Leading the Charge

Zacian/ADP and Mew3/Malamar, My Early BDIFs of Sword & Shield Standard

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.

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