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.

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