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Caleb Gedemer

Get Your Shine On! — Shining Legends Shaking up Standard

Last year, Generations gave us Jolteon-EX, a format-breaking card. This year, a similar set, Shining Legends, hopes to do the same. Time to find out what kind of impact the new cards will have on the Standard format!

10/16/2017 by Caleb Gedemer

The BREAKthrough through Burning Shadows Standard format is coming to a close. Shining Legends will be joining the mix in the coming weeks, as it has already been released all around the world! The set is a smaller one, much like Generations was last year, but again, like in Generations, there are a few gems that should shake things up in the competitive scene. I'm writing this article to convey my thoughts on these gems, as well as some of the more lackluster cards.

Each relevant card deserves a detailed breakdown of why it’s viable and a slew of options that it could be paired with. I know many of you love deck lists, and towards the end of this piece I’ll be dropping a bunch of them for you with the new cards! 

Before I get started, I’d like to thank Bulbapedia for providing links to card translations for many of these newer cards (click on the heading to see the card). Now, let’s get moving! 

 

The Pretenders

Sometimes players are wrong about the strength of certain cards, and that’s what this category is all about. If something looks like it could be good, but isn’t, it’ll find its way into this section. Don’t get me wrong, these might still be “strong” cards, they just won't feasibly be involved in a winning strategy. 

Raichu-GX

Darkrai-EX’s Dark Pulse was a fearsome attack for most of the season last year. This year it’s seen much of the same success, but exclusively in the Expanded format. Raichu-GX may be seen as a breath of new life for “go wild with Energy and attack”-style decks, but I for one do not think it is anything of the sort. Raichu-GX even got the help of a new pal, Raikou, and I still don’t think that will be enough to make it strong enough for competitive play. 

Powerful Spark can certainly do a lot of damage, but unlike the Basic Darkrai-EX, it needs some more time to set things up. Magnezone could potentially be a solid partner, but again, that doesn’t seem too strong right now because of the popularity of Garbodor and its Garbotoxin Ability. The Stage 1 clunkiness of the deck is the main factor deterring me from playing it, and while you may at first think it has more HP to work with than Darkrai-EX, the fact is that Darkrai-EX with a Fighting Fury Belt can actually survive more damage before getting knocked out.

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Darkrai-GX is yet another damage modifier for Darkrai-EX decks, but even still, it doesn’t see any play in the Standard format. While there are plenty of reasons for that, I don’t think Raichu-GX brings anything new to the table except for a higher likelihood of inconsistency. Don’t get too hyped on this card, because I’m pretty sure you’ll be wasting your time trying to make it work. 

Venusaur

Venusaur allows each Basic Grass Energy attached to your Pokemon to count as two of them instead. This has some nice synergy with cards like Tapu Bulu-GX, or even the new Mewtwo-GX (which I’ll get to soon), but as a Stage 2 that doesn’t accelerate Energy or have a built-in consistency measure of its own, I don’t think it is particularly viable. Take a look at the other Stage 2 powerhouses of the format: Gardevoir-GX, Metagross-GX, and Vikavolt all have abilities or attacks that are overwhelming. An even more direct contrast can be seen when looking at Magnezone and Vikavolt; the reason Vikavolt is more successful is because it searches you Energy from your deck, whereas Magnezone forces you to have Energy in your hand to begin with before you can even utilize its "broken" ability. 

Aside from its ability, Venusaur has no other use. While playing it with solid attackers would be cute, it would also require the use of other space-consuming cards like Max Elixir. Tapu Bulu-GX would still need another Energy to use its attacks even with Venusaur out, which would be really hard to pull off. 

The best idea I can think of with this card that might actually be worth trying out is a thin line in a Vikavolt deck itself. That way, you would be able to use Tapu Bulu-GX’s attacks for just two Energy, which would be very, very cool. Another weird idea I have is to pair Venusaur with Tapu Bulu-GX of course, but to play a thin Metagross-GX line, a couple Metal Energy, and a Smeargle from BREAKthrough. You could use Second Coat to switch your Metal Energy from Geotech system into a Grass Energy, and then just need one more attachment. All of these ideas, though, are likely horrible, since just playing Metagross-GX or Vikavolt by themselves is more consistent and better all-around. 

