Tag: pokemon

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Louis-Serge Gagne Louis-Serge Gagne - May 13, 2022

Space Juggler – Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR Decklist!

The next Pokémon TCG set, Astral Radiance, gave us some interesting cards for Water decks. One being the focus of this deck: Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR which is an enhanced evolved version of Suicune V, a Pokémon most of us are familiar with since Evolving Skies. If we’re looking at the Japanese Standard Format, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR looks to be a top tier deck and a great offensive threat. Let’s see how we can build something with it.

Palkia VSTAR does 60 damage + 20 more for each benched Pokémon on each player’s side, doing a maximum of 260 damage. Its VSTAR POWER is an Ability that accelerates 3 Water Energy from your discard pile to your Water Pokémon in any way you like, an Ability that will be used in many different ways in this deck. Other new cards will be explained later in this article.

Pokémon 

  • 4-3 Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR
  • 1 Starmie V

Whatever way you play, I think a VSTAR deck should primarily focus on getting its main VSTAR attacker’s evolving Basic V on the bench on the first turn. Playing the maximum count of Origin Forme Palkia V is a way to help doing that.

When attacking with Palkia VSTAR, you don’t necessarily need to always have both player’s bench full. If you were going to 2-hit-KO anyway, you could focus your resources on getting a better board-state or having a better hand. Palkia is a straightforward Pokémon, swing and bench or get your opponent to bench to swing harder. Your game-plan consists of doing the appropriate damage to get KOs before your opponent and in a faster pace than them too.

Sometimes it can be an hard blow to miss a Knock Out and watch your opponent heal all damage – Mew VMAX’s Psychic Leap or Arceus VSTAR’sCheren’s Care” Supporter card are good examples. That’s why some cards are mainly here to help you get this sacred KO or help you retaliate a heal with more defence-based options in return.

Starmie V is a new Pokémon V from Astral Radiance – It can do 50 damage times the amount of Energy on your opponent’s board. Great against decks that piles a lot of Energy for it’s game-plan like Arceus VSTAR based decks or Darkrai VSTAR. If Arceus just did Trinity Nova, it would have needed 3 Energy on it and the opponent would probably use the full effect of the attack and charge 3 more Energy on their Pokémon. In that case, you can respond with a sudden Starmie V and do 300 damage just for 2 Water Energy. Enough to end Arceus VSTAR and just 10 damage short of the KO if it has a Big Charm. Starmie V also has 0 in its Retreat Cost, so it’s a great pivot!

  • 1 Inteleon (Quick Shooting)
  • Radiant Greninja

Quick Shooting Inteleon does a 20 damage snipe so if you were doing 290 with Palkia VSTAR (Maximum 260 of the attack + 30 from Choice Belt), you could now use Quick Shooting to end a beefy VSTAR with a Big Charm and can go even higher with good Scoop Up Net usage.

Greninja is your Radiant Pokémon of choice here for 2 main reasons – Its Ability can help you get your Water Energy in your Discard pile for Star Portal – Palkia’s VSTAR POWER and Melony. The 2 cards draw is also a nice bonus to use the Ability. The other great aspect of Radiant Greninja is its attack. For 3 Energy it can snipe 90 damage to 2 opposing Pokémon at the cost of discarding 2 of its Energy. It’s a mini GMAX Rapid Flow! Palkia VSTAR’s Ability can charge it up and then Greninja can set up two 2-hit-KOs at the same time or it could even Knock Out two frail one-prizers. Great support and side-attacker for the deck.

Trainer and Energy Cards 

  • 2 Melony
  • 2 Professor’s Research
  • 1 Marnie
  • 1 Roxanne

These are gonna be your main draw Supporter cards for the deck. The 2 count of Professor’s Research is just to help against odds of it being prized when you really want a new big hand. Contrary to other Water Decks, like Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX, Arceus Water, or Suicune V, Palkia doesn’t need a high count of Melony. It’s good when you need it, and the draw 3 is nice, but you could go with only attachment-for-turns and Star Portal without being behind.

Marnie and Roxanne are disruptive draw supporters. Roxanne is a new Astral Radiance card that can only be used when your opponent has 3 or less Prizes remaining, but it has the game-changing effect of being a shuffle draw for both players – the player who used Roxanne get to draw 6 while the opponent draws only 2. Devastating when used on the perfect turn!

