Top Ten Cards From Darkness Ablaze
~Disclaimer: some photos used in this article are strictly content created by the community to use as stand-ins until official English translations arrive. They are in no way intended as a way to represent officially licensed Pokemon cards.~
Hello FlipSide readers! I’m thrilled to be returning with another article covering some of my favorite cards from the upcoming Pokemon TCG set “Darkness Ablaze”. While we have not received an official set list yet, we have a general idea of what cards we are getting. For this article, I will be looking at cards that were revealed in two of the Japanese mini-sets, Eruption Walker and Infinity Zone, and discussing some of the best cards. I will also be taking into account our next rotation, TEU-DAA, and evaluating each card’s potential in upcoming formats. Without further adieu, let’s dive into this article!
The Top 10:
10. Vikavolt V:
Item lock has been infamous in the Pokemon TCG for many years. Anyone who has been around the game in the more recent formats probably remembers how strong Seismatoad EX used to be with a similar attack. While Vikavolt V is not quite of the same caliber, I believe that this card has great potential nonetheless. Unfortunately, lighting decks will be rotating many of their great support cards such as Electropower and Thunder Mountain Prism. However, we still retain Tapu Koko Prism and Speed energy so there are still tools for this deck to work with in the next format. I think this card will be great if the format speeds up and we get more item based acceleration. The second attack is also not a bad finisher on damaged pokemon. While electro power would have fixed a lot of the math problems between the two attacks, there might be a partner who could combo well with item lock. I would keep this card on your radar because I can see it being viable at some point.
9. Bird Keeper
Switch effects became much more valuable after the rotation of Guzma last season. Often times decks will need to pivot their attackers, but paying retreat can be too costly in some instances. This is why switch cards are important in a lot of decks, because they keep energy in play and allow decks to be mobile. We also see switch cards being used in conjunction with TEU Jirachi to dig through the deck. This card provides both a means to switch as well as some minor consistency. With the loss of Escape Board, decks that still want to take advantage of “Steller Wish” could run this card as a means to switch out Jirachi and to draw cards. I could also see this card being useful in ADP Zacain as a means to either pivot the ADP or reset Zacain’s “Brave Blade” attack. This card could also be interesting in control decks by allowing them to pivot between Jirachis and Dolls. This card has good qualities and I think It could reasonably see some play in the future.
8. Toughness Cape
Many cards on this list are remnants of other cards in the past. This one in particular is like a bulkier Fighting Fury Belt (without the extra damage). I think this card has potential just given how high of HP some of the basic V’s already have. Zacian, for example, could be buffed up to 270 hp which might be able keep the card alive for more turns. Granted Tool Scrapper could always throw a wrench into things, but this card will make some knock outs harder to come by. This is also going to be a great inclusion in Spiritomb UNB decks who can now swing for over 300 damage.
This card seems incredibly underrated. Being able to search out Special energy, albeit any energy, is very strong and not something we see printed often. This card also has great synergy with Crobat V and gives a draw out plus a powerful search option. I see this card as a less expensive alternative to Guzma Hala. For the right deck, I think this card will provide a lot of useful support.
6. Centiskorch VMAX
I originally wasn’t very impressed by this card, but considering the amount of acceleration cards you can use with fire, it does not seem difficult to get this card set up and attacking by turn 2. If you were to use Welder plus Victini V or Volcanion, then you could reasonably get 7 to 8 energies on this card in two turns, which would knock out most Pokemon. This card is also getting a new fire special energy that will boost it’s hp by 20, which could keep this card alive long enough to set up more attackers. This card also has some natural synergies with a lot of the tools fire already has like Victini V and Heatran GX. While it might be vulnerable to early aggression, I think if you can keep this card alive for a few turns it should be able to sweep through all of your opponent’s largest attackers.
