Tapu Koko Prism Star - 51/181
Tapu Koko Prism Star – 51/181

#2 Tapu Koko {*}
– SM Team Up

Date Reviewed:
February 14, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 4.00
Expanded: 3.50
Limited: 4.00

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

Reviews Below:


Can you believe that the only <Prism> card on the whole list is actually the #2 spot? Gotta hand it to these guys, they sure know how to make a solid <Prism> card. And by that I mean 1 solid <Prism> card. Some of the others seem…disappointing. But let’s not talk about those, cause we’re looking at the great Tapu himself!

…again…this feels familiar.

Tapu Koko <Prism> is a Basic Lightning Pokemon, 130 HP, with a Fighting Weakness, a Metal Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 1. Mach Bolt is just too fast for the human eye to see, so we can’t say for sure whether or not it costs 3 Energy and does 120 damage, but based on eyewitness accounts, they were pretty sure they saw whatever was tossing the Mach Bolt disappear with a set of fiery tracks left in its wake. Certainly that’s one way a bolt of lightning – already traveling so fast – can travel faster than the speed of sound – something it already does technically. How fast is a Mach Bolt you ask? It’s already circled the globe eighty times since the start of this sentence.

Dance of the Ancients though seems to be the more eye-catching part of the card, given that it’s an Ability that discards all the cards from Tapu Koko <Prism> and puts it in the Lost Zone, but before it does so, you get to power up 2 of your Benched Pokemon with Lightning Energy from the discard pile. There’s a little set-up required, but that’s nothing that can’t be easily fixed with some of the Items and Supporters we have in today’s game. If anything, you might have to purposefully try not to put Energy in your discard pile, and that’s just not doing you any favors, especially since you’ll get free Energy acceleration, all for just removing an otherwise okay Pokemon from the game.

The trick might ultimately be seeing if Tapu Koko <Prism> can have a large impact at only one copy, but it does have the advantages of being a Pokemon (and thus retrievable by means of Ultra Ball, which can provide the 2 Energy) and of being a Basic (so you can just play it immediately and use the Ability immediately). So take that however you’d like, since there’s no way you’re gonna be able to take that Mach Bolt. Not that it’ll ever hit you anyway, I think it just goes way too fast.


Standard: 4/5 (no complaints here as to how strong this card is)

Expanded: 4/5 (pretty solid support, and Energy acceleration is really good at any time)

Limited: 4/5 (really depends on what you pull here)

Arora Notealus: Tapu Koko continues to get a lot of love with several cards in recent sets. This is his 5th card printed so far, with 2 copies coming out in the States, 1 copy still sectioned off to Japan, a GX card, and now a <Prism> card. It’s pretty nutty to see how a Pokemon can have so many cards so quickly!



Tapu Koko Prism Star is the runner up of being the 2nd best card of the set. This can be summed up in a sentence: It provides energy acceleration. Not for everybody, though, specifically Lightning energies. Before I get there, it is a Basic Lightning type with 130 HP, weak to Fighting, resist Metal, and a retreat cost of one. Head Bolt does 120 damage for LLC (or LC with Thunder Mountain Prism Star) before factoring in boosting items like Choice Band and Electropower. It might be an alright attacker, but that’s not why it made the list.

Our eyes turn to the ability called Dance of the Ancients. If this Pokemon is in the Bench, you get to pick two of your Benched Pokemon and attach a Lightning energy from your discard pile to each of them. This Pokémon goes to the Lost Zone afterward. This seems like some sort of balancing because it would’ve been too good if it stays. As it stands, this is still a good one-off Energy accelerator that will definitely be worth a slot of your deck that uses Lightning energy. Even if it’s restricted to just Lightning energy, you’re still one step closer to powering up your Pokémon.

I’ve recently pulled one from Team Up booster packs (both IRL and online), so I will definitely experiment it with whatever Lightning deck that I make. I’ve just noticed, Nest Ball can easily fetch Tapu Koko from the deck into the Bench and you can use the ability right away!


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


Tapu Koko Prism Star (TEU 51) dances into the Pokemon Trading Card Game from the Team Up expansion set.  This card has everyone excited because of its ability Dance of the Ancients which allows you to grab two Basic Lightning energy cards and attach them to two of your benched Pokemon (one energy on each of them).  Then, you discard any cards attached to Prism Koko and place it into the Lost Zone.

This is a fantastic energy accelerator, and the best part is that it isn’t a “When you play this card from your hand” ability.  You can put Prism Koko down on your bench and wait as long as you want to use it.  This is especially favorable with Jirachi TEU builds.  You might have a Pokemon KO’d, promote Jirachi, make sure you have two attackers on the bench, activate Dance of the Ancients, activate Stellar Wish, and then proceed to attack.  It’s a really good strategy, and this will only empower Lightning decks that are gaining more prevalence over the past two expansions.

