The latest Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, Scarlet & Violet—Paldea Evolved, arrives June 9, 2023, but you can visit your local game store to start playing with it early! Starting May 27, 2023, select retailers will begin selling the Scarlet & Violet—Paldea Evolved 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—Paldea Evolved 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—Paldea Evolved booster packs and a 40-card ready-to-play deck featuring key cards from current and prior sets, 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 stone-cold Baxcalibur, terrifyingly cute Tinkaton, mighty Murkrow, or helpful Pelipper. Whichever promo you do end up with, it will certainly shape your Prerelease strategy!
Is that the sound of rain droplets? Baxcalibur’s Super Cold Ability—which allows you to attach Basic Water Energy as often as you like from your hand to any of your Pokémon—is a functional recast of Blastoise’s Rain Dance Pokémon Power from Base Set. The effect is more than 25 years old now, but it’s still a great one to build your deck around in the Prerelease format! You can either deluge Water Energy onto Baxcalibur itself and take key Knock Outs with Buster Tail, or accelerate Water Energy to a different Pokémon to power up its attack. It’s hard to go wrong with unlimited Energy attachments, but be careful about putting too much Water Energy into your Prerelease deck—you don’t want to get flooded!
Once you have Tinkaton around, every card you touch turns to gold. If you discard a card from your hand, you can use Tinkaton’s Gather Materials Ability to draw 3 cards. It’s the perfect Ability for repurposing resources when you need to find something else in your deck. Let’s say your hand is filled with Psychic Energy, but you’re lacking the crucial Special Energy to power up Tinkaton’s Special Hammer attack—you can always discard an extra Psychic Energy to find that next piece for your strategy. Speaking of Special Hammer, it really packs a wallop. When Tinkaton has Special Energy attached, the attack does a total of 180 damage for just two Energy. If you’re behind on Prize cards, you can attach a Reversal Energy to fulfill both the attack cost and its bonus condition to swing the game back into your favor!
March on with the mighty Murkrow and its United Wings attack! For each Pokémon with the United Wings attack in your discard pile, United Wings does 20 damage. If you have 10 Pokémon in the discard pile with the United Wings attack, you can do 200 damage for only a single Darkness Energy. That might be difficult to pull off at your local Prerelease, but you can still ramp up the damage quickly by using cards like Ultra Ball or Professor’s Research to discard Murkrow and other Pokémon that have the same attack. Keep in mind that there’s no limit to how many copies of a single card you can play in the Prerelease format, since you would normally be limited to four in the Standard format—if you open five Murkrow, you can include them all.
The Water Bird Pokémon Pelipper has a knack for transporting things in its bill—whether it’s mail or some other delivery. In this case, Pelipper can deliver a Supporter card to your hand with its Hearsay Ability. When you play this Pokémon from your hand to evolve 1 of your Pokémon, you can either put a Supporter card from your discard pile into your hand, or search your deck for a Supporter card. Supporter cards can be hard to come by in the Prerelease format, so Pelipper provides that extra boost in consistency when you need to find a card like Arven or Professor’s Research. If you need an extra attacker, Pelipper can also help with its Wing Attack, which does a solid 90 damage for three Energy.
There are variations among 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—Paldea Evolved expansion!