The next core Pokémon TCG set, Battle Styles, is releasing on March 19 and bringing a new mechanic to the game, allowing players to change the way they use certain Pokémon in battle.
Inspired by Urshifu and its two different forms, Battle Styles will feature Single Strike Style, which focuses on powerful attacks that deal massive damage right away, and Rapid Strike Style, which uses sneaky, technical attacks that allow a player to attack their opponent in a variety of ways.
Both styles will be applied to various Pokémon included in this and future sets, with their Battle Style being visible as a tag for 60 different cards. And with this new mechanic, Battle Styles is set to impact the meta in some pretty unique ways as players add the shifting styles to pre-exsisting powerhouse decks and create new forms.
Without knowing how exactly the Single Strike Style and Rapid Strike Style distinction will impact the incoming format, here are some of the best cards you should try and collect when the set releases.
Urshifu V and Urshifu VMAX
This should be pretty obvious, as the entire set is themed around Urshifu and its two distinct forms.
Of the two, it appears that Rapid Strike Urshifu V and VMAX will be the better cards in most situations with its multi-hitting Gale Thrust, G-Max Rapid Flow, and event the normal V’s Hundred Furtious Blows all dealing big damage. G-Max Rapid Flow will deal 120 damage to two Pokémon on the opposing bench, ignoring Weakness and Resistance, which can really turn the tides.
Single Strike Urshifu V and VMAX aren’t going to be easy to pass up either, because both can deal insane damage for pretty low costs. G-Max One Blow is a straight 270 damage that ignores all active effects from an opponent’s Active Pokémon, at the cost of discarding all Energy from Urshifu at the end of the move.
These will be used competitively and highly sought after collectibles, especially with the insane artwork for both variants.
As odd as it sounds, Kricketune V seems to be one of those cards that become a staple in multiple decks simply because it is easy to bring out and it has an excellent ability.
Excite Stage allows players to draw until they have three cards in their hand, even if Kricketune V is on the bench, once per turn. If it is the Active Pokémon, that number increases to four cards, with absolutely no drawback.
Ignoring X-Scissor being a decent, potentially 160 damage attack, Kricketune V will arguably be the most valuable card from the entire set at launch.
Victini V and VMAX
The new Victini V is already a boon for Fire-type fueled engines, and Victini VMAX ups the heat again by having a generic, one Energy cost move called Spreading Flames which allows players to quickly cycle through discarded Fire Energy.
Just using the ability will let a player attach three Fire Energy to any Pokémon on your side of the field, with no restrictions. This means if you are in a tight spot and really need resources, just using Victini will let you get a potential advantage at the cost of one energy.
Flapple V and VMAX
Urshifu is the star of the show, but somehow Flapple is the real powerhouse of Battle Styles by offering a slightly less damaging move with a better chance to sweep your opponent.
Bring out a Flapple V and you can already deal some respectable damage and add an element of field control with its Tart Saliva attack upping the cost of an opposing Pokémon’s attack. And once you have the setup you want, simply drop Flapple VMAX and G-Max Rolling your way to a win.
G-Max Rolling does a base 250 damage when Flapple is at full health and loses 10 damage for every damage counter on the Pokémon. And since Flapple VMAX has a whopping 320 HP and the cost is one Grass and two Colorless Energy, you can quickly stomp an entire bench without much risk if you set things up properly.