What’s up Some1sPC readers! The new Forbidden Light set is just around the corner and I have my personal review of the entire set for you guys. I will be breaking down the best cards from Forbidden Light and what cards I expect to impact our future competitive Metagame. There are a few new archetypes to go over and it should be the most impactful set in quite some time. Utah Regionals is also this weekend, so I'll cover my current thoughts on the Metagame and best plays. My last article and this one should give you great coverage for the Expanded format, as we enter the final few events. Lastly, I'll be going over my under the radar sleeper play for Utah Regionals which is Glaceon Zoroark!
Forbidden Light Thoughts
We have had a few lackluster sets recently and I think that's going to finally change with the release of Forbidden Light. I expect this to be the most impactful set since Burning Shadows and we should see a real Metagame shift or dominance from decks. Fighting gained the most support from this set and it already had a strong place in the Standard format after winning the Latin America International Championships. I expect some hybrid of Buzzwole to evolve from this set and reach even new heights. The other contender added from this set will be Malamar based decks. Malamar has a great Energy acceleration Ability, which is a reprint of one of the best accelerations to ever come across this game. This along with the great Psychic typing to take out Fighting decks will make it a real threat in the format. Ultra Beast Pokémon are also getting their own support, so they should become relevant through the new engine. HP and damage output is also growing, so it will make older cards feel much weaker as these newer cards start to take over. The best way to have an impact on the format is through buffing the support of archetypes and Forbidden Light does exactly that.
Individual Card Rating and Impact
Stage 2 – Evolves from Frogadier
Ability: Shuriken Fury
When you play this Pokémon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokémon during your turn, you may put 3 damage counters on 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon.
[W][C][C] Haze Slash: 110 damage. You may shuffle this Pokémon and all cards attached to it into your deck.
[W][C][C] Shadowy Hunter GX: This attack does 130 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched 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: Grass (x2)
Frogadier Ability: Gale Shuriken
When you play this card from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokémon during your turn, you may put 2 damage counters on 1 of your opponent’s Pokémon.
The first card I'm going to go over is Greninja-GX. Greninja comes in with a monstrous 230 HP that has an Ability that has seen success in the trading card game before. A few years ago Golbat and Crobat from Phantom Forces had Abilities that placed two to three damage counters on your opponent’s Pokémon and this helped set up critical knockouts. Greninja GX and Frogadier from this set have the same exact Ability as Golbat/Crobat from Phantom Forces. The opportunity to knock out Pokémon through an Ability opens up multiple prize turns and comeback ability. You can potentially take four to six prizes within a single turn if planned correctly. The best part about these type of Abilities is it can be a great partner for decks that might be lacking the necessary damage output to be successful, a common flaw among decks that struggle to get to the top.
The first attack Haze Slash is interesting because you could potentially recycle your Greninja-GX and Frogadiers to get more damage output later. The flaw in this attack is how often you will be able to get the Energy down and then evolve them again in a single game. It could be somewhat irrelevant in the majority of games, but having the option is very nice and could give you enough damage to pull off the win.
The GX attack is a finishing move that may seem mediocre on paper, but I could see it clutching out some wins when used in combination with the damage counter Abilities. You could pull off a snipe for the game on common Bench targets such as Tapu Lele GX.
Verdict: Greninja-GX and Frogadier make for reliable partners to decks that lack damage output and need that extra support to become playable. At the moment I see Greninja-GX decks sitting around the Tier 2 range, but they have some potential with the correct partner to move up to Tier 1. The current best partner I see for this card would be Zoroark GX, as it adds that consistency to set up multiple stage 1s and 2s while taking advantage of the damage from Greninja-GX. Zoroark GX is a card that lacks the ability to one shot everything in the format and the damage boost from Greninja will help it reach new heights.
You can’t have more than 1 Prism Star card with the same name in your deck. If a Prism Star card would go to the discard pile, put it in the Lost Zone instead.
Ability: Jet Geyser
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may discard a [W] Energy from your hand. If you do, your opponent switches their Active Pokémon with 1 of their Benched Pokémon.
[W][W][W] Sauna Bomb: 100 damage. This attack does 20 damage to each of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon.)
Weakness: Lightning (x2)
Volcanion Prism Star is an interesting tech option that could see play down the road, but I don't see an immediate use for it with the current Water archetypes. The main use of this card is the Jet Geyser ability that allows you to easily force your opponent to switch their Active Pokémon. This can be useful against annoying walls or one prize attackers that limit you from making the optimal play for the turn.
Verdict: I don't see Volcanion Prism Star seeing any play in the upcoming format and it probably isn't worth picking up yet. In the future, this card could have potential and that makes it a tech card that you can keep in the back of your head.
Stage 1 – Evolves from Inkay
Ability: Psycho Recharge
Once during your turn (before your attack), you may attach a [Psychic] Energy card from your discard pile to 1 of your Benched Pokémon.
[P][P][C] Psychic Sphere: 60 damage.
Weakness: Psychic (x2)
We get another reprint card from a set in the past with Malamar. Malamar has the same Ability as Eelektrik Noble Victories but for Psychic Energy. Eelektrik is one of the best forms of Ability acceleration to ever come across the Pokémon Trading Card Game and I'm positive that Malamar will have an impact during its time of playability. Accelerating Energy from your discard pile to the Bench allows you to reliably stream attackers and overwhelm your opponent with a better board presence. Being a Stage 1 allows you to set up multiple Malamars quickly and consistently. Malamar also has an amazing typing with Fighting getting another buff in this set. You'll be able to hit one of the best and most popular decks for Weakness, which will give you favorable matchups. The biggest question surrounding this card will be the best attackers to pair with Malamar. If it ends up disappointing, this would be the biggest reason and not so much the card itself.
Verdict: Malamar is a fantastic card that is based off a very successful card in Eelektrik Noble Victories. I expect it to see an immediate play and it easily has potential to be a Tier 1 deck. My concern with this card would be finding the best partner, as the options are sort of limited. My current partner in mind would be the new Ultra Necrozma-GX, but I'm not completely sure if Necrozma is good enough to stabilize this deck as Tier 1. Another important thing to note about Malamar decks is that the support is very strong, as you get to use cards like Lunala Prism Star which was one of my favorites from Ultra Prism.
Thanks for reading the free portion of this article! The rest of the article can be viewed by Elite PC members only. Click on the Ultra Ball below to catch this article and become an Elite PC Member today!