The Pokemon Trading Card Game is introducing a new gameplay mechanic inspired by the two distinct battle styles of the Legendary Pokemon Urshifu. The Pokemon Company announced that the Pokemon Trading Card Game would add a new "Battle Style" mechanic that will launch with the upcoming Battle Styles expansion for its current Sword & Shield series of cards. The mechanic is built around two distinct Battle Styles: the Single Strike Style, which delivers powerful, hard-hitting attacks, and the Rapid Strike Style, which aims for more sneaky and technical strikes.
Certain cards in upcoming expansions will have a Battle Style, which is designated by a label on the right corner of the card. Some card abilities will work with any "Rapid Strike" or "Single Strike" card. For instance, Emboar's "Fighting Fury Stance" ability boosts the attack power of all Single Strike Pokemon, while Octillery's "Rapid Strike Search" ability allows players to search their deck for a Rapid Strike card in their deck. Pokemon won't be the only cards labelled with a Battle Style. Some Energy and Trainer cards will also have Battle Styles and can provide additional boosts or benefits for Pokemon with the same Battle Style. You an check out some examples of how the Battle Styles impact that game below:
The goal of the new Battle Style Mechanic is to encourage players to build a deck focused on a single Battle Style. These cards seem to naturally work well with each other and will help players more easily build a deck that synchronizes nicely. Not every card will have a Battle Style though, so players can still choose to build a deck without incorporating those Battle Styles into their deck.
The Pokemon TCG is booming, thanks to heightened interest in both older vintage cards and more recent expansions. Some players are seeking out rare First Edition Charizard cards, while others are seeking more recent Shiny Charizard cards that can still sell for hundreds of dollars on the secondary market. Recent trademarks have also teased the addition of some other new mechanics, such as the mysterious VSTAR mechanic.
The "Battle Styles" expansion will come with 60 Battle Style cards, 12 Pokemon V cards, and six Pokemon VMAX cards. Additionally, the set also comes with 16 full-art cards and two Special Energy cards. The "Battle Styles" expansion will be officially released on March 19th, 2021.