Galarian Rapidash
Galarian Rapidash

Galarian Rapidash
– Sword & Shield

Date Reviewed:
March 10, 2020

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 3.00
Expanded: 3.00
Limited: 4.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

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Galarian Rapidash (Sword & Shield 082/202) is the Galarian form of the original “Kantonese” (?) Rapidash we all know from Gen I.  Galarian Rapidash evolves from Galarian Ponyta, and you cannot alternate between the two regional variants.  As far as TCG mechanics are concerned, they are completely unrelated.  Hypothetically, future card effects could change this, but it would be the card’s effect and not something inherent to TCG mechanics.

Galarian Rapidash is a [P] Type.  You don’t need to sweat anti-[P] Type effects, and can benefit from [P] Type support in Standard (with more of it in Expanded).  Not much worthwhile Weakness to exploit among the newest cards, but also no Resistance.  [P] Resistance is one of the more common amounts pre-Sword & Shield, and exploiting the [P] Weakness found on “older” Psychic Types like Mewtwo & Mew-GX can be very, potent.  It can be confusing to be a Psychic Type, but also rewarding.

Being a Stage 1 is okay; not as fast or easy to run as a Basic, but better than being a Stage 2, let alone the more specialized Stages (Restored, BREAK, Mega, and VMAX).  100 HP is an easy OHKO while Active and still somewhat vulnerable on your Bench.  [D] Weakness may be an issue; it isn’t a huge part of the metagame but it is part of it.  [F] Resistance doesn’t mean much right now, but after the next set it may once again matter.  Its Retreat Cost of [C] is easy to pay most of the time.

Galarian Rapidash has one Ability and one attack.  The former is “Pastel Veil”, which not only prevents Special Conditions from applying to your Pokémon, but removes any that are already in effect.  The latter is “Psychic”; this version of the classic attack costs [PC] to do 30 damage plus another 30 per Energy attached to your opponent’s Active.  Simply put, these are good!  Pastel Veil could be amazing if we enter a Special Condition heavy metagame.  Psychic is handy for Energy-laden and/or Psychic Weak targets.

Galarian Rapidash’s main use is for its Ability.  It should be considered for your deck if:

  • You expect a Special Condition heavy metagame
  • You expect a key matchup to hinge on Special Conditions
  • Your strategy is very vulnerable to Special Conditions
  • Your deck’s strategy inflicts Special Conditions you don’t want on your own Active

Even if all of these are true, it doesn’t mean Galarian Rapidash is a good fit for your deck.  Maybe you just don’t have the room, or you have another option better suited to dealing with these concerns.  Galarian Rapidash’s Psychic attack can sweeten the deal, but it isn’t good enough to justify things on its own.

As I perused the various high-placing decklists over on LimitlessTCG, I could find only one list containing it.  Andrew Mahone included one in his Snorlax VMAX deck that took 7th-place at the Colinsville, Indiana Regional Championship.  That’s right, an Expanded Format deck!  Though Snorlax VMAX was attacking, he was also walling, and Special Conditions can ruin it for both purposes.  Some competitive decks still utilize tricks like Hypnotoxic Laser; and some rely heavily on them, so a 1-1 Galarian Rapidash line in a deck that also ran Ditto {*} is great insurance.

Even though we’ve only got an example of Galarian Rapidash doing well in Expanded, I think it is about as good there as in Standard.  Standard doesn’t have any critical Special Condition plays right now, but one will show up sooner or later.  Expanded offers more combo opportunities for Galarian Rapidash, but also more counters and competition.  It is a must-run in the Limited Format unless you pull a Basic Pokémon V worth running in a Mulligan build.  Barring that, you’ll want to run Galarian Rapidash and (if possible) a source of [P] Energy so it can at least attack on occasion.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 3/5
  • Limited: 4/5

With no examples of it being used successfully in Standard and only one in Expanded, things might seem poor for Galarian Rapidash, but I believe the card falls squarely into the “good-but-not-great” camp.  It didn’t make my own countdown list, but caught someone else’s eye, so it would have taken 25th-place.

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