Pokemon Trading Card Game
Radiant Pokemon, A Game Changer?

Pokemon Astral Radiance is here and with it the Pokemon Company decided to introduce a new sub-group of Pokemon to the TCG. These special Pokemon known as Radiant Pokemon not only sports their Shiny counterparts on the artwork but also have a flashy new foiling.

These Pokemon are mechanically unique. Radiant Pokemon are all Basic Pokemon but what makes them unique is the fact that only 1 Radiant Pokemon is allowed per deck. To compensate for the 1 Radiant Pokemon limit, each Radiant Pokemon has either a powerful effect or attack.

As of Astral Radiance 3 Radiant Pokemon have been introduced into the TCG namely Radiant HawluchaRadiant Greninja and Radiant Heatran with more to follow in the upcoming Pokemon Go set.

Radiant Hawlucha

Radiant Hawlucha spots an ability known as Big Match. When Radiant Hawlucha is on the bench, your active Pokemon does 30 more damage to your opponent’s active VMAX.

This ability can help you get that last bit of damage in to ensure you knock out your opponent’s Pokemon. In a meta where VMAX Pokemon often have HP above 300 Pokemon such as Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX require 3 hits to knock out an opponent’s VMAX. In this case Hawlucha ensures that you do it in 2 hits. Making aggressive strategies more efficient at knocking out Pokemon.

Radiant Greninja

The second Radiant Greninja introduced is Radiant Greninja. Greninja’s Concealed Cards ability is similar to Cinccino’s Make Do ability with the difference being Greninja requires you to discard an Energy in order to draw cards. With this ability there is additional synergy in Water decks. Imagine discarding some water energies and then following up with Melony for Chilling Reign. Greninja ensures that you have energy in the discard pile which in turn ensures that Melony can be used.

Not only does Greninja have a useful ability, Greninja also has a decent attack. For 2 Water Energy and 1 Energy of any color, you can do 90 damage to 2 of your opponents benched pokemon. This can take out your opponent’s MeloettasOricorios as well as their Shady Dealings Drizziles.

Radiant Heatran

Imagine putting 2 or 3 damage counters on your opponent’s active Pokemon and then smacking with heatran for 140 or 210 damage. Heatran’s damage scales as more damage is done. Its attack is essentially a stronger version of Sableye V Crazy Claws attack.

Current Meta Impact

Radiant Pokemon have not yet seen mainstream play, the only tier deck currently running it is Palkia VSTAR. Palkia runs Radiant Greninja to support its VSTAR Power Star Portal. Star Portal attaches up to 3 Water Energy from your discard to your Pokemon in any way you like. Radiant Greninja is an auto include in these decks.

The Radiant mechanic is brand new to the Pokemon TCG. The current selection supports existing and new strategies but only time will tell if these Pokemon will change the TCG landscape.

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