  • 1 Cheryl
  • 1 Irida

If you are not gonna draw or use Boss’s Orders, here are some good miscellaneous supporters – Irida is also a new Supporter that can search for a Water Pokémon in combination to an Item card. Cheryl is a weird situational tech in this deck, but can be a great defensive play to put the game in your favour. It acts as a pseudo-Cheren’s Care for Palkia VSTAR to imitate how Arceus VSTAR plays. After receiving a first half of a 2-hit-KO’s worth of damage on one of your Palkia VSTAR, you can use Cheryl and then, right after, use Star Portal to charge Palkia with the Energy you just discarded with Cheryl and act as if nothing happened besides the massive healing. You can even heal a benched damaged Palkia VSTAR at the same time and charge it back up with manual attachment gradually. It’s something Ice Rider VMAX or Suicune V cannot do.

  • 1 Echoing Horn
  • 1 Escape Rope

When you’re just short on damage with Palkia’s attack because your opponent under-bench their board, you can use Echoing Horn to force a Pokémon from the discard pile to their Bench. Free 20 damage in some scenarios and can even make a small loop of you killing their frail 2-Prizers like Crobat V or Lumineon V in combination with Boss’s Orders. Escape Rope is your main switch-out option without Starmie V retreating or using Scoop Up Net on a non-V Pokémon.

  • 2 Choice Belt
  • 1 Big Charm

Like I say in all articles on VSTAR Pokémon, I like to have either a 1-1, 1-2 or 2-1 split of Choice Belt and Big Charm in all my VSTAR decks. I think Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR really like to hit these 1-hit-KOs that I’ve been talking about so much, so 2 of Choice Belt in the deck helps you do that with 2 different Palkia during the game. Big Charm still has it uses and if it saves you from giving a Knock-Out even one time, I think its worth it.

  • 2 Temple of Sinnoh
  • 1 Path to the Peak

Temple of Sinnoh is your main stadium of choice here. Again, a new card from Astral Radiance – It makes all Special Energy only give 1 Colorless (so not colors and no multiple energy at the same time) and removes all effects from them. Temple of Sinnoh eases the Arceus, Single Strike and Wormadam matchups for you while removing the effect of Fusion Strike Energy. If Fusion Strike Energy has no effect, then you can use Quick Shooting on Pokémon with those Energy attached to them, helping you get a KO on Mew VMAX in 1 turn.

Path to the Peak also is a great combo card to make a defensive and disruptiuve play alongside Marnie or Roxanne to put your opponent in a lock while having a small hand.

Closing Thoughts 

As proven in the Japanese meta, Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR has what it takes to dethrone the big top tier decks of our current format. It can do a lot of damage, it can accelerate Energy from the discard pile, it goes well with the Inteleon engine and it plays good secondary attackers in the form of Radiant Greninja, Starmie V, and Shady Dealing Inteleon.

For a “Just swing for damage” deck, playing Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR can be really tricky with your sequencing with Shady Dealing and with controlling the amount of Pokémon on both benches. Even if your opponent doesn’t bench Pokémon to minimize your damage, you can play in a way to punish them for not using their bench space. The ditto matchup is interesting as well, both players will need to use their brain and deal with the fact that benching Pokémon can advantage both sides. Overall, Palkia VSTAR looks a lot of fun to play and seems to be a top contender for the king of this format. Test the deck and don’t be afraid to test things out. It’s a fresh format so it’s cool to test fresh ideas.

Thanks for reading!

Get all your Pokemon news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
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Avatar Tyson Fraleigh - May 6, 2022

Arceus V Figure Collection!

Arceus V is making a big splash in the Pokemon TCG! The Arceus V Figure Collection has everything you need to help build a brand new Arceus deck for your next play session!

Since the release of Brilliant Stars, Arceus V, Arceus VMAX, and Arceus VSTAR has been getting some much deserved attention. With powers like Trinity Nova to boost the energy of your benched VMAX Pokemon, or Starbirth to search for any two cards in your deck, who wouldn’t want to get their hands on these powerful creatures? Throw in a Inteleon or two to tap into the Inteleon engine from Chilling Reign and dominate the battlefield!

This collection for Arceus will include:

  • A foil promo of Arceus V
  • One premier sculpted Arceus figure
  • Four Pokemon TCG Booster Packs
  • And a code to get access to Pokemon TCG Live!

Between this collectors set, and a few booster sets from Brilliant Stars, you will be ready to take on your next Pokemon TCG tournament by force!

Arceus V Figure Collection is out now! Order your copy at Three Kings Loot here!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
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Louis-Serge Gagne Louis-Serge Gagne - April 25, 2022

The Queen of Grass – Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR Decklist!

Astral Radiance is on the horizon! With all the powerful new cards in the set, I figured it would be a good time to check out a brand new VSTAR – Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR.

The latest Pokémon TCG set, Brilliant Stars introduced the new VSTAR mechanic. VSTARs are a perfect mix between the tankiness and power of VMAXes and the frail, but fair prize-giving ability of the Basic Vs. Each Pokémon VSTAR also has a special power called VSTAR POWER, which is a once-per-game Ability or Attack that could change the flow of the game. A good example is the Ability – Star Birth of Arceus VSTAR, which can make you search any 2 cards of your deck.

Let’s dive into this decklist with the two key cards that you will need in every version of this deck.

Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR 

To start things up in this deck build, I need to introduce: Gardenia’s Vitality and Hisuian Lilligant V/VSTAR.

Kinda like Welder was for Fire, Gardenia’s Vitality will help greatly the Grass type archetype in our Standard format. This card attaches 2 Grass Energy from your hand to 1 of your benched Pokémon while drawing 2 cards before the effect. Any Pokémon attacking for 1 to 3 Grass Energy will now have an immediate Supporter to charge it up.

Although it is far from being the first Grass VSTAR Pokémon, Hisuian Lilligant has no real reason to be scared of competition as it is the one that synergizes the most with Gardenia’s Vitality in my opinion. Its attack can do 230 damage while having the cost of the added damage helping you set up with Gardenia’s. The VSTAR Power also screams, “USE ME BEFORE USING GARDENIA”. I will go more into what to do with the card while explaining the deck list. The evolving V is also great, not everyone has a drawing attack for 0 Energy.

Pokémon 

  • 3-3 Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR
  • 1 Zarude V (BRS)

These will be your main attackers for the deck. Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR, will take the first 2 turns to be ready to attack most of the time. It being an evolution and needing to be benched for Gardenia’s to charge it up can be a hassle to try to get on going while having it ready to attack in the Active but there are some tricks to help all that. If you started the game with the Basic evolving V, I found that evolving it to give it 1 less in its retreat cost could be effective.

230 damage is a great number to hit, 260 with Choice Belt. Your game-plan mostly consists of one-shoting Pokémon Vs or some of the more frail VSTARs and two-shoting VMAXes or the bulky VSTARs. Lilligant will have a lot less trouble against those one-shot match-ups since it would probably be two-shotted, like most VSTARs.

Hisuian Lilligant will most of time need to use the second effect of its attack to KO its target but some Pokémon, like Galarian Moltres V, Umbreon V, Darkrai V, and most Basic/Stage 1 1-prizer, like Rapid Strike Malamar, are great exceptions to keep in mind.

Zarude V is also a great secondary-attacker. With only a 3-3 line of Lilligant, you can get it in play 3 times, which, normally, is enough to play until your opponent has no prize remaining. But if you need to discard at least one of these 6 cards, or if you have bad prizes in that aspect, it would be almost impossible to get the game going after 2 Lilligant KOs. Zarude solves that problem.

It hits for similar numbers, 240 instead of 230, but lacks the tankiness and Ability that our dear VSTAR has. It is a ready-to-swing Basic Pokémon though, so if you get a Lilligant KOed and you didn’t prepare another one to keep the kicks going, Zarude could help you keep the momentum. It sucks to start the game with it thought, so if you don’t care about having a basic attacker, I would suggest Ordinary Rod as a replacement.

  • 4 Sobble
  • 3 Drizzile
  • 1 Inteleon (Shady Dealing)
  • 1 Inteleon (Quick Shooting)

At this point I think everybody has heard about the Inteleon Engine and how it shaped the format since Chilling Reign. But for explaining the deck’s sake, I’ll share what’s the plan with using these lil’ lizards. Drizzile is super duper important to get Gardenia’s Turn 2, but it can also search other trainer cards for specific scenarios – pivot options, Pokémon Tools, combo cards, Pokémon search, disruption, etc. And Quick Shooting Inteleon can help make some of those pesky two-shot matchups into nice one-shot ones.

