and Florges 3/10
Ability: Flower Picking
When you play this Pokémon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokemon during your turn, you may choose 2 cards in your opponent’s hand. Your opponent reveals those cards and shuffles them into their deck.
[Y][C] Petal Dance: 60x damage. Flip 3 coins. This attack does 60 damage for each heads. This Pokemon is now Confused.
Both Pokemon share a very similar Ability, taking cards out of the opponent’s hand when evolving into them. This may be a very powerful effect, but utterly useless if your Pokemon can not capitalize on the defenseless opponent before they recover. Florges and especially not Floette are capable of reliably dealing damage to the opponent’s Pokemon, ‘Petal Dance’ even actively reduces your probability of dealing any damage whatsoever. These two might find their way into a deck with Meganium but even that is unlikely.
Alolan Ninetales 7.5/10
[.] Dust Blow: 10x damage. This attack does 10 damage for each Pokemon Tool card in your discard pile.
Thanks to ‘Dust Blow’ not requiring any Energy to use, a deck based on Alolan Ninetales is possible to not have any Energy cards at all. The lack of a limit to how much damage ‘Dust Blow’ can do makes this a scary in a deck focused on Pokemon Tool cards, as it may even knock out a Tag Team Pokemon in a single hit late game. Alolan Ninetales is a very efficient card to focus a budget deck on.
[C][C] Lost March: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage for each of your Pokemon in the Lost Zone (excluding Prism Star Pokemon).
and Whimsicott 4/10
[Y] Gap Pocket: Choose a card from your hand and put it in the Lost Zone. Then, draw 3 cards.
[C][C] Lost March: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage for each of your Pokemon in the Lost Zone (excluding Prism Star Pokemon).
The return of ‘Lost March’ and likely the strongest non-GX to come from this set. Not only does this make ‘Lost March’ decks much more consistent, but also gives the deck quite amazing type-coverage for weaknesses of popular decks. Whimsicott is not likely to be played much since Cottonee already has ‘Lost March’ and gains nothing but the free retreat from evolving. Though this deck is much more likely to be popular in the Expanded format thanks to Double Colorless Energy not being legal in the Standard-Format, but this may change sometime soon.
Togepi & Cleffa & Igglybuff GX 7/10
[Y][Y][C] Rolling Panic: 120+ damage. Flip a coin until you get tails. This attack does 30 more damage for each heads.
[Y][Y]+ Supreme Puff GX: Take another turn after this one. (Skip the between-turns step.) If this Pokemon has at least 14 extra [Y] Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), your opponent shuffles all of their Benched Pokemon and all cards attached to them into their deck. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
This card is simple. If you can make ‘Supreme Puff GX’ with the extra effect work consistently, this card wins you entire tournaments on its own. If not, it’s way weaker than any other Tag Team Pokemon. A simple premise for a simple card.
Ability: Warrior’s Roar
If your opponent has any Pokemon-GX or Pokemon-EX in play, this Pokemon can evolve on the turn that it comes into play.
[L][F] Dragon Slice: 30 damage.
and Kommo-o 7/10
[F] Shout of Power: 60 damage. Attach a basic Energy from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched Pokemon.
[L][F] Scale Uppercut: 90+ damage. You may discard a Pokemon Tool from this Pokemon. If you do, this attack does 90 more damage.
Kommo-o by itself is a decent card, but Hakamo-o’s Ability pushes this evolution line over the edge. An attack for just two Energy that can knock out many Pokemon in a single hit and even knocks out Tag Team Pokemon in two hits is nothing to scoff at. In addition to that, Lightning-Energy is rather easy to accelerate, which allows for Kommo-o to be fully set up very quickly. It is still a Stage 2 evolution line though, which makes a deck revolving around it inherently less consistent than the various Tag Team Pokemon decks. A strong card nonetheless that is at least worth experimenting with.
Ultra Necrozma 8.5/10
Ability: Ultra Burst
This Pokemon can only attack if your opponent has 2 or fewer Prize cards remaining.
[P][M] Destruction Shine: 170 damage. Discard an Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
A single copy of Ultra Necrozma should and likely will be found in any deck that can pay for ‘Destruction Shine’s Energy cost. This card longs for a card that removes ‘Ultra Burst’ from it, such as a reprint of ‘Garbotoxin’.
Reshiram & Zekrom GX 9/10
[R][L] Thunderflame Dream: 90x damage. Discard up to 3 in any combination of basic [R] and basic [L] Energy cards from your Benched Pokemon. This attack does 90 damage for each card discarded in this way.
