The Cosmic Eclipse set is fully revealed, so let’s dive into the Cosmic Eclipse and the final set of Sun and Moon.
Silvally-Gx is one of the best cards in the set and will see play in many decks while competing with Dedenne-Gx (UNB) for deck spots. While having 2 good of the 4 good Memory Tools: Grass and Water with the Psychic and Fighting having rotated. So Silvally-Gx will be able to check SlowDuck (UNM), Keldeo-Gx (if Power Plant or Mimikyu (below) is active), ReshiZard, BraixenZard-Gx, and Volcarona-Gx. Silvally-Gx provides a great package for the MetaGame while able to hit 120 upon using a Supporter, which is not hard to do, and able to assassinate an Ultra Beast like PheroBuzz, NagaLord, and Blacephalon when necessary. Oak’s Setting, Fan Club, and Cherish Ball are great to getting out Silvally as well as Red & Blue TT to search it out of the deck and possibly energy to allow for immediate usage. Now the question is, do I play Dedenne-Gx that becomes dead weight in most decks, after being played; or do I opt for a more passive version of the ability.
Charizard & Braixen Gx (BraixenZard-Gx) and might be too high in the tierlist; however, I am going on a stretch, which except for sheer damage output, is better than ReshiZard with Green’s Exploration. BraixenZard-Gx will do quite well with all of the Fire Tech/Staples like Volcanion, Giant Hearth, and Welder. Braixen-Gx is able to 2-HKO the entire Metagame while able to search out 3 cards and synergizes well with Green’s Exploration much better than ReshiZard. BraixenZard will be hard to provide a counter because the user can search out the perfect combo of cards that are necessary for the next turn, unless prized. The Gx Attack is a great bonus for accelerating energy, for a full Welder attachment, and gifting the defending Pokemon one more thing to combat in the early game: Burn and Confusion. BraixenZard-Gx will be a great Pokemon for the future of the Metagame.
Reshiram & Zekrom Gx (ReshiKrom) is the new Aggro deck being introduced into the Metagame. ReshiKrom works excellent alongside Naganadel (LOT) as well as using a combination of Tapu Koko Prism, Welder, Giant Hearth, Beast Ring, and Lady/N’s Resolve for energy supply; other options include Charizard (TEU) and Magnezone (FLI). Dragon Talon for damage output. MewMew-Gx for additional damage coverage, if needed. Mysterious Treasure, Cherish Ball, and Oak’s Setting/Fan Club to gain access to ReshiKrom. ReshiKrom is able to hit great numbers of up to 270 consistently and on its own terms (so to speak), and with a great Gx Attack that hits a bench Pokemon for 170, if an N’s Resolve has been played, ReshiKrom can hit an additional bench sitter for 170 damage as well. Mew (UNB), Dedenne-Gx, Oricorio-Gx, and other Gx Pokemon that are bench sitters will be the bane of People’s decks if they aren’t prepared. There will need to be a build for Naganadel and one for a Charizard (TEU) build. The future of this card will depend on the fate of Rare Candy (CES) and Naganadel (LOT).
Mimikyu has an outstanding ability that shuts off the abilities of Gx Pokemon abilities (field effect) that have any damage counters on them. So long as Gx Pokemon dominate the Standard Format, Mimikyu will see play in decks that can spread damage easily. Sableye (LOT) and Spell Tag (LOT) will synergize well with Mimikyu as they will help set-up the ability. Here is a list of all Pokemon affected by this ability: MewMew-Gx, Silvally-Gx, Zeraora-Gx, Alolan Persian Gx, Zoroark-Gx, Flygon-Gx, and so on; this ability also works against come-in-to-play abilities, like Dedenne-Gx and Tapu Lele Gx, with help from Team Magma’s Secret Base (Double Crisis). Mimikyu along with 2 other cards from Cosmic Eclipse will help to all but perfect Giratina/Malamar. Sadly, there is a limitation on Mimikyu because it provides no road block for Ex Pokemon, so in the long run, Mimikyu will fall from the tier list.
Chaos Swell (Chaotic Swell) is a neutral Stadium that some decks have been waiting for, for quite some time. Some decks don’t need to run too many stadiums or can’t capitalize on the stadiums provided Shrine of Punishment and Lysandre Labs, or stadiums will help your opponent too much in the late game like Viridian Forest. Chaos Swell discards the new stadium coming into play as well as itself, including Prism Stadiums. Chaos Swell will help protect decks against ways to shut-off a part of the deck such as Power Plant and Lysandre Labs; decks like MewMew-Gx, Vileplume-Gx, Whimsicott-Gx, Silvally-Gx, as well as Giratina/Malamar and Gardeon that rely on Tools to Wall or Damage Coverage. Though Chaos Swell is not as exciting as Shrine of Punishment, Viridian Forest, or Sky Field, it will see play.
Tag Search is an outstanding item that will be a 2-4 count staple in Tag Team decks until they are no longer relevant or they rotate. Tag Search is able to search out Tag Team cards like Red/Blue and Guzma/Hala while able to search out cards like ReshiZard, Braixen-Gx (best Resource Management card since Sylveon-Gx), and Mega Puff Gx. This will be a staple in Tag Team decks for quite some time because it is a search card for Metagame Titans/Tag Teams.
A-Tier is also the start of the Rogue Tier as they are good and with a bit of help and they can become great influences of the Metagame with the right Pokemon (i.e. Weezing, Dewgong, Volcanion, and Mew as well as many other Pokemon). Cosmic Eclipse has quite a few Pokemon in the A and B Tiers, so just buckle-in and enjoy the ride. Note: If there are Stage 2s in this Tier, it means they are faster than the average Stage 2 deck, like Sceptile-Gx
Bewear will only ever be used for the ability with conjunction with Boards that can grant any Pokemon that can’t use Buff Padding access to free retreat, which can change the game. Fan Club, Elm’s Lecture (for Ditto Prism), and Oak’s Setting (Oak’s Set-up) can be used to get out the basic that Bewear needs; the only downside/drawback is that there is no reliable way to search out Bewear outside Nidoqueen (TEU) and Pokemon Communication. Pokemon that have had this ability before have seen play, but the last time this ability was in contest with a tool: Float Stone. Imagine when you can use consecutive Flare Strikes from ReshiZard that is being enabled via Bewear.
Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff Gx (Mega Puff) is reliant on the opponent having Gx Pokemon (Ex in Expanded), which is why it is in A-Tier because Mega Puff becomes a liability against Baby Decks. Mega Puff will struggle against Baby Decks and Green’s-based Gx Decks that play a limited number of Gx/Ex Pokemon; however, despite these drawbacks, Mega Puff will be a strong answer and counter to many of the Metagame’s Gx Decks, between PikaRom/Lightning Box, Dark Box, MewMew-Gx, and any deck playing Dedenne-Gx or Silvally-Gx will be in trouble as these decks will be easy pickings for Mega Puff that averages at 180+ damage per deck it faces. Mega Puff will be a great addition to any deck with reliable energy acceleration, like Welder, Nag/Vile, or Nag/Quag.
Piplup & Blastoise Gx (Piplup-Gx) is a promising Water Pokemon that hits great numbers that takes off when you get the first one to attacking strength. Piplup-Gx can 2-HKO all non-Buffed Pokemon in the format while accelerating energy and healing upon attaching. Blastoise (TEU), Kyogre (COE, below), Lady/Misty & Lorelei, and Energy Spinner (if going second) for acceleration as well as the infamous Nag/Quag combo. And to finish the package of Piplup-Gx, the Gx attack hits 100 or 250 while applying Paralysis. The only task that comes from Piplup/Blastoise is getting the first one up to strength, and then the deck takes off.
Solgaleo & Lunala Gx (Nebby-Gx) will see the top tables while Malamar exists in the format because this is the only notable energy engine that applies to Nebby-Gx, with the only major drawback is being weak to MewMew-Gx. Other cards such as Mysterious Treasure, Spell Tag, and Cherish Ball are all great options for Nebby-Gx. Essentially, Nebby-Gx will be replacing most Ultra Necrozma-Gx builds to support itself while not having to worry about looking for Metal Energy. Hitting for 230 (270 with Spell Tag) is great, just note that you will have to skip every other turn, shy of Bewear + Boards or Switch. The Gx attack requires that you have at least one copy of “Lillie’s Best Effort” in the deck, if you want the additional effect that provides Full Immunity for a turn. Nebby-Gx is great contender for Psychic Box that is getting a bit crowded that can also provide a bit of power.
Arceus, Palkia, and Dialga Gx (Origin-Gx) great Gx Attack that can’t reliably shut-off in Standard. Dragon Typing gives it so many options for tricks including Dragon Talon, Altaria, Lance Prism, and Mysterious Treasure. Select your accelerator of Metal and/or Water with Magnezone (UPR), Nag/Quag, or Blastoise (TEU), and like Piplup-Gx the only chore will be getting the first one up to power. Origin-Gx is able to 2-HKO the Metagame while accelerating energy from the deck. Quagsire (DRM) and Volcanion Prism (FLI)/Phione (Below) will be great solutions for the deck to check or annoy set-up against this pokemon.
Naganadel & Guzzlord Gx (NagaLord) is a big boy and with all of the toys that Psychic-types, Dark-types, Dragon-types, and Ultra Beasts have access to, NagaLord will definitely be a force to be reckoned, unless you are Gardeon. NagaLord able to hit 180 damage before Beast Energy and Dragon Talon damage. The Gx Attack is absurd that not only allows one to flip-over the prizes; it also allows the user to take 2 of the prizes, and all for the same energy cost as the attack. It can do all this while able to heal itself from time-to-time upon discarding a Pokemon, which will be easier than it seems. Between Malamar, Nag/Vile-Gx, and Beast Ring, NagaLord will be an absolute powerhouse of a deck. Fun Fact: The broken combe that Tina/Chomp discovered in Japan that broke Island Challenge Amulet…NagaLord would have been another Pokemon that can take advantage of in this way by activating Beast Rings much sooner.
Alolan Persian-Gx is an outstanding Pokemon that carries an amazing ability that pretty much walls a great portion of the Metagame from ReshiZard (shy of the Gx Attack, once), PikaRom, MewMew-Gx (without Greninja-Gx), Blacephalon-Gx, Naganadel (any of them), and decks like Whimsicott-Gx and Beheeyem. Weavile-Gx in conjunction with Naganadel (LOT), Darkrai Prism (UPR), and/or Red & Blue will provide a decent core for supplying energy for the deck as well as Triple Acceleration Energy (TAE) in a pinch. Other great battle partners will include Honchkrow-Gx and Silvally-Gx that provide coverage, decent abilities, and/or control options. Hitting for 120 is decent damage especially since you will be walling most decks you face, unless they bring a check or counter. Koga’s Trap and Grimsley for damage output, control, and trapping. The Gx Attack isn’t very exciting, but hitting any target for 120 can be clutch when used on Pokemon trying to run, or moving a potential check. Persian would would be higher on the list if it hit a bit harder (140-150 range) and able to function on its own.
Buzzwole (should be B-Tier, but I am going on a stretch) has its Grass/Bug typing to make it accessible via Net Ball. Buzzwole, being an Ultra Beast, grants many other cards to take advantage of such as Ultra Space, Beast Ring, Beast Energy, Ultra Forest Kartenov, and Beastite (below) that amplifies Ultra Beasts, especially if they are great late game Pokemon. Buzzwole’s strengths, with the ability, allows Buzzwole to be an excellent late game Pokemon. Leavanny (UNM), Tsareena (UNM), Vileplume-Gx, and Sceptile (CES) for the utility they can provide for a Grass deck. The issue with Buzzwole, and is the reason that it should be in B-Tier (tops), is that it performs best as a mid to late-game cleaner, after taking the 3rd prize, and struggles to hit reliable damage before this point of the game. The deck will need something like Aerodactyl (TEU) that can take a few prizes in the Early game with Buzzwole to clean-up the game.
Phione will provide a great 1-2 count in decks that need extra gusting to prevent the opponent from setting up too quickly and that can be recycled for multiple uses throughout the game. If on the bench, discard all cards attached to Phione (if any, except maybe a Board), and then force your opponent to Switch one of their active Pokemon with one of their bench Pokemon. This is a great ability and will see play, wherever people can find room because of the limited gusting options in the format that doesn’t take up 3-4 of in a deck. Especially useful when all you need to finish a game is an Escape Rope or Repel, and now we will have one in format that can’t be locked in Standard.
Red & Blue Tag Team is game changing when applied for full effect including the discarding of cards. I am glad to see that this card got nerfed with the Rare Candy ruling of having to wait a turn that otherwise would have been banned. Red & Blue is able to force evolve a Pokemon that evolves into a Gx Pokemon from the deck; if you discard 2 cards upon playing the card, you are able to search 2 energy and attaching them to the evolved Pokemon. Applications of this card are almost boundless from Weavile-Gx, Silvally-Gx, Noivern-Gx, Sceptile-Gx, and Flygon-Gx (hopefully that it works). In the Expanded format this card is S-Tier, once you are able to get a couple Exeggcute (ability and the only Exeggcute one you need to know about) in the discard, you can evolve and supply energy to the field for free. Red & Blue will see play and will be game changing when played.
Guzma & Hala Tag Team is the outstanding and, like Red & Blue, will see play. Searching your deck for a Stadium is okay, but we have an Item Card for this; however upon discarding 2 cards while playing Guzma/Hala, you get access to searching out a Pokemon Tool card and a Special Energy, which is the selling point of the card. MewMew-Gx gains an excellent addition for their decks because you are able to search out Stadiums like Viridian Forest, Chaos Swell, and Dimension Valley while able to search out Stealthy Hood/Fairy Charms/Fighting Fury Belt and Special Energy like Rainbow/Prism Energy/Double Colorless Energy (NXD). This works with any deck that functions best with Special Energy like Night/Lost March, Zoroark-Gx, Noivern-Gx, and much more. Guzma/Hala is S-tier in Expanded because of Exeggcute existing in expanded. In Standard, MewMew (if using Rainbow), Whimsicott-Gx, or any deck that is focused around Recycle Energy will find that Guzma/Hala will be a great addition to their decks.
Beastite great Tool for any Ultra Beast Deck from PheroBuzz, NagaLord, and Baby Buzzwole (above) that adds more damage to the field the more prizes the user has taken already. Beastite is great in the late game when every damage counter matters because the reliable damage peak of Beastite is +50 (although this is rare, Beastite can reach +70 at the moment). Beastite turns Baby Buzzwole into a reliable Rogue attacker as well as granting NagaLord and PheroBuzz with Nuclear power. This will be a Staple in Ultra Beast Decks competing with that average damage output Choice Band versus hitting certain numbers with Beastite.
Lana’s Fishing Rod, finally some item based Pokemon and Tool recovery, recovers a Pokemon and a Tool card per Lana’s Rod, and is the only restriction that you must have both targets available in the discard upon playing. Lana’s Rod recovers Pokemon like Jirachi and Dedenne-Gx while also recovering Tools like Boards, Fairy Charms, Dragon Talon, and Spell Tags. Lana’s Rod, Roller Skater (below), and Rosa (below) all but perfect Giratina/Malamar (for those who thought that Giratina was done transforming). Item based Pokemon Recovery that has a bonus for recovering Tools as well.
Professor Oak’s Setting (Oak’s Set-up) being slightly restricted pulls it down from S-Tier, but this won’t affect the playability too much. Oak allows one to search the deck for 3 Pokemon of different types and bench them. Water Box can search out a Poiple, Wooper (UNB), and the main attacker like Keldeo-Gx; Dark Box for Sneasel (or mix the typings with the one from COE), Poiple, and Type:Null, Stuffle, Ditto Prism, or whatever else you need for the deck to function; Psychic Box can now get out 2 Inkay (if they mix typings and Elm is too slow for the deck) and/or the Main attacker, Type:Null, Stuffle, Ditto Prism, etc. Oak’s Setting has many applications and from the 3 examples show the flexibility of the card. Oak will see play.
Great Catcher is weaker than Custom Catcher and will be contesting for room in decks. Great Catcher forces a Gx Pokemon into the active, which is great, but allows one to have no answers for decks like Giratina/Malamar (soon to be the best Rogue and Baby deck in Standard), Lost March (may return), Nuzzle/Raichu, or any other fast baby decks. On average, Great Catcher is stronger for the format that we are in due to the format being focused on big Gx Pokemon with Dedenne-Gx and Silvally-Gx as victims for this Catcher. In my opinion though, I will sacrifice my extra 2 spots of a deck to have a forced-Gusting against everything versus just Gx Pokemon; however, in conjunction, Great and Custom Catcher will be work amazing together, by taking pressure off of the player from having to find the second Custom Catcher.
Island Challenge Amulet has gotten itself banned out of Expanded (because of Jirachi-Ex), and the new ban list will happen as of November 1st (set drop, and before any major tournament/Regionals) or 15th (set legal for play). Reducing the hit points of the Ex or Gx Pokemon this card is attached to by 100 and removing a Prize award if KO’d by damage. Applications of this card can be turning Blacephalon-Gx, Ultra Necrozma-Gx, and Rayquaza-Gx (wherever it went from Standard) into 80-90 HP Pokemon hitting as hard as they do while being a single-prize Pokemon. This can turn other Pokemon like Dedenne-Gx, Jirachi-Gx, Weavile-Gx, Silvally-Gx, and many others that are often stranded on the bench, creating a liability for the deck. This Amulet can help prevent these Pokemon from being Fodder and/or Catcher Bait due to the prizes they give off.
B-Tier is the mid-range of the Rogue Tier many of the cards provide promise and are just waiting to be tested. In addition, B-Tier is also for cards like Stage 2s and/or Pokemon that have no reliable direct search.
Kommo-o because of Hakamo-o that comes with Kommo-o and finally making a Kommo-o viable. Hakamo-o allows the player to force/cheat evolution if your opponent has any Gx or Ex Pokemon in play; Between Dedenne-Gx (increasing in play, especially with the supporter ruling coming down the pipeline), Silvally-Gx, and a couple other early game Pokemon, there will be plenty of opportunity for the ability to be used. Kommo-o has access to all the Dragon Tech from Mysterious Treasure to Lance Prism Star as well as Martial Arts Dojo, and some Lightning tech like Tapu Koko Prism and Volkner. Kommo-o synergizes with Karate Belt and U-Turn Board well (comical when imagining Kommo-o riding a hoverboard) for consistent damage of 180 (up to 220 damage). Jirachi (TEU), Shrine of Punishment (CES), Altaria (DRM), Flygon (DRM), Landorus (UNB), and others are great options or leads for this deck. I can finally say that Kommo-o looks to be a solid Pokemon, and I wonder if it will work in practice.
Raichu is a solid card and may go up in playability due to speed of play. Thunder Mountain Prism (LOT), Electromagnetic Radar, Volkner (UPR), Emolga (TEU), Tapu Koko Prism (TEU), Zeraora-Gx (LOT), Magnezone (FLI), and Pachirisu (UPR, that almost withered away). Zapdos (TEU), Zeraora (UNB), and Dedenne (LOT) are great options for the deck. Raichu is quick and efficient deck it a solid early to mid game Pokemon.
Whimsicott & Cottonee will add up to 8 more Pokemon with Lost March, or 160 damage potential, and now will be able to hit Tag Team HP Numbers again. Being Fairy grants access to Fairy Charms, Diantha, Fairy Energy and Mina, and able to hit Dragons for Weakness. Lost March is a deck that is already struggling for room, Natu will probably be removed to all but a 1 or 2 count to hit MewMew-Gx and be replaced by Whimsicott. On a special note, using Whimsicott allows players to mix with the Whimsicott from Unified Minds for specific searches like TAE, Lana’s Rod, Rosa, Diantha, etc. I wonder if this will revive Lost March due to the potential power increase.
Steelix is a big boy doing big things that has 170 HP and able to use Metal Frying Pan, Buff Padding, and PokeManiac for searching out and damage output. After picking an energy acceleration style/type base from Welder to Weavile-Gx to TAE. Steelix will work well with cards like Zoroark (TEU) that increase in power via Pokemon in the discard. Averaging at 150 damage per hit is great and Brock’s Grit will be a necessity for the deck in the long run, unless you have another attacker. Lickilicky and Lickitung (UNM) are of special note due to sporting a 4 retreat cost and both being single energy attachment for draw or disruption. Switching options are a must as well as Pokemon that work on the pivot.
Groudon is rather beefy for a Lead Pokemon and will grant you a turn or 2 with energy acceleration, which unfortunately can lead Groudon to be set-up fodder, which Groudon has an attack that can remove the safety net that opposing decks thought they had. I have my fingers crossed for Groudon’s potential to get Fighting Decks back in the Format. Decent energy acceleration while can’t be set-up on in the long run.
Kyogre, the water counterpart to Groudon, is a great Lead Pokemon that can accelerate 2 Water energy from the Discard, which allows for some synergy with many cards like Viridian Forest, Crasher Wake, Red’s Challenge, Volcanion Prism, and Rollerskater (below) that help with advancement in game play along with Quagsire (DRM) and Naganadel (LOT). Kyogre also provides a decent attack to prevent itself from being set-up fodder at 130 damage that is shy of 2-HKO’ing the format.
Sunflora (going on a stretch) is great and will probably be seen as a tech wherever Ditto Prism goes in Grass and Fire Decks. The utility for this attack can be game breaking at the correct time. Sunflora will only ever be used for the first attack that grants Grass and Fire Pokemon a free attack for the next turn (with Tag Team Pokemon you will still need the “+” extra Energy it calls for the attack; i.e. ReshiZard will still need 3 Fire Energy for Double Blaze’s Shred effect and damage). Grass and Fire Pokemon will be able to attack sooner than expected, which can be game changing with ReshiZard attacking for 300 damage and shred for 3 energy instead of 6. Sunflora provides a great niche, and I wonder if it will be used for clutch plays.
Snivy & Venusaur has an outstanding ability and will be one of the Gusting effects of the user’s choice in the format. From Net Ball and/or Cherish Ball to Leavanny, Tsareena, and Baby Sceptile (for Resistance, Energy Acceleration, or Defense/Immunity) to Shaymin (LOT and healing) to Sunflora (above, free attacks from time to time) and Cherrim (no Weakness), SnivySaur will be easy to get access to with the only thing holding it back will be energy. With low type (Grass) required energy, SnivySaur can run almost any form of energy acceleration including Nag/Quag, Malamar, and Welder. However with Fire being a dominant type in the format, SnivySaur will have to be wary.
Togepi, Cleffa, and Igglybuff Gx (Baby Trio) is this high up due to the Gx Attack which is the entire reason to play the card. This deck is a classic glass cannon of a deck that has one true win condition that will almost always work. This deck is one of those decks that will play until the end. The main attack is there while building up to the Gx Attack that hits 120 and until tails, an additional 30 damage per heads which is nice. However, with the Baby Trio the game isn’t over until the opponent either runs out of Prizes or Pokemon, and the real strategy behind the trio. Magneton and the Ladies (Nita, Eveyln, Dana, and Morgan) with a massive amount of energy average 20 Fairy energy. With careful strategies, Baby Trio will be a fun deck to try out in the future.
Flygon-Gx is only here due to being a Stage 2 and being a Fighting Type (note Flygon would be A-Tier if Dragon-Type). Being Fighting Type gives Flygon-Gx access to Martial Arts Dojo, Karate Belt, and Diancie Prism as well as Cherish Ball for itself. Oak’s Setting or Elm’s Lecture to getting out Trapinch. Flygon sports a great ability that if active reduces the first 30 damage to any of your Pokemon from opposing attacks, which is great. The main attack can hit upto 240, before buffs, if there is a Stadium in play. The Gx Attack hits for 220 with the Shred effect that goes through all barriers, so long as Flygon can attack. However, being a Stage 2 means Rare Candy investment and investment to getting to a Candy. Silvally-Gx and Alolan Ninetales-Gx (shares a Unit Energy) are of special note for Flygon as well as Landorus, Groudon (above), and Super Boost Prism for acceleration. Only testing will allow Flygon to go up the tier ladder, but not all Stage 2 Pokemon are granted a good Stage 1 to help, i.e. Grovyle and Hakamo-o.
Vileplume-Gx grants massive healing potential, but at the cost of being a Stage 2 and will need further testing to reach A-tier (if possible). Net Ball and Cherish Ball to get access to much of the Pokemon with Elm’s Lecture or Oak’s Setting to get access to Basics such as Type: Null and Stufful as well as Oddish. Leavanny, Tsarenna, and Sceptile can provide coverage and utility, Tropius (CES) is a great Lead that is a Grass-dedicated Alolan Vulpix. Vileplume-Gx has an ability that heals 30 damage per ability from each of your Pokemon and with some early testing showed the level of healing this provides, before Trainers and other Healing abilities. Vileplume hits great numbers so long as Plume can remain fully healed. The Gx Attack can come in handy that hits for 50 plus Poison, Burn, and Paralysis, which can lock a Pokemon in the active. Choice Helmet and Giant Bomb can be fun, as well as Silvally-Gx providing checks to decks that would be headaches for Vileplume.
Volcarona-Gx shows great promise, and may increase the tier ladder with more testing. Access to all of the fire tech and staples like Volcanion, Fire Crystal, and Welder as well as Cherish Ball to search it out. Volcarona-Gx can provide reliably 40-60 additional damage for decks like BraixenZard (220-240 damage) and ReshiZard (270-290 damage). Blacephalon can add 1-2 energy to the discard for Naganadel to grab while supplying damage to the field. Volcarona’s main attack is great while supplying energy for the following turn for Abilities, Welder, draw with Heat Factory, etc. The Gx Attack can be useful at the early or late game where every move is ground-breaking. Silvally-Gx can provide Checks to opposing Fire Decks. Volcarona will provide much potential and may even become a great deck of its own and with further testing may increase on the tier ladder.
