The Pokemon Trading Card Game will have some subtle new changes when it comes out early next year. The Pokemon Company has revealed a first look at some of new cards coming in its upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield set, which ushers in a brand new era for the Pokemon TCG. These cards have revealed a couple of interesting rules tweaks and other changes, which include a new Holographic pattern on cards, changes to Resistances, and a minor rules tweak to help level the playing field early in the game.
The most visible change will be a new Holographic card pattern. Over the last decade or so, the Pokemon TCG has introduced a new holofoil pattern whenever the game switches to a new series of cards. The Pokemon Black and White era of cards had a horizontal holofoil pattern, the Pokemon XY cards used a diagonal pattern, and the most recent Pokemon Sun and Moon cards used a sort of psychedelic pattern. The Sword and Shield cards will use a vertical holofoil pattern, which will give the holofoil cards their own unique look.
Additionally, there will be several new tweaks to the Pokemon TCG rules, specifically when it comes to resistance and supporter cards. Pokemon with a type resistance will now subtract 30 points of damage from attacks instead of 20 points, which reverses a change that has been in place for several years. Additionally, not every Electric-type Pokemon will have a resistance to Steel-type attacks, which reverses a trend that dates back to the Diamond and Pearl era of cards. Finally, it was announced that players can no longer play a Supporter card on their first turn if they go first. This change was likely made to help even the playing field a bit and prevent a player from gaining an advantage just because they won a coin toss.
The new Pokemon Sword and Shield TCG cards will be released in early 2020.