Posted by Joshua Vanoverschelde on 6/2/2022 to Articles
Yo mates! Welcome back to another PoTown Store Blog post, it's been a while but we're back in full swing. My name is ZapdosTCG and together we will be taking a look at the top 10 best cards from the new Astral Radiance set. So buckle up and let's absorb some information about the new cards that will change the game.
10. Darkrai VSTAR
Let's start this list with some Turbo Darkness stuff! Darkrai VSTAR is a fantastic new VSTAR attacker from Astral Radiance. Who remembers Turbo Dark? Well, it's totally back with this Darkrai VSTAR card and the Dark Pulse attack. The attack slaps 30 damage plus 30 more for every darkness energy you have in play. Luckily Dark Patch also has been reprinted in this set meaning this could hit crazy numbers really quickly. You can use Galarian Moltres V or Baby Galarian Molters to drop more energies into play. You might even go for the Galarian Weezing from Chilling Reign which doubles up the darkness energies attached to it. So OHKOs with the aggressive Dark Pulse are easy as pie. You can also use its VSTAR ability Star Abyss to get back 2 item cards from your discard pile. Most of the time you can get back 2 Dark Patch making the energy acceleration in this new archetype quite amazing!
9. Gutsy Pickaxe
Gutsy Pickaxe finally brings fighting energy acceleration in a consistent way. The card states reveal the top card of your deck, if it's a Fighting Energy you can accelerate it to one of your benched Pokemon. If it's not a Fighting Energy card, you can just put it in your hand. So at worst, this is just a draw 1! But if you have some luck you can have item based energy acceleration. With cards like Rotom Phone and Oranguru with Primate Wisdom, you can easily make this work all the time. Super good news for the fighting type decks out there for sure!
8. Trekking Shoes
Who remembers Acro Bike? Well, Trekking Shoes is a lowered down version of the card. Item-based draw power has always been amazing in the Pokemon TCG. So this card will definitely see play in a lot of turbo decks. Think about Darkrai VSTAR or Mew VMAX for example. It'll be awesome to use this item. It reads: look at the top card of your deck. Either put it into your hand or discard it and draw one card. So with this, you'll be able to fly through your deck in no time. Really good to make your turn one setup more possible than ever before. Also, the downside to discarding cards is not even bad. Think about discarding energies for Melony or Dark Patch. Or how about the Wormadam deck that wants to discard Pokemon. These Trekking Shoes will find their way into a lot of top decks out there!
7. Starmie V
Are you ready to destroy some Arceus VSTAR decks? Well Starmie V has your back. This card brings a fantastic attack Energy Spiral to the table. This attack allows you to slap 50 damage for every energy the opponent has in play. This means if Arceus VSTAR uses Trinity Nova and slaps tons of energies in play, this Starmie V can come out of nowhere to take a huge OHKO. You can use Melony to charge it up in one turn and it even comes packed with free retreat, how cool is that! Decks like Turbo Darkrai VSTAR or Arceus VSTAR will have to watch out for Starmie V!
Are you in the "Mooooo"-d for walling out people? Well, Miltank is here and brings back the ability of Decidueye and Altaria on a basic Pokemon! Miltank is immune to damage from V Pokemon with the Miracle Body ability. This includes VSTAR, VUNION and VMAX Pokemon too! This means we'll be able to make a wall deck with Miltank. If the opponent is not playing one-prize Pokemon, they will never get through an army of Miltank. This could be used in Control as well to buy turns. We know Mew VMAX can hit through walling Pokemon with Max Miracle but not all Pokemon online decks can do that! I'm very excited for Miltank. We can even use Cape of Toughness to make it more "beef" (get it). We also have Cheren's Care for this card and it also comes packed with an attack that slaps more damage for every Pokemon the opponent has on the bench. This is definitely going to see play with a meta filled with VSTAR and VMAX Pokemon!
