Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Zoroark GX/Weavile - The Most Competitive Deck from Ultra Prism

Zoroark GX and Weavile Deck
With the 2018 St. Louis Regional Championships for the Pokemon TCG taking place this past weekend, it was a surprise to me that the most competitive and most popular deck using Ultra Prism cards was a deck built around Zoroark GX from Shining Legends and Weavile from Ultra Prism. With so many competitive cards in the set, including Glaceon GX, Dusk Mane Necrozma GX, and Leafeon GX, it was a shock that a card I didn't even consider when the set was first released was the card included in lots of winning decks. Now, this may change in the future, since a card like Weavile is easier to fit into existing decks than building a new deck around a powerful Pokemon like Dusk Mane Necrozma GX, but I can certainly see why this Weavile card is so good.

Right now in the 2018 Standard Format the two most powerful decks would be Gardevoir GX/Zoroark GX, and Buzzwole GX/Lycanroc GX, I think this deck including Weavile is already a close 3rd. All you have to do is take a look at these decks and it is no wonder why Weavile is so good, Gardevoir GX, Zoroark GX, and Lycanroc GX all depend on Abilities, same goes for Tapu Lele GX, so a majority of the time most Pokemon in play are cards with Abilities and GX or EX cards, by multiplying 50 damage times the number of your opponent's Pokemon that have Abilities, this card can one hit knock out pretty much anything out there, add a Choice Band to this card and it can easily do 180 damage per turn for only one Energy card. The best thing about this card is that it only allows your opponent to take one Prize card if it is knocked out.

Both Zoroark GX and Weavile are weak to Fighting type Pokemon, which is a big disadvantage, but you can add something like Zoroark from BREAKthrough with its Stand In Ability to quickly knock out a Pokemon that is set up, plus, if you keep Zoroark GX and Weavile on the Bench until you're ready to attack, Buzzwole GX can only do 30 damage to them. So, if you are looking to build a somewhat budget friendly deck, I would highly recommend taking a look at these two cards, Weavile is only a couple of dollars online, and Zoroark GX can be bought directly from a sealed product if you like.

Zoroark GX is the main Pokemon in a deck like this, the reason Zoroark GX is so popular is because it both has a great Ability and a powerful move. Trade, its Ability, allows you to draw two cards every turn, all you have to do is discard one card from your hand.  Riotous Beating is its best move, allowing you to attack for one Double Colorless Energy, and if you have a full Bench, allowing you to do 120 damage per turn. Add in the fact that Zoroark GX has a high HP, and you can see why this card is so popular, other than being weak to Fighting type Pokemon, it is perfect, quick on the attack, allows you to draw cards every turn, and packs a major wallop! Plus, if you're building a solely Darkness type deck, it is possible to use Trickster GX too.

Both Sneasel and Weavile are available in Ultra Prism. One thing I like about Sneasel is that it has 70 HP, so if you are forced to put it into the Active Pokemon spot to start the game, it can last a turn without getting knocked out, plus, it needs 3 attacks by Buzzwole GX on the Bench to get knocked out. And if the chips fall correctly, you can really set back your opponent if you can use Sneaky Smash and remove an Energy they put into play. Weavile doesn't have an above average HP by any means, but it does have two moves that both only require one Energy card to use. In a deck like this one, with Zoroark GX, you're going to be using 4 Double Colorless Energy and the rest Darkness Energy, so either move on this card shouldn't be a problem to use. Evil Admonition is the move to use on Weavile as it does 50 damage times the number of your opponent's Pokemon that have Abilities on them. Early in a game, you could easily knock out the defending Pokemon by doing only 100 damage. Even if Weavile is knocked out, your opponent only gets one Prize card, and using something like Rescue Stretcher, you can get both cards back into your deck. I think it will be very advantageous in the future to have powerful attackers in your deck that only count as one Prize card when knocked out. Icy Wind isn't a terrible move either, as it can put the defending Pokemon to Sleep and give you more time to set up your Pokemon.

