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Top 10 best expansions from the Sword & Shield block to invest

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We've listed a Top 10 Sword & Shield main expansions that are worth the investment before we dive into the new expansion, Lost Origin.

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Hello everybody. I'm Rodrigo, bringing more information, curiosities and tips about the world of Pokémon TCG.

With the debut of the expansion Lost Originlink outside website on September 9, 2022, we will elaborate on expansions that are worth the investment for the competitive landscape, with less focus on collecting.

I'll rank them in a top 10 sets that are worth the investment (disregarding special releases like Pokémon Go, Celebrationslink outside website, Shining Fateslink outside website, and Champion's Path).


1st) Brilliant Stars – Sword/Shield 9

Brilliant Starslink outside website brought a card that is the "ace" of all decks in Standard for the assembly of any V card set-up : Arceus V BRS 122 and Arceus VSTAR BRS 123.

In addition to the collecting factor, where we had more Charizard in this expansion and that are worth a high note for investments and resales, especially Charizard V BRS 154, we also had support Pokémon like Lumineon V BRS 156, Bibarel BRS 121 for card advantage, and Manaphy BRS 41 as a Bench Protector.

And of course, let's talk about the expansion's star:

Arceus VStar

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Arceus is the best staple on Standard today.

1) Trinity Nova is used to accelerate two colorless energies for Arceus, use Double Turbo Energy BRS 151, which unfortunately reduces its attack by 20 damage against the opponent's defending Pokémon, lowering its 200 damage to 180, but still, it's high damage for the standard and grants the function of attaching two energies.

2) It also has VStar: Starbirth, which greatly helps on replenishing your resources.

Important Trainer Cards

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Mandatory in 80% of decks, Belt can close damage against current V-format Pokémon (VMax, VStar, VUnion, regardless of type) by doing 30 more damage (before applying weakness and resistance).

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This card is not limited to fetching only basic Pokémon like the Quick Ball at the cost of discarding a card from your hand, the Ultra Ball can fetch any type of Pokémon (whether basic, evolution, part of a V-Union) at the cost of discarding two cards from your hand, which makes it more flexible

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Boss's Orders enters here with its art version with Cyrus, Team Galactic's team leader, and just like every effect of the Boss's Orders card, it pulls a Pokémon from the opponent's Bench, and it becomes the new active, to close the knockout needed for the match.

The Professor's Research of this expansion pays tribute to another character from the Sinnoh region, Professor Rowan. The effect of the card is the same as every Professor's Research: discard your hand and draw 7 cards in a row.

2nd) Astral Radiance – Sword & Shield 10

This expansion brought Hisui's Pokémon immersion, in parallel homage to the Nintendo Switch game, Legend: Arceus. And with that, we had two tributes with the legendary Pokémon of the Sinnoh region: Palkia and Dilga in their original forms.

And in the competitive arena, looking back at the launch of the expansion with some regionals before the London Worlds, Origin Forme Palkia dominated the format in many positions due to its versatility and low energy to deal great and high damage.

We've also had notoriety with anti-meta Pokémon like the Regigigas ASR 130 deck line, that if you have the other 5 Regis on your bench, it has the Ancient Wisdom ability where it attaches 3 energies from the discard pile to your Pokémon any way you want. it can use the Gigaton Break attack, for 5 colorless energies, which has 150 base damage, and if the opponent's active is a VMax Pokémon, it does 150 more!


And we also have Miltank ASR 126, which has become an attacker against Pokémon V of the format, thanks to its ability Miracle Body.

In addition, we have the debut of the Radiant Pokémon, that is, Pokémon with a specific Rule Box that can only have one card of that type in the deck, and catching Shiny Pokémon of different types, such as Radiant Heatran ASR 27, Radiant Greninja ASR 46 and Radiant Hawlucha ASR 81.

Origin Forme Palkia-VStar

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Speaking of this card for those who don't know it:

1) The attack Subspace Well, for two Water Energy, does 60 base damage plus 20 damage for each Benched Pokémon. Assuming your Bench has 5 Pokémon, you are guaranteed 100 more damage. And if your opponent is in the same condition, 100 more damage. So in this game, for just two water energies, it will be causing 260!

2) Its ability VStar: Star Portal, being able to attach three energies from the discard pile to one of your Water Pokémon in any way you want.

Important Trainer Cards

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Being the most important card for the entire water archetype, it's the best chance to create a good setup for resource research because in addition to looking for a water Pokémon, it looks for Item-type Trainer cards, being able to look for Quick Ball, Ultra Ball, Choice Band, Switch, or any resources you deem necessary to aid your play.