Rosa (should be higher on the ladder) is better than it looks but has a drawback, which needs a Pokemon KO’d during your opponent’s last turn. Upon the conditions being met, one gets to search the deck for a Pokemon, an Item Card, and Basic Energy. The Pokemon can be Alolan Ninetales-Gx, Silvally-Gx, Dedenne-Gx, Oricorio-Gx, any other Stage 1 or Stage 2 Pokemon while searching for Pokemon one can search out items like Rare Candy, Cherish Ball, Tools, Switch, Tag Search, etc. and then search out the basic energy of the deck. This card is outstanding and works well with Sableye (LOT), Jirachi (TEU), Giratina (LOT), and others. This will be a staple in Baby Decks as well as tech in every Stage 1 or 2 deck from this point on until something better comes out or returns.
Cynthia & Caitlin Tag Team is a solid card that provides a balanced way to recover Supporters and provides some draw if necessary. Upon playing Cynthia/Caitlin, discarding a card allows one to draw 3 cards, and this allows for the player to keep moving. Cynthia/Caitlin will be a 1-2 staple/tech alongside Pal Pad (UPR) to keep a Cynthia/Caitlin available, if part of the strategy. This card works well with cards like Rosa, Tate & Liza/Cynthia, or other Tag Team Supporters.
Roxie (limited, but will be S-Tier in Expanded) drawing up to 6 cards upon discarding 2 non-Gx/Ex Pokemon, which nerfs MewMew-Gx from being able to use this. In Standard, Roxie will see notable play in Baby Decks such as Giratina (LOT), Shedinja (LOT), Weezing/Koffing (COE), and Zoroark (TEU) that want cards to be discarded. In Expanded this cards is broken by Exeggcute (ability, the only one you ever need to know about) that enables the player to draw up to 6 cards for free, shy of Alolan Muk, Garbodor, and Silent Lab; however, this is just a small cost to the options provided. Okay is standard, busted in Expanded, Roxie will see play, until new Professor Magnolia in Sword and Shield.
Rollerskater (should be in A-Tier) draw 2 cards; if you discard an energy upon playing then draw 2 more. Drawing 4 cards while putting Energy in the discard is amazing draw potential as well as advancing game play and enabling cards like Malamar and Naganadel to absorb them from the discard. This will see play in every Naganadel and Malamar Variant from this point onward. Rollerskater is a solid card and will see play in both Standard or Expanded.
Excadrill (I almost forgot about this Pokemon) with Martial Arts Dojo, Karate Belt/Buff Padding, and Diancie Prism for damage output with PokeManiac to search them out. If you can get down to 3 or fewer cards hits for 180 damage, which is a great amount of damage and all for a single energy. The secondary attack hits for 120 and self-mills 4 cards, which speeds up the deck for unleashing Excadrill’s full-power. In expanded you have access to Choice Band, Muscle Band, Battle Compressor, and Strong Energy as well as Hypnolaser to add further beatings on the opposing field. Lillie’s Pokedoll and Phione (above) are of special note as they add themselves back to the deck upon their effects/abilities. Excadrill having potential of 190 HP while, also, hitting at a minimum base of 120 damage is outstanding.
Lillie’s PokeDoll provides a layer of defense towards when you need an additional turn to get a strategy to work. Lillie’s Doll prevents the opponent from gathering a prize upon the KO; if you discard this Doll from the active, it goes to the bottom of the deck, which can prevent a deck out. Lillie’s Doll works well with Excadrill.
Ultra Necrozma won’t see much play in Standard except as a late game powerhouse, similar to Buzzwole (above). Ultra Necrozma ability prevents it from to attack, unless your opponent has 2 prizes remaining or less, which won’t see much play in standard. Ultra Necrozma is searchable by Mysterious Treasure, Nest Ball, and Ultra Space and is able to hold on to Beast Energy and Dragon Talon (Choice Band/Muscle Band in Expanded) for additional damage and Beast Ring (if used on the turn prior if used). In Expanded, there are 3 ways to shut the ability off which then allow for domination as early as turn 1 if using Silent Lab; otherwise, the strategy will start on turn 2 if using Muk/Garb or missed DDE. Hitting at 170 damage before buffs and discarding energy is absurdly powerful, consistent, and broken. I can sadly say that Ultra Necrozma will probably get itself banned or DDE, which I hope it is Ultra Necrozma.
C-Tier is the low-range of the Rogue Tier and have a nice that is applicable but may have a hard win condition especially with changing times and new strategies. Pokemon in this tier are often techs, nice plays, or need more testing.
Solgaleo & Lunala will be evaluated together since they are strongest when in the same deck. The player has access to search options for Solgaleo (Jasmine) and Lunala (Treasure), which will help in the longevity of this deck. Spell Tag and Metal Frying Pan or Goggles are great options. Lunala is able to accelerate energy when Solgaleo is out; whereas, Solgaleo supplies resistance for all Lunala and Sogaleo on your field. Solgaleo and Lunala both hit decent numbers. Great Beginners deck when they are done with theme decks by presenting a theme-like deck but with more of a focus featuring a pair of Legendary Pokemon that introduces Combos.
Gallade provides Psychic Pokemon for the evolution-line. Spell Tag for additional damage and Mysterious Treasure for added damage and search. Gallade is Psychic and Fighting Type when in play providing a weakness to Dark Box (note: SableTar stays out of the OHKO range due to resistance, but this is one Pokemon), PikaRom/Lightning Box, and MewMew-Gx; if you add in a couple Gardevoir (LOT), you will be able to provide a Weakness option for Dragon-Type Pokemon like ReshiKrom, NagaLord, Naganadel-Gx (UNM), Origin-GX, and many others. Gallade hits decent numbers on many Pokemon in the format including Tag Teams and alongside Gardevoir to provide coverage against 3 of the biggest types of the format.
