Experts' corner

Jose Marrero

My Top 5 Favorite Trainers from Burning Shadows

Jose discusses what his top 5 favorite Trainers are from the new upcoming set, Burning Shadows.

07/27/2017 by Jose Marrero


Hello again 60cards readers! For this next article I'll be briefly going over my top 5 favorite Trainers from the new set, Burning Shadows as in my last article I did my top 5 favorite Pokémon from Burning Shadows. Prereleases should have already started by the time this article goes up so hopefully, you had time to pick up cards you need for upcoming events especially Worlds next month. Or if you're like me and are attending the ARG Invitational a week before Worlds then be sure to pick up cards you need from Burning Shadows because it will be legal for play at all three ARG events next month. The link to the ARG Invitational and other events you can find here. As you can see Friday you can enter the 3 v 3 tournament which should be exciting to see which team comes out on top. You can also win an invite to the Invitational the following day which has a prize pool of $5,000 and Sunday another Circuit which yields extra cash and other nice rewards. So if you need some last minute testing for Worlds and some extra cash be sure to plan ahead and attend any or all the ARG Invitational events. I'll definitely be there so if you see me be sure to come say hi.

With that said, let's start with the fan favorite, Guzma.

My top 5 Favorite Burning Shadows Trainers



Switch your opponent’s Active Pokemon with 1 of their Benched Pokemon. Then, switch your Active Pokemon with 1 of your Benched Pokemon.

You can only play 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

I personally love that this card was printed because Lysandre will be rotated out in Standard and I'm sure people don't want to rely on Pokémon Catcher anymore. The fact that Guzma is essentially an Escape Rope except you get to chose your opponent's active Pokémon makes it that much better. Being able to search Guzma out with Tapu Lele-GX makes it easier to find as well. In a deck like Golisopod-GX having access to Guzma makes it so you can switch into a different Golisopod-GX so you can take advantage of its First Impression attack. It shouldn't be difficult having some form of a free retreater or Float Stone to be able to attack with your active Pokémon again on a new benched target with Guzma. Especially if a lot of decks are running Tapu Koko then you have a free retreater right there. Guzma lets you power up bench attackers while not really caring if something gets stuck active because with Tapu Lele-GX as I said and VS Seeker you can keep reusing Guzma. Obviously, after rotation, you can't use VS Seeker in Standard but that's beside the point. This card especially the full art will easily be one of the most sought after cards in Burning Shadows so try and get your hands on them as early as possible before the price on them rises more and more. Right now I'm using a 1-1 split between Guzma and Lydandre but playing two Guzma instead is debatable and I can easily see switching to two Guzma instead. That doesn't necessarily mean that Guzma is better than Lysandre just because you may not be able to retreat the active Pokémon you Guzmaed into however that scenario is probably really rare in most cases.



Put 1 of your Pokemon that has any damage counters on it and all cards attached to it to your hand.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

This card acts as an AZ in a sense except you have to have damage on you in order to be able to use Acerola. However, Acerola lets you pick up all the cards attached to the Pokémon including Energy, and Tools unlike AZ so really Acerola seems better overall. Against decks such as Decidueye-GX or Greninja where they love to do free damage without attacking a card like Acerola can work wonders there. Acerola will easily see play in decks like Golisopod-GX since they have 210 hit points which aren't easy to one shot so if you're able to keep streaming Acerola while hitting for 120+ damage then you can take control of the game. Or even in a deck like M Rayquaza-EX where if you have a Spirit Link on the active then you can heal off M Rayquaza-EX then have a fresh one ready to go assuming you don't get one hit KOed. Acerola also helps against random things that would put you under a status condition whether its Espeon-GX with its Psybeam or Lapras-GX and its Ice Beam GX. Overall Acerola is a solid card and I'm glad it was printed.



Search your deck for 4 [R] Energy and attach them to 1 of your Pokemon. Then, shuffle your deck. Your turn ends.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

This card will easily take over Volcanion decks as its main focus. Being able to power up a Volcanion-EX or Ho-Oh-GX on the first turn and then threaten one hit KO's by turn two is too good to pass up which is why Kiawe in conjunction with Fire Types will be strong come Worlds. I can see Volcanion being one of the best deck choices for Worlds simply because of Kiawe and with the new addition of Ho-Oh-GX not being weak to Water types gives the deck an answer against decks that hit for weakness. The fact that you can search Kiawe out with Tapu Lele-GX makes it that much better and easier to achieve. Sure the downside is that you have to end your turn but that's okay if it's the first turn of the game anyway or even the second because just pretend like you attacked with Volcanion but instead of attaching 1 energy on 2 things you attached 3-4 on something which means you should have enough leeway to just Steam Up for KO's moving forward. Gardevoir-GX being so powerful means Metagross-GX may see play which makes Volcanion that much better as the play.

