What Changes Will Come To The TCG With Pokemon Scarlet & Violet?
What we know so far about the expected changes coming to the Pokemon TCG
It is unknown the full extent of the Scarlet Violet era, other than they are bringing back ex (lowercase is important) cards as the main hitters. These are full evolution lines, so no more high-powered V card followed by a higher-powered Vstar or Vmax card. A basic, stage 1, then a big hitter ex. This can extend gameplay, especially since taking out an ex only grants 2 prize cards instead of the 3 from Vmax. (Vstar was already at 2 prize cards, but still had a simple evolution line. V > Vstar)
What is new?
Now, all we have been shown is that they are bringing ex-cards back, and a teaser for possibly a special type of ex-card. It seems to mimic the terastallizing found in the main series games, but nothing has been revealed currently. It could be a choice between ex regular type of pokemon and tera ex which changes the type of the pokemon. This could make things very interesting as you may never know if the opponent’s card is going to keep its type or change it. (I highly doubt they will have multiple tera ex cards, most likely 1 per pokemon to completely change its type.)
It is also possible that there will just be a ‘wild’ ex card that you can change any ex pokemon to any type you wish. This would be the most exciting way to keep the game changing every time. Or they may have a tera ex item card for each energy type that attaches to your pokemon. Still exciting and means more cards to collect so more likely they will go that route.
What is exciting about this is that even if two people have the same deck, it could end up with one picks water ex and one fire ex and the tables will have turned. Makes the meta more fluid and doesn’t force everyone to use the same deck ending in stalemates and boring gameplay knowing exactly what to expect.
How soon will ex replace Vmax and Vstar?
There is another thing to be considered, regulation marks.
So far, SWSH-era cards have regulation marks as high as F. This means Vmax and Vstar cards will stay in play until they are finally rotated out at the start of the 2025 season, 2 years from now.
It is hard to know exactly what the new TCG gimmick will be since it generally is slightly different from the video games; however, it’s a fair guess to think there will be the standard ex-cards, and then some special gimmick on top of it. I believe the ex cards and special gimmick will make playing the game much more enjoyable.
Currently, at the start of the 2023 season, only 3 of the top 10 meta decks use Vmax. Many have switched to the lower powered, lower prize loss card like Vstar, or many decks utilizing even single card prizes. This means the game can’t end in two turns, take a little longer to set up, and give both players a fighting chance.
Anyone who played in the peak of the Vmax era (2020–2021) knows that it was brutal. If you didn’t have the top deck, you were struggling to win a match. Vstar has helped level the playing field a bit and made the game more enjoyable for all.
This means that going back to a primary 2 prize card with Vstar and soon ex, this more competitive play will continue and we will likely see strange decks winning that no one thought to use.