After eleven successful sets in the Sun & Moon cycle, SM12 Cosmic Eclipse concludes the series. This era introduced many new themes to the Pokémon TCG, from Pokémon-GX to TAG TEAMs. Cosmic Eclipse brings the latest Japanese releases – Alter Genesis, Remix Bout, and TAG All Stars – to the rest of the world, resulting in a total of more than 240 new cards, including all Secret cards.
Sword and Shield is coming, but before that, we need to give a final send off to the powerful Alolan Pokémon reaching their peak in the form of new TAG TEAMs. The legendary Solgaleo & Lunala-GX feature Lillie from the Pokémon anime and gain an extra effect on their Light of the Protector GX attack if they already played, on the same turn, Lillie’s Full Force. This effect prevents opponents' actions for one turn. N leads the Dragon-types Reshiram & Zekrom-GX into battle, offering extra opportunities for damage if you already played N's Resolve on the same turn.
One TAG TEAM card which is reaching for the pinnacle of the Dragon-type is the God-Pokémon Trio TAG TEAM Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX, offering Dragon-types the ability to fetch basic Energy cards as needed. Additionally, their Altered Creation-GX attack is off the charts. It offers 30 extra damage on each of your Pokémon's attacks and grants you an extra prize card when you K.O. a Pokémon, provided that Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX has an extra Water Energy attached. The other Trio combines cuteness with fun. Togepi & Cleffa & Igglybuff-GX are a Fairy-type team that flips coins for extra damage and takes an extra turn with Supreme Puff-GX. By upgrading, trainers might just sneak a win if they meet the steep deckbuilding and gameplay cost of 14 extra Fairy Energy.
Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff-GX are also after the cuteness crown, offering 60 extra damage for each of your opponent's GX or EX Pokémon. The last installment of the TAG TEAMs are strong starter combinations with final evolutions from Kanto and their more recent counterparts. Choose from Venusaur & Snivy-GX, Charizard & Braixen-GX, and Blastoise & Piplup-GX, each helping with Energy and reasonable GX upgrades for their types.
But wait! There's more. In addition to the above, there are the more traditional Pokémon-GX. Volcarona-GX, as an example, can help juggle your Fire Energy by returning them after attacking. Flygon-GX can trade Stadium cards for extra damage and protects itself from opposing attacks with their Sonic Edge-GX ability. Lastly, one more innovation awaits Trainers through TAG TEAM Supporter Cards like Guzma & Hala, which combine useful Trainer abilities at the cost of discarding up to two cards from hand.
The Pokémon Company keeps raising the bar with these new expansions and Cosmic Eclipse promises to be a great send-off for the wonderful Sun & Moon era. They pushed the envelope with abilities, card types, and visuals, and now we just have to look forward to the upcoming Sword & Shield era. Cosmic Eclipse releases globally on 1 November 2019.