Home / Best War Games / How Sword and Shield Kicks Off a New Era of the Pokemon TCG – IGN

How Sword and Shield Kicks Off a New Era of the Pokemon TCG – IGN

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Whereas the Pokemon Sword and Protect 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 Protect enlargement is on sale now and the playing cards change into match authorized on February 21, and coming with this are loads of necessary adjustments for the sport.Each time a brand new Era hits the TCG it could as effectively 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 Protect is not any totally different. We’re going to interrupt down all the new stuff coming to the sport, from a brand new form of Pokemon card to huge adjustments made to the foundations, and we talked to the Creatures sport designers so as to be taught why they made these adjustments and the way they hope to rebalance the sport for the higher.

Pokemon V and VMAX

The Sword and Protect period introduces a brand new form of Pokemon card known as Pokemon V. Like Pokemon EX and Pokemon GX earlier than them, Pokemon V are additional highly effective playing cards that quit two Prizes once they’re knocked out (and keep in mind, you solely must 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 severely raises the stats and HP of the Pokemon. When Pokemon VMAX are knocked out, they provide up three Prizes (identical to Tag Crew Pokemon GX), so the rise in energy is offset by a rise in threat. Knocking out simply two Pokemon VMAX will finish the sport.

Take a look at the gallery beneath for a have a look at all the brand new Pokemon V and VMAX.

Pokemon V and VMAX from Sword and Protect

Provided that different TCGs like Magic: The Gathering and Transformers TCG make the most of outsized playing cards to characterize massive and highly effective characters, we initially speculated that the Pokemon TCG may go the same path to introduce the brand new form of gargantuan Pokemon from Sword and Protect. It seems that Creatures did contemplate incorporating outsized playing cards at one level, however in the end determined towards them to maintain issues easy.

“With the Pokemon Trading Card Game, we at all times give attention to making it straightforward to play, and simple to acquire the playing cards essential to play, so as to attraction to a large viewers of each informal gamers and superior gamers,” the Creatures rep mentioned. “When creating Pokemon VMAX, we experimented with oversize playing cards however rapidly realized that going that route would restrict the methods through which we may get the playing cards in gamers’ palms whereas additionally stopping gamers from utilizing their current card sleeves and circumstances, making it tougher 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 could not use a Supporter card on their first flip. This will sound like no huge deal, however it basically adjustments how the sport is performed.

Supporters function varied characters from the world of Pokemon and have extra-strong results — so sturdy that you just’re restricted to enjoying just one Supporter per flip. These results embody attaching additional power, seeking out a number of Pokemon directly, or drawing additional playing cards out of your deck. Earlier than, whoever received the opening coin flip at all times selected to go first, besides on uncommon events, however now they may 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 informed IGN.

Take a look at some new Supporters from Sword and Protect within the slideshow gallery beneath.

Supporters from Sword and Protect

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. The truth is, the oldsters at Creatures need gamers to contemplate going second to take pleasure in the advantages it now supplies.

“The second participant can play a Supporter card on their first flip, which supplies them extra alternatives to play extra Pokemon and connect Power to them, letting them arrange for a extra secure place within the sport. Additionally they have the chance to assault first, which may give them a novel tactical benefit,” they mentioned.

Enhance to Resistance

One other noticeable change is the rise of all Resistances from -20 harm to -30 harm. With Pokemon V and VMAX having extra well being and dispensing extra harm than ever, it solely is sensible that Resistance would even be elevated to compensate for the facility creep.

Fairy-Kind No Extra

The Pokemon TCG neighborhood obtained 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 are going to now be represented as Psychic-type as an alternative.

Consolidating Pokemon sorts is nothing new to the TCG, it’s one thing they’ve finished for the reason that very starting to make issues simpler — for instance, Combating-, Rock-, and Floor-type Pokemon are all lumped underneath Combating within the TCG — however we’ve by no means seen an entire typing faraway from the sport earlier than.

The Creatures rep mentioned the explanation behind the change was to create a greater sense of stability, simplify the sport, and make the remaining sorts extra versatile.

“Beforehand, the Psychic-type playing cards have been sometimes weak to different Psychic-type playing cards, which was considerably advanced 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’ve been in a position to simplify issues a bit,” they defined. “As well as, Pokemon which might be Fairy-type within the online game now have weak spot to Steel-type Pokemon within the Pokémon Buying and selling Card Recreation. By doing this, we have been in a position to hold issues easy whereas additionally rising gameplay depth and add the power for gamers to decide on which Pokemon they may use based mostly on weaknesses.”

Rebalancing Pokemon Weak point

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 point is an important factor of the sport as a result of Pokemon take double harm towards no matter sort they’re weak towards. This ensures that no Pokemon sort can get too sturdy as a result of there’ll at all times be a technique to counter it through weak spot. Whereas the sport nonetheless has 10 sorts, the sport designers determined to rebalance the sport by placing an emphasis on 5 sorts particularly.

“The kind 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 & Protect Sequence with 5 sorts on the middle of the kind matchup gameplay: Grass, Fireplace, Water, Lightning, and Combating,” they mentioned.

An excellent 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) underneath the Darkish-type. This basically offers the Darkish-type two subtypes, which means they now have two major weaknesses as an alternative of 1.

“The Darkish-type was strengthened by splitting its weak spot between Grass- and Combating-types, successfully decentralizing the categories towards which it’s weak,” the Creatures spokesperson mentioned. “By connecting the Darkish-type to 2 of [the five core types], we consider we managed to extend the vary of methods out there to gamers.”

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 observe him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.

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