Shining Legends Set Review

This year Pokemon fans get an additional expansion with the release of Shining Legends. The set has 78 cards in total, with 73 main set cards and 5 secret rare cards. It looks like all of the Pokemon in the set are new, and there are also some new Trainers and Energy cards, as well plenty of reprints of Supporters and Items printed in the Sun and Moon sets.

Like Generations in 2016, Shining Legends is available through pin collections, box sets, and an Elite Trainer Box. Cards such as the Full Arts of Zoroark GX and Raichu GX are being released as promo cards with products associated with the set.

In addition to the cards from Shining Legends, I’ve also included reviews for some of the promo cards released in products associated with Shining Legends.

It should be noted that this set was released and becomes legal very closely to the release of the next expansion, Crimson Invasion, which already has its pre-releases going on. As a result, when discussing these cards, some discussion of the next set will creep in. Counter Energy in particular is used when discussing Pokemon from the set. For those that haven’t seen it yet, Counter Energy is a Special Energy card that provides two Energy of any type to non-EX/GX Pokemon when you’re behind on prize cards.

For this review, I will use the following 5 point rating scale.

1/5 = Bad
2/5 = Some competitive potential
3/5 = Good competitive potential
4/5 = Very good, will see play.
5/5 = Star card. Will see lots of play.

Table of Contents

To find a specific card, go to the card index. Otherwise you can use the category links to jump to a section, or you can just read the entire article in full by scrolling downwards.

Grass Pokemon

Venusaur

As cool of an Ability as Jungle Totem is on the surface level, these types of Abilities that double what an Energy attachment counts for tend to not to find much competitive success. Gardevoir NXD, for example, only saw the most fringe of success and was rarely played during its time in Standard and has been completely absent from Expanded.

Unlike Gardevoir, Venusaur can be used with any type of Pokemon and not just Grass Pokemon giving it more opportunities to find a place in a deck.

This Ability is fine in theory, but the way Pokemon designs the attack costs on Pokemon makes it very difficult to find a good use for it. Anything that costs three Energy, with at least two of them being Colorless costs this won’t help with as you still need two attachments whether you do it with Venusaur and two Grass Energy or just use a Double Colorless Energy and a Grass Energy to power it up.

Being a Stage 2 Pokemon, it’s just not worth the effort of setting up Venusaur given our current card pool when there is better forms of Energy Acceleration (Vikavolt, Metagross GX, Gardevoir GX) that can be used to power up Pokemon to attack. The only way I see Venusaur seeing play is if a powerful Grass or Colorless Pokemon is released and it attacks for two Energy, or possibly even something that attacks for four Energy that needs the number of attachments to setup brought down.

I also think they missed an opportunity with Venusaur for making a cool Grass deck in Standard by limiting it to only Basic Grass Energy. With Counter Energy coming out in Crimson Invasion, I think they missed an opportunity to create a really cool Grass archetype around Venusaur and non-GX Pokemon.

Verdict: 2/5

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Carnivine

Flick Poison makes this card a spiritual successor to Carnivine from Dark Explorers which also brought Pokemon active and Poisoned them with its Lure Poison attack. This type of attack was most commonly used to bring a Vileplume active, but that was played in an era where the Item based Pokemon Catcher was the primary gust effect. Now with Guzma, I don’t think there is a good reason to play a card like this if such a strategy comes back.

Crunch is a solid attack, but it costs two Energy so it’s very difficult to stream these. Venusaur could be used to stream these easily, but that’s a Stage 2, making this a slow to setup deck, and if you’re not playing Ability lock alongside Carnivine, Energy Acceleration decks, such as the current BDIF Gardevoir GX, can power up attackers that can OHKO Carnivine in one hit.

Verdict: 1/5

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Shaymin

Flippity Flap has some limited potential as a setup attack for Grass decks, similar to Cleffa HS’s Eeeeeeek attack did for everything. Ultimately, as good of an effect as this is, it’s too difficult to use as a setup attack as you need to attach an Energy to it. This means that you can’t use Brigette to grab it, promote it active and attack with it, as you can with Alolan Vulpix.

It would be nice to see this attack be brought on an Alolan Pokemon that can have it as a 0 attack cost to give us some more setup options beyond Alolan Vulpix.

Verdict: 1/5

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Virizion

Virizion can be a solid early game attacker for Grass decks. Wrapped in Wind can put 30 (or 40 damage with Fighting Fury Belt) onto a Basic pre-evolution while also helping to power up Virizion so that it can use its Pike attack on the next turn. It can then use a gust effect to bring something else up off the opponent’s bench and take a double knockout.

After the early game, I don’t think Virizion is strong enough to be used as an attacker and compete against other decks once they get setup. Because of its lack of viability as an attacker in the later stages of the game, it’s hard to see this card seeing much play as you would mostly only get good use out of it in games you start it, and it’s hard to justify running heavy counts of a card that you only want to attack with one of.

Verdict: 2/5

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Shining Genesect

Shining Genesect is a cool card that looks like it has a lot going for it, but which is ultimately probably too weak to see serious competitive play.

On its own, its best potential is probably when paired with Venusaur from this set. Even then, it’s not too great. For two Basic Grass Energy, you would only hit for 130, and if you get to 3, that’s still only 170 damage, which will fall short of knockouts against most of the relevant attackers. That’s if you can even power it up, and being able to actually get Energy on it while also setting up the Venusaur sounds difficult.

It might have some small amounts of potential as a Grass type counter to Grass weak Pokemon in decks playing either Counter Energy or Rainbow Energy. With its Energy Reload, you can move a Counter or Rainbow Energy to Shining Genesect, which means that it could slide into something like Drampa/Garbodor and be dropped onto the field and powered up in one turn if you already have some form of Grass Energy in play. If you were to power up a Shining Genesect with a Rainbow Energy (moved with Energy Reload) and a Double Colorless Energy and attached a Choice Band to Shining Genesect, you would do 200 damage. This could be a very relevant number in metas where the 200 HP Grass weak Lycanroc GX is seeing play, which could happen now that Zoroark GX is hitting the scene.

In Expanded, for decks that will play Counter Energy, Virizion AOR is the superior Grass type attacker as it can be powered up in one attachment and does more damage.

Verdict: 2/5

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Shining Celebi

Add Celebi EX to the trash heap of Pokemon EX cards as Shining Celebi has its same Time Recall Ability while only giving up one prize when knocked out. Celebi EX actually got a nice farewell from relevancy, playing a role in Ross Cawthon’s Shock Lock deck at the Daytona Beach Regional Championship.

This card probably won’t see a ton of play, as it’s not too common for there to be great attacks to use on pre-evolutions versus what the fully evolved Pokemon has to offer, but with Shining Celebi only giving up one prize when it’s knocked out, it is much more likely that such decks do pop up compared to decks utilizing Celebi EX as there isn’t constantly going to be an easy two prizes on the field for such decks.

Verdict: 3/5

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Fire Pokemon

Entei GX

Both of Entei GX’s primary attacks pale in comparison to the attacks of Turtonator GX and Ho-Oh GX for Fire decks. Fire Fang doesn’t come with a drawback, but it does roughly the same amount of damage as Flareon EX’s Blaze Ball does for 3 Energy, and that hasn’t seen play in Fire decks at all recently.

Brave Burn GX is a powerful snipe attack, but 150 is an awkward damage amount that fails to OHKO most GX or EX Pokemon.

The only place I could see it really fitting in is as a Fire attacker in a Lunala GX Toolbox deck, but 180 HP is so easy to knockout that I can’t see a deck similar to the Klinklang or Aromatisse decks of yesteryear gaining a foothold in the format.

Verdict: 1/5

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Volcarona

Volcarona’s Heat Cyclone Ability was last printed on Swellow XY under the name “Drive Off” and that card ended up seeing zero competitive play. With better gust effects being provided by Trainer cards, such as Guzma, Pokemon Catcher, and Counter Catcher (coming out in Crimson Invasion), it seems unlikely that Volcarona will ever make it into competitive decks.

Verdict: 1/5

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Reshiram

Outrage is back and Reshiram could fit in as a nice tech card in this format. I think Reshiram can immediately step into the format as a good tech card against Golisopod GX decks. The only attack Golisopod GX has that can OHKO Reshiram is its Crossing Cut GX. Once that is used, then the best they can do is 120 damage with a First Impresion, which would allow Reshiram to use Outrage for a OHKO back into it.

Outside of that one matchup, I think Outrage is a bit limited now, but it has some immediate potential given Golisopod GX’s success since it came out.

Verdict: 2/5

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Shining Ho-Oh

Shining Ho-Oh has the potential to be a solid early game lead attacker. The way I would envision it being used is that you would want to start it and Kiawe to it on turn 1 and then use it to knock out the low HP pre-evolution and setup Pokemon. Then when it gets knocked out itself, Golden Wing will help conserve the Energy you got with Kiawe and transfer them to something like a Salazzle GX or Turtonator GX to help power up your next attacker.

I think the discard effect on Fire Blast is unfortunate and makes this card much worse than it should have been as you would need to continue attaching Energy to it to keep attacking with it, which doesn’t let you setup your the rest of your board. This can be played around with Burning Energy, but you can’t search that out with Kiawe, so it’s not a great solution to the problem. I think this drawback is probably enough to keep it out of competitive play, which is a shame because this is an otherwise neat lead attacker for Fire decks.

Like Virizion which I discuss above, Shining Ho-Oh also suffers from being a poor mid and late game attacker, making it so you wouldn’t want to run high counts of it, making it more difficult to start it.

Verdict: 2/5

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Water Pokemon

Croconaw

I don’t think Plunge is that great of an Ability, or would even be used consistently in any theoretical Feraligatr deck, but having pre-evolutions that do something is better than nothing.

