3 of the Most Underrated Cards in the Crown Zenith Expansion
The Pokémon Trading Card Game, also known as the Pokémon TCG, is a collectible card game based on the beloved Pokémon franchise. The game was first introduced in 1996 in Japan and quickly gained popularity worldwide. Today, the Pokémon TCG has a massive following that has evolved (just like Pokémon themselves!) from a collecting hobby into a fiercely competitive scene. The entire franchise is currently in its 9th generation, with the release of the Scarlet and Violet games last November 2022, but the TCG recently released its latest expansion last January 2023.
In this most recent expansion of the Pokémon TCG, the series is based on Sword and Shield, the 8th generation of games. Titled "Crown Zenith," the set features new cards and mechanics that reflect the games, including the introduction of the Galarian Legendary Pokémon, Zacian and Zamazenta. The expansion also features new VMAX cards, powerful versions of existing Pokémon that can evolve beyond their maximum level. However, as with any other Pokémon TCG expansion, many players prefer some cards over others—with some being considered underrated—making their value desirable. This article will discuss these cards, including:
#1 - Radiant Eternatus
Eternatus, which is dazzlingly bright, has the potential to form an entirely new set of cards by itself. Climactic Gate's unique ability allows you to look for two Pokémon VMAX and place them straight onto your bench. Although there are numerous Pokémon VMAX, Duraludon VMAX caught the most attention. Duraludon VMAX is a strong card in the Standard format and is usually used with Arceus VSTAR to make the opponent knock out multiple Duraludon VMAX during the game. With Radiant Eternatus, however, players can skip using Arceus and bring Duraludon into play directly. The deck also utilises the Lost Zone engine with cards like Comfey, Colress's Experiment, and Mirage Gate to power up the copies of Duraludon.
One of the advantages of using this type of deck is that you will likely start with Comfey as your first Pokémon most of the time. This is because you only require Radiant Eternatus and possibly a Cramorant in addition to the four Comfey. Additionally, you can add other Pokémon VMAX to your deck, like Flying Pikachu VMAX for all-Basic decks and Ditto VMAX for Mewtwo V-UNION, to cater to specific situations. A Radiant Eternatus deck will likely become a strong contender in the competitive scene, but some argue it will not surpass Lugia VSTAR as the best deck in the current format.
#2 - Sky Seal Stone
The Sky Seal Stone is the latest (and possibly the last) addition to the Seal Stones, alongside the Forest Seal and Earthen Seal Stone. The Star Order feature allows your Basic Pokémon V to claim an additional Prize card from your opponent's Pokémon VMAX and VSTAR. Although it may not be as widely applicable as the Forest Seal Stone, it can still be helpful in a Lost Zone toolbox deck.
For instance, this card can benefit from decks using Raikou V and Drapion V to target Lugia VSTAR and Mew VMAX's weaknesses. Using Sky Seal Stone can help players win additional prizes when battling Lugia and Mew without incurring significant expenses. This is especially true for Lost Zone toolbox decks that typically don't rely on any VSTAR Power. Players don't necessarily need to have many copies of the Seal Stone in their deck, as Raihan allows for easy searching of the card.
Sky Seal Stone can be used without hitting for Weakness. It can help you set up a two-hit Knock Out against Duraludon VMAX with Drapion V and use Star Order to gain an extra Prize. Sky Seal Stone can also be added to the deck containing the new Zamazenta, which brings us to our next point.
#3 - Zamazenta
It's only fitting that Zamazenta, the other half of the Hero Duo alongside Zacian and mascot of the Shield Version, gets praise. At first glance, Zamazenta may appear ordinary, but experts predict it will significantly influence the Standard format. Although its stats are similar to Snorlax, Zamazenta outperforms Snorlax in specific situations. While its 130 HP is lower than ideal, the Metal Shield Ability makes it more challenging to defeat, as it needs a stronger attack than lighter moves such as Spit Innocently or Aqua Return.
However, Zamazenta's true strength lies in its attacking abilities. Its move, Retaliate, deals 100 damage and an additional 120 damage if one of your Pokémon was defeated during your opponent's previous turn. With this move, Zamazenta can deal 220 damage, enough to take down basic Pokémon V and those with high HP that only award one prize.
The Lost Zone toolbox deck is a popular option for players who want to use Zamazenta in battle. This deck is effective against Stoutland V because it can easily defeat it with the help of the Warrior Pokémon. Previously, players using Kyogre had to rely on a Snorlax equipped with a Choice Belt to defeat Stoutland V, which was a challenging combination to achieve. If Stoutland V was left unchecked, the game could quickly end. With Zamazenta, Kyogre decks have a more reliable way to defeat Stoutland V, similar to Snorlax, but without needing a Choice Belt.
Zamazenta is a powerful Pokémon that can create a deck called Lost Zone, which only requires itself, Cramorant, and Sableye as the main attackers. The deck has already succeeded in Japan, as it managed to secure the 6th position in the recent Champions League held in Kyoto, which had over 2500 players.
The Crown Zenith expansion of the Pokémon TCG brings exciting new options for players to build powerful, versatile decks. Even if you don't get the cards on this list, you can still experiment with other combinations and find your winning strategy. Strategize, test, and believe in your Pokémon because, with the right mindset and preparation, you can become a Pokémon TCG master!
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