Read on below to learn more about Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet.
Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet Top Competitive Cards
Prepare yourself for a new era of the Pokémon TCG and learn more about the most impactful cards coming in the Scarlet & Violet expansion.
By Ellis Longhurst, Contributing Writer
Journey through the Paldea region with cards from the Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet expansion. This set includes unique and powerful Pokémon and Trainer Cards that have never been seen in the Pokémon TCG before now. The past and future collide with the revival of the Pokémon ex mechanic and the introduction of Tera Pokémon ex—familiar Pokémon with new, crystalline appearances and special powers. There are plenty of exciting new strategies to explore, and many will change the course of battle. Read on to find out which cards from the Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet expansion will stand the test of time.
Miraidon ex Lights Up the Battlefield
Who better to reintroduce a game mechanic from the past than Miraidon ex, a Legendary Pokémon from the future. Pokémon ex are similar to Pokémon V and VSTAR in that they are formidable foes and give up multiple Prize cards when Knocked Out. Unlike Pokémon V, Pokémon ex can be Basic, Stage 1, or Stage 2 Pokémon. They were a force to be reckoned with during the EX Series of the Pokémon TCG, and it seems that history will repeat itself.
A lot of buzz has been generated around Miraidon ex, especially its Tandem Unit Ability. By using Tandem Unit, Trainers can quickly flood the battlefield with Basic Lightning-type Pokémon. With just two Miraidon ex in play, Trainers can fill their Bench in a single turn!
There are loads of powerful Lightning-type Pokémon to be amped up about, so choosing the right one for your deck can feel like rocket science. Regieleki and the new Pachirisu are good options against opposing single-Prize Pokémon, while Raikou V boasts an electrifying attack and a useful Ability. Perhaps consider the inclusion of Regieleki VMAX—its Transistor Ability will help Miraidon ex take Knock Outs on multi-Prize Pokémon with Photon Blaster. Rest assured that you will not need to play many copies of the Pokémon that spark your fancy: Miraidon ex will bring them all into the battle.
Charge up your chosen Lightning-type Pokémon with the new Electric Generator, too. This Item card can surprise your opponent by setting up a Miraidon ex to attack on the turn it was played, even as early as the first turn of the game. Remember to include lots of Lightning Energy in decks that use Electric Generator. Otherwise, the deck might short circuit!
The Future Looks Bright for Gardevoir ex
Longtime fans of the Pokémon TCG will think of Gardevoir ex as a blast from the past, but this Pokémon is actually way ahead of its time. Gardevoir ex’s Psychic Embrace is an impressive Ability that creates an opportunity to explore many exciting combinations. Two top Trainers have already found great success with this Pokémon; both earned a place in the Top 8 at Champions League Aichi, an event in Japan with over 3,000 players.
Psychic Embrace enables Trainers to attach multiple Basic Psychic Energy to their Psychic Pokémon every turn. This makes it easy to take Knock Outs on high-HP Pokémon using Zacian V’s Storm Slash, or Gardevoir ex’s Miracle Force. Alternatively, power up a Galarian Articuno for battle against single-Prize Pokémon. If the need to place damage counters on your Pokémon seems like a weakness, think again! Cresselia can shift damage counters on to the opponent’s Pokémon with Moonglow Reserve.
Setting up a Stage 2 Pokémon can be a slow process. Fortunately, Scarlet & Violet includes a few Trainer cards that will help to put Gardevoir ex into play in no time at all. Nest Ball and Jacq, when used in combination, can search the deck for Ralts and Gardevoir ex. Add in a Rare Candy, and Ralts can skip a stage of Evolution. To make good use of Psychic Embrace, a lot of Psychic Energy must quickly go into the discard pile first. Trainers can use Serena and Ultra Ball, as well as the Abilities of Radiant Greninja and Kirlia to achieve this. If Pokémon find their way into the discard pile instead, the new Miriam Supporter card can shuffle them right back into the deck.
Buy more time and future-proof plans by partnering Gardevoir ex with the new Klefki. When Klefki is in the Active Spot, no Basic Pokémon in play have Abilities (Klefki’s Mischievous Lock Ability is an exception). This is highly problematic for decks that rely on Miraidon ex’s Tandem Unit, Genesect V’s Fusion Strike System, or Comfey’s Flower Selecting to set up in the early turns of the game. The future is unclear, but one thing is certain—Gardevoir ex is a card to keep your third eye on.
Arcanine ex Roars into Action
Arcanine ex may have a cool new look, but it will still bring the heat to the battlefield. This Tera Pokémon ex has two fiery attacks and a power that offers protection from damage while it’s on the Bench. The reason why Arcanine ex is the top dog should soon become crystal clear.