3rd) Fusion Strike – Sword & Shield 8

It is undeniable that Mew VMAX FST 114 predominates in the format with damage that exceeds 300 and even two energies, which makes it dynamic in its deck set-up acceleration.

A special participation in this expansion was Hoopa V FST 253 as “counter” of Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88 and Mew VMAX FST 114, where Hoopa hits twice the damage because of the weakness advantage it could utilize against Fighting and Psychic types.

It also had few highlights, such as Gengar VMAX FST 157 which came to be in good positions in many regionals for being a damage machine with the Fear and Panic attack that dealt 60 times the damage for each Pokémon V and GX in your opponent's game, and considering the Standard format with Pokémon V, 60 times 6 in a full game is 360 damage for free for only two dark energy costs!

And of course, let's talk about the famous:

Mew-VMax -Fusion Strike-

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Literally, the entire expansion revolves around this card.

If you consider its first attack, Cross Fusion Strike, for two colorless energies, Mew can copy any attack from your Benched Fusion Strike-type Pokémon, that is, it could copy Latias FST 193, Meloetta FST 124, Oricorio FST 42, Genesect V FST 185 and Mew V FST 113, which are usually the deck pick lines.

And its second attack, Max Miracle, for two psychic energies, it does 130 damage and is still unaffected by the effects of the opponent's defending Pokémon.

Important Trainer Cards

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This card allows you to search for three Fusion Strikelink outside website Pokémon and put them into your hand.

It's practically for you to build your game by putting at least 3 Genesect V FST 185 to be able to use its Draw Power set-up with them and speed up your game.

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You can only perform the card's effect if you play two Cross Switcher cards at the same time. But if you pay tribute to activate the effect, you can force a Pokémon from your opponent's Benched Pokémon to the active position. And if you do, you trade a Pokémon from your Bench to promote it to active position.

In short: it's the effect of Guzma (for those who remember the Sun/Moon era) only as an Item card, not a Supporter.

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4th) Chilling Reign – Sword & Shield 6

This expansion brought the famous Calyrex (Ice Rider and Shadow Rider) that were based on the Sword/Shield Switch game expansions with the “The Isle of Armor” and “The Crown Thundra” DLCs.

Featuring the illustrious Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX CRE 46 as one of the most powerful water decks in the format at the time of its release a year ago, and Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX CRE 75 with accelerated psychic energies in play, synergizing with other cards of the archetype, we also had the combined deck of Blaziken VMAX CRE 21 with Zeraora V CRE 53 with their Rapid Strike style.

We also had the presence of Blissey V CRE 119 as a “tanker” Pokémon, which would gain notoriety in the future along with Miltank ASR 126 in Astral Radiancelink outside website and we even had Galarian Rapidash V CRE 168 as a nice addition to the psychic archetype.

In addition to that, we had the presentation of the legendary Kanto birds in the Galar region version, which became support for specific functions:

- Galarian Moltres V CRE 97 as an attacker against Psychic types, in addition to his ability Direflame Wings, which per turn can attach dark energy from the discard pile to himself.

- Galarian Articuno V CRE 58 that serves as a support with Draw Power more specifically for the Mewtwo-VUnion, because of its Reconstitute ability, which discards two cards from your hand to draw a card.

- Galarian Zapdos V CRE 80 as one of the best birds as an attacker thanks to its ability Fighting Instinct, which for each Pokémon V in the opponent's play, reduces the cost of colorless energies for that Pokémon's attack, being able to make Galarian Zapdos beats for just one fighting energy against the Standard format Pokémon!

And I believe the card that stood out in this expansion was:

Ice Rider Calyrex-VMax

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- 1st attack: Ride of the High King, for two colorless energies, it does 10 base damage plus 30 for each opponent's Benched Pokémon.

This damage can be up to 160 in total at its maximum capacity.


- 2nd attack: Max Lance, for two water energies, deals 10 damage plus 120 damage for each energy discarded in this form.

You may have the option to discard both energies and grant 250 damage.

Important Trainer Cards

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One of the most present stages in the current format, it inhibits the effects of Pokémon abilities that have any Rule Box; preventing Pokémon V and Radiant Pokémon in the process.

5th) Battle Styles – Sword & Shield 5

This expansion brought the mechanics Ichigeki and Rengeki, respectively Single Strike and Rapid Strike), based on the fighting styles of Pokémon Urshifu, on their versions of the cards Single Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 86 and Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88.