Warp Energy

This card is a blast from the past, and while it was played back then, I don’t think it will have quite as similar of a fate in the modern day Pokemon scene. Energy attachments these days are critically important, and missing a turn of playing an Energy down can be devastating. While Warp Energy still provides an Energy card, that card is destined to be a Colorless Energy, a typing that is not very rewarding in almost any deck. Most decks that use attacks that only cost Colorless Energy can just abuse Double Colorless Energy, which makes the use of Warp Energy in single attachments completely inferior. 

The only realistic idea I can see this card fitting into is some kind of Golisopod-GX deck, since it allows you to switch your Active Pokemon to the Bench, and in turn, could activate the damage bonus of First Impression. This is still pretty lame, since Float Stone is just better in general. Perhaps there will be a card released in the future that makes Warp Energy a studly card, but for now, it’s incredibly underpowered. 

Sometimes reprints aren’t always what they seem, I guess. With the power creep that progresses every single season, Warp Energy is not going to be seeing any play any time soon with the way things are shaping up in both the Expanded and Standard formats. 

The Averages

These are cards that will probably see play at some point, but won’t become their own archetype or a big contributor in certain decks right off the bat. They are solid inclusions that might take some time to truly catch on, or might need another card along the line to create a winning combo. 

Marshadow

I think this card is really good, but I’m just not sure how it fits into the game right now. Let Loose is incredible, and can serve as a hand refresh for you, as well as a hand disruptor for your opponent. Bench space is a real concern for nearly every deck, so there is not as much room for Pokemon like Marshadow, which may be seen more as a luxury. Perhaps this card could be a one-of inclusion in most decks, as a clutch consistency card much like Shaymin-EX was for the longest time. Marshadow only awards one Prize to an attacker, so that is a valuable plus, whereas Shaymin-EX was a bane in many situations for giving up two. 

The disruption it provides in the early game can be great, so I’m a big fan of that aspect of this card. Say you’re playing a more aggressive deck and have your entire setup already; you can play down Marshadow, set your opponent back, and even get a new hand of four cards! 

While I know I said I didn’t want to, I can’t resist, and I must say that this card has some crazy potential in the Expanded format with Sky Field! I won’t go into detail, but just imagine yourself playing down four of these in one turn in an Item-heavy build, and blazing through your deck. There is some real untapped potential here, and I would certainly be on the lookout for this card in the near future. 

Mewtwo-GX

For a single Psychic Energy this card does what Gardevoir-GX does, but doesn’t count your opponent’s Energy attached to his or her Active Pokemon. As a Basic Pokemon, this is pretty strong. The Shining Mew that I’ll go over a bit later will show you how Mewtwo-GX can get powered up super quickly, too. The only problem with this card, though, is that it’s very susceptible to one-hit knockouts, and it will be hard to build up a big Mewtwo-GX in response. However, it can be more aggressive than any other hard-hitter in half the time, since it can abuse Max Elixir. 

Its Weakness to Psychic Pokemon is pretty killer, unfortunately, as Garbodor will run over it with ease. Its other attacks are pretty abysmal, as Super Absorption only does 60 damage (but does have potential as an attacker against the mirror in Garbodor decks since it takes one-hit knockouts and heals). 

Psystrike GX does a solid 200 damage, and you can boost that up if needed to 230 with a Choice Band, the perfect number for a knockout on a Gardevoir-GX. While at first sight this card might seem a little too costly to power up, I need to do more testing with it, personally, to make sure of that. If there’s a way to consistently stream it, this card might find its way into the top tiered decks of the format very quickly! 

