The top 5 cards from Crown Zenith!

Hello everyone! This is Elena from Gaia Storm TCG, and it is so great to be here again. I hope you have been saving money lately because Crown Zenith is already out, and many incredible cards are inside. I am sure you have already seen one or two Youtube videos and are familiar with the […]

Elena Gaia Storm TCG23 Jan 2023

Hello everyone! This is Elena from Gaia Storm TCG, and it is so great to be here again. I hope you have been saving money lately because Crown Zenith is already out, and many incredible cards are inside. I am sure you have already seen one or two Youtube videos and are familiar with the fantastic Pókemon and alternative cards you can pull (the Sinnoh Legendary Trio are just out of this world). Still, Crown Zenith is more than just a visually stunning set designed for collectors.

Today, we will discuss the top 5 best cards in the new mini-set from a competitive standpoint. While this set is not like a regular one in that we only receive a bunch of new cards, I still feel some exciting additions can help make our current standard format a bit more diverse.

There are some honourable mentions that I decided to leave out of this particular top 5, like Bidoof (the one that protects itself from damage from the bench); Regigigas VSTAR (the VSTAR with more HP to date) and Radiant Charjabug (which can be a lovely inclusion in Zoroark VSTAR decks), but they didn’t cut. The card that was difficult to exclude was Rotom VSTAR because it is one of my favourite Pokémon and because I genuinely believe it has a lot of potential.

But I had to prioritize cards that I think will have an impact, either now or in the near future. So… let me explain why I chose this top 5!

5. Luxray

If you have played the game during 2016, you must remember a particular Talonflame card from Steam Siege that ended up almost winning the World Championship paired with Greninja Break. Let’s say that Talonflame’s spirit is back but this time reincarnated into an electric-type Pokémon!


Luxray has an exciting mechanic that lets you start with it on your first turn as if it was a basic Pokémon – if you open with it in your opening hand. This alone is pretty unusual but what really makes Luxray a card to watch is the fact that it helps set your field when it attacks. In this sense, it has a very combo-oriented utility. You can start with Luxray and then attack to get two item cards in your hand, which might be able to guarantee a stage 2 Pokémon hitting the field during the next turn! Also, the fact that this is an electric-type move means that you can already do some interesting damage to the opponent’s active Pokémon or even KO a Sobble.

Without Marnie in the format, hand disruption will be less common, and Luxray might be able to shine. The downside? If you don’t open with it, it becomes a dead card, so it is clear that not every deck will include it right away. But as I always say, a card is only as good as the format allows it, so who knows what type of mechanic we will see in the future.

4. Zacian VSTAR


If only this had been released a couple of formats ago… things would have been very different!

The reality is that I really like Zacian VSTAR, and it was precisely what Zacian decks had been missing so far to go from a low-tier deck to an excellent one. Zacian VSTAR is the perfect complement to Zacian V from Sword and Shield. Not only does it get a lovely HP boost, but it also gains two very powerful attacks that are very useful in different situations. The first one, Break Edge, lets you attack through every opponent (meaning a Miltank won’t be able to shield from you), and the second one, the VSTAR movement, deals 310 damage for four energies. Sword Star does a very considerable amount of damage that is capable of KOing even the most powerful VMAX with a damage modifier like the Choice Belt. The only problem I see with this card is that, as you probably know, Zacian V and Metal Saucer are going to rotate, which is very bad for Zacian moving forward.

Nevertheless, the remainder of the format has some potential. Right now, there are a lot of V and VMAX-oriented decks, and Zacian can go against them well if it can set up correctly. And Break Edge is a very good weapon that can destroy Goodra VSTAR, a recently popular deck as it counters the rest of the metagame.

Even if a Zacian deck seems pretty straightforward, consider that you can either play Zacian alone or in combination with other solid metal Pokémon like Bronzong or even Galarian Perrseker to boost its defences or its attacks, depending on your style of play.

3. Sky Seal Stone


Another Seal Stone card joins the Forest and the Earth ones for the collection. This one is an interesting card overall, but it won’t be played immediately in many decks as it is a bit restrictive. When Sky Seal Stone is attached to a basic V Pokémon, and that Pokémon gets a KO on a V card, the player draws one extra prize. On paper, this is amazing, but the thing is that if you stop to think a bit about it, you will realize that it might become a bit situational. So the question is… what decks will take advantage of this card?

