Hello everyone! This is Elena from Gaia Storm TCG, and it is great to be here again at TCG Park. Today we will be covering a very exciting new set, officially released on the 1st of July: Pokémon GO. Wait, what? Wasn’t that a videogame or something like that? What does it have to do with the Trading Card Game? Yes, you are absolutely right, but the Pokémon International Company often releases some very exclusive mini-sets for the Trading Card Game, and this is one of these occasions. In this article, we are going to cover the most interesting cards from the new collection and see why it has caused a lot of hype in the Pokémon Community.
An exciting crossover
Before seeing the product line up in detail, I want to provide a bit of background for those that are not very familiar with what has been happening lately with Pokémon as a franchise. Since it was released more than 30 years ago, the universe has expanded and grown beyond imagination. Currently, Pokémon is not only known for its traditional videogames where you catch different Pokémon but offers fans endless possibilities to invest their time playing with their favorite creatures. One of the most successful releases was Pokémon Go, a record-breaking mobile app that pushed trainers worldwide to pull out their smartphones while walking to catch Pokémon on the go. Even if Pokémon Go doesn’t have the fanbase it originally did some years ago, it still stands as one of the pillars of the modern Pokémon era. So, what could be better than dedicating an entire new TCG set to this? That is what Pokémon GO TGC expansion is about.
It is easy to see why this news immediately got the community excited. On the one hand, short-print mini sets are always very valuable products for collectors since they tend to sell out pretty soon, and the cards in them can become crazy expensive after a couple of years (see what happened with “Evolutions”). But on the other hand, what really makes this set special also for competitive players is that it will probably become the last legal set for the Worlds Championship 2022, which is taking place in London during the summer. For everyone that is preparing for this event, it is necessary to acquire the new cards if they want to be ready. And the thing is that unique new cards are coming up that will help many already existing strategies.
What do the products look like?
Something very important to note here is that the Pokémon Go set will only be available in certain promotional products, unlike being released in booster boxes and packs. But don’t worry since you will have a lot of variety to choose from, so make sure you know exactly what you will be targeting. I am listing here some of my favorite ones:
Eevee lovers will see their dreams come true with a charming Radiant Collection that features an exclusive Radiant Eevee card and a playmat.
Two Legendary Pokémon will be facing each other in a pack that features two preconstructed decks with Melmetal and Mewtwo V, respectively. These TCG decks can be acquired together or separately.
Of course, an Elite Trainer Box will also be available for this set, and I expect this product to be the most popular one. Not only does it feature Mewtwo with stunning artwork, but it comes with exclusive dices and sleeves that many collectors will target from day one.
The impact of Pokémon GO in the competitive landscape
As I said at the beginning, Pokémon Go is a set that won’t let people be indifferent as it also comes with very powerful new cards that will help players take certain decks to the next level and having Worlds 2023 so close, Pokémon Go won’t be easily ignored. I want to clarify that we are still waiting for the entire set list to be revealed (it will happen at some point during the following weeks), so it is very likely that Pokémon Go has more surprises under its sleeves.
For the time being, a couple of cards stand out from the rest. Pokéstop is an incredible Stadium that allows players to discard the top 3 cards of the deck and add any item card to their hand. I can’t stress enough how crazy this is for strategies that rely on discarding Pokémon, for example, to the discard pile (e.g. Mad Party), and I really want to test this in decks such as Mew V-Max.
The new Snorlax triggers a lot of memories. It is almost an exact reprint of the Black and White Plasma Snorlax that saw a lot of play in its time to block opponents from switching and lead to many unpleasant deck-out situations. I am personally happy to see a good Snorlax again in the game, but at the same time, I fear what this means for control strategies. We will need to wait to see this card’s real impact.
And last but not least, we have Ditto, a very popular Pokémon that appears with one of the coolest mechanics I’ve ever seen in a trading card game. When you one a pack, you might see a suspicious-looking card with a small Ditto icon at the bottom, indicating that the Pokémon is a transformed Ditto in reality. If you want to see its proper form, you need to peel the card off! Ditto can copy any attacks from your basic discarded Pokémon except the rule box ones. This makes it a very flexible addition for decks like Mad Party or Zoroark Toolbox.
From exclusive V Pokémon to iconic Pokémon Go references, it is clear that this new set will become one of the most incredible collections of the year. As we’ve seen, all the cards come with an exclusive Pokémon Go stamp and can only be obtained through specific products. It doesn’t matter if you are a collector, a competitive Pokémon player or a Pokémon Go fan. You are always going to find something great in every pack. Don’t forget to pre-order your products here, so they arrive as soon as they are released. Thanks so much for reading, and see you soon!