Pokémon TCG: Eight XY Steam Siege Boosters (Part 2)

Hey there brothers and sisters and welcome to my new unboxing project. This is actually the second half of a much longer article. The booster packs that I’ll be writing about in this piece will all be from the XY Steam Siege Elite Trainer Box. If you want to learn about the Elite Trainer Box, what it contains and what I think about them, please check out that article too.

But we are here for these!

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Steam Siege is the latest set in the Pokémon Trading Card Game, and was released on August 3rd. The wrappers feature BREAK Xerneas and BREAK Yveltal, a shiny Mega Evolved Gardevoir and the titular “Steam Pokémon” Volcanion.

With each set often comes some additional rules, and this set is no different. This set continues the recent trends of the BREAK cards, which is essentially Pokémon going Super Saiyan, -EX cards, which are incredibly powerful basic cards, usually legendaries, and the Mega Evolution -EX cards which are again very powerful -EX cards, but have to be played as evolutions on an active card. With these extra stipulations it allows for Mega Evolution cards to be just as powerful if not more powerful in some cases to EX Legendaries.

This set also revives the dual type cards that were last used in the HeartGold SoulSilver set Triumphant, but unlike the LEGEND cards available in that set, which were exclusively legendary Pokémon, and came as two cards that were played together, the new dual types are more like the Dragon Type cards, which require multiple coloured energies, but don’t bear the Dragon Typing.

For the neophytes out there, a Booster pack is made up of ten playable cards, and one code card to unlock a booster pack in the online version of the game. There are two types of unlock code, one which unlocks a common pack, and one which unlocks a rare pack. Rare packs usually include holo-rares, EX cards and Mega Evolutions in this set, while common packs will have a standard rare, but may include a BREAK Pokemon.

152-altaria-sOut of the Playable cards, the booster will consist of usually three rares, one holo, and one rare. The holo slot is a all but guaranteed a reverse-holo card, which means the border of the card is a holo (or foil). If it’s a reverse-holo which is far more likely, the card can be a common, uncommon or rare card. In these latest sets that include the BREAK Pokémon, the reverse-holo can also be a BREAK card! The rare slot will always be a rare card or higher, meaning that you could also get a holo-rare, which is a card with holo art rather than the border, a super rare such as EX or Mega Evolution, or a Secret Rare. Secret Rare’s aren’t listed in the card set, and are numbered higher than the card limit for that set. For example the card to the right here, is a Secret Rare from the Black and White – Boundaries Crossed series which I have. It has a textured holo artwork of a shiny form Altaria, and is numbered 152/149.

Just like I said in part one, I won’t be covering all this information in every update, but seeing as this is my first one, I felt it appropriate to show people who are new to Pokémon TCG and to newcomers to this site, what exactly I’m showing in these unboxing articles. So without further ado, I’m going to jump right into the boosters!

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The first booster pack is ok. There’s not a lot to say about the commons, and aside from the new dual coloured Azumarill, there’s not a lot going on the the uncommons either. The Weavile is pretty nice though.

Azumarill: I had seen about a month ago that there were dual types in this set, but seeing as I haven’t played Pokémon TCG in a long while, it was a piece of information I took in and archived at the back of my brain, and when I opened this booster and saw this shiny colour Azumaril with dual typing, I was stunned at what I was looking at. It may not be the best card out there, but it’s certainly eye catching!

That said it’s not a bad card either. Bubble Drain is a good move, dealing 80 DMG and healing for 30HP on just three energy, and because of the dual typing, it has the potential to be super effective against a wider range of Pokémon than if it were one or the other. Cards like this make me interested in seeing if I can put together a half decent Fairy deck. I hear there’s also a Gardevoir EX out there that I should get my hands on!

Weavile: This Weavile is pretty useless as an active Pokémon but as a supporter from the bench, Weavile’s Tear Away Ability is actually really good. If you’ve got a Pokémon that you know is going down in the next round, you can use Tear Away to retrieve a Pokémon Tool, like Rocky Helmet, Eviolite, and the new Spirit Link cards that allow you to Mega Evolve without the cost of your turn.

