Pokemon players are getting ready for a Crimson Invasion!
Crimson Invasion has officially been release for TCG players to collect and battle with! This set introduce the mighty Ultra Beasts to the Pokemon TCG. These cards are powerful Basic Pokemon that can hit hard but also messes with the prizes. Some of these cards depends on your own prizes while others can wreck havoc on your opponent’s prizes.
There are plenty of cards to look at from Crimson Invasion. Though, I am going to name the cards that you want to look out for and collect. The following cards are cards that will see some play in some form or way. So lets go look at the top cards to get from Crimson Invasion.
Buzzwole GX is a big and bulky GX Pokemon that can hit pretty hard and fast. All you need to do is just attach a single Fighting energy to use Jet Punch. That way you can hit your opponent’s active and a bench Pokemon for 30.
Being able to hit 30 to the Active and Bench may not sound too impressive at first. That is why we need to look at the environment we are in. We are looking at a format where players are leading off with 60 HP Pokemon on their bench and active. There are Pokemon like Alolan Vulpix, Beldum, Ralts and more who all have 60 HP. If you decide to go second then you just need to start off with a Buzzwole GX. That way you can start hitting these little guys for 30 damage. Then you can use Jet Punch again to knockout two of your opponent’s Pokemon.
So Buzzwole GX’s purpose is to hit evolving Basic Pokemon then all the opponent has to do is evolve to avoid a knockout. Right? That may be true and your opponent may just need to evolve to avoid a knockout. The problem is that now they are put under pressure to evolve. They are force to find that Rare Candy and Stage Two or Stage One. That way they can avoid their Pokemon from being knocked out. Also, if they are playing Alolan Vulpix then they may not have Alolan Ninetales GX. That would means that your opponent will not be able use their Alolan Vulpix more then once. If they do not find their evoultions then those Pokemon are gone.
Buzzwole GX can also put some pressure in the late game. You will need to get three Fighting energy on it to use Knuckle Impact. This can be done while spreading damage with your active Buzzwole GX. Once you have done that then you can hit with Knuckle Impact for heavy damage. This attack does 160 damage at the cost of not attacking next turn. That isn’t too bad because we have Guzma in the format to help us reset effects like this.
You can use Strong Energy on Buzzwole to boost the damage. That allows Jet Punch to do 50 damage on the active. It only helps apply pressure even after they evolve the active. The pressure just keeps on building with Buzzwole GX on the attack.
The idea with Buzzwole GX is to constantly attack to put pressure on your opponent. This will keep them from setting up the way they want and have them constantly worrying about a knockout.
Lets talk about Metal Pokemon by bring up Registeel. This Metal Pokemon has some hype behind it thanks to Turbo Arm and the potential to get one hit KOs.
Registeel has gain the role as an energy accelerator. This is thanks to Turbo Arm costing only one energy and pushing discarded energy onto a Benched Pokemon. Turbo Arm does a 30 damage for a single Metal energy which is enough to knockout the Fairy type Ralts. Though, this may push Gardevoir GX decks to play the Psychic type Ralts. Even so, Registeel can still be known as the Fairy Killer.
That is because Iron Hand can knockout a Gardevoir GX. All you need to do is attach three energy and a Muscle Band to knockout Gardevoir GX. It may be difficult to attach three energy onto Registeel but it is possible. Especially if you place Registeel in a Metagross GX deck.
You may end up seeing Registeel being played in Metagross GX decks as a one prize tech against Gardevoir GX and other Metal weak Pokemon. It is quick to power up thanks to Metagross GX. It can handle threats like Alolan Ninetales who can negate damage from GX Pokemon. Registeel can take down a Gardevoir GX quickly. Lastly, it can accelerate energy if needed. Registeel is just that good that Steel decks will try to find a way to fit one in their deck.
We have another interesting Metal type Pokemon in the form of Kartana GX. This is thanks to an awesome ability, attack and GX Attack.
Kartana GX has the ability Slice Off. This allows you to discard a Special Energy attached to one of your opponent’s Pokemon. That could be useful if you are trying to cut down a Drampa GX or Gardevoir GX down. These two Pokemon love their Double Colorless Energy. So if you can get rid of these energy in the early part of the game then they will be slowed down. You just need to play down Kartana GX and that energy is cut off. It is a nasty ability that your opponent will dislike if they are playing any kind of Special Energy in their deck.
Gale Blade is not getting too much talk but it can be useful. If you can have Kartana GX survive a hit or two then you may find yourself in an interesting position. Gale Blade does 70 damage but also allows you to shuffle Kartana GX into your deck. That means all the damage on Kartana GX goes away. You can do some nasty plays after Kartana GX disappears. One of those tricks is to place a Hoopa from Shining Legends into the active. This Pokemon can wall your opponent for days if they play nothing but GX/EX Pokemon. That could be all the time you need to power up another Kartana GX to use another Gale Blade. Keep on running away with Kartana GX and your opponent will be unable to hit the Blade Pokemon.