Super Scoop Up


Flip a coin. If heads, put 1 of your Pokemon and all cards attached to it into your hand.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

It's about time they reprinted this card because many players wanted to see its return including myself. I was always a fan of Super Scoop Up and I've played them in a number of decks. I can see them more used post rotation but right now I think decks are too tight as is making it difficult to fit them in. I still love that it was reprinted because it gives you more ideas when deck building. Who knows maybe we will see some crazy deck that takes advantage of Super Scoop Up. Although it's a flippy card I can still see it played in decks like Golisopod-GX where it easily can be useful in there because it only attacks for a single energy and Super Scoop Up lets you go in and out of First Impression. There will be a deck out there that will use Super Scoop Up wisely I'm sure of it because once you flip heads even if it's 1 out of 4 it can be game changing and a lot of times game winning plays.

Bodybuilding Dumbbells


Pokemon Tool: Attach a Pokemon Tool to 1 of your Pokemon that doesn’t already have a Pokemon Tool attached to it.

The Stage 1 Pokemon this card is attached to gets + 40 HP.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

Of course, we have Fighting Fury Belt that also adds 10 damage, however, Bodybuilding Dumbbells only works on stage 1 Pokémon while Fighting Fury Belt only works on Basic Pokémon so you can see how they differ from one another. Giving a stage 1 Pokémon 40 more hit points can be troublesome, however, with most decks playing 1-2 Field Blower it's hard to warrant to want to play Bodybuilding Dumbbells if it's just going to get removed anyway. But then again you can say that for Fighting Fury Belt and Choice Band, however both Fighting Fury Belt and Choice Band adds immediate damage unlike Bodybuilding Dumbbells meaning you will get their added bonus as soon as you attack with the Pokémon using them. As for Bodybuilding Dumbbells, the extra 40 hit points is almost always irrelevant until it's your opponent's turn which then gives them time to Field Blower them away before they get any real use. Now that there are more and more GX Pokémon becoming stage 1s means Bodybuilding Dumbbells may see some play however right now the stage 1 GX Pokémon we have in the current format may not see much play in general and Gardevoir-GX is a stage 2 which can't take advantage of Bodybuilding Dumbbells. 

Closing Thoughts

That will conclude yet another short article only this time on my top 5 favorite Trainers from Burning Shadows. Some other Trainers that didn't make my top 5 but will still see some play especially post rotation are Sophocles which seems great in a deck like Turbo Darkrai-EX to help put Dark Energy and Darkrai-GX in the discard easier. Plumeria is another Trainer that in Standard will probably see mild play just because it can get rid of any energy on your opponent's field. Lastly, Wishful Baton in a deck like Turbo Darkrai-EX seems very powerful assuming Field Blower doesn't get rid of it. I honestly can't wait for the new rotation format because it gives newer players and old time to think outside the box and potentially come up with their own ideas seeing how the meta will be fresh and new after Worlds next month. I'll have a longer article coming next which should be on Worlds decks since I'm sure people are waiting for new lists especially if you're playing on Day 1. I'll also have a couple more short ones coming up before the months over so be sure to check those out when they are published.

If you haven't already check out The Chaos Gym on YouTube and Twitch for updates and player interviews, as well as live streaming from Grafton Roll and Rahul Reddy. If you want to help support my team, be sure to check out Team ARG's Pokémon page on Facebook, Team ARG Pokémon-TCG for tons of deck lists from great players. My Twitter is down below if you want to follow me then, by all means, go for it. If you have any questions about these lists or decks in general or about Team ARG then please feel free to leave me a comment below or message me on Facebook and I'll be sure to get to them as soon as possible. As usual, if you enjoyed reading this article, then please consider giving it a thumbs up. If you want to see a specific type of article or topic next time, don't hesitate to give me ideas down below and I'll consider them, or if you have any other deck ideas and want to see an analysis on it, then, by all means, post it and I'll take a look. As always, keep an eye out for more articles to come. Until next time!

-Twitter @Jose_MarreroTCG

[+11] okko

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