Japanese Card Series SM5 Ultra Sun & Moon Set To Be Released In Japan December 8th

The 5th addition in the Japanese Sun & Moon Pokemon card series is set to be released on December 8, 2017. The series will be called SM5 “Ultra Sun & Moon”.

The series will feature some of the classic characters as well as the Alolan Pokemon characters. As in previous series, there will be several full art cards including Dialga GX, Palkia GX, Gardenia, Mars & more. As well as prism star cards. These will be available for purchase on Pokevault as soon as they are released.

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Pokemon Center Eevee Poncho Limited Edition Goods

The Japan Pokemon Centers are releasing a bunch of new Eevee Poncho goods on October 7, 2017. The goods all feature Eevee with Eeveelution ponchos.

There are all 8 Eeveelution versions of plush toys and plush mascot keychains. After making many different poncho versions of Pikachu, it looks like the Pokemon Centers have moved on to Eevee. We got our first look at the Eevee ponchos with the limited edition Pokemon Store Okinawa Eevee Arcanine plush toy poncho. There were 2 different versions made (mouth open and mouth closed). Now the Pokemon Centers have decided to make all 8 Eeveelutions.

In addition to the plushies and mascots, there are several more items including Deck Sleeves, File Folders, Candy Tins, Ponchos, gashapon vending figures and more….

These will go on sale on October 7, 2017, in Japan, while supplies lasts. Of course you can buy them at Pokevault.com.

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Black and White TCG Set

This set is absolutely fantastic, for players and collectors! All “base” sets have a reputation for being groundbreaking in the competitive scene and just sought after in general. Black and White was no exception! New “extended art” ultra rare cards were introduced and they are absolutely beautiful. Being the ultra rares in the set its only natural that they are expensive, right? Wrong! Each extended art card (Reshiram and Zekrom) also received regular foil versions in the set as well. This is great for collectors and players; it gives collectors gorgeous ultra rares while keeping the price down on these cards for players. Almost all of the foils in this set are playable; at the very least. Emboar, Zoroark, Reshiram, and Zekrom are the ones that really shine however. Emboar has the “rain dance” power but with fire energy and to any Pokémon! Zoroark can copy any attack on the defending Pokémon for a Double Colorless Energy or search out any one card for a Dark Energy. Reshiram and Zekrom both do 120 damage for just three energy or twenty damage plus ten more damage for each damage counter on Reshiram/Zekrom! The only drawbacks to their attacks are that Reshiram discards two fire energy and Zekrom does forty damage to itself. Maybe you figured it out yourself but Emboar and Reshiram go together amazingly while Zoroark can fit into any deck. Zekrom is better suited in a deck with Pachirisu from Call of Legends and Shaymin from Unleashed. Many of the other cards in this set have a lot of potential, I highly advise you to check out a list of the set!

Now what does this set have to offer collectors? Well first off, a brand new foil pattern! Instead of sparkles the foil is horizontal lines which are definitely an improvement in my opinion. Of course the Pokémon are all new so these are the first cards released of these Pokémon. Actually, that’s not entirely true! There is a secret Pikachu in this set. It is extremely rare; about one in three to four boxes! Even the “flavor text” for the card acknowledges its rarity. As previously mentioned, there are two ultra rares in this set; Reshiram and Zekrom. There is also an error card in this set and it isn’t just any card; it’s the Zekrom ultra rare. The card was printed on two different backgrounds, one black and one gray with the gray one being the error. All collectors simply have to get their hands on both versions of this card. Like sets before every card except the ultras and the secret comes in reverse foil version. Gotta catch ‘em all!

Overall, the Black and White TCG set is a great investment for anyone who likes Pokémon. Of course if you’re reading this you like Pokémon so go out and buy a few packs of this set. Some packs even come up with codes for the upcoming online Pokémon card game making the set an even better deal. Packs with codes can only be found at hobby stores however, meaning if you want the codes go out and support your local game store. That’s it for the Black and White set, peace!

