The first expansion of the Pokémon Trading Card Game: Scarlet & Violet Series arrives on March 31, 2023, but you can visit your local game store to start playing with it early! Starting March 17, 2023, select retailers will begin selling the Scarlet & Violet Build & Battle Box, giving fans a chance to have a Prerelease battle and experience the latest expansion before its official release date.
The Prerelease format allows players to compete with a 40-card deck, with four Prize cards set aside at the start of play, as opposed to a 60-card deck with six Prize cards. This format is perfect for introducing new players to the exciting world of the Pokémon TCG with quick, fun games, and it also gives seasoned players a window into all that Scarlet & Violet has to offer. Due to a limited card pool and the variance of cards that can be acquired in a Build & Battle Box, Prerelease events are also a great opportunity to flex your creative deck-building skills.
Each Build & Battle Box includes four Scarlet & Violet booster packs and a 40-card ready-to-play deck featuring key cards from the new set, as well as one of four unique foil promo cards to boost your Prerelease deck. Depending on which promo card you get, you could add the high-energy Quaquaval, electrifying Pawmot, scrappy Hawlucha, or rambunctious Revavroom. Whichever promo you do end up with, it will certainly shape your Prerelease strategy!
Dance to the rhythm of Energy flooding your board with Quaquaval and its Energy Carnival Ability. With the Dancer Pokémon in play, you’ll be able to attach a Basic Energy card from your hand to one of your Pokémon. You can either go with the flow and use Energy Carnival to attach Energy to Quaquaval itself and other Water-type Pokémon, or fight the current and attach Energy to all types of Pokémon. In the Standard format, using multiple Energy types can be dangerous, but the strategy works well with Pokémon like Quaquaval in a limited Prerelease format. If you get a second Quaquaval in play, you can use two Energy Carnival Abilities per turn, in combination with your regular Energy attachment, to potentially power up Pokémon like Kingambit and its Hack At attack in a single turn.
Lightning-type Pokémon are excellent at galvanizing any Prerelease deck, and Pawmot is no exception. Most Pokémon rely on Trainer cards or other Pokémon to help fulfill the Energy cost of their more expensive attacks, but thanks to Pawmot’s Electrogenesis Ability, this Pokémon can get it all done on its own. Electrogenesis allows you to search your deck for a Basic Lightning Energy card and attach it directly to Pawmot. This makes Pawmot’s Electro Paws attack—which does 230 damage for a cost of two Lightning and one Colorless Energy—much easier to use during your battle. Electro Paws also discards all Energy attached to Pawmot, but Electrogenesis helps alleviate the drawback of such a powerful attack.
Have you ever been 10 damage short of a Knock Out during a Prerelease battle, only for your opponent to safely retreat that Pokémon to their Bench? Well, with Hawlucha and its Flying Entry Ability, you’ll be able to secure key Knock Outs when your opponent least suspects it. When you play Hawlucha from your hand onto your Bench during your turn, you may choose two of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon and put one damage counter on each of them. Whether you’re grappling for a lead or wrestling your way back into a battle, Flying Entry is a great way to put pressure on your opponent. Hawlucha even puts in a bit of extra work with Wing Attack, which does 70 damage for one Fighting and two Colorless Energy.
The Prerelease format often lacks a great number of Supporter cards to help you draw through your deck and find what you need to set up your next play. Revavroom is here to help with its Rumbling Engine Ability, bringing even the worst hands up to speed at the cost of a single Energy card. When you discard an Energy card from your hand to use Rumbling Engine, you may draw cards until you have six cards in your hand. With an expensive attack like Knock Away, Revavroom probably won’t be doing as much attacking as your other Pokémon, but it will surely help get the rest of your game plan on track.
There are variations between Build & Battle Boxes, so you can add your own creative twist when building your deck. Whether you’re heading to a local game store or just playing with a friend, have some quick and fun battles using cards from the new Scarlet & Violet expansion!