The Pokémon: Trading Card Game has been around as long as the video games have. It's one of the most popular card games around. Tournaments are held around the world and the famous, first edition Charizard card is one of the most valuable cards in history.
The trading card game continues to expand, just as the games do. More Pokémon added to the universe means more expansions. Like any card game, there is a rating system to determine the rarity. Often times, the rarer cards are praised and coveted but being rare doesn’t mean it's a good card in the game. Here are ten powerful Pokémon cards that are common.
10 Staryu (XY - BREAKthrough)
Staryu is one of the more iconic Pokemon out there. Prominent on the Cerulean City Gym Leader Misty's team, Staryu was in the anime, the TV show, as well as the movies, and the original games for quite some time up until its evolution in Starmie.
This particular Staryu, though it may not be Misty’s, has the potential to pack quite a punch. For one colorless energy, you can activate its Continuous Spin. Flip a coin until it comes up as tails and the attack then does ten damage multiplied by the number of times heads came up on the coin. If you get lucky, you could take out the enemy Pokemon in a single attack.
9 Forretress (Skyridge)
Forretress is a tough nut to crack. It has an excellent defense in the games, making it a sturdy tank. The card version of this Pokémon is no different.The Skyridge edition of Forretress is a Stage 1 so you’ll need to have Pineco on the field first. Once you do, you’ll have a 70 HP powerhouse on your hands.
Its special ability, Exoskeleton, reduces the damage Forretress takes by ten points. For two energy, one grass and one colorless, Shell Rupture deals ten damage to all of the opponent's benched Pokémon. Then, its Double Spin requires you to flip two coins. You then deal 40 damage multiplied by how many heads you got, for up to 80 damage at the cost of one grass and two colorless energy.
8 Beldum (Plusle Half Deck)
It can be helpful to have cards that enable you to get your cards out on the field faster. This speeds up your winning strategy, and considering these sorts of cards routinely make you shuffle your deck afterward, it's a great way to shake things up. Beldum is that card.
It's a psychic type with 50 HP. For one colorless energy, you can look through your deck, place a basic Pokémon onto your bench, and then shuffle your deck. For one psychic energy, you can place one damage counter on the defending Pokéstaryumon.
While you won’t be knocking anyone out with this card, it’s a great and cheap way to fill out your bench and break up any clumping that might be going on in your deck.
7 Horsea (EX Team Rocket Returns)
Horsea is another Pokémon fans might recognize from both the anime and the games. Horsea also fought by Misty’s side and this particular Horsea will prove to be just as valuable to you in your deck.
It has 50 HP and two strong abilities. The first, Water Plant, costs one colorless energy and allows you to put two water energy from your discard pile into your hand. This ability to have a constant stream of energy will allow you to utilize Horsea's second ability: Swift. This attack costs two water energy and deals 30 damage to your opponent. The stipulation on this ability states that the damage is unaffected by weaknesses, resistances, or abilities that your opponent might have.
6 Magikarp (EX Team Rocket Returns)
Magikarp has a long legacy of being the most useless Pokémon to ever exist. It's mentioned in the anime and it's a meme in the fan community.
While it has no damage-dealing attacks it has the ability to Call for Family. Like Beldum in entry three, it allows you to search your deck for basic Pokemon to put on your bench but instead of one, at the cost of one water energy you can put two.
This is so important to have in order to get your evolved Pokémon out on the field, you need to have their first evolution out first. The faster you can fill out your bench, the faster you can get stronger fighters out.
5 Slowpoke (EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua)
Slowpoke is a Pokemon that is not often used on trainers’ teams in the game. You're more likely to see its evolved forms making the final cut in a well-rounded team. However, this is a great addition to your team in the trading card game.
As you might have noticed with many of the cards already on this list, a Pokémon’s abilities are everything that makes them strong; take those away, and they are sitting there useless. Slowpoke’s Amnesia has the power to do that for the cost of one psychic energy. With Amnesia, you prevent the defending Pokemon from using one of its attacks during its next turn. You can also deal damage for two colorless energy with Tail Strike.
4 Nidoran - Male (Secret Wonders)
Many Nidoran cards (male or female), have little utility. They are mostly holders for you to get the more powerful Nidoking/Nidoqueen out on the field and small chances to poison your opponent’s Pokémon. The male Nidoran, however, is just as useful in his basic form as he would be evolved.
First, he provides always needed draw power. For one colorless energy, you can draw a card. Then, its Poison Skin ability adds extra utility for one psychic energy. You get to flip two coins and if either one comes up as heads, the defending Pokémon is poisoned. This is better than other Nidorans’ poisoning abilities as you get to flip two coins instead of the usual one so your odds of a favorable outcome are greater.
3 Team Aqua’s Spheal (EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua)
This adorable Spheal may be fighting for the bad guys of Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire but that doesn’t mean you should exclude it from your deck. It has 40 HP so it's not particularly sturdy but it's one ability helps it stay alive just as long as a stouter Pokémon.
Powder Snow is activated for a single water energy and does ten points of damage. This isn’t much but the value in this move comes in its second effect; when you use this move, the defending Pokémon is instantly asleep, effectively taking it out of the game for a few turns. This is so great because many moves with a secondary effect like this depend on the flip of a coin.
2 Meowth (EX Team Magma vs Team Aqua)
Meowth, right behind Pikachu, is one of the most recognizable Pokémon in the entire franchise. Its prominent role as a humorous antagonist in the anime has cemented this Pokémon’s place in the series’s history.
In the anime, Meowth’s goal is to help Team Rocket steal Ash’s Pikachu and this penchant for thievery is emulated in this card. For one colorless energy, Meowth uses Plunder; this ability discards all of the Trainer cards attached to the defending Pokémon. This robs them of all of the benefits that Pokémon was getting and it does so before the ten damage of the ability is done. A move like this leaves the opponent open to a stronger attack from Scratch, which costs two colorless and deals 20 damage.
1 Chikorita (Expedition Base Set)
Chikorita is the last Pokémon on this list and its the only starter as well. Chikorita was the grass-type starter for Pokémon Gold/Silver as well as having a place on Ash’s team in the anime. This version of Chikorita isn’t just a base to get to its evolved form but is incredibly useful as it is.
First, its Hypnotic Gaze will put the enemy to sleep for only one colorless energy. Once you put the opposing Pokémon out of commission, you can move in for the offensive with Double Scratch. For two energy, one grass and one colorless, you can deal 20 damage. Then you flip two coins and multiply the 20 by the number of heads that come up on the coins for a maximum of 40.