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Top 6 Pokemon Cards: Neo Discovery Expansion

In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.

The Neo Discovery 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.

Neo Discovery continued what Neo Genesis began, adding new Johto Pokemon to the fray and revising the classic Kanto creatures. The set also introduced several versions of the alphabet-mimicking Unown. So, grab your PokeGear and Net Balls, this is the six best Neo Discovery Pokemon!

Best Pokemon Cards: Neo Discovery

6. Umbreon
5. Scizor
4. Unown N
3. Espeon
2. Beedrill
1. Butterfree


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. This Poliwrath's attribute is..
    • Water
    • Fighting
    • Normal
    • Dark
  2. Which Unown is not in this set?
    • D
    • F
    • M
    • T
  3. Wobbuffet's attack is called..?
    • Counter
    • Reflect
    • Mirror Coat
    • Destiny Bond
  4. Tyranitar's Retreat Cost is how many energy..?
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  5. Which classic Pokemon appears in this set?
    • Magikarp
    • Pikachu
    • Kabuto
    • Snorlax

Answer Key

  1. Fighting
  2. T
  3. Counter
  4. 3
  5. Kabuto

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 1 correct answer: Oopsies.

If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: Not too bad!

If you got 4 correct answers: Well done!

If you got 5 correct answers: Perfect, you know your TCG!

Evolution Stages

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.



6. Umbreon

I love the art on this Stage 1 Pokemon, who joins with a nice 80 HP. Umbreon has a low Retreat Cost, no weakness, and a resistance to Psychic!

  • Bite (2 energy) Chomps for 20, nice while building energy for..
  • Feint Attack (3 energy) Lets you strike any of your opponent's Pokemon for 30, ignoring weakness, resistance, and other factors. Not the highest damage, but a great way to finish off injured foes hiding on the Bench.

A defensive fighter who can choose its target, Umbreon aided many decks.



5. Scizor

Like Umbreon, Scizor races in as a Stage 1 with 80 HP. He resists Grass but takes extra damage from Fire, and his usefulness increases if you're using the Japanese version. More on that in a sec.

  • False Swipe (1 energy) Depletes your foe's current HP by half, rounded down to the nearest ten.
  • Double Claw (3 energy) English versions instruct you to flip 2 coins, dealing 20 damage per Head. Not great, not awful. Japanese editions deal 20 plus 20 more for each of the Heads, a much deadlier blow.

Personally, I think Double Claw was fine in its original print; regardless, Scizor shines for his first technique if nothing else.

Unown N

Unown N

4. Unown N

A fascinating Basic Pokemon meant to support from the Bench rather than actually enter combat, I'd score Unown N as the superior Unown of this set. It wields a puny 40 HP, no resistance, and a weakness to Psychic.

  • Normal (Poke-Power) Works even from the Bench, and reduces the damage by 30 whenever a Normal Pokemon attacks your team! Since Normal Pokemon synergize with any deck, accepting any element of any energy card, Unown N shields your other creatures from commonly-used monsters. The power also functions even if Unown suffers a status condition!
  • Hidden Power (1 energy) Pretty much tickles your opponent for 10 with no extra effect. Yea, keep Unown on the Bench, and beware effects that switch your Active Pokemon.

A unique harbinger of Bench-support, Unown N bolsters any squad.



3. Espeon

Yet another Stage 1 with 80 HP, Espeon possesses no resistance and takes extra pain from Psychic, but can retreat for free!

  • Bite (2 energy) Just like Umbreon's, simply gnaws out 20 damage.
  • Psychic (3 energy) Blasts foes for 30, plus 10 more for each energy on them!

Espeon's free retreat and formidable Psychic earned it a slot in many arrangements.



2. Beedrill

Beedrills swarms in with 80 HP, less adorning on a Stage 2 Pokemon. It's also weak to Fire, but resists Fighting and retreats for free!

  • Triple Poison (1 energy) Stabs for 10. If you win a coin flip, it Poisons your adversary, but instead of dealing 10 damage between turns, the Poison seizes 30 HP, rapidly bringing down any rival!
  • Pin Missile (3 energy) Flips 4 coins and accumulates 20 damage per Heads. It's a more conventional strike useful for finishing off badly-Poisoned enemies.

Beedrill heavily relies on coin flips, but absolutely decimates opponents when it lands them.



1. Butterfree

Just like Beedrill, Butterfree enters as a Stage 2 with 80 HP, a weakness to Fire, a resistance to Fighting, and a free retreat.

  • Magic Dust (2 energy) Sprinkles out 20 damage, then flips a coin. A Heads lets you choose a status to inflict (Sleep, Confusion, Paralyzation, or Poison)!
  • Hyper Reverse (3 energy) Nets 10 damage per energy on the Defending Pokemon and removes the same amount of pain on Butterfree!

A versatile creature who can adapt as needed, Butterfree harasses foes with a plethora of statuses, and finishes them off while healing its wounds.

Your Vote

Hopefully today's list highlighted some awesome Pokemon and let old fans revisit classic cards. I appreciated how Neo Destiny explored new monsters while offering alternatives for older ones as well, and look forward to future sets.

For now, feel free to vote for your favorite Pokemon, and I'll see you at our next expansion countdown: the Neo Revelation set!