[R][R][L][L]+ Cross Break GX: This attack does 170 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. If you played “N’s Resolve” from your hand during this turn, this attack also does 170 damage to another 1 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.)
Unlike Solgaleo & Lunala GX, this Dragon-Type Tag Team directly benefits from the card required for its GX attack’s extra effect. Though dealing 170 damage to two targets is very strong and ‘Cross Break GX’ can easily lead to 4 Prize Cards being taken at once, the real star is ”Thunderflame Dream’. Both Fire and Lightning-Type Energy are very easy to accelerate, making the damage of this attack very consistent even though it is easily capable of knocking a Tag Team Pokemon out in a single hit. This mix of raw power, low Energy-Cost and consistency might make Reshiram & Zekrom GX the second-best Tag Team Pokemon for the Standard-Format right behind Mewtwo & Mew GX.
Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX 9/10
[W][M][C] Ultimate Ray: 150 damage. 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.
[M]+ Altered Creation GX: For the rest of this game, your Pokemon attacks do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon (before applying Weakness and Resistance). If this Pokemon has at least 1 extra [W] Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), when your opponent’s Active Pokemon is Knocked Out by damage from those attacks, take 1 more Prize card. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
Without the extra effect, ‘Altered Creation GX’ is already a very powerful GX attack. With that extra effect, however, this attack influences the entire game drastically. Not only do you have an easier time getting knockouts, but you also receive greater rewards for them. This makes Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX almost unfairly powerful against anything that is not a Tag Team deck. Even with that powerful of a GX attack, ‘Ultimate Ray’ gives you even more of an advantage by setting up your field, very similar to Pikachu & Zekrom GX. The weird Energy cost on both attacks makes this Tag Team much more inconsistent, but it pays off greatly. In the Expanded Format, however, Double Dragon Energy fixes this Problem with ease and makes this card a massive threat.
Naganadel & Guzzlord GX 6/10
Ability: Violent Appetite
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may discard a Pokemon from your hand. If you do, heal 60 damage from this Pokemon.
[P][D][C] Jet Pierce: 180 damage.
[C]+ Chaotic Order GX: Flip over your Prize cards (they remain face-up for the rest of the game). If this Pokemon has at least 1 extra [P] and 1 extra [D] attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), take 2 Prize cards. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
The second and likely last Ultra Beast Tag Team Pokemon. At first glance, Naganadel & Guzzlord GX seems like a powerful card, but at closer inspection, it can not keep up with the power of many other Tag Team Pokemon, even in this very same set. Even with the support cards Ultra Beast Pokemon have, Naganadel & Buzzlord GX is likely not going to be part of a very own deck, but rather be played in the already established “Beastbox” deck. I can think of a few more places this card can be used in, but none of them are more than a fun-deck. I’d like to be proven wrong about Naganadel & Guzzlord GX though.
Ability: Fierce Bark
Once during your turn (before your attack), when you play this card from your hand to evolve a Pokemon, you may discard an Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon. If this Pokemon is your Active Pokemon and is Knocked Out by damage from an opponent’s attack, you may discard an Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
[C][C][C] Overrun: 110 damage. This attack does 30 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon (don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon).
Interesting concept, but Stoutland takes way too much effort to get anything out of. Not only is this huge mutt a Stage 2 Pokemon, but ‘Fierce Bark’ only works on the opponent’s active Pokemon, not the bench, which severely limits the potential uses of Stoutland. The second half of ‘Fierce Bark’ is worthless a lot of the time, as the next Pokemon that knocked Stoutland out is likely to get knocked out on your next turn. Well, it would be, unless your deck consists of bad cards like Stoutland.
Ability: Carry Run
As long as this Pokemon is on your Bench, your Active Pokemon’s Retreat Cost is [C][C] less.
[C][C][C] Lariat: 120 damage. Flip a coin. If tails, this attack does nothing.
Another card that will sit on the bench and do nothing but use its Ability. Bewear is a very powerful card that most decks will likely play at 1-2 copies to make most if not all of their Pokemon have free retreat. This can mess with and completely disable stall strategies and always allows you to have the attacker you need in the active spot.
Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff GX 9/10
[C][C][C] Jumping Balloon: 60+ damage. This attack does 60 more damage for each of your opponent’s Pokemon-EX and Pokemon-GX.
[C]+ Puff Smasher GX: Your opponent’s Active Pokemon is now Asleep. If this Pokemon has at least 4 extra Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), this attack does 200 damage to 1 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.)
