pokemon TCG the best temporal forces cards

Pokemon TCG: The Best Temporal Forces Cards

The new Pokemon Trading Card Game expansion, Temporal Forces, has a lot of interesting cards to check out. But which are the best Temporal Forces cards? As always, it depends on what you’re seeking, so we’ll break it down category by category.

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The coolest Temporal Forces cards

This answer is the easiest: Ancient and Future Pokemon. The Pokemon Company knew from the start of development that these would be the centerpiece cards of the set, and were unafraid to put some big, flashy moves on ‘em. There are two different printings of Iron Valiant, with one focusing on precise attacks and the other trying to build up a big combo by stacking your draw pile. Iron Boulder ex’s Repulsor Axe fires a warning shot of sorts, dealing 60 damage but adding another 80 if it takes a counterattack. Raging Bolt ex’s Bellowing Thunder deals 70 per discarded attached energy on your team, guaranteeing the final blow against whoever you need.

The best move isn’t flashy at all, though: Flutter Mane has an ability, Midnight Fluttering, that shuts down all other abilities when it’s out front. We’ve seen this sort of thing work very well in other forms, and as a basic with an all-colorless attack option, this is cool even outside of a theme team.

pokemon TCG the best temporal forces cards

The most meta-relevant Temporal Forces cards

We’re probably headed to a competitive scene in which each deck has an ACE SPEC card, and this initial batch gives you a few options to decide which fits your deck of Pokemon cards best. Awakening Drum, which draws cards for each Ancient you have in play, and Reboot Pod, which attaches energy from the discard to each Future, have a clear purpose. And… with the history of these card types, that purpose likely isn’t in a high-level tournament deck. Same with Neo Upper Energy, which supports Stage 2 play.

That leaves four viable possibilities for every deck. Master Ball is the no-brainer option, searching for any Pokemon without Supporter restrictions. Prime Catcher lets you switch in whoever you like from both benches, and will likely be the winning play when you deploy it.

The two Tool options are more situational, but could save you from your opponent’s risk calculations in a pinch. Hero’s Cape adds 100 HP, and Maximum Belt lets you deal 50 extra damage to Pokemon ex. As soon as the game starts moving to whatever super-powerful dominant creature type replaces ex, it’ll lose a lot of appeal, but for now? Might be worth it.

The most interesting Temporal Forces cards

We have our eyes on the new Relicanth. It’s going to take a deep dive (ha!) into past sets’ card libraries to find good targets, but the Memory Dive ability lets Pokemon use any attack its previous evolutions know. There are some moves that scale with damage taken, or just generally need more investment than users’ low HP totals would buy time to manage. Memory Dive could make Relicanth a useful bench utility.

The Perilous Jungle Stadium card could also join a few decks. It increases poison damage by 20 each time, and we’ve seen similar effects work well in the past. This is meant to aid Darkness decks in the same way its counterpart, Full Metal Lab, does for Metal. The latter reduces damage to steel-types by 30, essentially reinstituting the ability they once had through energy effects.

pokemon TCG the best temporal forces cards

The cutest Temporal Forces cards

You know, we’ve gotta say: if you’re here for cuteness, Temporal Forces may not be the set for you. After expansions like Paldean Fates, though, maybe your wallet could use a breather?

That said, hey, Yamper is here, looking just as Yamper as ever. This version of the Pokemon card doesn’t have the best actual utility other than being quickly replaced by Boltund for its energy acceleration attack, but looking at it in the art, it doesn’t seem to mind its role very much.

Other notable adorables: Marill and Azumarill enjoying their chill afternoons, Illustration Rare Litten sleeping on a bookshelf, and Deerling presented in a painterly style.

The newest Pokemon Trading Card Game expansion, Scarlet & Violet: Temporal Forces, launches March 22, 2024. For more Pokemon TCG coverage, including an overview of the set, check out our archive.

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Graham Russell
Graham Russell, editor-at-large, has been writing about games for various sites and publications since 2007. He’s a fan of streamlined strategy games, local multiplayer and upbeat aesthetics. He joined Siliconera in February 2020, and served as its Managing Editor until July 2022. When he’s not writing about games, he’s a graphic designer, web developer, card/board game designer and editor.