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30 June 2015 @ 01:04 am
Set Name: バンデットリング (Bandit Ring)
Set Logo:
Number of Cards: 97
Checklist: Download (PDF)

Notes: Bandit Ring -- the final main set of the XY Era before the change to XY BREAK, and monster-sized set at that. Bandit Ring is the same size as Phantom Gate so shares the slot as being one of the second largest sets of XY, only beaten out by Rising Fist's ginormous roster after SR/UR cards, and is chock-full of a myriad of types. HoopaEX featuring Hoopa Unbound is the main focal card, with supports in the form of Sceptile, Ampharos, and Tyranitar + their Megas, and some other surprise EX friends alongside with Kyurem, Giratina, Machamp, and Lugia. The heavy EX count hurts when it comes to the Super Rares...
Continuing the trend of Ancient Traits, Bandit Ring introduced three new traits in the form of Theta-themed ones.
θ Stop: Prevent all effects of your opponent's Pokémon Abilities done to this Pokémon.
θ Double: This Pokémon may have up to 2 Pokémon Tool cards attached to it.
θ Max: When 1 of your Pokémon becomes this Pokémon, heal all damage from it.

Overall, it's a pretty awesome set. As it was the swansong of the era, Creatures decided to switch things up and give us Ultra Rare prints of shiny EX cards -- with that change came a ratio change in the boxes as well. Each box (in theory) should come with 1 of the UR shiny Pokémon, while the gold item UR cards are their standard pull and are much harder to come by. The ratio change also makes SR cards a bit harder to come by in the 10 holo cards per box thing they do. A very fiddly, painful set to finish in that respect.

But by gods it does have some seriously beautiful artwork throughout, so it's worth it.

Three boxes netted 30 holos (10 each, distributed between R/RR/SR/UR), and I pulled all of the main set outside of EX cards, but it took all three boxes to do so thanks to some very difficult to pull cards like the wide illustration Ancient Trait Gyarados holo. Big favourite cards for their art in this set are HoopaEX, GiratinaEX, AT Gyarados, both Entei, Persian, Bellossom, Vespiquen, AT Volcarona, and the entire Porygon line. Lots and lots of great art throughout, and some gorgeous Hoenn locations in the background of some of them too!

• This set was released in Japan on the 20th of June 2015.
• There were no corresponding decks released with this set.
• This set was released as Ancient Origins in English.

Scans: Bandit RingCollapse )

Last Updated: 30/06/15
29 June 2015 @ 03:24 pm

It's here! The swansong to the XY era as we know it sidles on in with almost 100 cards of pure beauty, including the debut of Hoopa to the TCG in it's Unbound forme, and supported by ferocious Mega cards like M TyranitarEX. I had three boxes of the set to go through, which was streamed to some friends for ol' times sake, and boy were there some amazing pulls.

Three boxes gave a total of 30 holo cards (10 each distributed between R/RR/SR/UR), and boy some of the regular holos are a pain in the ass to pull. Low pulls were Goodra (1), Gardevoir (1), and AT Gyarados (1). High pulls were Metagross (4) and Volcarona (4). The UR distribution has been altered so that every box will likely have one of the UR Shiny Pokémon cards, in my case I got Primal KyogreEX (1) and Primal GroudonEX (2) -- UR trainer cards are much more scarce, and I'd hazard a guess that they're still 1 in every 5 boxes (20 boxes a case/5 chances if a case bought). SR cards are a pain to get, I pulled zero, but I also had 3 successful Mega pulls instead of 2 + 1 SR, so there's that.

LugiaEX was my curse card -- I pulled 3. In doing so I missed chances at KyuremEX, AmpharosEX, M AmpharosEX, MachampEX, and TyranitarEX. But, I'm more than happy with the fact I pulled GiratinaEX and HoopaEX!! And two M TyranitarEX!

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 1.12.48 pm

The stunning Primal KyogreEX and Primal GroudonEX shiny UR cards. Just need that glorious sky serpent to finish the trio off!

