Kenny’s Wisdom #3: Triumphant Set Review Part One (Water, Metal, Colorless, Grass, Trainers, Energy)

By the time you’re reading this, HS: Triumphant will have been released in stores, and deck ideas will have been talked about for weeks on end in preparation for Cities. I’m writing this on the day of the first pre-release, so bear in mind I haven’t tested with many of these cards, and I may seem behind a curve a bit, as this article won’t be released for several weeks.

What I plan to do with this article is give ratings, out of 5, for every card in the set, in both modified and limited. A simple breakdown of my scoring system looks like this…

1 = Bad
2 = Average
3 = Good
4 = Great
5 = Amazing

With that, hopefully you can infer what the in-betweens mean (1.5 is below average, for example).

This article is probably going to get a bit lengthy, but I’m going to try and find a happy medium between detailed and overbearing. Keep in mind that some cards will warrant more discussion than others, and if I don’t write about a favorite card of yours, or I hype up a card you think is bad, well, that’s what the comments are for!


Modified: This isn’t a bad card. 30 snipe for one isn’t terrible at all. The only problem is that our only other Modified-legal Psyduck is head and shoulders above this one in almost every way. I dunno about you, but I’ll take Trainerlock for 0 over 30 snipe for one any day. 2/5

Limited: Not a bad card at all. I haven’t examined limited in this format a lot, but Golduck seems like a contender, and this is the only way to power him up, heh. A decent card on it’s own if you’re in Water I suppose. 3.5/5

Modified: The obvious choice here is to pair this with Feraligatr Prime, but I’m not certain if there aren’t better partners for him. The body is obviously fantastic, and I’m sure some rogue tank deck will come from that alone. The attack is fine as well, especially when comboed with the aforementioned Feraligatr, but overall having 90 HP and Luxray weakness makes this a hard sell. 1/5

Limited: Looks pretty good. There aren’t as many strong L Pokémon here as there are in modified, and although you don’t have any kind of rain dance powers, the ability to swing big early, as well as keep yourself alive makes this a solid contender. 4/5

Modified: Baad. WCC for double 20 snipe? The other Wailmer we have, while not a standout himself, is much better than this one dreams of being. 1/5

Limited: If you’re in Water there are much better cards to play here. 1/5

Modified: I suppose this is better than the SV Wailord, but only by a small fraction. I can’t see either being a force in modified, but I suppose this is the better one. 1/5

Limited: Again, if you’re on pack 5 pick 9 of your draft, and you’re heavy in Water and it’s down to this or almost any other card (especially Golduck), I STILL don’t see this being relevant. 1/5

Modified: The only use I can see here is if you were going to combine this with Weavile or Cyrus Initiative, or something else that would let you view the hand. Even then, there are far better options in modified. Not to mention that seeing a single card drawn a turn earlier means nearly nothing in Pokémon with all the shuffle/draw and sacrifice/search we’ve got. 1/5

Limited: Again, I just don’t see any use for it. At least it has a cool effect, which can be scarce at uncommon, but I don’t see why you’d ever need to play this card. W for 30 is actually kind of nice, but I’m not sure how relevant sniping is in this format. 1.5/5

Modified: Both of the Swinubs we currently have in modified are better than this piece of vanilla cardboard. Boring. 1/5

Limited: This card brings nothing on it’s own, and I can’t see Mamoswine being a bomb. 1/5

Modified: This is strictly worse than the other Piloswines in modified. We’re starting to see a trend here, aren’t we? 1/5

Limited: See Swinub. 1/5

Modified: If you’re going to be playing Mamoswine (WHICH YOU SHOULD. ALWAYS.) there are better swines. 2/5

Limited: I see this card being too slow for this format. Water seems to have a little bit of snipe so I guess the second attack could be strong, but I just don’t see it getting you there. 2/5

Modified: In a format with Warp Point, Switch, Super Scoop Up, Seeker, and Poké Turn, the first attack isn’t all that relevant. Not to mention that the Tentacool we currently have is better in about every way. 1.5/5

Limited: This doesn’t really do much on it’s own, and Tentacruel is probably strictly worse than Golduck in water. If you get passed this at the end of a pack after settling into Water it’s not the worst thing in the world, but I can’t foresee a situation where you would pick it. 1/5

Modified: This is another case where the card we already have is much better than this one, and it’s not even that good anyway. 1/5

Limited: As I said in the Tentacool review, I don’t see where this is good. I guess if you whiff on Golducks after being forced into water it’s a good back-up attacker, and the first attack is useful, but other than that…meh. 2/5

Palkia & Dialga Legend
Modified: Definitely an interesting card, in my mind, one of the most interesting in the set. Sudden Delete is a neat attack, but at WCC I fail to see it make much of an impact. The real juice here is Time Control, which for MMC lets you take the top two cards of your opponent’s deck and add it to their prizes.