And with that, we had stadium cards that could complement each of these styles like Tower of Darkness BST 137 and Tower of Waters BST 138, several Trainer Item cards like Tools, special energies for both styles like Single Strike Energy BST 141 and Rapid Strike Energy BST 140, and of course, support Pokémon for each style like Houndoom BST 96 and Octillery BST 37.

For a brief moment, we had a good fire attacker for the archetype, Victini VMAX BST 22, which did more damage if the opponent had a Pokémon V.

We had the Metal Energy Transfer Synergy deck with Corviknight VMAX BST 110 and Bronzong BST 102 as a healing resource to Cheryl BST 123.

Urshifu-VMax -Rapid Strike-

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When this expansion debuted, this card broke the format in 2021, when Eternatus-VMax reigned as one of the best cards, and with its weakness doubled by the fighting type, Urshifu stood out for its flexibility in being able to use "Spread Sniper" moves.

Gale Thrust: For one fighting energy, deals 30 base damage plus 120 if it is moved from your bench to active position that same turn.

This damage can reach 150 at its maximum capacity.

G-Max Rapid Flow: For two Fighting Energy and one Colorless, discard all Energy attached to this Pokémon, and if you do, you choose two of your opponent's Pokémon and do 120 damage to them.

Important Trainer Cards

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Classified as a Tool card, it is an item that you can equip to your Pokémon. Its effect is that it can inhibit the effect of another Tool card equipped from your opponent's Active Pokémon.

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6th) Evolving Skieslink outside website – Sword & Shield 7

This expansion brought another extension of the Ichigeki and Rengeki mechanics, respectively Single Strike and Rapid Strike, expanding the possibilities of new Pokémon with these mechanics that could fit the meta at the time of launch.

But to be honest, this expansion came in more for the collecting factor due to Eeveelutions, and few cards lasted with anything consistent for the competitive format. Even though Jolteon VMAX EVS 51 won the São Paulo regional last year as one of the Eeveelutions, the Duraludon VMAX EVS 123 card played more due to the high presence of Pokémon with special energies (see Mew-VMax and Urshifu-VMax) as it is a great counter to these decks.


But the expansion brings beautiful Full Art cards and secret arts, which ensured the high investment and resale factor, such as Rayquaza V EVS 194, Dragonite V EVS 192 and Noivern V EVS 196.

Let's go to the Pokémon that stood out in this expansion:

Duraludon-VMax -Single Strike-

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It has the ability Skyscraper, where this Pokémon prevents damage done to an opponent that has any Special Energy.

Duraldon also has the attack G-Max Pulverization, for two fighting and one metallic energy, it deals 220 base damages and ignores any effects of the opponent's Active Pokémon.

Important Trainer Cards

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7th) Base Set – Sword & Shield 1

As the block's introduction in 2019, he was too strong for the format change at the time because of Zacian V SSH 138 as a revolution, with his 230 damage attack being quite high for a standard's HP. Pokémon Tag Team, in addition to Cramorant V SSH 155 as a Pokémon that looked for resources and still gave ''Spread Sniper''.

Still, the expansion kicked off with new Trainers with useful features like Quick Ball SSH 179, Rare Candy SSH 180, Ordinary Rod SSH 171, Hyper Potion SSH 166, Metal Saucer SSH 170, Evolution Incense SSH 163, Big Charm SSH 158, Crushing Hammer SSH 159 and Air Balloon SSH 156, which plays on almost every deck in some way, which still gives this expansion a special affection for having given the basis for many cards in the meta, and still without the harm of rotation, which didn't take place this yearlink outside website.

We still had important “baby” Pokémon that played briefly like Toxicroak SSH 124, Galarian Obstagoon SSH 119, Rillaboom SSH 14 and Cinderace SSH 34; and we have in this expansion Pokémon that sees play in many current decks: Inteleon SSH 58, Frosmoth SSH 64, Oranguru SSH 148 and Cinccino SSH 147.

So, the Pokémon that stood out in this expansion was dated by its history:


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As a card that partnered with the dreaded Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX CEC 156, it gained damage power thanks to the effect of the GX attack where Zatian gained 30 more damage, up to 260 damage for just 3 energies, which was a terror in 2019. And as a result, he's in that special consideration.

Important Trainer Cards

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The reprint of the old “Professor Oak” from the old Wizards of the Coast Base Set, and the best “draw power” in the game: discard your hand and draw 7 cards in a row.

8th) Rebel Clash – Sword & Shield 2

During the beginning of the release of this expansion, the cards that were most coveted by the competitive public were Boss's Orders RCL 154. Considering that as the release of this expansion in 2020 still shared space with Sun/Moon cards, mainly with Tag Team, and the card Pikachu & Zekrom-GX TEU 33 (before the Team Up rotation) with the add-on of Boltund V RCL 67.


