Ranking Every Tag Team GX Pokemon Card – Part One

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Ranking every Tag Team Pokémon

Ranking Every Tag Team GX Pokemon Card – Part One

Tag Team GX pokémon were some of the craziest and most outrageous pokémon cards ever printed. Join me as I take a look back over all 32 tag team pokemon, ranked from best to worst. In this first part I’ll look at the first half from number 32 to number 17.

#32 Solgaleo & Lunala-GX

Solgaleo & Lunala is one of the rare tag team pokémon that cares about you playing a specific supporter to power up the GX attack. Unfortunately Lillie’s Full Force is a boring and awkward card draw spell. Because you can only play one supporter per turn, you can only afford to play the most powerful supporters. Putting an average supporter in your deck to power up an attack you can only use once per game sounds like a terrible idea. The first attack is also a problem for me. It’s boring and generic and pairs really poorly with a GX attack. Once you have used your GX attack for the game, you are stuck with a pokémon that can only attack every other turn. That miserable play pattern is why I think Solgaleo and Lunala are in fact the worst of all the tag team pokémon.

#31 Slowpoke & Psyduck-GX

Slowpoke & Psyduck has two attacks and both of them potentially do nothing. This first attack requires supporters to discard and the second attack is a failure if you lose the coin flip. I’m always interested in attacks with the potential to do unlimited damage, but the Ditch and Splash attack forces you play a deck stuffed with supporters. When you can only play one supporter per turn, this is a recipe for having a hand stuffed with cards you can’t play.

I will give the card credit for giving people something crazy to build a deck around. You can try to find a way to fill your hand with supporters and after attacking find a way to put them all back in your hand to attack again. Or you can put dream of attaching eight water energy and live the dream of inflicting 1010 damage with one attack. Both of these sound like fun if a little unrealistic to do reliably.

#30 Latias & Latios-GX

This would probably be at the bottom of my ranking if it wasn’t for the incredible alternate art. That beautiful piece definitely deserved better. The first attack requires four energy attachments to set up, and almost all of that hard work is undone as soon as you attack. The second attack is in theory a fantastic way to turbo charge your set up but getting energy into your discard quickly requires some set up as well and once you have used your GX attack for the game you are stuck with just the incredibly resource intensive first attack. Even the bonus effect on the GX attack is underwhelming, as it can be negated by a simple switching effect. It’s a real shame to see such great art on such a poor card.

#29 Marshadow & Machamp-GX

Fighting types didn’t get much joy from the tag team era. Marshadow and Machamp was the only fighting type and it didn’t see play, On top of that it’s a pretty boring design. As with Latias and Latios the GX bonus effect is nullified by switch effects, but at least the other attacks are much easier to use. This is the main reason it creeps past Latias and Latios in my rankings. I love fighting and ground types so I’m disappointed that this is their only appearance as a tag team pokémon.

#28 Blastoise & Piplup-GX

For me, Blastoise & Piplup is one of the most boring tag team pokémon. The first attack actually feels more epic than the GX attack whose bonus effect of 100 extra damage is really humdrum. On power level this isn’t the worst tag-team pokémon but it’s just too bland for me to put any higher.

#27 Togepi & Cleffa & Igglybuff-GX

For some the baby tag team pokémon is probably the worst of all the tag team cards, and while I recognise how bad it is for a three prize pokémon, the GX attack is so absurd I love it. Taking another turn is cool and very rare so that alone elevates it above the most boring tag team designs. Where Supreme Puff gets outrageous is the bonus text. If you have an unbelievable SIXTEEN fairy energy attached to this cute trio, you can completely vaporise your opponent’s entire bench on top of taking that extra turn. On pure power level this card would be lower down this list, but if you want to build a wacky meme tag team deck, Togepi, Cleffa and Igglybuff are here for you.

#26 Reshiram & Zekrom-GX

After Solgaleo & Lunala-GX, this is the other tag team card to connect with a specific supporter card. I still have my reservations about cards that restrict your deck-building in this way, but at least N’s Resolve is a valid choice for a dragon themed deck and it does synergise with Reshiram & Zekrom’s first attack as well. This is by far the coolest of the cards we have seen so far. Lots of people were excited to try it out, but it turned out to be too difficult to use. Both attacks require a lot of energy to use, and it’s challenging to use the first attack more than once. If it had lived up to the hype, or been easier to use, this card would have been higher up my rankings.

#25 Venusaur & Snivy-GX

I have very mixed feelings about this one. For example the alternate art is amazing, but “Forest Dump” is one of the worst named attacks in the entire game. The ability would be amazing if it worked from the bench, but as printed it’s a little awkward. The GX attack is pretty cool, although the ability already gives you a way to target vulnerable pokémon on bench. Healing all your pokémon at once sounds epic, but if your opponent is trying to knock out your pokémon in one big attack, healing becomes much weaker.

