There are few things in life that make people feel truly united. And when people do find themselves gathered under one single banner, that unity is most often rooted in 1 of 2 emotions. Either great appreciation and love, or an immense hatred and resentment. This past week in the Pokemon TCG and Pokemon TCGO community, there has been 1 movement that people find themselves backing. And this time, it hasn’t been out of appreciation and love.

Across all of Pokemon TCG social media, people have been calling for Arceus, Dialga, & Palkia-GX (Pokemon code cards are in Cosmic Eclipse set) to be banned from the Standard Format. I’ve been playing since 2015, and ever since then on a regular basis I’ll find a post online almost weekly of someone complaining about how 1 card is too good, or this specific card invalidates another card that would otherwise be good.

I think ADP’s real power is amplified by the general speed and “turbo” nature of the Standard Format. With powerful draw based abilities like Crobat V’s (Pokemon TCG Codes are in Darkness Ablaze set) Dark Asset and Dedenne-GX’s Dedechange, players often find themselves seeing a large portion of their deck every turn. In order to keep up with your opponents pace, it almost isn’t even an option not to use these powerful support Pokemon.

ADP decks on online TCG decks can close out games in just 3 turns. Turn 1, Altered Creation is totally feasible with Metal Saucer and Energy Switch, turn 2 Ultimate Ray to KO a Dedenne-GX or a Crobat V, and then on the 3rd turn, close out the game with a Boss’s Orders (Pokemon TCG Online Codes are available in Trainers Toolkit) onto a 2nd one of these bench-sitting support Pokemon. And let’s be real, it really isn’t fun to lose like this! ADP decks can totally ignore whatever your actual strategy is, by gusting around your main attacker in the active spot and targeting a benched Pokemon that you felt forced to play in order to keep up. And even if you try and play around this strategy by not benching a Crobat V or Dedenne-GX, and well timed Mawile-GX (which most ADP lists are including currently) can ruin that plan.

Arceus, Dialga, & Palkia-GX is extremely strong, but do I think it is worthy of a ban in the standard format? Well sort of. I think a change of pace is certainly in order. 

Our friends in the Pokemon Video Game Championships, or VGC, recently experienced a unique “rotation” of their own with the introduction of Ranked Battles Series 6. This Series is the same format as past Series, but removing 16 of the most used Pokemon in Series 5. I would LOVE to see something similar to this come to the Pokemon Trading Card Game. There are so many unique cards I would love to try, that just get outshined by not only ADP, but the general speed of other decks and cards in the format. 

Currently in the Pokemon TCG there is a new set release about every 3 months that introduces new cards and strategies to the game. And it feels like the same thing always happens, the first 1 or 2 months people are enjoying playing and trying to figure out what decks are most powerful, but then the format begins to feel “solved” in a sense, and for the last month or so players lose interest and start to look forward to the next set. 

I would love to see something implemented by Pokemon in that last month of a format that removes the use of some of the most used cards, not permanently, but until the next set is released. This would leave so much room for experimentation, and provide opportunities for new archetypes to shine, and also keep players interested in the game and not just looking forward to a new set. I agree that ADP is very strong, but I think a change of pace is really what most players are looking for. I think this system could provide that.

Thank you for reading my article!
Chip Richey,
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