Overall, I would highly recommend at least testing out a deck built around Zoroark GX and Weavile, like I said, this is a cheaper deck to build and it is a deck that can still win battles and do very well! I look forward to reviewing some Ultra Prism decks on my channel, and this deck will certainly be one of them.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Future Value of Ultra Prism?

Ultra Prism Complete Set
With the rumors swirling about Ultra Prism being out of print and the fact that it is such a good set for the competitive Pokemon TCG, I have been getting lots of questions about what I think will happen to this set in the future. What will happen to individual cards in this set, as well as sealed products, and what is the recommended route to complete the set.

First off, I still haven't seen anything official about this set being out of print, most on social media agree that there may be a lull in printing to fix Cyrus Prism Star, but there is no way the set is just plain out of print, plus, even if it is out of print, lots of retailers online are selling booster boxes and cards for very reasonable prices. Just today on YouTube I did post a video on how much each individual secret rare and ultra rare from this set is worth, this gives a good outline of the more valuable cards in the set and which cards are more desirable for the TCG at this point in time.

Prices for cards in a new set usually follow the same pattern, prices are very high any time before the official release date, shortly after release date, all cards drop in price, then a couple of weeks after, cards that are good in the TCG and in high demand go back up in value, and those not good in the TCG, continue to drop. If you're looking to complete a set as soon as possible, never buy sealed products, just buy the cards individually. I personally like to purchase 2 booster boxes of the set then purchase individual cards. If you're tight on money, or just want to collect a set the cheapest way possible, wait until a set is out of the Standard Format, that is usually 2 to 3 years after a set is released, at that point, the cards will lose their demand, supply will increase, and prices will drop. I personally have put $1,000 into Ultra Prism to complete the set. With so many secret rares, this set will always be expensive to complete, but I could see it costing $200 to complete instead of $500 if you're just buying singles, a couple of years down the road compared to now.

While this set is new, booster boxes should remain around $90 to $100, for the next 2 or 3 years boxes should stay around this price range, about 5 years from now is when the price will jump to several hundred. I would compare this set to Guardians Rising, there are lots of good Trainer cards in this set as well as Pokemon GX. Similar to N and Professor Sycamore, I am sure Cynthia will be reprinted in future sets, meaning Cynthia from this set will remain playable after Ultra Prism is rotated out, so it is always a good idea obtaining sealed products of Ultra Prism, as Cynthia will always be worth $4+.

Long term, I think this is a set worth investing in. Most sets that are worth more down the road, I'm talking sealed products, contain either lots of Legendary Pokemon or starters from a specific Generation of Pokemon. Ultra Prism features both of these things, Legendary Pokemon including Ultra Beasts, plus lots of 4th Generation Pokemon, which is when I think lots of collectors, like myself, starting collecting again, so this Generation of Pokemon holds a special place in people's hearts, therefore increasing demand because of the nostalgia of the set.

If you are looking to buy cards from this set for building a deck, always purchase the regular GX form of a Pokemon, it is always cheapest. Most times, if you wait a couple of months, the Full Art and Rainbow Rare forms of the cards drop a little. Also, remember that Solgaleo GX and Lunala GX are reprinted from Sun & Moon Base Set, so there is no reason to go out and buy the gold-colored ones in this set. For the time being, Glaceon, Dusk Mane Necrozma, and Leafeon would be the best GX cards in this set and the most expensive Pokemon to buy. Overall, Cynthia is easily the best card in the set, but if you're deck building, the uncommon Cynthia does exactly the same as the Full Art, just with less style.

So to end this article, if you're just getting into the Pokemon TCG, I would highly recommend this set, if you want to complete this set, wait a couple of years until prices go down, and if you are a sealed product collector, this is one to collect, no reason to think this set won't be worth it in the future!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Why does it cost so much to collect Pokemon cards?

