Earlier this month, The Pokemon Company released "Steam Siege", the newest expansion for the longrunning Pokemon Trading Card Game. Steam Siege features Volcanion and other Pokemon that appear in the upcoming Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel movie. Although one could technically say that Steam Siege is a "movie tie-in", the new expansion features tons of powerful cards perfect for trainers looking to get an edge in battle.
The "crown jewel" of Steam Siege is the powerful Volcanion-EX card, one of a few dual-type cards found in the new expansion. Although dual-type Pokemon are common in the Pokemon games, Steam Siege marks the first time in over five years that the Pokemon TCG has featured dual type cards. Volcanion-EX can quickly power up a Fire Deck and deals out a whopping 130 damage with its Volcanic Heat attack. Volcanion-EX is a must have for any Fire Deck and should be a mainstay on the competitive scene next year.
Other strong cards in the new expansion include M-Steelix EX, which is a rare Dual type Mega Evolution card that does damage to every one of your opponent's Pokemon in play, and Cobalion, whose "Revenge Burst" attack could be unstoppable late in the game. I'm also a fan of the Captivating Poke Puff Item card, which draws out potentially weak Pokemon out of your opponent's hand and onto the bench where they're vulnerable to attack.
The Pokemon Company was kind enough to send ComicBook.com the "Gears of Fire" and "Ring of Lightning" decks to get started. Both are pre-made "official" decks, perfect for Pokemon trainers looking to play right away. Both decks come with damage counters, a coin featuring the deck's featured Pokemon and a handy playmat that explains the rules and set up of the game.
So which deck is better? It depends on your playing style. Gears of Fire is a Metal/Fire deck featuring Volcanion and is contains several heavy hitters perfect for doling out major damage. In addition to two Volcanion cards, Gears of Fire also contains Klinklang which can do 140 damage every other turn. There's not a lot of nuance to Gears of Fire, it's a bruiser deck designed to dish out a lot of damage.
Ring of Lightning is an Electric/Psychic deck starring Hoopa Unbound. Ring of Lightning is more of a sneakier deck, designed to isolate your opponent's weakest Pokemon and pick them off even if they're sitting on the bench. Hoopa, Gavantula, and Ampharos can all dish out damage to either Active or Benched Pokemon, so players can sabotage their opponent's strategy and hit whichever Pokemon is most vulnerable.
If you need to pick one, Gears of Fire is probably the best option, as it contains the stronger cards and can be modified pretty easily with other Fire Type Pokemon from previous expansions.
You can check out photos of some of the cards found in both decks, as well as some other awesome cards sent to us by Team Pokemon, in the photo gallery below!