Either way, we won’t be seeing this card in decks any time soon as all of the Feraligatr cards, including the one being released in this set, are pretty bad.

Verdict: 2/5

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Manaphy

In the past, we have seen cards with healing Abilities see some success in competitive play, such as the Shaymin EX Generations Promo or Jynx FFI. Cards like this are always going to be very meta specific, but as Manaphy is only a Basic Pokemon, it makes it at least somewhat probable for Manaphy to end up in a competitive deck.

As stated, this card is going to be very meta and archetype specific. If a deck utilizing Water Energy, or possibly a Rainbow Energy deck, pops up where healing 20 damage matters, then this card will see play. If no such situation develops, then Manaphy will give his blessings to your binder instead of the deep.

Verdict: 2/5

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Keldeo

Keldeo will provide a strong counter to Water weak decks (aka Volcanion) for players who are utilizing Counter Energy in their deck. Its attack damage being dependent on the opponent’s size of bench gives some opportunity for Resolute Blade to be played around, but with Choice Band it will be very difficult for players to successfully do so.

Outside of that, Keldeo probably won’t see play. It could see a little bit of play in a Water Toolbox deck as a one prize attacker. It would be fairly effective at knocking out low HP pre-evolution Pokemon, but for the most part it’s pretty weak as an attacker.

Verdict: 2/5

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Shining Volcanion

It’s amazing how bad most of the EX era Pokemon have already become. EX’s see very little play in Standard outside of Volcanion EX, and mostly play a utility role these days. Even in Expanded they’ve largely have been supplanted by their GX counterparts. We can now add Kyogre EX from Dark Explorers to the trash heap of EX Pokemon, as there is no reason to play it after the release of Shining Volcanion.

Shining Volcanion’s Dual Pump attack is the same attack as Kyogre EX’s Dual Splash, except it costs [W][W][W] versus [W][W][C]. Needing an extra Water Energy doesn’t matter at all though, as the only deck that was playing this card, Archie’s Blastoise, only plays Water Energy. So essentially Archie’s Blastoise gets to trade in an EX Pokemon for a non-EX and only give up one prize when its knocked out.

With that said, Kyogre EX was commonly left out of the most recent set of Archie’s Blastoise lists, so this card is somewhat fringe even in regards to the archetype it would go in.

Outside of that, it could be used in Waterbox decks to setup damage so that Lapras GX can hit the correct damage numbers against some of the higher HP Pokemon. This won’t always be good enough, especially in future formats where we will probably see 250 HP Solgaleo GX’s as commonplace, and at that point the damage being setup isn’t even enough for Lapras GX to finish for the knockout. Additionally, I’m a bit skeptical of devoting three Energy to a Pokemon that is going to be easily knocked out by almost every deck.

Verdict: 2/5

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Lightning Pokemon

Raichu GX

Raichu GX is essentially a Lightning type Darkrai EX from BREAKpoint. We’ve seen this type of deck have success in the past, so it’s a matter of whether Raichu has the right support to power up Powerful Spark to do enough damage or not.

It certainly will have lots of options for loading its field with Energy. Like Turbo Darkrai decks, it can play Max Elixir to load Lightning Energy onto the field, Raikou from this set is essentially Oblivion Wing Yveltal, and Electrode from Generations can use its Buzzap Thunder Ability as a source of acceleration while also opening the deck up to playing cards like Counter Energy (for further acceleration when attached to a non-EX/GX) or Counter Catcher as you would go down in prizes when knocking out Electrode.

The other option is to build around using Magnezone BKT as its source of Energy acceleration.

Something else I really like about this Raichu is that it can utilize some of the other Raichu cards in format for added depth. This includes cards like Raichu BUS which paralyzes the opponent’s Active when you evolve into it.

In Expanded, Eelektrik could potentailly be used to load your field with Energy.

Upon release it may be tough for Raichu GX to see play because of the prevalence of Gallade BKT in Gardevoir GX decks, but it’s not a given that Gardevoir GX will remain super popular for the remainder of the season, and Gallade will at the very least rotate at the end of the season, so at some point in time, Raichu GX should have some metas where it’s not being walloped for OHKO’s by a non-EX/GX fighting Pokemon. There is no denying that Powerful Spark has the potential to be a strong attack in the right meta.

Verdict: 3/5

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Raikou

Raikou will come into the format as essentially being an Oblivion Wing Yveltal for Lightning type Pokemon. It’s viability is entirely dependent on there being Lightning type Pokemon that are worth powering up with it. Raichu GX is a good start for this card, but it would be nice to see some more Basic Lightning type Pokemon GX to be released so that there is some core that you could build a Lightning type Big Basics deck around.

Right now there really is only Tapu Koko GX and Jolteon EX. I think Raikou makes Tapu Koko GX a little bit better by giving a solid means for getting your initial Energy onto the field, but I’d like to see a more powerful Lightning Pokemon be released to pair Raikou with.