Although Ultra Prism has only been out for a week, I've already invested $1,000 into the set. Why is it so expensive to collect Pokemon cards? For me, the goal is to always complete newly released sets as quickly as possible, merely for the satisfaction of completing the set. What I do is I buy 2 sealed booster boxes, and all other sealed products released, like Elite Trainer Boxes and blister packs, then I finish the set by buying singles. I am happy to say that I have already completed the Ultra Prism set, but it seems like with each new set in the Pokemon TCG, I have to spend more and more money! Between sealed products and singles, I spent around $1,000. There is no possible way that children or those not working full time can afford to complete sets like this! While I enjoy collecting large sets like Ultra Prism, with 173 total cards, I would be much happier if Pokemon removed GX Rainbow Rares from sets, or, if they made several regular GX in a set, then only made a few cards available as GX Full Art or GX Rainbow Rare. Of course, I could save a lot of money if I waited until sets like this were out of the Standard Format, but it isn't as fun to collect when the set is older.

As I'm getting more and more involved in the competitive TCG, my goal to collect as many cards as possible is decreasing, I would much rather just buy the cards I need for a deck individually, or only buy booster boxes to get what I need. While it is a cool feeling going to a retail store and picking up all of the collection boxes or blister packs in stock, most times, the promo cards included in these products are either reprints from regular sets, or just aren't that good in the TCG. That got me thinking, I wonder what other collectors and players of the Pokemon TCG do to complete a set or to get cards they need, do they open sealed products, or do they just buy what they need individually.

My motto when it comes to buying singles cards is to check several online retailers as well as eBay and TCGPlayer to find the cheapest prices I can for each individual card, since I'm not sending my cards in to get graded, I don't necessarily need to see the exact condition of the card I'm buying, just having the near-mint designation is fine. While most retailers change their prices daily to stay competitive, I still find it best to search around, it is almost a guarantee that no one site will have the cheapest prices for every card you're looking for.

So this brings me to my question, what do you spend to maintain your Pokemon card collecting hobby? Do you try and complete sets when you're collecting, do you just buy your favorite Pokemon, or do you solely collect the cards you need for a certain deck? Lately I've been playing the online game a ton, mainly because the cards are cheaper to purchase, and you can quickly re-use the same card in multiple decks without having to build the deck again. For a hobby that seems to get more expensive with every new set, I'm all about trying to be frugal and save where I can, but still enjoy the hobby I've been doing since I was a kid.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Is Pokemon TCG Ultra Prism really OUT OF PRINT?

If you've been reading any Pokemon TCG related sites lately, or follow those involved on social media, there have been lots of rumors of Ultra Prism going out of print. This news is very shocking, considering it was just released a week ago! While I can't find any official news out there, my best guess would be that the Pokemon company will not be printing any additional booster boxes until the Cyrus Prism Star card is fixed, once it is fixed, booster boxes will be printed like normal. With that being said, many suppliers and retailers out there are still selling Ultra Prism products.

There are also rumors out there that printing of Ultra Prism booster boxes will be stopped for good, to increase demand of the "Collection" boxes that sit on shelves and never seem to sell that include Ultra Prism packs. While this may be a good idea, to make a larger profit on current products, I can't imagine with such a popular set like Ultra Prism, that they will stop printing booster boxes.

As far as prices go, I was one of the consumers who went out and bought another booster box of Ultra Prism as soon as I heard the rumors, I bought my box for $84.95 from eBay, now that same seller is listing the booster box as out of print and charging $109.95. While there may be some merit to buying a booster box at this price, you can still find several retailers online, like Troll and Toad, selling their boxes for $89.95.

To summarize, if Ultra Prism is truly going to be out of print until March, prices of both sealed products and singles should rise, in the short term, but don't panic, either try and find these cards at reasonable prices, or just wait a few weeks and get the newer print of Ultra Prism, with the correct Cyrus Prism Star.
Cyrus Prism Star, error version.

