Details about the Pokémon Sword and Shield TCG Expansion are finally available, which reveal several of the new cards coming in the set and just what the V and VMAX cards will bring to the game.
This new set will release in February 2020 for in the West, which means Japanese players will have these cards for about three months before everyone else.
The main things you need to know are that this expansion is fully introducing the new V card mechanic that will phase out GX Pokémon in the coming sets, and that VMAX cards are going to work in a similar fashion to Mega Evolution and Level X cards.
From the information we have on the new expansion, there will be close to 200 new cards, with 50 of those being the first introduction to Pokémon native to the Galar Region.
- 50 new Pokémon from the Galar Region
- 17 Pokémon V
- 12 full-art
- Including Zacian V and Zamazenta V
- Four Pokémon VMAX
- Including Snorlax and Lapras
- 35 Trainer Cards
- One Special Energy Card
Those Pokémon V cards look like they will all have devastating abilities. The two we have seen thus far are based on the two legendary wolves of Galar, Zacian and Zamazenta, and they each hold abilities similar to the ones they have in-game.
Zacian V’s Intrepid Sword ability will let you search your deck to attach a Metal Energy directly to it once it is played, which will automatically put you one step closer to using Brave Blade. Zamazenta V’s Dauntless Shield ability prevents it from being damaged in battle by any VMAX Pokémon, and Assault Tackle will knock one Special Energy off of any Pokémon it hits.
Those are just two of the Pokémon V we have seen, with another 15 to be revealed as we get closer to release. We do know that Stonejourner, Victini, Regirock, and Keldeo are just a few of the others receiving the V treatment.
Two of those Pokémon V are going to be Snorlax V and Lapras V since in order to use a VMAX card you must place it on top of the corresponding Pokémon V. That means there will need to be the base forms available too, and probably with a full-art variant since they will headline the new mechanic.
But Snorlax VMAX and Lapras VMAX are representing their Gigantimax forms from Pokémon Sword and Shield, a special type of Dynamaxing that actually changes a Pokémon’s appearance outside of size. Snorlax VMAX actually has the highest HP of any legal Pokémon Card and it is going to take a massive effort to take care of that beast and its G-Max Fall attack adds 30 damage to its base 60 damage, which means it can do up to 210 damage.
Lapras VMAX is no slouch either, with 320 HP and its G-Max Pump move that does an additional 30 damage for each Water Energy attached to the Pokémon, it is going to hit like a truck.
The only other Pokémon V and VMAX cards we know we are getting in this set is one for the long-cat version of Meowth. There will be a special collection available for the talking cat that releases early on Jan. 3, which will include one Meowth V card, one Meowth VMAX card, and one giant Meowth VMAX card, along with five Booster Packs.
The real question will be if the VMAX forms will carry over any abilities given to the Pokémon V cards they stack onto. Because just having one move and a lot of health doesn’t exactly make them better than the old GX cards, if that is what The Pokémon Company is going for.
Once a GMAX card is defeated, it will let the opponent collect three Prize Cards, just like with Mega Evolutions and Tag Team cards. So you will need to be careful with how you use these new cards once they release.
Along with the new V cards, this will also be the first time Galarian Pokémon will be made into cards. In the initial reveal image, you can see the final forms of each starter, Cinderace, Rillaboom, and Inteleon, which will also have Starter Decks coming in the near future.
Galraian Forms, such as Galarian Ponyta, will also be present in this set, which means most of the new Pokémon will be featured. Though not all of the Gigantimax forms will be present for some of the Pokémon included in the first Sword and Shield set.
Along with the Meowth special collection, there will be Elite Trainer Boxes, Booster Packs, Theme Decks, and more collections available on Feb. 7. More information will be revealed once the Japanese version of the set releases in just under two weeks.