Standard rotation and Metagame changes: Getting Ready for EUIC! | Pokémon


How’s it going Ultimate Guard readers? We are about to experience our 2024 Standard Pokémon TCG Rotation in early April where we shed all E-block cards, and can now only play F-block on. Beyond a few cards that were cut / added to our global sets, this more or less means we are Brilliant Stars - on (again, check the bottom right hand corner of our cards). 

On top of all of that, we received Temporal Forces, one of the more impactful sets in recent years, and that will certainly change the metagame up approaching the 2024 European International Championships or EUIC for short! In this article, my goal is to explain the major changes to our Standard metagame, and help you on your journey in this new format. There is a lot of ground to cover here, so grab a snack, and let’s learn more about how the metagame changes!

The Standard Rotation is a Big Deal | Pokémon

Arguably a bigger change than the release of Temporal Forces is our Standard Rotation. I could go on and on about each impactful card we lost, but I’ll make it a little more interesting for you - I’ll share the archetypes that are really impacted by major losses.

Gardevoir ex

This deck gets really hurt the most because it loses consistency cards, like Level Ball [Battle Styles] and Fog Crystal [Chilling Reign], but it also loses Gardevoir [Chilling Reign] as a main attacker. While the deck still exists in some capacity Post Rotation, it is more or less a Psychic Toolbox deck that only uses Gardevoir ex [Scarlet and Violet] as a means to power up various Psychic type Pokémon, like Scream Tail [Paradox Rift] and Drifloon [Scarlet and Violet].

Lost Zone Decks

While it isn’t enough to completely stop the engine as a whole, there are many notable losses in terms of key strategy, attackers, and more! Giratina VSTAR [Lost Origin] variants will struggle to find a way to replace Path to the Peak [Chilling Reign] because there isn’t a direct replacement. I’ve seen some lists added in Pokémon League Headquarters [Paldea Evolved], but it doesn’t seem to be the same. All variants will have to deal with the loss of Escape Rope [Battle Styles] to switch in and out of Comfey [Lost Origin], but that might be easy to replace with Emergency Board [Temporal Forces] for that easy pivot option. Many non-Giratina VSTAR builds lose major components of their attackers, like Kyogre [Celebrations] and Dragonite V [Evolving Skies], which means new attackers will have to be found. Outside of builds focusing on Iron Hands ex [Paradox Rift] and Roaring Moon ex [Paradox Rift] or Giratina VSTAR variants, Lost Zone Box decks are really struggling to see success in Japan.

Mew VMAX

Mew VMAX [Fusion Strike] has most components, including all Pokémon, rotate out of our Standard format. After seeing all levels of success, including winning Worlds 2023 in Yokohama, I wish this deck a well deserved rest!

A change for most decks will be the loss of Battle VIP Pass [Fusion Strike], but we can replace that with Buddy-Buddy Poffin [Temporal Forces]. I know that I’m gonna miss grabbing Charmander [Paldean Fates], and Rotom V [Lost Origin], on my first turn, but I’m also hyped to have more options that aren’t as weighted as Battle VIP Pass on the first turn of the game. There are a handful of smaller archetypes, like Zoroark [Evolving Skies] Toolbox that will also be rotated out, and I’m sure we will experience other losses as this format grows. Now we can focus on the changes we receive from the release of Temporal Forces.

Temporal Forces Creates New Archetypes | Pokémon

While it isn’t as big of a change as our Standard Rotation, Temporal Forces is a lively set in the Scarlet and Violet Block, and it brings a handful of changes to our Standard format. At the time of writing, this set still hasn’t been released globally, and we can only speculate on what’s doing well in Japan, testing with proxies, and a few online simulators. Let’s see which new archetypes were created from this awesome set!

Consider organizing your Pokémon TCG Temporal Forces collection in an Ultimate Guard Xenoskin binder to show off your favourite cards. I’m a huge fan of the Blue version of the binder, and all of my cards are well protected!

Lugia VSTAR / Cinccino

Lugia VSTAR [Silver Tempest] isn’t necessarily a stranger to being one of the best decks, but it has been dormant for quite a while. Cinccino [Temporal Forces] changes all of that by giving this deck a Pokémon to load up Special Energies with Archeops [Silver Tempest], a new single Prize Card Pokémon to play around with, and a way to OHKO anything - including Charizard ex [Obsidian Flames]. In the early Japanese metagame, this deck is doing quite well, and many Lugia VSTAR fans are excited!

Ancient Box

Both Koraidon [Temporal Forces], and Roaring Moon [Temporal Forces], are released in this set, and that gives this new thematic archetype a chance to see success! Accelerate Energy with Professor Sara’s Vitality [Paradox Rift] to your various Ancient Pokémon, attack with Koraidon in the early game, build up Ancient cards in your discard pile with Explorer’s Guidance [Temporal Forces], and swing hard with Roaring Moon for OHKOs. There are a handful of different Ancient Pokémon you might wanna play, like Flutter Mane [Temporal Forces] or Slither Wing [Paradox Rift], and that makes discovering this archetype all the more fun! It might take a while to fully understand a complete skeleton, but I’m sure this deck will eventually see success.

Future Box

Like Ancient Box above, Future Box is mainly created out of Temporal Forces, and Miraidon [Temporal Forces] is the biggest reason why. Being able to accelerate two Energy for a single Energy attack gives you a lot of attacking options, and that has mainly led to Iron Hands ex being able to attack turn two. This deck can still turn into a Toolbox archetype, so I’m gonna have to test a bunch of different things heading into EUIC!

I still have a hunch that Gouging Fire ex [Temporal Forces] might end up being better than most think, and maybe Great Tusk [Temporal Forces] lives up to the hype, but we’ll have to wait and see. Right now, the following are some of the best performing decks Post Rotation in our Temporal Forces Standard format:

  • Charizard ex variants
  • Lost Zone Box variants
  • Ancient Box
  • Future Box
  • Lugia VSTAR / Cinccino
  • Chien-Pao ex / Baxcalibur
  • Arceus VSTAR variants
  • Snorlax Control
  • Great Tusk Control
  • Gholdengo ex variants

Since there are about 10 decks that are seeing success above the rest, consider picking up an Omnihive to store all decks in one place, keep them well protected, and the black colourway is very stylish!

Back to Testing!

Our format is similar, yet strikingly different! Many of the top archetypes have changed a few cards here or there, there are a handful of new decks to play with, and of course we don’t know what we don’t know - the format is still so early that new decks can still emerge! As I’m writing this article, my plan is to write another article that will share some of my early lists in this format that I’m actively considering for EUIC! If any of you are heading to London to play in this exciting new format, be sure to come up and say hi, and hopefully we get a chance to connect! Thanks for reading, and I hope to meet many readers at future events.

Autor: Zach Lesage

Zach Lesage is a contributing writer for Ultimate Guard. As a Toronto local, he has been playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game since 2005 and creates Pokémon content as his full time career. With multiple prestigious accomplishments in the game, such as 2020 Players Cup 2 Champion and 2020 Oceania International Championships Finalist, he has proven his success in the game. Outside of the game, he travels the world, enjoys the culture of designer streetwear, and is a professionally trained chef. You can catch him at most Pokémon events and follow him on Twitter.