If you know any official news on this subject, please let me know! Right now, I'm trying to collect as many Cyrus Prism Star cards as possible, but who knows which one will be more popular! And a reminder, just because you see a rumor like this online, don't automatically believe it!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ultra Prism - The Most Popular Decks

Dusk Mane Necrozma GX Deck
Dusk Mane Necrozma GX Deck
With Ultra Prism being a newly released set in the Pokemon TCG, there are lots of players testing cards from the set on the Pokemon TCG online. It seems like two decks have been used the most, a Dusk Mane Necrozma GX deck, and a Glaceon GX deck. In my opinion, the Dusk Mane Necrozma GX deck is a superior deck, especially since it can take down Gardevoir GX and any deck with Alolan Ninetales very easily. Glaceon GX is usually paired with Zoroark GX, this is more of a two hit knock out deck, but Glaceon GX does shut down Abilities of EX and GX cards of your opponents when Glaceon is in the Active Pokemon spot.

Most decks built around Dusk Mane Necrozma GX also use Solgaleo Prism Star and Magnezone. Both Solgaleo and Magnezone from Ultra Prism help accelerate Metal Energy into play, plus, the way Energy cards are accelerated can't be stopped by something like Glaceon GX. This deck is certainly a one hit knock out deck, since Dusk Mane Necrozma GX can do at least 220 damage when attacking. This deck does go through a lot of Energy cards, but Mt. Coronet from Ultra Prism can help retrieve Energy from the discard pile, putting them into your hand, plus you can add things like Energy Recyler to get more Energy cards back into your deck. Dusk Mane Necrozma is overpowered, 100%, since its GX move can do 250 damage with no consequences. You can also use Solgaleo Prism Star as a primary attacker, since it can do 160 damage, and a card with 160 HP is a lot to try and knock out and only get 1 prize card. So essentially with this deck, if you are looking for massive power, this is a deck to consider building.

Glaceon GX Deck
Cards featured in a Glaceon GX deck.
Glaceon GX was one of the most hyped cards in a long time, now that the card is released, many are doubting how good it will be. Like I mentioned above, any deck with Glaceon GX is mainly a two hit knock out deck, since Glaceon GX can only normally do 90 damage per turn. However, if you do need to knock out something, Glaceon's GX move does do massive damage, if the defending Pokemon already has some damage on it. Most Glaceon GX decks I've faced so far include Zoroark GX. Zoroark GX is used for its Ability from the Bench, allowing you to draw two cards, but also for its Riotous Beating move, which does 120 damage per turn. I've seen both Alolan Ninetales from Burning Shadows in Glaceon GX decks, since its Ability prevents all effects of attacks from GX and EX Pokemon, and I've seen Alolan Ninetales GX used in Glaceon GX decks, Alolan Ninetales GX can do more damage when attacking, 160, and it can do 50 damage to any Pokemon in play, allowing Glaceon to use its GX attack more effectively.

So for now, the two most popular decks from Ultra Prism would be decks based around Dusk Mane Necrozma GX and Glaceon GX, both decks certainly are good, but going forward, I expect Dusk Mane Necrozma to be much more popular. I will be reviewing versions of both decks on my YouTube channel in the near future.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Prism Star Cards - Pokemon TCG

Prism Star Cards - Pokemon TCG
All 6 Prism Star cards from the Ultra Prism set.
The newest set in the Pokemon TCG, Ultra Prism, was highly anticipated by competitive players of the TCG, Prism Star cards were one of those reasons. Prism Star cards are more powerful Pokemon, Trainers, and Special Energy cards. When deck building, you can't use more than 1 copy of a Prism Star card with the same name, and when a Prism Star card is normally discarded, it goes to the Lost Zone instead. There are a total of 6 Prism Star cards in the Ultra Prism set. These cards come in the reverse holo slot of the pack and on average, are 2 to 3 per booster box, it is possible to get both a Star Prism card and an ultra rare or secret rare in the same pack. For being more powerful, value wise, these cards aren't worth much, at least not yet, you're looking at $6 or less per card. I would assume Prism Star cards will be in the next several Sun and Moon series sets, similar to how BREAK cards were in the final XY series of sets.

