Pokemon’s newest set Battle Styles releases on 19 March and as release day grows closer we’re getting excited by the prospect of highly playable cards for the TCG meta. Over the last few weeks, the concept of gold trainer cards and cool variations for my playable deck has led to heightened excitement for this new launch. Initially, from a collector’s perspective outside of Gold Houndoom and the alternate art Tyranitar my interest dwindled. That being said, this set offers so much more than appears at first glance. This is why you should be excited for Battle Styles.
New game mechanics
Battle Styles is centred around the concept of Single and Rapid strike attacks. Depending on The Pokemon it will either have a “Rapid Strike” or “Single Strike” icon in the top right corner. These abilities allow you to easily search for other matching styles from your deck and use their similarities for devastating attacks like Single Strike Urshifu Vmax’s G-Max One Blow.
Awesome secret rares
We’ve mentioned this card in the past and we’ll mention it again – How can you not love the alternate art Tyranitar V? Alternate art secret rares are one of the best things about modern Japanese sets and the styles of Tyranitar V and Empoleon V’s secret rare cards make for awesome alternate chase cards for this set. Tyranitar’s greediness is captured perfectly with dirty plates scattered everywhere and an upset Pignite wondering where his dinner has disappeared to.
A golden pup
The Houndoom holo from Neo Revelation is a fan-favourite with an amazing holo pattern and background that capture the dog Pokemon’s howl. There’s an argument to be had that Houndoom is an under-appreciated Generation 2 Pokemon and this gold card finally gives it some justice. There will be lots of people opening these booster boxes hoping to pull this card, and it is arguably the chase card of the set – it’s quite nice to discuss what a set’s chase card is for a change when there’s no Charizard in sight.
Lots of Urshifu
There are loads of different Urshifu artworks in this set. The Sword & Shield’s Isle of Armor Legendary is a brand new Pokemon to launch in TCG form and the artwork has captured his character design perfectly. In the set, there are 12 artworks ranging from Single Strike Urshifu V to Rapid Strike Urshifu Vmax. A personal favourite would have to be the Rapid Strike Urshifu V Full Alternate Art, what a mouthful!
Battle Styles: A more accessible set?
Printing issues aside, Battle Styles may provide more availability for those looking to get into collecting a new set. The last two sets to release, Vivid Voltage and Shining Fates, have had massive chase cards and huge hype that have made them almost impossible to obtain. With Battle Styles focused more on players, once the printing capacity issues and stock delivery problems are resolved this could prove to be a fun way for lots of individuals to give a new set a try. That being said, like everything Pokemon branded in the current climate, I would not be surprised if these products are difficult to find – here’s hoping they’re accessible.
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor