Power creep, for those who aren't aware, is the tendency for a trading card game (like Magic the Gathering at the Pokémon TCG) to slowly produce stronger and more powerful cards. As in, this added power slowly creeps it's way into the game.

Now I've always wondered about whether or not power creep exists in the Pokémon TCG... so I'd thought I'd look into this. However, the game is over 20 years old now, so going through every single card and each of its attacks is a lesson in tedium. But alas, sometimes hard question require some hard work to answer.

Seriously though, I did try to figure out an effective and efficient way to detect power creep in the game, and right now I think gathering data on the average HP for each Pokémon card across each set, type, and stage. While I was at, I figured I'd also get data on their retreat costs too, to see if maybe that was another metric which could detect any other shifts in card design.

And so, the first fruits of my efforts can be seen below. I ultimately covered the first 13 sets, covering essentially all of the (non-reprint) sets released by Wizards of the Coast: Base Set to Skyridge.

Hmmmm... not much to see here, huh? You can at least see some interesting shifts in the HP for Pokémon per set... for example, the Team Rocket set deliberately gave "Dark" Pokémon lower HP, which is clearly reflected in the HP graph (located at Set #4). And then from that point onward, you can see average HPs growing ever so slowly higher until the last set... incidentally peaking at Set #11, which is Expedition (the first Card-e set and, IIRC, the first set with the new backs in Japan).

Now does this reflect a power creep? I can't say quite yet. After all, I've only covered the first four years of the game. But I do believe that ever-so-slightly increase in average HP from Team Rocket as a sign of the start of a power creep. However the REAL test will be the start of the Nintendo-era, beginning with ADV/EX Ruby & Sapphire and the introduction of ex-type Pokémon. Now I do plan on keeping ex-data separate, as well as all subsequent "special" types of Pokémon cards, just to make sure it doesn't skew data. And then once I get the HP data worked out, I'm gonna think about how to get attack data properly analyzed... like maybe just focusing on vanilla attacks, or actually separating each type of attack and track that data over each set as well? Lemme get back to you about this.

Anyways, that's bascially all I have to analyze right now. Below is my ACTUAL data that I've actually generated along with four other graphs where I break down both HP and RC according to Stage (Basic, Stage 1 and Stage 2) and Type (obviously not counting Dragon and Fairy types). Maybe you'll pull some additional meaning from it?



Wow OK, thanks to the help of long time PA! Nickling, Sylvie Wolf, I was able to clean up the Lost Pokémon page, make it a bit more organized and efficient, and a bunch of other stuff. I still have more basic information to add to the list... like names and types, etc... but that should be a breeze now, now that I got all the heavy lifting out of the way.

For an idea of what it'll look like, take a look at this example entry for the proto-Pokémon, "Twinz".



BTW, where did this info come from? The GS leaks which all the Anons over at /vp/ have been pouring through have uncovered some interesting bits... which include Pokédex entries for these lost proto-Pokémon! Of course the ones that were cut early on don't have any, but some which survived up until the late stages before being cut did get to the point of having their Pokédex entry written up.

In the case of Twinz here, this is about as authentic as it gets! One other fun fact is that, when it was cut, it was replaced by Wobbuffet.... which seems to share some kind of similarity with Twinz here, but I can't put my finger on it....! ;) :P

Anyways, there is plenty more where this came from, so just keep an eye on the Lost Pokémon page for the next update! Huzzah!

While I'm still sorting out the actual contents of the sets for my Space World Fake Card series, I did at least work out the name and themes for the sets. In particular, I'm going to emulate the style of how the TCG currently runs its blocks, by giving the set a prefix (like ADV/EX, BW, XY, etc). In this case, it'll be "SW", for "Space World". But what is the "Space World?"