Although that seems like a ridiculously good attack, with having to dsicard all the M energy from PDL, you won’t be getting that off very often. Not to mention that when PDL is KO’d your opponent takes 2 Prizes, meaning that you’re probably going to be kept at a stalemate, even if you can regularly get this attack off. Luxray and Blaziken weakness don’t help, either. 2.5/5

Limited: This could be a bomb, but seeing both halves of it and being able to power it up fast enough probably isn’t going to happen. 2.5/5


Modified: This is probably the best Aron. Mountain Eater is an attack I’m in love with. Not the most relevant Pokémon line, but it’s the best of it’s kind. 2/5

Limited: Mountain Eater could be used for some cool shenanigans, but outside of that, or you pulling a ridiculous Aggron line, I don’t see many uses for him. 1.5/5

Modified: Strictly worse than the UD one, there should never be a time that you have to use this card. 1/5

Limited: There are times in limited where you draft partial lines, and sometimes it’s okay to throw in just the Basic and Stage One as back-ups, especially if they have neat synergy with the deck, or have some kind of worthwhile attack. This is not one of those times. 1/5

Modified: Worse than most of the Metal types we have right now. In my mind, the best tank deck is Dialga/Garchomp. If you don’t want to play SP but still want to play Steel, you’ve got a good card in Steelix. There’s pretty much no reason why you would need to run this card. 1/5

Limited: I’ll admit that I’ve only done a cursory scan of this set, and most of my opinions are being formed as I do this article, so I could be wrong (although I don’t think I am), about Aggron being a little too slow for this format. Typically the cards that do well in limited are those that have low energy cost attacks where multiples of the card can be set-up quickly. Unless there’s a huge lack of that in this set, I don’t see Aggron being able to compete. 1/5

Modified: If you’re looking for a Metal type Bronzor, this is probably the one for you. Not a remarkable card, and given the nature of Bronzong’s attack it would’ve been nice is the first attack here was some kind of evolution acceleration, but I digress. 2/5

Limited: I don’t see it’s usefulness here, unless you’re able to see 2 correct LEGEND pieces, and somewhat of a strong line of Bronzong. 1/5

Modified: When the CATS scans first came out, I remember raving on the B-Side forum about how LEGEND cards were finally getting their support in this guy. Then I was gently reminded that Bronzong is a stage one (damn you Bronzong G!). Combine that with the fact that none of the LEGENDs are a viable play right now, and you get…2.5/5

Limited: As I said in the Bronzor review, very unlikely that you’ll be able to hit all of the components needed. 1/5


Modified: Unplayable. If you’re looking for a card similar to this, Staraptor FB LV.X has you covered, only with better supplemental attacks, a great engine to work with, and a fantastic Poké Power. 1/5

Limited: Could be a decent card. As a rare you probably won’t see a whole lot of them, but I wouldn’t hesitate to throw it in a deck that had a few extra slots and ran stadiums. 3

Modified: It’s certainly not a good card, but it’s the only legal Porygon, so…2/5

Limited: Is certainly a better archetype than most out there, but I don’t think it’s the best. 1/5

Modified: Again, being the only Porygon2 in Modified it’s hard to judge it. The Power is cool, although I’m not sure how many stadiums are going to be relevant with Porygon, and the attack is meh, but it’s about what you can expect for a Stage 1-of a Stage 2 line. 3/5

Limited: Stadiums aren’t really viable in this set, and the first attack is decent. It’s a reasonable play. 2/5

Modified: I don’t see why you’d wanna play this guy over the promo one, and I don’t even think the promo is all that amazing of a card (although it is interesting). It could help in that deck as a 1-of to fish out the TMs, but that’s about all I see for it. 2.5/5

