Pokémon TCG: XY – Furious Fists brings more cards to the Pokémon battle.
Gotta catch ‘em all. That’s the famous catchphrase associated with Pokémon (other than squealing “Pikachu” in a high pitched voice). While a distinct possibility in the video games, when it comes to the trading card game, how can you possibly catch them all when they keep bringing out new cards? Pokémon TCG: XY – Furious Fists is the latest expansion and adds yet more cards to tempt the fervent player to part with their cash.
It has been a fair few years since I have played the Pokémon card game. I was there when Magic: The Gathering first made an appearance, but by the time the Pokémon card game arrived in the UK, I was busy doing other things. It was a young relative who introduced me to the game and led to my collecting more cards than is probably healthy. But then, once again, my interests shifted and my Pokémon cards were left to collect dust.
With the arrival of the new XY – Furious Fists expansion, I had the opportunity to revisit the game, and boy has it changed. It was easy to slip back into as the core game remains the same, but somehow it felt so much more fluid now, faster and, dare I say it, more exciting.
In case you have never thrown down your cards in Pokémon form before, the game is quite easy to understand. Each player has a deck of 60 cards and then draws a hand of seven before putting a basic Pokémon into play. The players then take it in turns to use energy cards, items or even evolve their Pokémon while attacking the opposing players’ Pokémon, with the overall aim of defeating six of your opponents Pokémon, or getting to the point that your opponent cannot draw a card, to win the game.
For the more serious Pokémon TCG player, the Furious Fists expansion offers five new EX cards for players to being into their decks. The EX cards are a relatively new addition to the game that bring forth incredibly powerful Pokémon with the added risk of losing two cards to your opponent if they are knocked out. In the Furious Fists Booster Packs, players may find Hawlucha-EX, Lucario-EX, Seismitoad-EX, Heracross-EX or Dragonite-EX. There are also four new full-art Pokemon-EX rare Ultra cards to be found.
There are two new Mega Evolution cards to be collected, offering evolution to the already powerful EX cards. These come in the form of Mega Lucario-EX and Mega Heracross-EX. Evolving your EX to a Mega-EX will end your turn, so using it is a risk, but the reward is a stupidly powerful Pokémon in play.
There are also a whole bunch of other new cards to boost your collection, such as Fossil Pokémon from the Kalos region and 18 new trainer cards including three new full-art rare Ultra trainer cards. In total, XY – Furious Fists adds another 111 new cards to collect, which will take some time with the ten card Booster Packs.
For the new player, or those who just want to bolster their collection, there are also two new themed decks released in conjunction with XY – Furious Fists. The Dark Hammer Theme Deck and the Enchanted Echo Theme Deck each offer a fully balanced starter deck of sixty cards, complete with playmat/rule sheet, counters and coin.
Dark Hammer is a fighting/dark set and features a shiny Pangoro as its poster child, while Enchanted Echo is a fairy/leaf set and has a shiny Sylveon leading the way. These decks are the perfect way for a newcomer to get into the game and represent good value for money. They may not contain any of the exciting EX cards or Mega Evolutions, but the starting player would not need the added confusion at least until they have played the game a few times and learned the rules. Also, the themed decks are packaged nicely, looking all shiny and desirable.
Considering the Pokémon TCG has been around for 18 years now, the game is just as enjoyable as it was years ago, which is quite an achievement. The XY – Furious Fists expansion brings new cards, new strategies and a pair of excellent theme decks that are ideal to get new players to start playing and collecting. Now, excuse me while I go and dust off my old cards – I feel a game calling me…