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Pokemon Go TCG Set Review – Lightning, Psychic and Fighting

Pokemon GO is shaping up to be a very impactful set, especially considering it is just a mini-set! This will be part 2 of my complete set review. In this part, I will be going over all of the holo rares, ultra rares, and interesting cards from the Lightning, Psychic and Fighting types. If you missed part 1, go back and check out my thoughts on the Grass, Fire and Water type cards in this set… there are some really good ones!

In case you have missed one of my previous set reviews, here’s how I do things. I’ll be grading each of the interesting cards on a five-point scale to leave my opinion on what kind of impact these cards will have on the competitive Pokemon TCG landscape. This review will be in four parts and released over the course of the next week. Each part will cover all Pokemon of a certain type.

As mentioned, these cards will be graded on a 5 point scale, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Here is my criteria for each of these 5 points. 

  • 1 Point (Not Competitively Viable) – Cards with a score of 1 point are cards that I do not deem to be competitively viable.
  • 2 Points (Interesting Cards) – Cards with a score of 2 points are cards that have some potential or have interesting designs. But ultimately I believe these cards will see very little, if any competitive play.
  • 3 Points (Solid Cards) – Cards with a score of 3 points are cards that are pretty solid overall. Most of these cards will see some play in rogue decks, or be an occasional inclusion in meta decks.
  • 4 Points (Very Good) – Cards with a score of 4 points are cards that are very good, and are likely to make a competitive impact. These cards will be often played in tier 2 or tier 3 decks, sometimes making a splash into tier 1!
  • 5 Points (Top Tier) – Cards with a score of 5 points are powerful enough to instantly have an impact on the competitive metagame. These cards will either be defining to a brand new archetype, regular inclusions in top tier decks, or play a pivotal role in the overall deck building strategy of all players. Expect me to be very stingy with this 5/5 ranking! Not many cards will (or should) fit into this category.

I will be rating all of the holo and ultra rare cards on this scale, in addition to any other cards I deem interesting! If you don’t see a card on this list, you can safely assume I would rate it a 1.

As always, these are just my opinion! I don’t always get it right, but my years of experience playing and casting this game have given me great insight into what gives a card a shot at competitive success. All of my rankings will be based on the cards’ potential in the current standard format. Some cards may be much better in the expanded format or even in the Gym Leader Challenge format, but for the purposes of this review, I will only be referencing standard. Of course future cards could be released that will make any of these cards much better than they currently are, but I can’t predict the future! So again, these cards will be rated based on the current standard format metagame, and the current Standard format card pool.

 

 

Header - Lightning Type

Pikachu

Pikachu (028/078)

1/5
As adorable as this Sato art may be, Pikachu isn’t going to be doing much competitively! With 70 HP, this could become the “optimal” Pikachu if there was ever a strong Raichu deck in the future. But for now this card will find its best home in your Pikachu collection.

Zapdos

Zapdos (029/078)

3/5
I spoke highly of Moltres and Articuno in part 1, but had a hard time giving them more than a 2 since there aren’t great uses for them at the moment. There is however a pretty solid partner out there for Zapdos, and that is Vikavolt V. Vikavolt has always been a card I’ve kept in the back of my mind, since item lock is so powerful. With the recent addition of Choice Belt and now this Zapdos, you can be using Paralyzing Bolt for potentially over 100 damage. High damage output combined with item lock is nothing to take lightly! Zapdos has real potential to make Vikavolt V a true threat. 

 

Header - Psychic Type

Mewtwo V

Mewtwo V (072/078)

1/5
Mewtwo V isn’t great on its own. The main function of this card will obviously be to evolve into Mewtwo VSTAR. But even for an evolving Basic, this Pokemon’s attacks aren’t great. 50 for two Energy is so vanilla, and it doesn’t even deal enough damage to KO a Sobble. And while Transfer Break can deal a bit of damage and conserve an Energy on the bench, if you’re having to put three Energy on Mewtwo V, you’re probably in a rough spot.

Mewtwo VSTAR

Mewtwo VSTAR (086/078)

4/5
So I have to admit, at first I wasn’t hyped on this card at all. Having to discard three Energy from your field in order to deal meaningful damage just seemed mediocre to me. And also having a damage cap made this feel a bit weaker compared to similar types of cards from the past. But I think the real strong part of this card comes in its Star Raid VSTAR Power. Reminiscent of Necrozma-GX’s Black Ray GX, this attack deals 120 damage to all of your opponents Pokemon V. This can set up damage for easier KOs with Psy Purge. And the reality of Psy Purge is that there are plenty of ways to get enough Energy in play to be threatening a 300 damage attack as early as turn two!

You could easily play Mewtwo VSTAR alongside Galarian Articuno EVS. I’ve also seen some early lists using the Lunatone and Solrock from this set as Energy acceleration. Overall, I think Mewtwo VSTAR is very strong, and you would be wrong to sleep on this card as I did initially.


Xatu

Xatu (033/078)

2/5
This card is interesting, and it has a lot of things going for it – an efficient attack, free retreat and the ability to deal damage to the bench. Someone could maybe justify playing a 1-1 line of this card in a Mewtwo VSTAR deck as a pivot, and an easy way to finish off a Crobat V or something on the bench after using Star Raid. But overall this card probably isn’t worth including in a deck for now. 

Lunatone

Lunatone (034/078)

2/5
When rating this card, I have to also consider the Solrock from this same set. I think this combo can pair extremely well alongside Mewtwo VSTAR. The Energy recursion is very good, and this also gives you the bonus of having a solid way to attack into Miltank, which would otherwise give Mewtwo VSTAR a hard time. This will be the initial way I try and build a Mewtwo VSTAR deck.

Sylveon

Sylveon (035/078)

1/5
The first attack is reminiscent of Syvelon-GX, which was a very strong control deck for a few formats. And while getting two cards from your deck can be a great way to set up a combo or try to disrupt your opponent, Syvleon-GX had a lot of HP and could tank hits from many of the attackers in the format. This Syvleon, can’t do that. Its second attack also doesn’t even KO basic Dragon-type V Pokemon, since they have no weakness. Overall, a pretty weak card.

 

Header - Fighting Type

Solrock

Solrock (039/078)

3/5
I already wrote about this card a bit in my review of the Lunatone. I give this card a bit higher of a rating, because combined with Scoop Up Net you could actually use the same Solrock multiple times in a turn. This is a super good way to get a bunch of extra energies into play. This should be a solid combo alongside Mewtwo VSTAR, and could possibly even make its way into other decks that may appreciate the extra energy in play.

Conkeldurr V

Conkeldurr V (074/078)

1/5
Traditionally, “counter” style attacks haven’t been the best in the Pokemon TCG. There are so many ways for the opponent to play around it. They can either gust and hit something else or they can just hit for a little bit of damage, setting up for a two-hit KO. You could theoretically power this attacker up pretty easily with Oranguru SSH and Gutsy Pickaxe, but even Dynamic Punch isn’t hitting that hard half of the time. Overall, this card just isn’t great.

So that does it for the Lightning, Psychic and Fighting-type Pokemon from Pokemon GO. A bit shorter of a part, but there are still some extremely powerful cards in this section. I’m especially excited for Mewtwo VSTAR, I think its going to be very good. Parts 3 and 4 of this review will be coming soon, and don’t forget to check out Part 1!

Remember, if you’re ordering singles or sealed product from the newest set ChannelFireball.com has got you covered! The marketplace is an amazing place to pickup any cards you may need.

Thanks for reading!

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