Shining Jirachi

Espeon-GX’s Miraculous Shine can be difficult to pull off, since you need to get enough damage on your opponent’s evolved Pokemon to knock out their lower-stage Pokemon. Shining Jirachi fixes that issue, and allows you to pick up every single one of your opponent’s Active Pokemon’s evolution pieces to his or her hand. This is incredible, and is going to make Garbodor decks even better. To combat something like a Gardevoir-GX with this card, you just need to do 50 damage to it first. After that, it will be in knockout range of Stellar Reign. 

You can do some nifty things with Jirachi, too, like putting a Choice Band on it and then only needing 20 damage on a Gardevoir-GX to take it down. You can set that up easily with Tapu Koko, which can make some awesome shenanigans possible. As a non-EX/GX Pokemon, it doesn’t give up as many prizes as Espeon-EX, and you can even use a Rescue Stretcher to pull it back and use it multiple times. 

I’m really excited about this card, since it’s going to make for some very interesting situations in the future when playing Evolution-based decks. Nothing is going to be safe, so you’re going to have to think a lot harder to make sure that you’re promoting the right Pokemon at the right time, otherwise it might just find itself as its lowest Stage once again, and be taken down for a Knockout. This card is so good that it almost found itself in the next section of this article… 

The Ballers

These are cards that are bound to make an impact. While that impact may not be immediate, it will certainly come at some point. Make sure to pick up some copies of these cards, consider them in decks that you’ve been playing with, and be on the lookout for future opponents planning on using them in a match against you! 

Hoopa

Alolan Ninetales had a lot of hype upon release, since its Luminous Barrier ability cannot be avoided in the Standard format (Hex Maniac is not legal anymore). Similarly, Hoopa’s Scoundrel Guard stops attacks from Pokemon-EX/GX as well done to Hoopa. Darkness type decks have been on the outskirts of Standard so far, and Hoopa is what I think might propel them back into the limelight. As a Basic Pokemon, it can even use Max Elixir to speed up how quickly it’s able to attack, which is something definitely worth mentioning. 

With a solid attack of simply 80 damage, this card can effectively two-shot most higher HP Pokemon-EX/GX, even if they have a Fighting Fury Belt attached, as long as you have a Choice Band of your own. This card can even swing things against a Metagross-GX deck, something that Alolan Ninetales was unable to do, since it was still just one attack away from a knockout when facing off with a Metang. 

Zoroark with Mind Jack is still an incredible card in Standard, and with the retooling of Hoopa, as well as Zoroark-GX (which is coming right up on this list), it might have another solid shot at being a top contender in the format. Builds using Rainbow Energy, as well as Double Colorless Energy, can even use a Hoopa to apply chip damage to bigger Pokemon-EX/GX threats. Hoopa is an amazing card, and should find its way into decks immediately. 

Shining Mew

This card is downright sick. Legendary Guidance is going to be an amazing tool for Garbodor decks. In the Expanded format, Necrozma-GX has been tearing things up with Black Ray GX, setting up oodles of easier Knockouts for Trashalanche after landing the attack. Legendary Guidance can search two Energy out of your deck and throw them onto two attackers, which pairs fantastically with both Drampa-GX, and Necrozma-GX. Your go-to play with Garbodor decks in the early game will most definitely be to use Legendary Guidance. 

While 30 HP is next to nothing, all you’re really looking to do with this card is attack with it once. Getting what is realistically two turns of Energy attachments in one attack is bonkers, and will get the ball rolling for slower concepts that were previously not viable without a form of energy acceleration. The only obvious prerequisite is to be playing Psychic Energy, but as I already mentioned, Garbodor decks will look for Shining Mew right away for some much-needed support. 

It’s unfortunate that Shining Mew’s typing restricts it to only Psychic decks for the most part, but that might be for the best, because if it had something like a Colorless Energy requirement, it would probably make Gardevoir-GX decks too strong for their own good. Either way, this card is about to make Garbodor builds a whole lot better than they already were. Imagine that! 

