10 best Pokémon Go cards in the latest Pokémon TCG expansion
The mobile game tie-in isn’t earth-shattering, but there are a handful of standout cards.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game has received a new Pokémon Go expansion based on the immensely popular mobile game.
Clocking in at just 88 unique cards, the Pokémon Go set is much smaller than most standard Pokémon TCG expansions, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any gems. In fact, there are a number of Pokémon Go cards that are sure to delight collectors, competitive and casual players, and fans of the mobile game.
Best Pokémon Go cards
- Lure Module
- Egg Incubator
- Alolan Raticate
- Radiant Charizard
- Mewtwo VSTAR
Here, we’ve collected 10 of the best Pokémon Go cards from the latest set. They were chosen mostly for their usefulness in standard-format decks, but a few were picked based on their appearance and how well they channel the themes and mechanics of the Pokémon Go mobile game.
1. Lure Module
Lure wild Pokémon to your hand
In Pokémon Go, Lure Modules attract wild Pokémon to PokéStops. In the Pokémon TCG, the Lure Module behaves similarly in that it has the potential to attract Pokémon to your hand. Of course, you’re at the mercy of the luck of the draw, but there’s no denying that Lure Module is a thematically clever card.
Looking at the Pokémon TCG meta, It’s unlikely that Lure Module has much practical usage, but it’s fun nonetheless. And you never know - you may just happen upon that game-clenching Arceus VSTAR!
Spin the stop to find items
Like Lure Module, PokéStop largely makes this list of the best Pokémon Go cards because of how cleverly it channels its namesake. The difference, of course, is that PokéStop finds items instead of Pokémon.
Granted, there are far better item search tools in the standard format at the moment (specifically the Inteleon engine), but PokéStop is still a fun card in casual play, especially if you’re a big fan of Pokémon Go.
3. Egg Incubator
Hatch a real winner
Unlike PokéStop and Lure Module, Egg Incubator has the potential to find its way into more competitive formats. It acts as a pseudo Quick Ball, but with a coin toss in place of the discard requirement. As a bonus, if you fail the coin toss, Egg Incubator goes back into your deck rather than your discard pile, making it findable by Shady Dealings or other item search cards.
It’s certainly plausible that we’ll see new Standard lists running Egg Incubator in place of Quick Ball at upcoming Pokémon TCG tournaments.
Why be the best when you can copy the best?
In a fun bit of design, Ditto is able to use the attacks of any Basic Pokémon in your discard pile. The limiting factor is that you can’t copy the attacks of Pokémon V, but that doesn’t mean Ditto isn’t without its utility.
In particular, it will stand out in the Mad Party meta, which is dependent on having several Pokémon cards with that attack in your discard pile. Discard a bunch of Mad Party Pokémon with Ultra Ball or other discard engines, then move a Ditto to the active position for a surprise attack. As a bonus, Mad Party decks tend to be very budget-friendly as they rely primarily on common cards that aren’t particularly valuable.
A surprisingly strong single-prize attacker
Today’s Pokémon TCG meta is dominated largely by Pokémon V, VMAX and VSTAR. Besides being more powerful than the average Pokémon, these cards tend to be worth multiple prizes, making them a bit riskier to play into the active spot.
For this reason, strong regular Pokémon have the potential to shake things up, which is exactly what Lunatone does. At a minimum, its Moon Kinesis attack deals 120 damage, putting many V and VSTAR Pokémon in two-attack KO range. Stack more Psychic energy on Lunatone with Fog Crystal, Energy Switch or Solrock and you’ve got a surprisingly formidable attacker for a Basic Pokémon.
Take two free prize cards for two energy
Slowbro is mostly on this list of the best Pokémon Go cards because of how hilarious its Twilight Inspiration attack is. Imagine that you’re one prize away from winning only for your opponent to slap down a Slowbro, accelerate two energy cards onto it and take their final two prize cards. This facepalm-inducing move is sure to cause all manner of grief at local tournaments and meetups, and that alone earns Slowbro a spot on this list.
7. Alolan Raticate
Bring even the mightiest Pokémon to their knees
Alolan Raticate is a rather unassuming Pokémon, but this card is anything but. For three energy of any colour, Super Fang can bring your opponent’s Pokémon down to 10 HP, which in itself is pretty terrifying. If you manage to inflict the burn or poison status effects, you can all but guarantee a knockout. It’s a risky move, though, as most status attacks are at the whim of coin tosses - but the payoff is certainly worth it.
You can’t escape from the sleeping giant
There are few things as frustrating as playing against control-heavy decks in the Pokémon TCG, and Snorlax is a perfect example of why. Imagine that you’re stalling while you power up your benched Pokémon VMAX or VSTAR, and when you finally have the proper energy reserves you’re unable to switch it into the active spot thanks to Snorlax’s Block ability. Meanwhile, your opponent just needs to wait for you to draw out in order to win.
Cards like Switch provide a much-needed out in this situation, but only until the Snorlax player drops down a Boss’s Orders and brings your escape to a sudden halt.
9. Radiant Charizard
Swipe victory from the jaws of defeat
The Radiant mechanic, which debuted in Astral Radiance, is full of fun potential. The Pokémon Go expansion introduces three new Radiant Pokémon in the form of the original Kanto starters. Charizard takes the cake as the best one, though, thanks to its game-closing attack Combustion Blast. It’s a move that gets more powerful as the game goes on, and has the potential to bring you back from the precipice of defeat.
It’s arguable that Radiant Charizard isn’t quite the powerhouse Radiant Greninja is, but there’s no denying the threat it represents, especially in longer matches.
10. Mewtwo VSTAR
It’s the flagship Pokémon for a reason
As the flagship Pokémon in the Pokémon Go TCG expansion, it’s not too surprising to see Mewtwo VSTAR top many best-of lists. Doing a maximum of 270 damage with Psy Purge, Mewtwo is a certifiable threat to many V and VSTAR Pokémon, particularly if you equip it with a Choice Belt or slap down a Galarian Zigzagoon before attacking. The downside is that you’re forced to discard Psychic energy following the attack. The loophole, though, is that you don’t need to discard that energy from Mewtwo, so utilising something like the Solrock/Lunatone Energy acceleration engine makes this a safe bet.
That VSTAR Power isn’t anything to scoff at, either. Star Raid does 120 to each of your opponent’s Pokémon V, which can be absolutely devastating to a full bench. The move has the potential to close out a match too if you can manage to take out more than one two- or three-prize Pokémon with Star Raid.