Across the globe thousands of eager Pokémon TCG fans will soon be gathering at their local gaming and hobby stores for prerelease (sneak peak) events for the latest set, Sun & Moon: Unbroken Bonds! Let's take a closer look at the four new prerelease black star promo cards!
Volcanion – Promo SM179
Personally the card I am most l am most excited for from the four Unbroken Bonds prerelease promos is definitely the Volcanion card.
When I first started playing the Pokémon TCG, Volcanion-EX was the first deck I used at tournaments so I have a slight bias towards the fire/water Mythical Pokémon, but there is still a lot to love here.
Next to the Persian promo, Volcanion has one of the more striking artworks with a fiery volcano erupting in the background. Volcanion is also the only one of the four Pokémon to have featured in its own movie, 2016's Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel.
Additionally with fire-type Pokémon getting a ton of support (Welder and Fire Crystal) in Unbroken Bonds, this Volcanion could see a lot of play, especially alongside the new Reshiram & Charizard-GX. I can't wait to add this hot head to my decks!
Stephen's Pokéscore – 8/10
Stakataka – Promo SM180
After not getting a single Ultra Beast card in February's Team Up set, the Ultra Beasts are back in a big way in Unbroken Bonds, so it's appropriate to see one of them as a prerelease promo!
Despite Stakataka not getting as many cards recently as other Ultra Beasts like Buzzwole and Kartana, it's still one of the most popular of the Pokémon from Ultra Space due to its unique wall-like and robotic design.
I'm not as much of a fan of the art of this promo due to the cluttered background and not contrasting well with the brown colour of the fighting-type foreground of the card, but as a player I can see this card being experimented with in stall/mill decks due to its powerful ability. No basic non-GX Pokémon in recent years has ever been able to get to 200HP without the use of tool cards!
Stephen's Pokéscore – 7/10
Melmetal – Promo SM181
After first showing up in the Melmetal-GX collection box last month, the new Mythical Pokémon Melmetal will be making his first non-GX appearance in Unbroken Bonds and as a prerelease promo!
After one of the most memorable introduction/reveals for a new Pokémon in recent years (via Pokémon GO videos), I'm slightly disappointed that this card isn't as impactful or interesting.
I feel Melmetal and his metallic fist takes up way too much of the space of the artwork section of the card. As a player I also feel its one of the weakest of the four prerelease promos due to being a Stage 1 and being harder to utilise in stall/mill decks as the Stakataka from Unbroken Bonds.
Despite all this though I'm sure collectors and younger players will enjoy this Melmetal and will look forward to adding them to their promo collections.
Stephen's Pokéscore – 5/10
Persian – Promo SM182
Featuring the only Generation 1 (Gen 1) Pokémon from the four on offer at Unbroken Bonds prerelease events, we expect this Persian will be popular amongst collectors.
Persian hasn't seen much love in the past few years due to Alolan Persian being the newer of the two, so it's great to see Giovanni's best friend make an appearance once again in card form.
The artwork is also one of the nicest we've seen from Persian in recent years, with a beautiful sunset in the background and a stunning pose from the normal-type Pokémon. Players will also enjoy making a deck with Persian thanks to his unique ability making Pokémon with the fantastically-named “Caturday” attack, use their moves with no energy requirements!
Stephen's Pokéscore – 7/10
Overall these four prerelease promos might not be on the same level as the Team Up promos in both collectability and playability, they are still a very strong quartet and rank amongst the best we've seen from Sun and Moon sets.
Prerelease events for Unbroken Bonds start April 20th at TCG, gaming and hobby stores and locations around the world and also make the perfect introduction if you haven't played the Pokémon TCG before. See here for your nearest event: https://www.pokemon.com/uk/play-pokemon/pokemon-events/find-an-event/
Stephen Kent – Ludkins Pro Player