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Phoenixfire712 @CardBoardWar_ Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Scarlet & Violet GLC Set Review

Scarlet and Violet is coming to the Pokemon TCG in just a few days! Along with Scarlet and Violet comes the rotation of the Standard meta, something everyone is very excited for after it was delayed last year. The errata of all Pokemon Tool cards to no longer become items is also coming with the new set block. However, the best part about Scarlet and Violet is the new cards for Gym Leader Challenge! Let’s take a look at some of the best and most interesting cards in the set.



The new Scatterbug and Spewpa have the Adaptive Evolution ability. This means that they can evolve on their first turn in play. Very nice ability that can enable some cool combos. The Vivillon from this set isn’t very eye-catching, but it can do some cool stuff. 1 energy 50 damage, flip a coin. If heads, you can pick a Special Condition to give your opponent’s active Pokemon. 2 energy 110 isn’t particularly inspiring, but it’s not terrible. There isn’t currently an amazing Vivillon that could really benefit from this ability, but who knows? Someday the Scatterbug and Spewpa will probably see plenty of play.

This Arboliva is pretty amazing. When you play it down to evolve one of your Pokemon, it heals all damage from one of your Pokemon!! Tanky Grass strategies with Torterra and Pot Helmet can do some really cool stuff with tanking and healing to avoid getting KO’d. The attack isn’t bad either for use with Rillaboom and Venusaur after you use the ability.

Scovillian has a great attack that does 90 damage plus 90 more if it has any fire energy attached. 180 is a great number to hit, and it pairs well with a Lurantis that has a similar attack. The nice thing is that having a Rainbow Energy or Aurora Energy attached counts as both Grass and Fire energy, because of the different timing between when you check to see if the attack is fulfilled and when you check the secondary conditions. This means that a Rainbow Energy and a DCE can easily be used to hit 180! That’s pretty good!


Optimal Growlithe! The stoke attack for 1 energy searches the deck for two basic fire energies and attaches them to Growlithe. Really strong setup attack, and 90 HP is one of the highest we’ve seen for evolving basics.

70 HP Fire type Houndour, an upgrade from the existing one with 60 HP. If you’re playing a fire Houndoom, this is probably optimal for that extra HP. Speaking of Fire type Houndooms, this is pretty strong. 150 for three and discard a fire energy. 150 is a good number to hit. Definitely worth considering in a Fire deck.

Torkoal is an interesting card. For three energies, you can flip a coin for each Fire energy attached to Torkoal. For each heads, 80 damage. Fire has some nice tools like the Victory Star Victini that allows you to reflip coins to try to flip more heads. If you like flipping coins or can load a ton of energy on this guy, he can hit pretty hard.

Skeledirge can hit pretty hard. The first attack is nice for setup, 50 damage and you can attach up to two basic energy cards to your Pokemon in any way you like. For three energies, 190 and 30 to itself. 180 HP is a significant amount of HP, if you need a tanky heavy hitting Pokemon to add to your Fire deck give Skeledirge a go!

Armarouge is a really nice addition to Fire decks. Its ability allows you, as often as you like during your turn, to move Fire Energies from one of your Benched Pokemon to your Active Pokemon. This can create some really strong combos with Magma Basin and Team Magma’s Camerupt. You can store extra energies on the bench with the Omega Barrier Magcargo or with an Exp. Share on a support Pokemon and then move the energies up to a new attacker! Overall, this card is really strong and will allow many more archetypes to start to pop up in Fire decks.


This Slowbro has an interesting ability. As often as you like, you can move damage counters from your other Pokemon to itself. Really interesting as a healing card for huge Pokemon such as the Wailord from Silver Tempest. Try this with Rough Seas, Cheryl, and maybe even the Picnic Basket card in the trainers section of this set.

Clawitzer does 160 for three, but can't attack the next turn. Nice straightforward card for hitting big numbers in your water deck.

Cetitan is a really tanky Pokemon. 200 damage minus 10 for each damage counter on itself. There are several Wailords that are more tanky and can hit harder while damaged, but there’s nothing stopping you from playing both in a Singleton format! Cetitan can also attack for 2 energy, a basic and a DCE, so in a lower energy tanky deck? Great card to try with the Slowbro mentioned previously.

Wugtrio (middle) has an attack that for 3 colorless energy, you flip 3 coins. For each heads, discard the top 3 cards of your opponent’s deck! Playing into the wonderful theme of 3 Wiglett making a Wugtrio with all of the 3’s, this card could definitely make a great Water Mill deck possible, pairing with cards like the Avalugg from Steam Siege. The energy cost would normally be an issue if this was in another type, but if you set up a Frosmoth or Blastoise it will easily be no problem at all to get 3 energy on Wugtrio.


