A big HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our customers and readers! 2020 is looking to be another exciting year for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, including the World Championships leaving North America and coming to London for the first time! Lets take a look at the 12 months to follow, and make some predictions along the way!
Sword & Shield Base Set
The first big release this year is of course the first Sword & Shield Pokémon TCG set. Releasing Worldwide on February 7th, many predict that this 202+ cards set will feature all of the cards from Japan's Pokémon Sword & Pokémon Shield (S1w & S1h) sets, plus all the cards from the V Starter Sets (including the legendary Pokémon such as Tapu Koko V and Regirock V).
Players are also excited to get hold of the Sword & Shield Elite Trainer Boxes (two designs, one for Sword, one for Shield), as for the first time they feature dice with numbers on them, making it a lot easier to keep track of how much damage your Pokémon has taken. These kind of numbered dice have only officially been available through the Pokémon World Championship store, so its great to see them more widely available.
We have already taken an early look at the Sword & Shield cards, but we expect more English scans, plus the full set list, to be revealed shortly before Prerelease events begin on Saturday 25th January. Keep an eye on this blog as we will be covering this launch and showing off our favourite cards!
Future Sword & Shield Sets?
While we haven't had any official confirmation of the names and themes of our future Sword & Shield Pokémon TCG sets, we can make some predictions about them based on previous releases and what was included in the Sword & Shield base set.
One of the biggest omissions from the base set was Charizard V and Charizard VMAX cards. Featuring prominently throughout the video games (Charizard was the Galar champion's main Pokémon), its extremely likely Charizard will be the main Pokémon for either the second or third sets, similar to how Charizard-GX was released in Sun & Moon: Burning Shadows, which was the third set of the series.
It's also extremely likely that Creatures, Inc will be continuing to focus first on making cards for the Pokémon that are in the Galar Pokedex from the Sword & Shield games. Apart from the five Legendary/Mythical Pokémon in the V Starter Decks, all the V Pokémon revealed so far have been from the Galar Pokedex.
This means its unlikely we'll see cards for popular Pokémon such as Mewtwo, Rayquaza, Blastoise and Darkrai straight away, but based on previous Pokémon blocks they could feature more prominently in the 2021 Sword & Shield sets, once all the main Pokémon from the video games have been printed.
Pokémon World Championships 2020
Everyone involved with Ludkins Collectables and the European Pokémon community as a whole, are all incredibly excited about the Pokémon World Championships leaving North America for the first time in its history, and coming to London later in the year.
Whilst we don't know the exact dates for our hobby's showcase event yet, based on previous World Championships, it's extremely likely that the event will be held either on August 13-16 or the week after on 20-23. I'm personally predicting the latter, due to allowing the cards from the third Sword & Shield set to be legal for play at the event. The venue is also not yet confirmed, but it is highly likely the ExCeL Center in London's Docklands area due to it having hosted two previous Pokémon International Championships.
I highly recommend everyone who is a fan of Pokémon in some capacity to attend the World Championships at least once in your lifetime. It's incredible to be surrounded by so many other collectors (or players) that share the same passions as you. There is also normally a pop-up Pokémon Center shop that will sell a whole bunch of exclusive swag, plus all the other usual things that the World Championship brings.
It's unlikely you'll need a spectator badge to visit the Pokémon Center, but you WILL need one to enter the event hall to access the collectors trading area, and get the full experience of the event. Spectator badges likely will go on sale around June/July time, keep an eye on the Ludkins Collectables Facebook page for more news.
August/Holiday Mini Set – Tag All Stars?
Hidden Fates was arguably the smash hit of 2019 for the Pokémon TCG. Despite not having much for the players of the game, collectors and casual fans lapped up the opportunity to get over 70 shiny (SV) Pokémon cards, with many hoping to pull the elusive shiny Charizard GX, which six months on still commands a respectful $200+ (USD) price tag.
The Pokémon Company International (TCPI) I'm sure are hopeful of another smash hit for 2020's holiday set, so it feels extremely likely they'll produce another reprint set. My best bet (only a prediction, not confirmed) would be a set that features many (or all) of the reprint secret rare cards we didn't get from Japan's popular SM12a Tag All Stars set.
Simply the inclusion of a GOLD Reshiram & Charizard-GX would be enough to make the set more sought after than 2018's Dragon Majesty mini set, but there is so, SO much more to love about this set. The reprints of popular full art Trainer cards such as Green's Exploration and Welder are bound to turn heads for both collectors and players, but there is also a whole ton of other rainbow rares, secret rares and other cards we didn't get in English.
The only question would be which cards they included for the regular set cards, as SM12a Tag All Stars mostly featured reprint cards. Perhaps there will be more Japanese starter/V decks that will be included? We'll likely hear more about the set around April/May time when the retailers get product descriptions.
This was just a brief look forward to some of what's coming (and what might be coming) to the Pokémon TCG in 2020. There will always be more surprises around every bend, and we look forward to sharing them with you as they are announced!
Stephen Kent – Ludkins Collectables Editor