Whereas the Pokemon Sword and Defend video video games got here out final yr, playing cards that includes new Pokemon from the Galar area are simply now hitting the Pokemon TCG. The brand new Sword and Defend enlargement is on sale now and the playing cards turn out to be event authorized on February 21, and coming with this are a number of essential modifications for the sport.
Each time a brand new Era hits the TCG it might as properly sign the beginning of a brand new period for the sport, as that's historically when new mechanics and card-types are introduced
, and Sword and Defend is not any totally different. We’re going to interrupt down all the new stuff coming to the sport, from a brand new sort of Pokemon card to massive modifications made to the principles, and we talked to the Creatures recreation designers to be able to study why they made these modifications and the way they hope to rebalance the sport for the higher.
Pokemon V and VMAX
The Sword and Defend period introduces a brand new sort of Pokemon card referred to as Pokemon V. Like Pokemon EX and Pokemon GX earlier than them, Pokemon V are additional highly effective playing cards that surrender two Prizes once they’re knocked out (and keep in mind, you solely have to take six Prizes to win).
Pokemon V can evolve into Pokemon VMAX, which emulates the brand new Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokemon from the video video games and significantly raises the stats and HP of the Pokemon. When Pokemon VMAX are knocked out, they provide up three Prizes (identical to Tag Workforce Pokemon GX), so the rise in energy is offset by a rise in danger. Knocking out simply two Pokemon VMAX will finish the sport.
Take a look at the gallery under for a take a look at all the brand new Pokemon V and VMAX.
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Provided that different TCGs like Magic: The Gathering and Transformers TCG make the most of outsized playing cards to characterize giant and highly effective characters, we initially speculated that the Pokemon TCG may go an analogous path to introduce the brand new type of gargantuan Pokemon from Sword and Defend. It seems that Creatures did think about incorporating outsized playing cards at one level, however finally determined towards them to maintain issues easy.
“With the Pokemon Buying and selling Card Recreation, we all the time concentrate on making it straightforward to play, and straightforward to acquire the playing cards essential to play, as a way to attraction to a large viewers of each informal gamers and superior gamers,” the Creatures rep stated. “When creating Pokemon VMAX, we experimented with oversize playing cards however shortly realized that going that route would restrict the methods by which we might get the playing cards in gamers’ palms whereas additionally stopping gamers from utilizing their present card sleeves and instances, making it more durable for sure gamers to take pleasure in enjoying the sport.”
First Flip Rule Change
Now we’re shifting on to the large rule change: the participant who goes first might not use a Supporter card on their first flip. This may increasingly sound like no massive deal, however it basically modifications how the sport is performed.
Supporters function numerous characters from the world of Pokemon and have extra-strong results -- so robust that you simply’re restricted to enjoying just one Supporter per flip. These results embrace attaching additional power, looking for a number of Pokemon directly, or drawing additional playing cards out of your deck. Earlier than, whoever gained the opening coin flip all the time selected to go first, besides on uncommon events, however now they could determine to go second in order that they don’t miss out on attending to play a Supporter.
“The change was made to enhance equity to each gamers and make it extra enjoyable to play no matter whether or not or not you go first,” a Creatures spokesperson advised IGN.
Take a look at some new Supporters from Sword and Defend within the slideshow gallery under.
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Attending to go first already comes with quite a few benefits -- you get to arrange your board first, connect the primary power, and evolve first -- so eradicating the power to additionally play an impactful Supporter card makes going second much less of an obstacle. In reality, the parents at Creatures need gamers to think about going second to take pleasure in the advantages it now supplies.
“The second participant can play a Supporter card on their first flip, which provides them extra alternatives to play extra Pokemon and fasten Power to them, letting them arrange for a extra secure place within the recreation. Additionally they have the chance to assault first, which may give them a singular tactical benefit,” they stated.
Improve to Resistance
One other noticeable change is the rise of all Resistances from -20 injury to -30 injury. With Pokemon V and VMAX having extra well being and doling out extra injury than ever, it solely is sensible that Resistance would even be elevated to compensate for the facility creep.
Fairy-Sort No Extra
The Pokemon TCG group acquired a little bit of a shock when it was introduced that the sport would not be supporting the Fairy-type. Pokemon which might be Fairy-type within the video video games will nonetheless exist within the TCG, however they'll now be represented as Psychic-type as an alternative.
Consolidating Pokemon varieties is nothing new to the TCG, it’s one thing they’ve accomplished because the very starting to make issues simpler -- for instance, Preventing-, Rock-, and Floor-type Pokemon are all lumped underneath Preventing within the TCG -- however we’ve by no means seen an entire typing faraway from the sport earlier than.
The Creatures rep stated the rationale behind the change was to create a greater sense of stability, simplify the sport, and make the remaining varieties extra versatile.
“Beforehand, the Psychic-type playing cards have been sometimes weak to different Psychic-type playing cards, which was considerably complicated and unintuitive to gamers. By unifying the weak spot of Pokemon which might be Psychic and Ghost-type within the video video games to Darkish-type Pokemon within the Pokemon Buying and selling Card Recreation, we consider we now have been capable of simplify issues a bit,” they defined. “As well as, Pokemon which are Fairy-type within the online game now have weak spot to Metallic-type Pokemon within the Pokémon Buying and selling Card Recreation. By doing this, we have been capable of hold issues easy whereas additionally growing gameplay depth and add the power for gamers to decide on which Pokemon they could use based mostly on weaknesses.”
Rebalancing Pokemon Weak spot
Eradicating the Fairy-type was only one half of a bigger effort to rebalance the weak spot mechanic of the sport. Many different weaknesses have been modified, too. Weak spot is an important aspect of the sport as a result of Pokemon take double injury towards no matter sort they're weak towards. This ensures that no Pokemon sort can get too robust as a result of there'll all the time be a option to counter it by way of weak spot. Whereas the sport nonetheless has 10 varieties, the sport designers determined to rebalance the sport by placing an emphasis on 5 varieties particularly.
“The sort benefit facet of the Pokemon Buying and selling Card Recreation has historically been characterised by its rock-paper-scissors nature, however because of that, the metagame would shift quickly, so we determined to create the Sword & Defend Collection with 5 varieties on the middle of the sort matchup gameplay: Grass, Hearth, Water, Lightning, and Preventing,” they stated.
An awesome instance of that is how they modified the Darkish-type. The sport designers additionally moved all Poison-types (which have been beforehand represented as Psychic-type) beneath the Darkish-type. This primarily provides the Darkish-type two subtypes, which means they now have two main weaknesses as an alternative of 1.
“The Darkish-type was strengthened by splitting its weak spot between Grass- and Preventing-types, successfully decentralizing the kinds towards which it's weak,” the Creatures spokesperson stated. “By connecting the Darkish-type to 2 of [the five core types], we consider we managed to extend the vary of methods obtainable to gamers.”
: The parents over at PokeBeach
did a radical breakdown of what these modifications to Weak spot imply for the sport and even made a chart to simplify issues.
Joshua is Senior Options Editor at IGN. If Pokemon, Inexperienced Lantern, or Recreation of Thrones are steadily used phrases in your vocabulary, you’ll need to comply with him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.