Hello everyone! This is Elena from Gaia Storm TCG and it is a pleasure to be here once again! Today we are going to be talking about a very anticipated –and feared– event for Pokémon Players: The 2021 Rotation. For those of you who might not be familiar with it, this is basically a refresh that happens once per year to regulate the amount of cards that are legal for the Standard format. As such, next September will be the start of a whole new playing format that will only include cards printed from Sword and Shield on. What are the most impactful cards that we are losing? This year’s rotation is massive and there are so many powerful cards that will disappear so I’ll try to cover just the ones that, from my point of view, will be truly missed. Let’s divide them by categories
Tag Team Pokémon have truly defined an era in the history of Pokémon TCG and it will be difficult to be in a format without them. Perhaps the one that has always been the center of Standard was Arceus Palkia Dialga Tag Team and I think there is no middle ground with it: either you love it or you hate it to death. Pikachu Zekrom has also been another incredible contender, being able to survive and shine since it was first released until its very end, something that not many cards can say. And maybe, if I were to choose one Tag Team that has been ruling from above, that has to be Mew and Mewtwo Tag team which is still, in fact, our current official World Champion. But the truth is that many Tag Team Pokémon have been always sharing the top spots of the metagame and that also includes Lucario & Melmetal Tag team, Reshiram Charizard or even Gardevoir Sylveon back in the day.
Still talking about Pokémon, one of the biggest loses of the format, in my opinion, is Mew from Unbroken Bonds. Now that we no longer have bench defenses, cards like Rapid Strike Urshifu from Battle Styles or Inteleon VMAX can’t be contained and I truly fear what this will mean for decks that rely on benched Pokémon for setting up or use one-prize attackers with relatively low HP.
And of course, we can’t forget about our friend Dedenne GX here. Although everyone hated to open with it, this was one of the cards that truly allowed us to have consistency and get over dead hands. Its acceleration can’t be replaced by Crobat V and I think we will really notice the difference between them two.
Items & Stadiums
There are many good cards from this category but I am only going to be concentrating on a few of them. Taking into consideration how the decks had been recently built, Pokémon Communication from Team Up is truly going to be missed as we lose the only generic Pokémon search card that we had. True, we will still have a solid engine with Level Ball and Quick Ball but it is just not the same. Another important item here is Reset Stamp, a card that really had the possibility to change the result of a game. Now, we will have to rely on Marnie from Sword and Shield as a hand disruption method which of course won’t be as effective as a Stamp to 1 was.
Closing with Stadiums, the format won’t really be the same again without Viridian Forest and Chaotic Swell. The first one provided a lot of consistency when it came to energy search and the second was, well, the top choice for any deck that needed to counter a stadium from the opponent. With Chaotic Swell gone, Path to the Peak (Chilling Reign) is about to become more dangerous than ever.
I think you will all agree with me that Welder was one of the most broken supporter cards ever printed and the main reason why Fire-type decks became so powerful in the past couple of years. Without it, I can’t really see Fire decks having the top stops of the metagame anytime soon. Green’s Exploration was another great supporter when it first appeared but started to see a decrease in play while Pokémon which relied on abilities got more predominant. And last but not least, the whole Tag Team supporters gang (Cynthia Catleya, Guzma Hala, Lulu Nereida…) were amazing additions to the game and have always been heavily played, especially in stall or control-like strategies.
The 2021 rotation is about to become a reality and even if it will be difficult to part ways with cards that have been with us for so long, it is also a very exciting new opportunity to see how a whole new format emerges. And in case you are a newcomer to the game, this is actually the perfect time to start! So don’t forget to pick up you cards here at CCGCastle and thanks for reading!