Venusaur & Snivy-GX did see play but mostly only to give Mewtwo & Mew-GX a powerful colourless GX attack. I’m very happy to put this card in the bottom 25%, but not too far down the rankings.

#24 Celebi & Venusaur-GX

Some how we have Venusaur on back to back cards. Like the last one this didn’t see huge amounts of play but it has a few things going for it. It can take a lot of damage and heal it all away with the GX attack, making Celebi and Venusaur very tanky. I also like the first attack Pollen Hazard that leaves your opponent burned, confused and poisoned which is fun, at least for you anyway.

The bonus effect on Evergreen is especially interesting. Unlike other card games, Pokémon decks can draw many many cards over and over again. The only limitation players normally face is the risk of decking out. If you can fully power up the GX attack you can safely ignore that limitation. This effect is so game-breaking that Lysandre’s Trump Card was banned in expanded and standard formats. Being on an expensive GX attack makes it much fairer and avoids the repetitive game play of doing it over and over again. Yes, it is much weaker, but it’s exciting to have access to an effect that is powerful enough to be banned.

#23 Eevee & Snorlax-GX

Eevee and Snorlax make a really cute couple. All of the attacks do something interesting and this card works really well with Double Colorless Energy. Notice that the first attack works with special energies not just basic energy which is really powerful. If you use the first attack and have a Double Colorless Energy you can realistically use the other attacks as your next attack. The GX attack isn’t as unique as some others, but drawing up to ten cards is still really fun. This card feels like a balanced and well rounded design without any of the flaws that hold back the previous cards.

#22 Muk & Alolan Muk-GX

Muk & Alolan Muk-GX is one of the most thematic tag team cards. Every ability plays into to the idea of poisoning your opponent. I love the idea of building a theme deck around this card but unfortunately I can’t put these poisonous sludge monsters too high in my rankings because it has a glaring weakness to any kind of switch effect. Poison is neutralised as soon as you retreat and most of the damage output of this card is tied to poisoning pokémon. The community tried to make this card work and wanted it to succeed but this fundamental problem was always going to hold it back.

#21 Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX

Our first dark pokémon team up has two epic attacks. This is the only tag team pokémon that can’t attack even when it has four energy attached. Crazy energy costs like this are always eye catching and exciting. These high energy costs make this a difficult card to use, but the attacks are so powerful that it still sees play in expanded alongside Mewtwo & Mew-GX.

#20 Magikarp & Wailord-GX

For some Magikarp & Wailord-GX will be completely forgettable but this aquatic duo were the first pokémon to break the 300 hit point barrier. Hit points have since gone even higher in the era of V-MAX pokémon but this was a historic milestone. I love the art too and the comedy of a GX attack that does just 10 damage. Otherwise this card is pretty ordinary for a tag team pokémon but its place in history has pushed it into my top twenty.

#19 Charizard & Braixen-GX

Charizard cards always get people excited, and I think this is a great design. It’s strong but not broken. Brilliant Flare is the type of big explosive attack you want from a Charizard and tutoring for any three cards is incredible. If your opponent doesn’t interact with your hand your next turn is guaranteed to be great. Brilliant Flare could have easily been the headline GX attack but instead you get to do it over and over again. Crimson Flame Pillar is also a brilliant attack for setting up this and/or other pokémon as long as you can fill your discard pile with fire energy. This was never a big player in competitive formats but it’s a perfect headliner for a casual deck, unlike a lot of Charizard cards that are much harder to use.

#18 Naganadel & Guzzlord-GX

Our first Ultra Beast combo saw play in Standard and still sees play in Expanded where it can exploit Double Dragon Energy. The GX attack is terrifying, putting you a third of the way towards winning the game and effectively tutoring two cards into your hand. The ability is also itching to be broken. With 280HP, and healing 60HP every turn this is also really difficult to kill. The Jet Pierce attack also gives it a strong and reliable damage output on top of everything else. My favourite Ultra Beast cards are those that feel like they break the game, and I like that Chaotic Order does that with-out actually ruining competitive formats.

#17 Umbreon & Darkrai-GX

Thank god Dark Moon is a GX attack. Trainer cards are so integral to efficient Pokémon decks that being unable to use them for a turn can leave you unable to do anything useful. The bonus effect on Dark Moon is also great as a way to killing anything in one attack. The other attack Black Lance can also put out a lot of damage, especially in an era where there were always targets on the bench. Like the last card, Umbreon & Darkrai has found a home in expanded where it benefits from a range of great support for dark-type pokémon. Otherwise, both attacks are good but not as bonkers as many other tag team pokémon, hence why this dark pair didn’t make it into the upper half of my rankings.

Until Next Time…

That concludes the first half of my tag team pokémon rankings. Join me next time when I’ll be looking at the other tag teams, which includes some of the best pokémon cards of all time.