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Emolga The Irresistible! Summary And Review

By JC

Hey guys! Today I will be summarizing and reviewing the 24th episode of the Pokemon Black and White series. In the previous episode, Ash earned his third gym badge by defeating Burgh in a 3-on-3 gym battle. The show beings with a trio of Patrat bouncing on a tree limb to yield some tasty apples. An Emolga peeks from a tree and flops down on the ground next to them. It proceeds to use Attract on all 3 of them, and as a result, takes off with all their hard-earned apples.

Ash, Iris, and Cilan are seen eating lunch with a guest, Bianca. Iris presents some apples for dessert afterwards, to which Bianca responds negatively. Oshawott pops out spontaneously and grabs an apple. Axew is handed one as well, but mishandles it and chases after it down a hill. An Emolga takes his apple and daydreams about a scenario to take all of Iris’s apples. It thinks that if it is nice to Axew, Iris will offer her apples in return. This is exactly what happens, but Bianca comes running down and smothers it. She shows her intentions to catch it and sends out her Mincinno to battle it. Mincinno begins with Double-slap and follows that up with Hyper Voice. It uses Tickle next, but that provokes Emolga to use Discharge and electrocutes everyone. Both battles uses Attract, but only the wild Pokemon’s attack goes through. Oshawott pushes Mincinno out of the way and begins to fall in love. It turns out our new friend is a girl. It flies away as Bianca and Axew chase after it.

Axew wants to give an apple to Emolga so they go looking for it. Bianca has her own intentions and heads off. We see it find some apples and its thoughts about Iris’s apples as well as a negative view of Bianca and being caught. Iris finds her and reveals that her Pokemon has a small crush on the electric-mouse. Just when they are about to cement their friendship, Bianca interrupts. She flies away, but Iris and Axew follow it, but they end up in a forest full of Swoobat. Emolga can’t stand it and she electrocutes all of them. Ash and the others play catch up.

Iris, Emolga, and Axew find a small pond and proceed to have a bit of fun. The electric mouse decides to use Hidden Power into the pool, but gets a little carried away and provokes a school of Swoobat nearby. She electrocutes them again and they make a run for it. The others are in the forest and look upon a rustling bush. Bianca decides to launch a surprise attack with Pignite, but mistakenly attacks a Scolipede. Iris and the two take cover in a small cove. Ash and the others are able to get away from Scolipede and they come to rustling tree. Bianca prematurely attacks again, attacking a Galvantula this time. Angered, it shocks all of them. Back in the cove, a huge group of Swoobat attacks them. They are surrounded and forced to fight. Iris sends out her Excadrill in hopes that he will defend them. It stays clammed up. Emolga uses her Attract, but has no effect on the male Swoobat. Excadrill is inadvertently affected and Iris recalls him, shaking her head.
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How To Counter The Metagame

By PKG

In the Pokemon Card Game, some hardcore players will use the word “metagame.” Basically the metagame includes all the amazing cards and decks currently in the tournament legal format. People say the metagame changes whenever a new expansion is released or when a killer strategy is produced by the game’s players. As of right now, the format includes cards from HeartGold SoulSilver up to Noble Victories. The metagame was changed once again and here’s an overview of how to counter the latest emerging strategies.

Electric type decks have made a huge comeback. They are popular because of the Electric-type Pokemon Eelektrik and its Dynamotor ability. This ability allows the player to grab an Electric energy card from the discard pile and attach it to anything on your bench. This is excellent for energy acceleration and setting up Pokemon on your bench. Paired with Magnazone, Tornadus, Thundurus, and/or Magnazone you have a very destructive deck. This deck is commonly referred to as “Eelektrik Kicks” or “Eels” among fans.

