In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
Pokémon's Best GX Attacks
Like Z-moves in the Pokémon video games, the TCG's GX attacks can only be used once per battle. Yep, you only get one shot with them, so once activated, you can't use any more (even from different Pokémon).
But to compensate, the moves offer fantastic power and devastating effects—which reign supreme? Focusing on the actual attacks (and not so much the card in general), these are the ten best GX moves in the Pokémon trading card game!
10. Celebi and Venusaur-GX
Set: Team Up
Celebi & Venusaur have no resistance and a huge retreat cost, but their 270 HP helps tank hits, and since they're a basic card, they don't need to evolve. Evergeen GX attack deals a large 180 damage and heals your HP, adding even more tanking. Plus, if you have at least one extra Grass energy attached, you shuffle your discard pile into your deck.
This move's tempting even without the bonus condition, and the added effect protects against deck-out losses. Plus, the other two attacks are solid, and all three can benefit from a Double Colorless Energy.
Remember, healing tag-team cards is especially important since your opponent gets three prize cards (rather than two from regular GXs or one from non-GX) when defeated, making this card's full heal especially crucial.
9. Pikachu & Zekrom-GX
Set: Team Up
Pikachu & Zekrom notably have 30 less HP than Celebi & Venasaur, an unfortunate Fighting weakness, and only two moves. But their resistance to Steel and attack power compensate; Tag Bolt GX scores a fierce 200 damage, and if you have at least three extra energy attached, you also hit an opposing benched Pokémon for 170 (ignoring weakness and resistance).
That's a potential 370 spread between two units, and while three extra energy sounds like a lot, it's easy since Full Blitz lets you attach three from your deck. Be sure to use electric supports like "Thunder Mountain ♢" to access the moves quicker.
8. Alolan Golem-GX
Set: Crimson Invasion
Unlike previous cards, as a Stage 2, Alolan Golem needs to evolve twice. He's weak to Fighting and has a terrible retreat price of four, but resists Steel. Heavy Rock GX is weak for its price at just 100, but its brutal effect prevents your opponent from playing cards from their hand during their next turn.
This locks them out of trainer cards, supporters, energy, and more, and it's ruthless when your opponent doesn't have enough energy for their better attacks. Again, use Double Colorless Energy and Thunder Mountain ♢ to access Golem's moves faster.
7. Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX
Set: Cosmic Eclipse
Naganadel & Guzzlord have an awesome amount of HP for a basic at 280, though they're weak to Fairy and have no resistance. GX move Chaotic Order only needs a single energy of any type, but you really want to use it when you have at least one extra Psychic and Dark energy attached (which you'll need for Jet Pierce anyway).
Without the added energy, Chaotic Order simply turns your prize cards face-up, a limited tactical advantage, but with the bonus, you immediately take two prize cards! You're not inflicting actual damage either way, but two prizes means two extra cards in hand plus getting 1/3 of the way to winning.
6. Lucario & Melmetal-GX
Set: Ultra Prism
Considering their 260 HP, resistance to Psychic, and GX move, Lucario & Melmetal excel at tanking. Full Metal Wall GX deals no damage but reduces the damage your Steel Pokémon take from opposing attacks for the rest of the game by 30! The move only needs a single energy of any type to use, but if you have at least one extra (of any type) attached, you also discard all energy from the opposing active Pokémon!
Achieving both effects only takes two energy and can make opposing two-hit-kills need three turns instead. In the meantime, Lucario and Melmetal can start attacking with Heavy Impact, or use Steel Fist to search more energy if needed. A staple in my own Steel decks, this is one of the cheaper tag-teams, costing just five dollars!
Set: Ultra Prism/Forbidden Light
Palkia's two versions are the same card but type-shifted; choosing one depends on whether you want a Dragon or Water-type (both need Water energy) and whether you prefer Fairy or Grass weakness. Either way, Zero Vanish GX requires five energy (four with a Double Colorless), but hits for a solid 150 and shuffles all energy from opposing Pokémon (including benched) into their deck!
This disrupts your foe's entire squad and makes it hard for wounded units to retreat. Sure, getting that much energy on Palkia normally would take time, but his Spacial Control move transfers energy from your bench and Hydro Cannon strengthens based on his Water energy, making it worth the effort.
Set: Ultra Prism/Forbidden Light
Similarly to Palkia, Dialga lets you choose between a Dragon or Steel version and a Fairy or Fire weakness. But this time, the Forbidden Light version has the small advantage of Psychic resistance where Ultra Prism has none. Either way, you'll need Steel energy (five total or four with a DCE) to use Timeless GX, which nets a solid 150 and gives you an extra turn!
Extra turns are rare and powerful effects, offering consecutive attacks, energy, supporters, and more. I'm not as fond of Dialga's other moves as I am Palkia's (Overclock draws cards while Shred deals modest damage), but there's no denying his GX's power. And as great as Dialga and Palkia are, they work even better when allied with...
3. Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX
Set: Cosmic Eclipse
The creation trio unite for this whopping powerhouse. It's a Dragon-type whose attacks rely on Water and Steel energy, meaning you need to delve into two elements. There's also no resistance, a weakness to Fairy, and a three-cost retreat.
Thankfully, both attacks impress. Altered Creation GX only needs one Steel and permanently increases the damage your team's attacks deal to opposing actives by 30! Plus, if your trio has at least one Water energy, whenever your attacks knock out opposing actives, you take an additional prize card!
This stacks with the bonus prize from GX cards, meaning you'll nab three cards by eliminating GX Pokémon or four by taking down tag-teams.
Set: Forbidden Light
Ultra Beast Naganadel-GX has to evolve from Poipole and doesn't resist anything, but has solid 210 HP, a low one-cost retreat, and only one of his attacks actually needs Psychic energy. Stinger GX accepts three of any type, and while it doesn't deal damage, it shuffles all remaining prize cards into both decks, then sets three face-down prizes for each player.
Talk about a comeback option; you can be losing 5-0, then immediately equalize things to an even 3-3. If you're already winning, simply avoid this attack and save your one GX move for someone else.
As for other movers, Naganadel's Beast Raid isn't great (20 per Ultra Beast you have in play), but Jet Needle can hit for 110 with just two energy if you have a DCE. Either way, thanks to Naganadel's low retreat, you can easily swap him out after using Stinger, and you can even try him in non-Psychic decks if you're willing to forgo Jet Needle.
Set: Shining Legends
This amazing card excels almost everywhere. Zoroark needs to evolve from Zorua, but has workable 210 HP, a resistance to Psychic, and a decent retreat of two. Better yet, his Trickster GX simple uses an attack from any opposing Pokémon! Yep, you can steal any move (including GX attacks) and you can pilfer from either the active Pokémon or the bench. This often accesses four or five-energy power plays with just two Dark and makes opponents think twice before evolving.
Zoroark also wields the excellent Trade ability, letting you discard a card each turn to draw two. His Fighting weakness is unfortunate and Riotous Beating isn't great (though it doesn't need much energy), but those are nitpicks for an outstanding card.
Using GX Attacks in the TCG
When considering deck members, don't put too much emphasis on GX moves—you get one per game at best—but their power can make or break your duel. As always, pay attention to energy costs and whether it's worth evolution hassles to access a move, but for now, vote for for your favorite attack and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
Dakota Kennedy on December 04, 2019:
I love the cards