The current Meta is dominated by Pokemon GX. This makes ‘Jumping Balloon’ a very powerful attack in almost any situation and easily deals way above average damage, even knocking out Tag Team Pokemon in a single hit. A deck focused on this card is unlikely to succeed as it completely fails against non-GX decks and GX decks can adapt to this card by leaving their bench as open as they can. However, 1-2 copies of this card can be put in almost any deck, thanks to the lack of a specific Energy-requirement. As for ‘Puff Smasher GX’, without the extra effect, this is the weakest GX attack in the game by far. With 5 Energy attached to Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff GX though, this attack can easily take 2 prize cards by knocking out a Pokemon GX on the bench, such as the popular Dedenne GX. Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff GX is a great card in the current meta that is likely to make many appearances in the near future.
Silvally GX 8/10
Ability: Disc Reload
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may draw cards from your deck until you have 5 cards in your hand.
[C][C] Buddy Brave: 50+ damage. If you played a Supporter card from your hand during your turn, this attack does 70 more damage.
[C][C] White Knight GX: If your opponent’s Active Pokemon is an Ultra Beast, that Pokemon is Knocked Out. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
With Zoroark GX no longer available in the Standard-Format, Silvally GX takes its spot as easy to access but powerful card draw engine. The draw of ‘Disc reload’ has a higher ceiling but becomes worthless in situations where you already have a lot of cards in hand, an issue that ‘Trade’ did not have. Just like Zoroark GX, this card has a powerful attack for just 2 Colorless Energy, capable of dealing the same maximum damage as Zoroark GX. Unlike Zoroark GX however, the GX attack does not require colored Energy to use and instead can be used without extra effort, though it is only useful against decks that have Ultra Beast Pokemon. Though it seems Silvally is not quite as universally useful as Zoroark GX is, it is likely to find its way into many decks as a bench-sitter that occasionally deals with Ultra Beast Pokemon if necessary.
The attacks of the Ultra Beast this card is attached to do 10 more damage for each Prize card you’ve taken to your opponent’s Active Pokemon.
Useless in the early game, incredibly powerful in the mid- to late game; this pretty much sums Beastite up. A very useful card in any and every deck revolving around Ultra Beast Pokemon, but the amount of Beastite in a deck is still unclear to me.
Dragonium Z 2/10
If this card is attached to a Pokemon with a Dragon Claw attack, that Pokemon can use the GX attack on this card. (It still needs the necessary Energy to use the attack).
[C][C][C] Dragon Burn GX: 80x damage. Discard all basic Energy attached to this Pokemon. This attack does 80 damage for each card discarded in this way. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
None of the Pokemon with ‘Dragon Claw’ is anywhere close to being good enough to warrant playing this card, despite the attack this card gives being pretty decent.
Great Catcher 9/10
Discard 2 cards from your hand. (If you can’t discard 2 cards, you can’t play this card.)
Switch 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon-GX or Pokemon-EX with their Active Pokemon.
Finally a new “gust” effect that does not require a coinflip or two copies of the card to work. Most decks use Pokemon GX, which makes this card rarely useless. Even many non-GX decks will have at least one Oricorio GX from now on. A must-have card that might lose a lot of it’s worth when Pokemon V are released though.
Island Challenge Amulet 8.5/10
The max HP of the Pokemon-GX or Pokemon-EX this card is attached to is reduced by 100. If this Pokemon is Knocked Out by damage from the attacks of your opponent’s Pokemon, they take 1 less Prize card.
Island Challange Amulet reduces the equipped Pokemon’s HP, but the attacks of the equipped Pokemon stay the same. In exchange for the reduced HP, however, an opponent knocking out the Pokemon takes one less prize card. This card offers much more than just reducing HP and Prize cards taken, but also lets you somewhat control the amount of prize cards the opponent has left. This enables certain cards such as Beast Ring to be more consistent and in combination with Black Market, Prism Star can even leave the opponent taking no prize cards at all for knocking out a Pokemon GX. The uses of this+ card are varied and it will find use in many decks for sure.
Lana’s Fishing Rod 4/10
Shuffle 1 Pokemon and 1 Pokemon Tool from your discard pile into your deck.
Rescue Stretcher has shown how powerful recursion effects can be, so Lana’s Fishing Rod will find its place in some decks. It is just nowhere as versatile as Rescue Stretcher, but since it rotated out of the Standard-Format, Lana’s Fishing Rod might be a somewhat decent substitute for now.
Tag Whistle 9.5/10
Search your deck for up to 2 TAG TEAM cards and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
An item search card that can get supporter cards and Pokemon for no cost whatsoever, Tag Whistle is incredibly powerful. This card can grab you your main attacker, a setup Supporter in Red & Blue, a switch-effect or heal in Mallow & Lana and much more. Tag Whistle’s Secret Rare version will likely be the most expensive card in this set.