Zoroark-GX

Everything about this card is exciting! I’ve seen plenty of people discussing this card all over the internet by now, putting it in pretty much anything using Double Colorless Energy. Riotous Beating is nice way to provide chip damage, and with 210 HP, it’ll be very hard for your opponent to take down Zoroark-GX. Its ability, Trade, is equally as strong, if not better, than Riotous Beating. It’s a sweet way to add extra consistency to a deck for a small cost of discarding a card from your hand. Decks like Alolan Ninetales-GX will love this card, since it can help discard a Water Energy to make Aqua Patch go live. 

While this isn’t the Standard format, this card is sick in Night March, but that’s a story for another day. Aside from in Alolan Ninetales-GX, this card is amazing in Golisopod-GX builds, since Zoroark with Stand in is already a neat inclusion, and Zoroark-GX can be used for extra consistency as well as a solid backup attacker. 

Again, like Hoopa, this card might be a breath of life for Zoroark decks, providing them another chance to win big in the Standard format. Trickster GX is a little underpowered for a GX attack, since Zoroark BREAK’s Foul Play can do the same thing for one less Energy, but it is a little better of a cost as Zoroark-GX is a Stage 1, instead of what is essentially a Stage 2 Pokemon BREAK. This card is going to have a field day at some point, and whether or not it happens immediately or not won’t matter, because Zoroark-GX is destined for greatness no matter which way you look at it. 

Updated Standard Format Rundown

Alolan Ninetales-GX

This deck gained one of the biggest two cards from Shining Legends, Zoroark-GX! Alolan Ninetales-GX is somewhat notorious for more inconsistent play, and now with Zoroark-GX, that should change forever. Zoroark-GX is a strictly better card than Octillery, and that being said, it will take a spot in Alolan Ninetales-GX decks immediately. Trade not only draws you extra cards, but it gives you a way of discarding Water Energy efficiently for use with Aqua Patch. This is a sick consistency boost, which I’m very stoked about. You can even play one of the Zoroark with Stand In as a backup attacker and a way to switch your Pokemon around in a pinch. Riotous Beating is insane too, and can finish up knockouts that Alolan Ninetales-GX wasn’t able to take. 

Zoroark-GX pairs well with Acerola, since it only takes a Double Colorless Energy to attack, and you can pick it up to your hand and then play it down again, only to attack with it again. This is especially useful against Metagross-GX decks, formerly your worst matchup, since Metagross-GX maxes out at 180 damage with a Choice Band. You should be able to get some solid damage in with Riotous Beating to shake things up, maybe even taking a big win! 

Two more fringe ideas for this deck are the use of Manaphy, as well as Damage Mover. You can use Manaphy to heal 20 damage from one of your Pokemon with a Water Energy on it, and Damage Mover can move extra damage to your Alolan Ninetales-GX so that you can use Ice Path GX for increased damage, and in turn, heal more damage off that your opponent dealt. These two cards might not be the greatest in this deck, but rest easy, because Zoroark-GX should make you more than happy if you’re an Alolan Ninetales-GX fan. 

Decidueye-GX / Alolan Ninetales-GX

Decidueye-GX gets a couple cool additions if you so choose to use them. Reshiram, Shining Jirachi, and Zekrom are all solid inclusions. If you were to play Shining Jirachi, you would have to switch from Grass Energy to Rainbow Energy to pay the Psychic Energy attack cost, but that’s not too big of a problem. The Outrage attacks of Reshiram and Zekrom are super neat in this deck because they prevent your opponent from doing much of anything if you sit there with them for a while. You can use Feather arrow frequently in this “stalling” period and build up damage, while waiting for your opponent to strike one of your dragons. 

The inclusion of Shining Jirachi is rather obvious, since Espeon-EX is so good in this deck already. While Espeon-EX should probably still be played, Shining Jirachi is another option for the times where you can not only pick up your opponent’s Evolution Pokemon, but get that last chip of damage that you may have needed to take the Knockout on the lower Stage Pokemon. Latios is an instant inclusion in this deck in my opinion, since its Break Through will be incredible against Garbodor decks. You can set up multiple Knockouts at once, which is pretty sweet. 

