Welcome to the Zatu Games preview for Pokemon TCG: Chilling Reign! This new set, coming out on June 18th, consists of three Japanese expansions. Silver Lance, Jet-Black Spirit and Peerless Fighters. All of these sets are greatly expanding the Rapid Strike and Single Strike concept seen in Battle Styles! Although not every card from these sets will make it into Chilling Reign, they will all eventually make their way to the Pokemon TCG!
Kentucky Fried Kickin'
Kicking things off with a martial arts spin, Blaziken makes a triumphant re-entry into the TCG in Chilling Reign, flames and all. Initially seen in Peerless Fighters, Blaziken V and Blaziken VMAX both work in tandem with each other, so you’ll likely want one of each on your bench! Blaziken V is a high damage, high energy cost Rapid Strike Pokemon, dealing as much as 210 damage with 4 Energies. For 2 colourless, High Jump Kick is a basic 50 damage. For 2 colourless and 2 fire, however, Fire Spin will deal a huge amount of damage but force you to discard 2 energies.
This is where Blaziken VMAX comes in! The evolved form of the chicken comes with low Energy costs and a crazy engine effect. First of all, Clutch is 60 damage for 1 Fire Energy. The kicker is, however, that your opponent can’t retreat when hit by it. This forces them to stay in and take a pummelling from another ‘Mon next turn! Secondly is Max Blaze. For two colourless, you can attach a discarded energy card to two of your benched Pokemon! Use these birds of a feather in tandem to deal huge rapid strike damage!
Float Like a Butterfly...
Continuing with the Rapid Strike theme, we have a few supporting cards! Inteleon is another card from Peerless Fighters, a Stage 2 water type. Although Stage 2 decks are still relatively weak, Inteleon boasts some fantastic abilities. Despite being water types, Inteleon and his previous evolutions actually only require colourless energies for their attacks!
Waterfall is a 70 damage attack for 2 colourless, but where this frog really ribbits is with his ability. Every turn, for free, you can place 2 damage counters on an opponent's Pokemon, anywhere on the field! The fact that Inteleon only requires colourless energy means he even works with Blaziken in the same deck!
It’s also impossible to talk about Rapid Strike without mentioning the incredible Brawly. This new Trainer card lets you tutor for 3 basic Rapid Strike pokemon and place them on your bench! Sobble, Blaziken V, Empoleon V and even Rapid Strike Urshifu V are much easier to get turn 1! You can also find the Jet-Black Spirit entries of Metagross V and Zeraora V this way.
Sting Like a Bee!
What about the other side of the coin, I hear you ask? Well, Single Strike got some more oomph as well! More darkness type support is always great, and Silver Lance and Peerless Fighters definitely do it well. The amount of sneaky strategies is also greatly increased. Beedrill from Peerless Fighters has a new move. Single Sting allows the bug to oneshot any Active Pokemon with a Special Energy attached. Seviper from the same set deals 180 damage for 2 darkness and 1 colourless if you played a Single Strike supporter card.
This release also gives you a huge selection for these! Karen from Peerless Fighters has all of your Single Strike pokemon deal 20 more damage for each Prize Card your opponent has taken. Flannery from Silver Lance allows you to remove a Stadium or a Special Energy. Welcoming Lantern has a Secret Rare version, and lets you return any Single Strike supporter from your discard pile to your hand!
A Helping (With Your) Hand
A huge part of Chilling Reign is likely to be stocking your hand, as was seen in Silver Lance and Jet-Black Spirit. Along with the aforementioned Welcoming Lantern letting you take from your discard pile, so many new Trainer cards allow you to draw!
Expedition Set lets you put the bottom 3 cards of your deck on the top in any order, Peony lets you tutor for trainer cards, Doctor allows you to draw 4 cards if you’re against a VMAX Pokemon. Caitlin returns from Plasma Blast, and allows you to stock the bottom of your deck with your hand. This will give you a great combo with Expeition Set! Peonia lets you swap cards with your Prize Cards, making sure there’s nothing powerful hidden there.
The Horse They Rode In On
Let’s not forget the box legendary for Crown Tundra, and the face of Chilling Reign! Shadow Rider Calyrex and Ice Rider Calyrex both come with Vs and VMAXes, and are likely to make a splash in the meta. Ice Rider is a Water-type Pokemon, and their V form has some powerful attacks. Pierce is a 40 damage move for 1 Water energy, so nothing special, but Glacial Lance is a step up. 2 water and 1 colourless allows Ice Rider Calyrex V to deal 200 damage, but does need to discard two energies. Using a powerful engine, however, will allow you to get stocked up very quickly!
Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX has two incredibly powerful, albeit situational, moves. Emperor Ride takes 2 colourless, but can deal up to 160 damage depending on how many benched pokemon your opponent has! Max Lance is similar, dealing 10+ damage. The extra comes from how many energy cards you want to discard from Calyrex. Discarding 1 makes them deal 160 damage, while 2 gives you a 310 damage shot!
Shadow Rider is a Psychic-type card, and plays very differently. Shadow Rider Calyrex V can lock your opponent out of using Special Energies or Stadium cards for 1 colourless with Shadow Mist. It can also deal 50 unblockable damage over two of your opponents’ Pokemon for 3 psychic using Astral Barrage! Calyrex VMAX is even more interesting. Its ability, Underworld Gate, lets you attach a Psychic energy to any Psychic pokemon and draw two cards. Max Spirit allows you to deal 10+ 30 times the amount of Psychic energy you have on the field for only 3 colourless!
A Storybook Ending
One great thing to mention is the new style of secret rare prints. These fantastic pieces are inspired by storybook art! It was sort of seen in Battle Styles with both Empoleon V and Tyranitar V’s secret rare styles, but Chilling Reign will take it even further. Once again limited to V cards, and not VMAXes, powerful cards like Tornadus, Celebi and Zeraora will be getting these treatments. They’re a great chase card and honestly wonderful to look at!