The best counter for Eelektrik Kicks decks and many other popular Electric-type decks, like Zekrom-Pachirisu-Shaymin a.k.a. “ZPS,” is a Donphan based deck. The Fighting-type hits hard with a 60 damage attack that only costs one Fighting-type energy card. Not only does it have great offense, but the defense is solid, too. It has a Poke-Body called “Exoskeleton” that reduces all damage done to Donphan from attacks by 20 points. Most Electric-types have a weakness to Fighting, which means Donphan’s attack will hit their opponents hard with 120 damage on every turn.

Another emerging deck in the metagame is called “Two Scoops” by most players. It uses a Vileplume, Vanilluxe and Victini combination. This deck can be slow to start since both Vileplume and Vanilluxe are both stage two Pokemon. Nonetheless, once the Two Scoops get rolling there’s no stopping them. With Trainer Cards blocked from use by Vileplume both players are “Trainer Locked.” Plus, Vanilluxe can paralyze the opponent with its Double Freeze attack. This attack is luck based, but that’s where Victini comes in to save the day. It has an ability that lets the player re-flip a coin when used for an attack.

Tech in a Cobalion and you’ll have a strong attacker to take out this formidable frozen nightmare. It is a Steel-type and most of the Water-types are weak against it. Another way to beat this engine is to play Cobalion, Electrode and Kyurem as a team. Spread damage with Kyurem and then use Electrode for energy acceleration. Cobalion remains your main attacker in this line up. Another strategy is to just take out every Oddish using the Catcher card as soon as you see it put on the bench. Do not let it evolve so you can stay out of the Trainer Lock.

Overall you will see these two decks at your local City Championships and probably at State Championships, as well. The next two sets are Psycho Drive and Hail Blizzard (if the name doesn’t change in the USA). The metagame will change again, but always remember to look for tech options and type weaknesses to counter whatever comes your way.

 

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Kyurem: Tech + Main Attacker

By: Brian Hsieh

With the release of Noble Victories arriving soon, many have their eyes on one Pokemon; Kyurem. Kyurem is an ice and dragon type. In Pokemon card form that translates to water type. Ice Pokemon featured in the Pokemon Black and White sets have displayed a weakness to steel type, an attempt to give steel decks a pickup later on in the TCG season. Kyurem has 130 HP, a two energy retreat cost, and two attacks. His first attack is Outrage, a two colorless energy attack that has the same effect as Reshiram and Zekrom’s Outrage. His second attack differs from the previously mentioned dragons. Instead of having an attack that does 120, his second attack called Glaciate, which costs two water energy and one colorless energy, attacks every one of your opponent’s Pokemon for 30 each. This move is devastating, as the only downside it has is that it can’t damage the active defending Pokemon for 120. It makes up by doing a possible 180 to your opponent in spread out damage, or 210 if the active Pokemon is weak against water. This gives users a good idea of how to keep it on the field, but not only is it a good Pokemon to use as a main attacker; it also fits as a tech in other decks.

Reshiphlosion is a top tier deck that many decks have to tech for. When the Emerging Powers released, Basculin 24/98 was a clear candidate to be teched into decks to counter Reshiphlosion. It was also a common card, so getting one in a booster pack wasn’t so difficult. You had a choice between Flail, which cost one colorless energy but could do up to 70 damage; or you could use Final Gambit, which cost one water energy and a double colorless and allowed you to do 80 damage. Double both of these attacks and you have a knocked out Reshiram or Typhlosion Prime. However, there were many flaws with Basculin. For one, Basculin only has 80 HP, which gives opponents an easy revenge KO when Basculin actually defeats something. Using Flail to its full effect would have to have Basculin at 70 HP. Final Gambit has a downside of knocking out Basculin if you flip double tails. The other downside to Final Gambit is that it takes two turns to set up (three if you don’t have double colorless), and once Basculin is knocked out, you lose vital energy. Kyurem is a better Basic Pokemon that has a higher HP and better attacks. Outrage already starts off doing 20 damage, so just five damage counters will KO a Reshiram or Typhlosion. Glaciate would do 60 damage to the defending Pokemon while 30 to each bench Pokemon, resulting in massive damage pickups if your main attacker is Kyurem. If you tech it in other decks then Magnezone, Gothitelle, Zekrom, or even your own Reshiram can clean up.