Zoroark-GX could also be solid in this deck, since it should make it more consistent, and since you almost always have a full Bench, you should be able to get the maximum value out of Riotous Beating. Shining Arceus is a “bad” honorable mention for this deck, since its Ultimate Arrow can spread 30 damage to all of your opponent’s Pokemon, which is a better attack when compared to Tapu Koko’s Flying Flip. The downside is the insane energy cost, which will probably prevent this card from being particularly viable. No matter what, though, this deck got some cool new options, and maybe they will see some play in the near future! 

Garbodor / Golisopod-GX

These builds usually play Rainbow Energy, so there are a few new funky options you could try out. Hoopa, for one, could serve as a solid attacker in tricky matchups against Pokemon-EX/GX decks. Aside from that, there are a lot of attackers with Double Colorless Energy attack costs that you could use in this deck to improve various matchups. Palkia is one of them, with its Spiral Drain that does 30 damage. Against Fire decks, this could be a solid counter, and maybe it could even get you the win you’re bound to be looking for! 

Maybe, Golisopod-GX decks will focus more on running Zoroark-GX, and abandon Garbodor. Zoroark-GX has so many options with many pre existing decks, and improves a lot of them by quite a bit. That card is just so easy to put into anything! 

Aside from those two, maybe Shining Jirachi could find a home in this deck, or Shining Mew (although Shining Mew would be kind of situational, since you’d need to open up with a Rainbow Energy to make it work effectively). This deck isn’t going anywhere fast, as it’s still super solid no matter what happens. 

Garbodor / Shining Mew

Now this is not a new deck, but more of an updated version of Garbodor with Drampa-GX. I like to lump Drampa-GX into this category, now, since Shining Mew is a must-have inclusion in the deck from its legalization onward. Legendary Guidance can get you a Double Colorless Energy on a Drampa-GX as early as your first turn, if you go second, and another Double Colorless on a second Drampa-GX or on another important Pokemon. I like to think of this deck more as a toolbox now, since Shining Mew opens up many options for it.

Necrozma-GX is one of the newest beastly additions to this archetype, since Shining Mew can make it a live attacker right away that’s just a single attachment from going off. I think Necrozma-GX tightens up a lot of your previously close matchups, like Gardevoir-GX and Metagross-GX, as well as the Volcanion matchup. Now Trashalanche doesn’t need to do all that much damage to take Knockouts, since Black Ray GX does such a great job of softening things up for you.

Shining Jirachi is also a sick card to play in this deck, as well as Latios. You could even play a Mewtwo-GX as a big hitter right out of the gate with Shining Mew, since you can search out two Double Colorless Energy to put on it right away. Mimikyu can even be played in this build now, too, since Shining Mew can accelerate it up. This deck is going to be super fun to experiment with in the new Standard format, for sure. 

Gardevoir-GX

Zoroark-GX in everything! I think Zoroark-GX should certainly replace Octillery in this deck, even as a small line. It’s simply too good not to include in almost every deck you can think of, especially ones that play Octillery (the perfect substitute), or Double Colorless Energy. 

Not much else changes with Gardevoir-GX, as it’s already a solidified archetype. Before I just wrote that last sentence, I browsed through all of the cards in this set multiple times to make sure! 

Warp Energy is something you could maybe play as a one-of, but I don’t think it would be that great, and it’s something you most certainly don’t need to have to be successful. Once in a while, though, the card could be nifty to use to switch around your Pokemon. 

Greninja BREAK

This deck gained absolutely nothing from Shining Legends. It should still be super good as a deck, though, provided you can just dodge the many Grass decks that are popular right now in the Standard format! 

Ho-Oh-GX / Salazzle-GX

Entei-GX is now an option for Fire type decks, and this goes for Volcanion as well, of course, but I don’t think it’s that great. Reshiram is also an option, but that’s not that great, either. This deck doesn’t change too much either, but I think it gets worse because of the addition of Shining Mew to Garbodor decks, which really speeds them up. 