Lastly. Blade GX just lets you take a prize card. That is all. The obvious choice is to use it during your first attacking turn. That way you can at least do something on your first turn. Though, you may hear more experience players say that you should save Blade GX for the end game. This way you can take your final prizes with no problems.
Both ways are possible. A prize during your first turn can come in handy. It just means that you have one less prize to worry about. Either way, Blade GX does cut down your prizes no matter when you use it.
Silvally GX is a card that can be good and bad depending on how you want to play it. That is thanks to an ability that gives free retreat and an energy accelerating attack.
Gyro Unit is a pretty handy ability as it gives all Basic Pokemon a retreat cost of zero. That means heavy Pokemon such as Darkrai GX, Turtonator and Registeel all have free retreat. This ability could make Silvally GX a possible card in some decks. Nothing is worst then having a heavy Pokemon in the active because your opponent wants to stall for time. Silvally GX just makes it easier to move these heavy Pokemon.
Silvally GX also have Turbo Drive which allows you to accelerate energy. This attack also hit for 120 damage which means that it can two hit KO most things. If you attach a Fighting Memory or Psychic Memory at the right time then you are getting knockouts. That could be one of the scariest things that Silvally GX can do. Taking knockouts on types weak to Psychic or Fighting. You just need to play your cards right.
Personally, I am not too impressed with Silvally GX. It is lackluster because it doesn’t accelerate enough energy. Silvally GX does not hit anything hard enough without weakness. You needs Tools to do any real damage so you are dependent on them. Silvally GX needs three energy to even consider attacking. The card just doesn’t do anything that I think is worth trying.
That saying, it has some potential. I have seen people making lists pairing Silvally GX with Metal Pokemon such as Registeel and Magearna EX. They look solid as Registeel can help accelerate energy on to Silvally GX. You can attach DCE to Silvally GX to attack for 120 damage quickly. It gives all your Basic Pokemon free retreat so there is no need to run Float Stone. It sounds pretty solid.
I will say this. Silvally GX is a colorless attacker. It can be splashed into any deck that plays DCE which means that it can see some play. May it be with Metal Pokemon, Fighting Pokemon or anything that runs DCE. Silvally GX is a Pokemon that can hit numbers and can be useful.
Lets talk about non-Pokemon cards starting with Gladion. You may know this card from the video game as the character that uses Silvally. Unfortunately, this card has nothing to do with Silvally GX.
What Gladion does is allows you to look at your prize cards and pick one from there. You will then replace that card with Gladion. This attack can be pretty useful as you can retrieve any vital pieces of your set up out of your prizes. Nothing is worst then prizing three of your Metagross GX. I am sure some high tier players who play Rowlet would have appreciated a Gladion.
Though, I do not feel as if this card is worth all the hype it is getting. I think the problem with this card is when do you play this card. If you play this card in the early part of the game then you are prolonging your set up. That means you decided to look at your prizes instead of getting three Basic Pokemon with Brigette. You are not using your turn to get a new hand with N or Professor Sycamore. Gladion will prevent you from getting the resources that you do have in your deck. All because you want to get one specific resource out o your prizes.
If this format wasn’t dependent on setting up your board state so early then maybe it is worth using Gladion early in the game. You can take that first turn to look at your prizes and wait until next turn to use Professor Sycamore. Though, now we see decks using Brigette on their first turn to grab three Pokemon. This is then followed by an N or Professor Sycamore.
Maybe if you were playing a Basic Pokemon heavy deck then you can afford to use Gladion in your deck. Maybe you can use more Nest Ball in your deck to replace Brigette. I can see how useful Gladion but you will be hard press to find the time to use it.
Counter Cards: Counter Catcher and Counter Energy
I am going to be quick about these Counter Cards. If you can risk being behind then try to use these cards.
Counter Catcher allows you to pull one of your opponent’s Pokemon into the active if you are behind on prizes.
There is Counter Energy that provides two of any type of energy when you are behind on prizes. Though only on non GX or EX Pokemon.
These cards can be useful. Especially Counter Catcher. This is basically Pokemon Catcher 2.0. The thing is that you need to be behind on prizes to grab any Pokemon. Other wise it is useless.
Counter Energy can provide a come from behind second wind. You can play it down when you are behind to quickly power up an attacker. Once you get ahead, it becomes a single colorless energy. That may be bad but imagine getting behind on prizes again and suddenly that Pokemon is able to hit harder again. It isn’t a bad idea.
The only problem is that you need to plan how to fall behind in order to fully take advantage of these cards.
Crimson Invasion is a pretty mix bag of a set. You can see that Pokemon wanted to focus on the Ultra Beast but didn’t want them to be overpowering. If they were powerful then we may return to a Big Basic format which will go against what Pokemon has been doing for the last two years. Though, they couldn’t make cards like Silvally GX too great or it will steal the spotlight from the Ultra Beast.
So what Pokemon did instead is make both the Ultra Beasts and Silvally GX decent cards and it shows in the set. Both cards are not great but not horrible. Maybe in the future we can see some of these cards really shine. Though for now they will invade the Pokemon TCG and take over in where they can.
Best of luck in your pulls for Crimson Invasion!