Taking a look at the 6 different Prism Star cards, and I have obtained all 6 from my openings already, there are two that I really like, Solgaleo, and Cyrus, and both can be used in the same Metal type deck. Solgaleo is my favorite Prism Star cards for a couple of reasons, first, it does have a very high HP, which could be 200, with a Fighting Fury Belt attached to it, making it a tank of a card to take down and only get 1 prize card. Second, if you're facing something like Glaceon GX, and your EX and GX Pokemon's Abilities are disabled, you can still use this card's Radiant Star move to quickly attach Energy, probably to Dusk Mane Necrozma GX from this set. Plus, you can do 160+ damage with this card, you just need four Energy cards on it first. With the popularity of Zoroark GX, and its need to have a full Bench to do 120 damage with Riotous Beating, this can greatly increase the number of Energy cards you're able to attach with Solgaleo. So again, Solgaleo Prism Star is my favorite Prism Star in the set, I like its high HP, and both of its moves, especially if Glaceon GX becomes popular, this card doesn't rely on an Ability and it isn't a GX or EX card, so it works perfectly to accelerate Metal type Energy into play. Plus, Metal type Pokemon have a huge advantage over Fairy type decks, Sylveon GX and Gardevoir GX in particular.

My second favorite Prism Star in this set would be Cyrus. It is important to note that the Cyrus pictured above and all of the Cyrus Prism Star cards printed so far have an error in the description of what the card does. Currently, the card says "You can't play this card if you don't have any Water or Metal Pokemon in play", the correct version should say something like "You can't play this card if you don't have a Water or Metal Pokemon in your Active Pokemon spot". Regardless, if you're building a Water or Metal type deck, this card is beyond useful, quickly removing up to 4 of your opponent's Pokemon in play. This card can remove Pokemon that have Abilities that are used on the Bench, or, if your opponent already has a lot of Energy on their Benched Pokemon, it can ruin their strategy of getting lots of Energy into play quickly. The two Prism Star cards from this set I like most can certainly be used together in a deck, just make sure to use Solgaleo first, then Cyrus, otherwise, Solgaleo won't be able to add many Energy to your Pokemon if your opponent doesn't have many Pokemon in play. You could also use Cyrus with Glaceon GX, although it may backfire. More than likely if your opponent has played a couple of Tapu Lele GX, they will decide to remove them from play when you lay down Cyrus, but, if you have Glaceon GX in the Active Pokemon spot, when they get Tapu Lele GX back into their hand, they won't be able to utilize its Ability, Wonder Tag and grab a supporter when putting it on their Bench. This Cyrus card also weakens Zoroark GX, as it reduces the number of Benched Pokemon in play, having its attack go from 120 to only 40.

As far as the other Prism Star cards go, I was really excited about Super Boost Energy when it was first released in Japan, but the more I look at it, the more I think it won't be used. Sure, providing 4 Energy at once is very helpful, but I can't think of many decks that I've built where I have three Stage 2 Pokemon set up at the same time, and if I do, I probably have plenty of Energy in play already. Plus, Stage 2 Pokemon that are useful, like Vikavolt, Metagross GX, Gardevoir GX, and Decidueye GX, all either accelerate Energy attachment, or, they are only used from the Bench, so having 4 Energy cards at once isn't that important. The only deck I could see getting lucky with Super Boost Energy would be Gardevoir, since you may have two Gardevoir GX set up at once plus a Gallade, by laying down a Super Boost Energy, it would do 120 more damage when attacking with Gardevoir GX. And if you do have three Stage 2 Pokemon in play, and let's say they are close to being knocked out, you can slap a Super Boost Energy on Tapu Lele and do at least 80 damage, 110 damage with a Choice Band, in one quick move.

Lunala Prism Star is very similar to Solgaleo Prism Star, having an identical first move, in this case allowing you to attach up to 6 Psychic Energy cards from your discard pile to your Pokemon in one turn. The second move on this card, has lots of potential, since it can do 20 damage times the number of all Energy in play, so if you are facing a Gardevoir GX deck, it can do major damage. I would still prefer building a Metal type deck, using Solgaleo Prism Star and Dusk Mane Necrozma GX, just because Dusk Mane Necrozma is guaranteed to do 220 damage per turn, and Gardevoir GX is weak to Metal type Pokemon, but if you have any high attack cost Psychic Pokemon, Lunala Prism Star is a must!

