An Interview with Atsushi Nagashima about New TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX. We chat with Pokémon TCG game director Atsushi Nagashima about the TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX in the Sun & Moon—Unified Minds expansion.
The Pokémon Trading Card Game: Sun & Moon—Unified Minds expansion is approaching, and with it comes a new batch of powerful TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX. These impressive cards feature two Pokémon working together to inflict massive damage on your opponents, but be careful! Your opponent takes three Prize cards if they manage to Knock Out your TAG TEAM!
To learn about the creation of this latest selection of TAG TEAM cards, we went straight to the source—Atsushi Nagashima, the Pokémon TCG game director at Creatures Inc. We asked Mr. Nagashima to share an interesting story regarding the development of each TAG TEAM in this expansion. Here’s what he had to say!
Garchomp & Giratina-GX
Mr. Nagashima: For this TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, we actually designed the logic first. Rather than a powerful Dragon-type Pokémon team that does huge damage to the opponent, we decided to design one that is strong in an unusual way.
GG End-GX is a TAG TEAM GXattack that allows you to discard up to 2 of your opponent’s Pokémon and all cards attached to them. It perfectly matches the image of Giratina looking at us from the Reverse World, possibly pulling us into that world.
We were planning to use Giratina in its Origin Forme, so we chose a Dragon-type Pokémon that can fly as well. It was difficult to choose since there are many cool Pokémon such as Rayquaza, Dragonite, and Salamence, but we wanted to keep the momentum going for Fighting types, carried on from Marshadow & Machamp-GX, which was included in the previous expansion. In the end, we settled on Garchomp, who uses Fighting Energy.
Mewtwo & Mew-GX
Mr. Nagashima: The concept behind Mewtwo & Mew-GX is, in a sense, a destination for TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX. Mew, thought to be the ancestor of all Pokémon, combined with Mewtwo, one of the toughest Pokémon, have exceptional power. They can also use any GX attack thanks to their Perfection Ability, which allows them to use the attacks of any Pokémon-GX or Pokémon-EX on your Bench or in your discard pile (assuming they have the necessary Energy to use each attack). We’ve designed the card so that every Pokémon-GX that has appeared can be put into the deck.
Mega Sableye & Tyranitar-GX
Mr. Nagashima: When we are coming up with ideas for TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, we consider aspects such as whether the pair will be intuitively exciting, the story behind the two Pokémon, the synergy that lies beyond the friendship or the rival relationship, and whether people want to see the specific characters.
We wanted to feature a Mega Evolution Pokémon that we weren’t able to release during the XY Series. Rather than releasing it as a normal card, we thought it would be more fitting if it were a special card such as a TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, so we waited for the right time. From a gameplay perspective, we needed a Darkness type, so we decided to release a Darkness-type Mega Sableye that hadn’t appeared as a Mega Evolution Pokémon in the Pokémon TCG. We chose Tyranitar, a strong Darkness-type Pokémon, as its partner.
Slowpoke & Psyduck-GX
Mr. Nagashima: Cute and lovable, yet having somewhat of a goofy image, Slowpoke and Psyduck pair up as a TAG TEAM. We wanted them to have attacks that seemed serious to them—but to others, the attacks would seem quite playful. An attack that discards Supporter cards from your hand or a TAG TEAM GX attack that involves flipping 10 coins are attacks that are unique to this duo.
We hope players have fun with these attacks!
Espeon & Deoxys-GX
Mr. Nagashima: Espeon & Deoxys-GX will be released in Japan in a Psychic-type deck starter set, so this card being easy to use was an important factor to consider. We were concurrently developing Mewtwo & Mew-GX, which is another Psychic type, so we made it easy to combine with that as well.
Umbreon & Darkrai-GX
Mr. Nagashima: We wanted to make a starter set featuring Psychic- and Darkness-type TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX in Japan. We chose Espeon for the Psychic type and Umbreon for the Darkness type, as contrasting characters for the two types. For the Psychic-type TAG TEAM, Deoxys joined Espeon, and for the Darkness-type TAG TEAM, Darkrai, another Mythical Pokémon that is widely recognized, joined Umbreon.
When we imagined Umbreon and Darkrai, we envisioned them standing side by side on the streets at night, and we were convinced they’d make a great TAG TEAM. For the special art, we’re planning to make an illustration that showcases that kind of image.
Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor-GX
Mr. Nagashima: Tropical Hour-GXis a GX attack that can make your opponent shuffle all Energy into their deck, which prevents them from taking any actions. We named it Tropical Hour-GX with the idea that you’re making your opponent experience what it’s like to lie around doing nothing at a resort.
Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX
Mr. Nagashima: Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX was designed so it can provide a sense of continuous modification to the Lightning-type decks that already have Pikachu & Zekrom-GX as an archetype.
Along with Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, many cards such as Zeraora-GX, Tapu Koko , Volkner, Electropower, Electromagnetic Radar, and Thunder Mountain can be played alongside Raichu & Alolan Raichu-GX for an exciting experience, so we hope players can come up with interesting combos!
Many thanks to Mr. Nagashima for sharing his insights into the development of these new TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX. You’ll be able to find these cards and more as part of the Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Unified Minds expansion, which will be available August 2, 2019, in the Pokémon Center and where Pokémon TCG products are sold.