Verdict: 3/5

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Zekrom

Another Outrage attacker, but this one doesn’t have much of a place in the format. Lightning weakness isn’t very relevant in Standard right now, and the one big Lightning weak Pokemon in Standard format, Ho-Oh GX, can easily OHKO Zekrom making Outrage a useless counter compared to Reshiram at the moment. I think Zekrom probably never leaves the binder, but it’s possible a card is released that hits for 120 or less allowing Zekrom to act as a counter to some deck in the future.

Verdict: 2/5

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Psychic Pokemon

Mewtwo GX

Mewtwo GX is a fairly weak attacker with its primary attacks. It’s difficult to get enough Energy on it to make Full Burst hit for relevant damage numbers and Super Absorption is super weak. Given that Mewtwo GX is weak to Psychic, and thus weak to Garbodor GRI, it’s hard to see this card seeing much play with such mediocre attacks.

I think Psystrike GX has some potential as an attack and could be used in a Metagross GX deck to give the deck a little higher damage reach for knockouts, but once you use that one GX attack then it becomes pretty much useless. I would buy one of these to have as a potential option in Metagross GX if you think you might play that deck, but otherwise this card is pretty bad.

Verdict: 2/5 barely.

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Shining Mew

Shining Mew is a powerful setup Pokemon and will provide significant setup which can be used to help Psychic decks power up some of their more costly attackers. If Shining Mew is knocked out immediately after it’s attacked, you only get a +1 Energy gain, but with some of the evolution decks being slower to setup it’s no given that Shining Mew is immediately knocked out and you might be able to get a +3 Energy gain through its Legendary Guidance attack. Being able to accelerate any type of Energy card, including stuff like Double Colorless and Rainbow Energy makes Shining Mew one of the strongest Energy acceleration setup Pokemon we have had.

Verdict: 4/5

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Latios

Latios is a welcome addition to this format. Its Break Through attack is essentially Landorus EX’s Hammerhead attack, but this one costs [C][C] meaning that every deck can use it by powering it up with a Double Colorless Energy. Being Psychic type is great as well and it can be used effectively against Garbodor decks. With Fighting Fury Belt, you can use Break Through to OHKO Trubbish while also setting something else up for an easier knockout. In decks not playing FFB, it will be less effective for knocking out Trubbish in the early game.

I think it will actually probably see most of its play, at least early on, in Garbodor decks themselves to setup damage needed for later knockouts.

Verdict: 3/5

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Shining Jirachi

Shining Jirachi will provide Psychic type decks a strong counter card to Evolution based Pokemon GX decks. The way the card can be good against these decks is by eliminating a big threat from the field, so while you might trade 1 for 1 in the prizes with it, the resources that went into putting out something like a Stage 2 Gardevoir GX is much more than what it took to put out the Basic Shining Jirachi making it a winning resource trade.

Since it puts all evolution cards back into your opponent’s hand, it’s an effective counter against evolved Pokemon, whether the Pokemon was evolved with Rare Candy or up through its Stage 1.

Stellar Reign hitting for 10 damage is significant as it lets you more successfully use Jirachi for taking devolution knockouts. You would mostly use this alongside Po Town, which would put 30 damage on their Pokemon when they evolve, or 60 damage if they have to evolve twice through the Stage 1 while Po Town is in play. However, looking at the situation where they only take 30 damage from Po Town, you can attack with Stellar Reign with a Choice Band to do 40 damage, which would put the Pokemon up to 70 damage total, and most pre-evolution Basic Pokemon have 70 or less HP, so that would be a knockout.

This is a very niche card because of its Psychic requirement and you really needing to play Po Town to make great use of it, but it could become a brilliant little card in a deck like the current Drampa GX/Garbodor deck with 4 Po Town in it.

Verdict: 3/5

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Marshadow

This card has mostly been ignored in the discussions of this set that I’ve seen, but I think this should end up being one of the best cards in the set.

The thing that has jumped out as the most obvious part about the card is that it is an Ability based disruption card that can be searched out with Ultra Ball. its Let Loose Ability disrupts the opponent in the same manner that Judge and Red Card do. This can be very relevant as you can use this in the early game to set back opponent’s who use attacks like Magical Ribbon or Big Wheel GX to get setup, while also allowing you to use Supporter cards that are better for your own setup than an N would be as a response to those attacks.

However, what makes this card so special to me is that it enters the format as a form of supplemental draw that can be searched out with Ultra Ball. With Marshadow, you can draw an extra 4 cards in your turn, allowing you to dig deeper into your deck for resources or try again if you whiff something after playing your Supporter. Additionally, it can allow you to reset your hand to try to find the correct Supporter card that you want to use. It can also be used to try to find the right Supporter, or try to find the right Supporter in conjunction with some other card that you may not have.

For example, late in the game, Tapu Lele GX might be able to get you the game winning Guzma, but you might also need a Double Colorless Energy to win the game. If you don’t have the Double Colorless in hand, that Tapu Lele GX out for a Guzma is useless. However, with Marshadow, you can thin your hand a little bit, and then use Let Loose to shuffle it up and try to draw the game winning combo. In some situations, you can thin your deck down to the point where you guarantee the combo.