It obviously pairs very well with Zapdos, Pikachu & Zekrom GX, and undoubtedly Raichu GX builds, but I tried it for a couple of games in a (you guessed it) Blissey Magnezone deck.  I actually found that I didn’t use it in either game because I couldn’t find space for it on the bench.  I was playing Dragonite and Fairytales (Alolan Ninetales GX LOT).  In the first match, I had Dragonite, Fairytales, Maggie, Blissey, and an open spot on the bench.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t put Koko Prism down on the bench, execute its ability, and put both Lightning energy on two Blisseys because when I put Koko down that took up my last open spot.  In the second game, I had a chance to put it down at the end of the game and power up two benched Blisseys, but I was in a position where I had a Blissey in the active, and if I use Fisherman to pull the two energies out of the discard, I could actually put seven total energy on my active Blissey, virtually ensuring I would KO the Zoroark GX in the active and win the game (I actually won both games I played with this deck).

So while I didn’t use Koko Prism in either of the matches I played with it, I still think it’s a very good card, just not for Blissey.  I may yet try it in other builds (other than Lightning based builds).  I think it might even pair well with Zeraora GX, you could run a bunch of Shuckle then and put a ton of energy in the discard turn 1 and use Thunderclap Zone and Dance of the Ancients to potentially dump all of that energy in the discard pile back out onto the bench in various locations. 

I haven’t yet tried it with Zapdos … because I still have yet to pull one!  And there is no way I’m paying like 8 packs for a 110 HP Basic that does (at best) eighty base damage.


Standard: 4 out of 5


We’ve been counting down our top 11 picks of SM – Team Up, and second place goes to Tapu Koko {*} (SM – Team Up 51/181)! Once again, this card is all about its Ability, so I’m going to start with that, as it affects everything else. “Dance of the Ancients” states it can only be used when Tapu Koko {*} is on your Bench, once per turn and before you attack. When you use Dance of the Ancients, you choose two Pokémon on your Bench and attach a basic Lightning Energy card to them from your discard pile. Then Dance of the Ancients discards all cards from Tapu Koko {*} and sends it to the Lost Zone. Technically the wording means you could use a second instance of Dance of the Ancients in the same turn but being a Prism Star Pokémon and the last part of the Ability means it is a one-time-only option; you can’t cheat it even with cards like Acerola. Which you probably wish you could do, because it is good Energy acceleration; a little tricky to pull off reliably on your first turn since you need two Lightning Energy in the discard, something Active (preferably that you can easily retreat) and two worthwhile recipients on the Bench for the Energy. As a [L] Pokémon, Tapu Koko {*} can take advantage of recent [L] Type support, and if you risk using it to attack might even be useful for exploiting some Weakness without having to worry about Type-specific counter effects or Resistance in Standard, and barely having to worry about them in Expanded.

Being a Basic is mandatory for Prism Star Pokémon, but that’s Tapu Koko’s normal Stage anyway; it makes Tapu Koko {*} easy to slip into decks and fast to the field. It may also get it stuck as your opening Active, which could be an issue. 130 HP is around the point where it becomes slightly more likely a Pokémon survives an attack than to be OHKO’d, so Tapu Koko {*} is neither durable nor fragile. That is an overall view, though; don’t count on surviving a hit from most decks once they’ve in full swing. [F] Weakness means they have an easy time scoring a OHKO, while [M] Resistance means they have a slightly better chance of falling short. A Retreat Cost of only [C] is good, but can sting a bit in situations like opening with Tapu Koko {*}; kind of stinks having to waste an Energy attachment, an Escape Board, etc. to get Tapu Koko {*} back to the Bench so you can use its Ability. There is a chance you might want to attack with Tapu Koko {*}, though; for [LLC] it can use “Mach Bolt” to do 120 damage. It is a solid return for the Energy but nothing special as far as recent Basic [L] Type attackers, and remember that Tapu Koko {*} isn’t that durable and you’ll just be discarding whatever is attached to it if it does survive and you later use the Ability.

Pretty clearly, Tapu Koko {*} is a must run for most, if not all, [L] decks from now on. On its own, it just provides really good Energy acceleration; when you start working in combos, it escalates to greatness!  Use it on its own.  Use it with more general forms of Energy acceleration like Counter Energy, Counter Gain, or Double Colorless Energy.  Use it with Thunder Mountain {*}.  Even in a deck with serious, reusable Energy acceleration like Vikavolt, use it to accelerate Energy before Vikavolt can hit the field or as a fallback if your only Vikavolt is KO’d or just because some attacks can make use of both of them in the same turn!  You’ll notice a lot of the Energy acceleration I mentioned doesn’t actually care about the Type of Pokémon involved.  So far, I’ve only run into Tapu Koko {*} backing attackers like Rayquaza-GX or Zapdos (SM – Team Up 40/181; SM – Black Star Promos SM159), but I’m curious what it could do for decks with many [XC] or [CC] attack costs, like many Standard Format single-Prize damage spread decks or even classics in the Expanded Format like Night March!


Standard: 4/5

Expanded: 3.5/5

Limited: 4/5

As the above scores tell you, Tapu Koko {*} should have a pretty significant effect not only on the Standard Format but in Expanded too. So many [L] and [C] Energy costs it can help with, which means it also should be great for Limited Format play, as well! I haven’t pulled or traded for one of these yet, but I’ve run into a couple decks using Tapu Koko {*}, and I was impressed.

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