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Pokémon TCG Japan: Scarlet & Violet Ex Preview: Lucario Ex

It's time for a new era. Pokémon TCG Japan will release two sets on January 20, 2023, that will kick off Generation Nine and bring Pokémon and Trainers to the Pokémon TCG. These two sister sets are Scarlet ex and Violet ex. These sets and as well as three 60-card Starter Set ex decks will be the basis of the English-language set Scarlet & Violet base coming out internationally on March 31, 2023. News hit when it was revealed that the English-language version of the sets will now more closely mirror Japanese sets, using silver borders and set codes instead of set symbols. This set also sees the return of the original lowcase ex card type as well as the debut of the Terastal ex card type that will replace Vs and VMAX as Ultra Rares. We have not yet seen how the Full Arts and Secret Rares of the Scarlet & Violet era will appear. Today, let's take a look at a card from one of the Starter Set ex decks.

Scarlet ex & Violet ex cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Scarlet ex & Violet ex cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Lucario ex will appear in the Starter Deck Ex: Sprigatito and Lucario ex box. It will include the cutest Riolu card I can remember in TCG history by artist Naoyo Kimura, who has been contributing way back since the iconic Southern Islands special set from the Wizards of the Coast era. Kimura illustrated a whopping nine of the eighteen cards in that special set. Other memorable Kimura cards include Pikachu from Neo Genesis, Espeon and Umbreon from Neo Discovery, all three Legendary Beasts of Johto from Neo Revelation, and of course, the hilarious Rowlet & Alolan Exeggutor GX Alternate Art from Sun & Moon – Unified Minds.

Riolu evolves up into Lucario ex, which sees 5ban Graphics lean heavily into their 3D, computer-generated style. I hope we get to see more diversity in ex style as we advance in the era.

Japanese sets often give us early ideas of what the English-language sets may include, so be sure to keep an eye on our coverage. You can stay tuned for previews of VSTAR Universe cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG right here at Bleeding Cool.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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