Posted by Zach Lesage on 3/16/2023 to Articles
A New Set to Discover
What’s poppin’ Po Town readers? Are you getting hyped for Pokemon TCG’s latest set, Scarlet and Violet? The set releases this month, and it kickstarts a new era in the Pokemon TCG! Based on the hit Nintendo Switch games, Scarlet and Violet, we can now explore this world filled with many new Pokemon! To kick off this new generation, all Scarlet and Violet base set and on cards feature a new silver border to bring the game’s aesthetic in line with Japan for the first time ever! On top of that, Pokemon ex returns to the Pokemon TCG for the first time in years! Pokemon ex are powerful Pokemon that Evolve from their natural Evolution line instead of having specially printed cards. When it comes to doing my top 10 cards for any given set, I’m usually kinda right, I might miss one or two, and some cards end up surprising the whole community! Hopefully, these cards start to guide you in the right direction and allow you to learn more about the better cards from Scarlet and Violet. If you wanna pick up any of these cards, pick up some Scarlet and Violet Base set Pokemon TCG Live codes right here at the PoTown store! After redeeming some codes, you’ll be closer to acquiring all of the cards in this article, and you can use the credits you earn to craft any other cards you need! Let’s take a look at my #10 pick!
In a world where Ordinary Rod [Sword and Shield] has just rotated out of the Standard format, Miriam [Scarlet and Violet] seems to be one of the only viable ways to get your Pokemon back into your deck. On top of that, you get to draw three cards - take that Hop [Crown Zenith]! I don’t know if there are any decks that will flock to play this card on day 1, but as we acquire a few more Scarlet and Violet sets, I’m sure this card will find a home as a 1-of-in handful of decks. Think of it like this, Professor’s Research [Sword and Shield] has been reprinted in almost every other set, and I’m sure we’ll have to discard some important Pokemon every once in a while… right? With Miriam looking like the only answer, I totally think this card is deserving of its number 10 spot on this list.
9. Magnezone ex
Already at spot nine, and I’m jumping into one of the heavy hitters in the set, Magnezone ex [Scarlet and Violet]. I haven’t seen it doing super well in Japan yet, but maybe that will change when the set releases globally later this month! There are a few aspects of Magnezone ex that I like! A bulky 330 HP, low Energy costs to attack with, and Energy Crush can do massive amounts of damage. If Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet] continues to rise towards the top of the metagame, I’m sure we will see Magnezone ex using Energy Crush as a counter to that deck! I could also see this being a solid answer to Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] if that deck finds a way to deal with the huge loss of Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith’s treasure trove of Special Energy.
We just lost one of the most impactful cards, Galarian Zigzagoon [Sword and Shield], but Hawlucha [Scarlet and Violet] comes in to save the day! Instead of placing 1 Damage Counter anywhere, Hawlucha allows us to place 2 Damage Counters on our opponent’s Benched Pokemon. The lack of versatility on the Active vs Bench might be problematic, but it isn’t anything that Boss’s Orders [Lost Origin] or Escape Rope [Battle Styles] can’t solve for us. It does hurt that we can’t pair this with Scoop Up Net [Rebel Clash], because it just rotated out of Standard, but maybe we can pair this with Penny [Scarlet and Violet]?
7. Beach Court
Retreating is a huge part of the Pokemon TCG, and having access to a lower Retreat Cost is huge! This is where Beach Court [Scarlet and Violet] shines! I could totally see Beach Court working with Comfey [Lost Origin] to great effect! Flower Gathering, free Retreat with Beach Court into another Comfey, Flower Gathering, use Switch Cart [Astral Radiance] into a different Comfey, and use Flower Gathering again! And that's just one Pokemon! As we continue to explore our new Scarlet and Violet metagame, I’m sure we will find other cards that will have great synergy with Beach Court. Looking slightly deeper, Mew [Celebrations] might see a bit more play with the release of this card, Beach Court might end up being a suitable replacement for Air Balloon [Sword and Shield], and this could be a counter to control decks bringing up your Pokemon with Boss’s Orders. Only time will tell!
6. Miraidon ex
While Koraidon ex [Scarlet and Violet], the other half of this legendary duo, didn’t make this list, Miraidon ex [Scarlet and Violet] looks like it will provide solid support to Lightning-type decks! Its Tandem Unit Ability allows you to search for up to 2 Basic Lightning-type Pokemon and put them onto your Bench. You can even use that Ability to search for another Miraidon ex, use that Pokemon’s Tandem Unit Ability, and flood your board with Pokemon! Many players in Japan are pairing this Pokemon with Regieleki VMAX [Silver Tempest] to increase the damage of Lightning-type attacks, and even using Electricity Generator [Scarlet and Violet] to make a whole new Lightning-type archetype! As we receive more and more Lightning-type Pokemon in future sets, I’m sure Miraidon ex will find its time to shine!
