- The Scarlet & Violet 151 set features Abilities that provide unique utility to beloved Generation One Pokemon, such as healing, damage reduction, and HP increase.
- For instance, the Ability Restart, found on Mew ex, allows players to draw cards until they have three, providing valuable draw power in the fast-paced Pokemon TCG.
- Kabutops’ Ancient Way Ability can increase damage output by changing a x2 weakness to a x4 weakness, making it a formidable addition to decks focused on a single type.
The Pokemon Trading Card Game is at an all-time high, with amazing sets coming out every few months and the meta evolving into a healthy balance of various strategies being competent. Pokemon as a franchise will always have a soft spot for the original 151 Pokemon as they are the most popular and memorable. This trend seems to be prevalent in the TCG as well.
The Scarlet & Violet 151 set includes a card for each beloved Generation One Pokemon. That’s a fun set, if not a bit redundant, as the original set of Pokemon gets the most spotlight anyway. To keep things interesting, there are some very unique Abilities on these cards. It should be noted that this list is a ranking of the Abilities alone, as many things factor into how good a card is, which will not be taken into account here.
10 Tranquil Flower – Venusaur ex
Venusaur has almost always been the least powerful of the original trio of starters in the TCG. However, Venusaur ex may have a chance of changing that, as it aims to be a respectable healer. This is mainly due to its Ability, Tranquil Flower.
Tranquil Flower allows you to heal one of your Pokemon for 60 damage if Venusaur is in the Active Spot. This, while not mind-blowing, can be the perfect utility. Especially when you consider how popular damage-spreading decks such as Lost Mine Sableye are.
9 Solid Shell – Blastoise ex
Blastoise, throughout the game’s history, has been given Energy-accelerating abilities, most popularly, Deluge. However, this set changes things up, focusing the Water-type starter on defense, giving it Solid Shell.
This Ability reduces the damage from attacks by 30, which is not that much on paper but can be amazing under the right circumstances. Stalling in the Pokemon TCG can be absolutely viable, most notably done to perfection by Wailord-EX and Lucario & Melmetal-GX.
8 Expanding Body – Wigglytuff ex
Speaking of walling and stalling your opponent, Wigglytuff throws its hat into the ring with its wild Ability Expanding Body. It simply increases the HP of the Pokemon by 100 if it has any Special Energy attached to it. Despite the consistent power creep of the game, this is a very sizable HP increase.
Wigglytuff ex is not that squishy, to begin with, boasting an impressive 250 HP. That’s a respectable bulk on a Stage One Pokemon, especially when you get the HP bonus from Expanding Body. While the current meta is very fast-paced, this Ability could become very useful as rotation continues.
7 Restart – Mew ex
Mew has had a very successful career in the TCG, with several top-tier cards printed in its name. It seems like the trend continues with this set as well. Restart is a very simple and powerful Ability, allowing you to draw cards until you have three once per turn.
The Pokemon TCG is all about draw power, especially compared to its competitors in Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic The Gathering. Thus, Abilities and cards that let you draw more are almost always useful. From Professor’s Research to Crobat-V, the history of successful Pokemon TCG cards has draw effects all around it. Restart is the latest addition in this tradition and will likely be the most useful Ability of the set by far.
6 Jet Cruise – Dragonite
Switching manually has become less and less common in the Pokemon TCG, as Items, Supporters, and Abilities have taken its place almost completely. That’s mainly because retreating costs Energy, and nobody wants to spend it for little reward. What if it was free, though?
Dragonite’s Jet Cruise simply decreases your Pokemon’s Retreat Cost to zero. This could allow you to play many more Trainer cards instead of ones that make it easier to switch Pokemon. Sure, it’s a simple Ability, but it’s far from useless and could make your deck much more consistent in the right meta.
5 Transformative Start – Ditto
Yet another card that’ll make your deck much more consistent is Ditto, thanks to its unique Ability Transformative Start. Basically, if you have Ditto as your Active Pokemon during your first turn, you can switch it out for another Basic Pokemon from your deck. In other words, you’ll rarely be stuck with a suboptimal setup on your first turn.
The good thing is, Ditto is not a liability either, as you can later discard it for cost on your other cards. A few dead draws in a draw-centric TCG to double your opening setup consistency is invaluable. This is the quintessential tech card and will likely see play in a myriad of different decks.
4 Ancient Way – Kabutops
Pokemon TCG is a game where weaknesses and resistances play a minor role. That’s partly due to a lack of x4 weaknesses. While a few cards toyed around with the idea, such as Uxie from Unified Minds, it’s never been an actual strategy. Kabutops’s Ancient Way may change that to an extent.
Turning a Weakness from x2 to x4 is an incredible increase in your damage output with little effort. Suddenly, your 100 Power attacks are enough to knock out any Pokemon weak to it, no matter how sizable their HP is. Sure, this requires gimmicks like Rapid Strike Kecleon or a meta focused mostly around a single type, but if you know what you’re going against, Ancient Way will boost your damage output like no other Ability.
3 Mimic Barrier – Mr. Mime
Yet another Ability that is somewhat situational but could also shut down your opponent completely is Mr. Mime’s Mimic Barrier. It prevents all damage to Mr. Mime if your opponent’s Active Pokemon has the same amount of Energy attached to itself.
To use it to maximum effect, you should attach Energy to Mr. Mime to match your opponent’s main attackers’ required Energy, either preventing them from knocking you out or forcing them to over-commit Energy. Considering how many top-tier Pokemon specialize in a single attack, Mr. Mime could be a perfectly annoying nuisance to them, letting you disrupt your opponent’s whole game plan.
2 Rocket Call – Persian
Persian is one of the more thematic cards in this set, as its Ability is called Rocket Call and revolves around its iconic portrayal alongside Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket. Rocket Call lets you search your deck for Giovanni’s Charisma and add it to your hand, simple enough.
The Supporter Giovanni’s Charisma is not too shabby either. It bounces one Energy from your opponent’s Active Pokemon and gives you an additional Energy on top of it. This is a very niche Ability, of course, as its success depends entirely on how good Giovanni’s Charisma is. Luckily, it is projected to see decent play, at the very least.
1 Semi/Fully Blooming Energy – Gloom/Vileplume
Energy acceleration and card draw are likely the two pillars of the Pokemon TCG. That’s why Zacian-V ruled an entire era of the game. Surprisingly, Gloom and Vileplume are the best Energy accelerators in this set, with their Abilities of Semi-Blooming Energy and Fully Blooming Energy.
These Abilities let you look at the top three and eight cards of your deck, respectively, then attach any number of Basic Energy you find there to your Pokemon as you wish. This would have been an instant classic a few years back, but it’s still quite strong nowadays. Especially if these Abilities get printed on better cards or Basic Pokemon, we’ll see them make a mark in the meta for sure.
Next: Pokemon Cards That Tell A Story