Posted by Elena from Gaia Storm on 11/5/2021 to Articles
Winter is coming, and you know what that means: staying inside watching series, hot tea, and (in my case) reading a book wrapped in a blanket or two. And considering that a new set is coming, this indoors time involves playing a lot of Pokémon TCG too, of course!
Fusion Strike is the next expansion that will be released on the 12th of November and, with more than 200 cards on it, will be the largest set of the entire Sword and Shield era. Packed with amazing new VMAX Pokémon and stunning Full Arts, one of the main and exciting additions is the Fusion Strike Pokemon, that is, a third archetype that joins the popular Single and Rapid Strike dynamics that we’ve become familiar with since they arrived in Battle Styles.
In this article, we will cover the top 10 cards with the most potential for the upcoming metagame. Of course, it is always challenging to guess the impact of certain strategies until they are properly tested in real live tournaments but there is a lot we can analyze right now. So grab yourself some popcorn and join me in this very special Fusion Strike Countdown!
10. Battle Vip Pass
We are kicking things off with a very personal bet. Battle Vip Pass is a powerful item that lets you search for two basic Pokémon from your deck and put them directly in your hand. Considering how much we rely on Quick Ball for the setup, this is a very interesting effect, but it comes with a high cost: Battle Vip Pass can only be played during your first turn, so it is basically a dead card once the game progresses.
When I first read the card, I immediately dismissed it until I saw that Japanese players liked to include a couple of copies in many decks. This, combined with the fact that some decks from our current standard format are currently running Mew from Celebrations to help with the consistency, made me think twice. As it always happens with this type of “high risk, high reward” cards, I consider that Battle Vip Pass might balance games in favor when the player can draw into it.
9. Inteleon VMAX
To be honest with you, I have mixed feelings about Inteleon. It is one of my favorite Pokemon from the seventh generation, and I want it to be playable. Still, I don’t know if its damage output will fall a bit short considering how aggressive other decks are in comparison.
On paper, it has potential. Inteleon VMAX reminds us of the iconic Greninja Break from the X&Y era. It can discard water-type energies every turn to place two damage counters in two different Benched Pokémon. Then, it also has one attack, G-Max Whirlpool, that deals 70 plus 70 damage if you return one attached Energy to your hand. The combo is therefore pretty simple: By pairing it up with Rapid Strike energy, you can continuously hit for 140 damage every turn while discarding water energies to pick easy KOs in the future. The fact that a single copy of Rapid Strike energy is all that you need to keep spreading the damage means you can abuse Cherryl from Battle Styles to keep your Inteleon alive forever. Pay attention to the lightning weaknesses, as can be a pain when facing Jolteon or the brand new Boltund VMAX.
8. Hoopa V
If you’ve played Eternatus during the past couple of formats, you have probably had a rough time: Path of the Peak everywhere and Rapid Strike Urshifu was just too much for the deck to handle. If only there were a way to overcome that annoying Fighting weakness… And guess what? Hoopa V proves that the best defense is a good offense.
Hoopa V has a very impressive ability to gain the psychic type once on the field. That will lead to a unique situation where a dark Pokémon can hit Urshifu for weaknesses while only needing to use dark energies. This might be the ultimate piece Eternatus needed to start dominating the metagame again. The only problem I see with Hoopa is that it requires three energies to attack. Considering that Eternatus does not have many ways to accelerate energies, it might be a problem. But nothing that Moltres V and Energy Switch can fix, right? Definitely, a card to keep an eye on.
7. Elesa’s Sparkle
As I have said multiple times, any card that allows you to go over the established rules of the game (like attaching extra energies or evolving in fewer turns than required) is broken, and Elessa certainly is no exception. This new Fusion Strike supporter is an incredible play for the first or second turn of the game as it allows you to select two Fusion Strike Pokémon in your field and attach to each a Fusion energy. The only downside this has is that you might not be able to activate it if you have most of the Fusion Strike energies copies on your hand, prizes, or discard pile, its effectiveness, therefore, being reduced every turn. I am interested in seeing if Pokémon will continue releasing new Fusion Strike attackers that can abuse Elessa’s even more in the near future.
I will also take this opportunity to mention that Fusion Energy is a great card on its own, providing every type of Energy and blocking effects from your opponents Pokémon, effectively stopping popular threats like Inteleon from Chilling Reign or Umbreon VMAX.
6. Adventurer’s Discovery
I am thrilled that his card is finally coming. Adventurer’s Discovery allows you to search any type of V Pokémon (including VMAX, of course) and put them into your hand. The only generic card we had in the past with a similar effect to this one was Bridgette from Breakthrough. It soon became a staple providing consistency for many different strategies.
Back to the present, the deck that first comes to my mind is Eternatus. With the loss of Pokémon Communication in the last rotation, it was challenging to set up during the first turns or even find the evolutions in the mid/late game. Adventurers is going to provide Eternatus and other V-focused decks with a much-needed consistency. And don’t worry about not using your supporter of the turn to draw. Remember that one of your searches can be Crobat V, which can help you dig extra cards through your deck.