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 1.13.14 pm

Easily my favourite cards of the set: GiratinaEX and HoopaEX. I'm a big fan of ovopack's artwork for the TCG, so the Hoopa card is like mana from heaven tbh. This is probably the most amazing Origin Forme card we've had of Giratina too, in my opinion. Stunning colours and intense art all 'round.

The other RR pulls, all just as spectacular. Pretty sad to not pull a single AmpharosEX or M AmpharosEX. LugiaEX seemed to be the scarcer EX card from the boxes I'd seen opened by others in Japan, but I inverted that luck right up on it's head ahaha.

Favourite wide illustration Ancient Trait cards: Entei and Gyarados. I -love- the dynamic art of Gyarados by TOKIYA, and Entei is a very biased favourite because a) my favourite of the Beast Trio, and b) my favourite TCG artist: Mitsuhiro Arita! I'd say the Ancient Trait Volcarona is very close in at third place for me.

And finally the favourite card of the stream: Goodra. I never noticed the little Goomy's hiding in the background until I got my hands on the card. A gorgeous card, if strangely hard to pull alongside Gardevoir.

All in all, a great run, and a good way to finish off the XY era's main sets. July brings us the EmboarEX vs TogekissEX deck + CP2 Legendary Shine Collection, and I've got my pre-orders in for both so expect a (likely more widely advertised) stream when those arrive at the CV nest. Following that? XY BREAK in September. Oorah!
27 June 2015 @ 11:36 am


Our first official poster teasing at the upcoming set block for XY BREAK's Blue Shock and Red Flash! Nothing really much to it, but it does give us a good hint that we'll be seeing Zoroark BREAK and Chesnaught BREAK as well as Raichu BREAK and Noivern BREAK. We'll be seeing exactly what these BREAK cards are in due time.
On top of the news about Blue Shock and Red Flash starting a new era for the Japanese TCG in September, suppliers have more info on products in the October and November block of the up-coming XY BREAK era, which offers a bit more insight into the whole BREAK mechanic, even if only slightly.

To begin we'll be seeing a 60-card Break Battle Deck: Golduck BREAK & PalkiaEX on the 9th of October, with the sellsheet telling us to aim for victory by using Pokémon BREAK and PokémonEX together, which means that this new mechanic co-exists peacefully with the EX and Mega EX mechanic that's been a part of the prior XY era. As mentioned above the deck will feature 60 cards, and will sell for 1,556円 + tax.


Secondly, there is a special Double Mega Break Set being release on the 20th of November. This special set will feature 14 cards, including AerodactylEX, M AerodactylEX, MawileEX, M MawileEX, and Luxray BREAK. The set also will come with 10 boosters: 5 Blue Shock, and 5 Red Flash. It's not yet known if this is simply a small sub-set, or if the cards will be promo cards (ala some prior released long boxes in XY Era.) This one comes in at 2,000円 + tax.


With these sellsheets it's been made loud and clear though that BREAK is a special-type Pokémon mechanic, perhaps a redux of things like SP Pokémon in DPt? We won't know until XY8 details begin to surface in full.
17 June 2015 @ 06:00 pm
We're here at the end of the XY era officially before the transition to XY BREAK in September, and it's going out with quite a bang. Bandit Ring is a colossal Japanese set, weighing in at almost 100 cards with a large majority of the tail end full of difficult to get Super Rare (SR) and Ultra Rare (UR) cards; the UR especially will be highly sought after solely on the fact they feature Shiny Pokémon!


Without further ado, here's the breakdown of the set overall. Bandit Ring consists of 37 Common cards, 24 Uncommon cards, 9 Rare (holo) cards, 11 Double Rare (EX) cards, 11 Super Rare cards, 5 Ultra Rare cards for a grand total of 97 cards. Being a movie tie-in set, the focus is on Legendary Pokemon for the most part with HoopaEX leading the charge, and we see a large number of Pokémon returning that haven't seen cards printed for a large number of years! Gorgeous wide illustrations across the board, and dynamic art overall for the entirety of the set.

