New Expansion: XY!
So a bunch of big changes happened to the Pokémon TCG recently. Firstly, the XY expansion was released, here's the official ad video:
Some Notable Cards
- Yveltal EX - an insanely powerful card which basically has Mewtwo EX's X-Ball attack plus an additional 20 damage on top.
- Yveltal - a powerful basic Pokémon that goes well with Yveltal EX in a deck.
- Of course Venusaur EX, Mega Venusaur EX, Blastoise EX, and Mega Blastoise EX are in this set, but I don't know if people have figured out good decks for them yet.
- Professor's Letter - basically a double energy search.
- Muscle Band - like the card that lets Dark Pokémon do 20 extra damage per attack, but for any Pokémon.
- Evosoda - lets you search your deck for the evolution of one of your Pokémon in play and evolve it.
- Red Card - makes your opponent shuffle their hand into thier deck and draw 4 cards. Great when your opponent has a big hand of cards.
The full list with all the details can be found here.
Huge TCG Online Update!
The online game has been completely revamped. It was super buggy when the update first came out, but it's been patched and now the game, for the most part, is better than ever.
Good changes I've noticed
- The game used WAY LESS system resources now. Runs so much better.
- The login screen doesn't jump around between fullscreen and windowed any more, it stays at what you set the game to.
- The UI has been completely revamped and looks much nicer.
- You now see all current public trade offers. The ones relevant to you appear at the top of the list.
- "Beginner" and "Expert" in online versus mode have been replaced with "Practice" and "Ranked"
- The playmat and game view have been changed. Cards are now easier to see.
- When you draw more than one card, they're now drawn all at once instead of individually.
- Chat, friends, and messages have been moved to a hideable menu on the left side of the screen.
- The menu from the home screen can be accessed from a hideable menu on the right side of the screen.
- The way the game renders cards has been changed. Instead of dynamically rendering them each time, it uses images.
- The holo/shiny effects on the cards are rendered differently and many have been corrected.
- Matchmaking was really buggy/slow before, now you get into matches super fast!
Changes to adjust to
- At first I HATED the new playmat/game view, but after a day or two I've become quite fond of it. Give it a chance!
- Drawing cards is faster, but the card animations are now slower. I turned them off and it makes the game really fast-paced, which is nice.
- Because cards are images now, they aren't altered (HP increase, etc.) when trainer cards or abilities are in use. At first this bummed me out, then I realized that's how it is in real life, and making sure you keep an eye on all the cards and effects during the game probably isn't a bad thing.
- Also when you see a card for the first time, the game has to download the image for it. After playing for a while you'll have most cards downloaded already.
Bad changed I've noticed
- The chat menu takes up too much space in a match to have it open all the time, so you have to check it to see if your opponent's said anything.
- The size of the deck doesn't change. You could have 1 card but it looks like a full deck, so keep your eye on it. Hopefully they'll fix this.
- The coin flip at the beginning of a match is silent. Probably just a bug.
So, now that I've typed way too much text, here are some screenshots I took:
It takes a while to adjust but overall it's a huge improvement, see you online!