Next Generation of Pokemon Trading Cards Revealed

pokemon gx
(Photo: The Pokemon Company)

Pokemon Sun and Moon will be released in November, ushering in a new generation for the popular video game franchise. The release will also bring new changes to the rest of the Pokemon franchise, as both the anime and trading card game will incorporate elements from the new video game. In addition to featuring new Pokemon from the Alola region, the "Sun and Moon" trading card game series will also feature a new game mechanic that could greatly change how players build their decks and strategies.

At the Pokemon World Championships on Friday, the Pokemon Company officially announced "GX" cards, a new type of Pokemon cards that will first appear this fall. GX cards will have a special "GX" move that can quickly change the flow of a game. However, the GX moves have a catch: each player can only use one GX move per game, meaning that players will need to pick their spot for unleashing their ultimate attack.

The GX mechanic is the Pokemon Trading Card Game's equivalent to Z-Moves, a new mechanic featured in Pokemon Sun and Moon. Like GX moves, Z-Moves are super powerful and can only be used once per battle.

So far, we only know of two GX cards featuring Solgaleo and Lunala, the two mascot Legendaries of Pokemon Sun and Moon. Solgaleo's GX move will allow players to pull five energy cards from their deck and distribute them how they'd like on their Pokemon. While Solgaleo's GX move enhances a player's team, Lunala's GX move can devastate an opponent, as it automatically knocks out one non-evolved Pokemon on their opponent's team.

This isn't the first time that the Pokemon Trading Card Game has added a "game-changing" mechanic. The XY series featured both Mega Evolutions and "Break" cards, a mechanic that gave certain Pokemon extra HP, abilities, and attacks. Previous series have also introduced EX-cards, powerful fully evolved Pokemon that could totally skip the game's core evolution mechanic.

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While the GX mechanic was officially announced on Friday, we still don't know when the "Sun and Moon" card series will officially be launched. The XY card series didn't launch in Japan until a full month after Pokemon X & Y came out and the cards took several additional months to arrive in the United States. Based on that timeline, it's possible the GX cards won't be released until early 2017.