Written by Pokemon Trainer on 6/6/2022 at category Top Cards
Top of the morning, everybody! As we anxiously await to see players’ creativity with our new pool of cards, I figured it would be best to peek at the latest expansion Astral Radiance has in store for us! The set’s description is as follows:
Travel back to a primitive land dominated by myth and legend, where Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR and Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR shape the very fabric of time and space! Explore a vast wilderness unlike anything you've ever experienced, where you'll encounter Decidueye, Typhlosion, and Samurott as Hisuian Pokémon VSTAR. Meet talented Trainers and other powerful Pokémon that call the ancient Hisui region home, and discover a new kind of Shiny Pokémon: Radiant Pokémon. Charge courageously into battle in a new world with the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield—Astral Radiance expansion!
* Over 180 cards
* 3 brand-new Radiant Pokémon
* 8 awesome Pokémon VSTAR
* 21 powerful Pokémon V and 2 enormous Pokémon VMAX
* 30 cards with special art in the Trainer Gallery subset
* More than 20 Trainer cards
With that in mind, let’s count down some of the best cards in the set!
I booted up my Pokemon Trading Card Game Online app, loaded up some PTCGO codes, and then traded those Pokemon online codes to trade for these cards. I was very excited, and it honestly didn’t take that many Pokemon TCG Online codes to get these cards. If you’re looking to buy some codes, we sell them here on PTCGO Store, and I highly urge you to check out our competitive pricing and swift delivery! Let’s talk about my favourite cards in Astral Radiance today.
Let’s kick our list off with Diancie! This Pokémon has a lovely ability that prevents the likes of Boss’s Orders from being played onto your benched Pokémon. This devious ability can be really strong for enabling you to set up slower-paced Pokémon (such as Dialga VSTAR). Diancie will be played in high counts in setup decks, however, you can get around this ability because it only works in the active position - if you can play Escape Rope to move Diancie to the bench, you can then use Boss’s Orders on your Pokémon of choice. As the Diancie player, just make sure to keep a copy of this card on your bench as well as the active position in order to outsmart your opponents! Have fun with this card - it seems like it will encourage a lot of creativity in standard!
9. Starmie V
Starmie is great at hitting Pokémon for how much energy the opponent has in play. I really like this Pokémon as a way to answer a fully loaded Arceus VSTAR with a ton of energy in play after a Trinity Nova! Starmie V will splash itself into Water-type decks as a surprising answer to decks that accelerate energy into the board. It also answers Darkrai VSTAR quite nicely!
8. Dark Patch
This card being reprinted feels like a mistake from Pokémon - do they not remember the terror of this card when it was paired alongside Darkrai-EX and Yveltal-EX? It was nearly unstoppable! Flash forward to today, we now have the newly released Darkrai VSTAR, which is very reminiscent of Darkrai-EX BKP. Dealing damage for each Dark Energy in play is absolutely beastly, especially considering how easily Darkrai VSTAR can abuse them. Dark Patch is splashable in pretty much any Dark-type deck, and it will help many Pokémon accelerate their speed in an effort to take down top archetypes such as Mew VMAX. There isn’t much to say about this card except how it has so much synergy with modern cards such as Quick Ball, Ultra Ball, and Radiant Greninja. The patch is back!
7. Darkrai VSTAR
I can’t believe my eyes the king of the standard format has returned! This dark type Pokémon has been in my nightmares many times before and to see that it has returned is not a shocker to me. This Pokemon specializes in swarming the field with energy cards and hitting the opponent for large amounts of damage, sometimes even taking a one-hit knockout. Overwhelming the opponent is something that this new card does best and it should not be underestimated by any means regardless of weakness or efficiency. Darkrai’s attack is very reminiscent of Darkrai-EX from BKP where it does damage to each Dark Energy in play. It’s very fitting that they released Dark Patch once again in the same set! I can’t believe that these two cards coexist together, it’s genuinely terrifying. As if that wasn’t enough, Darkrai’s VSTAR Ability allows for you to get two Item cards back from the discard pile, meaning you can essentially play six Dark Patch within a single game! You’ll see this deck everywhere at your next Regional Championships, count on that.
6. Canceling Cologne
Has your opponent ever had a Pokémon in play that has just annoyed you to know ends? Well let me tell you, this newly released Pokémon card to come out of Astral Radiance is unlike any other. Being able to stop the opponent from using abilities on specific Pokémon has been a mechanic that hasn’t been in place within the standard format for a long time, however, now it is printed on an item card! Cancelling Cologne is a very niche card that can aid you in getting rid of ridiculous abilities, such as VSTAR abilities like Arceus’s, or perhaps something that is difficult to get around such as the newly released Miltalk that prevents Pokémon V from touching it. There is a wide array of abilities that this card can get rid of, and I feel like this card will only get better with time.
