Hello Pokéfans. In this piece, I take a look at the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) expansion: Champion's Path. Paying particular attention to the sought after Champion's Path Elite Trainer Box product.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Pokémon TCG is a collectable card game for two players. It's based on the Pokémon anime (and video game) franchise. Players can collect cards representing their favourite Pokémon from throughout the franchise's history, build a team, and battle it out. Originally published by Wizards of the Coast in 1996, it is (since 2003) now published by The Pokémon Company. Over 30 billion cards have been sold worldwide since the games initial release.
Each year, new expansions and products are released, to increase the pool of available cards, and expand the game.
Champion's Path is a special expansion released as part of the Sword & Shield Series. This series (like the Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield video games) focuses on Generation VIII Pokémon, and the Galar Region. First released in September 2020, the Champion's Path expansion is an 80 card set. These cards are only available in special set-related products.
The cards in this set are composed of those from the previously released sets: Japanese Infinity Zone, Explosive Walker, Legendary Heartbeat, Charizard & Grimmsnarl VMAX Starter Sets, and V Starter Decks.
Overall, Champion's Path contains 11 Pokémon V cards, and 3 Pokémon VMAX. These are powerful Pokémon players will want in their decks. I still favour Generation I Pokémon. So Venusaur V with its status affecting Pollen Bomb, and big-hitting Solar Typhoon attacks would have been in my deck. As would the immense Charizard VMax. The inclusion of the Rainbow Rare print of Charizard VMAX, and Shiny Charizard V in particular, make this set much sought after amongst collectors.
The set also contains 19 Trainer cards to aid your team in battle. Trainer cards include Gym Leaders and Rivals from the Galar region, like Milo and Hop, who provide card draw. Or Kabu and Marnie, who help you cycle through your deck to find the cards you need. Cards like Great Ball, Rotom Phone, Rotom Bike and will also help you find the specific cards you need. Whereas Pokémon Centre Lady and Full Heal will help you keep your Pokémon in play.
The Elite Trainer Box
An Elite Trainer Box is a bundle product, containing an array of cards and accessories for collectors. Typically, an Elite Trainer Box is released alongside a new expansion set, providing a quick, cost-effective way to establish a collection.
The Elite Trainer Box will appeal to new and returning players alike. However, it is worth noting that this product does not contain a ready to play 60-card deck. If you are purchasing this for a new player, consider picking up a Starter Deck product alongside it. An Elite Trainer Box will provide the means to supplement and customise the starter deck.
What's in the Box
10 Champion's Path booster packs (Each containing 10 semi-randomised cards, and 1 basic energy).
1 full-art promo card, featuring Charizard V.
65 card sleeves, featuring Gigantamax Charizard.
45 Energy Cards (A selection of all Elemental Basic Energy).
Players guide to the Champion's Path expansion.
A Pokémon TCG rulebook.
6 damage-counter dice.
1 competition legal coin flip die.
2 acrylic condition markers.
The box itself can hold around 500 cards and comes with four dividers to help organise your collection.
I'm a fan of the bundle type products which are now commonplace for most trading and collectable card games. They are a great way to explore a new set and generally speaking, they offer value for money. The Champion's Path Elite Trainer Box is no exception. Eight to ten booster packs per bundle product tend to be the norm. With this product offering ten, it provides you with a respectable quantity of cards at a relatively low price. Yes, buying singles is generally cheaper, but if you like the excitement of opening boosters, purchasing a Trainer Box makes sense.
As well as the cards from the booster packs, you get a valuable promo card that can be kept or sold. Plus, the Elite Trainer Box and each booster pack contains a promo card for the online version of the game. Giving you cards and content to play online and in person. Beyond that, you're also getting some nice-to-have accessories and a useful storage box.
If you are a new player with a limited collection, the Elite Trainer Box is a product to consider. The cards you pull from the boosters can be used to tweak or improve pre-constructed decks found in other products. Depending on what cards you already own, you may even be able to try your hand at building a new deck. With the energy cards included in the Elite Trainer Box and anything you pull from the boosters, you'll have options.