Kyurem can also become a wall in Vileplume decks. Zekrom is unable to hold up the wall without damaging himself for 40 with his big attack and Reshiram is unable to hold up the wall without constantly discarding energy. Kyurem can constantly use his second attack without any negative effect towards the user. This allows for another Kyurem to set up in case a Cobalion is teched in against it. Three Glaciate attacks already does 90 to the whole bench and the defending Pokemon, so many avid players are dying to see how that transfers into real life battle situations. Since Kyurem is a basic Pokemon, it’s able to be sent out first and have you set up Vileplume later. This allows users to add more cards in that can help Kyurem out, like other big bodied Pokemon that can take over if Kyurem is to be knocked out.

Overall I see Kyurem getting a lot of play in some decks. It fits well as a very consistent Reshiphlosion counter in wall decks but fails to one shot anything unless they are babies. It won’t see any play in Yanmegazone, but for Gothitelle and Vileplume decks, it will be a healthy addition.

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Basic Pokemon Tool: Eviolite

By: Brian Hsieh

Eviolite is found in the fifth generation of the Pokemon games. It raises the special defense and defense of a Pokemon if that Pokemon is capable of evolving. This gave card creators a chance to insert it into the metagame. While keeping its defensive traits, this card differs from the actual item in the game. Instead of raising the defenses of a Pokemon that still can evolve, it raises the defense of all Basic Pokemon by 20 HP, even ones that do not have the capability of evolving further. This is basically a Defender card that never goes away unless the Pokemon is knocked out. This gives holders of this card many strategic applications that can further change the metagame.

A perfect insert for Eviolite is into ZTPS. Every Pokemon within ZTPS is a Basic Pokemon and would all benefit from an Eviolite attachment, although attaching to a Shaymin or Pachirisu would be quite pointless, as they aren’t your actual attackers in the deck. What this does is give Zekrom and Tornadus some breathing room against 120 attacks from Reshiram or another Zekrom that use a Pluspower to knock out a Zekrom. A smart opponent wouldn’t attack like that in fear of getting hit with an Outrage, so it does stall for a turn giving your own Zekrom the chance to Bolt Strike for 120 and add a Pluspower if that opponent hasn’t attached an Eviolite. This card might also see some play with Reshiram themed decks, although the insert might not be as strong as ZTPS considering Reshiram is the sole Basic Pokemon that attacks in those decks.

Another good example would be for wall decks. Vileplume takes away the Pluspower one would need to KO a Pokemon with 130 HP and Reuniclus spreads the damage around so that the active Pokemon remains unharmed. Techs like Magby and Kingdra Prime have shown an ability to overcome such obstacles, which have lowered Gothitelle’s playability. Eviolite won’t help Gothitelle, but it will help Pokemon such as Kyurem, Reshiram, Zekrom, Terrakion maintain a healthy wall while even being hit with burn or Spray Splash after the user’s turn. It will even help Pokemon like Cobalion and Virizion maintain walls as 140 is good enough for Kingdra but doesn’t help with Magby. It can be really deadly with Kyurem though, as steel type Pokemon haven’t received much play. Eviolite also counters Rocky Helmet, another Pokemon tool released in Noble victories which would initially damage the attacker by 20.

Eviolite won’t be seen in any Stage 1 Rush or Yanmegazone, but now those decks have to insert more techs to counter this item. Once it’s released, it should automatically be considered in your deck if you run any of the above. If not, you must consider putting a card that will counter it. Pokemon tools were just rereleased in this new set, so the only Pokemon at the moment that removes Pokemon tools is Heatmor. The upside is that Heatmor is a basic Pokemon, which means that there won’t be a clunky evolution line just to counter one thing like Kingdra Prime does. The downside is that it takes two turns to set up, as it requires two energies in order to use this attack. Typhlosion Prime’s afterburner effect allows Heatmor to gain one from the discard pile and attach, but the opponent can easily just knock out Heatmor and attach another Eviolite. Best case scenario is using Rocky Helmet mixed with a Kingdra Prime line. This gives the user a chance to hit for 10 more damage in order to expose any Pokemon with Eviolite and 150 HP that decides to attack a Pokemon with Rocky Helmet. Future sets will probably hurt Eviolite’s playability, but for now, it’s a very playable card. It’s not completely devastating, but it can affect the outcome of many battles from here on.