The first one that should come to mind is Lost Box. This strategy runs different types of attackers and has the potential to power them up out of the blue in just a single turn by using Mirage Gate. I have never been a big fan of running two prizers in Lost Box, but Sky Seal Stone changes everything. As such, I can see it being attached to Raikou V, Dragonite V, and even, why not, Galarian Zapdos V.

And lastly, another important aspect to highlight about Sky Seal Stone is that it is the perfect companion for Drapion V. You are probably aware that Drapion V is played heavily in almost every deck as a way to counter Mew VMAX. Still, this tool helps Drapion take things to a new level, as it will take four prizes in just one single hit. All you will need to do is to draw into a Boss Oders, target a Genesect, and seal (pun intended) the victory.

2. Zamazenta


This card is very, very solid, and the more I read it, the more I like it. First of all, it is a one-prize attacker that can deal up to 220 damage when a Pokémon has fallen in the previous turn, so it is the perfect Pokémon to bring when your opponent has taken the lead. Now, in order to use its attack, you need three energies, two of them metal ones. That is why I think the ideal fit for Zamazenta is going to be Lost Box. And yes, before you say it, I know that I am talking about Lost Box a lot but bear in mind that it is one of the best (if not the best) mechanics out there, and I imagine it will continue to be relevant after the rotation. Some Lost Box variants also happen to run Amazing Raikou, which requires metal energies, so it is like a match made in heaven.

Going back to Zamazenta, it is an excellent attacker in Lost Box because it can be powered easily and can deal 220 damage every turn. If you think about it, previous Lost Box decks run Snorlax for the high-damage attack, but Zamazenta can be a perfect replacement, not needing to have a Choice Belt attached to reach Snorlax’s number. And not only is it a great attacker, but it also has some defensive abilities. It has a -30 shield which makes it actually challenging to take it down in certain moments of the game, forcing your opponent to waste resources they might not want. In the Lost Box mirror, your opponent will need to use their own Zamazenta or try to pull off a combination of Zigzagoon plus Sableye.

All in all, I think Zamazenta will become an instant staple of Lost Box variants from the moment it is released, and I would imagine that some builds will even play two copies.

1. Radiant Eternatus


I decided to award Radiant Eternatus the number 1 position because we have barely started understanding the power it might bring to certain decks. This card has a lot of potential, letting you directly play 2 VMAX cards from your deck into your bench at the only cost of ending your turn. As you know, many of the VMAX cards in the format have become very slow to be played, and they are not always the best choices because it is very easy for your opponent to use Boss’ Orders on them before they have evolved. Radiant Eternatus solves both problems in one move.

In Japan, we’ve seen a lot of Radiant Eternatus lists, mainly combined with the Lost Box engine (yet again!) so that the player has the resources to power up those VMAX with Mirage Gates. For instance, some of the most interesting attackers are Duraludon VMAX and Flying Pikachu VMAX, cards that can single-handedly destroy complete strategies. You can even use Radiant Eternatus to include some cards that are very costly to set up, but that can be very beneficial for you, like Espeon VMAX. Espeon VMAX’s ability is very useful against most Lost Box strategies.

But there might be other good pairings as well. For example, it could be worth trying Radiant Eternatus with Kyurem VMAX and getting a powerful turn-two attack. Another place where I see Radiant Eternatus making a splash is in the Expanded format. One of the most dominating decks is Shadow Rider Calyrex, and Eternatus can be included to accelerate things even more.

And there is another aspect to highlight about this card: it actually has a very solid attack. I’ve seen some Lugia VSTAR builds deciding to run it instead of Radiant Charizard from Pokémon GO. While I think that Radiant Charizard is a must-have inclusion in Lugia, and it seems painful not to include it, Radiant Eternatus shares the same energy requirement types with another very popular Lugia attacker, Amazing Yveltal. For three energies, you are dealing 200 damage with no secondary effect. Suppose you combine it with a Choice Belt. In that case, you are already reaching some interesting numbers, and its typing (no weakness) and HP help it survive better than Charizard, which can easily fall against something like Cramorant.

I am very excited about this card and will see what it can bring to the table as, as I said, I feel this is a card that will reward creativity. The only downside is that being a Radiant Pokémon, you can only run one copy per deck if you prize it… well, maybe you need to think about scooping!


And that was it! Do you agree with me on this top 5? We still have some time until the rotation finally happens, so it is time to explore everything that Crown Zenith has to offer us and squeeze the remainder of their format. Please remember that you can get all the Crown Zenith products here at TCG Park, so be sure to check its offers before you leave the site (especially these amazing Elite Trainer Boxes!). Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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