With XY and Flashfire expansions having already paved the way for many a new strategy for Pokémon Trading Card Game players, Furious Fists today pummels into view to switch things up once again. Mega Evolution, Fairy-type and new Pokémon-EX have been major game changers to the TCG arena since they were first introduced earlier in the year, and Furious Fists continues to riff on those key pivots.
The expansion’s arrival is heralded by two new 60-card theme decks, Dark Hammer and Enchanted Echo, as well as the accompanying booster packs to steadily expand your collection. Dark Hammer, with its psychedelic packaging, has a menacing Pangoro as its poster-Pokémon and cooks up a mixed Fighting and Dark-type deck. While Enchanted Echo, with an equally alluring design, spotlights the irrepressibly adorable Sylveon – the deck itself comprising of Fairy and Grass-types.
For the uninitiated, each player requires a 60-card deck to play and so these Theme Decks present great value either toward newcomers getting started or more experienced players looking to experiment with new tactics. Aside from the enviable wad of cards, contents also include a metallic coin, 2-player playmat with a rulesheet on the reverse, damage counters, and a card checklist to help you collect all 111 that populate the expansion.
The cards themselves remain intricately detailed, sumptuous hand-drawn artwork breathing life into their Pokémon portrayals. Pangoro and Sylveon are holographic, with the decks comprising of standard, although equally striking, cards. Dark Hammer sees notable Pokémon in Hariyama, Mienshao, Machamp, Hitmonlee, and Landorus, who can draw on basic Energy cards from your discard pile. While new Trainer cards include Shalour City Gym Leader Korrina, which allows you to search through and take a Fighting-type Pokémon and an Item card from your deck, and the Evosoda, that lets you search the deck for a card that allows you to evolve a Pokémon.
Enchanted Echo’s Pokémon highlights include Leafeon, Clefable, Accelgor, Victreebel, and Tornadus, who can thump your opponent’s Active Pokémon and make them switch it with one on their bench. Supportive Trainer cards include Battle Reporter, allowing you to draw cards until you have the same number as your opponent, and Maintenance, letting you shuffle two cards from your hand into the deck, to then draw another card.
It is only Mega Lucario-EX and Mega Heracross-EX that are new Mega Evolution additions to Furious Fists, but there are also new Pokémon-EX cards in Hawlucha-EX, Lucario-EX, Seismitoad-EX, Hereacross-EX and Dragonite-EX. While neither Mega Pokémon-EX or Pokémon-EX are present within the Theme Decks, instead left to players trying their luck with booster packs, Mega Evolution continues to carry risk. If Knocked Out your opponent can claim two Prize cards, while undergoing a Mega Evolution will also see that Pokémon have to wait until their next turn to attack – temporarily leaving themselves open to attack.
Booster Packs continue to be Pokémon Trading Card Game’s equivalent of wading through tall grass, a randomised collection of 10 cards that, once opened, you hope will contain welcome surprises. Fortune favours the brave and while my Heracross emblazoned pack only treated my to a holographic Drowzee and Amaura, in my Hawlucha pack I claimed personal favourite Pikachu, Seismitoad-EX, Klefki, a holographic Scraggy, and Tyrunt. It’s worth noting at this point that the Kalos region Fossil Pokémon make their first appearance in the Furious Fists expansion, so you can also look forward to collecting Tyrantrum and Aurorus.
Each Theme Deck also contains an in-pack code card that will allow you to unlock their contents virtually in the realms of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. Booster Packs include similar codes, but will provide access to a random array of 10 cards.
All in all, Furious Fists delivers another solid expansion to the flourishing Pokémon TCG scene. New additions are welcome and balanced, and the cards continue to remain their own highlight – a far cry from how they first looked in 1996. With more than 21.5 billion cards shipped to 74 countries worldwide, it deservedly looks long set to continue.