Hello 6P! Welcome back to another article by yours truly! The Sword & Shield era for the TCG is finally upon us, and it brings a breath of fresh air to the Standard format. Every TAG TEAM set had a major impact in the metagame with super powerful Pokémon and their attacks. Sword & Shield’s impact is different in that it brings in a more balanced mechanic with Pokémon VMAX, while giving 2-Prize-worthy Pokémon a much needed boost in order to be able to compete with TAG TEAMs.
Not only that though, Sword & Shield will be known for the next few years as the set that completely changed the dynamic of Standard. The set’s Trainers will unarguably change the format in a big way, especially Professor’s Research and the insane draw power it provides. This card, combined with Dedenne-GX’s Ability, allows you to look at 14 cards in a single turn (draw for turn = 1, Research = 7, Dedechange = 6). Add Jirachi TEU’s Stellar Wish on top of that, or the new Cinccino SSH’s Make Do Ability, and you have card access that is comparable to Expanded. This means players will be hitting their outs more often than not, so our game plan to win any given game has to be flawless.
The new Pokémon V are a bit underwhelming as usual, with some exceptions of course, as is usual with the first set of a new block or generation. I bet you can’t name more than 2 GXs from Sun & Moon’s first TCG set. I definitely can’t. Heck, outside of Lillie, Vikavolt SUM, Alolan Muk SUM, and Tauros-GX, I can’t say much about the set. Sword & Shield will likely have something similar happen to it, but we will be playing Professor’s Research, Marnie, and Zacian V all the way until whatever Generation 9 is called.
And so, where does that leave us for OCIC happening next weekend? New sets always bring uncertainty, but as you may recall from my previous article, there are a few Japanese resources that I have found useful to base assumptions on, and I’m sure other top players find them useful as well.
To read this article, you must be an Underground member.
- Already a member? Log in
- Not a member? Join below ↓
Joining Underground gives you (and a friend!) complete access to our latest Underground articles plus their companion discussion sections to ask our writers questions.
New Underground (i.e., UG/★) articles are published on average 3× per week and are written by our staff of competitors + correspondents who report on an array of topics helpful for any Pokémon TCG player.
Choose a subscription:
Each subscription comes with automatic renewal, but you may disable automatic renewal at any time. If you are not completely satisfied with Underground, you can request a full refund within your first 30 days of joining—no questions asked.
Q. Who writes for Underground?
A. Our current writing staff consists of:
Extended bios can be found on each author page.
Q. When are new Underground articles published?
A. There are on average three (3) new Underground articles published each week, Tuesday thru Thursday, at ~12 PM EST (GMT-5). We schedule more content before major tournament weekends than after, so you may see four articles one week and then only two the next. Our objective is to help you prepare for events. A calendar of upcoming articles and events can be viewed here.
Q. What topics are included in Underground articles?
A. An Underground article could…
- profile the best decks for an upcoming tournament
- discuss how to play the crucial matchups
- analyze decklists
- talk about upcoming card releases
- report on a first-hand tournament experience
- offer tips for high-level play
…or include any combination of above! We cover a range of topics to help competitive players elevate their game. If you’ve never read an Underground article before, start here: these ones are free to read.
Q. Do your articles apply to Juniors and Seniors?
A. While our focus is on Masters play, our commentary is applicable for all age divisions. Many of our writers have earned Worlds invitations as Juniors and/or Seniors, and many have also coached Juniors and Seniors, so we have experience in navigating those divisions. Please ask if you ever read an article and would like to clarify how it applies to Juniors or Seniors.
Q. How can I ask your writers questions?
A. You can connect with our writers in three ways:
- in the discussion sections for each article,
- by messaging through our forum,
- or via social media, like Twitter or Facebook, if the writer mentions they are open to connecting that way.
We encourage you to reach out whenever you have questions.
Q. What happens after I join?
A. The current page will refresh and you will have immediate access to all of our Underground content.
Q. Can I upgrade or downgrade my subscription?
A. Your subscription can be upgraded, downgraded, canceled, or reenabled at any time. If you upgrade, you will be immediately switched over to and charged for the new plan, minus a credit for unused time on your current subscription. If you downgrade, you will be switched over to the new plan after your current subscription ends. To manage your subscription, visit your payment profile.
Q. How do I add a friend to my subscription?
A. To add a friend to an existing subscription, enter their SixPrizes username in the Shared Account field on your user profile. If your friend doesn’t already have a SixPrizes account, they can register free.
Q. How can I request a refund?
A. If you would like to request a refund for your subscription—for any reason—you can do so within your first 30 days of joining Underground. Contact Adam with your account details, and he will issue your refund shortly.
Choose a subscription: