Hey! Sorry for being out this past month, it’s been a weird March and April. Not bad weird, but… full of grown-up distractions. I’m currently on vacation in Minnesota visiting my best friend Jim (aka Teslalyte, aka PA! Old Skooler IVIegaX) and I’ve been letting myself play mental catchup.
That said, I’ve been working on my Instagram accounts and trying to grow a community there… feel free to add both the site’s account pokemonaaah as well as my personal account nickfifteen. I look forward to seeing you there!
The Actual News:
Today’s news will cover these topics:
- Scarlet & Violet TCG has been released!
- ScVi Blanks A’Coming Soon!
- Smuggled Cards Is Serious Business
- Safari Zone Cards Rise From Below!
Scarlet & Violet TCG has been released!
Alreet! If you haven’t noticed it already, but Pokémon TCG Scarlet & Violet was officially released! (Well, it got released on March 31, 2023, but let’s ignore that.) Apart from it being a new chapter in the Pokémon TCG, it’s actually gonna be a new chapter in Pokémon TCG fake card making! But more on that below. Anyways, I got my first packs recently, let’s take a quick look at them:
After twelve-plus packs, here’s a quick overview of my thoughts:
- the pack foil is super thick! I mean, thicker than usual, almost as thick as old skool packs. I wonder why this is?
- TWO reverse holos? AND the rare is always holo? Man this game is treating us like royalty here!
- So as I later discover from Ike_Lawliet (aka Matt Matoba) from the PA! Discord that they’ve set packs to have three “holo” slots… kinda like with Legendary Collections…! The slots are:
- FIRST: Reverse holo-always
- SECOND: Reverse holo OR full art holo
- THIRD: Holo Rare or Gold-tier Rare
- Honestly I like it this way; holos are admittedly one of the best things about collecting and if they can be made so inexpensively, then what’s the harm? This is why Magic The Gathering has their $25 Collector Boosters which is literally nothing BUT holo cards.
- Speaking of rarities: I could have sworn rarity was switching to “C”, “U”, “R”, “SR”, etc, like in Japan, but I guess not! Actually it’s still the same ol’ rarity system, which I’m honestly glad they didn’t switch to English letters like that.
- As a reminder, the rarity system for ScVi TCG is:
- ● — Common (min. 4 per pack)
- ◆ — Uncommon (min. 3 per pack)
- ★ — Rare (Holo; 1 per pack… basically)
- ★★ — Double Rare (Pokemon-ex; will take up the Rare slot)
- ☆☆ — Ultra Rare (Run of the mill Full Art Pokemon and Trainers; will take up the Rare slot)
- ★ — Illustration Rare (Alternate artwork Pokemon cards; will take up the second Reverse Holo slot)
- ★★ — Special Illustration Rare (Alternate artwork Pokemon-ex and Trainer cards; will take up the second Reverse Holo slot)
- ★★★ — Hyper Rare (Gold Cards; will take up the second Reverse Holo slot)
- Maybe the BIGGEST change is the more unified card design for the Pokemon TCG relative to the Japanese sets. This includes:
- No more gold/yellow borders, we’re going full silver, which is what Japan has been like since EX Ruby Sapphire in 2003!
- No more unique card set icons, instead we’re just getting boring “XXX LA“, where:
- XXX = Block name (Scarlet & Violet = “SVI”)
- LA = Language (“EN” = “English”, “JP” = “Japanese”, “KO” = “Korean”… I mean, as if reading the card wouldn’t be obvious enough…. yes, this also means that Phyrexian-language Pokemon cards will have “PH” in the corner.)
- BTW, I wonder when Japan switched over to this format? Looks like back in 2006 with Diamond & Pearl being “DP1”. Ew.
- It should be worth noting that this mirrors the MTG format where it shows set name and language in the lower-left corner of every card as well; this has been a thing for MTG since 2014, IIRC. So much cross-polination…
- One positive change was the addition of an Energy icon at the BOTTOM of Energy cards (see my Golden ZL Energy above); this means you can stack your energy from the bottom of your Pokemon. Handy!
- Incidentally, Ike_Lawliet mentions that TPC hired a third party design company called “Nendo” to help with the various redesigns across Japan and International card designs. They also redesigned the Creatures Inc. offices. Pretty cool!
Soooo… it’s been a month since the set has released, what’s happened in the mean time? I still need to transfer my stuff over from Pokemon TCG Online to TCG Live, but I hear there’s some really cool stuff going on there! Ike_Lawliet posted these on the Discord server:
OK ok, it’s still in Beta (I mean, I think it is…), so I can give them a pass for now. If you want to know, these are the holo layer filters, they’re just added over onto the wrong cards. The holo filters, incidentally, are also extractable, which gives a neat little look into how they create the effect. Aschefield shared these:
Kinda neat! Meanwhile, Piquitos shared these:
JEEZUS DON’T SCARE ME LIKE THAT
But seriously, these are still pretty cool and it gives me some clues as to how I can make my own online holos (well, maybe not AS creepy, however).