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Mantine: I must say though that the Mantine is pretty poor. It’s attacks getting weaker when it loses HP is bad to start with, especially for a three blue energy attack, and with Healing Wave costing cards from your hand, the best use for this card that I can come up with is a deck that has a lot of pulls from the graveyard. Now there are a lot of cards that allow you to do that, but still, it seems like a big risk for what is not much of a reward, you don’t want to be top decking just to keep this thing hitting at 90.

Sneasel: Could they have made that little thing any cuter? Seriously guys!

Ninja Boy: Talk about cool support cards! My current favourite deck that I built is designed around finding my Black Kyurem or Zekrom EX cards, that’s a whole other layer of awesome, to be able to switch out any Pokémon in play with one that I’ve searched from my deck. The added bonus of all the Energy and Tool cards that have been attached remaining after the switch makes this must have card in a lot of fast and focused decks.

Nidoking: Ok this looks good! Nidoqueen’s attacks do more damage when this Nidoking is in play. Nice, now let me just take a look at the card list…. mmhmm… There is no Nidoqueen in this set. The last Nidoqueen to be released was in Primal Clash, eight sets ago, released in Fabruary 2015. Let’s hope that there will be a Nidoqueen in the next set to make this a bit more useful for new players.

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Drifloon and Drifblim: These Pokémon have some brutal moves. Drifloon’s Transfer Pain, moves damage from Drifloon to any of your opponents Pokémon meaning you can attack the bench, but requires Drifloon to be damaged before you attack, as it doesn’t actually do any damage of it’s own. Drifblim on the other hand takes this to the next level. Allowing you to place 80 Damage  (eight counters) on any of your opponents Pokémon as you see fit, while keeping your opponents active Pokémon confused. This is some excellent bench control, but it does cost a lot of energy.

Tangrowth: I used to have a deck, years ago, that prominently used Tangrowth. There are a number of really good Tangrowth cards, and this one is no different. Decent damage while healing all your Grass Pokémon for 40HP, and Flog does a massive 110DMG with the possibility of an additional 30DMG. That’s 50DMG more than that move’s previous printing.

Bisharp: What do you get when you have a Metal and Dark Pokémon? A Pokémon that has piercing attacks and a lust for revenge! Mach Claw hits for no Resistance meaning that the minimum this move can do is 60DMG, of course if your Pokémon is weak to either Metal or Dark and they are limping away with 120 DMG straight up!

On top of that, this card is a holo! I’m interested in including Bisharp in an aggressive and somewhat dickish deck.

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Druddigon: This booster over all wasn’t the best, though I always appreciate a Druddigon. Druddigon was one of my favourite additions in Black and White, and it’s cards in the TCG have been above average. I’m still running Druddigon from the BW Core Set, with Rough Skin, and bolster it with a Rocky Helmet causing 40DMG when it is attacked! It acts as the perfect tank as I buff other Pokémon on my bench. With this set though, they’ve made Druddigon an equaliser, dealing additional damage to BREAK Pokémon. Just wish this was a holo.

Stunning art as always from Kawaguchi Yoohei.

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Pyroar BREAK: Oh! Oh what is this? Pyroar BREAK! Holy crap, that’s cool. Pyroar’s BREAK move, Kaiser Tackle deals a whopping 180DMG, easily taking down some decent EX cards in a single hit for only 3 energy. Of course there’s an extra cost for ramming into something that damn hard, and that’s 50DMG to itself. In the right situation, with a deck focused around supporting Pyroar BREAK, this could be an excellent sweeper.

“Is this the power of a Super Sayian?”

Braviary: Yet another Pokémon that has the “minus” move stipulation, but unlike Mantine, this one is based on your Pokémon’s Retreat Cost. Generally speaking you’re looking at around 1110-100DMG when you use this move as most Pokémon have a retreat cost of 1 or 2.

Volcarona: The third dual type drawn from these packs. Would have been nice to get this one in a holo too, but I’m not going to get greedy here. Shimmering Scales is pretty cool, adding an element of randomness to the effects that your opponent’s Pokémon get lumped with, and a massive 120DMG attack, but with a cost reminiscent of it’s Fire Typing, and the discarding of all energy on the Pokémon. That’s pricey. interestingly, despite being half Fire Type it’s retained the Grass Type weakness to fire. I’d have to think about how I would use this ‘mon.

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Mega Steelix EX: And the good times keep rolling on! That’s awesome! I’ve always loved Steelix, and I used to have a Steelix deck a few years ago. Looks like I’m going to be building a new one! M Steelix EX is an incredibly powerful dual-type Pokémon, and kicks so much ass from the field to the bench and back again. M Steelix EX’s Canyon Axe, deals 160DMG standard, and Arceus have mercy if you are weak to either Rock or Metal. On top of that, Steelix swings wide, and deals 10DMG to all Pokémon on your opponents bench. And did you catch that 240HP? Wow!

I need me more of these babies!

Klefki: Now this is a strange one with an ability more akin to something you might find in Magic The Gathering than Pokémon. In short, Klefki can become a Pokémon Tool, and be attached to the active Pokémon. While Klefki is attached to your Active Pokémon, it becomes immune to damage from Mega Evolution Pokémon. Then at the end of your opponents turn, is discarded. There’s some sacrificial, creature becomes artifact, stuff going on here! I’m not sure how good this is but it’s interesting and would go well with something like Ninja Boy in a support heavy deck.

Gardevoir’s Spirit Link: Have you heard about the Spirit Linked Greninja that Ash is travelling with these days? This is pretty much the same thing, the Spirit Link is an incorruptible bond between you and your Pokémon, and in the TCG, it can be equipped to your Pokémon to allow them to Mega Evolve without wasting your turn. I hope I get one of these for my Steelix.

Bastiodon: Of course there is always a counter to even some of the best Pokémon, and I think the counter to this M Steelix EX is right here in Bastiodon. It’s first move, Counter Head, causes Pokémon attacking it, to do the same amount of damage to themselves as they deal to Bastiodon, even if Bastiodon is knocked out! It’s second move, Fortress of Rage, deals 100DMG standard, plus 10DMG for every injured Pokémon on your Bench. It may only take one hot from Mega Steelix EX, but that may be all it needs!

This was a great booster!

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Wait is this booster looking familiar to anyone else? There’s a lot of the same in this booster as the previous on, shame there wasn’t also another M Steelix EX. However, I did get a second Ninja Boy, Klefki and Bastiodon. I also got a second Gardevoir Spirit Link… any chance of getting the Gardevoir EX in my last booster?

I do have a good idea of some Decks I may want to build though. Ok, last one!

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Nope, that looks like it’s it for the EX Pokémon, but this booster’s not bad. I got the Steelix Spirit Link that I was hoping for, definitely have a start for a Steelix EX based Deck.

Captivating Poké Puff: This card is BRUTAL! Captivating Poképuff allows you to play your OPPONENTS Pokémon to their bench. With this, you can pull some of their weakest Pokémon, link Foongus, Joltik and Hoppip to the bench, right before a few turns of smacking them with M Steelix EX’s Canyon Axe, or bombing the bench with Drifblim’s Burst Curse, for quick and easy prize cards. Talk about bench control.

Chandelure: This Chandelure looks like it may be a part of a really interestingly played deck. Sinister Selection, allows you to take a look at the top two cards of your deck, choose one for your hand, and discard the other. What’s interesting is, this feeds your Chandelure move, Past Friends, which deals more damage based on how many Supporter Cards are in the discard pile. This will have you running a deck from the graveyard. You’ll want to stock up on Super Rods and other cards that allow you to draw and play from the discard pile, so you can get your supporters in there, while still being playable.

It’s a pretty funky way to play, and very befitting of a Ghost type to utilise the graveyard.

And Finally…

Wow, that was a long post! See why I split it into two?

In the future when I do this sort of unboxing, I won’t be explaining Elite Trainer Boxes and Booster packs every time, so that’ll make things a lot shorter. I’ll probably still split them into two updates though, four packs per update. It makes the articles a little easier to digest, when they are smaller, and you can always come back to part two later, rather than trying to remember where you were up to in a 2000+ word article.

If you liked this article, please leave a comment down below, is this something that you want me to do more of? I’m also up for any suggestions you may have, do you think there is a better way of writing these? What might that be?

Thanks for reading these really long posts, I’m currently writing another PixelEight so that will be coming out really soon!

Peace and Awesome Card Pulls brothers and sisters!