5. Hisuan Samurott VSTAR
This is probably the most efficient and simple attacker in this entire set. I like Samurott because it reminds me of Victini VMAX - it has a caveat to fulfil the damage bonus of its attack, however, it’s relatively easy to satisfy and it can do it for a low energy cost. Hisuan Samurott has pretty solid HP for a VSTAR, and can absolutely destroy some Pokémon V! With some damage buffs like Choice Band and Leon, it can quite easily OHKO some VSTAR Pokémon. I find Inteleon (Quick Shooting) is a great addition alongside this Pokémon to fulfil the extra damage gaps that Samurott can’t do on its own. Samurott’s ability is also killer, allowing you to place damage counters on the opponent’s Pokémon once during the game. This is basically an OHKO onto a VSTAR once per game and is a fantastic way to set the tempo of your strategy. Combined this with the support of Dark Patch and Galarian Zigzagoon, and you have a very sound strategy! I expect this Pokémon to be experimented heavily with in numerous decks.
4. Dialga VSTAR
Have you ever just wanted to turn back time once in your life to experience something again? Well, let me tell you this Pokémon will allow you the opportunity to do just that! Taking an extra turn in the Pokémon trading card game is not something that happens very often but when it does it seems to be awfully impactful. Dialga’s VSTAR attack can pop off out of nowhere to steal games - although it takes a lot of Energy Cards, you can sit behind the newly released Diancie to avoid any Boss’s Orders while you setup. After gaining an additional turn, you can then utilize Dialga’s first attack to swiftly KO another high HP Pokémon. Dialga is a little bit slow, however, the reward is very high once this Pokémon is set up. This Pokémon can also abuse Metal Saucer which is a huge buff to help us speed things up a little. Expect this card to arise at your next Regional Championships!
We’ve been experiencing a glaring hole in Standard lately - there isn’t a spashable (viable) card besides Marnie that can disrupt our opponent’s hand with ease! Roxanne brings that same pressure back to a standard format. Closer to Ace Trainer than N, Roxanne isn’t a draw Supporter more so than it is a disruptive Supporter since you can only play it once the opponent has three or less Prize Cards. This card can create a very strong comeback potential in the late game when combined with cards such as Path to the Peak and Crushing Hammer. The more disruptive layers, the better! Roxanne will see tons of play in decks that can time it correctly, such as Inteleon-based engines since they can search out Roxanne whenever they would like. Expect to see this card at the top tables!
2. Palkia VSTAR
Palkia VSTAR feels like what Suicune was trying to be but never was: it has more HP, it hits harder, and has a way better ability. The one thing I like specifically about this Pokémon it’s just how versatile it is it can really do anything that you wanted to. It fits into a wide array of decks and can play a large pool of different Pokémon cards that can do various things. You can also power up Pokémon very swiftly with its ability, and hit the opponent very hard out of nowhere. If the opponent plays too many benched Pokémon you can capitalize on this with this Pokémon‘s first attack. It is also very difficult to knock out this Pokémon in one hit considering it has 280 hit points. Combine this with the fact that you gain Water-type support cards such as Melony, and you’ve got yourself a huge archetype on your hands. This is one of the few decks that can fully abuse Radiant Greninja’s attack, and for that reason, it is inherently very strong.
1. Radiant Greninja
I’m not surprised to see the fan favourite Pokémon Greninja take the centre stage as the number one Pokémon card from Astral Radiance! This Pokémon has been known for being released on very strong cards (especially for anybody who remembers Greninja BREAK from a little while back). Radiant Pokémon are a new mechanic Pokémon is releasing that is nearly identical to Pokémon Star. You can only include one Radiant Pokémon in your deck, and they are extremely powerful cards! You’ll have to choose with Radiant Pokémon as your favourite in order to aid your deck’s strategy. Greninja’s Concealed Cards ability is phenomenal at drawing cards, but more importantly, getting Energy Cards in the discard pile for the rereleased Dark Patch. Greninja has synergy with many decks, however, allowing consistent decks to become even more consistent takes the cake! Greninja’s attack, Moonlight Shuriken, is very potent as well - Palkia VSTAR decks will be able to actually power this attack up very efficiently as a result of Palkia’s VSTAR ability. This attack is reminiscent of Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX’s G-Max Rapid Flow, which terrorized standard for quite some time. This card is going nowhere and is one of the strongest cards released of all time.
This, of course, is just a sampling of the cool cards in the latest Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield—Astral Radiance set. Stay tuned for our store selling PokemonTCG Online codes for this expansion, and keep your eyes peeled for more great content from us. Until next time, Trainers!
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