Top 8 Gym Leader Cards in the Pokemon Trading Card Game

Updated on June 23, 2017
Jeremy Gill profile image

In-between Pokemon journeys, Jeremy studies forensics while working part-time.

Gym Challenge and Gym Heroes

Gym Heroes and Gym Challenge introduced Pokemon belonging to the eight Kanto Gym Leaders to the Trading Card Game, a fine way of meshing the video games with the TCG. It was a clever way of reinvigorating fans; now you could collect creatures like Lt. Surge's Pikachu and Blaine's Charizard!

Even though many of us kids didn't even know how to play, we knew we wanted these cards. And each Gym Leader even came as their own Trainer Card to bolster their ensemble! Which ones reigned supreme? Read on to discover the best Gym Leader Trainer cards!

Gym Leader TCG Quiz

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8. Erika

Unlike many of her peers, Erika's power can aid any deck. It allows both players to draw up to 3 cards.

Helpful when you're low on options, but because Erika grants your opponent the same benefit (and they don't have to spend a card to get it), her usefulness dwindles.


7. Misty

Misty simply adds 20 to the damage when one of her Pokemon attacks.

It's a nice way to finish off dangerous foes, but because it forces a discard of two cards, you're usually better served with cards like PlusPower.

Not too bad, but I'd recommend other Misty cards, like Misty's Wrath, which lets you pick 2 of your top 7 cards and add them to your hand, then discard the rest.

Lt. Surge
Lt. Surge

6. Lt. Surge

Another card that works for any group, not just his own Pokemon, Lt. Surge acts similarly to a free retreat; you bench your Active Pokemon and play one from your hand to serve as the new Active Pokemon.

It's a nice way to swap out Retreat Cost-heavy creatures, but because your new Pokemon has to come from your hand (not the Bench), it'll arrive with no energy attached, limiting your options.

Often, it's better to simply retreat.


5. Giovanni

Giovanni accelerates the evolution of his Pokemon. Usually, you can't evolve Pokemon on the turn you play them, and you can only evolve them once per turn; Giovanni removes these limits for creatures bearing his name.

A nice way to rapidly play your strongest Pokemon - just make sure you have the energy for their attacks.


4. Sabrina

Sabrina allows you to transfer the energy from one of her Pokemon to another.

This can help in a variety of ways; for example, when you know your Pokemon is about to feint, you can grant its energy to a teammate to prevent the energy from being discarded.


3. Brock

Brock demonstrates his Breeder skills by removing one damage counter from all members of your team (not just ones carrying his name).

This works especially well when facing (or using) Pokemon who spread damage throughout your Bench. Fighting types excel in this area, often damaging both Benches, making Brock a great addition to their lineup.


2. Koga

Koga simply acts as a free way to Poison a foe when one of his Pokemon attacks them.

Use him to bring down your opponent's HP-tanks much faster.

However, be wary of playing him against Pokemon who have yet to evolve (remember, evolution ends status conditions).


1. Blaine

Fire Pokemon offer great damage, but often must discard energy to fuel their best attacks.

Blaine lets you attach two Fire energy in a single turn(instead of the usual one) to any of his Pokemon, letting you wield their most fearsome abilities much sooner, and quickly recover from energy loss.

Which card do you prefer?

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Your Vote

Hopefully you enjoyed reviewing some classic Trainer cards. Though Gym Leaders from other regions have yet to make an appearance in the TCG, with luck one day we'll see another set of these fun cards.

For now, feel free to vote for your favorite, and I'll see you at our next card countdown!


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