I’m not sure how I feel about this card versus Shaymin EX’s Setup in terms of draw. My initial reaction is that Setup is better, but that might just be because I’ve played thousands of games with Shaymin EX and only a few with Marshadow thus far. I do think the cards are pretty close in terms of draw impact. Shaymin EX can net you more cards, but Marshadow is better in those situations where your hand is clogging with unplayable cards. Additionally, Marshadow only gives up one prize when it’s knocked out and Shaymin EX gives up two.

In Expanded, you can even search out Marshadow with Level Ball, so decks playing Level Ball can use it to find Marshadow for some additional draw/disruption.

Verdict: 5/5

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Fighting Pokemon

Stunfisk

Stunfisk provides a good counter to Fighting weak Pokemon for Lightning decks. This should be especially strong in Eelektrik decks in Expanded which can power up Stunfisk in a single turn with Dynamotor.

Turbo Darkrai could always be a bit tough for Eelektrik decks to beat, especially after they got Darkrai GX which allowed them to OHKO a Jolteon EX, rendering that counter much less effective in the matchup. In BLW-BUS, players messed around with Marshadow GX in the deck, but I think that inclusion made the deck worse overall. Stunfisk gives Eelektrik decks a one prize attacker that can OHKO Darkrai EX or Darkrai GX with a Choice Band.

Verdict: 3/5

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Darkness Pokemon

Spiritomb

Some players may see Spiritomb and remember Snorlax PLS, but this card is much worse than Snorlax. Spiritomb enters a format where every deck is playing around 3-4 Guzma, giving them switching options. Additionally, when used for the Ability, a big part of Snorlax’s appeal was its 130 HP which made it difficult to knock out allowing a disruptive Quad Snorlax deck to be built around it. At 60 HP, Spiritomb will be knocked out very easily.

Additionally, Spirtomb’s attack only puts 30 damage onto the field, which is very little, so it has pretty much zero potential as an attacker as well.

Verdict: 1/5

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Zoroark GX

Zoroark GX is the most hyped card in the set and for good reason. It will add another consistency card into the format and like Tapu Lele GX before it, Pokemon has chosen to make its attack cost Colorless allowing it to attack in any deck that you put it into for consistency.

Riotous Beating isn’t a super powerful attack, but it should be good enough to net you 2HKO’s on most Pokemon. At 210 HP, Zoroark GX is a little bit fragile as far as GX Pokemon go, so I don’t think you will see it as the centerpiece of any deck as an attacker but rather as another option.

Trickster GX is a solid GX attack. It’s a bit more powerful than Zoroark’s typical Foul Play attack as it can copy any of your opponent’s Pokemon’s attacks, but at [D][D] it’s harder to power up, and most decks playing Zoroark GX won’t even play Darkness Energy so I think this GX attack will be rarely be used.

While Zoroark GX is only a solid attacker, its primary appeal is its Trade Ability, which is the spiritual successor to Empoleon’s Diving Draw Ability.

I think Zoroark GX might actually fail to see widespread play immediately upon release as there are some compelling reasons to continue playing Octillery over it. For example, in a vacuum I can definitely see Zoroark GX being a superior card in a deck like Gardevoir. However, in the context of this meta, Gardevoir is the most popular deck, so using Zoroark GX as supplemental draw over Octillery introduces a two prize liability into the deck that doesn’t exist for the Octillery player. As every Gardevoir deck also plays Gallade, they can even OHKO it with a non-GX.

As far as supplemental draw goes, I think Zoroark GX is much stronger than Octillery. Not only does discarding cards help thin your deck for late game N’s, but being able to build your hand lets you build up your resource pool, giving you more cards and thus more options to make different plays from.

I don’t think Zoroark GX will splash into our format like it did in Japan’s where it was played in almost everything. However, as it stands right now, Zoroark GX probably will end up in almost every deck. As of now, the Sun and Moon-on Supporter cards have a large emphasis on search and hand growing. There’s still going to be three more sets released after Crimson Invasion before we get to rotation, so a lot can change, but if the direction they’ve been taking with the Supporter cards in the Sun and Moon sets doesn’t change, then decks will need a strong draw engine to work and Zoroark GX will be here to fill that role.

Verdict: 5/5

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Yveltal

Yveltal’s Oblivion Wing attack is a strong early game attacking option that not only will knock out pre-evolution Pokemon but also accelerate Energy onto the field to power up other attackers. Hitting for 90 damage, it also can effectively 2HKO the Big Basic EX and GX Pokemon as well.

Oblivion Wing can be setup on turn 2 with one of the attachments being a Double Colorless Energy. I don’t think there is currently any Dark Pokemon that fit well relative against the current Standard format, but this Yveltal is a solid building block for future Dark decks to have in Standard moving forward.