Pachirisu does 10 damage plus 20 more for each of your benched Lightning Pokemon, and the damage isn’t affected by Weakness. Good card, could see some play in Lightning decks here and there.

Toxtricity has an attack that reads “Choose 2 cards from your opponent’s hand without looking. Look at the cards, then your opponent shuffles them into their deck.” Good card to try in a lightning disruption deck with Delinquent and Ace Trainer to reduce your opponent’s hand size.

Now this guy hits hard! The ability allows you to search your deck for a basic Lightning Energy and attach it to Pawmot once during your turn, and then does 230 for three energy! (discard all energy attached afterwards) This card will change the game for Lightning, which has traditionally had trouble KOing gigantic Pokemon like Wailord with a Weakness Guard Energy or Torterra with a Pot Helmet. No more with Pawmot on the field. 130 HP isn’t a lot, but this guy is definitely the definition of a “glass cannon”.

Kilowattrel does 50 to one of your opponent’s Pokemon for 2 energy, 140 for three (discarding a lightning energy). Good card to hit those numbers in Lightning.


Optimal Shuppet, Item Lock on a heads coin flip. Great card for disruption on the first turn of the game, could try it out with Guzma & Hala to search for Rainbow Energy, Frozen City, and Hustle Belt to make that 70 damage!

For three psychic energy, Drifblim spreads 8 damage counters. Interesting card to try in psychic spread, but three energy is a lot for that effect.

Klefki has the Prank Lock ability which removes the ability off of all of the Basic Pokemon in play. There aren’t currently any meta defining Basic Pokemon abilities, but someday this card could become great. Bide Barricade Wobbuffet is better right now.

Greavard has a great attack that disrupts your opponent. For two colorless energy, you can look at your opponent’s hand and put a Supporter you find there on the bottom of your opponent’s deck. Good with other disruptive cards like Garbotoxin Garbodor, and the supporters Morty and Delinquent. Houndstone does 80 damage plus 10 more for each psychic Pokemon in your discard pile. With 5 Pokemon in your discard pile, that’s 130. Pretty good attacker late game after some Pokemon hit the discard pile.


Krookodile has the Earthquake attack, 180 damage and 30 to each of your benched Pokemon. Good in an Earthquake deck that can capitalize on that damage with cards like Steelix and Galarian Runerigas.

Hawlucha has an ability that when you put it into play, it puts 1 damage counter on 2 of your opponent’s benched Pokemon. Good for setting up damage and in fighting spread decks.

Not much can hit harder than Annihilape. In fact, barring Hydro Pump attacks like Wailord with 9 energies, this Pokemon can hit the hardest of any Pokemon in the entirety of GLC! The first attack does 70 damage times the number of Prize Cards your opponent has taken. That's up to 350 damage if your opponent has taken 5 prizes! The second attack is amazing as well, 170 damage from two energies and 50 to itself. The only thing that holds this card back is the low HP and being a stage 2, but expect to see this card all over the place in Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick decks and even Earthquake Fighting.

Lucario has an attack that does 30 damage, plus 120 if one of your Fighting Pokemon was KO'd on your opponent's last turn! This makes Lucario one of the heaviest hitters that fighting has to offer, especially the revenge attack being for a single energy attachment. The second attack isn't bad either as a follow up 120 damage with a Double Colorless Energy. This card will probably see a ton of play in fighting decks going forward.


Kingambit is an interesting card whose ability makes each of your Basic Pokemon do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon. This is a good ability that allows Guzzlord to do up to 150 damage without needing any Pokemon Tools to boost its damage! Unfortunately, as a stage 2, it will probably be hard to get this Pokemon into play in Dark type decks. I still expect this card to see play though, it is a good card with a lot of potential. The Bisharp from the set hits 120 for two energy, which is not bad at all for a stage 1.

Seviper is a really amazing card for Poison Dark decks. For a Dark and Double Colorless Energy, the attack does 60 damage plus 120 more if your opponent’s active Pokemon is Poisoned! This is a ton of straight up damage that Poison Dark would really appreciate. The only difficult part of this is the high energy cost, but a Dark Patch + DCE or Raihan + DCE shouldn’t make this too bad.