Lillie’s Clefairy Doll 9/10
Play this card as if it were a 30 HP [C] Basic Pokemon.
At any time during your turn (before your attack), you may put this card on the bottom of your deck. (Discard all cards attached to it.)
This card can’t retreat. If this card is Knocked Out, your opponent can’t take any Prize cards for it.
An amazing card. Lillie’s Clefairy Doll is a strictly better Robo Substitute (Phantom Forces 102) in most cases, saves you from decking out and has Clefairy from this set as strong support for this card, allowing for a vast array of combos.
Chaos Vortex 8/10
When either player plays a new Stadium card from their hand to discard this Stadium card, discard the new Stadium card as well. (Ignore all effects from the new Stadium card.)
Though this card seems to be very generic, it is going to make Pokemon GX even more powerful. Saving Mewtwo & Mew GX from Power Plant, protecting any Pokemon GX deck from Shrine Of Punishment. A powerful card that will allow Pokemon GX decks to dominate even more than they already do.
Mallow & Lana 6/10
Switch your Active Pokemon with 1 of your Benched Pokemon.
When you play this card, you may discard 2 cards from your hand. If you do, heal 120 damage from the new Active Pokemon.
Healing is not often useful in normal decks. Stall decks, on the other hand, will make great use of this card, switching between two Venusaur & Snivy GX or similar. Some decks may run one or two Mallow & Luna for the switch effect with the rare additional utility.
Misty & Lorelei 2.5/10
Search your deck for up to 3 [W] Energy cards, reveal them, and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
When you play this card, you may discard 5 other cards from your hand. If you do, during this turn your [W] Pokemon can use their GX attack even if you have used your GX attack.
The effects of this card are not playing well with one another at all. While the first effect is only useful within the first few turns of the game, the second, highly expensive effect is only useful late game. Even though this seems to give the card a bit of utility to be useful in any stage of the game, the second effect is so expensive and specific that it is unlikely to find a home in any deck.
Professor Oak’s Setting 8/10
Search your deck for up to 3 Basic Pokemon of different types and put them onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck.
As weird as this effect may seem at first, it is a very powerful one. A large amount of support Pokemon many decks play can easily be fetched with this card as well as most of the self-damaging deck or ‘Lost March’ decks is searchable with this. Once again, a Professor Oak card will find a home in many decks.
Guzma & Hala 8.5/10
Search your deck for a Stadium card, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
When you play this card, you may discard 2 cards from your hand. If you do, you may also search your deck for a Pokemon Tool and Special Energy card, reveal them, and put them into your hand.
Guzma & Hala is of the very few cards that can consistently search your deck for Special Energy, that alone will be reason enough for some to use this card. Not only Special Energy, but also a Stadium and a Pokemon Tool card can be searched for with this Tag Team Supporter, which makes it almost universally useful and very powerful.
Red & Blue 9.5/10
Search your deck for a Pokemon-GX that evolves from 1 of your Pokemon in play and put it on that Pokemon to evolve it. Then, shuffle your deck. (You can’t use this card during your first turn or on a Pokemon that was put into play this turn.)
When you play this card, you may discard 2 cards from your hand. If you do, search your deck for 2 basic Energy cards and attach them to the Pokemon you evolved.
The only thing that keeps this hugely powerful card from reaching the full 10/10 rating is that it is rather expensive to use both effects. Even with the cost of discarding two cards in addition to playing Red & Blue, getting a fully set up Pokemon GX within a single turn is amazing and will make Stage 1 and Stage 2 Pokemon GX vastly more consistent and powerful.
Each player may draw up to 3 cards. (You draw first.)
A reprint of the original Erika from Gym Heroes from the year 2000. Nothing has changed, but that Erika is now a Supporter card. Still a useless card though.
Discard a card from your hand. Then, draw 2 cards. If you discarded an Energy card, draw 2 more cards.
At first glance just a worse Hau, Rollerstaker helps Standart-Format decks using the Malamar ‘Psychic Recharge’ engine accelerate Energy more consistently and is likely going to help some other decks with similar strategies.
Bellelba & Brycen-Man 6/10
Discard the top 3 cards of each player’s deck.
When you play this card, you may discard 3 other cards from your hand. If you do, each player discards Benched Pokemon until he or she has 3 Pokemon on the Bench. Your opponent discards first.
