The Paldea Evolved set from the Pokemon Trading Card Game, which will be released in June 2023, is an interesting one to explore. After all, the first set of a new era tends to be preoccupied with the tasks of representing starters and reprinting essentials needed for basic deck construction. The second set, though, offers a bit more flexibility.
Scarlet and Violet's dark post-game legendaries: Wo-Chien, Chi-Yu, Chien-Pao, and Ting-Lu are all on the cover of the set. Was it a pain? Yes. Did it make sense.
We're quite surprised to see them featured so soon, since the game's main campaign species feel like they have enough left to run a few additional sets. However, here we are, as these four are very similar in their abilities.
Chi-Yu ex is a counter-balance to... well, not a mechanic, really? The threat, even potential, of something like Chi-Yu's Jealously Singe discard ability? It can be small. But in the context, it's significant.
The Pokemon Company's efforts to make basic energy more desirable in the wake of the Lugia V meta apocalypse are evident in Chien-Pao's ex., a highly effective mono-Water deck that dates back to Base Set Blastoise. The two give you a steady supply of handy Trainers.
Paldea Evolved is also encouraging players to consider healing. Ting-Lu ex is a great way to reduce damage by focusing on less severe attacks, which are more efficient than recovering fast. But these new cards? Maybe they'll help!
Was Wo-Chien a bad move, as well as Wo-Chien ex, Iono and Reversal Energy? This is a discussion about whether or not it is worth the risk.
Two of these legendary players also target the bench with their attacks. This appears to be in an attempt to reinforce Tera Pokemon, which was previously excluded from bench damage. It may be more apparent when competitive decks are increasingly full of ranged attacks.
All four are ex Pokemon, making them counter-productive with new strategies that aid cards without Rule Boxes. Is it a bit gacha-game-like to simultaneously create a problem and offer players solutions? Perhaps that makes sense for a CCG as well.
The story of the set itself, as well as the legends within it, may be shaped by one more appearance in the expansion. Iono, the polarizing gym leader, is now available in no less than three incarnations. In the West, will there be the same issue, or will The Pokemon Company International overcompensate to an audience that isn't as fond of Iono as the Japanese one?
Paldea Evolved, a Pokemon trading card game expansion, will be released on June 9, 2023. For more Pokemon TCG coverage, check out our archive.