2019 Rotation

Well, I had hoped to drop this on the eve of rotation, but then PTCGO went and kicked all of the rotating cards out of Standard a couple of days early.  Anyways, here’s a glimpse at all of the cards that will potentially be rotating out next year at this time.

So there were only three sets that entered the format before last year’s rotation: Sun and Moon Base Set, Guardians Rising, and Burning Shadows (has it really been a year and a month?  seems like it was just yesterday Gardy and Golisopod dropped into the meta).  It’s safe to assume that a rotation in 2019 will  probably only include these sets….  However, they seem pretty pleased with the Sun and Moon franchise, and it’s possible – not probably, actually not likely at all – that they might just skip rotating out any sets in August of 2019.

So I have no idea, but it seems to me a three set rotation is pretty insignificant, and they might just leave those three sets as is.  That would leave some continuity in the format, but I’m just speculating.  I could easily see them rotating those first three Sun and Moon sets.  I don’t think they’ll rotate Shining Legends, they almost always give a set at least two years, and rotating out SLG would give it a life span of about 23 months, so that to me seems unlikely.

But here’s the list, I have taken out cards that have been reprinted in CIN or later.  I’m not sure about some of the promos, it would be TOTAL speculation to try to determine where they would draw the line on promos.

Baby Ninetales and Ninetales GX
Decidueye GX
Drampa GX
Energy Evolution Eevee
Espeon GX
Trashalanche Garbodor
Gardevoir GX
Golisopod GX (maybe there’s a promo SM 62… depends on where they draw the line)
Ho-Oh GX (maybe there’s a promo SM 80… depends on where they draw the line)
Kommo-No GX (maybe there’s a promo SM 80… depends on where they draw the line… oh wait nobody cares because this is the worst GX Pokemon ever)
Lapras GX
Lurantis GX
Lycanroc GX (yes, Bloodthirsty Eyes)
Marshadow GX
Metagross GX
Necrozma GX (maybe there’s a promo SM 59… depends on where they draw the line… but even if it is rotated don’t worry we have plenty of other Pokemon named Necrozma)
Banana Master (sorry Donald)
Salazzle GX (maybe there’s a promo SM 63… depends on where they draw the line)
Solgaleo GX
Tapu Bulu GX (maybe there’s a promo SM 61… depends on where they draw the line)
Tapu Lele GX (although I’ve heard she’s going to be re-released in a tin or something)
Tauros GX
Turtonator GX
Snorlax GX (the one that started it all)
Altar of the Moone
Leaf Blower
Nest Ball
Professor Kukui
Rescue Stretcher
Timer Ball


  1. Honestly Harvey I don’t think we should even worry about next year’s rotation: this year’s however…it’s weird, it’s just weird. I’ve seen odd decks, I’ve seen Illumise/Volbeat, I’ve beaten Ray/Vikavolt and pre-Majesty Blaziken with Buzz/Garb/Shrine, I’ve seen Beast box, and I’ve played Ho-oh/Salazzle….this is the first format I’ve played without N or Sycamore and I can honestly say that Zoro players will come out the woodworks real soon and get nasty with Judge plays.

    I’ve played games where I would see my opponent’s handsize go up, to the point that even a Meowstic could be a viable deck, of all things. I’ve seen a high increase in Baby Dusk mane/Baby Metagross decks and that deck looks good on paper because Metal Frying pan walled anything that couldn’t go past 30 damage….that deck alone saw a huge popularity jump in my eyes.

    So what basically happened? We lost the best Supporters ever. I know N was controversial for you because it would be the factor that won or lost you games, but in this format….you’ll wish we still had him around. And sycamore dumped trash away, simple as that. Cards that no longer serve ya could get dumped, now its shuffle-draw so good luck if you aren’t a Swampert or Fox.

    In the end, the most consistent decks will win. So i would advise players to really think about what they’re testing and what is to come, and to keep your eyes peeled for the results and decklists that come out of the latest post rotation tournament, not because you can netdeck and play them yourself, but because you can be prepared to counter them as well.

    In the end, its a weird format right now….I bet someone could get away with playing Tauros again. Maybe. Just my thoughts.

