Pokémon TCG catch-up Part 1

Hello and welcome back brothers and sisters to the Book of Frog! In my comeback post, I said that I would be splitting up my blog posts into a general blog and a Pokémon Trading Card Game blog, it’s been a little while since I talked about Pokémon TCG, so I figured I’d write an update, as there has been some development!

I made the decision during my time away that I was going to get serious about Pokémon TCG, maybe not going so far as going full competitive, but I wanted to create an excellent card pool, a bunch of really cool decks, and if there are any competitions that I can go to, I will, but I’m not stressing out on becoming a professional Pokémon TCG player. While Qeeko isn’t quite as gung-ho about, she’s been pretty excited none the less about the cards and sets we’ve been buying recently too. So it’s all systems go here, and as such we’ve made a number of pretty serious Poké-purchases.

XY-Evolutions Booster Box

The week the website went down, I went out and bought my first ever booster box. The booster box I bought was for the most recent XY Evolutions set, an excellent set for those with nostalgia goggles permanently glued to their face, as it reprints a good number of cards from the very first set of Pokémon TCG, with moves and typing updated to account for the power creep over the years, along with a few new cards to compliment the set. This was my first step in “getting serious” and there were a number of cards I already knew about that I really wanted to get my hands on just for collectors purposes.

For those not in the loop, a “booster box” is the retail box of booster cards, that’s thirty-six booster packs, and generally sells for around $180 here in Australia, sometimes a little bit more sometimes a little less, and if you find the right sellers online, sometimes a lot less. The benefit to buying a full booster box, is that you are almost guaranteed to get a full playset (four of the same card) of the commons and most of the uncommons, and a good selection of the rare cards, to give you some idea of how you want to build your new decks. XY Evolutions isn’t the most competitive set around, but there are some really cool retakes of the first Pokémon cards ever released, and as I still have a good number cards from the first set, am always excited to see the differences and similarities when compared to the old cards, which are practically unplayable at this point.

One of the cards I pulled in this box was Nidoking (middle) and it’s a really good example of where the Pokémon has been update for the better. The original Nidoking (left) was actually Green, because at the time, Poison types were counted under the green energy set, since then Poison has joined Psychic and Ghost in the purple energy set. If played today the original Nidoking is completely outclassed; it struggles with a 3 energy requirement for a 30+ DMG attack, which requires a coin-flip for a measly +10 DMG, where as the new card’s first attack is a two energy for 40DMG off the bat, and prevents opponents from switching Pokémon in the next turn. In the landscape of the current game, for a Stage 2 Pokémon, this move is only “ok” at best. The original Nidoking’s second move, Toxic, is a really good move which is still regularly found on other Pokémon, except generally it’ll be doing a lot more base DMG. This has been replaced on the new Nidoking with Tail Swing, still a three energy attack, but this time dealing a base 100 DMG, and a very good 20DMG to all of the opponents benched Pokémon, just two or three of these hits, will take out most Basic Pokémon that they may have sitting on the bench.

But it doesn’t end there, Nidoking now has an additional BREAK card, which gives Nidoking his Toxic back in the form of Toxic-Drill, this move is pretty much the same as the original, for three energy you deal double poison between turns, except now the damage has been ramped up to a huge 120 DMG, not to mention that Nidoking also gains 30 MAX HP, brining the total up to 180HP which is double the HP of the original from 1996.

Below is a selection of some of the cards I pulled that I was pretty excited about:

The first set I ever bought of the Pokémon Trading Card game was a starter set called “Zap!“, not particularly imaginative, but I can’t help but look back fondly. The main cards in this deck were Pikachu and Mewtwo. The very first time I looked at a Pokémon card and said “I want that one.” so when I pulled that Mewtwo I felt like a kid again. Placing them next to one another, the one of my first cards, and one of my most recent, really shows the differences but brings the last 20 years of being a huge fan of Pokémon full circle.

Tangela isn’t the best Pokémon in this set by any stretch, but it’s not too bad, and it’ll work really well in a deck I’m hoping to build in the future, that’ll be focusing on Grass and Poison. More on that in a later update. I just really like the art on this one, it’s a very different sort of art for the era of Pokémon TCG where most cards were simply the official are pasted on a swirly background.

Beedrill another card that may work in that deck, a really good poisoning card, which has a cheap Poison Sting, and a really hard hitting Swarming Sting that can lay up to 120DMG to the opponent’s active or benched Pokémon.

Brock’s Grit is a really amazing card and I was incredibly lucky to pull it, but it was bitter sweet. I bought this set hoping to get my hands on the ultra-rare full art Misty’s Determination. It’s a stunning art of a character I love very much, and I really want to get my hands on it. So getting Brock’s Grit, while cool, was a little bit of a slap in the face. What can I say… Pokémon World problems.

What wasn’t a slap in the face was this ultra-rare full art Pidgeot EX! I have since acquired a second one of these and really like it’s moveset. It’s a really good card, and while I’m not as fond of the Mega Evolution card, I’m interested in making a deck around this Pokémon.

The next four are some rare cards that are just for fun. This set includes:

A Surfing Pikachu and a Flying Pikachu, both of which are incredibly weak and mostly unusable. A change I would have liked to have seen made to these cards would be the dual typing from Steam Seige. If Surfing Pikachu was Yellow/Blue, I think that would have made for an interesting and fitting update to the card, rather than keeping it as a yellow card that requires blue energy.

“ナッシー[Exeggutor]” which is utterly useless because it’s moves are trash, and new players starting with XY Evolutions will find that there are no Exeggcute in this set. You can of course use an Exeggcute card from previous sets, but that doesn’t really help when you don’t own any of them.

“Imakuni?’s Duduo” is another ridiculously funny card, which forces you to sing a song, in order to attack, and if you retreat, you have to wing the card across the room, I can only imagine this going poorly at tournaments, as paramedics are forced to remove so many Duduo’s from other players eyes.

Surprisingly out of these secret cards you also have the very playable”Here Comes Team Rocket” which forces both players to play with their prize cards face up – a really cool card.

And Finally…

This is by no means the end of these Pokémon TCG updates. I have at least another two coming, possibly another three, catching people up on the sets that I’ve bought, the awesome cards I’ve acquired, and where I want to go from here.

If you want to keep up to date with all the other things that I’m doing I recommend following me on my various social media accounts, including my Facebook Page and Twitter profile, which are my main ports of call for social media. I also recommend checking out the Badly.Network Facebook group for fun stuff, an awesome community and regular gaming events. You can also follow me on other platforms, I have Google Plus, GAB and Tumblr Accounts too. I don’t really update those much, it’s mostly a way of spreading my content to wider audiences. I also recently started an account on ASK.fm which is an AMA site, where you can post questions for me to answer.

If you really like what I’m doing here and want to support me, I just recently reworked my Patreon account. My page is now entirely up to date, and accepting donations again. If you can only spare a couple of dollars that is greatly appreciated. Every little helps!


Peace and High Scores!