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Happy New Year everyone! 2018 seemed to fly by like no year I’ve ever known for a number of reasons, it felt like new TCG expansions were almost back to back and no sooner had I finished sorting stuff for new releases of one expansion another one was right around the corner. A big part of this was due to the excellent lineup of expansions bought to us in 2018 by the Pokemon Company, they kicked off the year in February with the release of the Sun & Moon: Ultra Prism expansion and finished strong with Lost Thunder – the largest Pokemon TCG expansion to date. Let’s take a look back at the Pokemon expansions of 2018 and some of the cards that stood out!
Ultra Prism is the fifth expansion for the Sun & Moon series of the Pokemon TCG and saw its English release on February 2nd, 2018. The set was above average size for a Pokemon Card set weighing in at 173 cards incl secret rares.
The set focused on Gen VII Pokemon and the Sinnoh region, it also introduced Prism Star cards for the first time. The sets release was accompanied by the Mach Strike (Garchomp) and Imperial Command (Empoleon) theme decks, with the former being one of the strongest premade theme decks available for quite some time.
These were the first six Prism Star cards to be introduced to the Pokemon TCG, but they wouldn't be the last we'd see in 2018.
Some of the highlights of Ultra Prism for me were:
Browse our Ultra Prism Card Singles.
The Ultra Prism trailer by The Pokemon Company.
Official set description
An Unknown New Dimension!
Pass through the Ultra Wormhole into a bizarre new Pokémon world, where familar sights become strange and new powers are unlocked! Watch Necrozma's power grow, and marvel as brand-new Prism Star cards reveal their astounding effects on play. Meet Dialga-GX and Palkia-GX, and encounter bizarre Ultra Beasts and wild new forms of Alola's Legendary Pokémon. Explore a new dimension in the Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism expansion!
Forbidden Light arrived on May 4th, 2018 shifting the series focus from Sinnoh to the Kalos region and the mighty Ultra Necrozma. The set contained a total of 146 cards in it's English release incl Secret rares; a modest sized set by todays standards. The set featured 8 new GX cards, and bought a further 5 prism star cards into the fight.
Aside from the obviously powerful cards in the set such as the Diancie Prism Star card w/ Cheerleader ability, Beast Ring, Ultra Necrozma etc the set also presented a number of less anticipated, but equally viable Pokemon and trainer cards, some of my favourite examples are below:-
Browse our Forbidden Light Card Singles.
Forbidden Light teaser trailer by The Pokemon Company.
Official set description
Necrozma's Power Knows No Limits!
Taking the Pokémon world by surprise, Necrozma has absorbed a Legendary Pokémon and taken on a new form as Ultra Necrozma-GX! Other Pokémon gather to welcome this new light...or to resist it. Lucario-GX, Greninja-GX, Zygarde-GX, Yveltal-GX, Naganadel-GX, even Volcanion ♢ and the majestic Arceus ♢ must choose a side. Discover awesome Pokémon and mysterious treasures in the Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Forbidden Light expansion!
Arguably the most popular Pokemon TCG release of 2018, the seventh set in the Sun & Moon series; Celestial Storm crashed its way into the Pokemon TCG on August 3rd, 2018 boasting a formidable 183 cards including secret rares.
The set centres around Gen VII Pokemon and has a focus on the Hoenn region as well as the Legendary Pokemon Rayquaza. The set contains 11 new GX cards and featured Latias, Latios and Jirachi as Prism Star cards. Alongside the release of the main set we also saw the release of the theme decks; Leaf Charge (Sceptile) and Hydro Fury (Swampert).
Some highlights from Celestial Storm include:
Browse our Celestial Storm Card Singles.
Celestial Storm trailer by The Pokemon Company.
Official set description
Nature's Wrath in Full Fury!
Watch out for the vortex! It's a season of furious emerald storms and a sky alive with portents, as Pokémon and creatures from Ultra Space clash. Some ride the storm, and others defy it, with a lineup including Articuno-GX, Blaziken-GX, Scizor-GX, Stakataka-GX, and the amazing Rayquaza-GX, plus new ♢ cards featuring Latios, Latias, and Jirachi. Face the winds of change head-on in the Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Celestial Storm expansion!
Dragon Majesty soared into the Pokemon TCG world on September 7th, 2018 and is a special mini expansion - like Shining Legends before it this means that boosters could not be bought seperately, or in booster boxes and had to be obtained via the purchase of collection boxes, pin collections and so on.
The English release of the set features only 78 cards including its secret rares and focuses, as you probably guessed around the Dragon type. The set introduces six new Pokemon in GX form and brings in another couple of Prism star cards; Victini 7/70 and Lance 61/70.
I really like this set, particularly some of the oldskool artwork giving subtle nods to the anime such as Charmander 1/70 which shows Charmander trying to protect the flame on its tail from rain using a leaf, just like it did in the anime when Ash found it. Anime based rants aside heres some of my favourite cards from the set and why:
Browse our Dragon Majesty Card Singles.
Dragon Majesty trailer by The Pokemon Company.
Noble Pokémon of wing and claw, flying high above the changing world! The Pokémon TCG: Dragon Majesty expansion brings a mighty horde of draconic Pokémon: Reshiram-GX, Salamence-GX, Dragonite-GX, and over a dozen more, including Charizard! Their command of fire, battle, and sky puts Dragon types at the top of many Trainters' list get to know these amazing and challengeing Pokémon in the Dragon Majesty expansion!
Boasting the title of the largest ever Pokemon TCG expansion to date; Lost Thunder comprises a huge 236 sets including secret rares in it's English release. The sets focus is on the Johto region and the newest Mythical Pokemon; Zeraora GX.
Lost Thunder is the eighth main expansion in the Sun & Moon series and is also loosely themed around the Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon videogames. Aside from the introduction of Zeraora other Pokemon (and Ultra Beasts) prominent to the set include Lugia and Blacephalon respectively.
As mentioned this expansion is now the largest English release in the Pokemon TCG by quite a distance (186 cards vs. 236 cards), finally dethroning Aquapolis from the e-Card series which came out a whole decade and a half ago in 2003. Amongst these 236 cards are 13 new GX cards and 7 new Prism Star cards - most of which are comprised of Pokemon from Johto and Alola.
Some of our favourite cards from the set include:
Lost Thunder official trailer by The Pokemon Company.
Official set description
Ancient Power Echoing from the Mountaintops!
Travel to the forested hills, where the fragrance of incense from ancient shrines and the sparks of high-voltage Pokémon fill the air! The Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder expansion fuses the new with the traditional, featuring Celebi ♢ and Ditto ♢, plus Blacephalon-GX, Lugia-GX, Tyranitar-GX, and the newest Mythical Pokémon, Zeraora-GX! Call down the big thunder and charge up your deck with the high-powered Pokémon in the Sun & Moon—Lost Thunder expansion!
All in all 2018 has been an excellent year for Pokemon fans; be they just for fun or competitive TCG players or even collectors. We've seen all sorts of clever new in-game tactics arising as the depth of the Sun & Moon series expands and a huge amount of amazing full arts and secret cards - lets hope 2019 brings us more epic Pokemon Card goodness :-) Have a good one and happy new year.