Posted by Elena from Gaia Storm on 2/9/2022 to Articles
Hello everyone! This is Elena from Gaia Storm TCG and I am so excited to be here with another (hopefully) amazing article. As you probably know by now, Brilliant Stars is just around the corner and the new set comes with some incredible new cards that can potentially change not only our metage but define a new path for the game. In fact, there were so many playable additions that I really struggled picking only the best ones and had to leave out some that will for sure be a hit. But, without further ado, let’s get started and check the most promising new additions.
11. Ultra Ball
This is technically the 11th card of the top. Originally, I wanted to include this item in the regular list because it is so, so good but then I started thinking that the real purpose of this article is to prepare players for exciting new stuff and Ultra Ball is not a new addition to the game. In fact, since it was released in Dark Explorers back in 2012 (can’t believe that I was actually in the presentation of that set…) it was always played until it rotated out of the format two years ago. The truth is Ultra Ball is the most reliable card to search for Pokémon that we’ve ever had, no question. Yes, you have two discard two cards in order to use its effect but discarding is sometimes potentially good depending on the circumstances. With Ultra Ball coming back, we are probably in a moment in history where more searching cards are available, joining Quick Ball, Evolution Incense, and Level Ball.
Of course, not all Pokemon online decks are going to be playing four copies straight away, especially those that rely on Single Prize Pokémon or the Inteleon Engine. However, there are other strategies that are literally doing a happy dance like Eternatus VMAX, Mew VMAX, Rayquaza VMAX, or Single Strike. I really think it is positive that Ultra Ball is here forever.
10. Raichu V
Yes, I am not joking, I truly think Raichu can effectively become a very solid attacker either in combination with other lightning cards like Boltund and Boltund VMAX or just by itself with an army of Flaaffy from Evolving Skies. Raichu is able to power up itself if going first and then can deal a lot of damage by discarding basic lighting energies from your field. I think this is quite powerful in the late game and gathering 6 energies (which will give you any KO you want) is not that difficult considering all the recycling power that we will have.
9. Collapsed Stadium
Poor Eternatus, as if it hasn’t suffered enough… Following the likes of great stadium cards like Path to the Peak, Collapsed Stadium is a very versatile card that has a similar effect to Parallel City in the past. While this card is on the field, both players have to reduce their bench to 4 Pokémon, discarding any extra ones in the process. Of course, this is great for many different reasons: you can limit the number of resources your opponent has in play but also use it to get rid of one of your own Pokémon that has already done its work (like Crobat V) and discard it to the discard pile. Playing Collapsed Stadium at the right time can swing the game in your favor but be careful when you do it as it might backfire in the following turns. I definitely see this card as an alternative staple to Path to the Peak in certain strategies like Mad Party or even Jolteon VMAX.
8. Cynthia’s Ambition
Cynthia is not only one of the most iconic characters in the history of the game, but it has also had a very popular presence in the different TCG formats. While this new version is not super broken, it will definitely see a lot of play in one-prizer decks that want to preserve their resources and get several evolutions in one key turn. I can totally see Cynthia replacing Bruno in many strategies like Malamar or Regidrago, providing the consistency they need.
7. Entei and Raikou V
If you’ve read my previous Top articles you know that sometimes I cheat a little bit and put together cards that share a particular trait in the same spot and that’s why I am doing here with the two remaining members of the legendary trio from Johto. Entei and Raikou V have basically the same design as Suicune V from Evolving Skies since they both let you draw a card when in the active spot and then deal 20 + 20 damage for each Pokémon on the bench. The only notable difference is that each of them has different retreat costs and HP but other than that, they are essentially the same card. Suicune has proved to be a very successful attacker in combination with Ludicolo and Inteleon and I think Entei and Raikou have a lot of potentials as well. The only reason why they are not higher on the list is that I don’t think their typing truly matters as there are not many decks weak to fire or lightning. But definitely, cards to keep an eye on.