Metagross-GX

You could now make a Metagross-GX deck centered around Mewtwo-GX, but after the failures of Necrozma-GX in Metagross-GX, I’m not too convinced that’s a viable strategy. Aside from that, there isn’t much else to improve our Steel type pal. Shining Jirachi could be a solid option, but I’m not quite sure what use it would have outside of the mirror match, which isn’t all too popular.

Rainbow Force

I’m not a fan of this deck right now, and Shining Legends didn’t give me any more reason to like it. Nothing in the set sticks out particularly, except for maybe Zoroark-GX if you’re looking to find a different Darkness type Pokemon other than Bisharp to play in your deck. 

Vikavolt / Tapu Bulu-GX

Vikavolt might be the biggest winner from Shining Legends. Not only does it get Venusaur, which could be a sweet inclusion like I mentioned earlier, but it also gets Shaymin and Virizion as potential partners. I like Shaymin more out of the two, since it’s a more cost-efficient attacker. Rally Back can be pretty good against Garbodor decks, since it’s the perfect number to take a return one-hit knockout on an attacking Garbodor. Flippity Flap is a super cute attack name, and can give you some extra consistency in the form of a hand refresh; something that Vikavolt decks could use from time to time. 

This deck’s matchups don’t really change much with the release of Shining Legends, though you may be more likely to face a Zoroark-GX deck, which is super easy to beat. Remember, Nature’s Judgement while using the discarding effect can do 210 damage with a Choice Band, which is the perfect number to take a one-hit Knockout on a Zoroark-GX. 

Vikavolt decks are still among my favorites in the Standard format, even with the new set. Be on the lookout for this deck, it’s still going to be hanging around for some time! 

Volcanion

I mentioned the two new potential partners for this deck in the Ho-Oh-GX / Salazzle-GX section, and neither of them are all too strong. Volcanion always seems to stick around as a powerful deck that can stack up with anything, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. 

Xerneas BREAK

This deck gains Zoroark-GX, like many other decks, but that’s it. Fun fact: there isn’t a single Fairy type Pokemon in all of Shining Legends, which is pretty weird. I’m not a big fan of Xerneas BREAK, since I think it isn’t very viable in a format that nearly every deck plays Field Blower in, so I don’t see a very bright future for this archetype. 

Face of the Format

Every time a new set is released, things are shaken up. While this format isn’t going to feature a Regional Championship (since Sun & Moon—Crimson Invasion is going to be legal by the time of the next one), it’s still very relevant for smaller events like League Cups. Here, I’ll browse over the best decks, and voice my thoughts about what I’d consider the most when heading into a tournament using the BREAKthrough through Shining Legends Standard format. 

The Best Decks

Garbodor with Shining Mew is the first deck I’d like to call extra attention to. I’m absolutely enthralled with the combinations that it unlocks, especially powering up a Necrozma-GX, as well as the more obvious acceleration of a Drampa-GX. Necrozma-GX with Garbodor in the Expanded format has been running wild with Dimension Valley as energy acceleration, so I see no reason why the combination of a more easily powered up Necrozma-GX can’t be just as good in the Standard format. With a slew of fifty-fifty or better matchups against the field, Garbodor is too solid of a play to pass up on for most tournaments. 

Gardevoir-GX is the reigning best deck in the format for multiple months running, and Shining Legends shouldn’t change that. The addition of Zoroark-GX to the deck is only going to make things better, too. This is the safest deck in the format, and you really can’t go wrong with something like Gardevoir-GX. 

The last of the big three in the format I believe to be Vikavolt / Tapu Bulu-GX. The deck has great matchups, aside from Metagross-GX, and can stack up with anything. A lot of players don’t seem to like the deck, which I think is foolish. I’ve even heard people say they don’t own Vikavolt because the deck is so bad. They couldn’t be more wrong! I most recently played the deck to a 6/1/2 finish at Hartford, Connecticut Regionals, bubbling at thirty-fifth place. I was very satisfied with the result, although I wish I could have kept playing into the second day, and really liked the deck. It was what I knew best, and I still like the sick techs you can play in the build like Clefairy and Mew. This deck is really good, so don’t discount it, not even a little bit. 

What I’d Play

If I had a Standard format tournament including Shining Legends tomorrow, I would most certainly play Garbodor with Shining Mew. I’m really hyped on the concept, since it has so many options to play with. As mentioned earlier, Garbodor’s Expanded format pairing with Necrozma-GX has yielded nothing but success, and I can’t imagine anything but greatness from its Expanded counterpart, in comparison. This deck rocks, and you really can’t go wrong with good old trashy!

Time for Some Lists! 

Garbodor / Shining Mew (Mew EVO is Shining Mew)

 

What can I say, I love Shining Mew! This decklist has a ton of options, so you’ve got plenty of ways to beat matchups that would otherwise be a little more difficult. Espeon-EX is amazing against evolution-based matchups, and Po Town provides you a way to “lock” your opponent with Espeon-GX, where you continually devolve your opponent’s Pokemon and force him or her to re-damage them when evolving again. Acerola is sweet to use against Golisopod-GX decks when your opponent attacks into your Turtonator-GX. A single Rainbow Energy is another way to damage a Pokemon on your bench, powering up Drampa-GX’s Berserk. There’s so much to love about this deck! 

Gardevoir-GX / Zoroark-GX (Zoroark LTR is Zoroark-GX; Zorua LTR is Zorua)

 

I really like this list, and it’s very close to the one I think I’m going to be playing in Richmond, British Columbia for an upcoming Regionals (minus the Shining Legends cards, of course). Clefairy is sick for the mirror match, and can be generally useful against lots of other matchups, too. Three Field Blower is incredible when facing Garbodor decks, and a thicker line of Sylveon-GX makes sure that the Parallel City with Plea play will be a possibility nearly every game you play. This deck is super powerful, and the addition of Zoroark-GX is only going to make it more consistent, and also give the build another solid attacker. 

Vikavolt / Tapu Bulu-GX / Venusaur (Bulbasaur DEX is Bulbasaur; Venusaur DEX is Venusaur)

I haven’t tested extensively with Venusaur in this deck yet, but all I know is if you get it out, you’re going to be in amazing shape. Using a single Strong Charge to power up a Tapu Bulu-GX not only conserves Energy, but is a lot more efficient. I love the synergy, and hopefully it can work most of the time. I really like this deck, and Mew and Tapu Koko are awesome techs for matchups like Gardevoir-GX, which can otherwise be difficult. A higher count of search effects, including Skyla, increase your odds of hitting the second turn Vikavolt, and getting those precious energy into play for your Tapu Bulu-GX to start blowing things out of the water. Three Field Blower greatly improves your chances against Garbodor decks, so that Garbotoxin doesn’t become a huge problem. This deck is a favorite of mine, and I’m really excited to test it out even more than I have already!

Conclusion

Shining Legends might not be the biggest set ever, but it most certainly isn’t lacking a large quantity of strong cards. Zoroark-GX is by far the most influential overall, as it will find its way into a ton of decks, but there are plenty of other strong cards too, like Shining Mew, that will also have a big impact on the format. There’s plenty left to be discovered yet about the set, which will keep things interesting moving forward. Good luck testing folks, catch you next time!

~Caleb

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Cosmic Eclipse's Influence on the metagame

11/13/2019 by Nico Alabas // Nico goes over his favorite cards from Cosmic Eclipse and how the set influences some of the popular archetypes from... (+29)

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Mark Dizon

Take Five - Post Portland

11/22/2019 by Mark Dizon // With Portland behind us and the return of Zoroark on top. Mark goes over how you can see the impact of Portland on your... (+21)

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