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Sebastian  P.

Top 10 cards we keep in Standard

The new season is upon us, so let's not moan over the past, but rather cherish the future.

08/18/2015 by Sebastian P.

No matter where you look these days, the recurring topics, at least regarding the Pokemon TCG, seem to circle around the cards we'll soon lose in the Standard format post rotation, as well as the new cards we gain from Ancient Origins.
So I figured that you don't need to read another article that tells you how sad the lose of N, Keldeo, Laser and many others is and neither do you need another article showcasing why Forest of Giant Plants is the best card of the new set ( I think Josh Marking did a good job in his last article on that matter).

Thus today I don't want to look back at the past, but rather focus on the cards that we actually keep in the XY and onwards format, to demonstrate that not everything may be as dark as it seems.

Note: I did not include single cards from Roaring Skies, as the set is still so fresh in our heads that we don't really need a reminder how good Shaymin, M-Rayquaza and Co are.

10. Golbat and Crobat

Our beloved little vampires may lose one of their best buddies in Landorus EX, as well as Free Flight Zubat, but with cards like Bronzong, the new AOR Eeveelutions, Shaymin and many other low HP Pokemon still in the Meta, a sneaky Surprise Bite can take that last prize with ease.
Potential partners include Raichu, Seismitoad, M-Tyranitar EX and the long forgotten Wobbuffet, who might regain some momentum in the next season.

9. Seismitoad EX

Wait, I thought the archetype would be dead after the lose of Laser ?
While the next rotation took a huge swing at our beloved amphibian monster, he still has some friends left over to play with, as shown in this article by Alexander Hemedinger.
Furthermore Toad remains a solid tech Pokemon, that can help up set up in the early stages and provide a serious thread against certain archetypes.

8. Joltik, Pumpkaboo and Lampent

Nightmarsh is an archetype that you either love for it's raw power and low funding cost, or hate for it's seemingly “brain-dead” play style and borderline over powered damage output. With the new rotation, the archetype does not only lose Empoleon and Flareon, but most importantly Mew EX.
That being said, with the addition of Vespiquen as a solid Flareon substitute and the remaining key cards still being in the pool, Nightmarsh will remain a solid budget solution for the new meta.


7. Yveltal and Bronzong


If you want to get better at any type of TCG, here is a good tip for you: look out for any core rule of the game and try to break it. Being able to accelerate Energy faster than your opponent will naturally give you an advantage and with Metal Rayquaza and the upcoming M-Tyranitar deck, those fellows won't wave us goodbye anytime soon.


6. Raichu

Being part of the deck Brandon Salazar used to win the 2014 US Nationals, Raichu has once again regained some love with the addition of Sky Field in Roaring Skies.
Easy to set up and equipped with one of the strongest attacks any non EX Pokemon yields at the moment, together with the return of Level Ball and the new Eeveelutions to set up some surprising knock outs, Raichu won't leave any time soon.

5. Lysandre

It's just a nice feeling to know, that no matter which card is blocking your way, in the brink of an eye you can pull that damaged EX, or that 110 HP Shaymin right onto the active spot and take your last prize cards.
Being a perfect tool both in the offence and in the defence, Lysandre won't give away his spot in the meta anytime soon.


4. Sky Field, Dimension Valley, Fighting Stadium, Rough Seas, Silent Lab and more

Back in the days of Flash Fire, where I first encountered the Pokemon TCG, the number of Stadiums that actually saw play was quite limited. Virbank City Gym, Sky Arrow Bridge and Tropical Beach where the only ones around and would usually don't fill up more than 2 slots per deck, because the place wasn't as ferociously fought over on the playing field.
Since then, each new set brought us at least one interesting Stadium, adding a huge diversity to the deck building process, as well as enabling entire archetypes to begin with.


3. Muscle Band

In a world dominated by 170 to 240 HP monsters, how important can a mere 20 damage boost be ? Well, Muscle Band has proofed that small numbers will eventually determine the outcome of a game by boosting a couple of mediocre looking attacks into serious threads, Quaking Punch and Blockade are just the tip of the iceberg.
Make sure to include this card in your calculations, or you might just miss that crucial last knock out.

2. Professor Juniper

Okay, technically I'm cheating here, because we'll indeed lose Juniper post rotation and with her one of the best looking Full Art Supporters in the game. However, we get to keep Professor Sycamore from the XY base set. Just imagine for a brief moment a world, where our best draw Supporters consist of Shauna and Professor Birch, I'm sure you are as glad as me, that we don't have to live in such an environment.
The only think we need now, is a Full Art reprint of Sycamore in the next set ( instead of Full Art Steven, I mean c'mon, who in the headquarters thought that this card needed an Full Art upgrade).


1. VS Seeker

It has been about 9 month since the release of Phantom Forces in Europe and the US. In those 9 months, no card has had a bigger impact on the format than VS Seeker, no, not even Shaymin EX.
The ability to re-use cards from the discard pile is a huge factor in any competitive TCG and since the printing of VS Seeker, the deck building process has gained another interesting aspect.
Running a one of Supporter alongside 4 VS Seeker means that you can potentially use the card 5 times in a game.
Versatility is the key point here and with new Supporters in the form of Hex Maniac and Ace Trainer, alongside our old buddies, VS Seeker will remain a 3 or 4 off in almost any kind of deck.


That all for today folks, good luck for those of you who are attending Worlds this weekend and to those who can only watch the games at home like myself, I wish a lot of fun.


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