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Pokemon Noble Victories Set Review

By Kohrok

Hey there Pokemon fans, welcome back to another article with Kohrok! Today, we’ll be discussing the latest US set, Noble Victories! The 101-card set was released on November 16, 2011, and it promises to be one of the best sets yet. With 5 full-art cards and a secret rare, it rounds out the Black/White Collection quite well. In addition to rare cards, it also contains a number of cards that offer potential in the form of abilities, some of which we will look at today.

First off is Victini (14 and 98), available as a regular holo and as a full-art card. The attack, “Stored Power”, offers a decent 30 damage for (Fire) (Colorless), but it hardly compares to Victini’s ability. Aptly named “Fliptini” by fans of the game, it has caused a huge run on probabilities, leading the entire fan community to begin to get concerned about coin flips and mathematics. The ability, usable one time per turn, allows for the coins used in an attack to be completely re-flipped. Although having multiple Victini in play will not allow the ability to be used multiple times, the ability to re-flip offers huge potential for any coin-flipping deck. Key partners include Sharpedo (TM), whose “Strip Bare” attack now has an increase in success probability, resulting in a 43.75% chance of success. It’s not quite a doubling, but it is an improvement, that will surely lead to an increase in coin-flip play.

The second card to focus on is Chandelure (60). Although not terribly impressive offensively for a Stage 2 Pokemon, it’s (stackable) ability allows you to place 3 damage counters on your opponent’s side of the field, as long as Chandelure is active. The retreat cost of 2 hurts, but by playing Dodrio UD, you can utilize the “Retreat Aid” Poke-body to reduce that to 0, allowing for a free retreat every turn. By playing 2 Chandelure, you open the door to place 6 damage counters and attack using “Eerie Glow” for 50 Damage, burning and confusing your opponent. Current decks plan on running high counts of “Switch” to help allow for additional damage placement, and some decks have opted to look at Kingdra Prime (UL) to allow for even more damage placement, creating (with 2 Chandelure, Dodrio, and 2 Kingdra Prime) the ability to place 8 damage counters onto the field, each and every turn. This same capability, utilized by Garchomp C Lv. X over the past two seasons to great effect, is an extremely potent combination. Even though set-up will be required, the use of Twins (TM) and Rare Candy (UL) offer the ability to get set-up faster and more effectively. A fully powered Chandelure will be a threat, and with a full set-up, it may be even stronger than before.
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New Pokemon Information Regarding Championship Events

By Kohrok

Hey Pokemon Players! Kohrok here with another awesome article with Hardrock-Pokemon. As you may know, we’re heading into the meatiest part of this year’s tournament schedule for the Pokemon TCG, with Regionals the second weekend of November, City Championships running through December and January, State Championships after that, Spring Regionals, and of course, the now-announced United States Nationals in late June, all leading up to the 2012 Pokemon World Championships!

For those of you that haven’t been following the season thus far, never fear! There are still plenty of opportunities to earn an invite and find your place at the World Championships top tables. There are some changes to the way that works, however. The first primary change is in the ranking system. Previously, the Pokemon Trading Card Game had used a “K-Value” system to establish rankings, re-setting each year to a base of 1600 points, and allowing players’ ratings to increase and decrease with wins and losses. Depending on the importance of each event, assessed with a numeric “K-value”, the number of points that were won or lost differed.

