It’s no secret that the brand-new Shining Fates set packs some serious collector’s value. It will be introducing never-before-seen shiny forms of our favourite Pokemon that we love in our current meta game. This set also brings new powerful additions to the TCG that we can expect to see in upcoming tournament play. Here’s our top 10 picks for the most competitively viable cards you can find in Shining Fates:
10. Rusted Shield
Rusted Shield is a sure gift to any metal deck users looking to strengthen their iron defenses. When you attach this Tool card to your Zamazenta V, its maximum HP is increased by 70. Combining this card with Lucario & Melmetal-GX and its Full Metal Wall GX attack, you get a massive 300HP Zamazenta V. Zamazenta V will also take 30 less damage from your opponent’s attacks and will be completely invulnerable from your opponent’s Pokémon-VMax. Zamazenta V and its trusty Rusted Shield could prove to be the future of the defensive Metal archetype in the meta game.
Rotom presents a niche engine that is welcome in any deck. It plans to utilize the powerful Rotom Item cards introduced throughout recent sets. For decks using the Rotom Phone, Rotom Bike, or Drone Rotom, this adorable Lightning-type Basic Pokemon gives you complete access to these cards, allowing you to search your deck for up to 2 of them and adding them to your hand when it hits the bench. This strategy can help speed up early plays in decks such as Coalossal VMAX which may depend on Rotom Phone to set up its Eruption Shot attack.
This card also has great potential in decks that do not already use Zacian V. We could see Rotom Bike as a potential alternative to fill up your hand on the first turn. Rotom is a great card that provides a lot of utility, consistency and early game options.
8. Ball Guy
Ball Guy is a Trainer card which lets you search your deck for up to 3 different Item cards that have the word “Ball” in their name and adds them to your hand. This is very useful for decks using Quick Ball, Pokeball, Great Ball, or Cherish Ball. This will only get better with the release of Level Ball in the Battle Styles set.
Unfortunately, this is a very early game card and focuses primarily on building up your bench with Basic Pokemon and not evolutions. As a result, we are left with a Trainer that cannot be used on turn 1 if you are going first, and is incapable of advancing our game state later. Ball Guy may yet be redeemed however, with the rotation of Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX and its powerful Altered Creation-GX move.
It is very possible that with this notorious prize-stealer, the meta may just shift toward a strategy that is more centered around smaller, single-prize Pokemon. Ball Guy is a Trainer card that may shape up to be a powerful resource in the future.
Yveltal is a brand new Amazing Rare legendary Pokémon introduced in the Shining Fates set. It comes equipped with the Amazing Destruction attack, which knocks out any opponent’s active Pokémon upon use. The only drawback of this move is the relatively high energy cost that it takes to use it. The Amazing Rare Pokémon series all require multiple energy of different colours, making it difficult to set up special attacks. Combining it with powerful energy accelerators such as Turbo Patch and Welder will allow you to mitigate this problem so that you can begin knocking out those bulky Tag Team-GX Pokémon and high-HP Pokémon-Vmax. Since Yveltal is a single-prize Pokémon capable of knocking out the beefiest Pokémon in the meta, it makes for a great addition to the Amazing Rare archetype.
6. Cramorant VMax
Shining Fates introduces VMax evolutions for Pokemon-V that were released in previous sets. Cramorant VMAX is an all-new boss monster with enough power to be its very own archetype. Its Max Jet attack allows you to flip a coin for each Energy attached to it, dealing 80 damage for each heads. Combining it with a Triple Acceleration Energy provides 3 energy, letting you dish out up to 240 damage with a single attachment!
Afraid of a bad coin flip? The Glimwood Tangle Stadium card allows you to redo your coin flips to make sure you’re hitting consistently. You can even throw in the Memory Capsule Item card from Vivid Voltage to allow this Pokemon-Vmax to learn the Spit Shot attack from its pre-evolution. With this item attached you’re sure to stay ahead of the game, being able to take multiple-prize knockouts from your opponents Pokemon-V and Pokemon-GX.