  • 2 Beedrill (Persist Sting)
  • 1 Hoppip
  • 1 Eldegoss V

When you’re using Perfume Star – Hisuian Lilligant’s VSTAR POWER, you can search for 5 in any combination of Grass Pokémon and Grass Energy. You can search theoretically for 3 Grass Energy, 1 Pokémon to keep your game going and an Eldegoss V, which when placed, can be a Gardenia’s Vitality from your Discard Pile. So, Eldegoss V can basically make your VSTAR POWER into a Supporter search as well. It can even be for Boss’s Order.

Hoppip is a free retreater Basic 1-prizer pivot that can be interestingly searched with both Star Perfume and Keep Calling (Sobble) since it is both Grass and Rapid Strike.

The Beedrill is also a way to win against more annoying matchups. It’s really easy to get Single Strike Style Mustard consistently and to get a surprise kill out of nowhere with Persist Sting, which KOs the opponent’s Active if there’s a Special Energy attached to it. Great against Arceus VSTAR, Single Strike, Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and Mew VMAX which are difficult match-ups otherwise. Training Court, which helps with Gardenia’s in general, also helps to confirm an energy attachment on Beedrill after getting a random 5-cards hand with Mustard.

Trainer and Energy Cards 

  • 1 Marnie
  • 1 Raihan

Marnie was a recent addition to the decklist. It can be helpful as a straight draw or small disruption in early game, but it’s mostly because it’s the only way to put cards back in the deck. Beedrill can only be Mustard-ed if it’s in the deck and playing a mid-to-late-game Mustard can be rough with the big hands Gardenia + Shady Dealing could give you. Raihan is nice as a quasi-fourth Gardenia that can only be played on specific turns, but can be a lot more consistent if you only need 1 Energy acceleration. Searching for any card is also good in general.

  • 1 Escape Rope
  • 1 Tool Scrapper

Besides retreating or using Scoop Up Net, Escape Rope is the only switch-out card in this deck, which can be important in a deck that only charges Energies on the Bench. Having it prized can be sour, but I found that searching it with Shady Dealing is more than enough most of the time, even having games where it was not necessary. The repel effect it gives is also nice to keep in mind. Tool Scrapper can be great to remove opposing power increases by Choice Belt, HP increase with Big Charm / Cape of Toughness or Air Balloons!

  • 1 Choice Belt
  • 2 Big Charms

When I’m building VSTAR decks, I like to have either a 1-1, 1-2 or 2-1 split of Choice Belt and Big Charm, depending on the VSTAR in question. For Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR, I found that the HP buff comes a lot more clutch than the damage increase, which sometimes Quick Shooting or Persist Sting can take care of anyway. My best suggestions would be to test the counts of your choice and decide on the one you’re most comfortable with.

Closing Thoughts 

From what I tested and built, I think Hisuian Lilligant VSTAR, with the help of the Inteleon Engine and Gardenia’s Vitality, has the potential to stand toe-to-toe with the other dominant decks in our format. It doesn’t have the great advantage of searching 2 important cards in a deck nor does it have the big-BOOM that some other VSTAR and VMAXes have, but I would argue that it does not need it. Shady Dealing gives it the consistency boost it needs and the Mustard-Beedrill side of the deck gives it the advantage while forcing a 7-prize game for your opponent.

I think, at the end of the day, it’s a prize race, going first and dodging knockouts is the way to play. You can all feel free to test the list and change things up. Changes will be necessary when the meta-dust settles after a few weeks post-release.

Thanks for reading!

Get all your board game news from The Bag of Loot! www.thebagofloot.com
Get all your board game needs from Three Kings Loot! www.threekingsloot.com

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Avatar Tyson Fraleigh - March 10, 2022

Astral Radiance!

Astral Radiance will be the next booster set coming to the Pokemon TCG! Set in the Hisui region, this land is subject to changes in both space and time. Fractal pieces of Dialga and Pialka linger in this realm, ready to bend reality as they see fit. Be careful who you cross here – you never know where you might end up.

This booster set is going to bring VSTAR to new level. Not only will we be getting some powerful Dialga and Pialka VSTAR cards (known as Origin Forme), but we will also see Decidueye, Typhlosion, and Samurott in VSTAR status!

But we are not just getting new Pokemon to help our deck builds. Be prepared for some new Trainers to help change the tide of battle! With twenty new cards in the Trainer sphere alone, there will be plenty of new gems to go around.