Verdict: 3/5

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Hoopa

Darkness type decks get a Safeguard Pokemon which will be especially interesting in the context of Expanded where you can use Dark Patch to power up Hoopa’s Super Psy Bolt in a single turn. I think Hoopa will find its way into both Yveltal EX and Turbo Darkrai decks in the Expanded format. Safeguard isn’t perfect by any means and there are lots of counters to this type of Ability, but it’s still something that has to be dealt with and is something I think can be put to good use when it’s being backed up by the power that Dark decks have.

In Standard, I don’t think it will do too well, at least immediately. Most decks have good answers to Safeguard style Abilities and there isn’t a good Darkness deck for it to go into right now.

Verdict: 3/5

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Metal Pokemon

There are no Metal Pokemon in the set.

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Fairy Pokemon

There are no Fairy Pokemon in the set.

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Dragon Pokemon

Shining Rayquaza

Shining Rayquaza is essentially Tyrantrum EX, just as a non-EX Pokemon which makes it much better. With Double Dragon Energy in Expanded, you can power up a Shining Rayquaza in one turn with a Double Dragon attachment and two Dynamotor from Eelektrik. With Choice Band, you could then reach up to 220 damage with Sky Judment. I think it’s very likely that we will see a Shining version of RayEels making it’s way into the Expanded format as a non-EX that is this explosive seems too good not to see play.

In Standard, you could potentially play it with Magnezone similar to how players played Black Kyurem EX or Rayquaza EX in Blastoise and Emboar decks back in the day. It’s a little bit worse than those two, however, as you’re damage capped to 220 damage with Shining Rayquaza. Rayquaza EX was not damage capped, and while Black Kyurem EX was damage capped to 200 damage, that knocked out everything in the game when it was relevant. Tapu Koko can be used in any such deck to help setup knockouts for Shining Rayquaza.

Verdict: 4/5

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Colorless Pokemon

Shining Arceus

I really like its Fabled Defense Ability as a counter to early Tapu Koko and Latios spread/snipe, but Shining Arceus doesn’t have a strong enough attack to warrant it being in the active position. Four Energy is too much for a 30 damage spread attack when there are better options that allow you t0 get 30 + 30 or 20 spread for DCE attachments on other Pokemon. For the spread decks its best to keep going with Mr. Mime as a counter.

Verdict: 1/5

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Supporter Cards

Pokemon Breeder

I don’t think this card will ever see play. If you want something to heal, it’s better to find room for Potion or find an Ability (like the Manaphy’s) to add to your deck. 20 damage just isn’t enough to make it worth burning your Supporter for the turn on. For the time being, Acerola and Pokemon Center Lady provide better Supporter based healing solutions in Standard.

The only reason Professor Kukui manages to see play, despite how lackluster of a Supporter it is, is because it’s the only option that some decks will have to hit the needed amount of damage. This card isn’t the only option that any deck has for healing their Pokemon.

Verdict: 1/5

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Item Cards

Damage Mover

This is such an odd card. As a healing option, it’s strictly worse than Potion as it doesn’t remove the damage from your field while Potion does. It could potentially be used as a means of powering up attacks that can be boosted by having a damage Pokemon, but even then there tends to be better options, such as Po Town, Rainbow Energy, or Team Magma’s Secret Base.

Verdict: 1/5

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Tool Cards

There are no Tool cards in the set.

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Stadium Cards

There are no Stadium cards in the set.

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Energy Cards

Warp Energy

Warp Energy is a solid option for decks that can utilize it to get a non-preferred starting Pokemon out of the active position in favor of something else. This card is very limited in its range of use. To utilize this card effectively, you really need to have a Pokemon to go into that can attack for free (such as Alolan Vulpix) as well as be a deck that is fine with having Colorless Energy attached to its attackers. This gives it a very narrow range of play.

The card could become more useful if we get more useful setup Pokemon with free attack costs, but right now there isn’t much outside of Alolan Vulpix.

An additional downside to the card is that you can’t attach it to your Active without having to switch your Pokemon with 1 of your Benched, so if you don’t have something with free retreat this could become detrimental in the later stages of a game.

Verdict: 2/5

-Go to Card Index-

Conclusion

For an extra expansion set, Shining Legends is an impressively strong set. The set is very lacking when it comes to Trainer and Special Energy cards compared to a normal quarterly expansion, but it is packing lots of interesting Pokemon that should have an impact on both the Standard and Expanded formats.

Card Index

Pokemon:

Venusaur | Carnivine | Shaymin | Virizion | Shining Genesect | Shining Celebi | Entei GX | Volcarona | Reshiram | Shining Ho-Oh | Croconaw | Manaphy | Keldeo | Shining Volcanion | Raichu GX | Raikou | Zekrom | Mewtwo GX | Shining Mew | Latios | Shining Jirachi | Marshadow | Stunfisk | Spiritomb | Zoroark GX | Yveltal | Hoopa | Shining Rayquaza | Shining Arceus

Trainers:

Pokemon Breeder | Damage Mover

Energy:

Warp Energy

3 thoughts on “Shining Legends Set Review

  1. You underrated genesect pretty badly. all you need is a FF belt or preferably a Choice band and you’ll be hitting high enough to take out most EXs and basic GXs. one more turn and nothing is out of damage range.