Finally, with the release of Battle Styles in March, we are expecting Lightning decks to be less prevalent in the format, with the inevitable rise of Urshifu VMAX. This means that Cramorant VMax’s Lightning weakness will be even less of a liability in tournament play.
5. Ditto V
Nothing says infinite possibilities like a Pokémon notorious for shapeshifting into the entirety of the Pokedex. Ditto V looks like a serious contender that is sure to transform the meta game. Its powerful Transformation V ability allows you to switch Ditto V with any Pokémon-V in your discard pile. With its colorless typing and all-around utility, Ditto V could prove to be a viable addition to a creative deck to maximize on the opponent’s type weaknesses. Ditto V not only provides a wide variety of coverage but can also be used to expand your options and further your game state.
Celebi’s Woodland Stroll ability is sure to improve any deck with a low energy count. This unique ability allows you to scout the top 6 cards of your deck, adding an energy to your hand. Since you aren’t limited to basic energies, this also gives you access to the powerful Twin Energy or Aurora Energy. You could even add Rapid Strike and Single Strike energy cards coming in the Battle Styles set.
You can also easily retreat Celebi using popular item cards such as the Air Balloon tool card or Switch so that your Celebi isn’t stuck in the active spot. Or use Scoop-Up Net to put it back in your hand so that you can reuse this ability in the same turn!
Like Celebi, Manaphy also has an ability t0 look at the top 6 cards of your deck. Instead of adding an energy, Manaphy’s Ocean Search allows you to add a Pokemon to your hand. Not only is this useful for Stage 1 and Stage 2 oriented decks, but this is also useful in decks built around Basic Pokemon. Manaphy is super flexible since you can choose which Pokemon is best for a given situation.
Running low on resources? Manaphy can find you a Crobat V or Dedenne-GX to recover your hand. Feeling more aggressive? Grab Eldegoss V instead and use to it to pick up a Boss’ Orders from your discard pile. Win-win.
Imagine being able to one-hit-knockout any Tag Team GX Pokemon in the game with a Basic, single-prize Pokémon. With Reshiram and its new Amazing Blaze attack this is now a possibility! This move deals a whopping 270 damage to your opponent’s active Pokemon. Attaching a Vitality Band tool card to this Pokemon or using the Leon Trainer card will boost this Pokemon’s damage output to a total of 280 and 300 damage respectively. This will let you dish out enough damage to knockout any Tag Team GX Pokemon in the game, including Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX. This Amazing Rare powerhouse is a great addition to the archetype.
1. Rusted Sword
Zamazenta V isn’t the only legendary dog who got their own designated Tool Card in the Shining Fates set. In fact, Zacian V’s Rusted Sword Item card is the most powerful card in Shining Fates. In combination with the Metal-Type Galarian Perrserker, your Zacian V’s Brave Blade attack will deal 280 damage. Zacian V consistently proves itself to be the most dangerous attacker in the meta. Its massive damage output is utilized by both Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX, which can further boost its damage dealt by 30 points with the Altered Creation GX move. It also allows it to steal additional prize cards, as well as the Lucario & Melmetal-GX deck which prioritizes Metal-Type support such as Metal Goggles.
This brand new deck takes the classic offensive elements of the Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX deck, removing the Tag Team GX Pokemon and reinforces it with Metal-Type support in the form of Galarian Perrserker, Metal Saucer and the ever disruptive Mawile-GX. What we end up with is a Turbo Zacian archetype, focused on switching Zacian V in-and-out of the Active Position. Add in the brand-new Rusted Sword Tool card to amplify Zacian’s Brave Blade power, and you will be swinging for the fences.
Thanks for tuning in for today’s top 10! Shining Fates is definitely a very big set for collectors and competitors alike. These are some of the very powerful cards that we can expect seeing play in any upcoming tournaments.
Keep on digging fossil lovers!
Shining Fates gets released on March 5th, 2021!
Know any other cards that you think deserve to be in the top ten? Let us know in the comments below!
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