Occasionally, a new card comes out that has so much potential that I can’t help but imagine dozens of decks with it. If I had to give this phenomenon a name, I would call it the Alolan Ninetales-GX effect (and no, I still haven’t forgotten Team Up for turning Ninetales from a format staple into a forgotten, unplayable card).
In Chilling Reign, Path to the Peak is this card for me. Sure, I’m excited about the potential of Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX, new Rapid Strike powerhouses and even Galarian Moltres V, but Path to the Peak can fit into many archetypes and, in my opinion, will be one of the, if not the, most impactful cards from this set. It’s certainly the most important Trainer from Chilling Reign (which has 31 of them!). Sure, you can argue that Melony is stronger in Standard, but it won’t see any play in Expanded, whereas Path to the Peak has a bright future ahead of it there too.
Each player’s Pokemon in play with a Rule Box has no Abilities.
This Stadium stays in play when you play it. Discard it if another Stadium comes into play. If a Stadium with the same name is in play, you can’t play this card.
Translation credit to pokebeach.com
So why is this card so good? I’m sure you’re aware that Power Plant has seen play in countless archetypes since its release (plenty of Green’s Exploration archetypes, including Gardevoir & Sylveon-GX, Reshiram & Charizard-GX and Garchomp & Giratina-GX; Stall and Control decks, both in Standard and Expanded; Malamar and Pikarom, for a while; some ADP Zacian deck lists; Dragapult VMAX; LMZ; Eternatus, both in Standard and Expanded…). In a way, Path to the Peak is a stronger version of Power Plant: decks that are hurt by Power Plant, such as Mewtwo & Mew-GX variants, will be just as hurt by Path to the Peak (or more). However, Path to the Peak also shuts down the Abilities of some very popular Pokemon, including Crobat V, Eldegoss V, Eternatus VMAX and the upcoming Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX.
To be clear, there are decks who ran Power Plant who will still run it or at least, won’t play Path to the Peak instead. You don’t want Path to the Peak in LMZ where it would shut down two of your three Pokemons’ Abilities! However, there are also plenty of decks which will appreciate the higher disruption effect.
Let me guide you through this new landscape. In this article, I’ll give some examples of which decks can use Path to the Peak, how and why. I’ll provide deck lists, but you should see them as a starting point; I expect the decks in this article to change a lot as the metagame gets figured out.