Posted by Zach Lesage on 3/12/2023 to Articles
Getting Ready to Rotate
What’s poppin’ Po Town readers? It's your boy Zach Lesage, and I’m back at it with a helpful article for our Pokemon TCG community! Have you heard about the upcoming Rotation? If you wanna know what I’m talking about, we are going to be losing cards in our Standard format starting on April 14, 2023. Losing cards might seem like a bad thing, but it allows different cards to shine, and we will be getting our new Scarlet and Violet set very soon too! That being said, there are quite a few important cards that we will be losing from our Standard format. Staple cards like Quick Ball [Sword and Shield], Scoop Up Net [Rebel Clash], and Crobat V [Darkness Ablaze] will all be saying goodbye to Standard. This article aims at helping our community find suitable replacements for some of the most impactful cards that are rotating! If you need to pick up any of the replacement cards for your decks, the PoTown store has the PTCG Live codes to suit your needs! With instant email delivery and a large selection, you’ll have everything you need to finish your decks. Let’s look at some of these cards!
Replacing Important Cards
The cards that we are losing are effectively Sword and Shield to Shining Fates, which are mainly the cards that are “D” block regulation (which can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of cards). Everything “E” block and forward will be legal for play! Let’s look at some of these cards.
Quick Ball might be the most played card in our entire Standard format, and it will surely be missed by the whole community! Being able to pay the low cost of discarding a single card and searching for any Basic Pokemon is a huge consistency boost for any deck. You could easily search out a Crobat V [Darkness Ablaze], Oranguru [Sword and Shield], and even use it to discard Archeops [Silver Tempest] in your Lugia VSTAR deck. While Ultra Ball [Brilliant Stars] can still search out any Pokemon, it comes at the cost of discarding two cards, and you’d then need to find additional Pokemon search for your deck. That's where Nest Ball [Scarlet and Violet] comes in! Coming fresh off of a reprint, you can use this card to search your deck for a Basic Pokemon and put it directly on your Bench. It won’t let you utilize a card like Lumineon V [Brilliant Stars] because it puts it directly to your Bench, but it is a great card to grab Basic Pokemon with. As long as your deck doesn’t directly rely on the discarding factor of Quick Ball, Nest Ball is an easy swap.
We said we were looking for more ways to search for Pokemon, and losing Evolution Incense [Sword and Shield] means we need to find replacements for double the amount of cards. Some easy replacements are Ultra Ball and Capturing Aroma [Silver Tempest] because they can easily search out Pokemon. I can’t say that I’m necessarily a fan of discarding extra cards or flipping a coin to determine which kind of Pokemon I’m searching for, but at least we have some options. When it comes to cards like Evolution Incense, I feel like they aren’t as impactful as we make them out to be. Of course, they are strong in their own respectful format, but they are typically the “throw-in” cards for extra consistency. I can easily see most lists that played 4 Quick Ball, 4 Ultra Ball, and 3 Evolution Incense, switching to 4 Nest Ball, 4 Ultra Ball, and 3 Capturing Aroma. I guess only time will tell.
In our current metagame, we have to deal with many powerful cards that don’t deal strictly deal damage. Those cards consist of Yveltal [Shining Fates], Regice [Astral Radiance], Giratina VSTAR [Lost Origin], and more. The effects of attacks are always going to be valid, and that's why blocking them with Big Parasol [Darkness Ablaze] is a great strategy! That’s until it gets Rotated out of Standard in a few months. Say hello to Espeon VMAX [Evolving Skies]! It might take an extra step to get Espeon VMAX, but at least we have a more powerful solution that will protect all of your Pokemon with Energy attached.
Scoop Up Net
If you’ve been playing Lost Zone Box, Regigigas [Astral Radiance], or any other deck that plays Scoop Up Net, I’m sure you are worried about a format without that card. Well, that's what we have to deal with as a community in mid-April! Luckily for us, there are a bunch of suitable replacements. Switch Cart [Astral Radiance], Switch [Scarlet and Violet], Escape Rope [Battle Styles], and Beach Court [Scarlet and Violet] give us access to switching / Retreating outs, and that's all that really matters. Sure, we could use Scoop Up Net to fully heal a Pokemon, but usually, the Pokemon that can use Scoop Up Net will get OHKOd by any attack! We might miss some extra combos by not being able to reset our Pokemon, like Comfey [Lost Origin] and Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance], but we have to live in that world. Sometimes cards can’t be easily replaced, but the above cards definitely help soften this loss.
If you’ve been playing a Water-type deck, like Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR [Astral Radiance], you might’ve noticed that we are losing Capacious Bucket [Rebel Clash]. Having a type-specific Energy search is great because it often comes with the option to grab more than one card. In this case, we don’t have a way to search for more than one Energy, and we are forced to play the reprint of Energy Search [Scarlet and Violet]. Similarly to Evolution Incense, this swap isn’t too important, and we won’t truly miss Capacious Bucket. If we never had Capacious Bucket in the first place, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR would’ve seen the same success, and we would’ve played Energy Search from the beginning.