Dusknoir is proving to be a better Pokemon than perceived with a built-in Spell Tag plus you can always attach one for more damage coverage. Rosa, Lana’s Fishing Rod, Mysterious Treasure, and being able to skip an evolution stage allows Dusknoir to remain quick and effective. Dusknoir hits a consistent 120 on the second hit and onward. Dusknoir will be a decent deck in the long run because of all of the tech that Psychic Pokemon have, plus Dusknoir is a cheap attacker.
Florges & Floette is semi-responsible for getting a part of itself banned, the Flabebe (FLI, as of Nov 15th). Florges and Floette have the same ability that upon evolving in which you get to randomly select 2 cards from the opponent’s hand back to their deck (Floette does this for 1 card). Coming in the set includes an Aipom (below) and Lanturn (below) as well as Alolan Marowak (UNM) and Chip-Chip Ice Axe/Hiker to influence the top deck. Fairy Charms, Mina, and Diantha can help to maintain resources. Silvally-Gx/Dedenne-Gx or the opponent finds a draw support, which can all cause issues to the strategy. If you want a deck designed to bug People, look no further as Florges can provide the headaches that you crave to dish out.
N’s Resolve not a Powerful Supporter as we have had this type of effect on abilities (i.e. Rayquaza-Gx and Charmeleon (DRM), which the latter sees virtually no play, even in Baby Zard decks). This will see play in ReshiKrom decks as the Gx attack requires the use of this for the additional effect of Gx Attack. Playing N’s Resolve will opt for players to play with an increased amount of energy so that you get a hit; likewise, NagaLord and Rayquaza-Gx shouldn’t overlook the potential of N’s Resolve.
Misty & Lorelei Tag Team is borderline broken in Expanded due to Exeggcute (ability, the only one you ever need to know about). Searching out Water Energy and potential to reset a Gx Attack on a Water Pokemon is absurd. Misty/Lorelei when used at full effect will be game changing with the most notable Gx Attacks to reset are Articuno-Gx (CES) and Palkia-Gx (FLI). Solid Card and limited to water decks and is broken in Expanded.
Blacephalon is a headache in the early game, but isn’t a true threat until mid-game. Spreading Damage counters to wherever it wants, for the most part, and up to 12 at a time. Like its Fire Brethren, Blacephalon is at its strongest in the early game (when decks are at the weakest), and if you can get your opponent down to 3 prizes in the early game (i.e. Naganadel-Gx, Mismagius, and Magneton), Blacephalon can produce a very quick and powerful harassment that will work for the most daring of players.
Lycanroc, decent in Standard and excellent in Expanded, can attack for free (-3 Colorless Energy) if the opponent has a Gx Pokemon in play, which is an amazing ability. In Standard, Recycle Energy, Beast Energy, and Triple Acceleration (irrelevant for Lycanroc) are the notable energies, which many decks play them; however, of all the big decks, Lightning and Dark Decks play very little Special Energy (if any). In Expanded, DCE is everywhere as well as Strong Energy, Prism Energy, and Rainbow Energy, and Lycanroc becomes a star in this format, which gets to attack for free while OHKO to 2-HKO’ing most Pokemon in expanded.
Decidueye hits for decent damage, but you need a way to get damage to the field first. Kricketune (COE), Weezing, and/or Noivern (UNM) are excellent in this regard, Blacephalon (COE, if you can get the energy out in time). Decidueye has quite a bit of resources to take advantage of in Standard. Mass Healing and Mew (UNB) stop this Pokemon in its track.
Empoleon (may need more testing in real play) has proved during the prerelease that Empoleon will need further testing. The MVP being Piplup and the ability to lock Basics out from attacking, which big basics have come out and are dominating the format. Prinplup to weaken or chase down Pokemon that can become threats or run. Empoleon itself can hit decently as well as synergizes well with Recycle Energy, Rosa, and Guzma/Hala. I can’t wait to test it for the big leagues.
Emboar (may need more testing in real play) the ability is insane and able to accelerate energy to your Pokemon how you like. After Prereleases, this Emboar will need testing on main stage with the ability and power behind it, being able to be searched out via PokeManiac, and able to hold onto Buff Padding/Giant Bomb, the latter being a stretch. Great damage output and access to all of the Fire Tech.
Bellelba & Brycen-Man Tag Team (may have niche plays and should belong in the B-Tier) this card was a difficult one to place and wrap my hand around. B&B Tag Team mills from both players; if you discard 3 cards upon playing this card, you force both players to discard bench sitters until they have 3 remaining. The first effect will work well in a pinch as well as in Excadrill in which you need to get your own deck to 3 cards. The second effect is great in MewMew-Gx decks or decks that want Pokemon in the discard like Giratina (LOT) or Vespiquen (AOR) while limiting your opponent.
Draw Energy another special energy that supplies Colorless energy that also doubles as a Draw, which can be useful in decks that have limited Draw options, at the moment. Porygon-Z (UNB) and Necrozma (UNM) are of special note as they both benefit from this card. Draw Energy will be a nice neutral energy to have, but it won’t be game breaking shy of a lucky top deck.
