Looking Ahead…

I know it’s way too early to do this, but here’s a look at some of the most popular (and best) cards that are rotating out of the Standard format after August 31st:


  • Mew-EX XYP
  • Garbodor BKP
  • Octillery BKT
  • Sudowoodo BKP
  • Mewtwo EVO
  • Volcanion-EX STS
  • Mew FCO
  • Carbink Break FCO
  • Zoroark BKT
  • Gallade BKT
  • Giratina XYP
  • Volcanion STS
  • Espeon-EX BKP
  • Cobalion STS
  • Greninja Break BKP

Those are your surviving XY era Pokemon.  I think it’s fair to say that the SUM era is much more impactful than the cards from the end of the XY era.  There are a few that still have their place in the meta, but there really aren’t any feature Pokemon left in the game from the XY era.  All that are left are techs.


  • N
  • Professor Sycamore
  • Brigette
  • Skyla
  • Team Flare Grunt
  • Team Rocket’s Handiwork
  • Delinquent
  • Fisherman

So as little as we are losing in terms of Pokemon, the exact opposite is occurring for Supporters.  We are losing two of our three main draw support cards, as well as a card that has become a staple turn 1 play to open the game.

The way we play this game will change drastically on September 1st.  If you think Zoroark GX is huge now, just wait until N and Sycamore rotate out of the format.

What will probably happen is that we move to more turn 1 Lillie plays, more Nest Balls, and more cards like Drampa GX to help us get out to a good early start.  But yeah if anybody from Pokemon is reading this, you could actually give us a set that comes with four or five decent Supporter cards.  There are 12 Standard legal sets right now (13 on May 4th), and 90% of all Supporters played consist of six different cards.  That’s just ridiculous and is an unquestionable example of poor game design.  And I didn’t make up that 90% number, that came from the analysis of top placing decks between February 17th and March 17th.


  • Puzzle of Time
  • Max Elixir
  • Evosoda
  • Super Rod

Again, as poorly as they have handled Supporters, they at least have done a decent job of realizing they need to reprint some of the most popular (and best) Item cards in the game (Ultra Ball, E Hammer, Rare Candy, Max Potion).  Still, we live in a very Item poor game today.  It’s slightly better than Supporters, but 90% of the Item cards played consist of ten different cards.


Choice Band and Float Stone are almost 90% of the cards played in this category, and losing Float Stone is a huge blow to the meta and will change the way we play.  We’ll have to play four Guzma now, and we’ll probably include more switching Item cards. Fighting Fury Belt and Bursting Balloon are the only other Tools that are rotating out that see even a marginal amount of play.


So I know it’s early, but we’re already getting some peaks into what’s coming out in the August set as well.  Forbidden Light doesn’t really bring us any Supporters or Item cards that are absolutely amazing, four card per deck staples.  It’ll be a significantly different game come September (really August for me, I’ll start playing new rotation on only starting with the August set), but I’m sure it’ll still be a lot of fun!



  1. Alright so my thing about post rotation, and I’ve had this run through my mind ever since people brought up Garbotoxin rotating out and how Zoroark GX is toxic in expanded (and possibly in standard).

    Today Pokebeach revealed some very interesting cards that might catch your eye post rotation. One of them is Magcargo and if you recall Swampert’s Diving Search ability, it’s the exact same ability, so Gallade’s replacement has been found (even though I would have loved a revival of Swampert…oh well, maybe later this year). So Magcargo alongside Zoroark or Oranguru or even Alolan Sandslash will guarantee that you get the right card that you need at the right time.

    Another interesting card is Sableye with an ability that acts as a Trick Shovel of sorts (or like the Revelation keyword from Cardfight Vanguard). Basically, look at the top of your deck, choose to discard or leave it on the top of your deck. Very solid ability.

    As for everything else…I could list many things that we would need for the next format, but here’s what I get off of reading your list of cards rotating: 1. Mill won’t be as strong. 2. Volcanion dies in standard. 3. Many decks will have to undergo changes.

    Float stone: Guzma and Pal pad will be a must. Decks that can run Altar of the Moone should do just that, and those who have 1 retreat cost should add Escape Board without a doubt. Rope and Switch are fine, but Trashvalanche restricts item heavy usage.

    Draw Supporters: I agree that the loss of Brigette, N, and Sycamore will open up a slot for Lillie for sure. If not then Pokemon Fan club will become more widely used, but Lillie should begin to see more play, alongside Nest ball to ensure you use up those cards to maximize draw power. Hala should take up some slots in decks that pop their GX early game.

