With Dallas Regionals over and the Ultra Prism expansion about to released, I thought now would be the perfect time to do a set review. As usual, I am not going to rank the cards — this article is just going to consist of my raw take on the cards in the set with the most potential.
Easy Weakness removal for Grass types seems like it could be relevant and appreciated in the coming months. I expect Fire to see a resurgence in Standard with the release of both Leafeon GX and Magnezone (and its friends Dialga GX and Dusk Mane Necrozma GX), and if that does happen, it is going to be useful for a deck like Leafeon GX/Decidueye GX to take away Fire’s easy OHKO power with a 1-1 line. Leafeon GX can also get Cherrim into play with its GX attack right away. Just having Cherrim as an option in the card pool is nice even if it doesn’t always make the cut.
In a deck that tries to abuse Counter energy, like a Tapu Koko spread deck or the Passimian/Mew/Sudowoodo/Cobalion deck that got featured on stream during Swiss in Memphis last month, Carnivine gives you the means to deal between 180 and 240 to something like Seismitoad EX or Lycanroc GX (depending on if you have Choice Band). The card is niche, yes, but it’s nice having a Grass Basic that can deal OHKOs for a single attachment in a Counter energy deck.
I could be wrong but I think there may be potential in Magmortar/Zoroark GX/Blacksmith/Volcanion EX in Expanded. Fire Gun can OHKO anything with the aid of Steam Up(s) and Choice Band, Blacksmith keeps the attacks coming, Trade keeps the cards flowing and Magmortar only gives up one Prize when it gets KOed. The Ability also helps achieve OHKOs, as with a tails flip following the opponent’s attack (and Burn affliction), all you need to deal the magic number of 210 is use either one Steam Up or drop Choice Band.
This card is among the very best in the set. With Energy Evolution Eevee, you have the opportunity to evolve up to five Pokemon on your first turn of attacking with Grand Bloom GX, which is one of the best set up attacks ever printed in the history of the TCG. You usually won’t be evolving five, of course, since one of your Bench spots will likely be devoted to Tapu Lele GX (for Brigette) plus it’s hard to rip five evolving Basics on turn 1.
Still, just being able to evolve 2-3 Pokemon instantly is magnificent and exactly what an evolution deck wants to get going. The best, or at least most obvious, partners right now for Grand Bloom GX are Decidueye GX and Zoroark GX. Decidueye GX seems like it could wreak havoc on a lot of the established and hyped new decks in conjunction with Espeon EX, and its inherent consistency issues get significantly bandaged with the inclusion of Leafeon GX (on top of Zoroark GX).
Breath of the Leaves is a great Ability that has endless applications given that it doesn’t specify which type of energy the damaged Pokemon needs to have. Naturally you’re going to be using Leafeon GX in a Grass deck so your targets will be limited in that sense, but a free 50 heal — or more, if you retreat/Guzma/Acerola/Escape Rope into another — is fundamentally good.
Decidueye GX has a massive 240 HP, which means it will often survive at least one attack, allowing you the opportunity to heal; with Cherrim also in the mix, the survivability rate only increases. I like how Breath of the Leaves totally erases a bench hit from Buzzwole GX or Alolan Ninetales GX and generally makes life hard for any kind of spread deck. Leafeon’s HP is decent too so it can also be a good target for the healing, and it often will be after the use of Grand Bloom GX.
110 for GCC isn’t amazing but it is better than Decidueye GX’s Razor Leaf and doesn’t expose a Decidueye GX to the fray, either. This attack also OHKOs Shaymin EX in Expanded as well as Lycanroc GX and Seismitoad EX.
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