Well, find out here!:

  • SW Alpha97 — So in the first set, Alpha97, it turns out that a mysterious portal has opened up in our Pokémon World. The portal leads to the "Space World", which is a strange, alternate dimension to our Pokémon world... and it's already doing some strange things to our Pokémon... like, giving them new forms, or giving them Baby Pokémon to those who never had them before... what's going on here?
  • SW Beta98 — The next set, Beta98, will see the portal to the "Space World" open even wider, releasing completely new and previously unknown Pokémon into the world. Like two completely new starters? Or a shark/anchor-like Pokémon? If the portal to the "Space World" doesn't close soon, who knows what other strange beings will be let loose to cause untold chaos?
  • SW Omega99 — Finally in the last set, Omega99, it's discovered that the portal to the "Space World" can only be closed from the inside, and so only the most brave souls—both People and Pokémon—are tasked with the duty to enter the "Space World" in order to break the connection to our world once and for all. But who knows what kinds of strange and mysterious Pokémon we'll see in the "Space World"? Pokémon from a completely different universe? Pokémon with a never-before-seen type?? Rainbow Energy might be the only way to ensure they'll be able to battle on your side... but that's if you can make it out of the "Space World" at all!

Like the idea so far? Now some things may be tweaked before I finally start producing fakes for the sets, but this is closer to the end product than not.

Finally, I did a quick sketch of what I'd like the set logos to be. Take a look below!


It's a simple design for now, but I hope to make it look authentic to current Pokémon TCG set logos. I also hope I can pull off a convincing "corruption" effect for the logos as well...

Check it!

Not in the Beastie Boy's way but more like the curious bystander way... but with all this talk of new Pokémon being leaked and whatnot, and because I'm trying to make a fake card set of all these new Beta Pokémon, I thought it would be a great idea to actually collect as much data as I could on all of these new leaked Beta Pokémon and dump them into a single page. Think of it as an update of the classic PA! page about Lost Pokémon. And if anything it'll help me organize everything for the actual set, but for now it'll just be a neat little thing to share with everyone. Click here to take a look!

Or you can get a preview of what it looks like below. Do whatever you want, I ain't yer papa.

Anyways, this is all just a work in progress, I still have a lot of data to add, as well as other Beta Pokémon to include which I apparently forgot to add. I also want to organize the Pokémon by evolution family as well, as some seem to be all over the place.
But here it is for now, I hope you enjoy it!

Psssh, oh man, there's just so much going on here, I don't even know what's going on... yet! But I'll stick with the quickness.

As you know, I've been planning to make a fake card set out of the Gold/Silver Space World '97 ROM that was released a couple years back. And THEN I recently decided to turn it into three sets—instead of one—just so no one single set is TOO large and thus it would be more managable. I then thought I would add some Pokémon from the Gen 1 Beta data from Helix Chamber, no matter how limited it was.

Well, to "complicate" matters somewhat... looks like ANOTHER Space World Beta ROM was discovered and leaked... this time from 1999. I'm still sorting through all this myself, but thanks to long time PA! Nickling, Sylvie, I at least got a sneak peak at some of the new Pokémon in the 1999 ROM. And you can see them too right below!

Obviously some of the classics that existed in the 1997 ROM are still here... like all the new babies... but wait... is that a Sunflora prevo that isn't Sunkern?! And a middle-evo for Nati and Xatu?! A Koala Pokémon long before Komala??! MY HYPE LEVELS ARE IN ORBIT (passing my sides!)

Seriously though, this is just amazing stuff, and it'll only just add to the kind of stuff I'll be adding to the upcoming fake card set. But since the set is no longer limited to the "1997" Space World ROM, I wonder what I should call it? ORRR maybe the sets should be called something like...

  1. Neo '97
  2. Neo '98
  3. Neo '99

Y'know, kinda like how it was Neo Genesis, Neo Discovery, and Neo Revelation? In that case, the years of 1997, 1998 and 1999 will be their set names. Lemme think about that. Anyways, stay tuned for more good times! HUZZAH!!