A grass welder, is that for real? Yup, you see that right, we get Gardenia's Vigor sliding into the number 5th spot. Gardenia's Vigor allows you to draw 2 cards and if you have any Grass energies in your hand, you may attach up to 2 grass energies from your hand to 1 of your benched Pokemon. This has a lot of similarities to Welder but there are upsides and downsides. The downside is that you can only draw 2 cards and the energies can only be attached to benched Pokemon. The upside is that you draw the cards first before you attach any energies which means you don't need energies in your hand to at least draw 2 cards. But attaching 2 energies at once is super strong! Think about cards like Zarude V which are now able to donk! Or how about the new Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR which would be really terrible but is now playable thanks to this wonderful supporter. Also, you can easily run some Air Balloon, Switches or Escape Rope in your deck to make the attaching to the bench easy as pie. With every grass card that now gets released, we can pair it up with this busted supporter card!
Finally, we have a comeback card again in the format! Roxanne is a blessing in the format for people that like a great comeback. It states: You can only use this card if the opponent has 3 or fewer Prize cards remaining then both players shuffle their hand into their deck. You can draw 6 cards, and the opponent only draws 2 cards! So wow, even more, busted than a well-timed Marnie. Putting the opponent to 3 prize cards is easy to manipulate these days with VMAX Pokemon. Also, Roxanne is easily searchable with cards like Lumineon V and Shady Dealings Drizzle/Inteleon. How many games will you end up losing thanks to a Path to the Peak + Roxanne? Well, it's gonna happen a lot and I'm glad the comeback mechanic is back. Roxanne takes the number 4 spot!
3. Hisuian Samurott VSTAR
What can I say, this card has stolen my heart. This card has a lot of great things going for it. First let's talk about the VSTAR ability: Moon Cleave Star. This states: Once during your turn, you can put 4 damage counters on one of your opponent's Pokemon. This opens the door to some funky Yoga Loop plays or just insane turn 2 OHKOs. Its attack, Merciless Blade, slaps 110 damage plus 110 more damage if the opponent already has a damage counter on it. With Galarian Zigzagoon, Quick Shooting Inteleon or just its Moon Cleave Star ability, you can easily slap for huge damage. For example, if you use the ability + a Choice Belt, you already OHKO any VSTAR Pokemon by turn 2, which is huge pressure. If you don't hit the damage modifier card, you can also still use the ability later on top of a Yoga Loop. A super versatile card that also hits Mew VMAX for weakness and an easy OHKO. That puts it up super high on this list.
2. Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR
Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR is obviously the best VSTAR card from the Astral Radiance set. With its amazing damage output, massive HP and busted ability, it just makes sense. Palkia VSTAR is actually a buffed up Suicune V but then on stage 1. The cool thing is that you can whiff your attack on turn one with this card because of its Subspace Swell ability. This ability is really strong and allows you to attach 3 water energies from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way that you like. This opens the door to some surprise attacks out of nowhere with some of your attackers. You can set up a Starmie V, Radiant Greninja V or just another Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR. This means you never miss an attack.
Also, the Subspace Swell caps at 260 damage if both players have a full bench. It dishes out 60 plus 20 more for every benched Pokemon. You can use Echoing Horn to boost damage output but also Choice Belt or Quick Shooting are solid options. That means that this Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR can easily OHKO all evolving V Pokemon and even VMAX Pokemon with the right damage modifiers. A super-strong new tier 1 archetype!
1. Radiant Greninja
My number one pick goes to Radiant Greninja. This is just the most powerful and universal card for more. You can splash this card in almost all decks out there. Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR, Darkrai VSTAR and so many others. With its Concealed Cards ability, you can discard an energy from your hand (once during your turn) and then draw 2 cards. In the Pokemon TCG, drawing cards have always been good, think about Cinccino or Zoroark GX from the past.
The Radiant Greninja also has perfect synergy with cards like Melony, Dark Path or Raihan. That on itself is already busted but the Radiant Greninja also comes with an amazing attack Moonlight Shuriken, which can dish out 90 damage to 2 of the opponent's Pokemon. This can be powered up with Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR or Frosmoth and can just wipe the field of bench sitters like Sobble, Drizzile, Bidoof, etc... I feel like this drawing frog will be used in almost all decks and that's why it's my personal number one card from the set.
And that's it, the top 10 best cards from the Astral Radiance set. So many new archetypes and cards will change the format as we know it. I'm glad that the game keeps on evolving in the right direction. The future looks bright, that's for sure! Wanna see some of these cards in action? Well, you can see that on my channel: www.youtube.com/zapdostcg Thank you for reading today's blog post and I'll see you all in the next one!