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Franco Takahashi

The Burning Potentials Hidden in The Shadows

Since Burning Shadows is coming soon, Franco decided to pick a few cards from the set and go over why he thinks they are good...

07/13/2017 by Franco Takahashi

Since Burning Shadows is coming soon, Franco decided to pick a few cards from the set and go over why he thinks they are good or have potential, explaining some of the ways you can utilize these cards. Hope this article could become a guide or inspire some ideas for some of the players!



Hello 60 cards readers, this is Franco again.  Now that Burning Shadows and 2017 World Championshps is right around the corner, I figured some of you guys might be wondering what cards could be useful from the next set.  So I’ll be writing about some of the cards that I think have potential and have usefulness and give my opinion on why I think those cards are worth looking out for.  So let’s get started.



Gardevoir GX

Gardevoir-GX is probably one of the noticeable cards from Burning Shadows that is getting immediate attention.  Even a Gardevoir-GX deck won Nationals in Japan.  The card is actually very strong for various reasons.  Taking a close look at the card, since it is a stage 2 GX card, it has 230 HP which makes the card significantly difficult to one-shot or even two-shot it along with its resistance to dark types.  Its ability, Secret Spring, allows you to attach 1 Fairy Energy from your hand to 1 of your Pokémon.  The nice thing about this ability is that it can stack, which means that if you have 2 Gardevoir-GX in play, you can attach 2 fairy energies to your Pokémon, and you can attach those energies to any of your Pokémon so you can accelerate things like Tapu Lele-GX as well, which is nice. 

Its attack Infinite Force does 30 damage times the amount of energies attached to both active pokemons, and yes Double Colorless Energy counts as 2 for the damage, so if the defending Pokémon has 3 energies, you can use Secret Spring ability to attach a fairy energy to Gardevoir-GX then attach a Double Colorless Energy for the attachment per turn and now Gardevoir can deal 180 damage. If Gardevoir has Choice Band, it can go to 210 and even more damage depending on the energy attached on either Pokémon.  Its GX attack, Twilight GX, is a nice bonus to the card allowing you to return 10 cards from your discard pile into your deck, useful for those important VS Seekers, Double Colorless Energies, and other cards mid-game on. This can become a tie breaker in some games.  In addition to that, since the Infinite Force attack cost only requires 1 fairy energy and it has an energy acceleration ability that can stack, even if the attack can’t knockout your opponent’s pokemon in one shot, you can still utilize cards like Max Potion to completely heal the damages from Gardevoir and get an advantage to the prize exchange. 

Another bonus that Gardevoir decks have is that since Gallade also evolves from Kirlia, you can tech a Gallade to utilize its ability to make your draws more consistent and use Gallade as a non-GX/EX attacker to manipulate the prize trade also.  Therefore I think Gardevoir is definitely one of the cards to look for when Burning Shadows gets released.

Alolan Ninetales 

The new non-GX Alolan Ninetales is a nice addition for different decks, mainly its ability Light Barrier prevents effects and damages from EX and GX Pokémon which it provides a good wall option into the card pool in the format.  Since we are entering in a format where a majority of the attackers are becoming EX and GX Pokémon, I think this card have a potential to make a significant impact in the format, since your opponent needs to play cards like Hex Maniac or cards that’ll make Alolan Ninetales switch, or attack Alolan Ninetales with a non-EX or GX attacker. This can become annoying for certain decks or if you can catch your opponent off guard with Alolan Ninetales.  The attack Aurora Beam is also nice and easy to use since it only requires 1 water energy and 2 colorless energy; it is reasonably obtainable utilizing cards like Aqua Patch, or Double Colorless Energy.  Since the damage output is 80, with Choice Band you can hit to EX and GX Pokémon for 120 damage while they can’t scratch at you is a nice thing consider.  As most of us know, an Alolan Ninetales deck managed to make into top 8 at the North American International Championship, so perhaps this card could become a nice addition to the Alolan Ninetales deck or any other decks in general in the future, therefore I decided to mention this card in this article. 



