When it comes to the Pokemon TCG, there’s a lot of ways to get into it. For me, it was buying packs of EX Crystal Guardians at my local shop. But for many now it’s the Elite Trainer Box. This collector’s dream contains everything you need to start with the Pokemon TCG. Hidden Fates also only comes in packs like the Elite Trainer Box. This is the only way to get your hands on some of the chase cards of the set!
Hidden Fates is the third supplementary set for the Sun and Moon Series. This means the set isn't aiming at putting new cards into play. Instead, it's targeting collectors and people wanting to pimp out their deck. This is most obvious in the new Shiny Vault, which features reprints of older cards but with a shiny flair.
The box itself is a great little pack. It comes with the normal bells and whistles of an Elite Trainer Box. To start, 65 card sleeves, 4 dividers and a great storage box all featuring the legendary bird trio! The card sleeves especially are a very useful addition. They not only keep your cards looking great, but allow you to play in sanctioned tournaments! For people looking to play more than collect, there’s even more to enjoy. The 45-card basic energy deck allows you to start learning how to play the game, and the damage counting dice help you keep track of damage. The acrylic counters are also great, if you have a deck that works with Burns or Poison. It also comes with a GX Tag Team counter to tie in with the promo card: Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX! And, of course, there is 10 Hidden Fates Pokemon TCG Booster Packs to add on top. Not a bad little collection.
Set wise, Hidden Fates was never intended to be a meta set. There are powerful cards in it (Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX, Jessie & James and Giovanni’s Exile. More on these later) of course, but the main draw of the set is the rarity. The newly introduced Shiny Vault reprints lots of cards with a new shiny finish and a high power level. The drawback being that these Shiny Vault cards are legal in the formats where the original card is legal. For example, Lucario GX (Hidden Fates #SV64) is a reprint of Lucario GX (Forbidden Light #135) and is unplayable in Standard. The only exception to this in the entire set is Lycanroc GX (Hidden Fates #SV67) as it is a reprint of a card of Lycanroc GX (Team Up #82).
What is important about the Shiny Vault, however, is the collector value. Many of these cards are powerful in the Expanded format, and look fantastic. Expect these cards to be at minimum £10-£15, and shoot all the way up to £500 for the elusive Charizard-GX!
The Promotional Card
The promotional card in this set is, as mentioned, Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX. Probably one of my personal favourite Tag Team cards in any set, it comes in a gorgeous full-art print with a stained glass effect. The set also includes two more versions of Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX, a Rainbow edition of the three birds and a fantastic hand-drawn representation. The card also plays fantastically. You need a little bit of setup to make it work, but utilising cards like Victini (Unified Minds #26) and Viridian Forest (Team Up #156) to generate energy cards make it an unstoppable force of winged power!
Some Deck Ideas
So, you’ve made it this far and want to know what you can build with what you can pull? On top of the Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX idea above, there’s two more fun ones.
Before going into the first deck, it’s important to mention that Jessie & James is unplayable in Expanded. This is because, with other cards, it has the ability to force people to lose on Turn 0. For now the card is fine in Standard though, and this is where I’ll be talking about it. Hidden Fates likes Jessie and James, adding their two pokemon into the set with bonuses! This sets up for a very powerful control and mill deck. Jessie & James have the ability to force both your opponent and you to discard 3 cards from their hands. Once Jessie & James is in your discard pile, the fun begins. Weezing (Hidden Fates #29) forces your opponent to discard another card if Jessie & James discarded it. Arbok (Hidden Fates #27) can also attack for 130 damage once Jessie & James is in your discard pile! Why not make it even harder to do anything too? Seaking (Sword and Shield #47) can make your opponents discard energies from their Pokemon. Combined with the beating their hand will have taken, they can't get back! It’s a mischievous deck, befitting the Team Rocket duo!
But what about the big boss? Giovanni got some help too, and this dastardly deck fits him perfectly. Also based around mill and controlling the graveyard, Giovanni’s Exile proves to be a powerful card in ruining people’s days. Due to his original appearance being in Unbroken Bonds, many of the cards come from there. The main cornerstone of the deck is Rhydon (Unbroken Bonds #94), who can mill 5 cards from your opponent if you have used Giovanni’s Exile this turn. Combine this with Diglett (Unbroken Bonds #85). This mole forces your opponent to discard a card from their deck when it’s discarded with Giovanni’s Exile! The Viridian City Gym Leader suits this deck almost as well as his suits!
If you’re a collector, you’ll love Hidden Fates. The high value cards and good looking full arts are a huge benefit, and they’re also playable enough to have interest for people who play the game. The fact that one of the best cards is also a guaranteed pick in the box is a great bonus.
If you’re into Pokemon, this is a great grab and won’t be around forever!