The Pokémon Trading Card Game will undergo some changes for the upcoming Scarlet & Violet series, including a general price increase on related products, including booster packs, along with what’s packaged inside.
Some details were announced by The Pokémon Company on December 9th, and it pointed at “global inflation impacting the cost of materials and production” as the catalyst for passing the economic strain onto players. While The Pokémon Company is privately traded and therefore doesn’t need to release its financials, ComicBook reported $1.6 billion in sales during 2021, which translates to $325 in net profits.
The announcement does not provide specifics but does point to booster packs as an example, saying players should expect prices to increase from $3.99 USD per pack to $4.99. It’s not all bad news, though, as the company said it would be increasing the number of guaranteed foils per pack from two to three, as well as printing all cards at rare and above as foils.
Players will also enjoy slightly more cards and packs in the larger boxes and special releases that accompany each set. Again, the announcement is slim on particulars but uses the elite trainer boxes as an example - those will include one extra booster pack and full-art promotional card as a counterbalance to the increased price.
Cards will also receive a facelift in Scarlet & Violet that brings them in line with the Japanese version of the trading card game. Gone are the yellow borders around all card’s front-facing side, replaced by a silver edge that The Pokémon Company claims is the “originally intended border”.
Players will also find the new information layout easier to parse during play. Trainer subcategories - Trainer, Stadium, Supporter, etc. - will now be displayed in the top-left portion of the card so it is more visible when in a player’s hand. Similarly, energy cards will have their name and type symbol printed along the top-left so that they can be read when tucked behind the attached Pokémon.
Expansion symbols will be replaced with expansion codes in the bottom-left portion of the card layout. For the Scarlet & Violet series this looks like a black square with “SV1 EN” to signify the language and, ostensibly, set number. Energy cards, by comparison, use “SVE EN” since they’ll likely be reprinted throughout the series’ run.
Scarlet & Violet won’t just introduce tabletop players to the Paldea region and its host of new critters but also welcome back ex-Pokémon, a move some are hailing as a saving grace against the current ultra-fast competitive meta environment. A more comprehensive update for competitive play is due soon, according to the publisher.
Those interested in checking out the Pokémon TCG can access the open beta for Pokémon TCG Live, which launched last month. Dicebreaker also has a beginner’s guide for fledgling trainers and a list of the most expensive Pokémon cards around for collectors to ogle.