Written by Zach Lesage on 3/15/2023 at category Articles
A New World
What’s goin’ on, PTCGO Store readers? Have you had a chance to look at the latest Pokemon TCG set, Scarlet and Violet Base? Based on the Nintendo Switch games, Scarlet and Violet, this set features a redesign of the Pokemon TCG as we know it. 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 to Evolve from. That means Magnemite [Scarlet and Violet] evolves into Magneton [Scarlet and Violet], and then Magneton evolves into Magnezone ex [Scarlet and Violet]. This is much different than Pokemon VSTAR / VMAX cards from Sword and Shield that would have Duraludon V [Evolving Skies] evolve into a Duraludon VMAX [[Evolving Skies]. It might not sound like much of a change at first, but this places a larger emphasis on Evolution Pokemon, which is an in-game mechanic that hasn’t been as important in recent years. Things are different, things are exciting, and I am hyped to share my top 5 cards from Scarlet and Violet with you! I might even toss in a few honourable mentions too! If you wanna pick up any of the following cards when the set is released later this month on PTCG Live, pick up some codes at the PTCGO Store. You can even use code zlesage5 to save 5% on your order of codes! Let’s jump into my 5th-place pick!
5. Miraidon ex
Starting off with one of the new Legendary duos from Scarlet and Violet, Miraidon ex [Scarlet and Violet] looks incredibly promising. Its Tandem Unit Ability is a great way to grab a couple of Lightning-type Pokemon from your deck and place them down on your Bench! You don’t even need to play Miraidon ex down from your hand! You can use this Ability each turn, and it allows you to essentially get two free Nest Ball [Scarlet and Violet] each turn for free! Quite a few players have been theorizing that this card will pair nicely with Regielki VMAX [Silver Tempest] so that you get out a few Regieleki V [Silver Tempest] to eventually Evolve. When you think of a deck that has access to baked-in Pokemon search, damage acceleration, and more - it's likely a good deck! I’m sure we will see players trying this card out as soon as the set is released, and I’m really excited to see how it holds up in our upcoming metagame.
Honourable Mention 1: Revavroom
When I read this card, it brings me back to my first time running into a support Pokemon, which was Claydol, way back in the day! Revavroom [Scarlet and Violet] makes its Pokemon TCG debut, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint! You can use its Rumbling Engine Ability to pitch an Energy from your hand and draw until you have six cards in your hand. Sound familiar? Well, it is extremely similar to Bibarel [Brilliant Stars], which saw plenty of success in the 2022 World Championships in London, United Kingdom. On the one hand, you get an additional card, but it comes at the cost of discarding an Energy. Sometimes you wanna discard an Energy, like if you are playing an Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR [Astral Radiance] deck, but other times you might not even have an Energy to discard. In the right deck, Revavroom will make perfect sense, but we have to make sure it finds the right home!
4. Gardevoir ex
Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet] is one of the most hyped Pokemon cards from the Scarlet and Violet Base set, and I can tell why! Its Psychic Embrace Ability allows you to accelerate as many Psychic Energy as you like from your hand to your Psychic-type Pokemon in any way you like! An often successful recurring theme in the Pokemon TCG is Energy acceleration, and Gardevoir ex is truly one of the best in the game! Most cards only let you accelerate only one or two Energy, like Archeops [Silver Tempest], so having the option to do as many as you like is quite fantastic! Many players are excited to pair this card with Kirlia [Silver Tempest] because Gardevoir ex naturally Evolves from Kirlia! I know it doesn’t sound too special, but in previous formats, a “normal '' Evolution like that wouldn’t happen because of the VSTAR / VMAX mechanic, so it's a little exciting. Kirlia offers a built-in way to draw cards which will naturally make this emerging archetype quite consistent! There is also a Gallade [Chilling Reign] that could naturally work into this deck, a Gardevoir [Silver Tempest], and I’m sure there are some solid Ralts [Scarlet and Violet] to choose from too. I’ve also seen a few players experiment with Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX [Chilling Reign] in a Gardevoir ex deck because of the natural synergy of Energy acceleration and doing extra damage! With all of these things working in Gardevoir ex’s favor, I’m sure we’ll see this deck seeing success sooner than later!
