Catching up on the PokeNews
When Sun and Moon brought GX Pokémon into the TCG, it radically changed the meta. Cards like Decidueye GX and Lapras GX created new decks that are top tier, and now Guardians Rising Pokémon seek to do the same. Along with the release of a new set, TPCi announced new policy changes that will be game changers.
With the release of the new set, TPCi is revamping the promo system. Previously, promo cards that were reprints (as long as they had alternate art) were granted a Black Star Promo number, which extended the legality. The new Battle Decks were recently revealed, and showed a new art Professor Sycamore and Trainers’ Mail. The community assumed this reprint would keep these two staples in the format for a few years, but unfortunately that will not be the case.
Under the new system, promos such as these will keep the set number, but have an ‘a’ added after it, as well as a capital ‘A’ next to the set symbol. For example, the new Trainers’ Mail will be numbered 92a/108, still in the Roaring Skies set. This means that alternate art promos will no longer extend the legality, but will just be printed for cosmetic reasons. This new system squashes any hope of an English Best of XY set like Japan got, but will make it a lot easier to print these new artworks as promos.
Ban List and Rules Updates
This announcement has less of an impact immediately, but will likely increase the number of bans TPCi puts out. In the style of Hearthstone, the rules team decided to announce future announcements. With each set that is released, there will be an update to the ban list, as well as any rule changes that they determine are necessary.
For Guardians Rising, nothing major is happening. As far as bans go, there are none for this set, although they left a teaser saying that a few cards are being seriously considered for Expanded bans. There was only one rule change, and it will impact only a few matches at even fewer tournaments. The rules change alters how attacks such as Shred interact with Weakness and Resistance. These attacks ignore all effects on the Defending Pokémon, and would ignore any effects that remove weakness, such as a Weakness Policy. The new rules state that such a weakness (or resistance) altering effect will still apply to the Pokémon.
As the community has been saying for months, the fewer number of points and increased qualification thresholds made it so the number of people qualifying for Worlds this year would be tiny. TPCi made it even harder by not allowing any Fall League Cups to run. Now that it is only two months away from Worlds, they have decided to up the number of Championship Points players receive, as well as decrease the number that is required to qualify. Masters remains at 500, but Seniors and Juniors are down to 400 and 350 CP, respectively. Both Regionals and League Cups have had their CP rewards increased, and perhaps most importantly, this change also applies retroactively.
This change makes it easier to qualify for Worlds, which is going to help a fair number of players. However, their delay with announcing it hurts quite a few as well. This is a problem players have noticed since the beginning of the season, when they first announced the increased CP requirement and the removal of States. At that time, players made the decision whether or not they were going to push for their qualification. Now, eight months after the problem was first noticed, TPCi has changed the requirement, which would likely have altered that choice for players on the edge of the decision. This kind of inaction and delay has burned players before, most recently with the lack of League Cups in Q1. It is a recurring theme with this game to have such a problem occur, and now they have done it again. Ideally, the new quarterly announcements will fix this, but none of the previous attempts have.
Guardians Rising lives up to the standard Sun and Moon set for the series, with quite a few powerful cards. Unfortunately, these cards are in a massive set. Including Secret Rares, the total number of cards in the set is 169. This number is gigantic, and gets even worse once you realize that twelve are half art GXs, fifteen are Full Arts, and twenty-four are Secret Rares (Rainbow Rares and Gold Cards).
From a collector’s standpoint, this number makes it nearly impossible to complete the set, especially without spending over a grand on it. Rainbow Rares sell for around $20, and Gold Cards are slightly more expensive. This would be an unreasonably large number of cards to collect, but Rainbow Rare Tapu Lele GX and Double Colorless Energy are also in this set. Both of them have prices over $80, which is nearly as expensive as a sealed box.
As a player, the number decreases the odds of pulling any specific card. Since its reveal, Tapu Lele GX has been hyped even more than Shaymin EX was. Its price tag was destined to be high, and the set it is in has made it even higher. Due to the huge number of GX cards, even the three printings of Tapu Lele GX (half art, full art and rainbow rare) aren’t enough to make it openable. When opening a sealed box, the odds of opening a Tapu Lele GX are about 50/50. Already the price has passed $35, which is $10 above the release price of Shaymin EX. If any of the other GX cards become playable, their price will skyrocket as well.