Continuing the trend of Ancient Traits, Bandit Ring introduces three new traits in the form of Theta-themed ones.
θ Stop: This Pokémon cannot be affected by your opponent's Pokémon's Abilities.
θ Double: This Pokémon can have up to 2 Pokémon Tool cards attached to it at the same time.
θ Max: When 1 of your Pokémon becomes this Pokémon, heal all damage from it.

When some of those are matched up with cards giving us dual typing (Jolteon, AT Golurk), other supporters that cripple abilities (Hex Maniac), and some out-right nasty stacking attacks the playability in this set is wide and varied. They certainly threw in all the cards, pardon the pun, for this swansong of the XY Era.

Bandit Ring's SR Cards:
SceptileEX (082/081), M SceptileEX (083/081 - θ Stop), KyuremEX (084/081), AmpharosEX (085/081), M AmpharosEX (086/081), HoopaEX (087/081), MachampEX (088/081), TyranitarEX (089/081), M TyranitarEX (090/081), GiratinaEX (091/081), LugiaEX (092/081)

Bandit Ring's UR Cards:
Primal KyogreEX (093/081 - θ Max), Primal GroudonEX (094/081 - θ Max), M RayquazaEX (095/081 - θ Max), Energy Retrieval (096/081), Trainers' Post (097/081)

Bandit Ring's Ancient Trait Wide Illustration Cards:
Vespiquen (θ Double), Entei (θ Double), Gyarados (θ Double), Baltoy (θ Stop), Golurk (θ Stop), Metagross (θ Double), PorygonZ (θ Stop)

For setlist and translations, please see Bulbapedia where I've been endeavouring alongside others to have the most accurate info and translations for the cards available. For all images, check out below!

OddishBanditRing1 GloomBanditRing2 VileplumeBanditRing3 BellossomBanditRing4 SpinarakBanditRing5 AriadosBanditRing6 SceptileEXBanditRing7 MSceptileEXBanditRing8 CombeeBanditRing9 VespiquenBanditRing10 VespiquenBanditRing11 VirizionBanditRing12 FlareonBanditRing13 EnteiBanditRing14 EnteiBanditRing15 LarvestaBanditRing16 VolcaronaBanditRing17 VolcaronaBanditRing18 MagikarpBanditRing19 GyaradosBanditRing20 GyaradosBanditRing21 VaporeonBanditRing22 RelicanthBanditRing23 RegiceBanditRing24 KyuremEXBanditRing25 JolteonBanditRing26 AmpharosEXBanditRing27 MAmpharosEXBanditRing28 RotomBanditRing29 UnownBanditRing30 BaltoyBanditRing31 BaltoyBanditRing32 ClaydolBanditRing33 GolettBanditRing34 GolurkBanditRing35 HoopaEXBanditRing36 MachampEXBanditRing37 WooperBanditRing38 QuagsireBanditRing39 RegirockBanditRing40 GolurkBanditRing41 TyranitarEXBanditRing42 MTyranitarEXBanditRing43 SableyeBanditRing44 InkayBanditRing45 MalamarBanditRing46 BeldumBanditRing47 MetangBanditRing48 MetagrossBanditRing49 MetagrossBanditRing50 RegisteelBanditRing51 RaltsBanditRing52 KirliaBanditRing53 GardevoirBanditRing54 CottoneeBanditRing55 WhimsicottBanditRing56 GiratinaEXBanditRing57 GoomyBanditRing58 SliggooBanditRing59 GoodraBanditRing60 MeowthBanditRing61 PersianBanditRing62 EeveeBanditRing63 PorygonBanditRing64 Porygon2BanditRing65 PorygonZBanditRing66 PorygonZBanditRing67 LugiaEXBanditRing68