Bright Flame does a huge 250 damage to the opponent’s Active Pokémon; with the addition of damage modifiers such as Choice Belt and Rapidash’s Heat Boost Ability, this attack can Knock Out most Pokémon ex and Pokémon VSTAR in one hit! The drawback is that Bright Flame requires Arcanine ex to discard 2 Fire Energy. As Trainers can only attach 1 Energy card from their hand to their Pokémon every turn, this makes it tricky for Arcanine ex to use this attack on consecutive turns. Consider using Raihan or Magma Basin and the new Armarouge’s Fire Off Ability to ensure Bright Flame fires again and again.
The alternative is to follow up with Raging Claws. Given that Arcanine ex has 280 Hit Points, this attack can be even more devastating than Bright Flame, especially with a little help from Magma Basin. The opponent may need to think twice before declaring an attack on this Pokémon if they cannot Knock it Out in one hit. Luckily, Arcanine ex is also protected from any sneaky attempts to soften it up while it’s on the Bench because of its status as a Tera Pokémon ex.
The Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet expansion introduces another Tera Pokémon in Gyarados ex, as well as a formidable combination of Water-type Pokémon in Dondozo and Tatsugiri. Water-type Pokémon are a particular threat to Arcanine ex, so fans of this Fire type will need to keep a close eye on their popularity of these fishy foes.
Spice Up Your Deck with Arven
With help from Arven, you can gather the right ingredients to cook up a victory. This Supporter card enables Trainers to search their deck for an Item card and a Pokémon Tool card, and then put them into their hand. As of April 2023, Pokémon Tool cards are no longer considered to be a subcategory of Item cards: they’ve become a new category of Trainer card. This means that Arven is one of few ways to fetch them from the deck…no Mabosstiff required!
Almost all top-performing Pokémon TCG decks benefit from the use of Tool cards, but not always in the same way. Sky Seal Stone makes Pokémon V able to take an extra Prize card when they Knock Out an opposing Pokémon VSTAR or Pokémon VMAX, while Forest Seal Stone enables Trainers to search their deck for any card. Tool cards such as Choice Belt, Vitality Band, and the new Defiance Band add damage to attacks, others such as EXP Share work to conserve the Energy in play when a Pokémon is Knocked Out. Being able to grab the right Tool card at the right time can certainly have game-changing consequences.
Arven’s searching skills can serve up an Item card, too. This Supporter card can be used to get setup essentials like Battle VIP Pass and Nest Ball, or combination pieces like Rare Candy or Electric Generator on the turn that they are required. Given that Arven is best positioned to search for situation-specific Trainer cards, allocating just one or two spots for this card in a deck sounds like a recipe for success!
Set the Ground Rules with Beach Court
The forecast is sunny with a high chance of victory when you battle at the Beach Court. This Stadium card has already made waves by playing an important role in decks that have finished in the Top Cut at Championships around the globe.
Beach Court reduces the Retreat Cost of Basic Pokémon in play by 1 Energy. It is a simple effect that helps to prevent the wrong Basic Pokémon from being stranded in the Active Spot and to enable the desired Pokémon to coast in. This makes it easier for Trainer cards like Electric Generator, Dark Patch, and Gardenia’s Vigor to have an immediate impact on the battle.
Arachnophobes may be a fan of Beach Court for an additional reason. When battling at the beach, Trainers can negate the effect of the new Spidops ex’s Trap Territory Ability, thereby reducing the likelihood that Basic Pokémon will be Knocked Out by its Wire Hang attack.
The natural fit for Beach Court is in any deck that relies on frequently moving Basic Pokémon in and out of the Active Spot to execute its winning strategy, especially Lost Box decks. Every variation of this deck uses Comfey’s Flower Selecting Ability to put cards into the Lost Zone. The more Comfey that move into the Active Spot each turn, the quicker that Pokémon like Cramorant and Sableye can be set up to launch powerful attacks. Conserving Energy cards wherever possible is crucial for Lost Box decks, and with the rotation of Scoop Up Net, it may be down to Beach Court to shore up a victory.
These are just some of the sensational cards you will find in the new Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet expansion. With over 190 new cards to collect—including 10 brand-new Pokémon ex and two Tera Pokémon ex—there are plenty of other exciting combinations and strategies to explore. Do you have what it takes to conquer the powers of Paldea?
Look for more Pokémon TCG strategy and analysis at Pokemon.com/Strategy.
Ellis Longhurst is a contributing writer for Pokemon.com. She has been competing in high-level Pokémon TCG tournaments since 2006 and creating written content for the Pokémon community since 2011. Now she brings some Australian flavour to the Play! Pokémon commentary teams at the International and World Championships.
3 thoughts on “Learn more about the most impactful cards coming in the Pokémon TCG: Scarlet & Violet expansion”