This week, PokéGuardian’s webmaster, PrimalLugia has taken the time to go through your questions and provide his opinions on them.
Thank you very much to all of the questions submitted, I hope that you enjoy the answers provided.
"Do you think we will ever see worldwide simultaneous releases for Pokémon TCG sets? Like we do have with the video games now."
How much I would love that?! Unfortunately, I don't think that would be a thing. Two things would need to happen in order for this to work. Either the Japanese releases will have to transition into 1 set every 3 months, or the International language sets will have to be released every month to coincide with their Japanese counterparts. I think that it would be possible to transition into either scenarios, but unlikely as the current releases are tried and tested and will impact profit margins globally for the Pokémon Company.
"What's your favourite TCG collection and why is it Dragons Exalted?"
I would love another Dragon set. It would be fantastic for the Pokémon Company to release a Dragon set or re-introduce Dragon Type Pokémon in the Sword & Shield era. My favourite modern set is Dream League and my all-time favourite release is Aquapolis.
Dream League has fantastic artwork – similar to that of the Aquapolis expansion.
"How do you get your information about Pokemon?"
We obtain our information for the site from a variety of sources, either collected first-hand from local stores or from credible sources online.
"In Canada people have been buying Hidden Fates products at an incredible rate attempting to find a Shiny Charizard. Many stores are usually sold out or only have stock for a few days. With the value of these packs getting higher even with reprints occurring my question is, when will they stop printing Hidden Fates?"
For the Netherlands, an official reprint by TPCi has already been announced for November. As long as there is huge demand, there is a chance TPCi is going to reprint this set. Stay calm, don't throw away your money by overpaying on these kind of products and think of them as investments only. Buy what you like, but don't expect insane price spikes like older cards that are long out of print. I can't guarantee you anything, but I won't be surprised if other countries also get a reprint.
"Which full art trainers are available in Japan but not available in English yet?"
If you mean Supporter cards, off the top of my head, these are the Full Art Supporter cards that are still not yet printed in English, and some will likely never have an international release. I may have forgotten some cards:
- Masked Royal (Limited to 100 cards in Japan)
- Hop Full Art (Box Promo)
- Pokémon Center Lady (Box Promo)
- Giovanni's Scheme
- Here Comes Team Rocket
Cards from various (upcoming) sets:
"How or where do we get the news on which TCG sets are out of print or going out of print? Is it on the internet, social media, or is it word of mouth?"
Usually my information comes from my own local Game Store, but for other regions, it's just connections or like you say, internet and/or social media. But I am careful about releasing unverified information until credible sources are found.
"Will Dark Box be good again with Darkness Ablaze coming out?"
I am not the competitive guru here, but it certainly has a lot of potential. PTCG Radio covered Eternatus VMAX already before.
"When does Legendary Heartbeat come out in the United States?"
I expect the majority of that set to be released in our 4th main November 2020 set. But some cards may be included in our upcoming Sword & Shield 3.5 Mini set that as of now, has yet to be officially revealed.
"Who's your favourite TGC artist?"
My favourite TCG artist is Tomokazu Komiya. His style is unique and the illustrations always feature small, hidden details. He is a nice guy too - I have conversed with him multiple times in the past.
"I am a new Pokémon card collector, do you display any of your cards and, if so, how do you display them?"
Actually, I don't display my cards. If I want to see them, I take them out of my binder. However, if I ever want to display the cards, I would purchase the Toploader/Trading Card Display Stands.
"Why do you put moves that aren’t in the main games''
If you mean, why are there are moves (attack names) in the TCG, that are not present in the main Pokémon Games, I don't have a clue!
"What is known about Hidden Fates reprints in Europe so far?"
The Netherlands is getting one confirmed - ETA November. I have seen a French store confirming it too on Facebook, but I am not 100% certain on its’ credibility.
"Are my lot of commons and unused code cards worth money or do I just keep them?"
Lots of individuals or stores will offer you a set amount of money to purchase your bulk cards, you can even trade them in with online sellers in exchange for products they sell. Code cards can be easily sold through eBay.
"What alternative formats, that perhaps aren't supported, do you think need to be highlighted more. Magic the Gathering thrives on multiple formats, some of which multiplayer, would the Pokémon TCG benefit from more ways to play?"
I like mutant formats during pre-releases, but I'm not too deep into alternative formats if I'm honest.
"Do you think PCI cut fairy and dragon [types] in an attempt to improve the sealed format for pre-releases and potentially push the format further?"
Unfortunately, I cannot give you an answer to this question, as I do not know! In my opinion, I do not thing they did that for a specific reason.
"How much do Pokémon card illustrators get paid?"
Most Illustrators are freelance artists and will be hired by Creatures Inc at a set rate. This rate however is unknown unless an Illustrator deems it necessary to share that information to the general public.
"1. How do you guys feel about the value of vintage growing over the last months. Where do you see this going? How do you see that for the value of Japanese cards do they have the same increase as the English?
2. PSA dominates the grading services (for Pokémon) in the US, what do you know about grading services in EMEA and how likely is it that PSA would open an office in EMEA? Thanks for all the amazing content!!"
