Alola Trainers! My name is Joshua Vanoverschelde but some of you might know me better as ZapdosTCG! Today we are going to talk about our new mini set Shining Fates.
This is a set that contains a lot of Shining variants of already existing cards. Which makes this an ideal set for new players. There are a couple of really great cards in this set which see a lot of play. Think about Decidueye, Crobat V, Cramorant V, Boss's Order, etc...

In this blog post, we will cover my personal top 10 cards to look forward to. Although this might be a mini set, certain cards might actually have an impact on the current meta! We are not including reprints in this top 10 (just so you know).


Let's first talk about some honorable mentions which just didn't make the cut.

Amazing Rare Kyogre

This is a card which can spread a lot of damage. With the awkward energy cost and Mew from Unbroken Bonds being in the format I don't think this will see much play.

Snom

This Snom has the attack Call for Family which is a nice emergency attack over the older Snom. Be careful though, this Snom does have a 2 retreat cost so be sure to include enough Air Balloons in your list.

Koffing

Being able to evolve on the first turn going second with Ascension is kind of huge. This means we can get a Galarian Weezing up on the first turn going second. I see this being played in Eternatus VMAX for the early game disruption against certain decks. Definitely a nice boost for the Galarian Weezing card



Okay now that we got the honorable mentions out of the way. Let us talk about the top 10 most impactful cards from Shining Fates.

Number 10: Rotom

This Rotom card has a wicked ability called: Roto choice.
This activates when you slap it down on the bench and allows you to search for 2 item cards with the word "Rotom" in their name.
There are quite a few ones in the current format like Rotom Bike, Rotom Phone, Rotom Drone, etc...
In my opinion, this will create a small new engine in decks because of Rotom Bike and Rotom Phone. Rotom Bike allows you to draw cards until you have 6 in the hand but your turn then ends.
This is ideal to use on the first turn of the game as we are not able to attack in the first place. It would fulfill a similar role like Intrepid Sword of Zacian V but Rotom is just a one-prize Pokemon, which is awesome!
Also, some archetypes like Coalossal VMAX already make use of Rotom Phone so this could be a sweet addition for sure. Not suitable for every deck but it might pop up here and there.

Number 9: Ditto V - Ditto VMAX

Although both Ditto V and Ditto VMAX operate very differently, I decided to group them together. The Ditto V is a pretty interesting card that is able to swap itself with a basic Pokemon V from your discard pile. You of course keep all attached cards to it, all damage and Special Conditions remain. What this allows you to do is technically play a second copy of specific V Pokemon. I see this working out in a Welder Counter Box deck. For instance, you play 1 Milotic V, 1 Rhyperior V and 1 Cramorant V. At any given point in a match you can swap your Ditto V with one of those Pokemon in the discard pile, technically giving you a second copy of those cards for the specific matchups. Pretty nice ability and this might just work out in that Counter Box deck.

Ditto VMAX on the other hand can simply copy an attack from the opponent's active Pokemon without needing the necessary energies.
This is very similar to Ninetales V which at this point didn't see any play at all. The reason for this is that all the top tier decks rely on their own energies or gimmick to deal mor damage. For example, Eternatus VMAX dishes out more damage for every Darkness Pokemon. Centiskorch VMAX dish out more damage for every Fire energy attached. ADP needs extra Water Energy for the extra effect of Altered Creation, PikaRom accelerates Lightning Energies from the deck. If you play Ditto VMAX you can copy certain attacks but without the needed extras that we mentioned you will not get the full capabilities of these attacks. Although Ditto VMAX can attack for a single Triple Accelerated Energy, the meta just doesn't have perfect attacks for it to copy. So it slides in at number 9.

Number 8: Rusted Shield

This new Tool card gives your Zamazenta V, 70 extra HP. At first glance, this looks amazing right! Having a 300 HP Pokemon which is immune from damage from VMAX Pokemon. The problem is that we have Tool Scrapper in the format and there is also Tool Jammer coming out in Battle Styles which could make this card pretty useless. Also, the ability from Zamazenta V is why the card is good. Even if it would have more HP, I don't think it'll be that impactful. Just because of the fact that if the opponent has an answer for Zamazenta V, a bit more HP here and there will not make the difference.

Number 7: Cramorant VMAX

This is quite the funky-looking card and will allow you the flip a lot of coins. As we learned with Wailord V, flipping coins is not too reliable. But let's give this one a chance, shall we? Its attack lets you flip a coin for every energy attached to it, for every head you deal 80 damage. So in theory we attach Triple Accelerated energy and dish out 240 damage at max for 1 attachment. Pretty interesting for sure considering the fact we still have Porygon-Z in the format which lets us attach as many special energies from our hand during our turn. Also, we still have Glimwood Tangle which can increase our luck quite a bit by being able to reflip the coins. I think this is quite the meme deck for sure but when it works oh my, it destroys any Pokemon in the game. Imagine a Cramorant VMAX with a couple of Triple Accelerated Energies, It's quite the flip party for sure. Not too reliable but a ton of fun! Also something I could see working is a deck revolving around Triple Accelerated Energy, running a 2-2 line of Cramorant VMAX with Memory Capsule so you can use Spit Shot of the pre-evolution for 1 attachment. Will it see play? I guess we'll see what the future holds for Cramorant VMAX.

