The following in an interview with Jake, a participant at a recent Pokémon Sun & Moon: Guardians Rising prerelease in Madison, WI.
Where are you from, and how did you get into the Pokémon TCG?
I am a Pokémon player from Hartland, Wisconsin. I used to play this game as a kid but I stopped around when I turned 11, however even then I had always kept playing the videogames and never lost my love for them. A few years ago, I was in a Walmart near my house where I saw Pokémon packs on the shelves. I had a little bit of money on me and decided to relive some childhood memories. I don’t remember the exact tin that I bought but I pulled such amazing cards, including a full art Virizion EX. The card’s beautiful texture and color was something new to me, so I looked into the game by watching YouTube videos and became hooked yet again.
Which card stood out to you the most?
This set has many new cards that have caught my attention in the last few weeks. One of them is Sylveon GX- I could go on for days about just this card alone. The first attack, Magical Ribbon, lets you search for any three cards from your deck and put them into your hand, no questions asked. With this attack you are able to that completely swing the board state at any point during a game. Fairy Wind, Sylveon’s second attack, looks mediocre at first (and most of the time it is) but it does just the perfect amount of damage to OHKO Shaymin EXs and deal 2-shots to virtually any EX or Mega Evolution Pokémon. As for Plea GX, that takes two of your opponent’s benched Pokémon and puts them back into their hand. In the right circumstances, this can be completely game changing-you could stop a mega Pokémon from coming up and killing your Sylveon, or slow any deck down to your speed to keep them from overpowering you. This card in general is definitely a strong one and my favorite by far (I swear I’m not biased because Sylveon is my favorite Pokémon).
This is the second set to use the new Pokémon GX mechanic. How do you feel those cards are shaping up as a whole?
At first when the new GX mechanic was announced as part of the game I was actually not pleased. Being the naïve person I was I thought everything was going to change and I’d have to re-invent the way I play the game. While I did have to make some adjustments, since then I have grown to love these new GXs. With this new mechanic it takes more strategy to decide when to use your one GX attack for the game. Will it be Mad Bull GX for a prize swinging knock out, or will it be Hollow Hunt GX in order to get back lost resources that you may need later on? No matter what GX attack you use, it has a purpose. That's what I love about it!
What are you looking forward to this TCG season?
Meeting new people and traveling with friends to Regionals. This may be a normal thing for some, but this is the first year I have ever traveled a lot to tournaments with my friends, and I love that when I go I get the opportunity to meet all the people that I watch on YouTube and look up to as a player. It’s always a great experience when you sit across the table from a person you’ve seen online, someone that you can just have a good conversation with, or even just a random person. There is always room for interaction during the game and it allows you to make new friends that you never would have known otherwise. It has been a great experience so far and I hope that it continues in the same way for the rest of the season.