Scans and translations appearing throughout this article are credited to Serebii.net.
Hello! It’s been a while since I got to write about Expanded, but with Fusion Strike coming soon, it’s a good time to discuss the format and where it’s heading! My goal with this article is to showcase some interesting cards from Fusion Strike that could impact the Expanded format. I don’t think making a list of the ten best cards from Fusion Strike would be very interesting since, in Expanded, the power level is higher, which means it’s higher for generically good cards (say, Inteleon VMAX) to find a niche. There’s a higher gap between the cards that are tournament viable and the rest and a top 10 (or whatever) wouldn’t do them justice. On the plus side, since the Expanded metagame is a harsher, more selective environment and only a few cards in the set are good enough for it, I’ll have time to discuss these cards in detail and include decklists!
If you’re not up to date on what is in Fusion Strike and would like an overview of what’s in the set, though, I recommend Xander’s article:
If you are interested in Fusion Strike and the Expanded format, but you’re not sure what’s currently good in that format, I recommend watching my latest Power Rankings video to have an idea of what the metagame looks like:
For those of you who prefer reading to watching videos, here’s the short version: the Dragon-type’s return in Evolving Skies has had a big impact because the new powerful Dragon Pokemon can be combined with Double Dragon Energy. Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX / Dragonite V is the deck to beat right now, since it tends to trade well with other aggressive decks, as well as having access to a variety of options, including Leon and Muscle Band to give Dragonite V the potential to OHKO Pokemon VMAX, Vikavolt V for Item lock and Eelektross as an out to Pyroar and Vileplume.
The format has a wide variety of decks, including extremely fast, all-in decks such as Mad Party and Speed Zacian; defensive archetypes such as Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX / Vileplume and Coalossal VMAX; more balanced decks such as Pikachu & Zekrom-GX and Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX; and non-damaging decks such as Snorlax Stall and Shock Lock. The fact that there are so many different types of deck to prepare for means that it’s harder for new decks to break into the scene: they usually need to either accomplish one plan extremely well or have multiple plans of attack.
Can new cards from Fusion Strike make it in this selective environment? I believe so. Let me explain why!