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NEWS: Pokemon Boosters

pokemon boosters
pokemon boosters

With yesterday being Pokemon Day, it only makes sense that it was a day of announcements about a few things from the house of the electric mouse, and not before time, considering that the next TCG set, Scarlet and Violet, is due for release on 31st March.

Scarlet and Violet will be the first set featuring Pokemon from Paldea, the setting for the recent Nintendo Switch game, Pokemon: Scarlet and Violet, and is already known to be ringing the changes. This is due to the fact that V Pokemon, the super rare cards seen throughout the Sword and Shield era, will now be replaced by Pokemon ex, a mini 20th anniversary to the EX Ruby and Sapphire set from 2003, where ex cards first appeared. These cards will have even more HP than the V, VSTAR and VMAX cards but be more in line with GX cards, which had to be evolved to GX status unless they were Basic to start with (bloggers opinion: I prefer this mechanic).

If you are a Poke-fan, this will probably not be news to you as the Scarlet and Violet sets have both already been released in Japan, but what is new that has been announced is what is happening with Pokemon Booster Packs and Elite Trainer Boxes (ETBs) from Scarlet and Violet onwards.

First the bad news: they will be more expensive. This is hardly a surprise, considering these financially challenging times, but it is good that Pokemon have been transparent about this rather than just let it happen. Booster packs will now cost around £4.49, as opposed to £4.00, and ETBs will now cost £49.95 rrp, which is about £8 more than they are now. Pokemon Centre ETBs will, of course, be even more expensive, but that ‘s what you get for premium product.

And now, the good news. Historically, English and European sets in general have got a bit of a raw deal as 1) they have been eye-wateringly large and 2) the rares have been a lot of miss rather than hit. This is because Japanese sets only have holo rares (including Vs, GXs etc.), uncommons and commons, whereas English sets et al. have had holo rares, non-holo rares, uncommons and commons, the non-holo rares being drawn from the Japanese uncommon cards. This explains why non-holos are, on the whole, underwhelming (there are exceptions, like Comfey and Manaphy, of course, but they should be more numerous in the set than just a rare). With Scarlet and Violet, the non-holo will be a thing of the past – the rare will be a holo at least.

The pack distribution will also be changing. In the past, packs have contained five commons, three uncommons, one reverse holo and one rare. Packs will now contain four commons, three uncommons and three ‘foil’ (holo and reverse holo) cards, including at least one rare. Whether the other two foils can be rare and/or trainer Gallery (a returning feature due to overwhelming popularity) remains to be seen. But the key message to take away from this is: less bulk; more shinies.

ETBs are also getting a makeover. These products will still have the usual sleeves, dividers, damage and flipping dice and acrylic markers (the burn and poison markers have now been given a more icon-based look), but each box will now come with nine rather than eight booster packs (11 rather than 10 in the Pokemon Centre ETB) and an exclusive promo card, in this instance an alternative art Koraidon or Miraidon card, depending on which box you have bought. This was usually only seen in the ‘holiday set’ ETBs like Crown Zenith, but is a welcome addition to the standard ETB.

All in all, good news all round. All we need now is for the pull rates in ETBs to get better…