Pokemon Card History -  The Early Years
by Thundachu

Hola Todos! Thundachu here from the COTD writing an article. I haven't done this in a while =o. Anyways, this article is actually more of an update. It is an updated version of my Pokemon Card History article back in December 2001. It is pretty much just summaries of every card set released by Wizards. I wont be doing the Nintendo ones because I haven't had the oppertunity of looking over all of those yet and don't know much about them.

Base Set: Ah yes, the wonderful begining to the Pokemon Trading Card Game. A lot of broken cards preimierd in this set are still used today in the Unlimited format such as Venusaur and Chansey. And this is also where some of the best deck types were born, Raindance and Haymaker just to name a few. This set will probably continue to be used (at least some cards from it) as long as Pokemon TCG lives.

Jungle: The 2nd set of Pokemon TCG cards to be released from Wizards Of The Coast. Some cards also concluded in this set. Players finally got to use Clefairy's evolution, Clefable. This set also expanded Haymaker by adding one of the most broken cards ever, Scyther. Many stall decks also got a new addition by adding Mr. Mime into the mix. And of course we finally got the legendary Wigglytuff. Oh yes, and we also can't forget the Eevee-lutions either. Jungle was one of the best sets yet.

Fossil: Fossil is one of the sets that brought Base/Jungle cards even more powerful. A better version of Magmar came out to replace Base set's one. Also new and better pokemon power pokemon to be added to decks, Muk stopping Pokemon powers and Aerodactly stopping evolutions. Very useful in many situations. But many people were angry at WoTC when they heard that one card put in the Japanese fossil would not be added to the American version. The highly anticipated Mew would not be in Fossil, but be released later on as a Pokemon League Promo. This also released the first new concept, evolving pokemon from a trainer. Mysterious Fossil came out and could evolve into Omanyte, Aerodactyl, or KABUTO?!?!(inside joke).

Team Rocket: The "Dark" pokemon are born. Team Rocket released your favorite pokemon with a little kick to them. Only problem was, all the dark Pokemon had lower HP than the original. This is when many pokemon players complained of the game being rigged and switched to Magic: The Gathering in many places (ofcourse, I didn't).This was also the set WoTC entered in a "secret rare". Dark Raichu with the number 83/82 was entered to the TR set.

Base Set 2: This was the set I actually got my 1st Charizard in(pathetic isn't it?). The Base Set 2 is not available in Japan because it is just a combined series of Base and Jungle cards. This is also the set in which WoTC began using a different kind of foil on holographic cards. With the release of Base Set 2, the original Base Set and Jungle series' were put out of print.

Gym Heroes: The biggest card set release of all time. With over 100 cards and the first ever Pokemon Pre-Release tournament. It released cards with Brock, Misty, Lt. Surge, Erika, as well as some bonus cards with Blaine and Giovanni.

Gym Challenge: About 2 months after Gym Heroes was released, Gym Challenge came onto the scene. This set, also containing over 100 cards was better than Gym Heroes, as it contained Sabrina, Giovanni, Blaine and the Rocket Cards. This set also introduced the new Modified format, where only cards Team Rocket and on could be played(Base Set 2,Ancient Mew banned). Modified ended up taking over most sanctioned tourney formats.

Neo Genesis: The arrival of Gold and Silver pokemon in the TCG. Blastoise was replaced in the game with Feraligat'r(in Modified anyways). With Modified, Feraligatr was one of the most played cards ever in the ECSTS and the WCSTS.This set also premiered Baby Pokemon and Pokemon Tools, as well as two of the most broken cards that will ever exsist, Slowking and Sneasel. Sneasel being so broken, it was banned from the ECSTS and WCSTS. Neo Genesis also borned the 2nd Modified format, Neon. Only cards Neo Genesis and on could be played, with Ancient Mew, _____'s Pikachu, and ofcourse, Sneasel banned.

Crosstrainer: This set was supposed to be released July 2001 from Wizards Of the Coast but was put on hold to release Neo Discovery and Southern Islands instead. This set was to release one of every 251 pokemon(including Mew) and also have vending cards. But, after Neo Discovery and Southern Islands was released, the set was canceled. No plans to make this set are made.

Southern Islands: The only way to get this set was to buy a Gift Box and Wizards really screwed up with the gift boxes as well =p. If you got the gift box, you got the 18 southern islands cards. The cards were really meant with the collector in mind. You also got 6 Pokemon postcards to send to your friends or whoever and 3 Neo booster packs. In each of the Neo boosters you got 11 cards(duh), but in each booster there was no rare. I reported this to WoTC and their excuse was that the SI reverse holos were your rares. Pathetic...