  2. Agree I see so much more diversity. We’re all still figuring things out, but I do think all GX theorymon has to start with Shrine of Punishment. If you can’t run a GX deck that can carry some combination of multiple Max Potions or Acerolas, you really have to think hard about running that deck… unless you just want to automatically concede matches against Shrine decks. I know Zoroark is already even more popular, but it has an inherently tough matchup against spread decks.
    So here’s the thing with Judge: it’s really a 50-50 card. Probably half of the time you’ll be ok after getting hit by Judge and half the time you’ll get stuck. However, with Oranguru and Zoroark, many decks will probably be alright even if they get stuck by Judge. If it’s a real issue, however, maybe we’ll see people run Plusle or Delcatty or even UPR Spiritomb. Judge and Marshadow can be ok, but they aren’t as effective as the dreaded N to 1 (although that was overrated as more than two thirds of decks were running Zoroark, Oranguru, or Octillery towards the end of the last rotation).
    Just as an aside, Copycat is averaging 5.23 cards per play, but that’s only after 13 occurrences so WAY too early to really draw a conclusion on that. I really like Mallow with Oranguru, and the Drampa Big Wheel / Cynthia / Hala combo will always put a lot of cards in your hand.

    1. But that’s where things get crazy Harvey: Your Drampa plays and Tempest GX plays can do a lot, but Copycat can completely drag you into the darkest corridor of the game, given that you triumphantly have this large hand with so much power…and then you see Copycat and go, “OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE”. I was the one that Copycatted one opponent in particular, and that was the most clutch thing ever: Buzz/Garb dominated from there.

      And Baby buzz is not so strong anymore I’m afraid: it has become far more dependent on a GX matchup, your Diancie out, and a Shrine to make strong plays early on, to the point where I might consider teching Regirock alongside whatever tools we have now before we get more tool options later down the line. Garbodor on the other hand is still strong: you could totally take advantage of players with him alongside other attackers.

      Now Steven’s Metagross catches my eye, but the biggest disaster to the deck lies on playing Steven’s Decision at the wrong time, especially when he isn’t your active mon. Players conceded more often than not when they handed the turn over like that. Granted it has plenty of potential with Shrine, but if done wrong it can go horribly wrong.

      Garchomp this format isn’t a total loss either….I’ve even felt the need to upgrade it here and there to better it, given that Latios and Latias are here and in a format where not many things demolish you turn 1, you have a chance at a decent setup, even more once Zinnia comes out, as contradictory as it may seem.

      And as lazy as I am, I have thought of other cards out there right now…..I have yet to try out Ludicolo, Swampert looks appealing, and The Masked Royal isn’t even a terrible card on paper!! That card alonside Decidueye/Zoroark could put in work, given that you could setup and swing away. Just now I even thought up of something spicy like an Incineroar Drampa deck with the Masked Royal, in that Big Wheel can do things, and set you up along the way, which if Shrine is in play you could make use of Profane Punch for major damage (but that is a theory deck).

      And in less than a week we will see Quagsire and Wishiwashi support for, well, Wishiwashi GX. Dragon support, and Charizard will make a return to standard as well (Yeah we have his GX version…but good god. I understand you view Kommo-o GX as the worst, but come now: Altaria will make that dragon hit semi decent, while Charizard GX is the epitome of high risk, high reward, but no support for consistent acceleration).

      Dragon Zygarde looks peculiar now with Shrine, Altaria, and such: budget dragon deck in the works.

      But I could go on and on about theory and stuff. The format will be different, and believe me: when I say this is weird, it is very weird. Never, ever have I played without a discard draw 7 card. Forget VS Seeker: The Sycamores and Junipers were the defining factor of deck building. They were the cards that scared new players but that eventually turned us into veterans. Now we look towards other cards for support, and for what we know we might even see Shaymin EX receive a successor later down the line. For now, a lot of cards are really collecting dust (Like Genesect/Venusaur), and others are waiting for their time to shine.

      Before I finish my long post, I will say this: Pokemon needs to print the promo Pikachu with Nuzzle. If we do keep Shining Legends for next year, then I want to see Raichu shine, because that Snuggly Generator play last week was so much fun (I loved it).

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