One Prize or Two?

A question I keep asking myself: do two prize (and soon to be three prize) Pokemon really give you an advantage over your opponent?  Can we really say definitively that GX Pokemon inherently and undoubtedly will win more frequently than their non GX counterparts?  I have come to the conclusion that I don’t think that GX Pokemon automatically outclass single prize Pokemon.  In fact, I believe that non GX archetypes have reached a point where they present more of a liability than an advantage.

Right now the designers of the Pokemon Trading Card Game have created a wide variety of very competitive single prize archetypes.  Several non GX featured Pokemon have seen success at recent tournaments:

  • White Kyurem (LOT 63)
  • Granbull (LOT 138)
  • Tapu Koko (SM 30)
  • Malamar (FLI 51)
  • Buzzwole (FLI 77)
  • Garbodor (GRI 51)
  • Jumpluff (LOT 14)
  • Alolan Exeggutor (FLI 2)
  • Steelix (CES 89)

I have also had success with some other single prize Pokemon:

  • Vespiquen (LOT 32)
  • Blissey (LOT 153)
  • Cofagrigus (LOT 100)

And many people expect these single prize Pokemon to step right into the game from the new Team Up expansion set and compete at high levels of play:

  • Zapdos
  • Doublade
  • Charizard

So that’s twelve to fifteen strong decks that force your opponent to take six prizes to win the game, and almost all of them will two shot even the Tag Team GX Pokemon (and some of them – like Blissey – will one shot them).

I haven’t really told you anything you don’t know, but let me quantify it for you in a way that will probably surprise you.  In my last 100 games on PTCGO, I’ve gone 54 W 46 L.  In 62 of those matches, I went up against GX featured archetypes.  I’ve gone 36 W 26 L (58%) against these GX featured attackers.

That’s just me, it’s only one hundred games, and I played exclusively non GX archetypes in all of those one hundred matches.  It’s not a huge difference – four percent – but that’s four more wins in one hundred games.  It’s enough to make me think that single prize Pokemon are becoming better choices than two (or three) prize GX Pokemon.


  1. Hey Harvey, can I do a review on Blastoise from Team Up? I can have the article done and sent to you by Monday

    1. Absolutely. You can include whatever feature Pokemon you think will be best. Maybe even a decklist or two. I’m going to start publishing potential decklists hopefully starting tomorrow. This way I won’t have to think about them Friday the 1st I can even have them somewhat pre built on PTCGO.

      I’m definitely considering Blastoise with Blissey. The general consensus from videos and reviews I have seen has Blastoise with Magicarp Wailord. I think this could be really good though.

  2. Thanks. One Blastoise article, coming right up! I honestly want some kind of version with Swampert or something.

Comments are closed.