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1st April 2024 EDT FEATURES

Don’t Be an April Fool By Playing the Worst Pokémon TCG Cards of All Time

Fitting for April Fool's Day, it's Creatures Inc.'s "lowlight reel"—some absolute duds that have no business being actually played.


Over nine generations and almost three decades, the folks at Creatures Inc. have released some absolute gems—cards that occupy hallowed places in the Pokémon TCG’s “Hall of Fame” as some of the greatest cards of all time. Cards like Garbodor from Rage of the Broken Heavens [XY9], Vileplume from Bandit Ring [XY7], and Zoroark GX from Shining Legends [SM3+] are among the very best to ever be printed.

However, this article isn’t about the greatest cards ever, but the exact opposite—the worst Pokémon TCG cards of all time. In the spirit of April Fools’ Day, we’re spotlighting some of the biggest clunkers in the history of the Pokémon TCG. These are cards that should permanently remain in the album, never to see actual play even once.

Walrein (Wild Blaze [XY2] 021/080)

Pokémon TCG - Worst Pokémon TCG Cards of All Time

The Walrein card from sixth-generation set Wild Blaze [XY2] first underwhelms with a total HP of 150—unimpressive by Stage 2 standards and a red flag that only gets compounded by its Powder Snow attack. Not only is Powder Snow an inefficient attack with a damage output of 60 for three Energy cards; its secondary effect of putting the opposing Pokémon to sleep was a poor fit for the era’s metagame.

This was because one of the most dominant Pokémon of the time was the Keldeo ex card from Cold Flare [BW6] which came with the Ability to switch itself into the Active slot from the Bench and negate the attack’s sleep capabilities by doing so.

To make matters worse, Big Tusk, Walrein’s second attack, deals 120 or less damage for four Energy cards. For every damage counter on Walrein, the attack inflicts 10 less damage. Therefore, as soon as Walrein sustains even one significant hit, it might as well be a blue doorstop at that point.

Just for fun, add in a heavy retreat cost of four Energy cards to finish off one of the biggest disasters of the sixth generation of the Pokémon TCG.

Alph Lithograph (SoulSilver Collection [L1] 071/070)

Pokémon TCG - Worst Pokémon TCG Cards of All Time

A gimmicky card printed entirely in Unown font, this Trainer card from the fourth-generation set SoulSilver Collection [L1] adds almost no value whatsoever to a player’s deck. After playing this card, the player will then proceed to shuffle the deck before continuing with the rest of the turn.

While it is possible that a deck shuffle may result in the next card draw being a favorable one, depending on this is like shooting bullets while blindfolded and expecting to strike the target.

On top of that, there are countless other more useful Trainer cards including Item and Supporter cards as well as Pokémon attacks and abilities which require a deck shuffle after they’re carried out. Thus, there are no valid reasons at all to have this Alph Lithograph card in any deck.

Dialga (L-P Promotional Cards 074/L-P)

Pokémon TCG - Worst Pokémon TCG Cards of All Time

It might be surprising for some to see the Pokémon universe’s Legendary of Time make an appearance on this list. However, this fourth-generation promotional card from the L-P Promotional Cards collection is a complete dud. In addition to its relatively scant HP of 100, this Dialga card has just one attack as well as a lack of Poké-Power or Poké-Body (the predecessors to today’s Abilities).

Just to make things even worse, the attack is about as bad as can be imagined. Time Rewind hits for a paltry 70 damage following the exorbitant requirement of four Steel Energy cards.

However, that’s not even nearly the worst part about Time Rewind. After using this attack, the player is required to shuffle all cards in hand into the deck without retrieving any. It scarcely gets worse than an attack that leaves the player’s hand bare after its use—even if all the cards are returned to the deck.

There’s no guarantee that the player will draw any important cards that were sent back into the deck, making this already underwhelming attack only even remotely viable in the rarest of scenarios. There’s absolutely nothing redeeming about this card.

Gyarados (Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] 130/165)

Pokémon TCG - Worst Pokémon TCG Cards of All Time

The Gyarados card released as part of the ninth-generation Pokémon Card 151 [SV2a] expansion set arguably holds the unwanted title of the Pokémon TCG card with the worst Ability of all time—Untamed One. When evolving a Magikarp into this particular Gyarados card, Untamed One automatically activates.

Immediately after evolving the Magikarp, the player is required to discard the top five cards of the deck—a potentially costly turn of events as unless the player has some method of retrieving cards from the discard pile, one or more crucial cards could be lost for the rest of the match.

Even if those cards are retrieved, the optimal window to play the cards in question might have passed before their retrieval.

With such an awful Ability, the only way that Gyarados might compensate for it is with an excellent attack. However, Hyper Beam is anything but that. While Hyper Beam does remove one of the opposing Active Pokémon’s Energy cards, it requires four Energy cards to be used.

With a total damage output of 200, Hyper Beam doesn’t deal enough damage to either one-shot or significantly harm Gyarados’ primary threats either. As if all of that weren’t enough, Gyarados’ retreat cost of four Energy cards rounds off a bust for the ages.

Riley (S-P Promotional Cards 263/L-P)

Pokémon TCG - Worst Pokémon TCG Cards of All Time

We’ve saved the worst of the worst for last—a card so horrendous that anything like its sheer awfulness will almost certainly never be seen again.

Launched in the eighth generation as a promotional card in the S-P Promotional Cards collection, this Supporter card has the player showing the opponent the top five cards of the player’s deck. The opponent then chooses two of them for the player to keep; following this, the player discards the remaining three.

It’s almost impossible to understate how terrible this card is. First of all, it’s obvious that the opponent will choose the two cards most ill-suited for the ongoing scenario as the cards the player is to keep.

Adding to this, it’s likely that the player will discard a valuable card among the trio sent to the discard pile. Most importantly of all, playing Riley gives control of the game to the opponent by allowing the opponent to dictate the current situation at hand.

Even among the countless flops that Creatures Inc. have put out over the years, Riley truly stands alone. There can be no doubt that this card depicting the trainer from Sinnoh is the single worst Pokémon TCG card of all time.

This concludes our list of the worst Pokémon TCG cards ever released. There’ll likely be even more duds to come in future sets—perhaps someday, one or more will make an updated version of this list. Of course, any such cards should never be placed in an actual deck—or else it’ll be L after L after L.

In other TCG-related news, check out the Rescue Board card from Crimson Haze [SV5a]. Alternatively, you can also head over to the SNKRDUNK App via the banner below and find the top trending and latest single cards and boxes.

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