The time is upon us where we get a brand-new generation in the Pokémon TCG. As always, all sets start off with it’s base set. These sets generally lay a good foundation for what is to come in the expansions to follow. What you tend to see in base sets are many trainer reprints (some not so playable) and a good display of all the Pokémon we hope to see from the Paldea region.

Although Pokémon is a TRADING card game, everyone knows I like to focus on the GAME part of TCG. This article will cover my personal choices for the top 10 cards you need to grab as a player from Scarlet & Violet. These cards will be shown in the order they appear in the set not in my personal rankings.

Gardevoir ex:

Gardevoir has been a mainstay in the competitive scene in its many forms over the years. In my opinion, we are about to see her shine again! The translation is as follows: 

Ability: Psychic Embrace 

As often as you like during your turn, you may attach a Basic [P] Energy from your discard pile to 1 of your [P] Pokémon. If you do, put 2 damage counters on that Pokémon. (You can’t use this Ability on a Pokémon that would be Knocked Out by the 2 damage counters.)

[P][P][C] Miracle Force: 190 damage. Heal any Special Conditions on this Pokémon.

With a strong emphasis on its ability, energy acceleration has always been a popular engine in the meta (Most Effective Tactics Available) game. With the only drawback being damaging the Pokémon, it may make players wary but, in a meta where most Pokémon are knocked out in a single attack (OHKO) it’s a small price to pay for the value engine this beautiful card brings.


Although it looks little, this tiny bunch of keys could play a factor in the meta to come. Again, it’s all about the ability on this one and there is currently something like this in the form of Empoleon V. Here is the translation:

Ability: Prank Lock 

As long as this Pokémon is your Active Pokémon, each player’s Basic Pokémon in play have no Abilities (other than Prank Lock). 

[C] Knock Off: 10 damage. Before doing damage, discard a Pokémon Tool attached to the opponent’s Active Pokémon. 

Ability lock is always relevant when thinking about slowing your opponent down. Starting with Klefki in the active would be devastating to many of the popular decks in the current meta. To now have this ability on a card that only concedes a single prize… is first prize!

Banette ex:

Staying on the topic of control, we have Banette ex. We once again have a recycled archetype in Pokémon, ITEM LOCK! There are very few things in Pokémon TCG gameplay as frustrating as being unable to play trainer cards from your hand. Here is the translation: 

[P] Eternal Darkness: 30 damage. Your opponent can’t play Item cards from their hand during their next turn. 

[P][C] Poltergeist: Look at your opponent’s hand. This attack does 60 damage for each Trainer card in your opponent’s hand. 

Item lock for a single energy is a brilliant way to kick off your 2nd turn after putting Banette into play. Why he worked his way on to my list, is the poltergeist attack. After locking your opponent out of items and then punishing them for the cards in hand is great! We saw this in the past on the tag team Gengar and Mimikyu GX. It saw a decent amount of play in it’s run, I expect to see the same from this spooky spectral! 

Koraidon ex:

We make our way to one of the faces of the Scarlet & Violet set, Koraidon! With the power this card pulls, it’s no wonder as to why he has made the list. Here is the translation:

Ability: Dino Cry 

Once during your turn, you may attach up to 2 Basic [F] Energy cards from your discard pile to your Basic [F] Pokémon in any way you like. If you use this Ability, your turn ends. 

[F][F][C] Wild Impact: 220 damage. During your next turn, this Pokémon can’t attack. 

Koraidon is one of the few ex cards from the set that is a basic Pokémon. Boasting 230HP with the ability to accelerate itself on turn one, going first will apply massive pressure on your opponent. We saw something similar in the form of Zacian V which relied on a little bit of luck where this is a guarantee. 220 damage on a stick makes this a big fella! If not for Mew VMAX still being prevalent in the format, we very well could have been looking at the best deck in the meta.

Miraidon ex:

From one face to the other, we find ourselves at Miraidon! Like its brother, we have a powerhouse of a card! Here is the translation:

Ability: Tandem Unit 

Once during your turn, you may search your deck for 2 Basic [L] Pokemon and put them onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck. 