Not much to explain here, it is a supporter where Lysandre and Switch became together.  The existence of the card will help certain decks that were having issues with retreating time to time and it also reduces the chance for the Pokémon to stay stuck active which is also a nice thing to look into.  Since it is a free switch, it also saves the energies from your attackers without having to discard them, which leaves them ready for the next attack so this card is overall a plus card for many decks and will continue to see play for a long time.  Also since we have Tapu Lele-GX in the format and certain decks may not play a heavy amount of switching cards, running a split of 1 Guzma and 1 Lysandre won’t be a bad choice either.  Needless to say, this card will become a staple card so keep an eye on it.



Acerola is probably hands down my favorite card from Burning Shadows.  Basically Acerola will allow you to pick up 1 of your Pokémon with damage counters on it and it also returns all cards attached to the pokemon as well.  This is a game changing card in my opinion since now there is a potential that your opponent or you can play Acerola to a damaged pokemon to prevent your opponent from taking prizes, unlike the card AZ, this card picks up all the energies and tool cards attached to the Pokémon therefore you can pretty much reattach those cards into another pokemon or to the same Pokémon you just picked up again.  Another way you can utilize Acerola is to combine with cards that have abilities like Decidueye-GX, Lycanroc-GX and others, which you can utilize them by picking them up when they are damaged also.  This card creates new options in game play and even in the resource management aspect.  I think this card is very significant and impactful for this upcoming format and even in the future formats.  Therefore it definitely deserves a highlight in this article.


This is probably another card that is getting hype prior to the release of Golisopod-GX.  The fact that it is a Grass type stage 1 GX pokemon that can get the benefit from Forrest of Giant Plants, along with 210 HP being a nice HP for stage 1, and its first attack First Impression does 30+ 90 more damage if Golisopod-GX becomes active during that turn which is a total of 120 damage, and with Choice Band it can go up to 150 damage for 1 Grass Energy.  Its second attack, Armor Press, does 100 damage and it reduces damage done to Golisopod-GX from your opponent’s pokemon by 20 damage for 1 grass and 2 colorless as requirement, which it’s not the most optimal attack from a GX pokemon, but nonetheless it’s a nice option to have that can potentially become handy from time to time. 

Its GX attack Cut Cross GX does 150 damage and switches Golisopod-GX back to the bench for 1 grass and 2 colorless as requirement as well, having a nice synergy with its first attack for the following turn, and with Choice Band the GX attack can deal 180 damage which is a nice damage output number.  Golisopod is actually an interesting card that can be paired with different cards and have different ways to utilize Golisopod GX.  One of the reasons why this card is strong is because there are plenty of cards that have good synergy with its first attack, First Impression, and since we are getting cards like Acerola, Guzma, and even cards like Olympia or Switch can make this attack reasonably achievable, it’s very nice since it only requires 1 grass energy to attack.  Even just by having 1 Float Stone to your active allows you to switch into Golisopod easily so you’ll most likely be able to swing for at least 120 damage with Golisopod-GX most of the time. 

Another factor is that Golisopod-GX is a grass type stage 1 and has great synergy and combo with Forest of Giant Plants and Acerola.  Since Acerola picks up all the cards attached to the damaged Pokémon, you can easily bench and evolve into Golisopod-GX in the same turn if Forest is in play, making an advantage play by preventing your opponent from taking prizes. Then you fully heal your Golisopod-GX and if you happen to have another Golisopod-GX in play already or another pokemon with Float Stone, you can immediately attack, dealing 120~150 damage in the same turn as well.  In addition to this, since Golisopod-GX is a stage 1, it can also gain the benefits from Eevelutions like Jolteon, Flareon, and Vaporeon allowing Golisopod-GX to hit for weakness which is very strong.  Also many of you guys may already know from the Japanese Nationals but our 2016 World Champion, Ito Shintaro was able to make Top 4 Nationals with Golisopod and Decidueye-GX, this is another clever way to utilize Golisospod since it have a good synergy with Decidueye’s Feather Arrow ability to increase its damage output to be able to do efficient knockouts and both Golisopod-GX and Decidueye-GX have a strong synergy with Acerola and Forest of Giant Plants as well.  There are other ways to utilize Golisopod GX, with cards like Zoroark and etc, but definitely the card is showing its strength and I personally wouldn’t be surprised to see it at this coming World Championship so definitely deserves a spot to look out for! 


