Posted by Zach Lesage on 4/21/2023 to Articles
The Art of Tech Cards
What’s poppin’ Po Town readers? I’m back with an awesome Pokemon TCG article that is certainly going to spice up your life! Have you ever heard of tech cards? Tech cards are cards that typically aren’t featured in a deck, but they can often add new win conditions. A good example would be adding Drapion V [Lost Origin] into your Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars] / Duraludon VMAX [Evolving Skies] deck to have a better matchup against a Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike] deck. They aren’t always going to be effective, but in the right circumstances, they can add a certain element of surprise to your deck! This article will share some of the hottest tech cards that you can add to your decks, explain why, and what decks they can see success in! If you need to pick up any of these cards for your decks on PTCG Live, use code zlesage5 here at the PoTown store to save 5% off your code cards. If you need extra Credits, try picking up 400 codes of a set that you haven’t collected on Live yet, like Sword and Shield, to get a bunch of extra Credits (and cards to complete your collection). Let’s jump into these tech cards!
Sometimes you play a tech card to beat a single deck, and sometimes you can catch a few matchups with one. In this case, Miltank [Astral Radiance] attempts to stop any deck that only plays Pokemon V. I do wanna note that most decks do have an answer, or a shred Pokemon like Duraludon VMAX [Crown Zenith], but sometimes you can catch some decks that don’t have an answer. A deck like Arceus VSTAR / Flying Pikachu VMAX [Celebrations] might only have Bibarel [Brilliant Stars] that they might attack.
Decks I would recommend Miltank to be played in: Gardevoir ex, Lost Zone Box, Control
With Alex Schemanske winning EUIC with Arceus VSTAR / Duraludon VMAX / Alolan Vulpix VSTAR [Silver Tempest], many players are looking for ways to beat that deck. Alolan Vulpix VSTAR stops Pokemon with Abilities from doing damage to it, and some decks don’t have a lot of great answers to it. Looking at Tord Reklev’s EUIC finalist deck, there aren’t a lot of answers to get through it, but that could change. Mimikyu ex does 30 damage for each Energy attached to both Active Pokemon, and it doesn’t have an Ability. You could build up enough Energy with Energy Burst to get through the 1-1 Alolan Vulpix VSTAR line, and that can sometimes swing the matchup. I’m sure there are other uses for this card, like using Void Return to get it out of the Active Spot, and maybe you’d even want to switch into Klefki [Scarlet and Violet] to lock your opponent. This is a card that I don’t currently own, but I need to change that soon enough!
Decks I would recommend Mimikyu ex to be played in: Gardevoir ex
This format just lost Scoop Up Net RCL in our rotation, which means we have less “switching cards” in general. In fact, there are some decks, like Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest], that often don’t run any “switching” cards at all. Some of the most popular “switching” outs that are played right now are Switch [Scarlet and Violet], Switching Cart [Astral Radiance], Escape Rope [Battle Styles], Cross Switcher [Fusion Strike], Thorton [Astral Radiance], and Penny [Scarlet and Violet] and Lugia VSTAR decks usually don’t have an answer. So how does it work? Use Tempting Trap to lock up a Pokemon that can’t do damage, like Lumineon V, and proceed to eventually deck your opponent out. You might get surprised my a 1-of-Thorton late game, but in a best-of-3 scenario, you should usually know by game 3.
Decks I would recommend Mawile to be played in: Lugia VSTAR, Mew VMAX, Control
Sometimes you don’t wanna deck out, and Skwovet [Scarlet and Violet] can help you get out of some awkward situations. Nest Stash allows you to shuffle your hand, put it at the bottom of your deck, and draw a card. As long as you have a couple of cards to shuffle, you can never deck out as long as you don’t play any cards. I definitely see this being played in a control deck to make sure you never deck out, and it might be better than Pidgeot V [Lost Origin] because you can use it from the Active Spot or the Bench. Control isn’t super popular right now, but if it gets some more support in the future, this seems like a solid choice. On the other hand, if Control gets popular in the future, this seems like a great counter to it too! Live by the Skwovet, deck out by the Skwovet.
Decks I would recommend Skwovet to be played in: Control
With our recent rotation, we just lost access to Big Parasol DAA, and that means our opponent is free to do whatever they want with their effects of attacks. Queue in Espeon VMAX [Evolving Skies], and you are free to only take damage again. Solar Reflections prevents all effects of attacks from your opponent’s Pokemon done to all of your Pokemon that have Energy attached. In our previous format, we had to worry about Yveltal [Shining Fates], but we don’t have nearly as much to worry about this format, but the format is still new. Sableye [Lost Origin] could be stopped in a pinch so if you wanna counter that or any other pesky effects from attacks, like Status Conditions or Damage Counters, Espeon VMAX might be the right card to add to your deck.