This year, however, the system has changed. While the K-value system is still in place, it will only be used as a tie-breaking method, and not as an invitation system as it previously had. Now, a “Championship Points” system has been created, which has led to an increase in event attendance thus far, and looks to do so for the remainder of the year. Now, top finishers and finalists will receive “Championship Points” for their finish position, similar to the way some sports give points based on final position, such as in Track or Swimming. Based on the number of points a player accumulates over the season, the number of their “top finishes”, a ranking may or may not be given.

This new method means that you no longer lose points for losing games, creating an extreme incentive to go to as many tournaments as possible, in the hope that you may win an event, reaping a large point-award. Currently, there has been much debate as to what, if any, cutoff may occur for the invitation, but such news has not been made public at this time. Also private remains the number of “Play! Points” required to attend the Nationals tournament. Unlike in previous years, United States Nationals will NOT be open to any and all players. In response to growing player demand and other concerns, Pokemon has implemented a new rule for this year. Instead, each season of league, pre-release, tournament, and premier event that a player attends will now add “Play! Points” (not to be confused with Championship Points) to a player’s total. Once a specific amount of Play! Points are reached, a player will be eligible to attend the National Tournament.
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Oklahoma Pokemon Battle Roads

By JC

Hey Guys! I know it’s a little late, but I attended and competed at my very first Battle Roads in Oklahoma. I have never been a part of the meta-game. My only experience came back in ’98-’99 when the series started. I pretty much just battled friends with my Rain Dance and Haymaker decks. I used an Reshiboar deck because it was my cheapest option and I had already bought the Red Frenzy Starter Deck. Reshiphlosion is also one the cheaper decks out there, but I personally like Reshiboar better. I like to call my deck “Budgetboar,” because of the low cost contents. I was only able to run 2-2 of Pokemon Collector and Rare Candy. Most of the cards in my deck I pulled from packs, except for 2 Ability Emboars and HeartGold SoulSilver Ninetails, which I bought. There were over 20 Masters participants, and we played 5 rounds of Swiss.

Match 1: My start really drained my confidence. I had hopes to make Top Cut, but I mulliganed 3 times and went second. I shrugged off the competitive nerves and looked forward to enjoy myself. Afterall, this was my very first event. My first match would be against a MegaZone variant. By Turn 2, he had a Magnezone, a Yanmega, and pretty much a full bench. Luckily, I was able to use Pokemon Collector to get a Reshiram, Tepig, and Vulpix. He seemed like he was in a good position, but mentioned that he wasn’t getting what he needed. I kept my hand large (10+ cards) thanks to a good Interviewer’s Question to prevent his Yanmega from attacking.

I was waiting for the inevitable Judge or Copycat, but I never recall him using one. They may have been discarded with Sage’s Training. Our battle was the last of Round One, and eventually the Judge called time. On Turn 1, I was able to knockout one of his Pokemon, and tied the game (we both had 2 or 3 left). On Turn 2, he used Linear Attack on my Ninetails. On the last turn, it looked like the game was going to go to sudden death because I couldn’t knockout his active Magnezone. I knew I had a Junk Arm in my deck. If I were able to get it, I’d be able to win the game by getting my one and only copy of Pokemon Catcher in my discard pile. I used a PONT, and drew the game-clinching Junk Arm. This game was a cliffhanger and I shook my opponent’s hand for a great first game.

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Match 2: My second match start went better as I only mulliganed once. He flipped over his cards showing an Active Phanpy and already had Kyougre-Groudon Legend on the bench. I was intimidated, but I pressed on. On my first turn, I used 2 Pluspowers, and used Professor Juniper. I forgot what I ended up discarding, but I know that I struggled with my decision. I was able to set up a fast Emboar, but I lost my Vulpix to a Pokemon Catcher. We traded prizes as his Donphan took out a Tepig and a Vulpix, but I was able to knockout his Donphan with one Blue Flare (the one shot was possible because I previously used 2 Pluspowers and attacked his Phanpy with Tepig). He didn’t get a single Energy on his Legend and I was able to knock it out for 2 prizes. I was able to get Reshiram going and ended up winning.
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