Hey everyone! As I'm writing this article, the brand new set Ultra Prism is just around the corner and will soon be legal for our next major tournaments. The consensus among the community is that Ultra Prism is very underwhelming and should have little impact. I agree with this statement for the most part and see these cards impacting the format over time rather than immediately. The Prism cards provide a new mechanic that has the potential to be game-changing, but currently, they lack the support or partners to go with them. In this article, I'll be going over my set review on cards I expect to have some impact during the season and that need to be explored for upcoming events. After that, I'll be showing you my current builds on Metal variants in Standard and Expanded. Ultra Prism gave the most support towards Metal so it has the most potential. Let's begin!

Top Five Cards from Ultra Prism

1.Glaceon GX

Water – HP200 Stage 1 – Evolves from Eevee

Ability: Freezing Gaze

As long as this Pokémon is your Active Pokémon, your opponent’s Pokémon GX and Pokémon EX in play, in their hand, and in their discard pile have no Abilities, except for Freezing Gaze.

[W][C][C] Frozen Bullet: 90 damage. This attack does 30 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)

[W][C][C] Polar Spear GX: 50x damage. This attack does 50 damage for each damage counter on your opponent’s Active Pokémon. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Metal (x2)

Resistance: none

Retreat: 2

At the top of my rankings is Glaceon GX, its Freezing Gaze Ability can be instantly disruptive and I fear it will be oppressive for the format. Over time, Ability lock decks have dominated tournaments and always remain a force to be reckoned with. Freezing Gaze is an upgrade from the famous Garbotoxin Ability from Garbodor, as it only impacts your opponent. The next major thing is the support for Glaceon GX. It has access to Eevee's Energy Evolution, which comes with Ability to evolve on turn one and even the chance of doing it going first. You can Ability lock your opponent before they even get a chance to draw a card, which makes this card incredibly scary. There's no control for your opponent and it's a situation most players should fear. The next support that Glaceon GX has is the Water trainers and Pokémon. You have access to cards like Water Patch, Lapras GX, and Ninetales GX which can branch out to make even more archetypes built around Glaceon. At the moment, I would expect disruption based Glaceon builds, Water Patch builds, and a hybrid of both. I do think that Glaceon GX will be more successful than Sylveon GX was, as the Ability is much deadlier than attempting to run your opponent out of resources. The way I see this deck faltering or ending up a bust would be if it gets exposed like Sylveon GX archetypes did. People were hyped and played a lot of Sylveon, but it ended up doing poorly.

2. Cynthia

Supporter

Shuffle your hand into your deck. Then, draw 6 cards.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

 

Cynthia is a reprint of one of the most reliable Supporters in Pokémon TCG history. There is no downside to playing this card as both effects are great. Being a shuffle draw Supporter allows you to conserve resources and netting six cards is a healthy amount of cards to hit what you're looking for. At nearly every stage of the game, it's a decent draw and a great Supporter to use for the turn. Now I've been reading and seeing a good amount of discussion claiming that you should play four Cynthia without hesitation because it's more versatile than Professor Sycamore or N, but I disagree. Back in the day, Professor Oak's Theory was in a format with Professor Sycamore and N. On average people ran around one to two copies in their deck and occasionally you might see three because of the specific deck archetype. The reason for this was that Professor Sycamore's discard effect is actually beneficial most of the time. Discarding can help fulfill your deck's win condition or thin cards you will never need again. Getting that extra card is also slightly better if you need that extra reach on an important turn. For most decks, I would play 3-4 N and 3-4 Professor Sycamore still. The main reason is that those two Supporters are arguably the two greatest Supporters ever made, so it falls slightly in comparison. I think the discussion gets more interesting when we are talking about decks like Garchomp or Zoroark, as your deck wants to play Cynthia or try to conserve valuable resources. I think the most common use of Cynthia over N or Professor Sycamore, would be similar to those instances you would use Colress in Expanded. You don't want to discard key cards in your hand, but at the same time, you don't want to put yourself at a small hand size.

