Written by Zach Lesage on 6/29/2022 at category Top Cards
Pokemon GO, our newest Pokemon TCG set, brings the best aspects of the Pokemon TCG and the hit mobile game Pokemon GO. In this celebratory mini-set, the goal is to strengthen the bond between different areas of our Pokemon community, but there are quite a few cards that might end up seeing success at the upcoming 2022 Pokemon World Championships in London. Recently Pokemon announced that the upcoming Lost Origins set will be delayed which means that Astral Radiance will be our latest main set and Pokemon GO will be the differentiating factor heading into Worlds. Furthermore, our usual rotation of cards that happens in August / September has been pushed to early 2023 to bring us closer to Japan’s set legality. The goal of this article is to offer my fresh perspective on the best cards in the Pokemon GO TCG set for competitive play. I don’t always get these 100% right, but I love to share my competitive insight with our community! Let’s jump into these great cards.
Kicking off this list is a Pokemon that doesn’t even look like it's the main focus of the card. The art of this card predominantly features Smeargle, but it is definitely a Bibarel [Pokemon GO] card. The main feature of this card is its strong Ability, Reassuring Dam. As long as Bibarel stays on your Bench, it blocks your opponent from discarding cards from your deck by your opponent’s attacks, Abilities, Item Cards, or Supporter cards. If you’ve played Pokemon in 2019 / 2020, you might remember that pesky “control” decks would run rampant featuring the deck-out card Belleba & Brycenman [Cosmic Eclipse]. While that card has rotated out of the format and most decks are attack-based, this card is a great card to have on you at all times just in case those types of pokemon online decks come back. It also has the opportunity to fit into decks that would already run Bibarel [Brilliant Stars] since the deck would already have the Bidoof in play that it needs to Evolve from. Similar to Hoothoot [Astral Radiance], cards like these are always nice options because they let you have the power to beat matchups that you refuse to lose to.
4. Mewtwo VSTAR
Mewtwo VSTAR [Pokemon GO] gives off the vibe that it might end up becoming a new archetype that can hold its own in the metagame. Being able to hit for a quick 270 damage is huge in a metagame filled with powerful VSTAR Pokemon that are in that range of damage, such as Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR [Astral Radiance] and Arceus VSTAR [Brilliant Stars]. 270 damage might be a little short to get OHKOs on those 280 HP Pokemon, but Galarian Zigzagoon [Sword and Shield] or Choice Belt [Astral Radiance] can get there. This card looks like it will pair well with Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX [Chilling Reign] or maybe even Arceus VSTAR after using Trinity Nova. With Darkness-type Pokemon seeing less success at the top tables, due to Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike] seeing less success than usual, Mewtwo VSTAR naturally has less competition. Will this be the next big deck at Worlds? Mewtwo & Mew-GX [Unified Minds] won our last World Championships so maybe this Mewtwo will bring down the title again!
3. Radiant Charizard
This is where the set starts picking up a bit for me because I think Radiant Charizard [Pokemon GO] can easily steal games. Its attack hits for a decent bit of damage, 250, but it costs a whopping five Energy! With a Choice Belt you can do 280 damage, which can OHKO most VSTAR Pokemon, but how do we get those Energy attached to it? Charizard [Pokemon GO] is certainly one way, but that would still require a few Energy attachments to get the attack off. I kinda like playing this card by itself because we can factor in its Excited Heart Ability. Radiant Charizard’s attacks cost one Colorless Energy less for each Prize card your opponent has taken. That means if your opponent has already drawn five Prize Cards, you can drop Radiant Charizard down, attach a Fire Energy, and swing for a single Energy. There might be better engines to power it up and maybe find ways to get it back, but the card seems powerful.
2. Radiant Blastoise
It should go without saying, but Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR is one of the best decks in our format and will likely see much success at the 2022 World Championships in London. That deck is always looking for the next best tech and Radiant Blastoise [Pokemon GO] might just be that card! Its Ability allows you to discard a Water Energy from your hand to put two damage counters on one of your opponent’s Benched Pokemon. Similar to Inteleon [Chilling Reign] and Galarian Zigzagoon, placing damage counters is part of a winning strategy. Sure, you can’t play Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance] anymore, but you have options for more damage on board. It also gets Water Energy in your discard pile for Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR’s Star Portal VSTAR Ability. It can also swing for 170 damage out of nowhere with its Torrential Canon attack which shouldn’t be overlooked. This card will require some much-needed testing, but I’m gonna go ahead and pick up a copy to test with in case it's as good as I think.
In most sets, the best cards are Trainer Cards or Energy cards and Pokemon GO isn’t any different. PokeStop [Pokemon GO] is a Stadium Card that allows you to discard the top three cards of your deck and grab as many Item cards there as you like (the rest of the cards get discarded). While this might sound disruptive, I personally think it might birth a new era of “turbo” decks that rely on plenty of Item cards. If we take a look at the recent success of Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR [Astral Radiance] decks that feature Mew [Celebrations], this card can seemingly fit right in. You can discard extra copies of Mew and Metal Energy while acquiring Metal Saucer [Sword and Shield] and other powerful cards. It might take some reworking of decks, but I could see this working well with Mew VMAX, Darkrai VSTAR [Astral Radiance], and other quick decks.
Catch Them All!
I hope this article has you hyped up for the release of Pokemon GO TCG and that it showcased some of the best cards available in this set! I only picked my personal top five cards so there are plenty of other cards to discover in this mini set! Many cards look like they might lead into new deck archetypes in the future or add compelling strategies to our previously existing card pool! Whether you are a player or collector, good luck picking up all of the cards you want and be sure to check out the PTCGO store for all of your Pokemon TCG code card needs.
About the Writer
Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for the PTCGO store. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokemon content as his full time career. He creates YouTube content, coaches on Metafy, and runs the successful Late Night Series on Play Limitless. 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.