Top 6 Pokemon Cards: EX Ruby & Sapphire Expansion
The EX Ruby & Sapphire Set
Like many kids, I didn't even know how to play the TCG; I just enjoyed collecting and trading the cards. As an adult, I can better appreciate the strategic aspects of the game and still love to scour through cards and find the best of the best.
One of the biggest innovations in TCG history, Ruby & Sapphire introduced powerful EX Pokemon cards, brought in third-generation creatures from Hoenn, and was the first set created by Nintendo rather than Wizards of the Coast. Which monsters reigned supreme? Here are the six best Ruby & Sapphire cards!
- Basic Pokemon can be played from your hand as you like.
- Stage 1 Pokemon are evolutions that must be played on a corresponding Basic Pokemon.
- Stage 2 Pokemon are further evolutions to be played on corresponding Stage 1 Pokemon.
Water/ Stage 1
Sharpedo arrives with only 70 HP. It also has only a single attack and no Resistance. However, it boasts of some impressive traits and a minuscule Retreat Cost:
- Rough Skin (Poke-Body) Inflicts 20 damage to the opponent whenever they damage Sharpedo, even if the attack knocks Sharpedo out!
- Dark Slash (3 Energy) Slices for 40. Also, gives you the choice to discard a Dark Energy card from Sharpedo and deal an additional 30. Note that you don't need a Dark Energy to use the attack itself; Sharpedo fits in fine with pure-Water decks.
Rough Skin is the real prize here. Few attacks of the time could defeat Sharpedo in one hit, meaning it'll likely score at least 40 free damage. Use healing cards to keep Sharpedo alive long enough to do more.
Normal/ Stage 1
Similarly to Sharpedo, Delcatty wields only 70 HP and has no Resistance, but retreats for a single Energy and brandishes powerful abilities:
- Energy Transfer (Poke-Power) Once per turn, you may discard an Energy from your hand to draw three cards, a great way to gain card advantage. Note that this functions from the Bench as well.
- Max Energy Source (1 Energy) Hits for 10 times the amount of Energy on all your Pokemon.
Delcatty gives you a great way to draw cards and can inflict huge damage for only one Energy as you prepare your Benched creatures for battle. Plus, as a Normal type, it can synchronize with any deck.
Dark/ Stage 1
Yet another Stage 1 with 70 HP and a low Retreat Cost, Mightyena also resists Psychic attacks. Check out its impressive moves:
- Intimidating Fang (Poke-Body) As long as Mightyena is your Active Pokemon, reduce damage from your opponent to any of your Pokemon by 10.
- Shakedown (3 Energy) Lands 40 and flips a coin. A Heads randomly discards a card from your opponent's hand.
Mightyena scores some decent damage, reduces your opponent's strength, and discards their cards. Utilize a Double Colorless Energy to access Shakedown quickly.
3. Mewtwo EX
As an EX Pokemon, Mewtwo demonstrates great power but lets your opponent draw two Prize Cards instead of one when defeated. He enters with an impressive 100 HP.
- Energy Absorption (1 Energy) Lets you attach up to two Energy cards from your discard pile to Mewtwo. Note that they don't have to be Basic Energy.
- Psyburn (3 Energy) Simply blasts for 60.
A potent warrior who doesn't rely on chance, Mewtwo quickly amasses Energy, then vanquishes opposition.
Water/ Stage 1
Wailord emerges with incredible HP for a Stage 1 (120) and monstrous moves. Just keep in mind it needs plenty of Energy and has a whale of a Retreat Cost.
- Take Down (3 Energy) Slams for 50, but does 20 to Wailord.
- Surf (5 Energy) Rams for a sweet 70 damage.
Wailord's fearsome attacks can be used sooner with a Double Colorless Energy and will quickly eradicate your adversaries.
Grass/ Stage 2
A personal favorite, Sceptile joins the fray with 120 HP, a Resistance to Water, and two lethal techniques:
- Lizard Poison (1 Energy) Deals 20 damage and applies the following effects based on how much Energy Sceptile has:
1: The opponent falls Asleep
2: The opponent becomes Poisoned
3: The opponent falls Asleep and becomes Poisoned
4 or more: The opponent becomes Asleep, Poisoned, and Burned
- Solarbeam (5 Energy) Scorches for 70.
In short, Lizard Poison lets you utilize an ever-strengthening move that harasses with a variety of status effects, and Solarbeam finishes enemies off with massive damage.
Which card do you favor?
EX Ruby & Sapphire remains one of my favorite expansions. The addition of EX Pokemon coupled with the Hoenn arrivals really made the set, and I appreciated how little the new creatures relied on luck.
Feel free to vote for your favorite Pokemon, and I'll see you at our next card countdown: the EX Sandstorm set!