Darkrai Prism Star and Giratina Prism Star are easily the poorest cards of the 6, both Pokemon are similar, with their Ability allowing you to move two Darkness or Psychic Energy from your hand to that specific Pokemon when it is put onto the Bench. So unlike the first move on Lunala and Solgaleo, the Abilities on these two cards only apply to Darkrai and Giratina. Both Darkrai and Giratina can do major damage when attacking, 120 and 160, but for the amount of Energy cards required, and the fact the you need Energy cards in your hand in order to use their Abilities, neither card is worth using when deck building. Between these two cards, Darkrai is the better one.

Personally, I have now opened around 150 booster packs of Ultra Prism and have lots of openings to post to YouTube very soon. I am currently working on reviewing a Zoroark GX and Golisopod GX deck, but hope to get to building a Metal type deck with Solgaleo Prism Star, very soon!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Shopping for Ultra Prism Pokemon Cards

Ultra Prism Pokemon Cards at Target
Ultra Prism at Target
As many know, yesterday, February 2nd, 2018, was the official release date of Ultra Prism. The goal on my channel is to always open products as soon as they are released. When Crimson Invasion was released, I did a shopping video where I went to my local Walmart and showed everything they had in stock, plus purchased everything that was new, that video was well received, so I headed to Mankato, Minnesota, about an hour away from where I live, in hopes of recording the Ultra Prism selection at several different stores there, unfortunately, several hours later, I am writing this blog post instead of uploading a shopping video to YouTube.

I took a vacation day from working to head to Mankato to hit up all of the stores in search of Ultra Prism, I figured in a town of 50,000+, at least one store would have the set in stock. After a full day of searching, only one store had Ultra Prism in stock, and even then, it wasn't a full selection. In the picture at the beginning of this post, you can see the selection of Ultra Prism that was at Target, they had the theme decks, individual booster packs, each of the 3-pack blisters, and unfortunately had already sold out of the Elite Trainer Boxes. I was still hopeful, thinking the toys section would be stocked up with Ultra Prism, I went back to that section, and it was pretty much empty, the newest set back there being Burning Shadows, I was so disappointed! I actually preordered the theme decks, both Elite Trainer Boxes, and the 3-pack blisters, so I was really only in search for the 1-pack blisters and the Collector's Album, and Target didn't have these in stock at all.

Next up, in the mall where Target is located is a GameStop, I had a lot of success with Pokemon cards during the Clearance Sale there, so I figured they would have at least some Ultra Prism products in stock and for sale, but no luck at all!
They had some Crimson Invasion products as well as lots of older Sun & Moon Base Set booster packs, I think they should have just sold those during their clearance sale! I can see why the Elite Trainer Boxes were gone at Target so fast, if no where else was selling the set.

All hope wasn't lost shopping in the River Hills Mall, on the other end of the mall was a Barnes and Noble store, I had been there several times, and every time I was there, my book was always in stock, of course the one day I have my video camera with me, my book is gone! Oh well, I'm glad someone purchased it, I hope they're enjoying it. Barnes and Noble usually does have a nice sealed product assortment, so I stopped to look, no
Barnes and Noble
Ultra Prism products here either.  Knowing that Shopko is always behind stocking new Pokemon cards, and that the Walmart located here never has a good selection of Pokemon cards, that ended my hunt for Ultra Prism.

The day wasn't all terrible, I did have a wonderful time with my fiance, we ate at Olive Garden, and she bought! We did some shopping in the mall, and relaxed in the massage chairs and watched the people for awhile. If you've been following me on Twitter, you know my fiance bought me two Parakeets as an early Christmas present, unfortunately Daisy fell ill and passed away, so we used the time in Mankato to go to the three pet stores and find a new bird. After lots of searching we purchased a beautiful white and blue/gray/purple female that is very friendly, without any training she hopped on my finger and even sat on my shoulder, her name is Priscilla.
My new Parakeet, Priscilla.
I did head to the local Walmart when I got back into town, they did have Ultra Prism in stock, but it looked like the card section was in the middle of being stocked, there were theme decks, Elite Trainer Boxes, and individual packs, but no blister packs. The hope is to head to Walmart Saturday night and record a shopping video for YouTube. If you have any suggestions for me in that particular video, let me know.
Ultra Prism at Walmart
Ultra Prism at Walmart