Neo Discovery: In this set, the 2 new evolutions of Eevee, Umbreon and Espeon showed up as well as the Unowns. In my opinion, this was the worst Neo set released. But, there was a good pokemon. Tyrogue =D. One of the most broken and played baby pokemon ever came from Neo Discovery. And we also had one of jermy's favorite pokemon, DUNSPARCE! So, with the set came a few good cards. Neo 2 also brought back a few of our Fossil friends. Kabutops came back in a WAY better form than the fossil and kabuto improved a little as well.

Neo Revelations: The 3rd Neo set released by Wizards, Neo Revelations was better than Discovery but not as good as Genesis. This is the set where we got the 2 shining pokemon(both basic), Shining Magikarp and Shining Gyarados. Unlike the Japanese version that had 3 white stars, these cards only had 1 black star. It also gave us a semi-better Lugia, and as well as introduced to us to the 3 legendary dogs/cats and the final Legendary bird, Ho-Oh. Neo Revelations also had the chance to be the only set without theme decks made for it.

Neo Destiny: The 4th and last Neo set released by WoTC was Neo Destiny. This set brought back the thought of Dark pokemon as well as Light ones. It also brought us the long awaited for Shining pokemon. Yes, WoTC did come through and release the shining pokemon with 3 stars.We also got some re-released pokemon in better form. Dark Gengar came out as well as Dark Tyranitar with the awesome attack and pokemonBODY. Thats right, Pokemon Body's were introduced in this set was well. Pokemon powers that always stay(most of the time).

VS: This was pretty much the Gym series, only with Neo pokemon. It will not be released in the USA.

Web: The sequal to VS. Just like VS, there are no plans of releasing it in America yet.

Expedition: The first of the E-Reader pokemon sets to be released by WoTC. This set brought us the begining of Supporters, which are trainers, but you can only play one supporter per-turn. It also brought back some of our favorite pokemon from previous sets in new and better forms. With the release of Expedition, also released a new Modified format. Modified changed from Neon to, Neon with Slowking, Sneasel, _____'s Pikachu, Ancient Mew, and Promos 1-20 banned. We have come a long way from the original Modified Rocket On!.

Aquapolis:Does anyone really know how to pronounce the title of the 2nd E-Reader set? If so, please inform me. Regardless, this set brought one of the most broken cards ever to the Pokemon TCG Scene. Scizor. If you have any of these, play them. This is one of the most broken cards in Modified. It also brought the return of SER as SER2. My favorite gambling trainer card ;/. It sucks, yes. But thats why I like it =\.AQ also brought BAD versions of baby pokemon. If your going to play baby pokemon, use the Neo ones.But one of the best highlights was the Jumpluff evo-series. Each attack for 1 grass energy on every stage. Thats broken.

Legendary Collection: This is a re-do of the Base Set through Team Rocket. This set finally allowed players of Modified to use Bill, Alakazam, and other broken cards from previous sets. But the set was very limited. It did however bring back Venusaur which is used alot in Modified grass decks.

Skyridge: This set makes Pokemon history as the last set translated by Wizards Of The Coast. After this set, WoTC lost their license to Pokemon TCG and it was transfered to Nintendo. Skyridge brought Crystal cards, which were pretty much Shining with a different name. This set also brought with it worse cards from previous set such as Ditto, Delibird, Wigglytuff. My favorite card in this set is the Crobat. This set also released another Steelix. Certainly Neo Genesis' is still better, but this one is ok.

Best Of Promos:This is the promo series that allowed many wonderful cards to be returned to the Modified format. Hitmonchan, Electabuzz,Rocket Hitmonchan and Rocket Mewtwo, as well as 3 original new cards, Dark Ivysaur Dark Venusaur,and Rocket ScizorAll of the "Best Of" promos were released through the Pokemon league.

American Promos: 50 American Promos were released by Wizards Of The Coast. That is nothing compared to the Japanese collection of promos which is over 1000 and still going up.

Pre-Release:There were only a few Pre-Release cards released by WoTC, Aerodactyl, Misty's Seadrea, Dark Gyarados, and Clefable.

Thank you for reading my article. If you have any comments about it or hated it ;/, you can complain to me on IRC under the nick MTR, on AIM under the sn SConnectionMike or email me at webmaster@animeplanetnet.net. Good day. -Thundachu