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Trading Card Pull Of The Month – April


Matthew Morgan: One Piece Booster Pack - That’s Moria like it!

With another exciting One Piece the Card Game set on the horizon, I decided to try my luck with a couple of loose OP06 boosters as I still needed a few cards to flesh out other decks I’m building.

Although I didn’t find those, I got something much, much better… An alternative art Gecko Moria Leader! A very rare and valuable card that’s sought after by players wanting to play the thriller bark cards along with the Rebecca combo. And there’s a very good reason for that; if you pull the right cards you can get a fantastic combo which can wipe out your opponents characters and open the way to dealing some good leader damage.

By attaching 1 Don!! Card to this leader, resting two more and trashing a card, you can trash two more cards and play a 4 cost or less thriller bark card from your trash onto the field. This alone is fantastic as you can cycle the cards you need into your trash through means of character abilities, countering and allowing your characters to be killed. But that’s only the start of it…

Start your turn by reducing the cost of your opponent's characters until it’s 2 or less. Once there, you can use the leader's ability to bring Absalom onto the field which Ko’s an opponent's character at a cost of 2 or less. And boom! One less thing on the field to worry about!

Of course, there’s many more shenanigans that you can pull using this leader, and if you’re thinking of playing Gecko; I highly recommend checking them out. He’s sitting quite high in the meta tier and players are really enjoying the mechanics that feature in the deck.

Stefano Paravisi - Disney Lorcana: Robin Hood, Champion of Sherwood

The best card I pulled in April is without any doubts Robin Hood, Champion of Sherwood. There are a lot of reasons this is by far the pull I have been more excited for. First, it was the very last card I was missing to complete Disney Lorcana Set 4 “Into the Inklands” and it has been eluding me for months disregarding how many booster packs and boxes I opened. You can imagine the excitement when I finally found it. Well, to be honest my son pulled it but this is pretty much always the case as I have very bad luck...

In addition to allow me to finally complete my collection, Robin Hood is a great card. Being a Floodborn character, Robin can shift for a really reasonable cost of three thus is quite easy to have it on the field on the third turn after playing either its more common version or Morph in the previous turn. Once on the field, the Champion of Sherwood would prove its worth by challenging other characters to gain 2 lore every time it banished one. This mechanics is very similar to “Aladdin, Heroic outlaw” from the First Chapter set although Robin is much cheaper and therefore can start to be effective 2 turns earlier than Aladdin. In addition, Robin Hood can allow the player to draw a card once it is banished in a challenge and this is not a small bonus considering the current game format.

Overall, the low shifting cost and the abilities of this card easily explain why this is highly sought after in particular in April when everyone was preparing for the first Championship Tournaments. I really needed it to improve my Emerald-Steel deck for the tournaments and I was very pleased to finally get my hands on Robin Hood, Champion of Sherwood. Now I need only to make sure my son will pull me three more copies...

Rob Wright: Temporal Forces Reebot Pod

I wasn’t going to contribute this month because my pulls have been HORRIBLE – I think the best up until recently was my Raging Bolt ex half-art – but I should have remembered that Pokemon booster hits are like buses – nothing for ages, then two come along at once.

Now, I realise my hypocrisy – in the Paradox Rift review, I praised Pokemon on removing the prospect of the double-banger as, well, it just seemed unfair. Of course, at the time I had never pulled a double-banger, so was not aware of the joy it brings. But now… mmmm, taste that dopamine hit!

The reason why double-bangers are back on the menu is because Temporal Forces now contains a third potential way of pulling a hit – the Ace Spec cards. These can be found in the first reverse holo slot (for those unfamiliar, each Scarlet and Violet booster contains an energy, four common cards, three uncommon cards, two reverse holos and at least a holo), whereas the art and special art rares can be found in the second reverse holo slot and the ex’s and full arts in the holo slot.

Ace Spec cards were first seen in Black and White: Boundaries Crossed, back in 2012 (that really should not sound as long ago as it does) and are a series of Trainer and/or Special Energy cards that are so gosh-darn powerful that you can only have one of them in your deck, similar to Radiant Pokemon from the end of Sword and Shield. They have been re-introduced in Temporal Forces and have become immediate deck must-haves, the most popular being the item Prime Catcher, which allows you to switch your opponent’s active Pokemon AND one of your Pokemon from bench to active. The two Ace Spec tools Hero’s Cape and Maximum Belt have also been highly sought after: the first gives the Pokemon it is attached to an extra 100 HP; the second allows the Pokemon it is attached to to do an extra 50 damage to your opponent’s active V or ex Pokemon. Broken, broken cards.

Alas reader, I did not pull any of these, but I did pull the more specific Reboot Pod, an item card that only works with Future decks. Fortunately, one of my favourite decks to play at the moment is my Iron Thorns deck, a deck that needs all the Future cards it can get its carbon-scored little hands on. What does it do? It is an item that allows you to attach an energy from your discard pile to each of your Future Pokemon in play. What does it look like? Beautiful. The shocking pink border-and-background and cross-hatch holo-effect (also used on Radiant Pokemon) make this card pop like a frog on a hotplate (apologies to our batrachian fans/friends), and you know that when this card hits the table, it’s gonna make players swoon. Seriously, these are good looking cards. They are also hella rare, with an average of two Ace Spec cards being drawn per booster box.

But that’s not all.

Nestling behind the rosy glare of the Reboot Pod lay illustrator Masa’s dynamic yet cute rendering of Meltan, a semi-sentient glob of molten metal topped by a golden nut, leaping into a shower of sparks cascading from some kind of power tool illuminated by a shaft of light. This is Masa’s first illustration for Pokemon and shows a possible affection for the Baroque play of light and shade as seen in Caravaggio’s work (steady on, Rob, it’s only a Pokemon card, and you’re only saying this because you’ve just watched Ripley). It’s a lovely card, and it will be interesting to see what Masa’s later offerings will look like (they are providing the art rare for Torkoal in the next set, Twilight Masquerade).

So yeah, I’d guess you could call that a good brace of pulls

Sam De Smith: Lorcana: Into The Inklands Booster

This month's tcg pull of the month is from an Inklands booster we got on a whim for Lorcana, to keep my eldest sane whilst studying for his exams! This is the first Enchanted we've pulled, which is not bad across 4 boxes (pretty much dead on the average) - but given that he has crazy luck with his Legendries (still no Kida mind you) he's not that bothered. He's always sworn blind that when he pulled one it would go straight on ebay to fund the next set but now it's in hand... it's just too damn pretty