OH! And speaking of PTCGL and extractable scans…
ScVi Blanks A’Coming Soon!
Yep! Coming soon—which, knowing me, means in about half-a-year—I’ll be releasing Sc-Vi blanks! I spent a night trying to figure out a path to making the blanks…. long story short, the raw blanks from PTCGL are kinda trash for blank-making (which I think was intentional) but I got some really high quality raws from a special someone and I managed to work out some kind of path forward.
This is what I got so far… as well as the raw reaction from the PA! Discord:
Pfffff! HAHAHA noice
Honestly with like 95% of the card text removed, getting the rest cleared out will be a breeze. Another thing that’ll make blanking easier is that the stages (Stage 1 and 2) are basically the same as the Basic layout, just with extra little “bars” in-between the Pokemon’s name and HP and the Evolution box. This’ll be a relative sinch… but I’ll save the final judgement for when I’m actually done.
Incidentally I’ll be posting updates on the pokemonaaah Instagram account… so add me there and wish me luck!!
Smuggled Cards Is Serious Business
What the hell is this, 2000?!
Someone did this major heist of Pokeyman cards?? I’m still learning about it, so if it’s fresh to you too, check this out from u/GuavaWave on Reddit:
Saw this on a FB group. Allegedly, printing company worker stole hits off the line and tried to offload them to a LGS.
by u/GuavaWave in PokemonTCG
In case that reddit post disappears, here’s a piccie:
But yeah, the story goes that someone from the printing line in Texas (most likely Cartamunde, as they have printers there) just snagged these off the line and dropped them off to a local game store thinking they got some easy cash. Naturally the LGS had to contact TPC and reveal the steal… which, honestly, I’m all for sticking it to the man, but there’s no way out of this without some heavy shit coming down on you as well.
Turns out this is part of a rash of regular thefts and leaks as well… I mean, aside from the Celebrations leak from 2021, Magic The Gathering had a leak of Phyrexia All Will Be One at the beginning of the year from someone else who just swiped cards off the line, as well as how Wizards sent the literal flippin’
hired goons PINKERTONS to look into another apparent theft of cards…. oh, and I saw this video on Instagram of someone with a ton of Fusion Strike rares as well, showing it’s not a one-off thing…. I can’t help but wonder if I should feel bad or just laugh at all this.
One issue brought up was that, with this leak revealed, it apparently made the lack of certain cards make more sense
Since that initial heist, TPC already released a notice about this, as follows:
“We take the protection of our IP and associated products very seriously. This matter remains under investigation and we cannot comment on details at this time. However, we can confirm that Sword & Shield booster packs and products were shipped to retail as intended and we have no indication that the integrity of the products were impacted by any confirmed or unconfirmed theft. Furthermore, we continue to significantly invest in both the production and security of our TCG business. We value the faith our fans put in us and our products, and these investments are intended to help us continue to maintain their trust.”
So this ended up being said-and-done before I got to it. But knowing what I know about the industry, the only way they can get this crap to end is either:
- threaten to break one thumb for every card stolen (reinforced with more
- work to make these cards not worth the paper they’re printed on in order to disincentivize card theft…
But none of that is anything that neither TPC and Wizards has the gaul to do. PHSAW and I thought we lived in AMERICA
IN FACT WE SHOULD BREAK ALL THE THUMBS OF ALL FILTHY CRIMINALS IT’S WHAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS WA–
Safari Zone Cards Rise From Below!
And now for something completely different: Safari Zone cards from GC|Linkinboss! Take a look!
Y’know, I only just realized that neither Kabutops nor Omastar were ever released in the original Vending Set release. How strange! All that said, I don’t think these cards would’ve made much of a difference in the grand scheme of things had they been released in the West. Like, Aerodactyl MIGHT have been usefully splashable, but then you’d have to evolve it first, and blah. That said, I do appreciate the flavor of Kabuto turning into a fossil again!
Oh, btw! I’m gonna start posting Safari Zone cards on the pokemonaaah Instagram account, so if you don’t want to visit the site to see them, you can at least see them on Instagram. Hope to see you there!
Alrightyo, that’s it for this week. But maybe not? There’s a few other stories I wanted to cover this week without burning myself out in writing TOO MUCH at once. So we’ll see what happens before the weekend! Anyways, thanks again for visiting, and I hope you’ll visit again!