3. Electricity Generator
I almost feel like I should combine Miraidon ex and Electricity Generator [Scarlet and Violet] into the same category, but I wanna look beyond the obvious combo, and share some valuable insight into this card. I’ve already established above that Energy acceleration is a powerful combination that we see recycled year after year in the Pokemon TCG. It isn’t any different here! Having access to an Item-based Energy acceleration card is fantastic because we don’t have to waste any of the space in our deck towards Pokemon and their Evolutions. In this case, Electricity Generator allows us to look at the top 5 cards of our deck, grab 2 Basic Lightning Energy, and attach them to our Benched Lightning-type Pokemon in any way we like. While this would obviously be fantastic in a Miraidon ex deck, I could totally see a bunch of different Lightning-type decks seeing success. In most formats where there is a type-specific Energy accelerating Item card, those decks seem to do well. Looking back at the Sword and Shield format, Zacian V [Sword and Shield] saw success with Metal Saucer [Sword and Shield], Eternatus VMAX [Darkness Ablaze] saw success with Dark Patch [Astral Radiance], and I’m sure you get the idea! Electricity Generator will continue to get better with the release of each Lightning-type Pokemon, and I’m sure it will eventually see success at the top tables!
Remember what I said about recurring themes? Well, Ability Lock is a huge theme in Pokemon that has seen success in nearly every format! Klefki [Scarlet and Violet] has the Mischievous Lock Ability that works when it's in the Active Spot. All Basic Pokemon in play (both yours and your opponents) have no Abilities, except for Klefki. Well, it's time to think about some of the most successful Abilities that we have on our Basic Pokemon, I’m sure there will be some, right? Radiant Greninja [Astral Radiance], Genesect V [Fusion Strike], Comfey [Lost Origin], Radiant Charizard [Crown Zenith], and Solrock [Pokemon Go] all come to mind. Klefki won’t be the most impactful card if it only stays in the Active Spot, so you want to find ways to consistently hit and run back into the Klefki to apply pressure. Regieleki V seems like a decent option, and I’m sure there will be plenty of other Pokemon to choose from! Klefki will continue to get better as new Basic Pokemon cards get released that have Abilities.
Honorable Mention 2: Banette ex
I heard you missed Vikavolt V [Darkness Ablaze], so I present to you Banette ex [Scarlet and Violet]! I’m not sure if it's better or worse! On the one hand, it has more HP and costs less Energy, but on the other hand, it is a Stage 1 Pokemon. I haven’t seen too many successful Stage 1 Item lock decks in the past, but maybe Banette ex will find a way to shine! I do like its second attack, Poletegiest, which can lead to a huge KO after you use Eternal Darkness to lock them for a few turns. You can also pair this with Crushing Hammer [Scarlet and Violet], Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign], and other disruption cards! I think we need to have a few more pieces to make this card viable, so stay on the lookout for upcoming pesky cards to deal with.
1. Nest Ball
Surprise, surprise! I chose Nest Ball as my number one pick because it is easily going to be the most impactful card that we get in this set. 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. 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! That means that we are losing Quick Ball [Sword and Shield], and this happens to be the easiest replacement that we currently have! We don’t have to discard a card, and we don’t get the benefit of playing Ability cards down from our hand, but we do have the option for a relatively free search. I like to think of it as half of a Battle VIP Pass [Fusion Strike] that we can use at any time. We know that Pokemon search is absolutely fantastic, and I don’t see an argument against this card being bad! It sometimes feels weird that the best cards in our sets aren’t Charizard, but instead are the engine that makes our deck creations work! I’m sure we’ll see Nest Ball as a 4-of in most decks heading forward!
Well, after going over all of these cards, I’m certainly excited to play with them once Scarlet and Violet Base is released on PTCG Live. I hope I’m right with all of the above cards because some of those cards are awesome! New set releases are often a time of celebration for the Pokemon TCG community because it means new PTCGL decks, new cards, and more ways to expand your game! I’m particularly hyped up because I have the opportunity to compete in the 2023 European International Championships in London, United Kingdom, where the first Scarlet and Violet Pokemon TCG competition is in the world! I’ll be sure to keep our PTCGO Store community updated with that event, new decks, new strategies, and more! Again, if you need any codes to finish off your next Pokemon TCG Live deck masterpiece, pick up some PTCG Live codes here at the PTCGO store. And as an added bonus, use code zlesage5 to save 5% on the website and support me as a writer! Thanks for reading.
About the Writer
Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for PTCGOStore.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.