  2. I’ve been looking forward to reading this article. As usual, Andrew Wamboldt makes some good points, with a lot where I agree and a lot where I disagree. Where we agree, there usually is nothing to add. Where we disagree, he has a track record of being proven correct, though (thankfully for me) not a perfect one. The biggest issue in the above is how many times we cannot agree or disagree because he just left out a huge part of the card evaluation. @_@ So, I’m going to run though these cards as well, and discuss what he is and is not saying.

    01) Venusaur

    The numerical score given – and its meaning according to the above – make sense. The actual review? Comparing and contrasting this card with Gardevoir (NXD) makes sense, but its like Andrew forgot almost all of the last part. Important differences that were left out almost all relate to what the game was like when Gardevoir released, both in terms of rules and card pools. The short list: first turn attacks, Pokémon Catcher sans flip, Mewtwo-EX being a staple for most decks, no Max Elixir, and most Psychic-Types being Psychic Weak.

    02) Carvinvine

    No real disagreement.

    03) Shaymin

    Rally Back is the main focus of this card… or at least from every other discussion I’ve seen on it. I am baffled why you didn’t discuss it at all, even to say its completely worthless and overly hyped. The focus on Flippity Flap seems bizarre. This card probably should be a 2/5, though I may be overestimating its chances.

    04) Virizion

    No real disagreement; might have commented on its value after we get Counter Catcher, and Counter Energy, possibly also with regards to Shining Mew.

    05) Shining Genesect

    At the risk of nitpicking, it is just odd when you disregard Choice Band when complaining about damage output with [GGG] attached, but remember it later on in the same section. It makes you look like you forgot about it at first. I could maybe see it being a point that, in a deck where Shining Genesect has plenty of [G], you shouldn’t have to also use a Tool to boost damage… but if that is the case, please state it for those of us who are slower on the uptake, 😉

    06) Shining Celebi

    This card isn’t actually in this set, I KNOW it was in the Japanese set, and the English promo will release with Shining Legends product, but it still isn’t actually in the set. Of course, you’re not doing a Top 10 list, so its inclusion is a BONUS and not a cheat… but this has quickly become a pet peeve of mine with others. 😉 As for its actual quality, I agree with you except… that sounds a lot closer to a 2/5 than a 3/5.

    07) Entei-GX

    I have a more favorable opinion of it BUT that is because I struggle when using Volcanion-EX decks, specifically because I can’t seem to setup quite enough attackers. Ho-Oh-GX needs its attack effect reset. Turtonator-GX and Volcanion-EX have big discard costs. Volcanion… has a bit harder of a time surviving after attacking. This MIGHT provide a niche for Entei-GX. In Expanded, OHKOing a Benched Shaymin-EX (ROS) is nice as well. This is why I’d like a step between 1/5 and 2/5. XD

    08) Volcarona

    Agreed.

    09) Reshiram

    Agreed.

    10) Shining Ho-Oh

    Agreed.

    11) Croconaw

    THANK YOU FOR HIGHLIGHTING THIS CARD! *ahem* I am a proponent of giving Stage 1 Pokémon more to do and I think that Plunge is better than you give it credit for being. Similar, recent Abilities tend to suffer from having costs or conditional triggers; Plunge may simple be used once per turn. if we had a worthwhile Feraligatr or Feraligatr-GX, with cards like Acerola, Aqua Patch, and Max Potion, this could become the heart of a deck.

    Which still means a 2/5 by your scoring system, but it beats the 1/5 most Evolving Pokémon have coming.

    12) Manaphy

    Agreed… except we have a lot of other great healing options, which makes me once again wish you had a more nuanced scoring system, as 2/5 is either high for this, or low for other stuff that match the technical definition.

    13) Keldeo

    Agree, but don’t forget Aqua Patch (use with it) and various Bench-heavy strategies (more than just Volcanion-EX).

    14) Shining Volcanion

    I thought Kyogre-EX (DEX) earned its stripes alongside Klinklang (BW) in a deck heavy on Blend Energy (both versions), Prism Energy, and Rainbow Energy? Other than that, yeah; the 50 more HP and first attack are not worth the extra Prize when KO’d, so Shining Volcanion can claim that tiny, tiny niche I’m not sure exists anymore.

    15) Raichu-GX

    I’ve had people telling me how good this card was for a while, and that pool of people shrinks more and more as people have had time to test Raichu-GX. Powering it up quickly just takes too long; being a Basic is what allowed Darkrai-EX (BKP) to do its thing, along with various supplemental strategies that often were neither totally Ability or totally Item dependent. Raichu-GX may have more HP and other attack options, but it needs twice the space requirement of Darkrai-EX. It is hard to build a deck that makes it work that doesn’t work BETTER with a different attacker… and if you find it, people can turn to Marshadow-GX. Using your scoring system, this is a 2/5, maybe even a 1/5 since its a harsh system at times. 😉

    16) Raikou

    More or less agree.