5. Power Tablet
We all know how frustrating it is to run ten damage short of getting the KO on a giant VMAX Pokémon. Fear not, those days are gone! Power Tablet is a fantastic item that allows your Fusion Style Pokémon to deal +30 damage to your opponent’s active Pokémon for each copy you play. Running four Power Tablets means you will have an additional 120 damage at your disposition at any time during the game, and this is just insane. If you combine it with attacks like the one from Genesect V (keep reading to get there!) you can suddenly take down any V Pokémon in one single move.
Right now, it is true that the damage output of the Fusion Strike Pokémon is not massive, but I think that if in the future more cards from this archetype get printed, Power Tablet will get even crazier than it is now.
4. Gengar VMAX
Since Gengar was released in Japan, it was very common to see it in the top places of many tournaments, and it is pretty understandable as it is an additional weapon for Single Strike decks. Gengar has two very powerful attacks that can put a lot of pressure on any strategy. The first one deals 60 damage for every GX or V card that your opponent has in play, so this forces your opponent to think twice before filling up his or her bench. The second packs a punch as it deals a very decent 250 damage for just three energies, but remember that this damage can easily be increased with the effect of Single Strike special energies.
Lastly, another interesting point about Gengar is that it comes with a mighty V card that can easily take down any other V Pokemon in the format for just three energies, pretty much in the same fashion as Single Strike Urshifu does now. I am excited to see how Single Strike strategies adapt to make space for Gengar and its meaning for the metagame.
3. Cross Switcher
Oh, boys, Guzma is home! I was tempted to place Cross Switcher in the first position of my list, and I like how balanced this card looks on paper. It provides one of the most powerful effects in the game (promoting one of your opponent’s benched Pokémon to the active position) without needing to use your supporter for the turn. Still, you can only do so if you play two Cross Switcher copies from your hand. This is not the first time we’ve seen this type of card in our Standard Format with, for example, Custom Catcher and Puzzle of Time (everyone remembers how insanely good the latter was).
However, what makes Cross Switcher stand apart is that it combines the power of Boss Orders with the flexibility of Switch, the same way Guzma did three years ago. I can easily imagine Zacian V and similar pokemon online decks abusing this card with the help of Mew from Celebrations. And lastly, something important to point out is that Cross Switcher can be recycled with the new Smeargle that is coming out in the set! Infinite Guzma loop in the horizon! Why not?
2. Mew VMAX
Mew VMAX is the iconic cover Pokémon of the set and it is very understandable why. This little friend (well, not that little in its VMAX form I guess?) has a very familiar ability that lets it use all attacks from other Fusion Strike Pokémon for just two colorless energies. Note that unlike other Mew cards in the past, you are not required to meet the energy requirements of the attack itself, which is alone a very good reason to include Mew in this list. In fact, one of the most anticipated new pokemon online decks is some sort of “Fusion Style Toolbox” that uses Mew as the main attacker and alternates between cards like Genesect V or Latios depending on the situation. Its secondary attack is also quite interesting as it deals 130 damage and is not affected by any effects on the defending Pokémon, something that can be used in specific situations to pierce the shields of cards like Zamazenta V, Altaria, or Decidueye.
The only reason why Mew is not in the very first position of this list is that there are currently very few decent Fusion Strike Pokémon that Mew can actually be paired up with. If more cards from this archetype are released in the future, Mew VMAX can actually become an absolute beast.
1. Genesect V
Genesect V is one of those cards with all the right traits: nice typing, solid attack, and a broken ability. Being a metal-type Pokémon, it can benefit from Metal Saucer and the fire weakness is not very bad considering the state of the metagame. Techno Blast is also a very decent attack for 3 metal energies that do 210 but can easily escalate to bigger numbers when combined with a couple of Power Tablets. Now, what really makes this card stand out is its capacity to let you draw every turn until you have the same cards in hand as the number of your Fusion Strike Pokémon. As such, Genesect is the perfect engine for Fusion Strike toolbox decks.
And you know the best part? (Wait, there is more?) Genesect abilities stack up. Imagine the following (ideal) scenario where all your 6 Pokémon are Fusion Strike. You can use Genesect number 1 to draw up to 6 cards, play down your hand, and then use Genesect number 2 to repeat the process! This ensures a consistent flow of resources that will easily give you access to any card you need. Because drawing cards is still the best ability for any Trading Card Game in history, Genesect deserves the first spot on our list!
Coming up with the list above has proved to be very challenging as the set is so large that narrowing it down to just ten cards has taken me a considerable amount of time. And while I really believe that all the cards we’ve analyzed will for sure have an impact on the game, I am sure there will be plenty of surprises once the set gets officially released.
From the possible resurgence of Eternatus to the new Fusion Styles Toolbox decks, I am very excited to test all the new strategies that will come and see how creative players get. This will add even more variety to our already rich metagame so if you want to be ready from day one. Don’t forget that you can grab your PTCGO codes here at PoTown Store and start opening as soon as they are available in Pokémon TCG Online. Po Town has a large selection of PTCGO codes and you can get them emailed to you very quickly! 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!