Friday, February 2, 2018

Pokemon TCG Ultra Prism - My Initial Thoughts

Ultra Prism Pokemon Cards

Today, February 2nd, 2018 is the official release date of the 77th expansion set in the Pokemon TCG, Ultra Prism. Although today is the official release date, I've already personally opened around 100 booster packs. Below, you'll find my initial thoughts on the new set...

Wow, this is one large set! With 173 total cards in Ultra Prism, this will not be an easy set for the wallet, this may be the first set in quite some time where I have to sell my duplicates in order to afford all of the ultra rares and secret rares in the set. Also, this is the first new set released where I can honestly say I have a good understanding of the current format and can jump right into building decks for the 2018 Standard Format with cards from the set. So the collector in me, and the competitive player are really pleased overall with the set, there are so many good cards in this set!

As a collector I can't wait to pull 1 of the 2 gold-colored GX Full Art Secret Rare cards, Lunala and Solgaleo. I've watched lots of openings and have been told that these cards are hard to come by, we're talking about less than 1 in 5 booster boxes, these cards may be the next Gold Star cards, we'll just have to see if they continue to appear in Forbidden Light and other future sets. I was lucky enough to pull a golden Solgaleo GX in my Japanese GX Battle Boost booster box, so I hope I don't have to end up buying each card individually in this set! I also like that 3 Ultra Beasts, Pheromosa, Xurkitree, and Celesteela are available as GX Full Art and GX Rainbow Rare cards in this set, after having regular GX forms, as Black Star Promos, in the Ultra Beasts GX Premium Collection Boxes.
Solgaleo Prism Star
Solgaleo Prism Star 89/156
I also really like the Prism Star cards in this set, they come in the reverse holo slot of the pack and are very appealing to the eye, with a black border that really stands out. I am assuming these cards will be in lots of decks in the future, although only 1 copy of the same Prism Star card can be used in a deck. The last thing I like about Ultra Prism, when it comes to collecting would be that the set includes lots of 4th Generation Pokemon, Pokemon featured in the Diamond and Pearl series of games and sets, I personally started on YouTube back in 2008, right in the heart of the 4th Generation, so this particular Generation is certainly special to me.

As someone fully involved with the competitive side of Pokemon cards right now, the best card in the set is easily Cynthia, both the uncommon Trainer and the Full Art. Instead of having to discard your hand with Professor Sycamore, or refreshing your opponent's hand with N, Cynthia allows you to shuffle your hand into your deck and draw 6 cards without touching your opponent's hand. Without Ultra Prism being legal in the Standard Format, it is hard to test what decks work best,
Glaceon GX
Glaceon GX 39/156
but there is lots of hype around Glaceon GX and its Ability which prevents all Abilities on GX and EX cards from working, it is unfortunate Glaceon has to be in the Active Pokemon spot for this to work, and things like Garbodor's Ability, or any Pokemon that isn't an EX or GX, will continue working just fine, but this card definitely has potential. I would say the first deck I plan on reviewing in this set would be a Metal type deck with Dusk Mane Necrozma GX, Solgaleo Prism Star, Magnezone, and Mt. Coronet, this deck can do major damage when attacking, we're talking 220+, and it accelerates Energy into play with both Magnezone and Solgaleo, plus it can easily take down any Fairy type deck out there, i.e. Gardevoir GX.
Dusk Mane Necrozma GX
Dusk Mane Necrozma GX 90/156
So to summarize, I really like Ultra Prism, at least so far, the pull rates are excellent, you're looking at 8-9 Ultra Rares, Secret Rares, and Prism Star cards per booster box, and right now, there are lots of valuable cards in the set, with Cynthia Full Art and the golden GX cards leading the way. I will certainly be opening both Elite Trainer Boxes, and all of the blister packs very soon on my channel. I would like to wish everyone the best of luck with their openings, I hope you're able to pull exactly what you're looking for from your packs!

