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First Takes — Battle Styles Preview

Originally reported by PokeBeach, then confirmed by Pokemon themselves, the next international set will be titled Battle Styles. Now this isn’t any ordinary news report, although I’ll be relaying it nonetheless if you missed it – I’ve got some thoughts about what this might mean for the game moving forward.

The set will drop March 19 and we’ll be doing the whole compliment of singles and sealed here at ChannelFireball.com. What’s most exciting about the set are its two new key words, Rapid Strike and Single Strike. These don’t mean anything on their own; they’re just like a certain trainer’s Pokemon, much like Crobat G for example. From the cards that have already been revealed, it’s easy to tell there’s potential here for a complete metagame shakeup. Personally, I’m hoping that Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX finally finds itself on the way out.

There’s going to be over 160 cards in the set – 60 of which will feature the aforementioned keywords – and we’ll know more about the contents based on Japan’s counterpart set debuting on January 22. Here’re some of the pretty graphics, promotional material, card scans and some translations (again, all credit and thanks go to Pokebeach).

Rillaboom V – Grass – HP220
Basic Pokemon[G][C][C] Drain Punch: 60 damage. Heal 30 damage from this Pokemon.[G][C][C][C] Drum Rush: 160 damage.When your Pokemon V is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Fire (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Cinderace V – Fire – HP210
Basic Pokemon[C][C] Flame: 50 damage.[R][C][C][C] All-Out Shoot: 210 damage. This Pokemon can’t attack during your next turn.When your Pokemon V is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Water (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Rapid Strike Urshifu V – Fighting – HP220
Basic Pokemon (Rapid Strike)[F][C] Rolling Kick: 40 damage.[F][F][C] Multi-Strike: 90 damage. This attack does 20 damage to 2 of opponent’s Benched Pokemon (don’t apply Weakness and Resistance for Benched Pokemon).When your Pokemon V is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Single Strike Urshifu V – Fighting – HP220
Basic Pokemon (Single Strike)[F] Strong Knuckle: 30 damage.[F][F][F][F] 180 damage. This attack’s damage isn’t affected by Resistance.When your Pokemon V is Knocked Out, your opponent takes 2 Prize cards.

Weakness: Psychic (x2)
Resistance: none
Retreat: 2

Billowing Fan – Trainer
Item (Rapid Strike)Return a Special Energy attached to 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon to the bottom of your opponent’s deck.You may play any number of Item cards during your turn (before your attack).
Honey – Trainer
SupporterDraw a card for each Pokemon V your opponent has in play.You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).
Mustard Rapid Strike Stance – Trainer
Supporter (Rapid Strike)You can only play this card if it’s the only card in your hand. Put a Rapid Strike Pokemon from your discard pile onto your Bench. Then, draw 5 cards.You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).
Mustard Single Strike Stance – Trainer
Supporter (Single Strike)You can only play this card if it’s the last card in your hand. Search your deck for a Single Strike Pokemon and put it onto your Bench. Then, draw 5 cards.You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).
Rapid Strike Energy
Special Energy (Rapid Strike)This card can only be attached to a Rapid Strike Pokemon.While attached to a Pokemon, this card proves 2 [W] and [F] Energy at the same time.(If this card is attached to anything other than a Rapid Strike Pokémon, discard this card.)
Rapid Strike Scroll: Whirlpool Scroll – Trainer
Item (Rapid Strike)Pokemon Tool: Attach a Pokemon Tool to 1 of your Pokemon that doesn’t already have a Pokemon Tool attached to it.The Rapid Strike Pokemon this card is attached to can use the attack on this card. (You still need the necessary Energy to use this attack.)[F][C][C] Whirlpool Dream: This attack does 30 damage to each of your opponent’s Pokemon.

You may play any number of Item cards during your turn (before your attack).

Single Strike Scroll: Raging Scroll – Trainer
Item (Single Strike)Pokemon Tool: Attach a Pokemon Tool to 1 of your Pokemon that doesn’t already have a Pokemon Tool attached to it.The Single Strike Pokemon this card is attached to can use the attack on this card. (You still need the necessary Energy to use this attack.)[F] Fury: 10+ damage. This attack does 10 more damage for each damage counter on this Pokémon.

You may play any number of Item cards during your turn (before your attack).

Single Strike Energy
Special Energy (Single Strike)This card can only be attached to a Single Strike Pokemon.While attached to a Pokemon, this card provides 1 [D] or [F] Energy. Attacks from the Pokemon this card is attached to do 20 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon.(If this card is attached to anything other than a Single Strike Pokémon, discard this card.)
Tower of Darkness – Trainer
Stadium (Single Strike)Once during their turn, each player may discard a Single Strike card from their hand and draw 2 cards.This Stadium stays in play when you play it. Discard it if another Stadium comes into play. If a Stadium with the same name is in play, you can’t play this card.
Tower of Waters – Trainer
Stadium (Rapid Strike)The Retreat Cost of each Rapid Strike Pokemon in play is [C][C] less.This Stadium stays in play when you play it. Discard it if another Stadium comes into play. If a Stadium with the same name is in play, you can’t play this card.
Vitality Jar – Trainer
Item (Single Strike)Choose up to 2 Single Strike Energy cards from your discard pile, reveal them, and shuffle them into your deck.You may play any number of Item cards during your turn (before your attack).

The most exciting thing here so far has to be Houndoom. Surely this isn’t the best this set can produce – I bet it’s just a glimpse at it – but the card is quite good. I love specialized mechanics and this will bolster Single Strike Pokemon decks – maybe there will be a ramp Pokemon for Rapid Strike ones! Octillery’s Ability is really cool, although it still might be too slow for the format. Emboar could even be good since you can use the new Mustard Supporter to get it into play too.

Both Mustard Supporters are almost identical to Archie’s Ace in the Hole and Maxie’s Hidden Ball Trick, both of which created extremely fun and unique opportunities in their formats. Granted, our current Standard doesn’t have the discarding effects those formats did such as Ultra Ball, but there’s still Quick Ball among other things. Perhaps this set will even introduce something that discards two cards to bolster those Supporters.

Rapid Strike Energy might have been mistranslated, but as it stands, the card is insane. It could singlehandedly be enough to power up some super strong Rapid Strike Pokemon! The Energy powers up Empoleon V in one go and I’m sure there’s more Water/Fighting-type Rapid Strike cards on the way.

If nothing else this set already feels like a breath of fresh air. New mechanics are always a surefire way to spruce up a game and I’m hoping the power of Rapid Strike Energy along with some broken attacker can push ADP further out of the metagame. Battle Styles looks like a lot of fun and I can’t wait for March! Stay tuned to ChannelFireball.com and ChannelPokemon on Twitter for more news, preorders and the date of the next CFB Pro Showdown.

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