Decks I would recommend Espeon VMAX to be played in: Lugia VSTAR, Arceus VSTAR
How could I have a list like this without including Drapion V? It is one of the most played tech cards in the game, and for a good reason, it wants to improve the matchup of any deck that is facing Mew VMAX! Sometimes it works out because your opponent doesn’t have an answer to it, but sometimes they might play Lost City [Lost Origin] or Path tothe Peak [Chilling Reign] to get around it. Lost City can send it to the Lost Zone to never be used again, and Path to the Peak stops it from attacking for free to turn its attack cost into 4. I should note that Drapion V isn’t only good against Mew VMAX. It can be good against Single Strike decks, Rapid Strike Decks, and decks that are weak against Dark. If some of those decks are messing with your win rate, you might wanna add in the Drapion V.
Decks I would recommend Drapion V to be played in: Lost Zone Box, Lugia VSTAR
Penny is quickly becoming one of my favorite cards in Standard because it works as a pseudo-Switch card, a way to manage your resources, and a way to heal. At EUIC, I played this in my Lugia VSTAR deck because it was my soft answer to Mawile in case I faced it. I didn’t end up facing Mawile, but I was able to lift up my Lumineon V a few times, heal a few Single Strike Pokemon, and more. I’m sure this card will be played more and more over time, but it has genuinely been very useful as a card that randomly helps me win games.
Decks I would recommend Penny to be played in: any deck that plays Basic Pokemon
For similar reasons as Penny, Thorton can act as answers to “lock” situations, like Mawile, by switching your Active Pokemon with a Pokemon in your Discard Pile. You can sometimes bring back crazy tech cards, like Drapion V, so you can use them again in desired situations. It can lead to wild one of techs, bringing back more established techs, or bringing back one of the main cards from your deck. A use for the last option would be starting with Lumineon V, using Ultra Ball [Scarlet and Violet] to discard a Lugia V [Silver Tempest], use Thorton to bring it back, and Evolve into Lugia VSTAR (if you waited a turn to Evolve). As we receive more and more sets, Thorton will have more cards to surprise your opponent with.
Decks I would recommend Thorton to be played in: any deck that plays Basic Pokemon
I know that your opponent can still draw out of it, but Roxanne [Astral Radiance] can absolutely steal games. After your opponent has drawn through most of their Prize Cards, you might want to drop Roxanne to send their hand back into their deck, and they draw very few cards. One of the quickest ways to win a game is by your opponent having poor draws, and that can happen at any point of the game. You need to watch out for natural counters to this card, like Kirlia [Silver Tempest] or Bibarel, but it can steal a game in a pinch. I’m not sure if this will be played in the future after Iono [Paldea Evolved], but we will figure it out soon enough.
Decks that I would recommend Roxanne to be played in: any deck
Path to the Peak
I know some of you don’t like to be Ability locked, but have you thought of controlling the lock yourself? Adding a few Path to the Peak and maybe a Lost Vacuum [Crown Zenith] or two in your deck might allow you to steal some games from your opponent. Many decks play Abilities, like Genesect V [Fusion Strike] in a Mew VMAX deck, and they rely on them a lot too. You might even want to shut off your own Abilities to get through the Alolan Vulpix VSTARs attack so you can score an OHKO. There is a time and place for everything, but Path to the Peak is certainly a valid option.
Decks that I would recommend Path to the Peak to be played in: any deck
Well, there you have it, some of the best cards to add into your decks right now! Some of them are up-and-coming, some of them are seeing success right now, and some you might not have thought of. As our in-real-life Pokemon TCG season wraps up, you’ll probably see me playing some of the above cards in some of my decks! My current plans include League Cups and Challenges in the Toronto Area, Portland Regionals, Hartford Regionals, Milwaukee Regionals, and Columbus Internationals. As I continue to explore our new Post Rotation format featuring Scarlet and Violet cards, I’ll be sure to share my findings here with everyone. And if you need any cards, use code zlesage5 here at the PoTown store to save 5% off your code cards. If you need extra Credits, try picking up 400 codes of a set that you haven’t collected on Live yet, like Rebel Clash, to get a bunch of extra Credits (and cards to complete your collection). Until next time, happy testing!
About the Writer
Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for PoTownStore.com. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokemon content as his full time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside of the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokemon events and follow him on Twitter @ZachLesagePTCG.