I am hoping to get away from writing the daily card reviews on my blog that I've been writing for so many years, instead the hope is to write more articles like these a few times a week. I hope to write more strategic and advanced articles on my blog, ones geared mainly towards the Standard Format of the competitive TCG. If you have any suggestions for me, feel free to contact me or leave a comment. Also, if you'd like to battle me on the online TCG, my name there is primetimepkmn.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Porygon2 -- Burning Shadows Pokemon Card Review

Porygon2 Burning Shadows Pokemon Card
Pokemon Card Overview:
Today's Pokemon Card Review is of Porygon2 from the Burning Shadows Pokemon Card set.  Porygon2 is a Stage 1, Colorless type Pokemon card, with a HP of 80.  It has a x2 weakness to Fighting type Pokemon, no resistance type, and a one Colorless Energy card retreat cost.  This card does not have an Ability but it does have two moves.  The first move on this card is called Calculate, for one Colorless Energy card, this move allows you to look at the top 6 cards of your deck and put them back in any order.  The second move on this card is called Beam, for three Colorless Energy cards, this move does 40 damage.

Pokemon Card Strategy:
So as far as strategy goes, since Porygon2 is a Stage 1 Pokemon card, you'll first have to get Porygon into play (I reviewed Porygon from this set yesterday) and then evolve Porygon into Porygon2.  Porygon does have a Stage 2 evolution in Porygon-Z, which I'll be reviewing tomorrow, that you'll probably want to use with this Pokemon line but since I haven't reviewed that card yet, the strategy below will act like Porygon2 is the final evolution in this line.  So if you read my review of Porygon, you'll know that I thought it was a below average Basic Pokemon card overall.  The card did have lots of positives, like a solid HP, two moves both requiring one Energy to use, and a low retreat cost.  But, like most Basic Pokemon with two evolution forms, there isn't much of a reason to use a card like this on its own.  So knowing this about Porygon and looking at this Porygon2 card, this card is similar to Porygon in that you don't want to use this card for its move that does damage but for its move that manipulates cards in play, this time it lets you re-arrange the top 6 cards of your deck.  This move can be used with something like Mallow or Zoroark GX, where you are then able to draw additional cards your next turn and since you can re-arrange your deck, you can get the cards you really need.  Also, this move lets you peek at your deck to see if something like a Max Elixir will work or not.  Of course, during your opponent's next turn they can use Supporter N and make you shuffle your deck, nullifying Porygon2's attack.  So unless you really want to be able to re-arrange the top 6 cards of your deck, don't use this card without Porygon-Z.  Plus, you can always use Gallade from the BREAKthrough set to re-arrange the top 5 cards of your deck every turn using its Ability.

Pokemon Card Rating:  
I would give this card a 1 out of 5 rating.  In my opinion this is a well below average Stage 1 Pokemon card from the Burning Shadows set.  While it may be useful to be able to re-arrange the top 6 cards of your deck, this is an easy thing for your opponent to erase with something like Supporter N, add to this the fact Porygon2 has a low HP and a weak attacking move, and there really isn't any reason to use Porygon or Porygon2 in a deck, I would give these two cards a 1 out of 5 rating, look elsewhere.

Tomorrow's Pokemon Card:
So thanks for reading today's Pokemon card review of Porygon2 from the Burning Shadows set, stay tuned for tomorrow's card review of Porygon's Stage 2 evolution in Porygon-Z, which is from this same set.  Make sure to check below for the Free Pokemon TCG Online Codes!

Free Pokemon TCG Online Code Cards:
Today's Quiz for a Pokemon TCG Online Code Card --
At what level does Porygon evolve into Porygon2?
Please respond with the correct answer and a link to your YouTube channel. 24 hours from now I will be randomly selecting a correct response to my question and sending a private message to this person with a free code on YouTube.