Limited: The power is fantastic, and although the attack isn’t the greatest, it’s going to be hard to KO Porygon in this format, even if he’s doing 20 damage to himself. He wouldn’t be a first pick, but I wouldn’t be completely unhappy if I were forced into him. 3.5/5

Modified: One of the most interesting cards in the set, and definitely something to keep your eye on. However, at this point I don’t see much of a use for him. Somewhere down the line he may be viable, or maybe some player better than I will break him, but I can’t see that happening. 2.5/5

Limited: Pretty pointless. If you’re in C, there are better cards at the same rarity to throw in (Altaria, etc.). Desperation is the only time I could see this being played. 1/5

Modified: Both legal Aipom are worlds better, although that first attack is pretty neat. 1.5/5

Limited: Ambipom will most likely be a viable strategy, so you’ll need this guy. The first attack, as I said before, is good as well. 3/5

Modified: Probably the most underrated card in the set. For a single DCE you can make your opponent shuffle two cards in his hand away, and deal a little bit of damage. I could definitely see this being a big part of Sablelock-type decks in the future, especially aggressive hand control variants. The second attack KOs a Garchomp C LV.X as well, but unless you’re playing one of the aforementioned control variants, there are probably better cards for that type of thing. 3.5/5

Limited: This should be a good play. The first attack is good, and the second attack should wreck some face, depending on how early you can get it out. Discarding your own cards is never fun, but if you can keep a steady stream of this attack going, you’ll definitely be in a good position. 3.5/5

Modified: Better than the LA one, I suppose. Still not really an incredible card, though. 1.5/5

Limited: Don’t really Dragonite being huge, there are better options in Colorless. Not absolutely terrible, though. 2/5

Modified: Better than the LA one, depending on where you’re trying to go with it. Still nothing to really speak of. 1.5/5

Limited: See ‘Dratini’. I guess this has more use because it’s first attack can help with other decks, but there are much better 1-1 lines to throw in. 1/5

Modified: Between Ambipom and Garchomp this guy isn’t going to see too much play. A single Dragon Rush KOs him, and at the speed he’s attacking, a Garchomp could probably even afford to just EQ twice. 2/5

Limited: As I said before, simply not very appealing. If you end up with a heavy line of it in your sealed pool I guess you could go for it, but I wouldn’t draft it. 2/5

Modified: There aren’t any Pidgeys in modified at the moment, so we’ve nothing to compare it to there. On it’s own it’s not a bad card, it’s first attack is useful, and you’ll never need to use it’s second attack. Lightning weakness hurts but hey. 3/5

Limited: Definitely not a bad play here, even as a one of to fill space. 3/5

Modified: Super meh card here. It’s first attack just doesn’t do enough, and it’s second is too luck based. Unfortunately it’s all you’ve got to work with.1/5

Limited: Slightly better here, and good as apart of the Pidgeot line, but otherwise it doesn’t have a whole lot of uses. 1/5

Modified: If it’s first attack did 20 damage more, or cost one energy less, I could see it. Unfortunately, at only 20 damage, it’s probably not worth your time. The L weakness doesn’t help either. 2/5

Limited: I could see this being good. The damage output is still low, but attaching two energy is much more difficult in this environment than it is in modified. Second attack isn’t exactly the greatest, but not the worst either. Worth playing. 3/5

Modified: Just like most Kangas cards, this one is chock full of over-costed attacks that require massive amounts of luck to make viable. 1/5

Limited: Slightly better here, but as long as you’ve got the slots, Pidgeot does a much better job. Definitely wouldn’t be a first pick. 2/5

Modified: Not a whole lot of uses here. The snipe factor is cool but way overcosted at CCC. 1/5

Limited: Much better cards to do what you need to do. Again, sniping is cool but far too overcosted. 1/5

Modified: This could have some fun uses. Some kind of energy acceleration engine and I could see this doing well at league. Low HP and a bad weakness prevent it from achieving modified greatness, though. 2/5

Limited: Doesn’t have enough HP to warrant playing it for the second attack, and with no energy acceleration you won’t get the benefits of the first attack either. 1/5


Modified: There are no other Venonats in modified, and I don’t see Venomoth becoming competitive, so…1/5

Limited: Slightly better here, worth a look if you get a heavy line in your sealed pool, but it wouldn’t be one of my first choices for drafting. Useless as a throw-in. 2/5

Modified: The power is so useless I can’t even say. Attack is also way overcosted. Can’t see this becoming competitive. 1.5/5

