Hello everybody. I'm Rodrigo, bringing you news about the Pokémon TCG in general. Now with the pace set on the Scarlet/Violet expansion, we will have new changes to Pokémon in many areas, such as Trainer card classification, the new rarity of ultra-rare cards, with Pokémon "ex" in lowercase ( not to be confused with the EX in capital letters, for Black/White and X/Y), and one of the things TCG fans have wanted for years: taking away the traditional yellow border and putting in the silver gray border that is common base Japanese for decades.
Scarlet / Violet: The ninth generation of Pokémon
Introduction of TCG mechanics based on VGC - Past and Future
Welcome to the ninth generation. With the new wave of Pokémon and with the approach of the past and the future, some Pokémon from previous generations will have their paradoxical forms (primitive and futuristic) like Donphan with the version of it known as Great Tusk in its ancestral form, and Iron Treads on Futurist.
With that, due to the influence of the VGC (Video Game Competitive), it also affects the TCG even in the types of cards and the way to play, using references from it. For example, citing Great Tusk as a “Fighting” type Pokémon and Iron Treads in its “Metal” form.
This also applies to the Terastral mechanic, where in VGC you can change the Pokémon's type, for example, assuming that Pikachu (which is electric), it can be a flying type, this within VGC.
Introduction of TCG mechanics based on VGC - Terastral Phenomenon
In the TCG, things are a little different. What was shown about Base Set spoilers in this regard, that the cards will retain the Pokémon's original type, but it will gain an "additional ability" type, similar to what it had in X/Y of the Alpha, Delta and Omega passives among the Pokémon:
Where the green arrow indicates these built-in “abilities”, and Arcanine-ex has as its Terastral the effect that “this Pokémon doesn't take any damage while it's on the bench”
These Terastral skills are a kind of “retelling” of the Alpha and Omega skills used in X/Y in the Primal Clash expansion, such as Primal Kyogre-EX with its Alpha ability and Primal Groudon-EX with its Omega ability:
Ex cards: the block's new rarity
The Pokémon Company often recycles mechanics, cards, ability effects, or draws some similar parallels several times. And in this matter, we will have the return of "ex".
Difference between "EX" and "ex" cards in the Pokémon TCG
This concept of “EX” came practically as a recycling of the “ex” of Ruby/Sapphire from 2003, only the difference is that the “ex” respected the evolutionary line with common cards, basic “baby” cards, stage 1 and then stage 2 would be that evolved form as "ex".
As examples that have this evolutionary agenda as the initials of Kanto, Johto and Hoenn; and of course, if there were evolutionary lines with only one stage, like Eeveelutions, all those of generation (Vaporeon, Flareon, Jolteon, Espeon and Umbreon in that Ruby/Sapphire period), had their “ex” forms.
Example of evolutionary lines:
Example of Eevee's evolutionary line (Ruby/Sapphire era):
And the difference of the "EX" (in capital letters), is that the Pokémon that would be evolutions were considered as "basic", which became common in X/Y, with the very example of the starters of Kanto to stimulate the mechanics of “Mega Evolutions”, using these evolutions as stage 1.
In this diagram, you can see on the left that it is the version of Charizard ex as stage 2 and on the right side, Charizard-EX as basic.
Now, it is up to the Pokémon Company to answer whether there will be this differentiation of the terms ”ex” and ”EX” or whether they will remain the same form of classification.
Notes on card power and HP
We will comment, for example, Magnezone ex, according to the image below:
Still with reflections from the Pokémon Tag Team-GX that came in the Sun/Moon block with an average of 270 HP (minimum 240 HP and maximum 300 HP), this had repercussions and continued until the Sword/Shield block, with VMax Pokémon that had a minimum value of 300 HP and a maximum value of 340 HP; and with that, these characteristics were maintained, but now with the "balance" that these Pokémon need to evolve in the traditional way as it was before, going through stages or using Rare Candy PGO 69 to accelerate the process.
And the attacks too, there was a certain decrease in damage values (in some cases), at least to what was shown by the Base Set so far.
Trainer analysis, reprints and new Trainer rating
Even though they are not cards within the Base Set expansion of Scarlet/Violet, in Sword/Shield: Crown Zenith they placed them in F rating so that they last longer in the Standard rotation, since usually these cards always come filling up space in the lists of every Base Set when it is released, as a natural part of campaigns, and this time it was different.
