Pokemon TCG: Five Strongest Decks from Base Set to Fossil Era

Rain Dance, Haymaker, Damage Swap and more! Shuffle up and explore these five strongest decks from the Pokemon Trading Card Game’s early years.
Pokemon Trading Card Game. Courtesy of The Pokemon Company
Pokemon Trading Card Game. Courtesy of The Pokemon Company /
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Damage Swap Screenshot of Base Set Alakazam from Pokemon TCG
Pokemon Trading Card Game. Courtesy of The Pokemon Company /

Damage Swap

Annoying To Play Against, Devilish To Play With

An archetype that was massively successful during the Base Set era of the TCG, this card was reliant on Abra’s final evolution, Alakazam, and its Pokemon Power: Damage Swap, which allowed players to move damage counters from one Pokemon to another as many times as they liked during their turn.

Employing high-HP cards such as Chansey, Lickitung and Kangaskhan to spread damage around infinitely, you could then drop the Trainer card Pokemon Center, which removed all damage counters from all of your Pokemon at the cost of discarding all energy from them.

This was almost never an issue, as the idea of this archetype is not to actually attack the opponent, but to deck them out by stalling with the high-HP ‘mons and then using Alakazam’s Power to move damage around until it’s safe to use Pokemon Center. Beyond that, the Trainer card Scoop Up could also be used on all the high-HP basic Pokemon to return them to your hand, enabling you to put another ‘mon in your active spot while removing all damage from the returned ‘mon as well.

This archetype was severely hosed by Aerodactyl and Muk when Fossil released, but it was a force during the Base Set and Jungle days.