Plenty of players have complained about Marnie [Sword and Shield] in our format because the way it puts cards to the bottom of each player's deck takes away a lot of opportunities. Marnie was a replacement for Cynthia [Ultra Prism], and Cynthia was a replacement for the last “staple” Supporter we had before that. In this case, we categorize Marnie as either a “shuffle and draw” Supporter or a “disruption” Supporter. We could see players experiment with Copycat [Evolving Skies] if hand sizes grow significantly, but I think we might see Judge [Scarlet and Violet] take that spot more often than not. It replaces the full “shuffle and draw” and “disruption” in a single card which likely gives our deck more space in general. This is similar to how Guzma [Burning Shadows] allowed decks of the past to lower their Switch counts and gusting card counts by providing two effects in one card. I don’t wanna say that Judge is more impactful than Guzma, but I do see it as an easy switch for most to make.
In most formats, we’ve had some form of Pokemon that you can drop down from your hand and draw cards. We can look back at Shaymin EX [Roaring Skies], Dedenne-GX [Unbroken Bonds], and now we have Crobat V [Darkness Ablaze] leaving our format to join them in Expanded (well, not Shaymasdin EX because that card has been banned…)! The most similar interaction I could think of is Lumineon V [Brilliant Stars] being able to search out a Supporter card that can draw you cards. It does come at the cost of your Supporter card for your turn, but you can easily search out a Professor’s Research [Scarlet and Violet] to see more cards. The only other replacement would be with a different draw engine, like Kirlia [Silver Tempest], but I’ll get into that when I bring up replacements for Drizzile and Inteleon [Sword and Shield]. Hopefully, we get a new generic Pokemon ex in the next few sets that take over this category completely.
I almost included Eldegoss V [Champions Path] in the same section as Crobat V, but they are functionally attempting different things. While Eldegoss V has only been seeing success in “control” decks to get back different Supporters to slow down your opponent each turn, we have to find ways to get back Supporters in our new Standard format. Luckily, we are receiving a reprint of Pal Pad [Scarlet and Violet], and that will allow us to get back our Supporter cards each turn. We can pair this with Cyllene [Astral Radiance] to get back Pal Pad, which can also get back Pal Pad, and we still have a way to “loop” cards in a “control” deck. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a similar Ability on a Pokemon ex in the next few sets because there are many recycled ideas in the Pokemon TCG.
Doing additional damage in the Pokemon TCG is a huge strategy that we can date all the way back to the beginning of time. Galarian Zigzagoon [Sword and Shield] has been used more often to place Damage Counters than Evolving, and that is something that we need to factor in when it comes to playing some decks. Hawlucha [Scarlet and Violet] is an extremely similar card when it comes to placing Damage Counters, but it can’t place Damage Counters on the Active Pokemon. That might be difficult to deal with at times, but if a deck needs some extra damage, I can totally see Hawlucha being an easy replacement for Galarian Zigzagoon.
Drizzle and Inteleon
Having the option to search for different Trainer Cards is great, and that's why Drizzile and Inteleon have seen so much success! While they aren’t a 1-for-1 replacement, Kirlia and Gallade [Lost Origin] provide Pokemon-based consistency that allows you to draw cards and search for Supporter cards. They get an extra boost of viability because the new Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet] is one of the most hyped Pokemon from Scarlet and Violet. I think we’ll see many players using Kirlia and Gallade as a way to boost the consistency of their decks.
There haven’t been too many impactful attacking Pokemon in our Sword and Shield to Crown Zenith format that are rotation, but Vikavolt V [Darkness Ablaze] has been seeing a decent bit of success towards the end of the format. We can deem that success to be coming from its Item lock attack, and we do get Banette ex in Scarlet and Violet. I’m not sure if the 30 damage output will be too low if Evolving is too slow, but we do have access to Item lock if that strategy remains viable. We still have other disruption cards, like Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign] and Crushing Hammer [Scarlet and Violet], so it might have a chance!
There are many impactful Special Energy that we are losing, like Capture Energy [Rebel Clash] and Powerful Colorless Energy [Darkness Ablaze], and we likely won’t get suitable replacements as Special Energy during our new Post Rotation format. Every format introduces new Special Energy to play, and we have to build our decks around those cards. That means we can’t play a typical Lugia VSTAR / Archeops deck, but we can replace Yveltal, Raikou [Vivid Voltage], and other techs with Single Strike Pokemon. We can still attach Single Strike Energy [Battle Styles], Double Turbo Energy [Brilliant Stars], and Gift Energy [Lost Origin]. Sometimes you have to make do with what you have - this is often the case with Special Energy.
A New Format
I hope this article has you hyped up to transform your decks when we switch to our new Post Rotation format on April 14, 2023! On top of that, the new release of Scarlet and Violet this month will surely shake up our game, and make Standard a lively format! There are plenty of returning decks and new decks to try out in this new metagame! As for me, I get to experience this new format first-hand at the upcoming 2023 European International Championships in London, United Kingdom! With my event experiences and playtesting, I hope to provide many high-quality articles to our Pokemon community right here at the PoTown store. And remember, Po Town has a great selection of Pokemon TCG Live codes to help you fast-track your collection and build the decks that you want quickly
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.