The only support Pokémon wanted was Eldegoss V RCL 19, because of the ability that can bring a Trainer Supporter card from the discard pile into your hand.

This expansion has more cards to help with Trainers than Pokémon, but there were “baby” Pokémon that served as complements and gave some little play potential, such as Coalossal RCL 107, Galarian Weezing RCL 113, Garbodor RCL 118, Galarian Meowth RCL 126, Dragapult RCL 91 and Galarian Cursola RCL 79.

It would normally be in last place, but it didn't come close thanks to a card that was overrated by high-end decks: Training Court RCL 169.

Its highlight Pokémon were:


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Important Trainer Cards

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As said, this card was overvalued in the current Metagame, which made everyone invest in it and even sometimes exaggerate on its price tag.

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9th) Darkness Ablaze – Sword & Shield 3

In the penultimate position, Darkness Ablaze enters here due to the lack of options for attacking Pokémon that are good for the current competitive in this long term, and the lack of options for outstanding Trainer cards that help for the current format, taking the second half of 2022.

The few Pokémon that lasted for the 2019/2020 period were:

- Eternatus VMAX DAA 117 because of its Eternal Zone ability that increased its Bench to three more spaces for Dark-type Pokémon, being able to place eight Pokémon of that archetype.

But cards that can nullify his ability, like Path to the Peak CRE 148, caused him to lose power, and with the coming of Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX BST 88, they took down Eternatus because of weakness application.

- Centiskorch VMAX DAA 34 only had power because of the card Welder UNB 189 in Sun/Moon: Unbroken Bonds, when it was still in Standard back in 2019/2020. Without it, it lost strength due to the delay of its attack cost and also the predominance of water Pokémon in the format, such as Lapras VMAX SSH 50 and Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX CRE 46.

- And finally, perhaps what saves on this list, the Crobat V DAA 104 as a support of the game's draw power, which with his Dark Asset ability.

And the Pokémon that was featured here and is most sought after by everyone currently for the meta is:


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Important Trainer Cards

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It is a Tool-type Trainer Item card: it can only be equipped on Basic Pokémon. He gains 50 more HP.

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It is a Stadium-type Trainer card: each player can draw cards until they have 3 in their hand.

Basically, this stadium sees play with Mew VMAX FST 114, which can be a quick draw if you run out of hand and can use Genesect V FST 185 to recover draws.

10th) Vivid Voltage – Sword & Shield 4

And we're in last place with the worst expansion of them all so far (it was close to losing to Rebel Clash, but very close), where there are few cards that play for the current format in the course that followed.


You probably thought about the big Charizard VIV 25 that can deal 300 damage and even 330 if you play the card Leon VIV 154 in the same turn. But it's still very bureaucratic to do the whole process of discarding Leon in the current format where everything is very accelerated like executing the Pokémon set-up, letting it have its highlight and value in the Expanded format.

There are few “baby” Pokémon cards that can be used here, such as Snorlax VIV 131 and Jolteon VIV 47 with their Thunderous Awakening ability that locks water Pokémon abilities, which is what predominates in the format with the line of Inteleon SSH 58, for example.

For collectors, we have Pikachu-VMax, not to mention the pre-release Charizard which is also another look it has.

And in this part of collecting, the expansion that came the so-called "Amazing Pokémon". We have several examples of Pokémon such as: Rayquaza VIV 138, Jirachi VIV 119, Zamazenta VIV 102, Zacian VIV 82, and Raikou VIV 50.

And given this last podium, it will be difficult to put a Pokémon that stood out here, so without much firmness to determine that it actually scored, I will choose:


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But getting into the Standard field, Togekiss was a headache when the Battle Styles expansion with Cheryl's healing combo was released, along the same lines as Corviknight VMAX BST 110 and Bronzong BST 102 as a resource, to Cheryl BST 123.

You use a Togekiss for damage, transfer the energies to another Togekiss with Bronzong's ability, then use Cheryl for healing, and a new Togekiss is promoted to attack by transferring those energies, in a cyclic effect.

Important Trainer Cards

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A Supporter-Type Card: If you play it that turn, your Active Pokémon's attacks do 30 more damage.

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It's a Tool-type Trainer Item Card: If equipped to a Pokémon, it does 30 more damage to your opponent's Benched Pokémon V and GX.

An excellent card for "Spread Sniper" decks.


That's all for today!

Any suggestions, I'm available in the comments!