EcoArmBanditRing69 PaintRollerBanditRing70 LevelBallBanditRing71 LuckyHelmetBanditRing72 SceptileSpiritLinkBanditRing73 AmpharosSpiritLinkBanditRing74 TyranitarSpiritLinkBanditRing75 AceTrainerBanditRing76 HexManiacBanditRing77 TownOfLostColorBanditRing78 GiantPlantForestBanditRing79 FlashEnergyBanditRing80 BadEnergyBanditRing81

SceptileEXBanditRing82 MSceptileEXBanditRing83 KyuremEXBanditRing84 AmpharosEXBanditRing85 MAmpharosEXBanditRing86 HoopaEXBanditRing87 MachampEXBanditRing88 TyranitarEXBanditRing89 MTyranitarEXBanditRing90 GiratinaEXBanditRing91 LugiaEXBanditRing92

PrimalKyogreEXBanditRing93 PrimalGroudonEXBanditRing94 MRayquazaEXBanditRing95 EnergyRetrievalBanditRing96 TrainersMailBanditRing97
Suppliers have posted news regarding the next set release for the Pokemon TCG, and it comes with a landslide of news to go with it. A new era is beginning! The Mega Mewtwo playmat hint that was reported on earlier was very correct, and we've even got new decks coming out along side it. This is a big post, so buckle up for an info dump.

Pokemon Card Game XY is being reformed into Pokemon Card Game XY BREAK, and while this first set retains the numbering of prior XY era sets, it's heavily stressed that this is the start of a new era with new mechanics. Think like the change from DP to DPt. The sets will have a brand new mechanic, possibly in augmentation of the EX and M-EX system in place, but at present it's not confirmed if that is the case or if they're beginning completely anew since they're touting this as being the next big step in the development of the TCG.

The other difference in the era change-over is after years of BW-on's katakana-only names, the sets are back to using kanji. Small nuance, but it's the first time in years this has happened.

XY8 is the flagship set block, giving us two parallel sets: Blue Shock (青い衝撃) which features Mega Mewtwo X, and Red Flash (赤い閃光) which features Mega Mewtwo Y. Both sets will come out on September 25th, and both will contain 59 cards + secrets. In addition to this setblock will be two special 12-card packs in the form of "BREAK Evolution Packs" -- BREAK Evolution Pack: Raichu BREAK, and BREAK Evolution Pack: Noivern BREAK. The main set packs cost the usual 150円+tax, while these new BREAK Evolution Packs will cost 500円+tax.

At present, it's not yet known if these BREAK Evolution packs are pseudo mini-decks or are part of the set block just guaranteeing certain cards. More information will likely surface after Bandit Ring's release about that.



Alongside the set block is the standard fare deck box and deck shields, which will feature both Mega Mewtwo variants. We know from the prior news about the matching playmat on the 1st of October as well. The other big release happening in the set block is a Card Box with Energy Card: Mega Mewtwo & Mega Mewtwo Y. While not usually notable, as these kinds of box kits have been released before, the sell sheet says that all 9 energy types have redesigned/new looks. It also touts that there will be 5 special cards included, though it's highly likely that they'll be promo trainers like prior releases of these boxes. The Card Box will retail for 500円+tax.



So, what do you think the new BREAK Evolution mechanic will be? A good way to speed-boost the game? Or another gimmick that will clutter the play. Hit me up on @collectorviper and let me know what your thoughts are!
In commemoration of the Hiroshima Pokemon Centre opening this month, all Pokecens across Japan will be stocking a commemorative Special Box on the 26th of June: the Pretend Magikarp Pikachu & Pretend Gyarados Pikachu Special Box.

Each box will cost 2,500円 + tax, and come with 5 Bandit Ring booster packs, a 62 set of premium sleeves, deck box, and two premium full-art XY-P Promo cards with the two Pikas. All of this is in a nice heavy-duty long box, which can store up to 750 spare cards! Both Pikas are numbered promos, but we don't have confirmation on what their numbers are just yet.