    Miscellaneous Supporters and Items: Skyla will be replaced by Order pad, Evosoda replaced by Timer Balls, and Fisherman isn’t a terrible loss in standard, given that Greninja Break finally departs, but alongside Starmie’s departure means that Alolan Dugtrio loses effectiveness as a rogue deck, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.

    Puzzles of time…Zoroark Players can no longer afford to recklessly toss cards away. Pop DCE or have them EHammered away, well Special Charge will be gone as well…so you have to be more wiser about your plays. Special energy are not safe Post Rotation: you lose them, you will be hurt. Lose key cards like Rescue stretcher and now you’re in a bind.

    To sum it all up: This next format will challenge people just as much, if not more, than when VS seeker’s rotation was a crisis in the TCG community. The tools are out there, however. Just look and see what can work with what deck. Only concern: Garbotoxin. Field Blower balanced that ability out. Now we shall lose a check to Zoroark’s Trade ability. So who knows what that will do in the game.

    And people thought Shaymin was OP.

    1. Yeah I think Maggie is going to be our throwback this week (I just think it’s funny because Magcargo is the name of a street here in Cincinnati). Zoroark GX will be the most impactful card in the game post rotation after we lose Garbotoxin and Parallel City.

      Personally, I’m leaning towards a Drampa GX start with four Hala four Cynthia and one Lillie and a ton of Nest Balls. It’d be nice to get a Supporter that would let us go grab two or three non GX evolution Pokemon, but it’s probably too much to ask for Pokemon to give us more than one playable Supporter per expansion (we’re not even getting one in FL). 90% of the Supporters played in top meta decks are six different cards… and we’re losing three of those. Pokemon needs to step up or the quality of the game will suffer. We’re already pretty Item and Supporter poor as it is.

      Losing Puzzles isn’t the end of the world, Zoroark players will just supplant them with Energy Retrieval or Rescue Stretchers and definitely – as you mentioned – Pal Pads.

      1. I agree with most of what you just said Harvey, but on the last part: Energy Retrieval works only on basic energy, so if they manage to lose all their DCE, they lose their single attachment-Attack option. And it’s not just Zoroark. Decks like the Eeveelutions will get hurt as well, given that getting knocked out while having DCE on them means that they lose that card for good as well. So I’m assuming the format will slow somewhat, if you aren’t a Zoroark Player or a deck using Malamar of course.

        One Supporter a lot of people should consider using post-rotation (especially if they use Zoroark): Olyvia. Getting 2 GX pokemon might seem weak at first glance, but if you already Nest Ball’ed two Zorua and you have the opportunity to get your Zoroarks, or even your much needed stage 1 or 2 GX’s out, then she shouldn’t be underestimated. This next format is looking weird now for me, because I just realized we are losing the reckless draw power that Sycamore gave use, which means that unless you use things like Sophocles, you’re Shuffle-drawing. So if clutter begins to pile on in a deck as the game progresses, it could start to look a bit frustrating when drawing into useless cards.

        N rotating out: Judge. Would it be a beautiful dream if Hand Kinesis Meowstic or Trevenant became tier 1 meta decks? Yes, definitely. Actually that opens up many doors for Trevenant now that N is gone. But regardless, people have to tech a Judge or two in, especially Glaceon players (who have the advantage against Zoroark post rotation). Disruption is key and Judge does just that. I will probably look to add at least 1 in each of my decks later this year (and no I will not run Ilima, no one should).

        As for the Drampa start: it looks like a pretty standard start, but Fighting mons will be prominent so do keep that in mind, especially Buzzwole. Now we don’t know what Celestial Storm will bring to the TCG just yet, so we should be on the lookout for any new cards that might drastically change the draw support lineup a ton.

        I had a look at some old cards from the ex era that might become supporters (not just future draw supporters), and given that Rayquaza is on the cover of the set after Forbidden Light and that it focuses on Hoenn, I had a look at EX Emerald and EX Deoxys among other sets and some cards look interesting. One of them is Steven’s Advice, which draws a card for each of the opponent’s pokemon in play. Cool. Castaway, which searches out a tool, a basic energy, and a supporter card. Neat. Lanette’s Net Search, which looks for 3 basic pokemon of different typings and adds them to your hand (Possible Brigette replacement).

        But for now it’s all speculation…I am reminded of the fact that Feraligatr got shafted (no ex turned GX version of him).

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