The Pokémon Trading Card Game, or PTCG, originally debuted all the way back in October 1996, and even after selling over 34 billion total cards over two and a half decades, it is showing no signs of stopping. Multiple expansions are released each year, allowing for an almost limitless amount of deck combinations for prospective Pokémon Trainers.
Every Pokémon TCG expansion includes some incredibly powerful cards, but due to being restricted by their type, many don’t have much synergy with a lot of card combinations. In spite of the balance required to build a deck, a few select cards stand out as being fantastic additions to whatever deck they are added to.
10 Galarian Stunfisk V Is The Ultimate Trap Pokémon
Although Galarian Stunfisk is technically a Steel-type that is weak to Fire, it only requires Normal energy to attack, making it usable in significantly more deck combinations than it would be otherwise. This Pokémon can equalize the battlefield in an instant as its primary move, “Trapping Bite,” causes 60 damage and 12 damage counters to the next enemy Pokémon that damages Stunfisk.
Since this card is part of the V Basic expansion, it does cost the player two prize cards upon fainting; however, this is a small price to pay for its game-changing attack and ability. As a side note, players should try to add a few Steel energies to their deck when using this card—it gains 20 HP for each one attached
9 Professor Juniper And Sycamore Gives The Players A Seven Card Redraw
Fans of the Pokémon franchise might remember Professors Sycamore and Juniper from their roles in the Kalos and Unova regions, respectively. While the help they provide Ash and Pikachu is vital to the pairs’ journey together, it pales in comparison to the utility they provide PTCG players.
These professors are featured on identical Trainer cards, released in the XY and Black & White expansions, that allow the player to discard their entire hand and draw seven cards, effectively hitting the reset button upon a bad draw.
8 Shaymin EX Is Great For Putting Cards In The Player’s Hands
Another card geared towards resetting the player’s hand, the Shaymin EX card is a nice alternative to filling one’s deck with too many Trainer cards. As a normal Pokémon, Shaymin Ex already benefits from being able to use the energy of each type despite its small stature; however, its abilities and moves allow it to become one of the best cards in PTCG for generating new avenues of attack.
“Set Up,” Shaymin’s ability, allows the player to draw until they have six cards in their hand, while its attack, “Sky Return,” allows them to return the Pokémon to their hand and start the process all over again. This card might have less health than the average EX Pokémon, but when played correctly, that shouldn’t be too much of a drawback.
7 Mega Kangaskhan EX And Its Damage Output Make It A Great Tank
2014’s XY Flashfire expansion saw the addition of several quality cards, and Mega Kangaskhan EX certainly qualifies for that category. With health fit for a Mega Evolution and an attack that deals consistent, high-potential damage, Mega Kangaskhan EX is one of the few Normal-type Pokémon that players should consider adding to their decks.
The cost of Mega Evolutions, immediately ending the player’s turn upon evolution, is a drawback absent from cards with regular evolutions chains, but Mega Kangashkhan EX’s devastating power and versatility makes the trade-off worth it.
6 Lysandre’s Trump Card Briefly Defined The Meta
Few cards in the history of the Pokémon Trading Card Game have resulted in such an unbalanced experience that they received bans from sanctioned PTCG tournament play: Lysandre’s Trump Card is one such instance. By forcing both players to shuffle their discard piles into their decks, this card allows for repeated use of Trainer cards and prevents the player from being punished for quickly drawing through their deck.
First released in 2014, this card was only able to stay in rotation until June 2015 before being removed from tournament play. However, it is still available in the game, meta-defining effect and all, so savvy Pokémon Trainers would be wise to add this to their collections as soon as possible.
5 Pokémon Center Lady Should Be A Staple Of Most Decks
With the number of expansions that have been added to PTCG, many of the game’s older cards aren’t as useful as they once were. But thankfully, Pokémon Center Lady is still one of the best supporters that players can add to their ranks.
While most fans of the anime will recognize this character as Nurse Joy, this card technically didn’t join PTCG until the XY Flashfire expansion. By healing 60 damage and removing all special conditions from one Pokémon, Pokémon Center Lady immediately counteracts opposing decks geared around inflicting status effects.
4 Quick Ball Can Get The Player’s Gameplan Started Instantly
The early stages of a PTCG match can be the most important of the entire game, so items like the Quick Ball, which provide a vital advantage when pulled in the first few turns, are unsurprisingly one of the most commonly used in the game.
Quick Ball allows the player to search their deck for one Basic Pokémon to add to their hand, an ability that can quickly get one’s gameplan into action. This card was originally released in 2007 as part of Mysterious Treasures, making it one of the older cards to maintain relevance in the game’s current meta.
3 Marnie Automatically Places Its User In The Driver’s Seat
Any card that forces the opponent to shuffle their hand into their deck is a threat to opposing Trainers, but Marnie (one of Pokémon’s better side characters) doesn’t stop there, also allowing the player to do the same and then draw five cards to the opponent’s four. This doesn’t just hit the reset button on both players’ hand—it also guarantees that the player who used it will have one more card than their opponent.
First released in the Sword & Shield expansion from 2019, Marnie does justice to the character that the card was designed around. Marnie, the Spikemuth gym leader, is one of the primary rivals in PTCG‘s video game counterpart and challenges the player with her Dark-type Pokémon.
2 Viridian Forest Fits Any Playing Style
Arena cards are generally geared towards benefiting specific Pokémon types; however, Viridian Forest offers appeal to players regardless of the Pokémon comprising their decks. Released in the Team Up and Unified Minds expansions, Viridian Forest allows each player the opportunity to discard a card from their hand and draw one basic Energy card once per turn.
Although its lack of type specificity can make it a double-edged sword, Viridian Forest is extremely helpful when the player is struggling to draw and apply Energy cards to their Pokémon in play.
1 Tapu Lele Gx Is A Psychic Type That Works For Every Trainer
Almost no Pokémon card in all of PTCG provides the versatile upside that Tapu Lele Gx does. Its ability, “Wonder Tag,” allows the player to search their deck for one Trainer card upon placing Tapu Lele Gx on their bench, while its attack only costs two Energy of any kind and inflicts 20 damage times the amount of Energy cards attached to both Pokémon.
This card’s GX ability “Tapu Cure GX,” which heals all damage from two Pokémon on the Bench, does require the player to have a Poison energy in their deck, but given all the other benefits of Tapu Lele Gx, it possesses more than enough upside to include in one’s deck.