Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism Prerelease tournaments are right around the corner, giving players the first opportunity to get their hands on the new expansion. The new Prism Star cards are getting a lot of pre-launch buzz, and the expansion includes plenty more to watch for, including some powerful new Pokémon-GX. The Prerelease tournaments take place January 20–28, shortly before the launch of the new expansion on February 2. Check with your local game store to see when they’re hosting one of these events!
When you sit down to play at a Prerelease tournament, you’ll receive a 23-card Evolution pack that includes an exclusive foil promo card, plus four booster packs from the Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism expansion. You’ll use these cards, along with basic Energy provided by the Tournament Organizer, to build a 40-card deck. Since you get to keep the cards, it’s an awesome way to build your Pokémon TCG collection.
The promo card you’ll receive is a cool collector’s item, with a shiny foil stamp marking it as a Prerelease promo, and it can be a great way to get started when building your deck. Take a look at the four promo cards available at Sun & Moon—Ultra Prism Prerelease tournaments:
Wash Rotom (SM94)
This Basic Pokémon’s Wash Arrow attack can pick off weaker Pokémon from your opponent’s Bench if you can get the necessary Energy into play quickly enough. And since Prerelease tournaments don’t offer as many Bench-controlling Trainer cards as in the Standard and Expanded formats, the opportunity to affect your opponent’s Bench becomes even more valuable.
In the unpredictable world of Prerelease tournaments, Lucario’s Missile Jab attack is a welcome sight. It doesn’t cost a lot of Energy and isn’t affected by Resistance, so its 70 damage is about as reliable as you can hope for. And if you’re lucky enough to get Garchomp into play, you can search your deck every turn for any card you want using Lucario’s Precognitive Aura Ability.
There’s a lot to love about Heatran, especially its ample 130 HP and its Guard Press attack, both of which help the Pokémon get ready to roll. Guard Press is great for both offense and defense—it does 30 damage to the opposing Pokémon, and it shields Heatran so it takes 30 less damage from attacks on the opponent’s next turn. Heatran’s Boiling Point attack can do plenty of damage, but having to sacrifice two Energy every time you use it could be difficult in quick-paced Prerelease tournaments. The smart play is to hold off until you’re sure you have the Energy to follow up with Guard Press on the next turn.
It’s a bit risky to rely on Gumshoos, but the reward is certainly worth it. Its Identify attack will do 100 damage for two Colorless Energy if your opponent has a Pokémon in their hand. If you prefer a more reliable attack, Whap Down does 70 damage with no shenanigans. Even better, Gumshoos can slide into pretty much any deck, and you can bring it out when the time is right.
Prerelease tournaments are all about having fun and discovering new cards and strategies—maybe you’ll discover ways to win that you never expected! If you’re new to Pokémon TCG Prerelease tournaments, or if you haven’t competed in one in a while, check out our article on how these fun tournaments work. Look forward to fun battles in Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Ultra PrismPrerelease tournaments January 20–28!