Well, both of the new Scarlet and Violet Stadium cards have found a home on my top 10 list! It shouldn’t be a surprise, because Stadium cards are often the most impactful cards in any given format. Look at our current Standard format! Temple of Sinnoh [Astral Radiance] and Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign] are played down with the hopes of taking control of the game. In this case, Mesagosa [Scarlet and Violet] allows you to have a chance to see more Pokemon during the game. It does work for both sides, but some decks might not play the same amount of Pokemon that you do. With an emphasis on Pokemon ex being Evolved Pokemon (in most cases), Mesagoza can act like the glue to make sure that these decks can reach their full potential. On top of that, it works as a counter to other Stadiums, like Path to the Peak, so I’m sure it will see play!
4. Gardevoir ex
I’ll give you all a spoiler alert here! Gardevoir ex is the last Pokemon ex on this list! I know some of you think the best cards in a set are the Pokemon, and sometimes that's correct, but likely not in Scarlet and Violet - we’ll jump into that in a few short cards. Similar to Magnezone ex, Gardevoir ex is a ramp-up Evolution Pokemon that allows us to accelerate Energy to all of our Psychic-type Pokemon. Many players have been theorizing the success of Gardevoir ex because it already has access to Kirlia [Silver Tempest], which allows you to draw through cards! On top of that, Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX [Chilling Reign] seems like it might work with Gardevoir ex because the synergy of attaching Energy + doing lots of damage usually works out well. This card kinda has it all - a supportive Pokemon Evolution line, built-in Energy acceleration, and a handful of cards that work well with it. The one discouraging thing about these new Pokemon ex evolutions is that they might not be as quick as previously established Pokemon VSTAR / VMAX that survive our Rotation, like Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike]. I’m gonna have to test a lot of these new cards out to see for myself, but give it some time, and I’m sure we’ll see Gardevoir ex topping some events soon enough!
3. Electricity Generator
I did briefly mention Electricity Generator when going over Miraidon ex, but I have high hopes for this card! I’ve always been a fan of Item-based Energy acceleration, like Beast Ring [Forbidden Light], and this card isn’t all that different. You get to look at the top 5 cards of your deck, choose up to 2 Basic Lightning Energy, and attach them to your Benched Lightning Pokemon however you like. That can easily power up Miraidon ex in a pinch to swing for a lot of damage very quickly! Like Miraidon ex, this card likely gets better with age because we can use it to power up Lightning-type Pokemon that get released in future sets! It's very rare that we don’t see Item-based Energy acceleration see success, and I don’t see this card ever being “bad”.
If you scrolled through the set list looking for only Pokemon ex, you might’ve missed Klefki [Scarlet and Violet], which would absolutely be a shame. You’ll often see me bring up successful concepts of the past, and Ability-lock is definitely going to be one of the most successful strategies that one can use to see success. As long as Klefki is in the Active Spot, Basic Pokemon (both yours and your opponent’s) have no Abilities, except for Mischievous Lock. Using that Ability would be a great way to slow down a game, or you might even want to hit-and-run with Regieleki V [Silver Tempest] into this Pokemon. This would easily shut down Comfey, Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance], and even Genesect V [Fusion Strike]. This card will likely get better with age as we receive more and more Basic Pokemon with powerful Abilities.
1. Nest Ball
Here we have it, my number one pick, Nest Ball! We’ve had Nest Ball in previous formats, it's seen success, and it looks like it will be a huge staple in our new Scarlet and Violet Pokemon TCG format! We just lost Quick Ball [Sword and Shield] to rotation, so that means we need to find a way to replace it! We don’t necessarily get to use cool play-from-our-hand Abilities with Nest Ball, but we also don’t need to discard our valuable resources either! I assume most decks are going to be running four copies of Nest Ball to freely search for their Basic Pokemon, and it's likely going to stay like that until we get a better replacement (if we even get one). It might not be the most exciting card in the world, but consistency rules all!
Time to Start Collecting
I hope this article has you hyped for the release of Scarlet and Violet! I know that I’m hyped to try to make all of these new Pokemon ex work, look at the new silver borders, and play in our new Standard format! I’m especially hyped to compete in the 2023 European Pokemon International Championships in London, United Kingdom, where the first Pokemon TCG Scarlet and Violet legal competition will take place! I hope to bring some more Scarlet and Violet Pokemon TCG content to our PoTown community, so stay tuned for that. And again, if you need any of the above cards to kickstart your Scarlet and Violet Base set collection, you can pick up PTCG Live codes at the PoTown store. Thanks for reading!
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.