3. Cyrus ◇

Supporter

You can’t have more than 1 Prism Star card with the same name in your deck. If a Prism Star card is discarded, put it in the Lost Zone.

This card can only be used if your Active Pokémon is [W] or [M].

Your opponent chooses 2 of their Benched Pokémon, then shuffles their other Benched Pokémon and all cards attached to them into their deck.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

Cyrus Prism comes in at number three in my rankings, as it introduces a new mechanic and disruption based supporter effect. It's a bit difficult to rate this card at the moment because it was recently hit with an errata due to the original translation and print being way overpowered. With the new limitations to the card, it makes it way more situational but still a strong card to use in decks that focus on Water and Metal Pokémon. I still believe that this card can be very strong and relevant even with the new changes, as forcing your opponent to remove stuff from their board is very effective. A good amount of the time your opponent will want to keep more than two Pokémon on their bench and this can force them into an awkward position. I think a good comparison of this would be cards like Parallel City or Sudowoodo GRI, which force your opponent into awkward situations that disrupt their overall game-plan or set up.

4. Solgaleo ◇ and Lunala ◇

Metal – HP160

Basic Pokémon

◇ (Prism Star) Rule: You can’t have more than 1 Prism Star card with the same name in your deck. If a Prism Star card is discarded, put it in the Lost Zone.

[M] Rising Star: For each of your opponent’s Pokémon in play, attach a [M] Energy from your discard pile to your Pokémon in any way you like.

[M][M][M][M] Corona Impact: 160 damage. This Pokémon can’t attack during your next turn.

Weakness: Fire (x2)

Resistance: Psychic (-20)

Retreat: 3

Basic Pokémon

◇ (Prism Star) Rule: You can’t have more than 1 Prism Star card with the same name in your deck. If a Prism Star card is discarded, put it in the Lost Zone.

[P] Full Moon Star: For each of your opponent’s Pokémon in play, attach a [P] Energy from your discard pile to your Pokémon in any way you like.

[P][P][P][P] Psystorm: 20x damage. This attack does 20 damage times the amount of Energy attached to all Pokémon in play.

Weakness: Darkness (x2)

Resistance: Fighting (-20)

Retreat: 3

 

At number four we have both Solgaleo Prism and Lunala Prism. I included them both here because they're basically the same card, but with a different typing. The first attack on both cards intrigues me, as it has an effect that can provide energy acceleration from your discard pile to up to six energies in Standard. This is a crazy effect and it makes sense why both of these cards are limited to one copy in your deck. Both Metal and Psychic decks now have a great support Pokémon to help rebuild your position and get most of your energy back into play. At the moment, I don't see that many ideas or pairings with Lunala, but I do see a good amount of ways to utilize Solgaleo. I'll be going into more detail about Solgaleo later in this article, as Ultra Prism opens up a ton of possibilities.

 

5. Super Boost Energy

Special Energy

You can’t have more than 1 Prism Star card with the same name in your deck. If a Prism Star card is discarded, put it in the Lost Zone.

This card provides [C] Energy.

While attached to a Stage 2 Pokémon, this card provides every type of Energy but provides only 1 Energy at a time. While attached to a Stage 2 Pokémon, if you have 3 or more Stage 2 Pokémon in play, this card instead provides every type of Energy but provides only 4 Energy at a time.

 

The last card of my top five is Super Boost Energy. This one might be the most surprising of the list, but I can see this card realistically impacting our Stage 2 decks. Now the effect requirement does seem incredibly difficult to achieve and you might say that it wouldn't matter at that point if you have three Stage 2 Pokémon set up. The reason I like Super Boost Energy is because of the tempo play and being able to set up a board that puts on unmatched pressure. For example, you could be falling behind while trying to set up as many Gardevoirs as possible and by the time you have set up everything you don't even have enough energy. With Super Boost Energy, you can immediately drop a 4 Energy on top of your Secret Springs to wipe out anything they have active. I believe this kind of tempo swing can be game-changing and a lot of Stage 2 decks have that potential. Stage 2 decks are built around setting up as many Stage 2 Pokémon and as quickly as possible so I don't think the requirement will stop this card from being played.

Honorable Mentions

Leafeon-GX – Grass – HP200

Stage 1 – Evolves from Eevee

Ability: Breath of the Leaves

If this Pokémon is your Active Pokémon, once during your turn (before your attack), you may heal 50 damage from 1 of your Pokémon that has any Energy attached to it.

[G][C][C] Solar Beam: 110 damage.

[G] Grand Bloom GX: For each of your Benched Basic Pokémon, search your deck for a card that evolves from that Pokémon and put it onto that Pokémon to evolve it. Then, shuffle your deck. (You can’t use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)

When your Pokémon-GX is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

 

Weakness: Fire (x2)

Resistance: none

Retreat: 2

 

Leafeon GX is another Eevee-lution that can take advantage of Eevee's Energy Evolution Ability. Leafeon's Breath of the Leaves Ability provides a lot of ways to explore healing strategies and can be clutch in certain situations when you need that extra healing. The main thing that everyone is excited about is the GX attack, which allows you to evolve all of your benched basic Pokémon into their next evolution. This attack has so many possibilities and I haven't thought about all of them yet. The main one that comes to mind based on the Energy synergy is partnering Leafeon GX with Decidueye GX. Turn one you could have one Leafeon GX and three to four Dartrix in play. You can then follow this up with three to four Decidueye GX in play and slowly pick apart your opponent’s board. There are definitely some dangerous combos to be explored with Leafeon-GX.

Passimian

Basic Pokémon

Ability: Power Scrum

As long as this Pokémon is on your Bench, each of your Passimian’s attacks does 30 more damage to your opponent’s Active Evolved Pokémon.

[F][C] Rock Hurl: 40 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.

Weakness: Psychic (x2)

Resistance: none

Retreat: 1

This new Passimian card is very interesting to me, as it gives more support to the Passimian archetype which can be teched in decks to counter the popular Zoroark GX decks. The ability Power Scrum makes it much more reasonable to get a knockout on Pokémon weak to Fighting and makes Passimian more efficient as an attacker. I'm very curious to see if the additional support to Passimian will make it a playable archetype or tech.

 

Garchomp/Lucario

Stage 1 – Evolves from Riolu

Ability: Aura Sight

Once during your turn (before your attack), if you have Garchomp in play, you may search your deck for 1 card and put it into your hand. Then, shuffle your deck.

[F][C] Scud Jab: 70 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.

Weakness: Psychic (x2)

Resistance: none

Retreat: 1

Stage 2 – Evolves from Gabite

[C][C] Quick Dive: This attack does 50 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)

[F][C][C] Champion’s Blade: 100+ damage. If you played Cynthia from your hand during this turn, this attack does 100 more damage.

Weakness: Fairy (x2)

Resistance: none

Retreat: 0

 

One of the most hyped decks from Ultra Prism is Garchomp/Lucario. Lucario has a fantastic ability that lets you search for any card from your deck if you have a Garchomp in play. Being able to use this Ability multiples times over the course of the game, will let you set up anything you need and allow you to achieve your game-plan. Garchomp itself has two nice attacks, 50 snipe for a Double Colorless Energy and an attack that can hit for 200 damage if you played Cynthia. Alone this card would probably not sustain itself, but with Lucario's consistency, it might be enough to compete in this format as a Stage 2.

Magnezne/Dusk Mane Necrozoma

The first deck that I started testing in the Standard format with the new Ultra Prism set is Magnezone/Dusk Mane Necrozma. Magnetic Circuit is a throwback to the nostalgic “Rain Dance” ability and Dusk Mane Necrozma GX is one of the strongest big basic Pokemon ever printed. The deck features a lot of interesting tech cards such as Solgaleo Prism, Cyrus Prism, and Dialga GX which add new dimensions to the archetype. Mt. Coronet helps shore up the inconsistency of not having energy in hand or eventually running out of energy in the late game, which was a flaw of decks based on energy from hand. This is a modern era “Rain Dance” deck that has a bunch of new tricks from its previous ancestors.

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