Experts' corner

Jimmy Pendarvis

Getting in Gear for the World Championships

Jimmy takes a look at the rotation. This article goes over cards rotating out, cards that will be useful now, both new and old. You'll also get a good understanding of what decks will and won't continue to be good, and a grasp on what comes out of the new set.

07/31/2019 by Jimmy Pendarvis

Hey everyone! It has been a while since I have written an article, so I am, excited to be back! We are at one of my favorite points in the season, the World Championships! On top of that, we have a new set and a rotation to figure out! That is a lot going on at once, and it requires a bunch of testing, but I have been having fun with Unified Minds so far. I definitely prefer the new format to the old one, and I am hoping nothing emerges that tilts me as much as Marshadow (SLG; 45) did. I definitely don't miss that card whatsoever. Anyways, I'll be talking all about the new format today. From what cards are rotating out to what is coming out in Unified Minds, along with some deck analysis to go wrap things up. Let's kick things off with a look at the rotation.



Important Cards Rotating Out

This is the simplest part of the article, where I will go over popular cards that won't be legal for use in the Standard format anymore. Some of these cards will be missed dearly, while others I for one am happy to see go.

Double Colorless Energy

This has actually not made as big of a difference as I expected it too when the rotation was first announced. I was expecting to miss having this powerful energy card around, but I really don't. Their are not a lot of great attackers that require simply two colorless energy, certainly not ones that are being used in post rotation regardless of the lack of Double Colorless Energy (EVO; 90) . On top of that, Tripple Acceleration Energy (UBO; 190) has taken it's place as an energy card that covers a more expensive attack cost. The card does not feel as unbalanced as Double Colorless Energy (EVO; 90) did because it can't be used on basics, meaning you are not getting rushed down by a quick attacker sporting a Tripple Acceleration Energy (UBO; 190) . Additionally, this energy discards itself at the end of your turn. Meaning you can't put it down preemptively and you can't attack with the same energy card multiple turns in a row.

Nest Ball, Ultra Ball

Now these are some cards I miss. These cards were great for attitudinal consistency and allowed for universal consistency. Unlike the search cards we are working with in post rotation, such as Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) , these cards are not type specific, leaving all decks on a relatively even playing field. A lot has changed in the new format due to the lack of search cards, decks like Pikachu & Zekrom GX (TM; 33) and Malamar (FLI; 51) have gained an advantage because they still have plenty of search cards.


It is a relief to see this card gone. It was always played when it was legal, we will continue to see it played in expanded, and it would still be played if it was legal in the standard format. Zoroark GX (SLG; 53) was a decent attacker and had incredibly draw power built in, all in one card. Attacking for colorless energy allowed it have access to a large partner pool, thus letting it remain dominant for almost the entirety of its standard legality.

Guzma and Marshadow

These cards only have one thing in common, that I hate both of them. These two cards took a lot of skill out of the format, allowing aggressive strategies to take over the format. Guzma (BUS; 115) made playing support Pokemon a much more difficult task, and created many situations where the player who got ahead would just stay ahead and win the game. The card was too powerful and gave the player using it too much freedom to take easy prizes or make a big play. Marshadow (SLG; 45) has some similar qualities, often giving the player lucky enough to win the coin flip an incredible advantage. Not only would said player go first and get to start setting up first, they didn't have to worry an opposing Marshadow (SLG; 45) and could even use their own for full effect.

Tapu Koko-GX

Surprise! Maybe. For me, missing this card was definitely not something I expected. Tapu Koko GX (GRI; 147) was a strong tech card in past formats, and that would have remained true in the new format. Many decks, such as dark box, Pikarom, and Reshizard all flood the board with energy in order to perform their strategy and win the game. Tapu Koko GX (GRI; 147) would help to punish aggressive play, and provide lightning decks with another option in the mid to late game.

Tapu Lele-GX

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about the rotation of this card. It would be nice to have a more stable utility Pokemon that offers immediate assistance, especially on turn one, that can be easily searched via Pokemon Communication. Some decks don't mind using Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) , but Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) would be another viable option, especially for decks that don't want to use Dedenne GX (UBO; 57) . Having Custom Catcher (LT; 171) in the opening hand and having to Dedenne it away is a painful experience that Tapu Lele GX (GRI; 60) would prevent if it was still legal. My biggest concern is Tapu Lele-GX's typing, Psychic. Mysterious Treasure (FLI; 113) has already given Psychic and Dragon Pokemon a noticeable boost in playability due to the removal of most other search options. It is already seen how much of an advantage a deck can gain through something like this, with Electromagnetic Radar (UBO; 230) being an incredible inclusion in Pikarom. It grabs an attacker and a draw support Pokemon in one go, and I said I missed Ultra Ball (SLG; 68) !

Choice Band

The presence of Pokemon tool cards, outside of Spell Tag (LT; 190) , has dropped significantly since the rotation of this handy tool. Choice Band (GRI; 121) was included in a majority of decks when it was legal, allowing higher HP GX Pokemon to be more susceptible to attacks. In combination with Shrine of Punishment (CLS; 143) , Choice Band (GRI; 121) made single prize Pokemon so efficient that their was pretty much always a single prize deck running around in the meta. Now that their damage output and search engine has been nerfed, we will see a lot less of them. Choice Band (GRI; 121) was even used in most GX decks for opposing GX decks, it was just an all around solid card. It was not overpowered or unbalanced, just a strong card, and I would not mind having it back. I also don't miss it a ton thus far, so I could really take it or leave it.

Rescue Stretcher

Brock's Grit (EVO; 74) just does not compare to this fallen recovery card. Rescue Stretcher (GRI; 130) was much easier to use because it was a trainer, not a supporter, and you could snag a Pokemon out of the discard for immediate gratification. This made it a decent card earlier in the game, where Brock's Grit (EVO; 74) struggles even harder, and can allow a player to pull off a big play if the Pokemon has an immediate effect on the board. Some decks definitely miss this card more than others. Malamar (FLI; 51) misses it a lot, while decks like Pikarom prefer this to be out of the meta.

Unified Minds

Unified Minds is an absolutely massive set, which is pretty disappointing because I feel it is a relatively low quality one. A ton of cards in the set are just unplayable, and not a lot of stuff really stands out at me. I was able to assemble this list of cards that are receiving hype and have some potential, but nothing here is too earth shattering. Maybe it is because the set is following in the footsteps of Unbroken Bonds, a set that ended up being quite powerful. Anyways, lets take a look at the cards that do make a difference!

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