The next booster pack expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game is set to drop on Aug. 14, with a battle box being released on Aug. 1. Sword & Shield – Darkness Ablaze will have seven Pokémon VMAX cards, 14 Pokémon V cards, 17 Trainer cards, four Supporter cards, and three new Special Energy cards. As you can guess from the name, this expansion is designed for strengthening Dark Pokémon and dark builds. Here is our list of the 10 best or most valuable cards in the expansion for the trading card game. All of these cards have benefits that allow them to do well on their own, but they really shine when used in a dark type deck build.
This Pokémon has 180 base HP and the Night Asset ability. When you move this card from your hand onto the bench, you can use Night Asset to draw cards until you have six in your hand. It also has the Poison Fang attack, which can do 70 damage and poison’s your opponent’s active Pokémon. This card can set you up for an easy win if you get a card like Piers early on. You can use Piers to pull Crobat V and use Night Asset to pad your hand.
Eternatus capitalizes on dark pokémon. This is the card to have if you are creating a dark deck. Eternatus has 340 HP, Infinity Zone, and Dread End. If all of your pokémon in play are dark type, then Infinity Zone allows you to have up to eight dark type Pokémon on the bench. Dread End does 30 damage for each dark type Pokémon you have in play. This card can expand your strategic options with dark type pokemon and do massive damage to your opponent. This is especially useful with pokémon like Hoopa and Galarian Zigzagoon, which rely on the bench to do extra damage.
This card will allow you to capitalize on the more valuable pokémon found in this pack. Turbo Patch lets you flip a coin, and if it lands on heads, you can take a basic energy card from your discard pile and attach it to any pokémon except for GX pokémon. You can use this to circulate energy back into your team and dish out more attacks without worrying about when your next energy card will pop up in your hand.
Rose is a trainer card that will let you throw out your hand and get you some extra energy when you need it. With Rose, You can choose two Basic Energy from your discard pile, attach them to one of your VMAX pokémon, and then you must discard your entire hand. Extra power can be useful in a pinch when you desperately need a VMAX pokémon to move. This card is especially useful with pokémon like Malamar VMAX to do extra damage or use special abilities. When combined with Rose Tower, this card will allow you to throw out a bad hand and replace it with a fresh one.
The Rose Tower stadium pairs perfectly with the Rose Trainer. When the stadium is in play, each player can draw from their deck until they have at least three cards in their hand. This can be a huge help if you have just discarded your hand using Rose or have just shuffled your deck. It can also give you extra protection from cards like Reset Stamp, which forces you to reshuffle your hand into your deck and draw as many cards as you have prize cards.
This pokémon can ruin your opponent’s day with 320 base HP, Twin Sonic, and Max Wing. Twin Sonic does 40 base damage to two opposing pokémon. Attaching the new Powerful Colorless Energy card further increases the damage by 20 points while also provided colorless energy. While this card can do a ton of damage, it is weak to electric attacks making Zapdos and the Pikachu & Zekrom tag team particularly dangerous to it.
This is a trainer card that can change the flow of the game for you. Piers’ ability allows you to search your deck for one dark pokémon and one energy card. You then reveal the cards you picked, add them to your hand, then shuffle your deck. This is great for making sure you get the dark pokémon or energy card you need immediately. If you have cards like Crobat V or Hoopa in your deck, this card can pull them out of the deck for you to use.
Mimikyu usually has pretty good abilities, and in Darkness Ablaze, it has Heal Stop. Normally players can switch their pokémon to the bench to heal or protect them from further damage. Mimikyu’s ability prevents your opponents’ benched Pokémon from being healed. This is useful for many reasons but mainly prevents your opponent from healing any pokémon you have been chipping away at. It nullifies more powerful, and annoying, cards and abilities like Mallow & Lana and Miraculous Duo.
Hoopa has 120 HP and Does 90 damage with the attack Assault Gate. This card can do some serious damage but only under certain circumstances. Assault Gate will not activate unless the card is moved from the bench to an active spot during the same turn. This card pairs very well with Hide Darkness Energy as it reduces retreat cost to zero for the pokémon it is attached to.
Hide Darkness Energy
This is an Energy card that is really beneficial if you frequently switch your pokémon to and from the bench. When attached to a dark pokémon Hide Darkness Energy will drop the pokémon’s retreat cost to zero. It also provides darkness energy while it is attached to a dark pokémon. This card works best when combined with pokémon like Hoopa, Darkrai, and Galarian Zigzagoon. Between this card and Darkrai, you could potentially make the retreat cost for your entire team 0. You can also use this card to chip away at your opponent’s stronger pokémon with Hoopa or a Galarian Zigzagoon, thanks to their own unique abilities.