Pokémon trainers in the Western hemisphere should rejoice as a new special expansion catches up to the missing SM8b release, released in Japan last November 2018 simply as High Class Pack GX Ultra Shiny. As the twelfth subset of the Sun & Moon era, Hidden Fates brings Shiny Pokémon in all rarities and the highest number of secret cards to date.
The numbers speak for themselves as the base set not only already contains 150 cards, but also tops it off with an additional 100 secret cards with over ten rarities! The set consists mostly of reprints relevant to the Standard format with an increased focus on Pokémon-GX. The set also additionally features Japanese SM-P promo cards, as well as Sky Legend cards with artworks which haven’t been released in English yet.
Hidden Fates follows the rest of the special Summer releases - Shining Legends and Dragon Majesty – as a limited, highly collectible specialty set. Each booster pack contains ten cards to hold the large number of secrets, while booster boxes have an average of two or three Shiny Pokémon and one guaranteed Shiny Pokémon-GX.
Hidden Fates marks the biggest release in Pokémon TCG history – in Japan as well as in any other language, surpassing Lost Thunder which held 236 cards released in English on the same day as the Japanese GX Ultra Shiny. Rarities are also expanded by adding Shiny Pokémon, all falling under Secret Rares with the additional “S” rarity. These cards are mainly popular Pokémon from the Sun & Moon era with some Shiny Vault and Hidden Fates additions.
To start off, there are 19 Ultra Rares featuring the likes of the first TAG TEAM trio and the only Legendary Basic Pokémon: Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX and Lucario-GX. Both have higher rarities in Full Art or as a Shiny Pokémon. Next, 10 Secret Rares bring an artistic Full-Art design to all Supporter cards, like Guzma and Cynthia. Furthermore, the set has six special Prism Star reprints of which only one can be put into a deck at a time.
Above all that, Pokémon collectors must dig deep to complete a master set with 44 regular Shiny Pokémon (e.g. the standard all-star Buzzwole). Most desired are the Shiny Secrets of which there are 37 in total, including all the regular Pokémon-GX featured in the set. Also featured are curated “Ultra Shiny” versions of regular Pokémon, Pokémon-GX like Gyarados-GX or Supporters like the aforementioned Cynthia and Jessie & James.
The hardest pull rates hold the Secret Ultra Rares like Ultra Necrozma-GX, Tapu Lele-GX, and three other Tapu- Pokémon all in textured Rainbow Rare designs. These can then be replaced by the most prestigious Ultra Shiny Secrets which change the card design to matte gold Full-Art negatives, depicting the highest rarity currently available in Pokémon TCG sets.
Hidden Fates releases internationally on 23 August 2019, breaking standards for fans yet again and delivering the most complex set in terms of rarity. This makes it one of the hardest sets to collect and challenges many new Pokémon enthusiasts as well as the veteran collectors to really catch them all if they are dedicated enough!