Another great supporter from the set, it allows you to search from your deck up to 4 energies and attach them to 1 of your Pokémon, then your turn immediately ends.  I personally find this card to be strong as well since with Tapu Lele-GX in the format, it is reasonably achievable to search Kiawe turn 1 and since you can’t attack on your first and charging up your attacker for 4 energy with almost no drawback seems to be quite strong. Even if you do not go first, you can still try to attach them to 1 of your bench pokemon as well, that way your opponent is forced to set up and play either Lysandre or Guzma to put pressure on your board, but since your attacker is fully charged up, it won’t be easy for your opponent to pull something that can one shot you in such an early phase in the game as well.  Therefore I think Kiawe is quite of a strong supporter especially early game.  Since the card searches specifically for fire energies, it seems like the optimal attackers would be fire type Pokémon but you can also utilize this card to power up attackers like Tapu Lele GX or other attackers that have either colorless or fire as their attack cost in general which I personally find it to be quite useful not only limiting it to fire type pokemons necessarily.  The card also has a nice combo/synergy with Wish Baton as well, and it definitely has a good potential in the future format so it deserve a spot of attention for this article. 

Wish Baton

This is a nice tool card as addition into our card pool for more possible options in deck building and strategy.  Basically what Wish Baton does is if the pokemon with Wish Baton attached is knocked out by opponent’s attack damage, you can choose up to 3 basic energies from that Pokémon and move it to 1 of your benched Pokémon.  Not much to explain here, but this card has a nice synergy with cards like Kiawe. Simply being able to conserve your energies to your following attackers seems to be strong, saving you energy attachments from your turns.  I personally can see decks like Fire, Darkrai, and Xerneas benefitting from them.  Despite that Field Blower are heavily played, if you play a very heavy amount of Wish Baton, it seems like you can manage to pull it off and the energy transfer could swing the match as well.  Therefore it is a card that I think it has a potential in the future format. 


Ho-Oh GX might not seem too appealing to some of you guys, but this is another card that I find to have potential as well mainly because Kiawe exists in the format.  Its first attack Scared Fire does 50 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon, which is nice to pick some knockouts on a damaged Pokémon. It is also an attack that you can use after you used its second attack, Phoenix Burn, which does 180 damage for 3 fire and 1 colorless energy as a requirement and you cannot use Phoenix Burn the following turn, but you can easily remove those effects with cards like Guzma or Pokemon Ranger, or simply attack with Sacred Fire as I mentioned before.  The benefit side of Ho-Oh-GX is that it is a fire basic Pokémon, therefore it can use the +30 from Volcanion EX’s Steam Up ability allowing Phoenix Burn to deal 210~240 on average.  

Despite that Ho-Oh-GX is a fire type Pokémon, it is weak to Lightning type Pokémon and it has a resistance to fighting types. Having 190 HP is a nice number from a basic GX pokemon like Lapras-GX and Turtonator-GX that have been showing that 190 HP can make a difference often times.  The GX attack, Eternal Light GX, allows you put 3 EX or GX pokemon from the discard pile to your bench in any combination which is nice to get back your Volcanion-EX or try to tech a Charizard-GX for fun tech, but overall I see the GX attack more of a bonus thing than making GX attack as a main core.  With the existence of Kiawe and Wish Baton, it seems like maintaining a stream of Ho-Oh-GX could be reasonably obtainable and the combination of Ho-Oh-GX attacking early in the game with damage boost from Steam Up seems to be quite strong.  Turtonator-GX is also another strong attacking partner in a Volcanion deck, but unlike Turtonator-GX, Ho-Oh-GX does not require you to discard energy for the big attack which is also nice to consider, nonetheless I think Ho-Oh-GX and Turtonator-GX goes along well too.  Since Ho-O- GX made a decent performance in the Japanese Nationals as well, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see it in play in the near future so check it out.


