The date for the all-new Pokémon Scarlet & Violet TCG cards has been revealed, along with some really excellent news: International cards are losing their godawful yellow borders! Woo-hoo! We’re at last getting the gray/silver Japan enjoys, along with a bunch of other quality-of-life improvements to how cards are laid out.
Coming in surprisingly late, given the widespread expectation that we’d see S&V’s first run of cards February 20, it turns out the expansion won’t be officially appearing until March 31.
Still, there’s plenty to celebrate about them when we finally do get them, not least the decision to have parity across the card designs in both Japan and internationally, including the far superior (and I will fight you) gray borders, that much better let each card’s art shine.
It’s a big change, of course, and anyone who’s nostalgic for the cards’ design will likely find this a jarring change, right up until about five seconds later when they stop noticing. Also changing to match Japan’s designs is the loss of set symbols, replaced instead with far more parsable set codes. I rather liked the symbols, but also recognize how ridiculously hard it is to memorize all 150ish of them. Codes make more sense, even if they seem more mercenary.
The other two revealed tweaks are that Trainer card subcategories will now be displayed top left, making it far easier to see if they’re an Item, Supporter, or Stadium when holding your cards fanned; and Energy cards will now have their smaller logo bottom right as well, although I struggle to see what difference that will make to anything.
We’ve also got the pack logo for the set, that we’ll be seeing an awful lot for the next three years.
We should also take a closer look at the revealed cards. Here are the three starters, and their puny abilities:
Then we have the two feature ex Legendaries, who appear functionally identical to the current gen of Vs:
There are two Trainer cards revealed, with Scarlet and Violet’s lead Professors, each providing the familiar Professor’s Research ability:
And here are those new Energy designs:
See, you already stopped noticing the lack of gaudy yellow until I just reminded you.
There will be a way to get hold of those starter Pokémon cards a lot sooner, as it happens. The Paldea Collection boxes, launching January 6, will feature all three starter cards, plus oversized versions of the Koraidon and Miraidon ex cards. They won’t be valid for tournament play, their abilities and attacks inevitably nuked by the launch of the sets proper, but we at least now know what those flipped cards in the product images will look like.
We also know a few more details about the new cards based on what’s been revealed in Japan about their first S&V set. The biggest news is that there will be terastalized cards, mimicking the feature from the new Switch game. ex cards with a crystal shield over the Pokémon won’t take damage when benched. Oh, and they can evolve from regular Basic Pokémon!
Just three-and-a-half months to wait. Although to help bridge the gap, there’s the incredible Crown Zenith set to come!