The Pokemon Trading Card Game has been focusing more and more on alternate, bigger forms of regular cards for years now. These include the likes of Tag Team, EX, GX, and V cards. As we're approaching the end of 2022 and the Sword and Shield era of the TCG, it's a great time to look back at the V Pokemon that impacted the game throughout the year.
This designation encompasses regular V, VMAX, and VSTAR cards. While many of the stronger cards on this list are VSTAR Pokemon, mainly due to their high-impact abilities, some regular V and VMAX cards have also made a splash in 2022. Here are the best of the best.
10/10 Arceus VSTAR
Arceus VSTAR has absolutely taken the TCG by storm right after its release in Brilliant Stars. This card finally proves why Arceus is the Pokemon creator. Just looking at its placements and usage over the last few months proves how centralizing this card was to the meta.
Arceus VSTAR has the incredible VSTAR Power, Starbirth. This ability allows you to search your deck for two cards and add them to your hand. Searching key cards is what the Pokemon TCG revolves around, and this ability alone makes Arceus VSTAR amazing. Its attack is not bad either, which adds to the value of using the card.
9/10 Giratina VSTAR
Speaking of godlike deities, Giratina is the closest thing in the Pokemon franchise to a devil. This Dragon-type card released in the Lost Origin expansion has ruled the meta until the release of Silver Tempest. That is partly due to other cards in the set creating the Lost Zone strategy, but Giratina VSTAR acts as the perfect boss for such decks.
The VSTAR Power Star Requiem allows you to take an instant Knock Out if you have ten or more cards in the Lost Zone. This is very achievable in a dedicated deck, and a free KO is always strong. Giratina VSTAR's regular attack, Lost Impact, is not bad either, both dealing great damage and filling your Lost Zone for future synergies.
8/10 Origin Forme Dialga & Palkia VSTAR
The deities of Sinnoh have all had a great year in 2022. Thanks to the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Dialga, and Palkia have received Origin Formes, which are depicted in the TCG as very powerful VSTAR cards. Both of these cards are strong for different reasons, but Palkia edges out Dialga in terms of usage and reliability.
Dialga's VSTAR Power is Star Chronos. It's a pricey attack and deals 220 damage. The best part is that you can take another turn right after the attack. That's a game-warping effect not usually seen in the Pokemon TCG, making it a potentially game-winning strategy. Palkia, on the other hand, has access to Star Portal as its VSTAR Power. It allows you to attach up to three water energy from your discard pile to your Water-type Pokemon. That's a great energy acceleration effect, and thus, Palkia VSTAR was used as an engine in many Water-type decks.
7/10 Drapion V
While many cards on this list are VSTAR cards, considering how they're more game-warping with their powerful VSTAR Powers, some Pokemon are good enough in their regular V form. One such card is Drapion, with a very straightforward use.
Drapion V has the Ability Wild Style. This makes Drapion's attacks cost one less energy for each Single, Rapid, or Fusion Strike Pokemon your opponent controls. Its attack, Dynamic Tail, deals 190 damage and also does 60 damage to a Pokemon of your choice. Drapion is not game-breaking but is very useful as a late attacker to pick up KOs and counter Battle Style decks.
6/10 Kyurem VMAX
VMAX Pokemon are a big investment since your opponent takes three Prize Cards once they manage to Knock Out one of them. With that being the case, VMAX Pokemon have to be worth the risk. Kyurem VMAX is likely the best VMAX Pokemon released in 2022, being the lynchpin of many Water-type decks.
Kyurem VMAX can accelerate energy onto your Pokemon with the Ability Glaciated World. It also has a great attack in Max Frost, which can be buffed enough to take KOs by discarding Water-type energies from it. This card has seen a lot of play and can easily be paired with the aforementioned Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR.
5/10 Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR
With the release of the unique Pokemon game Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the Pokemon Company introduced a lot of Hisuian forms to the TCG as well. One of the best ones that saw a lot of play as a utility card was Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR. While Zoroark's regular attack, Ticking Curse, is decent and could be situationally useful, what makes it great is the VSTAR Power Phantom Star.
The ability allows you to discard your hand and draw seven cards. That effect is not new to the Pokemon TCG, as the Pokemon Professor Supporter card has been allowing it for many years. However, having that option to draw a fresh hand on a Pokemon, meaning you can still use another Supporter, is incredibly useful in almost any deck.
4/10 Hisuian Goodra VSTAR
Speaking of Hisuian forms, Goodra is another great example. This Dragon-type Pokemon is all about tanking damage and stalling out your opponent. Thus, Goodra has been used in a lot of stall and mill decks in 2022. Its attack Rolling Iron deals 200 damage and makes Goodra take 80 less damage from attacks on your opponent's next turn.
Damage reduction in the Pokemon TCG is nothing new, but 80 is a very respectable amount for reduction, especially when you attach a Big Charm to make Goodra even beefier. The VSTAR Power Moisture Star also lets you heal all damage from Goodra, adding even more survivability to it, making it an amazing defensive Pokemon.
3/10 Whimsicott VSTAR
Many VSTAR Pokemon are strong thanks to their once-a-game VSTAR Power that have a very impactful effect. Whimsicott VSTAR, on the other hand, is mainly used for its regular attack Trick Wind. The attack deals 160 damage and locks the opponent out of playing Tools or Special Energy for a turn.
This makes Whimsicott VSTAR a premier choice for stun decks aiming to slow the opponent down. While not the primary function, Whimsicott's VSTAR Power can also be useful to pick up KOs from the bench in the late game.
2/10 Lumineon V
Lumineon is likely the best regular V Pokemon released in 2022. It has the Ability Luminous Sign, which lets you search your deck for a Supporter upon being played onto the bench. Since almost all decks utilize Supporters, Lumineon becomes a great consistency booster.
While its attack is not used at all, just the ability to grab a Supporter for you makes Lumineon worthy of inclusion in almost any deck. Its high usage and success throughout the year is proof of that. Finally, Lumineon is acknowledged in some way.
1/10 Lugia VSTAR
While 2022 introduced a lot of strong Pokemon cards, few compared to Lugia VSTAR. Despite coming out relatively late, Lugia has taken the game by storm, establishing itself as the strongest card of the year by a lot. This is interesting, as Lugia is more of an engine as opposed to an attacker itself.
The VSTAR Power Summoning Star allows you to put up to two Normal-type Pokemon without a Rule Box from your discard pile to your bench. This may seem not that impactful, but accelerating two Archeops, which was also released in Silver Tempest, can be game-winning. The Lugia-Archeops engine is so consistent and powerful that many successful decks are being built around them even as the year comes to a close. Unless a new and stronger engine is released in the upcoming Generation Nine sets, Lugia VSTAR will be the king of the meta for a long time.
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