Staraptor has a very interesting attack that does 60 damage and prevents all damage done to Staraptor by Basic Pokemon. Definitely not invincible in every game but it’s a great attack alongside the 180 damage second attack (discard an energy from itself afterwards). Staraptor could definitely see some play in Colorless going forward, especially if you like bird Pokemon!

Blissey has an ability that allows you to heal all Special Conditions from your active Pokemon once during your turn. This is extremely relevant with one of Colorless's best attackers, the Snorlax from Lost Origin. Snorlax puts itself to sleep when it attacks, and can occasionally get stuck in the Active Spot unable to attack again. No more a problem with Blissey in play. There is already a Blissey that sees some play in Colorless for this ability, but the attack on this new Blissey is an amazing improvement and very relevant. It does 150 damage for 3 energy and then conserves the energy in play by moving them to a Benched Pokemon. Blissey is an amazing addition to Colorless, definitely try it out!

Skwovet has a very interesting ability that allows you to shuffle your hand and place it on the bottom of the deck. Then, draw a card. This is really nice because it can allow for some cool combos and declunk your hand for drawing more cards with Bibarel. Greedent has the attack Enhanced Fang, which does 160 damage if you have a Pokemon Tool attached. Definitely good cards to consider playing in Colorless.


The first ever Revavroom card, this card does not disappoint. It has an ability that requires you to discard an energy from your hand and then draw cards until you have 6 cards in your hand! This ability, while discarding an energy can occasionally be a difficult requirement to fulfill on demand, is one of the best draw support non-rule box Pokemon the game has ever seen. Entire metal decks will be built around this card and it will create an entirely new archetype built around cards such as Mt. Coronet, Adaman, and the Magnezone from the set Ultra Prism. Revavroom doesn't have a bad attack either in a pinch inside a Magnezone build. For four energy, it does 90 plus 90 more damage on a coin flip. Finally Metal has good draw support Pokemon.


Mesagosa is a decent new Stadium card. On a coin flip you can search your deck for any Pokemon and put it into your hand. Unfortunately, this isn’t very consistent as an effect and it can also help your opponent.

Penny is a good new Supporter that allows you to put one of your Basic Pokemon and all cards attached to it into your hand. This didn’t make the top 5 because Acerola does a similar effect and does not see a lot of play. However, maybe with the extra redundancy it could do better.

Picnic basket heals 30 damage from all Pokemon in play (yours and your opponent’s). This could be a nice counter if you’re expecting to see a lot of spread decks in your local meta.

Rock Chestplate is a great new trainer to add to your Fighting deck. It is essentially a second Pot Helmet, reducing damage dealt to Fighting Pokemon by 30. You can make some really tanky Pokemon with this card, such as the Machamp from Lost Origin. With Rock Chestplate, Stone Fighting Energy, and the stadium Lake Acuity, you can make Machamp have 300 HP and take 70 less damage from incoming attacks! Good luck to your opponent trying to get through that!

Electricity Generator lets you look at the top 5 cards of your deck and attach up to 2 basic Lightning Energy to your Benched Lightning Pokemon in any way you like. If you remember playing with the card Max Elixir in Standard or Expanded at some point, this card sees one less card but attaches up to 2 energy instead of 1! This card is less good in a singleton format where you can only play one and not four, but with Max Elixir as well you now have a deck strategy to build around. Try this with Green’s Exploration or Volkner.

Defiant Band is a very nice card. It is a tool that, if you have more Prize Cards remaining than your opponent, allows the Pokemon it is attached to to deal 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon. Not a very flashy card in a format that also has Muscle Band, but since you can only play one Muscle Band why not try this too? 30 damage is a great addition to many attacks in this format, allowing them to go from 120 damage to 150 damage to KO threats like Guzzlord and Snorlax.

Arven searches your deck for both an Item card and a Pokemon Tool. Now that they are separate types of trainers, this is one of the best ways to search for a Pokemon tool. In speedy, aggressive decks this can grab cards like Muscle Band, Float Stone, Max Elixir, and the previously mentioned Electricity Generator! Try this card out, it is definitely a strong card to test in certain decks.

Miriam is a very flexible card. It allows you to shuffle 5 Pokemon from your discard into your deck and then draw 3 cards. It is both a recovery card and a draw card, all in one! This may not be played in every deck, but expect to see it in decks like Water and Grass that rely on a lot of Pokemon. It is a great card that should not be underestimated, try it out!

That about wraps up the best cards from the set! Scarlet and Violet is a very exciting new era for the Pokemon TCG, and there’s tons of new strategies and combinations to explore. Have a great rest of your day, and good luck to you all on your quests to become Gym Leaders!