Gardevoir ex – Scarlet & Violet 86/198
Date Reviewed: May 16, 2023
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.
Gardevoir-ex (Scarlet & Violet 86/198) hovers around the meta. A Stage 2 Psychic Type with 310 HP, Darkness weakness, Fighting resistance, and a retreat cost of CC, it has an ability and an attack. It’s ability, Psychic Embrace, states that as often as you like during your turn, you may attach a Basic Psychic energy from your discard pile to one of your Psychic Pokemon. If you do that, though, you have to put 2 damage counters on that Pokemon that energy was attached to, and if that Pokemon would be Knocked Out by this ability, you cannot use that ability. Miracle Force costs PPC for 190 damage and also recovers from all Special Conditions from this Pokemon.
So, it seems like Gardevoir-ex was also another anticipated card from the Scarlet & Violet expansion, probably because of the alternate artwork and its card effects. The ability may seem both restrictive – similar to Frosmoth (Sword & Shield 64/202) in some extent – and detrimental, but it is currently one of the few methods of providing unlimited attachments for Psychic energies at least in Standard. The official Pokemon website did have a featured article for Gardevoir-ex, so that might give you some idea on how to use Gardevoir-ex. Based on the list that Tord Reklev has that made him reach second place at EUIC, it makes sense. Rare Candy wasn’t run at a full four, with only two copies. That is because Kirlia (Scarlet & Violet 68/195) has an ability that is very well worth considering without skipping the Stage 1. It’s ability, Refinement, states that you must discard a card to use this ability, and you get to draw two cards. This ability has been seen on many older cards such as Cinccino SWSH, Liepard from Brillant Stars, Zoroark-GX, and even far back with Empoleon (BW Dark Explorers 29/108), so it was nice that another Pokemon can perform the same task. So far, both Kirlia and Gardevoir-ex have great abilities, and I think having one Gardevoir-ex in play should suffice because that ability already provides unlimited energy acceleration, and having more than one in play won’t change anything, so I guess you could make the rest of them Kirlias.
There are several partners that can take advantage of Gardevoir-ex’s Psychic Embrace ability, most notably Cresselia (SWSH Chilling Reign 64/198), another Cresselia (SWSH Lost Origin 74/196), and Zacian-V (Celebrations 16/25). The Cresselia from Chilling Reign is one of the ideal starting Pokemon if you went second as its Crescent Glow can let you search your deck for up to 3 Psychic energies and attach them to 1 of your Pokemon. It also leads to Photon Laser, doing 30 damage plus 90 more if you have at least 5 Energy in play. The other Cresselia’s Moonglow Reverse attack lets you move 2 damage counters from each of your Pokemon to the opponent’s Active Pokemon. With a damaged full bench, that’s 120 damage on the Defending Pokemon and each of your Pokemon heals 20 damage, so to speak. As for Zacian-V, it can be made to be one of the hardest hitters for Gardevoir-ex. Storm Slash can already do 150 damage with a minimum of PPP, but with at least nine Psychic energies and Vitality Band, you could do exactly 340 damage, which is enough to OHKO anything in the game. However, assuming you used your manual attachment and eight more attachments from Gardevoir-ex’s ability, Zacian will be left with 60 HP remaining (down from 220), making it easier for your opponent to finish it off.
Gardevoir-ex is definitely a contender in Standard, though I wonder how it would do in Expanded. There’s Malamar (SM Forbidden Light 51/131) whose Psychic Recharge does a similar thing, albeit without taking damage and can be attached to any Pokemon as long as they’re on the bench. But that ability can only attach a single Psychic energy per ability, so with four Malamars in play, that’s only four Psychic energies at most, while Gardevoir-ex has no limitations. Still, Malamar seems to be a safer option as it is a Stage 1 that gives up only a single prize and is a legal target for Level Ball. Gardevoir-ex may face lots of competition in regards to support, but it does gain a couple more partners to take advantage of. If only Ultra Necrozma-GX was a Psychic type instead of a Dragon type…
*Booster packs before Scarlet & Violet contained 5 commons, but now it contains only 4 commons, making it harder to pull the entire evolutionary line.
We would love more volunteers to help us with our Card of the Day reviews. If you want to share your ideas on cards with other fans, feel free to drop us an email. We’d be happy to link back to your blog / YouTube Channel / etc. 😉Click here to read our Pokémon Card of the Day Archive. We have reviewed more than 4700 Pokemon cards over the last 23 + years!