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Top 10 "Ace Spec" Cards in the Pokémon TCG

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

How to Play Ace Specs in Pokémon

In the Pokémon TCG, Ace Specs are Trainer cards that offer incredible power with one restriction—you can only have one per deck. And not one per card, but one total, making the choice especially difficult.

With just one copy, you can't count on always drawing Specs, but when you do, you'll obtain a huge advantage that doesn't expend your once-per-turn supporter card—which reign supreme? These are the ten best Ace Specs in the Pokémon trading card game!

Crystal Wall tcg

Crystal Wall tcg

10. Crystal Wall

Set: Boundaries Crossed

Bad news is, Crystal Wall can only be attached to Black Kyurem-EX. And his two EX cards are only of moderate power, needing multiple energy types and having substantial retreat costs.

However, whether or not you like the Black Kyurems, Crystal Wall boosts their 180 HP to 300, likely tanking another hit or two before fainting. 120 HP in one card is a tempting boost, but you might prefer White Kyurem's equipment...

Crystal Edge tcg

Crystal Edge tcg

9. Crystal Edge

Set: Boundaries Crossed

Another specifically-designed tool, Crystal Edge will only attach to White Kyurem-EX, whose two renditions are both playable if not game-breaking. But Edge lets Kyurem's attacks deal an extra 50 per hit, a large enough boost to possibly reduce your kill turns by one or even two.

Definitely the better boost compared to Wall, but the fact that it can only benefit White Kyurem-EX (and not his later versions) hinders it in modern games.

Gold Potion tcg

Gold Potion tcg

8. Gold Potion

Set: Boundaries Crossed

Like Crystal Wall, Gold Potion offers a powerful defensive ability, but this time, it can be used on anyone. It simply heals 90 damage from your active Pokémon, a big recovery for when the card released. Timed right (no use using the card if 90 HP isn't enough to block another hit), this can let your key fighters continue for an extra round or two.

So while helpful, Gold Potion ranks lower because of useful alternatives (Max Potion, Lana, etc.) and power creep; healing 90 isn't as good as it used to be, and the fact that you can't use it on your bench can be problematic.

Scoop Up Cyclone tcg

Scoop Up Cyclone tcg

7. Scoop Up Cyclone

Set: Plasma Blast

Cyclone returns a Pokémon and all its attached cards back into your hand. You'll have to reattach energy if you want to use it again, but this can deny your opponent prize cards by saving weakened units. It also lets you reactivate abilities that trigger when placed on the bench.

Perhaps Cyclone's biggest failing is that it barely outclasses supporters Acerola (who has the same effect but requires your active to be damaged) and Az (who only scoops the Pokémon, not attached cards). It's definitely better and saves your supporter play, but there's probably better options with cards like...

Master Ball tcg

Master Ball tcg

6. Master Ball

Set: Plasma Blast

Like other Poké Ball variants, the Master Ball helps add Pokémon from your deck to your hand. But where other tools have restrictions or rely on chance, the Master Ball simply tutors any one Pokémon, no strings attached (other than using your Ace Spec slot).

Again, the only problem here is that there are plenty of non-Ace alternatives (Net Ball for Water decks, Ultra Ball for most others), but it's still a viable option for evolution-based builds that need to hunt specific units.

Life Dew tcg

Life Dew tcg

5. Life Dew

Set: Plasma Freeze

If the Pokémon Life Dew boosts faints, your opponent takes one less prize card, making them work that much harder to beat you. Pretty cool, especially since you can attach Dew to benched allies and it applies will all types of fainting (like self-inflicted or poison damage).

There's no immediate effect, so opponents can render it moot with cards like Field Blower, but it's still a valuable option that works in any deck.

Rock Guard tcg

Rock Guard tcg

4. Rock Guard

Set: Plasma Freeze

If Rock Guard's bearer is damaged by an opposing attack, that attacker receives 60 damage! That's a sizable counterattack even in current play, it still triggers if your Pokémon faints, and it only harms opposing attackers (collateral damage from allies won't activate it).

If only Pokémon could have multiple tools attached, you could use Rock Guard in tangent with HP-boosting items for a fierce combo; as is, blend with recovery effects and high-HP units like Tag-Team cards for maximum output.

Many of the best Ace Spec cards cost $10 or more, so I recommend Guard for budget players since it costs less than $7!

Scramble Switch tcg

Scramble Switch tcg

3. Scramble Switch

Set: Plasma Storm

Scramble Switch offers two benefits in one. First, it switches your active fighter with a benched ally, letting you avoid energy loss on high-retreat Pokémon. Then, you can attach as many energy as you like from your previous active to your new one!

This goes a long way towards reducing prep time and lets you put the energy of nearly-defeated units to good use on a fresh face. With no drawbacks or limitations, Switch makes the best Ace Spec for players uninterested in our following search abilities...

Dowsing Machine tcg

Dowsing Machine tcg

2. Dowsing Machine

Set: Plasma Storm

Dowsing Machine discards two other cards from your hand to reclaim one Trainer card from your discard pile. Your overall hand size decreases, but you can make it up using supporters like Professor Juniper (who discards your hand and draws seven).

That's simply a powerful and versatile play; use Machine to reclaim crucial supporters or one-per-deck prism cards like "Thunder Mountain ♢".

Computer Search tcg

Computer Search tcg

1. Computer Search

Set: Boundaries Crossed

Wielding the same effect as the classic Base Set version of the card, Computer Search discards two other cards to pull any card from your deck. This works similarly to the Ultra Ball card, except you can grab anything, not just Pokémon.

Like Dowsing Machine, you're losing card advantage, but supporters like Professor Juniper or Sycamore will rebound you in no time. Just like that, you've got any card you need, and the discards can actually be used to prep discard-based effects.

Using Ace Spec Cards in Pokémon

Consider your deck's needs when choosing your single Ace Spec; even though some cards are generally superior, others might fit better in your build. Also pay attention to whether an Ace Spec is an attachable tool or a regular item, but for now, as we await Nintendo's next set of one-per-deck Trainer cards, vote for your favorite and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!

© 2019 Jeremy Gill