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Pokémon TCG: Pikachu - Top 10 Best Cards

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Check out the top 10 best Pikachu cards of all time, from the early days of Pokémon TCG, the Wizards of the Coast era, until now!

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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This article is part of a series of rankings with the 10 best cards of a certain Pokémon in Pokémon TCG, considering their strength, design and history, from the Wizards of the Coast era until now.

Our focus today will be Pikachu. Honestly, Ash's most faithful partner has never stood out competitively in "baby" cards, and, in general, it only became relevant when its ultra rare cards came out, when its new attacks became more effective.

Pikachu: Top 10 Best Cards

10 - Pikachu-EX (X/Y: Promo)


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This Pokémon depends slightly on your luck because you need to get the coin toss right to deal more damage with its first attack, Iron Tails; for each consecutive "heads", you'll deal an extra 30 damage.

To go around this issue and be more efficient when we toss our coins, we can use Trick Coin PHF 108 or Glimwood Tangle DAA 162.

As for Overspark: it allows you to discard all Electric energy cards attached to this Pokémon - for each energy card discarded this way, you'll deal 50 damage. With just seven Electric energy cards, you'll deal 350 damage!

There is a very practical way to keep this combo going: use Magnezone FLI 36 as a recursive Pokémon and, after attacking and discarding your energy cards, use Superior Energy Retrieval sv2 277 to get these energy cards back from the discard pile and place them in your hand, restarting the loop.

To increase Pikachu-EX PR-XY XY84's damage output, we can use Electropower LOT 172a, and get an extra 30 damage.

Unfortunately, its low HP and second attack are a bit weak.

This card was reprinted as a "special art" card in a special collectible box from the X/Y: Evolutions set:

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9 - Pikachu V (Sword/Shield: Promo 63)

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This Pikachu is relevant because of its second attack, Circle Circuit, which deals 30 damage according to each Pokémon on your bench.

As it is a basic Pokémon that only needs two pure Electric energy cards, we can easily set it up with Boltund V RCL 67.

With 5 Pokémon on our bench, we'll deal 150 damage, and we can deal even more damage with Regieleki VMAX SIT 58 - in the best-case scenario, if we put four of them on the board, we'll add 120 damage, which means we'll deal 270 damage for just two energy cards!

Going beyond, we can use the four copies of Electropower LOT 172a in a single blow, with Regieleki VMAX SIT 58 in play, and deal 270 + 120 damage, which means, 390 damage, if we consider we only have five Pokémon on our bench.

We can also use Sky Field ROS 89 to increase the number of slots in our bench, or Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99, Choice Belt BRS 135, Choice Band GRI 121, Muscle Band XY 121, Defiance Band sv1 169 and Supereffective Glasses ASR 152.

8 - Pikachu V (Sword/Shield: Promo 285)

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Its attack, Pika Drive, deals significant damage: 200 damage - however, it can't attack on the next turn.

We can go around this issue if we retreat this Pokémon. To do this, we have the following options:

► Items that swap Pokémon: Switch SSH 183, Escape Rope BST 125, Switch Cart ASR 154, Cross Switcher FST 230.

► Tools that lower its retreat cost to zero: Float Stone BKT 137 and Air Balloon SSH 156.

► Stadiums: Skyarrow Bridge NXD 91 and Beach Court sv1 167.


► Supporters that swap Pokémon: Bird Keeper DAA 159 and Guzma BUS 115.

► And Pokémon that interact with retreat costs through their abilities and the energy cards attached to your Pokémon, such as Zeraora-GX LOT 86, Manaphy-EX BKP 32 or Darkrai-EX DEX 63.

7 - Pikachu ex (Scarlet/Violet: Paldea Evolved)

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Dynamic Bolt deals 220 damage, but you'll have to toss a coin to keep your energy cards; otherwise, if it's tails, you'll have to discard them.

To keep those energy cards, we can manipulate our coin toss with Trick Coin PHF 108 or Glimwood Tangle DAA 162.

Even if we lose these energy cards, we can get them back with Magnezone FLI 36 and Superior Energy Retrieval sv2 277, which will get them from the discard pile and place them in your hand.

6 - Pikachu V & Pikachu VMax - (Sword/Shield: Promo 198) & (Sword/Shield: Vivid Voltage)

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This promotional Pikachu, with its standard artwork, had its "base set" version released in the Sword & Shield: Brilliant Stars set with a Full Art treatment:

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Its attack is quite straightforward: it deals 100 damage, and you can (you don't have to) discard all your energy cards to increase your damage; if you do, you'll deal an extra 120 damage.

Its VMax version, Pikachu VMAX VIV 44 (and Pikachu VMAX VIV 188 and Pikachu VMAX LOR TG29 too) has this exact same mechanic, but the damage is bigger; it's 120 base damage, and you can discard all energy cards attached to it to deal an extra 150 damage, totaling 270 damage!

