Top 6 Pokemon Cards: Gym Challenge Expansion

Updated on May 17, 2017
Jeremy Gill profile image

In between Pokémon journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game

Like many kids, I didn't even know how to play the TCG, I just enjoyed collecting and trading the cards. As an adult, I can better appreciate the strategic aspects of the game, and still love to scour through cards and find the best of the best.

The Gym Challenge set expands on the Gym Heroes concept, showcasing Pokemon belonging to the Kanto Gym Leaders; I always thought this was an awesome way to link the video games with the Trading Card Game, and the Leaders may surprise even veteran players with the types of Pokemon they brandish.

So, be on the lookout for monsters you never knew the Leaders owned as we countdown the six best Gym Challenge cards!

Gym Challenge Quiz

view quiz statistics

Evolution Stages

Basic Pokemon can be played from your hand as you like.

Stage 1 Pokemon are evolutions that must be played on a corresponding Basic Pokemon.

Stage 2 Pokemon are further evolutions to be played on corresponding Stage 1 Pokemon.

Blaine's Rapidash
Blaine's Rapidash

6. Blaine's Rapidash

Blaine's Rapidash races in as a Stage 1 with 70 HP and a free Retreat Cost! It also knows two solid attacks:

  • Fire Mane (1 energy) Chars for 20, a great attack to use while amassing energy for..
  • Stomp (3 energy) Squishes foes for a guaranteed 30 damage, and deals an extra 10 to all opposing Pokemon (Active and Benched) if you land a Heads on the coin flip!

A stallion that can frequently injure all rival creatures, Rapidash defeated many teams. Note that both its attacks need only one of the energy to be Fire, making it a prime candidate for multi-element decks.

Koga's Beedrill
Koga's Beedrill

5. Koga's Beedrill

Koga's Beedrill may possess only 80 HP as a Stage 2, but knows two sweet moves, has a resistance to Fighting, and can retreat for free!

  • Nerve Poison (2 energy) Stings for 20, and both Paralyzes and Poisons foes if you win the coin flip!
  • Hyper Needle (3 energy) Works well in desperate situations. You can only use it once, and it has a 50% to fail, but scores a massive 70 damage.

Beedrill's double status infliction and powerful last resort let it end many an adversary.

Giovanni's Machamp
Giovanni's Machamp

4. Giovanni's Machamp

Giovanni's Machamp joins as a Stage 2 with a hefty 100 HP. No resistance and a substantial Retreat Cost hamper him, but his abilities more than compensate:

  • Fortitude (Poke-Power) Gives Machamp a 50% to resist feinting whenever it would be knocked out, instead surviving with 10 HP! Some good luck can keep it in the fray far longer than your opponents would like (just remember it won't work while Machamp has a status condition).
  • Hurricane Punch (4 energy) Flips four coins. Each Heads nets 30 damage, potentially yielding 120 damage! Usually you'll get about 60, which still impresses.

Machamp may rely on coin flips, but its huge damage and knock-out resistance tempt even luck-skeptical players like myself.

Sabrina's Alakazam
Sabrina's Alakazam

3. Sabrina's Alakazam

Similarly to Machamp (though with 20 less HP), Sabrina's Alakazam harnesses a strong Poke-Power and an impressive but costly technique:

  • Psylink (Poke-Power) Gives Alakazam access to other attacks while it builds for Mega Burn. Lets Alakazam use any of your Psychic Pokemon's attacks as long as it has the energy required for them. Depending on what you run, this lets it unleash all kinds of mayhem while you wait for..
  • Mega Burn (4 energy) Blasts a fearsome 60 damage, but you have to wait a turn before you can use it again. Thankfully, Psylink lets you access other moves in the meantime.

Keep Alakazam away from statuses so it can employ Psylink, and you'll have a lethal and versatile partner.

Koga's Muk
Koga's Muk

2. Koga's Muk

A Stage 1, Koga's Muk lumbers in with a solid 80 HP, not to mention some awesome artwork. Retreating him takes a trio of energy, but check out his superb abilities:

  • Energy Drain (Poke-Power) removes an energy from attackers 50% of the time, even if they knock Muk out!
  • Sludge Whirlpool (3 energy) Simply bashes foes for 40.

Koga's Muk displays fearsome power, frequently denying opponents the energy they need to access their attacks.

Rocket's Mewtwo
Rocket's Mewtwo

1. Rocket's Mewtwo

We all love Mewtwo, but his Base Set card lacked the oomph needed for competitive play. Rocket's Mewtwo (strange they didn't use Giovanni) remedies the situation by warping in with a nice 70 HP, and being the first-ever card to have three attacks!

  • Juxtapose (1 energy) If you win a coin flip, you switch the damage counters on Mewtwo and the opponent, allowing you to transfer the pain of your battle-scarred Pokemon to a fresh foe!
  • Hypnoblast (2 energy) Pumps out 20 damage and has half a chance to put the Defending Pokemon to sleep.
  • Psyburn (4 energy) Very few Basic Pokemon learn intimidating moves like Psyburn, which seizes 60 damage!

A versatile and game-changing card, Rocket's Mewtwo ushered in a new era for the TCG.

Which Pokemon do you prefer?

See results

Your Vote

Hopefully today's list highlighted some awesome Pokemon and let old fans revisit classic cards. The Gym Challenge collection remains one of my personal favorites, and I'd love to see more Gym Leaders featured in the future.

For now, feel free to vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next expansion countdown: the Neo Genesis set!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)