The Pokémon Company has announced several changes to the Pokémon TCG, starting with the first expansion in the Scarlet and Violet series, coming in March. Alongside the ex-gameplay mechanics announced for the series at the Pokémon World Championships in August, players can expect some changes to the cards and the packs that house them.
First off, the yellow borders that US players and collectors are so used to will be a thing of the past. Starting with scarlet and violet, the edges are gray to match the Japanese maps. The move aims to provide a more seamless experience for the Pokémon TCG, while also putting more emphasis on the actual artwork of the cards. Additionally, trainer cards now have subcategories displayed in the top left corner of the card for better visibility in players’ hands; Examples are Supporter, Item and Stadium. Basic energy cards have an additional energy icon in the bottom right for easier tracking throughout gameplay, and expansion icons are replaced with expansion codes and language codes on all cards.
Alongside this announcement, however, is some bittersweet news. The bitter part is that the price of the booster pack will increase from $3.99 to $4.49, a move The Pokémon Company attributes to global inflation affecting material and production costs. Other products may also cost more in the future. The beauty of this news, however, is that the Pokémon TCG team will try to offset the increased prices by increasing the number of foil cards guaranteed per pack to three. Now all cards with a rarity of “Rare” or higher are foil. In addition, larger boxing items such as the Elite Trainer Boxes contain additional items. For example, Elite Trainer Boxes contain an additional booster pack and a full art promo card.
If you miss the yellow border, the Sword and Shield – Silver Tempest expansion was released last month, and we’re expecting the final Sword and Shield expansion, Crown Zenith, in January. After that, the Pokémon TCG is trying to shift gears to fully accommodate Gen 9 games along with all the changes outlined above, with the first expansion, Scarlet and Violet, coming out on March 31st.
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