Earlier this month, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company released Pokemon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch, a brand new generation featuring new Pokemon to catch, a new UK themed region to explore called Galar, and two new mechanics called Dynamax and Gigantamax. The Pokemon Company has since confirmed that trainers will soon be able to catch the new Galar Region Pokemon in more ways that one, as Pokemon Sword and Shield is coming to the Pokemon Trading Card Game next year.
Announced in a new trailer for Pokemon Sword and Shield, The Pokemon Company unveiled an upcoming Gigantamax Snorlax event and offered fans a look at the middle and final evolutions for the three starter Pokemon, as well as new Gigantamax forms for Legendary Pokemon Zacian and Zamazenta. To cap it off, the trailer ended by revealing the first Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion for the Pokemon TCG which is due to hit stores in February 2020.
Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield
Appropriately called Pokémon Trading Card Game: Sword & Shield, the first expansion for the new series features over 50 of the new Galar Region Pokemon, and a new type of card called VMAX that showcase Dynamax or Gigantamax Pokémon. On February 7, 2020, Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield will release with new booster packs, Elite Trainer decks, and special collections, giving fans a chance to obtain a new Pokémon VMAX card like Snorlax VMAX or Lapras VMAX.
Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield has over 50 new Galar Region Pokemon including starter evolutions Rillaboom, Cinderace, and Inteleon, Galarian form Pokemon such as Galarian Ponyta, Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta as Pokémon V, and many more. The Pokemon Company also outlined some of the rarest cards in the new series including 17 Pokémon V cards, 12 full-art Pokémon V cards, 4 Pokémon VMAX cards, 35 Trainer cards, and 1 Special Energy card.
One special collection has already been announced called the Meowth VMAX Special Collection. This collection is said to be one of the first opportunities for players to receive the new Pokemon V and Pokemon VMAX cards and will be available for purchase on January 3, 2020, a full month before Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield. The Meowth VMAX collection includes 5 booster packs, 1 Meowth V card, 1 Meowth VMAX card, and 1 oversize Meowth VMAX card.
New Pokemon Descriptions
With the announcement that Gigantamax Snorlax will be making its Sword and Shield debut in early December, a few months prior to the release of the new TCG series, new details and descriptions have been given for Pokemon on showcase in the new trailer. These descriptions will apply to both the Nintendo Switch games and Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield VMAX cards once they become available worldwide.
Thanks to the power of Gigantamax, the Berry seeds and small rocks that were tangled in Snorlax’s belly fur have undergone explosive growth. With a tree sprouting upon its belly, Gigantamax Snorlax has the majesty of a great mountain. Even though it almost never moves, Gigantamax Snorlax is said to be one of the strongest Dynamax Pokémon discovered. When the time comes for it to battle, it lifts its upper body by just a tiny amount and attacks by flailing with its arms and legs—actions that actually pack a tremendous punch. When Snorlax is Gigantamaxed, its Normal-type attacks will be transformed into G-Max Replenish. G-Max Replenish doesn’t just deal damage to targets—it can also restore any Berries that Gigantamax Snorlax’s allies have eaten during the battle.
Zacian attacks its foes using the sword it grips in its mouth. The sword’s edge is extremely sharp and can tear through the thick scales of Dragon-type Pokémon as if they were paper. Zacian dashes through the battlefield to strike its enemies with the speed of a swift wind. Its graceful movements are beautiful to behold and have been compared to a dance. Zacian’s slashing attacks possess a speed that makes them impossible to see with the naked eye, and those hit by its blade are cut down before they can even feel pain from the blow. With this Steel-type physical move, Behemoth Blade, the sword in Zacian’s mouth grows to gigantic proportions and is used to slice at a target. It is especially strong against Dynamax Pokémon, and the impact of it slams through a Dynamax Pokémon’s body to deal devastating damage. The destructive power of this move is said to be enough to cut the ocean in two.
Zamazenta fends off the attacks of foes by using the golden shield that covers its front. The shield’s strength is so formidable that even the sharp claws of Dragon-type Pokémon cannot leave a single scratch upon it. No battlefield, no matter how terrible, can make Zamazenta flinch in its resolve. It will charge the enemy lines head on to defeat its opponents. Its shield-like armor provides impregnable defense but is also a weapon to be used in powerful attacks. When Zamazenta bashes into opponents with all its might, it’s said that the destructive force is enough to put cracks in the land and that the resulting shock wave can lay waste to hundreds of enemies. With this Steel-type physical move, Behemoth Bash, the winged armor on Zamazenta’s front grows to gigantic proportions and is used to bash into a target with devastating force. It is especially strong against Dynamax Pokémon, and the impact of it slams right through a Dynamax Pokémon’s body to deal devastating damage. The destructive power of this move is said to be enough to bore straight through towering mountains.
Pokémon TCG is one of the biggest strategy games in the world with new expansions and Pokemon Championships tournaments coming out every year. In fact, as of March 2019, Pokemon TCG has sold over 27.2 billion cards worldwide since its inception back in 1996. None of this news comes as a surprise considering that a new card series is released for every Pokemon generation, just like the recently announced Pokemon Sword and Shield anime.
However, that doesn't mean that Pokemon fans worldwide won't be incredibly excited for the new Galar Region Pokemon to come to the Pokemon Trading Card Game, and for the chance to get a hold of the new VMAX cards. It was only a couple of years ago now that The Pokemon Company re-released the original Pokemon TCG cards as a callback and celebration of the brand's success and the nostalgia people have for Pocket Monsters.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are available now, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.