MY TOP TEN FAVORITE CARDS FROM TEAM UP
John goes over his top ten favorite competitive cards from the new Pokemon set coming out in February, Team Up.
01/06/2019 by John Hoegerl
Hey 60Cards readers! What’s up? In this article, I’m going to go over my top ten favorite competitively viable cards from the next Pokemon TCG set coming out in February 2019, Team Up. This set will include new Tag Team Pokemon-GX, super strong new GX Pokemon. These cards are so strong that if one of them is knocked out, your opponent takes THREE PRIZE CARDS! All of the English translations for these cards come from limitlesstcg.com (see limitlesstcg.com/translations for the translations). Go there to check out all of the cards from the new set.
DISCLAIMER: While I feel confident in my choices, I cannot perfectly predict the best cards from the new set until after the set is released. However, I believe that this list should give you a good idea of the best cards to come out in Team Up.
Before I start the top ten list, I’m going to list two cards that barely missed their spots in the list.
#1. Muscle Pad (ムキムキパッド)
Trainer - Item - Tool
If this card is attached to a Pokemon with 4 retreat cost, it gets +50 HP.
This card gives an extra 50 HP to Pokemon with a retreat cost of four. The main reason this card is an Honorable Mention is because of its amazing synergy with the new Magikarp & Wailord Tag Team-GX, which we’ll cover later….
#2. Wonder Labyrinth Prism Star (ワンダーラビリンス♢)
Trainer - Stadium
All Pokemon's attacks (except (Y) Pokemon) cost (C) more. While this card is in play, prevent all effects from Item and Supporter cards done to this card.
Wonder Labyrinth Prism Star is a Stadium that is perfect for stall- or fairy-decks. It makes all Pokemon's (except for fairy-types) attacks cost a colorless energy more. Forcing your opponent to attach an extra energy to attack could help run them out of resources and could work very well with cards like Enhanced Hammer GRI or Crushing Hammer SUM. Decks like ZoroControl, Gardevoir GX BUS/Alolan Ninetales GX LOT, and ZoroToad (in expanded) could make excellent use of this card.
TOP TEN LIST
#10. Lavender Town (シオンタウン)
Trainer - Stadium
Once during each player's turn, that player may look at their opponent's hand.
Many of the cards from this set are from the recently released new Pokemon video games, Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. Lavender Town, a new Stadium card, is one of them. It allows either player to look at their opponent's hand every turn. This could be very useful. You could check to see if your opponent has a Guzma BUS in their hand, for instance. It could also remove a lot of the tension of not knowing whether or not your opponent has the game-winning card in their hand. The reason this card is so far down on the list is because I can’t see many decks having enough room in them for copies of this card.
#9. Eevee & Snorlax-GX (イーブイ&カビゴンGX) - Colorless - 270 HP
Pokemon - Basic
C Cheer Up
Attach an energy card from your hand to 1 of your Pokemon.
CCCC Dump Truck Press 120＋
If your opponent's active Pokemon is an evolution Pokemon, this attack does 120 more damage.
CCCC Megaton Friends 210
If this Pokemon has at least 1 extra energy attached to it (in addition to this attack's cost), draw cards until you have 10 cards in your hand.
The first Tag Team Pokemon on this list, Eevee & Snorlax GX has 270 HP, an insane amount of HP, especially for a basic Pokemon. Its first attack, Cheer Up, simply lets you attach an energy card from your hand to one of your Pokemon. Its next attack, Dump Truck Press (a really weird name), has a hefty attack cost of four colorless energy. However, this cost is more easily reachable when you consider Double Colorless Energy SUM. It does a flat 120 damage, plus 120 more if your opponent’s active Pokemon is an evolution Pokemon. This could absolutely decimate something like a Gardevoir GX BUS or a Zoroark GX SLG, but wouldn’t be as effective against a Blacephalon GX LOT.
Its GX attack, Megaton Friends (another weird name), does a flat 210 damage for four colorless energy. However, if there is an extra energy attached to Snorlax & Eevee GX, you get to draw cards until there are ten in your hand. This is a quite powerful GX attack, but its attack cost is expensive, just like its second attack. 210 damage is probably worth it, though. Eevee & Snorlax GX has a weakness to fighting. The only major problem with this is Buzzwole GX CIN decks, but not many people in the masters division still play that deck (they do in seniors, though). It has a retreat cost of four energy, which is high, but it allows Muscle Pad to work with the card. Eevee & Snorlax GX definitely has a lot of potential, but I am not sure whether anyone will be brave enough to unlock it.
#8. Latias & Latios-GX (ラティアス&ラティオスGX) - Dragon - 250 HP
Pokemon - Basic
WPPC Buster Purge 240
Discard 3 energy from this Pokemon.
P Aero Unit GX
Attach 5 basic energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like. If this Pokemon has at least 1 extra energy attached to it (in addition to this attack's cost), prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to it during your opponent's next turn.
This Tag Team-GX is a dragon-type Pokemon with 250 HP. Its first attack, Buster Purge, is strong but requires multiple types of energy - one water, two psychic, and one colorless. It does 240 damage but requires you to discard three energy attached to the Pokemon. This attack could be powered up by Malamar’s FLI Psychic Recharge ability, but requires water energy as well as psychic. However, Ultra Necrozma GX FLI requires two types of energy, and that card is still being played by many people, including making Top 8 at several tournaments.
Aero Unit GX, for one psychic energy, allows you to attach five energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like. This could potentially power up Buster Purge or another attacker. If you have another energy attached to the card, Latios & Latias GX is granted immunity during your opponent’s next turn, similar to Dawn Wing Necrozma GX’s UPR GX attack. Latios & Latias GX is weak to fairy, which is a problem, since Gardevoir GX BUS has proved itself to be a very strong contender in the current metagame, even winning Roanoke Regionals. If Latios & Latias GX is knocked out, your opponent takes three prize cards. You wouldn’t want your opponent to be able to take that many prize cards so easily. Plus, Alolan Ninetales GX LOT, a card featured in several decks, also is a fairy-type Pokemon, even if it actually can’t OHKO a Latios & Latias GX.
#7. Jolteon-GX (サンダースGX) - Lightning - 200 HP
Pokemon - Stage 1
L Eletric Ballet 30
This attack does 30 damage to 1 of your opponent's benched Pokemon. (Don't apply W/R for benched Pokemon.)
LC Head Bolt 110
LC Speed Run-GX 110
Prevent all damage and effects from attacks done to this Pokemon during your opponent's next turn.
This card has seen success at the 1,200-person tournament in Niigata, Japan recently. With Eevee’s SUM Energy Evolution ability, you can evolve into Jolteon GX on your first turn. Its first attack, Electric Ballet, does 30 damage and 30 damage to one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon. This is very similar to Buzzwole GX’s CIN Jet Punch attack. Then, Jolteon GX’s second attack, Head Bolt, does a flat 110 damage for a lightning energy and a colorless energy. Thanks to Thunder Mountain Prism Star LOT and Eevee’s SUM ability, you can use this attack for one energy on your very first turn. This can OHKO many weaker Pokemon, including Zorua SLG, Ralts BUS, and Alolan Vulpix GRI. Jolteon GX’s GX attack, Speed Run GX, also does 110 damage and gives Jolteon GX immunity from your opponent’s attacks during their next turn. The card has a weakness to fighting, though, making Buzzwole GX CIN decks an issue for Jolteon.
#6. Ninetales (キュウコン) - Fire - 100 HP
Pokemon - Stage 1
Ability: Nine-Tail Invitation
Once during your turn, you may discard 2 fire energy cards from your hand. Then, choose 1 of your opponent's benched Pokemon and switch it with their active Pokemon.
RCC Flame Tail 90
We’ve seen water- and fairy-type Alolan Ninetales cards recently, but this is the first Kantonian, fire-type Ninetales we’ve seen in awhile. It has an amazing ability, Nine-Tail invitation. It allows you to, once during your turn, discard two fire energies and then switch one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon with their active one. This switching effect is similar to Lysandre FLF, Guzma BUS, and Lycanroc GX’s GRI Bloodthirsty Eyes ability. Ninetales has tons of synergy with BlacephaloN GX LOT/Naganadel LOT decks, which want fire energies in the discard pile. It’s compatible with Ditto Prism Star LOT, so you don’t even have to play Vulpix in your deck in order to use it.
#5. Pokemon Communication (ポケモン通信)
Trainer - Item
Reveal a Pokemon in your hand and put it on top of your deck. If you do, search your deck for a Pokemon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward.
A card already printed before and even playable in expanded, Pokemon Communication is a card that is sure to be played in many decks in Standard. It essentially allows you to put a Pokemon from your hand into your deck and then search it for a new Pokemon. It’s an excellent new card to help get Pokemon from your deck into your hand. It could even potentially replace cards like Timer Ball SUM.
#4. Pikachu & Zekrom-GX (ピカチュウ&ゼクロムGX) - Lightning - 240 HP
Pokemon - Basic
LLL Full Blitz 150
Search your deck for up to 3 lightning energy cards and attack them to 1 of your Pokemon. Then, shuffle your deck,
LLL Tag Bolt GX 200
If this Pokemon has at least 3 extra lightning energy attached to it (in addition to this attack's cost), this attack does 170 damage to 1 of your opponent's benched Pokemon. (Don't apply W/R for benched Pokemon.)