Last but not least, make sure to keep an eye out for a brand new type of Shiny Pokemon. This set will officially introduce Radiant Pokemon, a unique sub-type that promises to make a big splash!

 

Astral Radiance comes out on May 27th, 2022!

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Avatar Tyson Fraleigh - September 10, 2021

Fusion Strike!

Welcome to Sword & Shield: Fusion Strike! Hopping right off the tracks of Celebrations, Fusion Strike arrives to build some crazy power levels. Build your board with brand new Pokemon and Trainers, and utilize the new Fusion Style to destroy your opponent!

Not only will we see brand new cards, but this set also introduces Rillaboom VMAX, Cinderace VMAX, and Inteleon VMAX in their Gigantamax forms! A total of eight enormous Pokemon will be taking the scene, along with new Adaptable Pokemon, including Genesect V, Hoopa V, and Mew VMAX!

What does the new Fusion Style entail? This style both buffs your Pokemon while debuffing your opponent. Put a Fusion Pokemon in your active zone, then have support Pokemon on your bench. The benched support Pokemon can cause your opponent’s Pokemon to lose life, not be able to attack, or boost your active Pokemon’s HP!

The biggest benefit to this new style is that many of the cards will be able to work with every play style. Mix and match some of these cards into your deck, regardless of the engine!

Fusion Strike comes out November 12th 2021!

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Avatar Tyson Fraleigh - September 2, 2021

Pokemon: Celebrations!

In time for Pokemon’s 25th anniversary, Sword & Shield: Celebrations approaches! This collection of both old and new Pokemon will be a set every collector and player alike will want to get their hands on.

Celebrations will bring a variety of both known and unknown Pokemon into the meta. We will have some old favourites, such as Mew, Flying Pikachu, and Surfing Pikachu return! But let’s not forget about the meta favourites who will also be featured – Zacian V, Charzard V, and Dark Sylveon V! There will be two VMAX Pokemon that have yet to be announced, but we can only expect the best to come out of this set.

This set will only be released in bundles, so make sure to pre-order while you can! You won’t be able to pick up these pretties in booster packs.

Zacian V Blue Celebrations Set

Charzard V and Dark Sylveon Red and Pink Celebrations Set

Celebrations Elite Silver Trainer Box

Celebrations comes out on October 8th, 2021!

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Avatar Tyson Fraleigh - August 17, 2021

Sword & Shield: Evolving Skies!

Sword & Shield: Evolving Skies is nearly here! The newest release for Pokemon, Evolving Skies is the next step in the Sword & Shield series. Expect some powerful new additions to the meta, including Rayquaza and Duraludon!

Rayquaza is entering the game in a big way in Evolving Skies. Rayquaza VMAX is the highlight of the set. Jump starting Rayquaza’s abilties, we start with Blue Sky Surge, allowing you to discard and draw three cards. Not only will this be a great search capability, it will be a crazy amount of recursion to bring to your deck! That isn’t even mentioning Rayquaza VMAX’s main attack Max Burst. For every extra fire and lightning energy you pay on this, it will deal an extra 80 damage on the strike!

But Rayquaza isn’t the only heavy-hitter in the set. Duraludon VMAX will also be in the set with some powerful damage output. G-Max Pulverisation deals 220 damage and cannot be blocked by any effect on your opponent’s active Pokemon!

Finally, for the first time ever, all Eevee evolutions will be available in the same set! Collect all eight evolution’s to harness all the power Eevee has to offer!

 

Sword & Shield: Evolving Skies comes out on August 27th, 2021!

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Avatar Adam Honigman - July 28, 2021

In the Archives: Pokemon Battle-and-Catch Arcade Games

Pokémon is a franchise founded on collecting: from toys to trading cards to digital monsters, the “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” mentality permeates every product. But one collecting market that some fans might not be aware of is the arcade, particularly in the Pokémon Battle-and-Catch style arcade games. Spawning from the first series of machines in 2007, these games not only translate all the battling fun from the dedicated games to a quick and simple arcade style, but have physical cards to trade and collect.

Let’s take a quick look at what these machines offer and how the games have evolved over the many iterations.