    17) Zekrom

    Mostly agree except I like it better than the original Zekrom, at in decks where discarded Energy can be replaced. Storm Blade is a Choice Band + Professor Kukui from hitting 180 damage, and we are in a format where many attackers hit harder based on the Energy attached to the Defending Pokémon. Throw in Outrage, and this is in almost the same position as Raikou…

    …which means if we see something significant with Lightning Weakness pop-up, the whole thing might be slightly better.

    18) Mewtwo-GX

    I agree except that Super Absorption doesn’t look that bad to me… two Energy on a Basic ain’t much, and in Expanded Dimension Valley makes it one Energy. Toss on a Choice Band and you’re hitting key 2HKO range (OHKO against Weakness) while healing a bit of damage. NOT great, but easily in the 2/5 range.

    19) Shining Mew

    Until Counter Energy/Counter Catcher release, I think this card is SUPER… super-overrated. XP You basically have to let your opponent go first so you on your own first turn, you can attack with Shining Mew. Until you can badly punish your opponent for a single Prize lead… it is an easy way to take a single Prize lead while coming out one Energy attachment ahead. The juiciest Energy acceleration targets are also the easiest to neutralize in other ways (re: discarding Special Energy). Opposing Evolution decks may be slow… but its only got 30 HP. In Expanded, this is donk bait. Not too long from now, that could be the case again in Standard.

    2/5 now, 3/5 once we get the next set. Maybe a 4/5 for a brief window before we get Karatna-GX and Pheromosa-GX) but after we get Counter Catcher and Counter Energy.

    20) Latios

    Huh… I didn’t think as highly of this card, but you’ve convinced me. I will also add that Expanded means Dimension Valley and/or Crobat (PHF) for support. Don’t know if they’ll help any, but I did love Landobat decks.

    21) Shining Jirachi

    More or less agree; had slightly different deck ideas. *coughbatscough*

    22) Marshadow

    Underrated most places, but badly overrated here. Has Judge ever seen major, successful competitive play outside of the odd control/disruption deck? Even then, how long as it been since that time? Maybe in the longrun, this card will live up to the 5/5 you gave it, but for now, while people like that Pokémon based draw/disruption, it is indeed double-edged and can backfire. People might be slow to abandon something reusable like Octillery (BKT) or Oranguru (SM). I DO think this is going to start seeing more play, and it might even reach 5/5 level in SM-On…

    …but for now, its a 3/5, if only because I could see it winding up a 2/5 or a 4/5 just as easily. 😉

    23) Stunfisk

    I love Stunfisk, and I see value to this card, but not as highly as you do. Not every Lightning-Type deck has room for a Fighting-splash. Marshadow-GX won’t always be the better option, but it is a legitimate option. Leaving both out might be better, unless its a [L] deck that can’t accelerate Energy quickly enough for “steamroller” plays. So… 2/5

    24) Spiritomb

    Agree. People seem to forget all that made Snorlax [Plasma] work.

    25) I am struggling with some buyer’s remorse with respect to Zoroark-GX; I’d call it a 4/5 for now, and I’m also including the joy of Night March/Zoroark-GX decks into the mix.

    26) Yveltal

    Another overrated card. Yeah, the original Yveltal with its Oblivion Wing has worked out well, and is still competitive… specifically because it is a single Energy attack, so you use it to help setup something stronger. On paper, the attack looks good, but I just don’t see it working out as much when actually played. I could easily be wrong, of course, and I’d just rate it as a 2/5 instead of a 3/5. Oh, but I am wondering if it could bring a Porter Deck to Standard… but its a small wonder.

    27) Hoopa

    Agreed.

    28) Shining Rayquaza

    Agreed… except I think you are overrating it. Then again, I haven’t seen RayEels doing all that well lately. I think this will mostly replace the original Rayquaza-EX, as it is no longer the durable striker it once was. Still probably needed as – with a good-to-great field – it can OHKO the biggest Pokémon in the game, the ones outside of the range of Shining Rayquaza even with a similar setup… but just using Tapu Koko (SMP) first seems like the better deal.

    Seems like a 3/5, maybe even just a 2/5.

    29) Shining Arceus

    Agreed.

    30) Pokémon Breeder

    Agreed, though I’m extra vexed as was overly fond of the idea of giving a card with this name the original Rare Candy effect (but as a Supporter). Yeah, I’, weird like that.

    31) Damage Mover

    Eh, mostly agree but I still think it is a 2/5 as I do NOT think the alternatives are clearly better.

    32) Warp Energy

    I think it has slightly broader application than you do, but not enough to score it higher.

    BONUS) Your Conclusion

    Um… we agree.

    So yeah, thanks to anyone who suffered through reading this. ^^’

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