in News, Trading Card Game by Kentucky Fried Torchic

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With Pokémon Black Version and White Version coming to the United States in less than a month, Generation Four is drawing to a close, meaning that a new show, new toys, and, of course, a new set of the Pokémon Trading Card Game are all right around the corner.

But before that happens, we are granted one last set to fill the gap between the end of the HeartGold and SoulSilver era and the beginning of the Black and White era in the TCG.  This set is Call of Legends, released today.
As a filler set, Call of Legends contains both reprints of older cards and previously exclusive Japanese promos.  The reprints are all from the HeartGold and SoulSilver block, spanning the last four sets.  Now, while some of these cards are quite good, they have all been released before, so much of the attention is focused on the new releases.

These new cards will affect the metagame in dramatic ways.

Many of these have to do with the Lost Zone, the Pokémon TCG’s version of Yu-Gi-Oh!’s removed from play mechanic (and the TCG counterpart to the Reverse World or Distortion World).  Some of the cards from Call of Legends deal with the Lost Zone in minor ways, such as Tangrowth (CL34) and Lost Remover (CL80), which can send your opponent’s Energy cards there.

There’s also Zangoose (CL39) and Mime Jr. (CL47) who can send your opponent’s cards directly to the Lost Zone from their hand and deck respectively.  Some Pokémon, like Snorlax (CL33), and Relicanth (CL69), require your own cards to be sent to the Lost Zone as part of the cost of an attack.  Lucario (CL14) even has an attack that increases in damage for every one of your own Pokémon that is in the Lost Zone.  But the most influential card that uses the Lost Zone is undoubtedly Lost World (CL81).
In the form of this uncommon Stadium card, the Pokémon Trading Card Game just had a bomb dropped on it.  Ever since the days of Wizards of the Coast, there has been only three ways to win a game of Pokémon cards, by knocking out all of your opponent’s in-play Pokémon, by taking all six of your prize cards, or if your opponent is unable to draw a card from their deck.  With the release of Call of Legends that has changed.

Now, when six of your opponent’s Pokémon are in the Lost Zone and Lost World is in play, you can declare victory.  This is an extraordinary change to the game and is fundamental in what will most likely be one of the most popular decks for State tournaments this season, LostGar, using Gengar Prime to quickly place your opponent’s Pokémon in the Lost Zone and then dropping Lost World to win.
However, Lost World isn’t the only card that will be seeing some play.  Lucario and Relicanth can be combined with Mew Prime to create a deck that utilizes the Lost Zone in order to make a more tool-box build.  The new Tangrowth can be used to make a fun deck capable of hitting hard with his Grind attack.  Even the new Phanpy (CL66) provides a viable alternative for Donphan Prime decks, with a Poké-Body that reduces damage.

Several reprints also make for interesting additions to Call of Legends, such as Professor Oak’s New Theory (CL83) and Professor Elm’s Training Method (CL82), both which will become increasingly valuable after the older sets are rotated.  Ninetales (CL17), the main draw power in any Fire-type deck, also becomes more common, not only with a reprint, but since it is included in one of the Call of Legends theme decks as well.
Call of Legends also does away with the Primes that had been a main feature in every HeartGold and SoulSilver expansion, replacing them with a series of eleven Shiny Pokémon that had been released in Japan as promos and are now included in Call of Legends as secret cards, labeled S1 through S11.

Interestingly enough, all of them, with the exception of the Legendary Beast trio of Raikou, Entei, and Suicune, are also included in the set as holographic cards, albeit with different artwork.  Most of them are not too playable, with high-cost attacks and horrible downsides, but Ho-oh and Lugia are the best of the lot.  Nonetheless, these cards probably deserve a spot in your binder as opposed to your deck.
Well, there you have it, Call of Legends, with new cards and old, preparing us for a final farewell to Generation Four and a glorious beginning with Generation Five.  It’s rumored that the next set, based off of Pokémon Black and White Versions could be as little as two months away, so keep your ear to the ground and have fun playing.

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