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Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

Ness's Nest
with Jason Klaczynski
September 8, 2010

The Top 50 Pokémon Cards
of All Time
#'s 11 thru 20


Below I've ranked what I believe are the Top 50 Pokemon cards of all time. Now, you're probably wondering, how did I determine which cards were better than others? Well, for each card, I considered three different things:


#1 The Strength of the card

Self-explanatory. How good was the card? Did it win games? Was it easy to counter?

#2 Longevity of the card

Over the card's lifespan, how long was this card good? Some cards were legal for more years than others, so I don't consider a card that was good all four years it was legal much better than a card that was equally good for the two years it was legal. Instead, I try to look at it by averaging its strength over its lifespan, but weighed slightly in favor of ranking the card in its prime.


#3 Versatility of the card

Cards that can be played in more decks are better cards. That's why you'll see a lot of trainers at the top of this list: these cards weren't just good, but they were used to win games in a variety of decks. You'll also see Pokemon that are used for Poke-Powers higher than a lot of Pokemon that require a specific type of energy.


Another way to interpret versatility was if a card was playable in both Standard and Modified. I gave a small bonus to cards that were good in both formats.


Not familiar with Standard and Modified?

Standard is the first tournament format used in the Pokemon TCG. It allowed players to use all Pokemon cards. While it technically still exists today (called "unlimited"), the last legitimate tournament for it was held in 2002, so anything from the first three sets (Base, Jungle & Fossil) rotated out in 2002, as far as me, common sense and this article are concerned. 

Standard Game



The second format, called Modified, began in 2001. The first modified format allowed cards only from the Team Rocket, Gym Heroes, Gym Challenge and Neo: Genesis expansions. In the modified format, the oldest four or five sets rotate out at the end of each year, or "season." This keeps the game interesting and also makes access to tournament-legal cards easier for new players. Modified is the official format of all sanctioned Pokemon TCG tournaments today, and the annual Pokemon TCG World Championships.

Modified Game


Overall, I spent over 16 hours re-arranging and moving cards off & on this list. After all, ranking cards isn't a perfect science. For those of you that are long time players of the Pokemon TCG, you will be taking a trip down Pokemon memory lane. And for the rest of you who never really played competitively, I'm sure you'll still get a kick seeing which cards had the biggest impacts on the game.

Click here to see cards #'s 41-50

Click here to see cards #'s 31-40

Click here to see cards #'s 21-30



#20 Item Finder (Base, Base 2)

Formats legal: Standard (1999-2002)


Item Finder was just one of the many weapons of the speedy decks that dominated the first three years of Pokemon. It allowed players to reuse cards like Professor Oak, Energy Removal & Gust of Wind to keep pressure on their opponent. The card remained strong throughout its entire lifespan.







#19 Garchomp C LV. X (Supreme Victors)

Formats legal: Modified (2009-)


Few decks can keep up with the speed of Dragon Rush. Combined with Energy Gain a single Double Colorless Energy allows you to deal 80 damage to any of your opponent's Pokemon. Not only does Garchomp C LV. X have the best attack in Modified, it also has a Poke-Power that punishes your opponent on turns he cannot score a one-hit KO. Free retreat also allows consecutive turns of Dragon Rush to be possible, as sending Garchomp C LV. X to the bench ends the effect of Dragon Rush. After retreating, you can play a Poke Turn to return your new active SP-Pokemon to your hand, and again promote Garchomp C LV. X.





#18 Jirachi (Deoxys)

Formats legal: Modified (2005-2007)


A great set-up card for Stage 1 decks. Decks used Jirachi's Wishing Star to get what they needed, then used Swoop! Teleporter to turn Jirachi into a different basic and evolve it to speed their evolving up. Jirachi offered decks speed & consistency, two concepts that have won games since day one. 






#17 Rocket's Sneak Attack (Team Rocket)

Formats legal: Standard (2000-2002)


For the year before Cleffa was printed, this card dominated the game. Going first meant using Professor Oak to go through your deck, play as many Rocket's Sneak Attacks until your opponent had no options, then hope to score a quick win before your opponent drew their own Professor Oak or method of getting it. This strategy was employed by almost every top deck at the time. In fact, it was so powerful, I remember adjusting my tournament deck to beat it. The article I wrote (at age 15) is still up on this site: http://www.pojo.com/cardoftheday/1211700DeckReport.html




Eventually, the format would change and Rocket's Sneak Attack would become inferior to Lass.






#16 Double Gust (Neo: Genesis)

Formats Legal: Standard (2000-2002), Modified (2001-2003)


Perhaps some of the ugliest artwork we've ever seen, it may surprise you to see this card so high, but anyone who played the first few Modified formats will remember how strong this card was. The first three years of Modified involved one basic strategy: Build your evolution and Double Gust what your opponent is building, and KO it. You tried to do that before your opponent did it to you. The player that did this first usually maintained control of the game and won. 


This card wasn't used exclusively in modified decks, either. It did occasionally show up in Standard decks, working in decks that ran mostly free-retreating Pokemon. In these decks, Double Gust worked as both a Switch and Gust of Wind card in one. 





#15 Energy Removal (Base, Base 2)

Formats legal: Standard (1999-2002)


One card to waste the one energy your opponent gets to play per turn, Energy Removal is a fundamentally solid card. It allowed speedy decks to run over their slower, evolution-based counterparts. That doesn't mean it wasn't good against other speedy decks as well; Energy Removal was a great card against any deck. The only decks that didn't run it were decks using evolved Pokemon, which didn't have room to fit it in their lists.



 #14 Holon Transceiver (Delta Species)

Formats legal: Modified (2006-2007)


Being able to fetch Holon Mentor, Holon Scientist and Holon Adventurer and Holon Researcher anytime you wanted made Holon Transceiver the best Supporter engine for decks during the 2007 season (and of all time). The card offered decks a tremendous amount of consistency. Not only that, but it let you re-use Supporters. This meant you only had to run one Holon's Scientist.





#13 Uxie (Legends Awakened)

Formats legal: Modified (2008-)


Since it's release, you've seen at least one Uxie in every deck, and you're going to see at least two in every deck now that Claydol has rotated out. Uxie's Set Up is often the first thing decks need to do to "get the ball rolling." It also bails you out when you inevitably draw some otherwise unplayable hands.






#12 Murkrow (Neo: Genesis)

Formats legal: Standard (2000-2002), Modified (2001-2003)


Perhaps the most underrated card of all time. Seeing less play than its dark-type cohort, Sneasel, Murkrow was actually the better card. Murkrow's Mean Look attack could turn a game that was otherwise completely lost into a win. When combined with Slowking or Dark Vileplume, Mean Look could become an attack that would instantly end games. Anything that couldn't damage Murkrow or couldn't do enough damage became Mean Look bait via Gust of Wind. Between its psychic resistance, Energy Removal, and healing cards like Gold Berry, a lot of cards would fall victim to Mean Look, and Murkrow's Feint Attack would wipe out an entire bench. Your opponent's only option was usually Switch or Scoop Up, and you could run Slowking or Dark Vileplume to take this option away.






#11 Double Colorless Energy (Base, Heartgold/Soulsilver)

Formats legal: Standard (1999-2002), Modified (2010-)



Since day one, Double Colorless Energy has powered attacks that would otherwise be too expensive and too slow. As Pokemon released new cards, Double Colorless Energy gained more and more strength. Cards like Scyther, Wigglytuff, Ditto were all one turn faster to attack because of this card. Then, it was re-released in 2010, and sped up some already powerful attacks like Gardevoir's Psychic Lock and Garchomp C LV. X's Dragon Rush. 




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