Limited: As I said with Venonat, it’s certainly better than it would be in Modified, but I can’t see it being playable here either. 2/5

Modified: In the current format I’m not sure which is better, the ability to gust, or preventing your opponent’s active from using powers. It’s a toss-up depending on your meta, I suppose. 2/5

Limited: Not a bad card at all. Victreebell is good here, and even as a throw-in, it’s one of the better choices you could make in G. 3/5

Modified: I guess if you’re forced to attack with a Victreebell, you’d probably want to use the LA one. Hopefully it won’t come to that, though. 3/5

Limited: Same as above, really. 4/5

Modified: A few people are high on this card, but I’m not really seeing it. The body is cool for what it is, and the attack isn’t outright bad, but there are better choices. I’ve heard some talk of this being used in a Vileplume variant, but, when coupled with much better cards (namely Jumpluff and Gengar), Vileplume hasn’t made much of an impact anyway. 2/5

Limited: Pretty good here. Retreating is a more more useful tactic in limited as energy isn’t worth as much, and sniping/gust/other shenanigans aren’t as prevalent. The attack is also pretty decent, and couples with the body well. Worth a pick. 5/5

Modified: Not much use here. The gust is cool, but there are much better ways to get you there. 1/5

Limited: Not a bad throw-in, but at CC retreat it’s not the best choice you can make. Wouldn’t draft it, would consider throwing it in if my sealed pool was weak. 1/5

Modified: No use here, much better choices, etc. 1/5

Limited: Useless as a throw-in, and I’m not high on Kricketune here. 1.5/5

Modified: The other one is probably better, unless you have extreme amounts of luck. 1/5

Limited: The slowness factor is lessened here, but again, it’s extremely dependent on luck, and far from the best choice you can make. 2/5

Modified: This one combos well with Yanmega Prime, but I’d much rather use any of the others. 1/5

Limited: Not much use here, useless as a throw-in. 1/5

Modified: I’ll never understand the idea that, when putting out a super rare version of a card, a regular rare version that’s almost always much worse should be printed. No point at all here. 1/5

Limited: Not the worst choice, but I fear it’s HP is too low, without sufficient damage output to make up for it. 1/5

pokebeach.comYanmega Prime
Modified: I’m more positive about this guy than most reviewers I’ve seen, and I’m not even all that positive about it, haha. It’s attacks are neat, but why pay 0 for these attacks when you can pay one for ones that are nearly as good, and 2 for attacks that are strictly better? It abuses cards like Judge which is nice, but I don’t see the payoff being worth the trouble. Not to mention the fact that Dialga G obliterates it. It’s probably worth testing a bit, but I doubt it’ll become a major force.2.5/5

Limited: I don’t see many ways to manipulate hand size in this format, but I suppose with much less draw and search, your hands have the possibility of staying relatively the same anyway? Not sure. You could also pay for it’s attacks, as they’re not terrible, just not good either. 2/5

Illumise & Volbeat
Modified: Not seeing the use here. These cards are always fun, and I could see building some kind of swarmy-deck for league, but I doubt it’ll make a splash in competitive play. 1/5

Limited: These guys are great here, especially at common. Grab a bunch of both and go wild! Definitely one of the stronger archetypes, but limited by the need to open/draft quite a few of each to make it viable. 3.5/5

Celebi Prime
Modified: It has it’s uses, and it’s power is strong enough that I won’t discount the possibility of it potentially being combo’d with something that’ll break it, but off hand it doesn’t really appeal to me. Attack is useless. 3/5

Trainers & Energy

Black Belt
Modified: So many uses here. Because of it’s prerequisites it’s not for every deck, but this card, along with Twins, gives slower decks a chance in this format. This card in particular helps tankier decks like Steelix, T-Tar, and maybe even Dialga G. Fantastic card, and totally abusable. 4/5

Limited: You might as well throw this card in. No reason not to. Not sure if I’d run more than two, but who knows. Definitely usable. 5/5

Indigo Plateau
Modified: Much like Bronzong, this card is directly dependent on how good the LEGEND cards are. Right now I don’t see any of them being particularly amazing, so this card is just that. If great LEGEND cards get released, this card will also probably be held on that level. Endless potential, really. 3/5

Limited: I guess you should play this if you’re playing LEGEND, but I don’t see many situations where that will be either practical or viable. 1/5

Junk Arm
Modified: This card, like Black Belt, is great in some decks. Obviously it suits Gyarados well, and I could see some SP builds including it. It’s not a format staple, but where it belongs it’ll be great. 3.5/5

Limited: Being that there’s only one trainer in this set, I don’t see much of a use. 1/5

Modified: This card was 100× better when Lost World was in the set, but that’s not to say it’s not viable now. The number of different uses for this card is staggering, so much so that I can’t even go into them all now. Obviously getting to re-use coming-into-play powers like Set-Up and Time Walk is great, and this card also helps out donk decks. Not to mention the fact that it’s essentially a guaranteed SSU for the decks that benefit from that. Not quite a Poké Turn, but almost. 5/5

Limited: Like most trainers, you might as well play it. Not as useful as in Modified, but worth including as a 1-of. 3/5

Modified: In my opinion this is the best card in the set, or at least tied for that title with Seeker, and definitely one of the best cards to be printed in a long time. Like Black Belt, this card helps slower decks become more viable in a speed based format. It’s a 2-of in almost any slower deck, in my opinion. 5/5

Limited: Like all of them, you might as well play it. 5/5

Alph Lithograph
Modified: One of the better Alphs, but that’s not saying much. We already have a searchable version of this card that fetches you Pokémon out of your prizes, so I don’t see many uses for this.2/5

Limited: This is probably the only trainer card I would consider not playing, but I suppose it could be useful. 1/5

Rescue Energy
Modified: Such a good card. The obvious combo is Gyarados, but I’m sure as time goes on we’ll see many more uses. I could see this becoming a near-staple. 3/5

Limited: Again, you might as well throw it in.4/5

Hope you enjoyed the reviews! Check back next week as I go over the remaining cards!

Reader Interactions

19 replies

  1. Jonathan Wiley

    Not saying this is an amazing card by any standard, but Aggron has been amazingly fun to play. I have paired him with Crobat G to put the damage counter on my opponents active making him do 80 for three energy (first attack btw), which still imo seems a bit low (90 after the whole trans action). I play him with Skarmory – UD to search for the metals early, it helps with the speed – but is still consistently slow. But still its a fun play deck.

    I have also been curious about Mamoswine, I’ve watched to play him with Floatzel to see if that deck can’t get up and running rather quickly. I doubt it will work but after work and on week-ends I have a bit of free time so I may make it and take it to my league to play around for fun.

    Getting a bit tired of running my main deck so these new little test decks are always fun :) Nice article btw. Glad you included both Modified and Limited Formats!

  2. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    What kind of limited format are you rating for? Draft??? Who does that?

    In the standard ‘here’s your packs, go make a deck’ pre-release, Lickilicky is an absolute game-winning beast.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Jak

      I’m talking about draft, which is my favorite limited format, and a format I wish Pokemon would get behind further. The only time we do sealed here is at a pre-release, whereas drafts happen as side events at bigger tournaments.

  3. Clinton Chan

    People at the store I go to almost draft regularly every week. This set is annoying because you don’t want to take the first prize and then get countered by Twins/Blackbelt.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Clinton

      Yeah, Twins and Black Belt along with Volbeat/Illumise make this a really unbalanced draft set. I X-0’d my draft with like…8 Volbeat, 8 Illumise, 2 Twins, 2 Black Belt, 20 G, heh.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Clinton

      Yeah, Twins and Black Belt along with Volbeat/Illumise make this a really unbalanced draft set. I X-0’d my draft with like…8 Volbeat, 8 Illumise, 2 Twins, 2 Black Belt, 20 G, heh.

  4. thomas clip

    Dragonair was my search power at the prerealese I went to.

  5. billy fischer

    having heatran lvx would be good for dialga palkia legend’s second attack. if you set it up correctly you could be adding two prize cards every turn.

  6. Perry Going

    Victreebel is actually very good. like Gliscorlock it takes a long time to win but pairing it with vileplume and LA Victreebel can be really annoying.

  7. Profile Deleted

    Modified: I guess if you’re forced to attack with a Victreebell, you’d probably want to use the LA one. Hopefully it won’t come to that, though. 3/5

    What is with that score? The comment sounds like 1/5

  8. Quarter-Turn

    Funny how Yanmega Prime turned out to be such a great card.

Leave a Reply

You are logged out. Register. Log in.