With the lack of competitive play in 2020 (well… the lack of play at all), The Pokemon Company (TPCi) seemed to have focused on the more collectible items. We saw MULTIPLE Charizards released as well other pretty cards. It was a collectors DREAM. With the US getting “stimulus” financial support, people had money without a purpose… so why not POKEMON CARDS!?!?

With us now being in a new year (new year, new me lol) we as the PLAYERS would love to see some more playable cards! With the announcement of the 25th-anniversary set coming out, it had me doubting that there would be anything playable on the horizon. I mean come on… the set is called SHINING FATES (Shining Legends and Hidden Fates had baby guys and gals) and we know that we got little to no playable things out of either of those sets. Except for MARSHADOW! Cause who didn’t love disrupting your opponent’s hand after playing a supporter lol. All the talk about the collector’s sets had me on a downer until I stumbled on…

BATTLE STYLES!!! What can we expect from this set that LITERALLY has BATTLE in its name? Could this be the set that shuts down the players in doubt? Well, what has been spoiled about the set so far??? The set is based on the 8th Gen Game “The Isle of Armor” Expansion Pass and surrounds a Pokemon name Urshifu. Urshifu has 2 forms namely Single Strike Master and Rapid Strike Master. For their namesake, these represent hard hitters and agile strikers. The set will have cards of both kinds and will see a string of NEW Pokemon V cards released. There are some of these… I am VERY excited about it!

Empoleon V will surely be one of the sought after V cards. With its ability, Emperor’s Eyes, it can shut down the abilities of all non V/GX basic pokemon. This will leave popular cards such as Jirachi, Mewtwo, Tapu Koko Prism, Mew, and Oranguru useless.

Another contender to the list will be this edition of Tapu Koko V. With Pikachu & Zekrom GX (PikaRom) still showing its dominance in the competitive scene, this card will sure to cause a shock (Dad Joke lol). With its 2nd attack stating…

(Lightning, Lightning, Colorless) Spiral Thunder
20+ This attack does 40 more damage for each Energy attached to all of your opponent’s Pokémon.

This could be the perfect card to deal with the pesky mirror matches!

Another big boy to be in the yellow spotlight will be Tapu Koko VMAX. With a 180 base damage attack, paralyzing the opponent if you are behind in prizes AND only have 1 retreat cost. This guy is a good contender for PikaRom. PikaRom has been lacking a pokemon with high HP. This could be the guy to fill the void!

Another surprising addition to the set is Mimikyu V! With damage spread being a huge factor in decks like Dragapult VMAX, this card will be a great addition. Its ability allows it to take NO DAMAGE the turn it comes into play, making this card candidate for a momentum-swinging play. Its attack though… is REALLY good! For single energy, it allows to “place 3 damage counters on your opponent’s Active Pokémon for each Prize card your opponent has taken” The amount of havoc an attack like this can cause is ENDLESS.

Also, an interesting insect is the Kricketune V. This grass pokemon will not be added for its damage but rather, as a utility pokemon. It’s ability states “Once during your turn, you may draw cards until you have 3 cards in your hand. If this Pokémon is in the Active Spot, you may draw cards until you have 4 cards in your hand.” Draw power and card advantage have always been some of the biggest strengths in Pokemon TCG. Although you can only use this ability once a turn… he may still be flying into some decks and bugging your opponents.

The first and only non V/VMAX pokemon added to the list is Morpeko! What does it do you may ask? Well besides looking AWESOME, can you remember Granbull from Lost Thunder. Well, he’s back… and he’s BASIC! For a single Dark Energy the attack does the following…”20+ If you have no cards in your hand, this attack does 90 more damage.” By reducing your hand to no cards you will be hitting for 110 DAMAGE WITH ONE ENERGY! Absolutely bonkers!

Ladies and Gentlemen… not to mention, we have REPRINTS! We are getting reprints of Escape Rope, Energy Recycler, and EXP Share. With Boss’s orders being the only gusting option in the format (Outside of playing Phione and Great Catcher) I am sure we will escape rope be included in many Tier 1 decks. ADPZ and LucMetalZ are sure to be making use of this. EXP Share and Energy Recycler will both be welcomed into the format too!

On the topic of reprints, this one deserves a mention of its own. We are getting LEVEL BALL back! This is the BIGGEST game changer in this set! Being able to search for a Pokémon with 90HP or less with NO DRAW BACKS is huge! Always was a big deal in the past and will surely be a big deal now! I still have all my level balls… do you?

In summary, I feel like Battle Styles, although not being the most anticipated set of the year, could be serving the competitive scene with some real contenders to think about. You can find the full Japanese setlist in the link below.

https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Battle_Styles_(TCG)

Thank you all for reading, and make sure to check in from time to time for the latest addition to the META BLOG!

Until next time… Cheers

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