[L][L][C] Photon Blaster: 220 damage. During your next turn, this Pokemon can’t attack.

Miraidon’s ability is not to be played with. Being able to setup your bench without burning resources is a big head start on your opponents. I get the sense we will be seeing him paired up with the likes of Flaafy from Evolving Skies to allow it accelerate energies. And with a new stadium in this expansion giving Miraidon free retreat and it having a type advantage over the current best deck in the format Lugia, we may very well be looking at a top contender.  

Beach Court:

Moving on to trainers, we have what I consider the most impactful meta card in the set, the above-mentioned Beach Court. Here is the translation:


The Retreat Cost of each player’s Basic Pokemon is [C] less. 

There are a number of Pokemon in the current meta, such as Comfey and some new Pokemon like Miraidon only having a single retreat cost, I see this card getting a substantial amount of play going forward. With the loss of Air Balloon to rotation, this card fixes fluidity issues in many decks. I would grab 4 of these as soon as you can! 

Nest Ball:

We have an old friend returning from the Sun & Moon era. It was a staple then, and it’s sure to be a staple now. Nest ball. Here is the translation:


Search your deck for a Basic Pokémon and put it onto your Bench. Then, shuffle your deck. 

To have a Pokémon searching card which has no drawbacks is scarce. There have only been a handful in the Pokémon TCG. Nest ball allows you to grab any basic Pokémon from your deck, straight to your bench. That does have its own set of challenges when it comes to enter play effects but make no mistake, this card will be seen EVERYWHERE! Time to start digging through your old boxes of cards.

Defiant Belt:

The only tool card to make our list is Defiant Belt. There have been several belts over the TCG history, each of them having their own level of impact on the game. Here is the translation:

Pokémon Tool 

If you have more Prize cards remaining than your opponent, the attacks of the Pokémon this card is attached to do 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokémon (before applying Weakness and Resistance). 

Scenario, you are behind in a game and your back is against the wall and you top deck THIS bad boy! Damage math and hitting the right number are a big factor in the current meta. To be able to get a 30 damage boost when you are falling behind on prizes is a big deal. I have no doubt this card will be seeing a lot competitive play in the Scarlet & Violet season ahead. Keep an eye out for these in your booster packs! 

Electricity Generator:

We have another partner for the previously mentioned Miraidon, its Electricity Generator! Here is the translation:


Look at the top 5 cards of your deck. Choose up to 2 basic [L] Energy cards and attach them to your Benched [L] Pokémon in any way you like. Then, shuffle the remaining cards into your deck. 

Thinking back to the XY era, we had a similar card in Max Elixir, and it caused absolute havoc on the meta at the time. With the possibility of accelerating an additional 2 Lightning Energies off playing an item card is nuts! With Electricity Generator you can potentially fully power up a Miraidon ex in one turn and attack for 220 damage on turn 1!!! The deck seems like it’s going to be a beast with all of the support it is getting. Watch out! 


We have another partner for the previously mentioned Miraidon, its Electricity Generator! Here is the translation:


Choose up to 5 Pokémon cards from your discard pile, reveal them, and shuffle them into your deck. Then, draw 3 cards. 

To be able shuffle Pokémon back into your deck is good. To be able to return 5 Pokémon to your deck from the discard pile is great. But to draw 3 cards on top of that, is amazing! We have seen similar cards to this in the past, some in the form of items, others supporters. Miriam will definitely be seen in some of the top decks in the meta and the fact that the full art version is absolutely gorgeous is a definite plus! 


With the new Scarlet & Violet set dropping soon and having the annual standard rotation happening at the same time, this set is sure to shake up the standard format. With the set containing many of the cards for what looks to be a beast of a Miraidon ex deck, I’m sure we will be seeing a number of these around. Overall, there has been some great reprint value in the form of Ultra Balls, Rare Candies, Vitality Bands and more. I think the set will be a great success. Make sure to support your Local Game Stores near you and find a league where you can put your skills to the test in an all-new standard format adventure.  

Catch you all on the battlefield soon!

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