On August 28th 2020 the 2020-2021 season kicks off. This also means that there will be a rotation! The rotation this year will be Team Up onwards, meaning we are losing Ultra Prism, Forbidden Light, Celestrial Storm and Lost Thunder. As well as the Dragon Majesty Mini Set. But what are the biggest losses of the rotating sets and are there any alternative replacements for them? Let’s discuss!

If you have played any psychic decks in the last 3 years chances are you know what Pokemon is a giant loss for all psychic decks. Malamar has been accelerating psychic energy from the discard too many attackers during its legality. From Ultra Necrozma GX, to Mewtwo & Mew GX and even non-GX attackers like Giratina it has been the main reason why these cards have seen any success at all!

Being a stage one pokemon sometimes means that the 60hp Inkays can be targeted by bench damagers or even early gust, but once you are set up, you can continuously attach 1, 2 or sometimes even 3 extra energy per turn. This acceleration is without using a supporter like Welder, meaning that you can even play Cynthia or research to draw extra cards and this makes your deck super consistent in the late game.

The only real replacement for Malamar is the new item in darkness ablaze, Turbo Patch, this accomplishes the same goal as Malamar but as an item card for any (basic) energy type! The only catch is that it’s on a coin flip! However, you should expect to hit at least two heads and accelerate 2 extra energy at some point during the game!

Electric Decks also take a big hit too! Thunder Mountian and Electropower were excellent tools for all lightning decks, but especially Zapdos Beasts and more notably, Pikachu & Zekrom Tag Team GX. Thunder Mountain, when combined with Tapu Koko (Prism) gave incredible energy acceleration allowing Pikachu & Zekrom GX to use Full Blitz turn one, which sets up a 6 energy tag bolt, which can take up to 6 prizes in a single turn! And doing enough damage to knock out two tag teams become so much easier to do when used with electro power! Pikachu and Zekrom defined the metagame and force players to play a Mew just to prevent the bench damage and lose the game almost instantly!

There are really no current replacements for these two cards! However, the turn one ‘Full Blitz’ can still be accomplished with the use of Tapu Koko (Prism) and energy switches or even Turbo Patch that I touched on earlier! So Pikarom isn’t completely ruined with the loss of these two cards, but it still hurts the deck and its consistency.

The card that I’m personally the saddest to lose is Fiery Flint. When this card first released in Dragon Majesty back in 2018, it was almost impossible to get a playset for less than £15, which is expensive for an uncommon, one type-specific card.

It was an item card that supported ‘red cards’ and red cards were absolutely everywhere once Unbroken Bonds Released worldwide. It saw the most play in my most played deck last format, Baby Blacephalon, were it was essential for discard early fire energy whilst searching your deck for 4 more! If you didn’t find Fiery Flint until the late game, that was okay! Because if you used Victini’s (Prism) ‘Infinity’ at all, all of your fire energy would be shuffled into your deck and fiery flint could search it back out again straight away. As a Baby Blowns player, I am still trying to figure out how to play this deck post rotation as I really enjoy the deck. Although Giant Hearth survives the rotation and is just half of a Fiery Flint. (Discard one card search two Fire Energy) I just don’t think it’s good enough. In a world full of Vmax Pokemon that give up three prizes and have up to 350HP, I would love to be able to continuously 1 shot them with Blacephalon.

Metal Pokemon loose metal frying pan and if Zacian hadn’t of been released, no-one would have cared. However, now it is an essential part of that Lucario/Melmetal Zacian and ADP Zacian decks that they are both incredibly sad to lose. Lowering damage by 30 is great, but removing a fire weakness makes an incredible card considering welder decks continue to be popular as ever. The damage reduction also stacks in Lucario & Melmetal based decks with the Tag Team’s GX attack, which helps the deck accomplish its goal of never being one-hit KO-ed.

The only replacement is Metal Goggles, which whilst helping LucMetal remain bulky and hard to KO, do absolutely nothing if you are playing fire decks! Which will remain good as long as Welder is still in the format.

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