Top 6 Pokemon Cards: Gym Heroes Expansion
The Pokemon TCG
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 now appreciate the care players utilize when building their decks, and I still love to scour through cards and find the best of the best.
This set truly surprised me; the cards I expected to be bad were actually good, and vice versa. That's one of the cool things about the TCG, you'll sometimes encounter normally forgotten Pokemon from the video games displaying surprising amounts of power as cards. Prepare for a parade of pipsqueaks, this is the six best Gym Heroes Pokemon!
Gym Heroes Quiz
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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.
6. Brock's Sandslash
Brock's Sandslash burrows in with only 60 HP for a Stage 1, but he's got a low Retreat Cost and a nice resistance to Electric Pokemon. Interestingly, both his attacks cost the same amount:
- (2 energy) Needles only nicks foes for 10, but if you land Heads on a coin flip, you both Paralyze and Poison the Defending Pokemon!
- (2 energy) Sandstorm bombards adversaries for 20, and forces them to flip a coin if they attack the next round. A Tails negates the attack entirely!
Sandslash may not excel in raw attack strength, but his moves are energy-efficient and disruptive. Poison foes with Needles, than gradually finish them off with Sandstorm.
5. Misty's Seaking
Typcially ignored in favor of stronger Water types, Seaking finally proves its worth as a trading card, surfacing with a solid 70 HP for a Stage 1. Also, a low Retreat cost, plus two energy-saving moves:
- (1 energy) Horn Attack rams for only 10, but it at least gives an option to utilize while amassing energy for your next move..
- (2 energy) Mud Splash blasts foes for 30 damage, a great bargain for only two energy. Plus, you have a 50% to inflict 10 damage to a Benched opponent!
In short, Misty's Seaking grants Trainers a great way to quickly build damage while they prepare their more energy-demanding cards.
4. Erika's Vileplume
Most Stage 2 Pokemon join with more health than Vileplume's 80 HP, but it's got some stupendous traits:
- Poke Power Pollen Defense has a 50% chance to Confuse foes when they deal damage to Vileplume. That's already great, but this power (unlike most) works even if Vileplume has a Status Condition, and if the triggering attack knocks it out!
- (3 energy) Mega Drain may appear slightly weak at 30, but it heals Vileplume half damage, rounded up! Under normal circumstances, you'll be landing 30 and healing 20!
Erika's Vileplume's amazing power and technique more than compensate for its somewhat low HP and weakness to Fire. Speaking of which..
3. Rocket's Moltres
Finally, a Pokemon good both in the games and as a card. Moltres soars in with 60 HP, carries no weakness and possesses a resistance to Fighting.
- Poke Power Rebirth returns Moltres to your hand when it's knocked out, ensuring your Bench never runs short of new members.
- (3 energy) Fire Wall incinerates foes for 40 damage, and lands another 10 if they deal damage to Moltres on their next turn (even if Moltres gets knocked out)!
A resilient fighter who doesn't need Evolution to shine, Rocket's Moltres works great in any classic Fire deck.
If you're wondering why they put Rocket instead of, oh you know, actual Gym Leader Giovanni in this set, then join the club, we're getting T-shirts soon.
2. Erika's Weepinbell
I know what you're thinking: A dang Weepinbell in second place? It's not even fully evolved! True, but nevertheless Erika's prized derp knows some great attacks:
- (2 energy) Sleep Poison both Poisons your foe and puts them to sleep. No damage, but no coin flip required either!
- (3 energy) Vine Whip has no secondary effect, but bashes opponents for a solid 40 damage.
You can continue to evolve this card, or just keep it as is to lull foes to sleep and envenom them, then finish them off with Vine Whip.
1. Misty's Poliwhirl
Another surprisingly effective not fully-evolved champion, Misty's Poliwhirl joins the fray with 70 HP and two awesome attacks:
- (2 energy) Rapids bashes rivals for 20 damage. Plus, scoring a Heads on a coin flip lets you remove an energy from them!
- (3 energy) Water Punch seizes a solid 30 damage. However, you get to flip a coin for each Water energy on Poliwhirl (at least three, assuming you've been attaching Water energy), and deal an additional 10 for each Heads! This means you'll often be dealing 40, 50, or 60 damage, even more if you continue attaching extra energy!
A surprisingly lethal offensive unit, Misty's Poliwhirl vanquishes many opponents.
Which card do you favor?
Hopefully today's list highlighted some awesome Pokemon and let old fans revisit classic cards. I always thought it was an awesome idea to blend Gym Leaders and Trading Cards, and I'd like to see similar expansions in the future.
For now, feel free to vote for your favorite card, and I'll see you at our next Pokemon countdown!