Thank you for the questions, I think that the rise of the value of cards over these last few months has boosted Pokémon dramatically in the collectables market. Of course, not to get carried away, the Sports cards market is by far levels above still. This rise of price for new and vintage cards/products may not be sustainable moving forwards however, prices will fluctuate, as is common in all markets and some cards will remain at consistently high prices, take the PSA 8/9/10 graded Rayquaza Gold Star as a prime example. I do not see this card declining back to its’ sub £1000 pricing ever again – which was only the case a few months ago.
In answer to your second question, PSA does have a market dominance over Pokémon collectables, with BGS being close behind. PSA Card does hold contracts with a UK company to officially get the cards graded from Europe, so I think it’s currently unlikely for PSA to open up an office in Europe. That’s not to say that it may never happen, however. In regards to a European grading service, CCG (Certified Collectables Group) is a grading company that has established their name in the coin grading market. They have ported their services into collectable cards so I can see this being a big rival for PSA in the future.
"Have you ever come close to stopping collecting/playing and what were the reasons?"
I have never had the urge to give up on collecting Pokémon cards. Although prices have risen over the time I have been collecting, that has never deterred me from moving away from the hobby. This hobby is not just about the cards produced but also about meeting new people across the world and I would not want to give that up.
"Where do you see PokéGuardian being in 5 years? What new features/elements of the site are you looking to add or improve?"
Honestly, I don't know, I have multiple ideas for improvements and enhancements but the lack of time to do so is a hinderance. I have a full-time job so this limits me from making significant enhancements, for now!
PokéGuardian currently runs great on mobile and desktop devices and my main aim at the moment is to provide timely and accurate information to everyone. I hope in 5 years, PokeGuardian.com will have the opportunity to publish original articles in collaboration with TPCi / TPC / Creatures Inc. about the Pokémon TCG.
"Hi again, I find it confusing to identify a consistent pattern in new TCG products being released across the different countries - can you illustrate how typical release patterns look like? E.g. when a product comes out in Japan, (when) will it be available in e.g. Europe? which products won't typically be released outside of Japan? how are Japanese sets broken down into multiple international sets? Why are set sizes so different nowadays? "
Hi Markus, thanks for the plethora of questions!
Internationally released main sets typically consist of 1 Japanese Main set + 1 Japanese Subset for Sword & Shield. So, for example Sword & Shield Rebel Clash, consists of S1a VMAX Rising and S2 Rebellion Crash. Japanese main sets are roughly 100 cards, and subsets roughly 70 cards. Counting Japanese promotional cards as well will mean that you will have a fairly substantial set.
S1W / S1H Sword & Shield Base Set japan December 6, 2019 <-- Sword & Shield Base Set
S1a VMAX Rising February 7, 2020 <-- Sword & Shield Rebel Clash
S2 Rebellion Crash Japan March 6, 2020 <---Sword & Shield Rebel Clash
S2a Explosive Walker April 24, 2020 <--- Sword & Shield Darkness Ablaze
S3 Infinity Zone , june 5, 2020 <--- Sword & Shield Darkness Ablaze
S3a Legendary Heartbeat, July 10, 2020 <--- November Set?
S4 Astonishing Volt Tackle, September 18, 2020 <--- November Set?
"When it comes to storing cards for longer periods of time, which is the best option between binders, portfolios, or top loaders?"
(Foil ) Cards warp overtime because of the humidity. Keep cards away from open air, sunlight and places where the weather changes quickly.
Store them away somewhere where it’s locked away. I personally just use a combination of binders (my favourite binder is the Ultimate Guard Zipfolio binders) and TopLoaders. I do use inner sleeves + deck sleeves if i want to store my collectible cards to keep them water/dust proof.
I would also recommend that if you are using a safe to store your collectables, make sure to use a silicon bag to help absorb any moisture in the air. Your collectables will be less prone to damage over time.
"What does it mean when promo cards have the gold STAFF stamp?"
Promotional cards that have a STAFF stamp are cards given out to organisers or judges at official Pokémon events. These cards are created as a “thank you” to the organisers.
"If I use Pikachu and Zekrom's GX can I choose an opponent's benched Pokémon?"
Tag Bolt-GX: 200
If this Pokémon has at least 3 extra [L] Energy attached to it (in addition to this attack’s cost), this attack does 170 damage to 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon. (Don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokémon). (You cannot use more than 1 GX attack in a game.)
It does 170 damage to 1 of your opponent's benched Pokémon, if you have 6 lightning energy cards attached to Pikachu & Zekrom GX. It will only do 200 damage to the active opponent.
"Sitting here thinking about starting with real Pokemon TCG, especially after the Toolkit Release. Is it still worth it to begin with it now"
It's never too late to begin your journey in collecting Pokémon cards. You are in a period where it's better than ever to start because cards are currently very affordable now with the products like the League Battle Decks around. No matter where you start, cards have great value to them and yes, if you buy the Trainers Toolkit, you get amazing Trainer cards too.
"Will Incineroar V be released in Darkness Ablaze for America?"
There is a good chance, but I can't confirm it at the moment. Galarian Slowbro V and Mew V have already been confirmed. Time will tell. Maybe it could be released in the upcoming Sword & Shield 3.5 expansion.