We can recycle these same energy cards with Magnezone FLI 36 and Superior Energy Retrieval sv2 277. Additionally, we can increase this damage even more with Electropower LOT 232.

5 - Pikachu V & Pikachu VMax - (Sword/Shield: Promo 61) & (Sword/Shield: Promo 286)

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We chose this type V "evolution" line because of its first attack, which works with energy cards.

Pikachu V PR-SW SWSH061 had a "regular art" version in the Sword/Shield & Vivid Voltage set:

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Charge attaches two basic Electric energy cards in your deck to this Pokémon.

Its second attack, Thunderbolt, goes straight to the point: it deals 200 damage, but it discards all energy cards attached to this Pokémon - afterward, they can be recycled with its first attack.

As for its VMax form's first attack (which came as a promotional card in Sword c& Shield: Crown Zenith), Tail Charge, it recycles three energy cards from the discard pile and attaches them to this Pokémon.

Its attack is quite consistent because it deals, guaranteed, 250 damage, and it becomes even better with Electropower LOT 232. The following cards are also useful: Choice Belt BRS 135, Choice Band GRI 121, Muscle Band XY 121, Defiance Band sv1 169 e Supereffective Glasses ASR 152.


4 - Surfing Pikachu VMax (Sword/Shield: Celebrations)

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Its attack, Max Surfer, is outstanding, considering it demands three Basic Water Energy sv2 279, but it deals a significant amount of damage, as it's 160 base damage and 30 extra damage for each Pokémon on your opponent's bench, which means, it is a perfect "sniper".

Regarding attaching energy cards to it: it is easy if we use Blastoise PLS 137's or Baxcalibur sv4pt5 130's "Rain Dance".

We can also combine this "sniper damage" with other "baby" Pokémon:

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Now, about "ultra rare" Pokémon we can use, besides Greninja VUnion itself (Greninja V-UNION PR-SW SWSH157), as options:

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As tools, we can use Wide Lens ROS 95 or Telescopic Sight VIV 160.

3 - Flying Pikachu V & VMax (Sword/Shield: Celebrations)

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Regarding its V form: Flying Pikachu V CEL 6 depends heavily on luck and your coin toss, and you will need to use Trick Coin PHF 108 e Glimwood Tangle DAA 162 to make its attacks work.

About its VMax form: Flying Pikachu VMAX CEL 7, with its attack, Max Balloon, prevents all damage done to this Pokémon by attacks from Basic Pokémon, and it is more accurate than its previous form.

2 - Pikachu V-Union (Sword/Shield: Promos 139 until 142)

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The only flaw in Pikachu V-Union is how you'll set it up, considering we need to find these four pieces in our deck, and also discard them, to summon it.

In Standard, it is almost impossible to do that in a dynamic way. As for Expanded, things are easier over there.

When summoned, you only get good things from it. Let's see its attacks:

- Shocking Shock deals 120 damage, and, if you hit your coin toss, it makes the enemy Pokémon Paralyzed - which is useful if we use Trick Coin PHF 108 and Glimwood Tangle DAA 162.

- Disconnect deals 150 damage and locks down items, which your opponent won't be able to play on the next turn.

- Electro Ball Together deals 250 damage - and it can get even better if we use four copies of Electropower LOT 232.

1 - Pikachu & Zekrom Tag Team-GX (Sun/Moon: Team Up)

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We couldn't place another Pokémon except this one at the top of our ranking! This was one of the most popular Tag Team cards in Standard at the time. We have its GX attack, Tag Bolt, which, with three Electric energy cards, deals 200 damage to the active Pokémon, but, if you add another three Electric energy cards, besides the damage dealt to the active Pokémon, you'll also deal 170 damage to one of your opponent's benched Pokémon, as a "sniper" attack.


Usually, Pokémon that defend your opponent's bench, such as Mew UNB 76, Manaphy BRS 41, Mr. Mime BKT 97, Mr. Mime PLF 47, will be your weak spots, and, as a result, we need to pull them into the active position. So, we'll use Canceling Cologne ASR 136 to disable their abilities, or Silent Lab PRC 140.

To make up for Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33's low HP in Expanded, ideally, you'll use Fighting Fury Belt BKP 99, which sets your allies' HP to 270 and also gives you some extra damage.

Honorable Mentions

Pikachu (Sword/Shield: Silver Tempest)

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This Pikachu combos with other Pokémon in the (https://pokemon.cardsrealm.com/en-us/decks/g09c-rodent-lightning-force-standard-20241-ver1)(Rodent Lightning deck), with Morpeko, Togedemaru and Dedenne.

Pikachu (Sun/Moon: Cosmic Eclipse)

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This Pokémon was essential in the "Nuzzle" deck:

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Final Words

What did you think of this list? What would your top 10 Pikachu ranking look like? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you next time!