Mill decks are the obvious home for this card. Reducing the opponent’s deck size while also taking away resources of theirs is exactly what those kinds of decks want to do. Maybe we will see stall and mill decks utilize this card soon, assuming they become playable.
Cynthia & Caitlin 7.5/10
Put a Supporter card from your discard pile into your hand (excluding any Cynthia & Caitlin or cards discarded by this card).
When you play this card, you may discard 1 card from your hand. If you do, draw 3 cards.
This card is a Hau and half a Lusamine in one, which is much more balanced than Lusamine ever was thanks to the restriction this card has of not being able to pick itself from the discard pile. That being said, Cynthia & Caitlin will be played frequently but in low amounts, mostly to recycle Welder and Green’s Exploration.
After playing this card, the first time you flip a coin for the effect of a Trainer card, an Ability, or an attack during this turn, you may choose to make the result heads or tails.
Besides making it difficult to write about this card without confusing anyone, this card does not much for me. Coinflips are normally kept to a minimum in decks thanks to how unreliable they can make a deck. They are just as unreliable on a turn where Will was not played, which means that a deck that relies even just a little bit on Will, will be less consistent. When Will is used as a combo-piece, the card that Will is supposed to make guaranteed to succeed is likely useless without Will, which causes some additional problems. There will be ways to make Will useful, but tournament play is not the right place for this card.
N’s Resolve 7/10
Discard the top 6 cards from your deck. Attach all basic Energy discarded in this way to 1 of your Benched Dragon Pokemon.
Though 6 cards are just a small amount to go fishing in for Energy cards, you are still likely to get at least one Energy-attachment off this effect. Any cards that are not Basic Energy cards will stay in the discard pile, which means you dump quite a chunk of your deck into the discard pile every time you use N’s Resolve. This may cause some problems in the long run if you are not prepared for this. Energy-Acceleration for Dragon-Type Pokemon is especially important in formats where we have no Double Dragon Energy such as the current Standard-Format, but N’s Resolve is nowhere as good. This card has decent potential thanks to Ultra Necrozma GX (Forbidden Light 95) and Reshiram & Zekrom GX from this set.
Discard up to 2 Pokemon cards from your hand (excluding Pokemon GX or EX). For each card you discarded, draw 3 cards from your deck.
Likely a strong card in decks without Pokemon GX/EX, but those are not very dominant right now. The excluding clause does not mention the soon-to-be-released Pokemon V, so in a few months from when this card is released, it will likely gain a lot of usefulness. Until then, it will likely find a place in decks that try to spread damage together with Weezing and Koffing.
You can play this card only if 1 of your Pokemon was Knocked Out during your opponent’s last turn.
Search your deck for a Pokemon, a Trainer, and a basic Energy, reveal them and put them into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.
Though unlikely to be played in large amounts thanks to the condition, activating Rosa gives a well-built deck the means to retaliate straight away and not fall behind. The variety of cards Rosa allows the player to pick gives this card a potential place in almost any deck.
Discard the top 7 cards of your deck. Reveal all Item cards discarded in this way to your opponent, and put them into your hand.
Clay and his Excadrill try to have Synergy, but using them together is most likely going to make you lose by deck out. In decks that like having cards in their discard pile such as Psychic Energy for Malamar, this card can give you an early advantage while potentially filling your hand with Ball cards and Mysterious Treasure. In the Expanded format, Clay has even more powerful Item cards to hit, but neither format is likely to have a fixed spot for him.
Lillie’s Best Effort 7/10
Draw 4 cards from your deck. If you have 3 or more cards in your hand at the end of this turn, shuffle cards into your deck until you have 2 cards remaining.
Unlike Lillie’s first card, Lillie’s Best Effort is not as universally useful. Though far from weak, being forced to shuffle cards from your hand into the deck if you do not play most of them can become a huge drawback in certain situations. Most of the time, being left with 2 cards is enough, especially with cards such as Lillie and Cynthia at your disposal. A deck focused on Granbull (Lost Thunder 138) or Exeggutor (Unified Minds 74) can potentially take advantage of the last part of Lillie’s Best Effort never causing a problem.
Draw Energy 6/10
When you attach this card from your hand to a Pokemon, you may draw a card.
Any card that makes your deck more consistent is at least a decent card, and Draw Energy does it for free. If your deck has Colorless Energy in the main attacker’s attack cost, Draw Energy might be worth the spot in your deck.
Cosmic Eclipse has quite a few very powerful cards for players and several rarities for collectors. While there is not much I would call a must-have, this set is one of the better ones in recent months. What would be considered bulk in most sets actually is somewhat decent of a card in Cosmic Eclipse.
7.5 / Good