Pokémon Battrio

Launched in Japanese markets by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. in 2007, Pokémon Battrio set the foundation for the gameplay and collecting style all further iterations would follow. Battrio was a dedicated battling game, similar to Pokémon Stadium or revolution. Each play would cost ¥100 (approximately $1) and upon starting each game, the machine would distribute a physical small plastic disc featuring a random Pokémon. Each Pokémon disc featured basic stats most players would be accustomed to: typing, level, attack, and defense. Usually, the rarer pucks would be more powerful. Pucks could either be collected from the machines, or special promo ones would be bundled with guides or handed out at movies, promotional events, or tournaments. The rarity of pucks was indicated with stars from one to five on the front, and usually featured flashier art.

Battles featured two teams of three (Battrio being a combination of “battle” and “trio”) and the player could face off against either a CPU opponent or a second player on the same machine. Players could place up to three discs onto an infrared scanner on the machine, and the Pokémon on the pucks would then appear in game.

Multiple updates to the machines were released, adding gameplay tweaks and brand new game modes. Beyond the basic battling mode were longer form adventures, requiring the purchase of a special memory key that can be inserted to store progress so players could continue their journey over multiple play sessions. Many expansions to the pucks were introduced, allowing fans to continuously work towards collecting newer and stronger monsters.

In 2012 Battrio machines were phased out in favour of a substantially updated machine with new collectables, Pokémon Tretta.

Pokémon Tretta

Released in 2012, Pokémon Tretta featured very similar gameplay to Battrio but with improved graphics and different strategies for battling. Mega Evolution was a new gameplay mechanic, and randomized wheels would appear during the game allowing the player a chance of increasing their power on attacks.

The circular pucks from Battrio were replaced with square tiles. Battrio pucks weren’t compatible except for specialized Bridge Pucks introduced in the final Battrio expansion. It still cost ¥100 to start a game, but now titles weren’t distributed until after the battle was complete.

There were two game modes you could pick upon starting: Battle and Catch, which was the standard battling portion, or Quick Catch which allowed one to quickly collect tiles. Players could choose different environments to find Pokémon, with each one having unique creatures in them.

Players would try and defeat all three Pokémon, with a chance at catching however many they beat. A randomized wheel would spin with different levels of Poke Balls on it, and any caught Pokémon could be distributed (with an additional ¥100 fee if more than one was wanted.)

After a healthy life Tretta was discontinued after a few years for yet another new machine, Pokémon Ga-Olé.

Ga-Olé

Pokémon Ga-Olé launched in 2016, featuring a much larger screen than previous machines and a flashy Pokeball-shaped peripheral for catching. Gameplay remained very similar to Tretta but was now slimmed down to two-on-two battles.

The new collecting mechanism were Ga-Olé disks, though they were rectangular more so than circular. The distribution process was different too, where machines would store a series of blank disks of different colours denoting strength or rarity, and would print a Pokémon onto the disc before spitting it out. Disks now also featured the type of ball each Pokémon was caught in, offering a vast amount of unique disks to collect. All Pokémon information was now scanned through a QR code, and this same code could be scanned by the QR Reader in Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. The new printing process often resulted in errors or misprints, which could be highly sought after by collectors.

Game modes were similar to Tretta, but now individual tiles could evolve during gameplay. If evolved, a new disk of the evolved Pokémon could be printed. Fully evolved Pokémon could have even stronger version or Mega Evolutions which could also become new disks.

Ga-Olé lived another four years before being replaced by the newest and currently final updated machine.

Mezastar

Pokémon Mezastar launched in 2020, featuring very similar gameplay to the previous iteration. Three-on-three battles returned and now the machines were constructed as two separate machines adjoined next to one another.

Long rounded tags replaced the disks, and older disks were even compatible. Mezastar tags now featured a sixth level rarity, more powerful than the five that the old version featured.

If both machines were used at the same time, there was a chance of a Special Tag Battle activating, where both players would have to team up against a powerful Pokémon. If they won and successfully caught it, they would both receive a special tag.

Memory Tags were the newest save function, featuring mostly the same features as the older Passes.

Finale

That was a brief look at the incredibly addictive collecting world of the Japanese Pokémon arcade games. It’s unclear why there’s never been an attempt to introduce these into Western markets, especially considering some of the machines feature full English translations. It can be assumed the lack of a dedicated arcade market outside of food venues such as Dave & Busters or Chuck E. Cheese are to blame. If the cycle continues we should see a new machine in three years’ time, with brand new mechanics and a whole new type of plastic pass to collect.

Are you interested in trying some of these games? Maybe looking to collect some of the older disks or passes?

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