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Wheatr @EricHurtDev Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Reviewing the Pokemon GO Set

A fun aspect of Gym Leader Challenge is that every set of cards offers a way to shake up existing archetypes, enable new archetypes, and allow creative deck building to shine. The Pokémon Go TCG set arriving internationally on July 1st is sure to do the same. Despite the small size of the set, 78 cards, there are definitely 5 or more cards that will serve to blow up the meta.


Let's start it off hot! Charizard is quite possibly the biggest immediate impact on the meta game. The last month or two of tournaments has been dominated by grass to a large extent with a high representation in top cuts and tournament wins.


Venusaur plays a huge impact because of its ability that multiplies each grass energy in play by 2. The new Charizard does the same for fire with its new Burn Brightly ability. Fire's high energy attackers are slow to get going and often cause the deck to be a slow starter compared to other popular types. With grass's fire weakness, and the new energy amplification on Charizard, I expect fire to make a huge leap in the meta and see top usage in the near future.


Another powerful card released in the new set is the new Blastoise with its Powerful Squall ability. Powerful Squall let's the player search the deck for up to 6 energy cards and attach them to his or her Pokémon thereby ending the turn. There are several existing archetypes this card will see immediate testing and potential impact in.


For example, imagine a turn 2 Powerful Squall in an amazing rare kyogre deck powering up Kyogre and White Kyurem in a single turn. Calling this ability from the bench with Blizzard Veil Articuno in the active even prevents the opponent from gusting the Pokémon you power up.


This Slowbro's second attack, Twilight Flash, makes it just in time. If your opponent has exactly one prize left, this attack gives you two prize cards. The reviews on this Slowbro are ambivalent, on the one hand, an auto two prize attack for 2 energy on a stage 1 is amazing and game changing. However, on the other hand, a lot of things have you go your way in order to pull this off. An early draw of this Slowbro is a dead draw because it is useless until the end of the game. You have to avoid the obvious gust target that this is, and there is no utility for it until your opponent has taken 5 prize cards. Overall, I don't see this playing a huge impact, but be prepared for the tilt in case it comes your way.


Next up from the Pokémon Go set, in keeping with the Kanto starter them, is the new Loopy Lasso Venusaur. This giant plant has near mega-fauna levels of HP with a whopping 180. It's 130 damage Solar Beam is nothing to sneeze at in a pinch, and that's without even mentioning its once a turn, coin flip gust.

If the gust is successful, the active Pokémon becomes poisoned and is put to sleep immediately. This card could launch an entire new archetype that hasn't yet been seen at the top in Gym Leader Challenge yet in a poison/stall grass deck, or could potentially be included in a grass control deck. Running Glimwood Tangle would allow the user to flip multiple times per turn which would be a nightmare for any opponent. While not as consistently powerful as the current played Venusaur, we should all expect to see this version makes waves in some for in the near future.


Colorless was granted many gifts this set with by far the most overall impactful cards.

Block snorlax

The Pokemon Go Block Snorlax is a massive upgrade over the Team Plasma iteration with +20 HP and a reliable 150 damage. The Licklicki semi-control deck now has a new monster for its opponents contend with.


Sudden Transformation Ditto is reminiscent of Psychic's commonly run Mimikyu with the Copycat attack. This ditto is a great revenge killer as it is a basic with the ability to copy any basic Pokémon's attack in the discard pile, and energy is easy to come by for Colorless.

Primate Dexterity Ambipom

If you thought Dragapult was frustrating to deal with, wait until you meet this stage 1 Ambipom with the potential to do limitless damage and prevent all damage to itself. The Glimwood Tangle has a new monkey hanging from its trees with Primate Dexterity Ambipom. Match this Ambipom up with the Unfezant below, and your opponent will never make it out of the forest.


Colorless has a new attacker in this Unfezant. The two energy attack does 70 damage for each heads out of 4 coin flips. With a reach of 280 damage, this Unfezant can OHKO a Kricketuned (or pot helmeted) and Leavannyed Torterra. While its more realistic attack power is 140, this card might see some niche play in bird decks purely because of its reach.