This 12 months’s Pokémon TCG Fall mini-set is Champion’s Path — a uniquely themed enlargement even the various different mini-units. Rather than constructing the choice of cards around a subject matter like brilliant Pokémon in Hidden Fates or dragon Pokémon in Dragon Majesty, Champion’s Path’s subject matter exists entirely in the packaging of the various packing containers and collection which are part of the set.

In Champion’s Path, players are forged inside the position of running shoes inside the Galar location on a quest to collect all 10 Galar League fitness center badges. It’s a smart theme and nicely-timed for a diffusion so early in the Sword & Shield era. While the story is powerful, the shortage of continuity and variety inside the card listing itself leaves the set feeling extremely underwhelming.

The Premium Collection Hype

Champion’s Path is the 4th in a series of yearly mini-sets that began in 2017 with Shining Legends, followed by Dragon Majesty in 2018 and Hidden Fates in 2019. The mini-sets fall in between the standard summer and fall expansions and, as you would expect, have far fewer cards in them that the standard expansion. Mini-sets are not sold as individual packs, but rather are sold exclusively in unique collections that typically include extra collectibles like pins and figurines. These sets also have Elite Trainer Boxes, common to all sets, but instead of the normal eight packs, they come with 10 packs and a full-art or alternate art promo card.

These mini-sets are enormously in demand by way of creditors because of their top rate rate and restrained availability, which usually means the cards are greater precious and rarer than cards from ordinary sets. What’s extra, mini-units have historically contained secret rares that dominate the collector market and promote for outrageous costs, including the Shiny Charizard from Hidden Fates.

Champion’s Path is an insignificant eighty card set that includes eleven V cards, 3 VMAX playing cards, 5 rainbow rares, 1 gold, and 1 bright, that means decrease than common counts across the board with barely extra weight to extremely-rare or better cards. This is in sharp contrast to closing 12 months’s Hidden Fates which supplemented its low card matter with an huge collection of fantastically collectible vivid variation playing cards that could potentially take the area of a reverse uncommon in any given p.C.. Like Hidden Fates even though, Champion’s Path is carried through the highest cost Pokémon in the whole game: Charizard.

That’s not to mention there are not different cards well worth accumulating within the set. Resell price isn’t always the whole thing after all, and there may be pretty some fan-favorite Pokémon getting their V card debut right here, like Venusaur, Incineroar, and Gardevoir. The trouble is that with only seventy three non-mystery cards to accumulate, after commencing just a few packs I had quite a good deal all the commons and uncommons. After that, it speedy begins to experience like a Charizard slot device. It virtually doesn’t assist that at least a dozen playing cards — normally running shoes — are reprints of Sword & Shield Base Set cards, a fixed not even a yr old but.

Quick Spoiler Below!

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I have to mention the holographic energy cards, which will sometimes replace the reverse rare. I love these, I was shocked when I pulled one and I’ll always be happy to find a holo energy. Great surprise!

 The Pokémon Trainer Fantasy

I can’t help but be enchanted by Champion’s Paths theme, however, and I really hope to see these ideas expanded upon in future sets. I think the staggered release schedule and product variety for this expansion is well designed: There are three gym badges available today (as well as the ETB and Dubwool V box) then next week two double-gym badge boxes will release — two Sword exclusive badges and two Shield exclusive badges — then the final three gym badges will be available in November just before the next set, Vivid Voltage. There’s also a special Marnie box and a Hatterene V box in October.

I’m definitely heading back for more when the next pin collection becomes available. Yes, I’m happy to hunt for rare ‘Zards, but I’m also delighted to have the opportunity to complete a collection of pins. When it comes to pin boxes I usually only go for it if it’s a Pokémon I like, as the per pack value is typically lower for pin boxes, but in this case, they’ve convinced me to buy every pin collection that becomes available and I’m happy to do it. The theme of this set is so strong and I’m looking forward to more sets that use these ideas down the road.

A Fine Journey Through Galar

It’s difficult to avoid comparing Champion’s Path to remaining year’s Hidden Fates. It’s now not really truthful to both, thinking about Hidden Fates is widely taken into consideration one of the pleasant expansions of all time. That set continues to be a hot commodity, and when Hidden Fates products pop up sometimes at stores there is nearly a stampede to the checkout. Champion’s Path does not strike me as a fixed with the identical stage of staying energy, and I’m not completely certain why Champion’s Path wasn’t designed to be Hidden Fates 2, thinking about the former’s success.

On the opposite hand, Champion’s Path takes a ambitious new course that I simply respect. The amount of Pokémon TCG product on keep cabinets can be overwhelming, in particular for could-be gift shoppers, but Champion’s Path makes each box particular and useful. I like that thing of it lots.

There’s something a chunk cynical about taking Rainbow Charizard VMAX, a secret rare version of the Charizard VMAX from Darkness Ablaze, and sticking it in a top rate series. Why not stuff Champion’s direction with Galar League teacher Pokémon like Marnie’s Grimmsnarl and Raihan’s Flygon? It actually could have suit the subject better and been greater worthwhile than searching a Charizard for the umpteenth time.

Champion’s Path is simply shy of greatness, however nonetheless, a worth mini-set that has the most powerful subject matter of any current enlargement.

Pokémon TCG Champion’s Path merchandise were furnished to TheGamer for this evaluate. The first wave of Champion’s Path products are available now online and at local shops.