What? The ‘Pokemon’ Trading Card Game Base Set is Evolving!

by Tim Maison
Published: Last Updated on

Way back in December a rumor emerged as a result of poor journalism that the base set of the Pokemon TCG (Trading Card Game) was being reprinted in Japan.  This rumor proved false, despite the excitement and hype on the internet, and the set referred to merely featured original box art in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of Pokemon.  February did see the release of the “Generations” card expansion, which heavily featured the original 151 Pokemon, but the set was far from a reprint and far from what many fans were hoping for.

base set holos

Now, however, it’s been revealed that Pokemon Company is revisiting the TCG base set in the November expansion of the game.  The set, called “Evolutions,” is the twelfth expansion of the XY series and will contain “hard-battling Pokemon and old-school Trainers,” which have been “reinvented for a new generation” all featuring original artwork from the 1999 base set.  While not an exact reprint, the cards are a “reinvention of the very first Pokemon cards,” according to the set description, featuring unaltered artwork that all veteran and lapsed players and collectors will love, and clearly designed to evoke nostalgia, not unlike the mobile behemoth, Pokemon Go.

Consequently, the expansion will feature current mechanics, including the EX mechanic, the Mega Evolution mechanic, and the BREAK mechanic, so as to be relevant and playable to current TCG players while still paying respects to the 102 cards that started it all and the first generation of Pokemon and only featuring the original 151 (potentially fewer, the original base set only had 102 cards, and essential Pokemon like Gengar weren’t featured until the first expansion, Fossil, a couple of months later).


This is brilliant fan service on two fronts as it expands the arsenal of available cards to players currently invested in the game while allowing lapsed players such as myself the opportunity to remember the good ol’ days while learning some new mechanics and the current state of play in the TCG.  There’s no better point to join the fray, and I sincerely hope that all Pokemon fanatics, whether old collectors who’ve never played, or ancient players who haven’t played in years, or even video game fans who’ve never bothered at all with the TCG, will come together to play a card game that is genuinely fantastic and a load of fun to play, as well as collect, in celebration of twenty years of Pokemon.  The Evolutions expansion releases on November 2nd in the West and on September 16th in Japan as the 20th Anniversary set.

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