An interesting combo, Pikachu & Zekrom GX is a very strong and powerful new card. Its 240 HP may be on the lower side for a Tag Team-GX, but it makes up for it with its two attacks. Full Blitz does 150 damage for three lightning energy and allows you to search your deck for three more lightning energies and attach them to one of your Pokemon. You can reduce this attack’s cost by using Thunder Mountain Prism Star LOT. If you attach a Choice Band GRI to Pikachu & Zekrom GX, this attack does 180 damage, enough to OHKO something like a Blacephalon GX LOT or a Rayquaza GX CES.
Tag Bolt GX does a flat 200 damage for three lightning energies. If there are three more lightning energies attached to Pikachu & Zekrom GX (6 total), the attack does 170 damage to one of your opponent’s benched Pokemon. This GX attack is insane, especially with the added effect of 170 damage to a benched Pokemon. 170 damage is enough to OHKO a benched Tapu Lele GX GRI and 200 damage could OHKO a Blacephalon GX LOT. This attack could easily allow you to take 4 prize cards in one turn.
#3. Zapdos (サンダー) - Lightning - 110 HP
Pokemon - Basic
L Assault Thunder 10+
If this Pokemon was on your bench and became your active Pokemon this turn, this attack does 70 more damage. This attack's damage isn't affected by weakness.
Zapdos decks did very well at the recent 1,200-person tournament in Japan, even making the Top 4. Its single attack, Assault Thunder, does 10 damage for one lightning energy but does 70 more is Zapdos became your active Pokemon that turn, similar to Golisopod GX’s BUS First Impression attack. This single attack may seem underpowered, but combined with Electropower LOT, it can hit for a large amount of damage for a single energy. This is especially cool because Zapdos is a non-GX Pokemon. However, Zapdos has only 110 HP and has a high retreat cost of two. Nevertheless, I will still be sure to try out a Zapdos deck out after Team Up is released.
#2. Viridian Forest (トキワの森)
Trainer - Stadium
Once during each player's turn, that player may discard a card from their hand. Then, search their deck for a basic energy card, reveal it and put it into their hand. Then, shuffle their deck.
Another location from the new video games, Viridian Forest is a good Stadium card sure to see play in several decks. It allows either player to, once per turn, discard a card from their hand and then search their deck for a basic energy card and put it in their hand. This has lots of synergy with decks like Blacephalon GX LOT/Naganadel LOT and Malamar FLI, which want to get as many energies as they can into their hand. Plus, for both of these decks, you could also use Viridian Forest to discard basic energy cards.
#1. Magikarp & Wailord-GX (コイキング&ホエルオーGX) - Water - 300 HP
Pokemon - Basic
WWWWW Super Splash 180
W Towering Splash GX 10
If this Pokemon has at least 7 extra water energy attached to it (in addition to this attack's cost), this attack does 100 damage to each of your opponent's benched Pokemon. (Don't apply Weakness and Resistance for benched Pokemon.)
The Number 1 spot on this list goes to a card that is absolutely crazy. This card is good for two reasons. First, it could be excellent in stall decks. Magikarp & Wailord GX has 300 HP, more than any card has ever had before. Plus, its retreat cost of four allows Muscle Pad to work with this card, enabling it to have 350 HP. Almost no attack can OHKO Magikarp & Wailord GX, especially if Muscle Pad is attached. This means, in stall decks, you can reliably use Max Potion GRI and Acerola BUS to continuously heal Magikarp & Wailord GX.
The second reason this card is broken is because of its two expensive, yet strong, attacks. Super Splash simply does 180 damage for five water energies. This is an incredibly expensive attack, but you could use a combination of Naganadel LOT, Quagsire DRM, and Aqua Patch GRI to relatively quickly power up this attack. Or, in expanded, you could even use the Archie's Blastoise engine to very quickly use both attacks. Finally, Magikarp & Wailord GX’s GX attack is also absolutely insane. For one water energy it does a poor 10 damage. But, if there are seven extra water energies attached (8 total), the attack does 100 damage to each of your opponent’s benched Pokemon. This is the ultimate spread attack. It can OHKO a lot of Pokemon and can greatly weaken other, leaving them very vulnerable to future attacks. If your opponent is playing Lost March, you could possibly destroy all of their benched Pokemon in one hit with this attack. Magikarp & Wailord GX’s weakness to grass doesn’t even matter, as grass-type Pokemon aren’t used very much competitively in the Pokemon TCG. For all of these reasons, Magikarp & Wailord GX definitely deserved to get the #1 spot on this list.
Team Up is a Pokemon set that will greatly change the game and influence the new metagame. I am very excited for the set’s release and encourage you to already start testing with proxies of the new cards, available on limitlesstcg.com. Until next time, trainers,
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