It’s safe to say that fans of the Pokemon TCG are feasting at the moment.
Back in August, Evolving Skies was released and it is almost certainly the best set in the SWSH era. Comprised of some awesome Eeveelution alternate art cards, plus some of the series’ best Dragon types, it went down a treat amongst collectors.
Then, shortly after that, Evolving Skies was followed up by Celebrations, a set that included a mix of Legendary Pokemon and reprints from the TCG’s 25-year history.
Now, just a month removed from the Celebrations launch, the sets continue to come thick and fast and thanks to The Pokemon Company, I’ve had the chance to go hands-on with Fusion Strike. Here are my initial thoughts and impressions of the new set.
The first thing to notice with the new Fusion Strike set is the way the set is presented and the colour scheme.
Although you buy the boxes/packs for what’s inside, the vivid pinks and purples really stand out. Plus the prominence of some fan-favourite Pokemon, including Mew and VMAX Gengar, definitely help the set make a strong first impression.
The Cards and Choices
Fusion Strike mainly pulls from the Japanese set, Fusion Arts, whilst also picking up some of the cards from other sets that were missed in the English version of the TCG. This includes another of the Eeveelution alternate arts, an alternate art Gengar and many more.
Overall, the set consists of 264 cards plus 24 secret rares, making it the biggest in the series’ long history. While that means there’s a lot of good cards in there, it’s certainly likely to be a sticking point for some collectors.
The composition of Fusion Strike is generally pretty good and while there’s still a big chunk of Ultra Rares, Hyper Rares and Secret Rares, there’s a damn sight less than there was in Evolving Skies. This includes five fewer Rainbow Rares and five fewer gold cards. In theory, this means it should be a little easier to complete.
We’ll be sure to break down all the Secret Rares and the best Fusion Strike cards at a later date.
Alongside the new set is a brand new mechanic, handily named “Fusion Strike”.
This mechanic follows the “Single Strike” and “Rapid Strike” mechanics that have already debuted in the TCG recently.
Fusion Strike is designed around teamwork and using other Fusion Strike cards in your deck, with the likes of Mew VMAX allowing players to use a benched Pokemon’s move and costing just two colourless energies.
Genesect V on the other hand will allow players to draw cards until they have as many in their hand as they do Fusion Strike cards in play. There’s definitely some potential for some of these cards to crack the SWSH meta.
One of the big concerns that have circulated the internet is what the pull rates will be like in Fusion Strike. With such a huge pool of cards to choose from, how likely are you to pull one of the proverbial big guns?
Although I only have a small sample size at this point (a single 36 pack booster box), if you’re looking to collect the set, I wouldn’t worry too much.
Of course, RNG will come into play, but in my box, I managed to pack a VMAX Alternate Art, two VMAX Full Arts, a V Full Art, four standard V Cards and seven standard holos. If we count each of those as a hit, that’s almost a 42% hit rate. I still have an Elite Trainer Box to dig into as well.
That being said, many collectors won’t necessarily count holos as a hit, so time will tell.
You can check out my best pulls in the gallery below:
Best of the Rest
Alongside the big hitters, I packed some cards that I generally liked the art of. While they mainly consist of commons and uncommons, check those out below:
Overall, I certainly think Fusion Strike is a decent set and one that people will learn to love over time.
It may not hit the lofty heights of Evolving Skies and Celebrations, but it has some awesome chase cards in it, some great Pokemon and an interesting mechanic.
The only major bugbear is the sheer quantity of cards to collect and, off the back of the previous two sets, it may be a lot to ask of people. That being said, with a higher concentration of common/uncommon cards and less Hyper Rares and above, it’s certainly feasible.