Aipom is on this list due to the ability and the synergy with Lanturn (below) that allows the user to send the top card of the opposing deck to the bottom without looking (so to speak) per Aipom. Aipom and Lanturn supply a decent option to control the opponent’s top deck. If there is room, a combination of Aipom and/or Lanturn could be great in decks like Pidgeotto Control, which you get to control what your opponent gets to draw into by keeping Energy or Draw supporters away from them.
Lanturn, like Aipom, will only see play for the ability in conjunction with Aipom or Chip-Chip Axe. Knowledge in the Pokemon card game is almost always good, and is made better when you can influence the opponent’s top deck. These 2 Pokemon with Chip-Chip Axe can work well with Alolan Marowak (UNM) that mills the top deck. These two Pokemon aren’t a deck of their own, but with the help of other cards can become quite a headache in the future.
Duskull makes Dusknoir the incredible deck that it can become and supplies the Standard Format with a worse Battle Compressor. The ability discards 3 cards to cheat evolution, which you can have the 3 cards can be Pokemon, Energy, getting Trainers, and/or evolving; other benefits of Duskull include making Blue’s Strategy and Silvally-Gx better by drawing more cards. Duskull is not an every deck tech, but it is worthy to put up as a tech.
E-Tier outside a few decks, these cards will see virtually no placement or influence on the Metagame, outside of niche plays in certain decks.
Clay is an excellent card, but he will be outclassed in Sword and Shield. Discarding your Top 7 cards while collecting the Item cards found this way. This benefits several decks that want resources in the discard including Excadrill, Aegislash, Giratina, Alolan Ninetales (COE), and some others. High Risk comes high reward; however, if discarding 7 cards is outlandish try Bill’s Analysis or Janine with more passive effects. Clay will see play here and there, until Sword and Shield.
Lillie’s Best Effort is outclassed by her normal form in almost all counts. Lillie’s Best Effort draws 4 cards, to discard until 2 cards at the end of the turn. Lillie does have a notable niche in the format in 3-4 decks: Nebby-Gx’s Gx attack, draw more cards with Silvally-Gx, get down to Kricketune’s first effect to hit 130 if you have 1 card in hand, and Clefairy (COE). Outside these niche decks though, Lillie is outclassed by almost every other draw card in the format (Standard or Expanded).
Mallow & Lana (this was based on a bad translation and was fixed, which should be in A or B Tier) is a very good card that provides a Switch that can’t be item locked; and if you discard 2 cards while playing this card, you get to heal 120 damage from the Pokemon that got switched (not the new active Pokmeon like the old translation, which is bad). Mallow & Lana will be a staple card in Standard and Expanded. They definitely will be replacing Tate & Liza once they rotate.
Erika would be better if the drawing was forced, and that being said, Erika won’t be seeing major competitive play. There is no sugar coating this because Erika should have been printed with Hidden Fates with the Family Fun part of the set; this will only be worse when we get to Sword and Shield.
Oricorio(G)-Gx (Should be in C-tier) has a good ability, but it is not as great as some people have claimed. Oricorio-Gx will see most of its play alongside Rosa, Baby Decks, and Island Challenge Amulet (to keep itself from being a liability) because these decks can get the most of this ability. The ability (literally) to draw 3 cards upon a Pokemon of yours getting knocked out during your opponent’s last turn is good because free draw is good. Power Plant and Lysandre Labs are going to be headaches for decks playing these cards. Again Oricorio-Gx should be C-Tier, not E-tier.
Wishiwashi-Gx requires too much bench dedication for other Wishiwashi (baby or Gx) that are also frail in Standard. The deck will also require Sky Pillar or Mew to exist in play because cards like Noivern (UNM) will shorten the game tremendously without these cards. In combination with the Wishiwashi (DRM) can increase the HP and Power of Wishiwashi-Gx with a peak of 200 damage for 2 energy is great. Realistically, the average bench will be Mew, 3 Baby Wishiwashi, and another Wishiwashi-Gx to take the Active’s Place. Wishiwashi-Gx will be a fun deck and should be its own Gx-theme Deck.
Wishiwashi (S) great ability and synergy with Choice Helmet, Shedinja, and Giant Bomb (works well with the ability). Wishiwashi has high HP for non-Gx basic Pokemon, which will be its selling point. The ability only works if you get tails, so the opponent gets another wack at Wishiwashi. If used offensively, Blastoise (TEU) would be of special note due to the resources that are on Wishiwashi get shuffled into the deck with it.
Victini okay ability and will see play in decks that Shaymin (LOT) won’t work in. Victini takes up bench space. I can’t visualize much play for this card in the future outside the cleric role.
Cradily isn’t very exciting, but it does have a nifty ability that prevents retreating if opponent’s Pokemon is under a special condition. I see virtually no play for this card in standard, but Expanded I see many uses for Cradily. The main usage for Cradily is supplying a Lileep that can evolve from Unidentified Fossil, so the Lifesplosion (Plasma Freeze) Cradily can be used, finally. The other use if able to get out is to lock Pokemon in the active with Hypnolasers, this role is very nice.
Dragonium Z (Dragon Claw) allows Pokemon with Dragon Claw access to a Gx Attack that does 80 times the number of basic energy discarded this way. The notable Pokemon with Dragon Claw are Druddigon, Dragonite-Gx (UNM), and Drampa (COE) that on average can deal 240 damage, which is great. This card is a highly niche card, but it can be fun.