Number 6: Ball Guy

This new supporter card lets you search your deck for 3 different item cards with "Ball" in their name. Reminds me of Apricorn Maker but this time you can search for even more "Ball" cards. With Level Ball getting reprinted in Battle Styles and we still having access to Quick Ball, Cherish Ball, Great Ball, and even Poké Ball, we actually have quite the engine going around. Imagine playing Ball Guy for Cherish Ball, Quick Ball, and Level Ball, you could search out Amazing Rare Jirachi, ADP, and Dedenne GX for example. I know people will still grab on to the classic Professor's Research but it's just an example of how good the search can be. If only there was not the first turn supporter rule, then this card might be better. I think it probably won't replace the Professor's Research and Marnie engine but it's still something we might see popping up here and there in weird funky decks. Talking about weird and funky, this will be the staple of the Galarian Mr Rime deck from Battle Styles, so the last thing hasn't been said yet about Ball Guy.

Number 5: Yveltal Amazing Rare

Oh boy, where do I begin with this "Amazing" card? This one looks like a lot of fun. Its attack Amazing Destruction lets you OHKO any active Pokemon you face. Even if it's a big Coalossal VMAX with Stone Fighting Energies and Buff Padding, doesn't matter, it's one-shotted thanks to this attack. This attack does require you to have 5 energies though. And that's pretty tricky. We have Turbo Patch, Trumbeak from Vivid Voltage, Welder or even the Hydreigon we can rely on to get the energies on. 5 energies might be a lot of work but if it allows you to take 3 prize cards on a Tag Team GX or VMAX, it thinks it might be worth it. This kind of a card will out-loss against one-prize Pokemon like Blacephalon or Mad Party so that's why I think it'll never be top tier. But who knows people might prove me wrong.

Number 4: Celebi

This is a nice consistency booster for decks that mainly rely on Special Energies. Its ability allows you to look at the top 6 cards of your deck and choose an energy card you find there. This means we now have a card that allows you to dig your deck for energies. In the past, we had Energy Loto which saw some play so I think this could fulfill the same role. We know that Triple Accelerated Energy gets rotated soon so decks like Mad Party will struggle a bit to find their energies to attack consistently. Maybe Celebi might find its home there in the future. It is able to rely on U-Turn Board, Air Balloon, and even Scoop Up Net to get out of the active position. Also in decks to want to keep finding energies like Frosmoth could try this out for sure.

Number 3: Manaphy

Just like Celebi this card allows you to look at the top 6 cards of your deck. But instead of grabbing an energy card, it allows you to draw a Pokemon. This might actually see more play than Celebi. Finding Pokemon is good in the format right now. Not only because of the first turn supporter rule and you wanting some basics down on turn 1. We also have a lot of Pokemon in the format that allow you to draw cards: Dedenne GX, Crobat V, Zacian V, Oricorio GX and even the new Kricketune V. So Manaphy might actually find one of those if you play them in your deck to draw you cards. Also in stage 2 decks it allows you to search your top 6 cards every single turn after something is knocked out. You just promote Manaphy, use the ability, and retreat afterward to your new attacker. I like the card for setup decks quite a bit and will test this out! As mentioned, U-Turn Board and Air Balloon are perfect for a card like this.

Number 2: Reshiram Amazing Rare

Now, this is a card I adore a lot! This Amazing Rare actually has a decent damage output and attack cost.
A Fire, Lightning, Darkness attack cost is something we can achieve in just one turn. Remember, we still have Welder and Tapu Koko Prism Star in the format. So in theory, if you make a deck around this you would play Viridian Forest to discard a Lightning Energy to find a Darkness Energy. You would play Tapu Koko Prism Star afterward, use Welder and attach the Darkness Energy. And then out of nowhere Boom 270 damage. This in combination with Galarian Zigzagoon or Vitality Band allows you to OHKO all relevant Tag Team GX Pokemon instantly. ADP, PikaRom, MewMew, ReshiZard, all not a problem at all for this card. A one-prize Pokemon that dishes out that amount of damage easily seems like it can/should work in today's meta. I definitely see this working out!

Number 1: Rusted Sword

Okay, we made it to the number 1 new card from the Shining Fates set. This is a card that will give Zacian V decks even more popularity because of how good the card is. We already know that Zacian V is in LucMetal and ADP decks and has been seeing an immense amount of success. I think now Zacian V can be its own deck without relying on those Tag Team powerhouses. Rusted Sword is a simple tool card that allows Zacian V to deal 30 more damage to the opponent's active Pokemon. Oh wow, remember Choice Band and how that saw play in almost all decks back in the day. Yeah, smacking more damage has always been good in the TCG. So the base damage output of Brave Blade will then become 260 damage. Pair that with a Galarian Perrserker and suddenly it becomes 280 damage. That means Zacian V on it's own can now OHKO any Tag Team without needing ADP. This means Turbo Zacian is back baby! You can rely on Metal Saucers, Turbo Patches and BAM, 280 damage on turn 2 is not unheard. You can ofcourse still pair it with ADP for taking those extra prize cards but this puts Zacian V in a whole different level. The best V card now gets even more broken thanks to Rusted Sword.
 

Conclusion


And that's it for our top 10 countdown of the best new cards to look forward to from Shining Fates.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading this article. Be sure to hop over to my YouTube channel "ZapdosTCG" for more in depth information about the latest cards and decks in town!