Which of these cuties is your favourite?

Finally, we already know that the next Japanese card set (XY8) will be out toward the end of September, but a major hint as to what 'BREAK Evolution' may be has been dropped in the form of supplier documents for up-coming TCG merch in October. Cherumo Trading Cards of Akihabara report that two playmats have been listed for release on the 1st of October, one called the 'Harvest Festival Forest' (森の収穫祭) playmat which simply might be Halloween related, but the second playmat is:

Mega Mewtwo X & Mega Mewtwo Y

Perhaps the 'BREAK Evolution' hint is a mechanic that will allow for some evolution switching on special Megas like Mewtwo where it has two forms thanks to mega stone variances? Perhaps a way of bringing de-evolution back into the TCG to play a different or secondary evo? At the moment it's all up in the air and just speculation, but something tells me we got spoilt on what the set focal 'mon(s) will be in XY8.

(And if that's the case, finally, people can stop whining about the lack of M MewtwoEX... and go to complaining they're too OP!)

Many thanks to Dan for the heads up on the supplier note!
31 May 2015 @ 09:21 pm
I figure it's time I break the ice and apologise lately for failing to deliver news and scans of my own collection lately, but wanted to have it out on it's own instead of tacked onto a news post. Time to punch a hyperspace hole in the site to get this all out.

Update: A Lot Of WordsCollapse )
With the Rayquaza Mega Battle finals rounding up tonight, the end of tournament information dump we've seen prior in the Lizardon Mega Battle has happened once more. In addition to officially acknowledging the XY Master Deck Builder kits (which were posted about here), they also dropped a big hint in regards to the next XY card set.

It's been confirmed that the 8th XY expansion will debut in September, and while no name has been given yet, they offered a hint keyword: BREAK Evolution. It looks like the card mechanics might be shaken up once again with this, but right now it's all speculation asides from knowing the name of... whatever this will end up being!

They also announced that there will be two major tournament brackets in the Autumn Battle Festa 2015 after worlds, featuring 'BW Regulation' and 'XY Regulation' battles, which is an odd choice mixture as it's never been done before at a major tournament.
24 April 2015 @ 01:35 pm
As expected thanks to the preview on PokemonGet TV the past weekend, the official Pokemon-Card website updated today with the first official look at Bandit Ring! Amazon Japan also updated with the box art and pack art, featuring the gorgeous Hoopa Unbound rendered by Ryota Murayama, and stockists have given us some interesting info in regards to the set pulls for the June-July block.

XY7 Bandit Ring (June):
Calling all Pokemon EX says the official tagline, with the site today giving us nothing but official confirmation on Bandit Ring. Fortunately, the Amazon listings were more fruitful, giving us box art and confirming two cards for the set thanks to the previews on the side: Cottonee and Gardevoir! It seems like the official site is keeping tight lipped about how the set is going to unfold at present, but thankfully stockists have given us a little more food for thought.

The listings on Amazon and AmiAmi for Bandit Ring changed the amount of cards confirmed for the set -- while the initial sell sheet claimed the set to be a 97 cards + SR/UR giant, the latest revision instead states that Bandit Ring will consist of 81 cards + SR/UR. According to AmiAmi, the set is going to include 37 Common cards, 24 Uncommon cards, 9 Rare (holo) cards, 11 Double Rare (EX) cards, and a baseline 11 Super Rare cards to match those EX cards, for a current total of 92 cards.

You can check out the pack and box below! Hopefully we'll see some more info shortly.

Click to enlarge

CP2 Legendary Shine Collection (July):
Of note as well in regards to set pulls: AmiAmi also gave us the card amount listing for the concept pack. The concept pack is set to see the 27 main cards consisting of 12 Common, 3 Uncommon, 10 Rare (holo), and 2 Double Rare (EX) cards. Presumably if the concept pact is going to follow in the same vein as standard sets, we may see Super Rare variants of those EX cards, but nothing is confirmed yet.