With the upcoming introduction of Scarlet and Violet, the Pokemon TCG is in for a major shake up. As rotation approaches, many of the Pokemon TCG’s biggest staples will no longer be legal for play.
On April 14, the TCG will officially rotate. At that time, cards marked with the “D” regulation mark are no longer playable in the standard format. A card with a “D” regulation mark can still be used if it was reprinted with an, “E” or “F” regulation mark.
However, some of the TCG’s best cards will soon be sailing off into the sunset. Cards and strategies that have defined the Pokemon TCG will be retired. Scarlet and Violet will bring on a whole new level of excitement and strategy for trainers everywhere.
Still, rotation will rid the Pokemon TCG of some of its most iconic cards. These five will be missed the most when rotation finally hits.
Top 5 cards rotating out of Pokemon TCG
Honorable Mention – Special Energies
Lugia VStar has been one of the most dominant forces in the Pokemon TCG today. In the most recent American Pokemon Regional – which was held in Vancouver, Canada – six of the top eight decks were Lugia VStar.
The deck, alongside other Special Energy heavy decks such as Regigigas, will take a hit after rotation. Cards like Powerful Energy, Aroma Energy and Capture Energy all have strong effects that have revitalized different cards and archetypes.
With those Energies rotating, Lugia VStar and other decks will have to find new strategies for their play style. They’ll have to take advantage of whatever new Special Energies join the fray or survive rotation.
It’s hard to imagine Special Energies just leaving the Pokemon TCG. Even with Scarlet and Violet, there are surely more to be printed. However, the Special Energies that have made decks like Lugia VStar shine will no longer be available.
5. Evolution Incense
Ultra Ball will be surviving rotation, meaning it’ll be easier to find evolution Pokemon. However, losing Evolution Incense makes that goal a bit harder.
With Ultra Ball, the player is forced to discard two cards. Incense gives the same value without having to discard any extra assets. At the cost of just an Item card, Incense is essentially a free evolution Pokemon.
Incense has come in handy for numerous different strategies. In VStar/VMax decks, Incense allows you to grab your boss monster at no extra cost. If you’re playing a deck relying on Stage one/Stage two Pokemon, Incense allows you to get into your engine much quicker.
The existence of Ultra Ball keeps Evolution Incense lower on the list. However, it’ll be hard to replicate the power of grabbing the evolution Pokemon needed at any given moment with Incense.
4. Shady Dealings
In today’s Pokemon TCG, Lost Box engines have become one of the more popular ways to search through the deck. But in Lost Box, the player must banish cards from the game and is relying on RNG to hit what they need. Shady Dealings cut out the middle man and gave the trainer exactly what they needed.
Shady Dealings Drizzle and Inteleon have been staples in the meta since entering the Pokemon TCG. With both cards, simply evolving allows the player to grab the trainer they need. Drizzle provides one trainer while Inteleon provides two.
Whatever is needed to play out that turn, Shady Dealings is able to grab it. Whether it be a Supporter like Boss Orders or an Item like Capacious Bucket, Drizzle and Inteleon provided easy access.
Lost Box or even cards like Lumineon V will help players get all the pieces they need. But it won’t be as easy or as cost effective without Shady Dealings in the Pokemon TCG.
Hand disruption is one of the most powerful effects in the Pokemon TCG. Marnie was arguably the best Supporter card at doing so. While there are replacements already in the format, it’ll be hard replicating Marnie’s true power.
With Marnie, the cards in hand go to the bottom of the deck. If the opponent has everything they need, it’ll be much harder getting to their pieces with them being at the bottom of the deck. Marnie also gives the user one more card than their opponent.
Both Judge and Roxanne are expected to see plenty of play following rotation. However, Judge simply shuffles both hands into the deck while each player draws four cards. Roxanne gives the user six cards and the opponent two. However, it cannot be used until the opponent has three or fewer prize cards remaining.
Marnie was a clean and effective way to disrupt your opponent’s hand. While they might see the same level of play, the latest iteration of Pokemon TCG hand disruptors will have a hard time matching Marnie’s power.
2. Quick Ball
While it may seem simple, adding Basic Pokemon to hand is quintessential to success in the Pokemon TCG. Quick Ball was one of the most consistent ways to do that. Its power was evident in just how many decks were playing multiple copies of Quick Ball.
When setting up the board, it’s crucial to get your Pokemon set up and readying their attacks. With Quick Ball, it was easy to fill the bench with whatever Basics needed. Discarding one card could be seen as a strength if a deck wants Energies in the discard pile. Regardless, discarding one isn’t too much of a set back for the power Quick Ball brings.
As Scarlet and Violet approaches, the Pokemon TCG will be getting Nest Ball reprinted in the format. Nest Ball allows the player to put a Basic Pokemon from their deck directly on their bench. However, some cards – like Lumineon V – have effects when played on the bench from hand. Nest Ball wouldn’t allow those effects to happen.
Quick Ball was one of the most popular cards in the meta due to its simplicity and strength. Deck building will become much more difficult without the option to Quick Ball.
1. Scoop Up Net
While most of the cards on this list have a replacement ready for the Scarlet and Violet format, Scoop Up Net does not. Its rotation from the Pokemon TCG could potentially take numerous decks from powerhouse to unplayable.
Scoop Up Net can’t be used on Pokemon will rule boxes such as Vs. However, for single prize decks and Pokemon, the Item card was a life saver. For starters, any single prize Pokemon with any damage counters could simply be ‘scooped up,’ adding it back to hand and taking away the opponent’s initial attack.
Furthermore, Scoop Up Net provides an amazing switching option. If a single prize Pokemon is in the active, it can use its effect then be ‘scooped up,’ for another Pokemon to become active. With cards like Comfey and Celebrations Mew, these effects can be chained with Scoop Up Net.
Losing Scoop Up Net takes away a lot of the versatility that single prize Pokemon provided. Currently, Scarlet and Violet has yet to offer an alternative that truly reaches Scoop Up Net’s power. It’s a card that won’t just alter decks, but could essentially remove them from the Pokemon TCG altogether.