6. Magma Basin
Fire-type decks suffered a lot in the last rotation with the loss of key cards like Welder, Fiery Flint, and Giant Hearth (basically their entire engine) but now they are receiving at least some very interesting support in the form of a stadium. Magma Basin attaches one energy from the discard pile to a benched Pokémon at the cost of placing 2 damage counters which in my opinion is very cheap considering how good energy acceleration is in this game. I expect it to be used heavily in anything that runs fire attackers (Entei V) and who knows if this could mean that Centiskorch makes a comeback to the format after all these months…
Yes! I think everyone will agree with me that this card was necessary for the game. Manaphy has a very familiar ability (I’m looking at you, Mew, and Mr. Mime) that protects your bench from damage by attacks. Considering how popular Rapid Strike Urshifu and Jolteon VMAX had been until now, this makes sure certain decks now have a chance. I don’t think that decks that focus on bench snipping will be completely dead, but they will significantly need to invest more resources to deal with opponents’ Manaphy now. Also, the fact that Manaphy has 70 HP and not 60 as Mew did makes it quite resistant to Inteleon’s abilities and ensures your defenses will be working for at least a couple of turns.
4. Lumineon V
Woah. Tapu Lele GX from Guardians Rising, one of the most iconic cards of the game's recent history, is back. Kind off. Lumineon V has a remarkable ability that lets you search for any supporter card when you play it on your bench. This is just amazing because it gives you all the consistency you need to get your combo pieces and make sure you never find yourself in a bad situation. Even if it was clear that this card deserved to be in our Top, I don’t think it is going to be as influential as Tapu Lele was: Instead of seeing decks that run four copies as it used to be the case, I am sure we will be seeing one or maximum of two Lumineon.
3. Double Turbo Energy
For many, many years, we always took for granted Double Colorless Energy and it was possibly one of the most played cards in history until it suddenly rotated. Players were complaining about how broken it was and the unfair acceleration it provided so after a while, its watered-down successor is finally allowed to come back to standard. Double Turbo Energy is exactly the same in the sense that it provides two colorless energies but has the downside of reducing the damage done by 20. I think it is a fair price to pair and that this card is going to be played a lot. It has really good synergy with Arceus VSTAR (keep reading to get there) and will enormously help decks like Togekiss VMAX or Mad Party.
2. Choice Belt
I was honestly thinking of placing this card in the first position of the list since I consider it to be broken and it’s for a good reason. Choice Belt is a new tool that increases the damage done to the active V Pokémon in +30. How many times were you just 10 HP short of getting the KO and ended up losing the game? Well, this won't happen again. I expect Choice Belt to have the impact that other damage modifiers like Muscle Band or Choice Band have had in the past. Mew VMAX will no longer need as many Power Tablets to get the KO, Eternatus can now KO anything with a couple of Zigzagoon on the bench and Single Strike will be deadlier than ever. A must-have in every deck.
1. Arceus VSTAR
It is here. The god itself. And it does not disappoint, not a bit. Arceus is one of the best cards I’ve seen in a while. To start with, it is a “Stage 1” Pokémon, so pretty easy to set up in the second turn. And then, we have an amazing attack and an even more impressive ability. Starting with the first, for just 3 colorless energies, Arceus deals 200 damage and lets you attach up to three basic energies to your V Pokémon in any way you like. Thanks to the already reviewed Double Turbo Energy, this massive acceleration can be used as early as in your turn 2. And then, Arceus can use its special VSTAR ability, Star Birth, which allows the player to search for any two cards from the deck. I could be talking about this ability until tomorrow because it is just insane. It will give you all the pieces you need whenever you need them (unless Path of the Peak is on the field, of course). Not to mention that it has a very considerable HP. I expect Arceus VSTAR to be played massively in combination with… well, with anything because Arceus has no big restrictions. Without any doubt, the card of the set and possibly one of the most used from now on.
So this is the end of our special top cards from the Brilliant Stars expansion. I really think that Brilliant Stars is one of the best sets in the Sword and Shield era, probably even better than other amazing expansions like Evolving Skies or Battle Styles. This is a product that comes with a lot of good staple cards and amazing new V Pokémon so don’t forget to get your PTCGL codes here at PoTown Store! Be prepared to see a lot of changes from the day this set gets released. We will of course be covering all new decks here! Thanks for reading.
About the writer
Elena has been playing Pokémon TCG for years and leads one of the biggest TCG-dedicated channels in the world. You can find her on Youtube & Twitch (@gaiastormtcg) as well as on other social media channels. Don’t forget to check them out!