5. Scizor VMAX
This might be the first playable Scizor we have gotten in a long time. This card is a tank and has a lot of tools to keep damage off itself. The first attack is great for setting up KO’s on Tag Team and other GX/V Pokemon while also reducing the damage it takes by 30. If you comboed this with Lucario Melmetal’s “Full Metal Wall GX” attack + Metal Goggles, you can effectively keep 90 damage off per turn which makes this 320 hp behemoth even harder to knock out. I also like the second attack because it can be efficient in two hitting VMAXes as well as picks up cheap KOs on benched Dedennes and Crobats.
Rose finally gives us a faster way to set up VMAX Pokemon. While I don’t feel as though this card is going to be useful with every VMAX deck, I think there are several that can benefit from the fast acceleration. Let’s address the elephant in the room first, the price of playing this card is high. Discarding your entire hand can mean forfeiting all of your options and putting you into a “Top Deck Mode” position. However, I think if you paired this card with Silvally GX from Cosmic Eclipse, you could use this effect to your advantage and turn it into an efficient draw engine. We are also getting a new stadium, coincidentally named “Rose Tower”, which lets either player draw until they have three cards in their hand that can also combo with this card. With all that being said, two energies is a big deal and can save VMAX decks from losing too much momentum whenever an attacker gets knocked out. I have a ton of ideas for this card and it will probably be one of the first cards I mess with when testing the new expansion.
3. Turbo Patch
I still cannot believe they are printing this card. In the current Pokemon climate, most decks are defined by how quickly they can set up attackers and Turbo Patch is going to provide another way to accelerate energy to any basic, non GX, attacker. I think this is going to provide a lot of support to both V and VMAX centered decks who are trying to streamline attackers turn to turn. The main issue with decks I have seen is how far back you can get set by missing an attachment and this card is going to fix a lot and help decks maintain tempo. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this card as a four-of inclusion in decks that are trying to be aggressive early on. This card could potentially rank higher, but I think the added variance of coin flips might make this card become obsolete if better energy acceleration gets printed. Regardless, the card is solid and is probably going to see a fair amount of play in decks post rotation.
2. Eternatus VMAX
Definitely the winner for most hyped card in the set, with good reason. This card is big and swings for high numbers with a low attack cost.I think this card will be really good upon release. Other decks are going to need to find a way to handle something this large taking knock outs every turn. It also seems like fighting decks are losing a lot of steam so there are not going to be a lot of cards that can knock out a fully set up Eternatus VMAX in one turn. It’s biggest drawback is its limited card pool to work with when building. While Crobat V will be a very good draw option for this deck, it does not quite supplement the amount of consistency you get from running both Jirachi and Dedenne GX, especially when you are a set up deck. However, this card still has great potential and I expect to see a lot of upon release.
1. Crobat V
What can I say, drawing cards is good! (You can quote me on that). This card is great and will most definitely find itself as an easy four of inclusion in most Eternatus VMAX builds. Outside of this, I feel like this card is still really solid. Now that decks cannot play supporters going first, there is a need to dig for certain cards on your first turn. Usually this has been limited to maybe using “Dedenne Change” if you are serious about digging through your deck but now we can extend our turn even further with Crobat V. This card also provides an alternative to discarding your hand and allows decks to just draw. I also feel that using both Crobat V and Dedenne GX will generate a powerful draw engine for most decks and will give players the ability to rip through the deck in a few turns. If there was any card that was safe to pick up in this set, Crobat is the one.
Well, that wraps up this Top 10 for Darkness Ablaze. This is all really early speculation, but hopefully this list at least highlighted cards with great potential. Let me know what cards you are looking forward to in the comments! If you're looking to start testing post rotation, check out my previous article where I gave my thoughts and initial build on Eternatus VMAX. Make sure to check back for FlipSide Gaming for more post rotation articles. If you enjoyed this article and want to get updated when my next article comes out, make sure to follow me on Twitter @theskypillar. If you want to support the people at FlipSide Gaming, you can pre-order Darkness Ablaze product right now and get the new cards right when the set comes out! That's all I got. Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you all next time with some more post-rotation decks!
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