Battle Styles is the fifth main expansion in the Sword & Shield series of Pokemon TCG Online, and it introduces a bunch of new cards and some new mechanics that are likely to challenge the current best decks in the game.
Single Strike Pokemon are those having the heavy attacks that can one-shot an opponent, while Rapid Strike cards lean more towards the tactical side and slowly build up to victory.
There are Trainer and Energy cards that are exclusive to these Pokemon, and looking back at the game, every new mechanic finds a place in the meta quickly.
The good news is that this set is much, much better than Vivid Voltage and will actually cause a huge shift in the meta. We will be regularly updating our Ultimate Pokemon TCG Online Resource List with the best Battle Styles deck right after the set releases.
Here are the ten best Pokemon cards in the Battle Styles expansion of Pokemon TCG Online:
10. Stoutland V
Stoutland V wouldn’t be on this list of not for Second Fang. It’s situational, but having the opportunity to steal a fourth Prize Card on eliminating a VMAX Pokemon is too good to miss out on. Hopefully, Stoutland VMAX will be better and make the V worth using.
9. Necrozma V
Necrozma V is similar to the Necrozma from Theme format, and doesn’t bring much to the table aside from the Special Laser attack. The 220 will be easy to pull off and this could be a good addition to Psychic decks, if they ever get good Support cards in the game.
8. Mimikyu V
Mimikyu V can be a decent late-game attacker. It can be a good finisher for Dragapult VMAX decks and it’s refreshing to see a good 1-Energy attack paired with a great Ability.
It’s still a bit situational, though. It seems like we will be waiting for a while to get some good Psychic decks.
7. Tapu Koko VMAX
Tapu Koko VMAX’s Max Shock is a decent attack, and Paraylze is always a good status to inflict. However, in a meta where Pikarom decks can do a lot more without having to evolve, Tapu Koko VMAX is simply outclassed.
Tapu Koko V surprisingly has an interesting attack. Spiral Thunder can do tons of damage to a stacked Centiskorch VMAX, but the 3-cost Energy is a little too much.
6. Corviknight VMAX
Corviknight VMAX is immune to Ability effects, which is pretty useful in a meta where you often encounter Galarian Zigzagoon, Galarian Slowbro V, and Phione.
G-Max Hurricane needs to do a bit more damage, considering how similar the attack is to Zacian V, which isn’t even a VMAX and has a better ability. Corviknight VMAX is a decent Pokemon, but it doesn’t have a lot going on, just like Corviknight V.
5. Victini VMAX
This is where the list gets really interesting. Victini VMAX brings in some great Energy recycling along with a strong 2-Energy attack.
Considering how good Victini V already is, and the crazy support that Fire decks have gotten with cards like Welder, Victini VMAX will be an easy setup. You won’t even need the traditional Volcanion opening and can go first if you win the toss.
4. Flapple VMAX
Flapple VMAX does a whopping 250 damage for 3 Energy (two of which are Colorless), but there’s a catch.
You need to keep Healing this one, and Aromatic Energy from Vivid Voltage will help you keep it safe from Status effects. Flapple V also has an interesting attack in Tart Saliva.
By raising your opponent’s Energy costs, it makes setting up the VMAX much, much easier. This is what Pokemon V need; even though the VMAX is good, there’s no reason for them to be a liability till you find the VMAX.
3. Kricketune V
Like always, we have a staple card-drawing Pokemon of the set.
Kricketune V is a great addition to pretty much any deck (except Eternatus VMAX). We’ve desperately needed a card like this for a long time, and this one will be a costly trade. Its X-Scissor attack isn’t much, but with the great utility its Ability provides, does it even matter?
2. Single Strike Urshifu VMAX
Coming to the poster-boys of Battle Styles, we have Single Strike Urshifu V and VMAX, the best Pokemon in the game alongside the Rapid Strike VMAX.
Unlike the Rapid Strike Urshifu V, the Single Strike Urshifu V has a great attack in Laser Focus. It helps you set up for the VMAX’s G-Max One Blow attack that can do 270 (base) + 20 (Single Strike Energy) + 30 (Emboar – image lower in the article) for just three Energies. Add 20 more damage to that with Strong Energy, if you’re playing Expanded. And even if those Energy cards are being discarded as a side-effect, you have Houndoom to help you build it back up.
1. Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX
Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX is the other best Pokemon in Battle Styles, with its devastating G-Max Rapid Flow attack. There will be many situations where the Single Strike VMAX will be better, and it’s quite hard to rank them against each other.
There’s so much going on with these cards. While the V is just decent, the VMAX has 330 HP and two pretty powerful attacks. Gale Thrust can do 150 damage for just one Energy, and G-Max Rapid Flor can do 240 damage (split between two Pokemon) for just three Energy. Pair that with Telescopic Sight and one of the Special Energies (Rapid Strike/Strong/Stone Energy), and you have one of the most broken cards in the game.
Support cards for Single and Rapid Strike Pokemon
The Single and Rapid Strike Pokemon have huge advantages in the form of their own Energy. Both Energies are really good, and unlike the other Special Energies we’ve had recently, and these will be must-haves for all Urshifu decks.
Note that while these Energy cards can only be attached to specific Pokemon, those Pokemon can also carry other Energies, such as Stone Energy or Strong Energy.
Battle Styles also has some great support Pokemon that will help you fetch these Energies and buff your Single or Rapid Strike Pokemon in Pokemon TCG Online.
All three of these are excellent support for Single Strike or Rapid Strike cards, but if you aren’t using those, they’re entirely useless. What I love about these cards is that none of them have weird prerequisite conditions, like ending your turn or requiring you to put them in the Active Spot.
I would definitely substitute Stoutland V, Mimiyku V, and Necrozma V on the Top-10 list with Octillery, Emboar, and Houndoom, but it didn’t feel right to compare these with the other seven on the list.
These cards definitely make up for the lackluster Vivid Voltage set. Battle Styles will cause a shift in the Pokemon TCG Online meta, as some of the best cards in the game – Eternatus VMAX and Pikarom – are weak against Fighting types and will be at a serious disadvantage. If you’re saving Coins (Tokens), it’s much better to go for this set over Vivid Voltage or the Sword & Shield base set.
We still don’t have Venusaur VMAX and Blastoise VMAX in the game yet, but hopefully the next Expansion is just as good as Battle Styles and introduces these much-awaited cards. Even Empoleon V and Tyranitar V should get good VMAXes in the future that will actually make them worth using.
Stay tuned for more information and deck guides for Pokemon TCG Online!