This was to streamline and be able to insert more new cards in the collection, within the list that will come to the west, and as has been said here in many articles, the western sets are a combination of two Japanese sets (being respectively of the same name: Scarlet ex and Violet ex).
And for reprint cards, we have:
- Pal Pad
- Rare Candy
- Nest Ball
- Ultra Ball
- Exp. Share
- Rocky Helmet
- Choice Belt (in the Premium Trainer Box)
In card order, from left to right, we have: Supporter, Stadium, Item and Tool (Professor's Research - Sada, Beach Court, Pal Pal and Competitive Band). Note that the trainer cards have colors:
- Supporter as red.
- Stadium as green.
- Item as blue.
- Tool as purple.
This is precisely what's new: in this Scarlet / Violet block there will be a separation between common item cards and tool cards, elements that were previously categorized in the same spectrum!
So, for example, if a Vikavolt V DAA 60 comes using its first item lock attack, then it will only lock items like Great Ball CRZ 132 and Poké Ball CRZ 137, but not tools like Competitive Band or Rocky Helmet.
Card design: borders change
The yellow borders will disappear and will be replaced by gray borders, making it the same as it is in Japan.
They fall into the G category, sequencing expansion durability to keep up with the standard format, along with the F cards, which came from Brilliant Stars .
The Japanese rotation is different from the western version, as for them, it already started on 01/20/2023, and for us in the west, it will be on 04/16/2023.
The expansion will come to the west on 03/31/2023 and with them will be Koraidon and Miraidon's Elite Trainer Boxes. There is a small bonus for those who pre-order some of these products at a Pokémon Center in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom: you get a foil promotional card with the Lechonk Pokémon Center logo.
Elite Trainer Box
With a price tag of US$49.99, the products contain the following accessories:
- Nine booster packs from the expansion.
- A Full Art promotional card ex respective from the box, that is, buying either Koraidon or Miraidon, it will come based on the Pokémon you chose.
- A set of 65 special box-themed sleeves of the Pokémon you chose.
- A pack of 45 basic energy cards.
- A Player's Guide about the new expansion.
- Set of six dice with damage counters and a larger dice customized with the color representative of the Pokémon you chose.
- Acrylic poison and burn status counters.
- Two custom dividers of the respective Pokémon you chose, with a golden version and another with the respective color tone of the Pokémon.
- An online code to be used on Pokémon Live.
Elite Trainer Box - Pokémon Center Version
With the listed price of 59.99 the products contain some changes:
- There are eleven booster packs in the expansion instead of nine.
- It will have two Full Art promotional ex cards respective from the box, that is, buying either Koraidon or Miraidon, it will come based on the Pokémon you chose, one version without the Pokémon Center logo and the other with the logo.
With a list price of $161.64, the product contains 36 booster packs with 10 cards and a basic energy and an online code for the TCG Live.
Triple Pack and Blister Pack
These will come with a price tag of $14.99.
At a price tag of $29.94 the product contains 6 booster packs of the expansion.
Of course, all booster packs with the same rule of 10 cards and one being base energy and the code for TCG Live.
And this product is not the Pre Release Kit, even though the aesthetics are similar.
Build & Battle - Pre Release Kit
With the list price of $21.99. The product comes with an amount of 4 booster packs of 10 cards and one being basic energy and the code for the TCG Live, and the pack of 40 cards together with the promotional card with the Pre Release art, and of course, there is a code for the TCG Live.
Sleeved Booster Pack
With a list price of $4.49, the product only contains a booster pack with 10 cards and a basic energy and a code for the TCG Live.
Build & Battle Stadium
With the list price of $59.99. It is a product with a theme deck ready to better introduce new people to playing Pokémon to learn about the card game.
- Two individual boxes of thematic decks with 40 cards.
- Each deck has one of the four promo cards from the Pre Release Kit.
- Three booster packs in each kit of these boxes.
- 121 basic energies.
- Six dice of damage counters and one more dice as "counter" of "even or odd".
- Acrylic counters with special conditions (poisoning and burn).
- A rule book and player guide, telling you about the expansion and the product.
Box Collection Paldea
It was released on 01/06/2023 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The product contains:
- The Paldea starters cards.
- A jumbo/oversize card from Koraidon ex or Miraidon ex.
- Four booster packs from the expansion containing 10 cards and 1 base energy and a TCG Live code.
- A digital box code for TCG Live.
How do you feel about this new expansion? Do you have high expectations about the block? Fell free to leave your comments!