Marshadow-GX is a interesting card mainly from its ability Shadow Hunt which it allows you to use the attack of basic Pokémon in the discard, but you still need to have the right energy requirements for the attack of course.  Despite that there are lots of cards rotated out in our standard format like Night March or Seismitoad-EX; there are still plenty of other attacks in the current format that I think Marshadow-GX can benefit.  Since Marshadow-GX is a fighting type, it can get some benefits from cards like Strong Energy and Regirock-EX to increase its damage output.  In addition to that, tools like Choice Band or Fighting Fury Belt seems to buff Marshadow GX to a very threatening point that I think it have a strong potential since it can copy attacks from cards like Tapu Lele-GX, Tapu Koko, Sawk from Burning Shadows, Lugia-EX, and even GX moves like Nekrozma GX as option.  Its attack Beatdown is quite heavy, considering it requires 2 fighting and 1 colorless for 120 damage but overall it’s a nice additional option to have in the card.  The GX attack, Hundred Fissures does 50 times the number of fighting energy attached to Marshadow which isn’t the most optimal GX attack, but considering Marshadow can copy other basic Pokémon GX attack utilizing cards like Rainbow Energy and etc, that I feel like the card compensates from its own ability in the end.  Also despite of the psychic weakness, the fighting type is nice to have in the card pool to counter cards that are weak to fighting type more practically against cards like Darkrai-EX/GX, and Drampa-GX. I think this is a very versatile card and have many different ways to use this card that I personally will be looking forward to see how players are going to be using Marshadow-GX in the future. 


Necrozma-GX struck me as a unique card when I saw it at first.  Its ability, Light’s End, prevents damage done to Necrozma-GX by colorless type Pokémon, which means cards like M-Rayquaza-EX, Lugia-EX, or Shaymin-EX can’t deal damages to Necrozma GX unless they find a way to shut the ability through cards like Hex Maniac which is a nice bonus ability overall.  Its first attack Prismatic Burst does 10+ damage 60 more damage for each psychic energy and you must discard all psychic energy attached from Necrozma-GX which isn’t the best attack in my opinion at the moment but its GX attack Black Ray-GX does 100 damage to each of your opponent’s EX and GX pokemons. Considering the attack cost are all colorless, it makes it reasonably achievable using cards like Double Colorless Energy or some type of energy acceleration cards. 

I personally feel like the card has an interesting potential to serving as a game closer utilizing its GX attack.  With cards like Guzma and Lycanroc, you can deal damage to your opponent’s EX or GX pokemon then eventually use the Black Ray GX attack to take the last 2~4 prizes to the game.  The bright side of executing this strategy is that as long as your opponent doesn’t heal the damaged Pokémon, you’re putting your opponent into a state of “check” in the game and if you’re aiming to take your last 4 prizes from Black Ray GX, that means you won’t be heavily affected by your opponent’s N until you manage to take the prize cards which is a nice thing to consider.  I personally feel like the card has a good synergy with Marshadow-GX since you can have Necrozma-GX in the discard for Marshadow to use Black Ray GX, and Marshadow can do other attacks as well in the meantime so just having a Necrozoma-GX in the discard pile to have a closing option in the game seems to be nice.  

Of course there are other ways to utilize the card, such as using cards like Tapu Koko to spread damages and eventually pull off the closing knockout is a nice tactic also.  In Japan we saw a significant amount of Trevenant decks teching Necrozma-GX, since it has a nice synergy with Dimension Valley, so Necrozma-GX can use Black Ray GX for 2 energy to close the game after Trevenant BREAK have done some spreading to the board.  In the end, it’s not the traditional GX card, but it seems like it have an interesting way to use and I felt like it have a potential as card so I decided to take a closer look at Necroma GX. 


So my article will conclude here; there are so many more other cards that are good and have potential like Gyarados, Diancie, Po Town, Kingdra, Noivern GX, Muscle Dumbbells, and many other cards from the set, but I’d like to go over those cards in the future in another way.  But as of now, hopefully this article was somewhat useful in some way and thank you very much for reading the article.  See you guys at World Championships 2017 in Anaheim and stay tuned for my next article!


Franco Takahashi

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