Sun and Moon Trainers

Sun & Moon Base Set Coming Soon!

As you may know, the first Sun & Moon TCG sets are coming soon, with Collection Sun and Collection Moon launching in Japan on December 9, 2016 and the Sun & Moon Base Set in the US on February 3, 2017. Some cards have been announced or leaked early, and now a flood of new card images and translations have leaked just before Japan’s official launch.

With every set comes new or reprinted Trainer Cards, including Supporters, Items, and Stadiums. Many of these cards make up a deck’s core or can be considered Staple cards. In the current Standard Format, cards like Professor Sycamore and N make up most deck’s staple draw supporter cards.

Update: Added info about the Hau Supporter, Secret Rare cards, and “Hyper Rare” cards.
View the full set listing and translations of all cards in the post: Sun & Moon Base Set: Full Set List! or check out even more set information on the Sun and Moon page.

New Trainers: Supporters, Items, and Tools

As the Pokemon franchise and its fans explore the new Alola region, the TCG also will change and is bringing many new cards, including Supporters and Items into the fold.

The first new Supporter cards coming with the Sun & Moon Base Set include the all-new Hau, Ilima, Lillie, Professor Kukui, and Team Skull Grunt.

New Trainer Cards include Big Malasada, Nest Ball, Timer Ball, Poison Barb, Repel, and Rotom Dex.

Reprints of other trainers include Crushing Hammer, Energy Retrieval, Energy Switch, Exp. Share, Ultra Ball, Great Ball, Poke Ball, Pokemon Catcher, Potion, Rare Candy, and Switch.

This set also features reprints of Double Colorless Energy and Rainbow Energy.

Professor Kukui

First up is the Alola Region’s Pokemon Professor, Kukui. If you played the Sun & Moon video games or have seen the anime, you’ll quickly find out that Kukui isn’t your typical Pokemon Professor. For starters, Kukui doesn’t ever wear a shirt! He proudly shows off his bare chest under his white lab coat. Professor Kukui studies Pokemon moves and apparently spends time researching by letting his Rockruff rough-house with him in the lab, much to Lillie’s dismay.

With this set you might expect a card like Professor Kukui to be just like Professor Sycamore from the XY Base Set or Professor Juniper from the Black & White Base Set (“Discard your hand and draw 7 cards.”). Instead, Professor Kukui is a completely new Supporter card that won’t replace Sycamore/Juniper.

Professor Kukui (Japan)

Professor Kukui (Japan)

Here’s the card text from Professor Kukui:

Draw 2 cards. During this turn, your Pokemon’s attacks do 20 more damage to your opponent’s Active Pokemon (before applying Weakness and Resistance).

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

The Professor Kukui supporter sounds somewhat reminiscent of Giovanni’s Scheme, which gave the user 2 options: either draw cards until you have 5 in your hand, or your Pokemon’s attacks will do 20 more damage this turn.

Instead, Kukui takes Giovanni’s Scheme to another level. Kukui lets you draw 2 cards regardless of how many are in your hand and boosts your attack 20 damage.

I’m not sure how meta-changing Kukui is, but I’m very sure that it won’t replace the utility of Professor Sycamore in the Standard Format any time soon. (Professor Sycamore was reprinted in the XY-Steam Siege set and will likely not rotate until at least Fall 2018.)

Ilima

Next up is Ilima, the Normal-type user and Trial Captain from Melemele Island.

The Ilima Supporter is also very new, being kind of like a combination of N and Professor Birch’s Observations.

Ilima (Japan)

Here’s the card text for Ilima:

Each player shuffles his or her hand into his or her deck. Then, each player flips a coin. If heads, that player draws 6 cards. If tails, that player draws 3 cards.

You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

As with Professor Kukui, I’m not sure how Ilima will fit into the meta, and I don’t quite think Ilima will replace N, as long as N remains in the Standard Format.

With N, each players shuffles their hand into their decks and draws a card for each of their own remaining prize cards. N has the potential for card disruption, just as Ilima does, but the coin-flip for each player adds a big uncertainty.

Professor Birch’s Observations, while seldom used in competitive play, only affected you and not your opponent, allowing you to draw either 7 cards or 4, depending on a coin flip. Heck, even Professor Birch let you get more cards, but Ilima affects both players.

Sure, you might get 6 cards, but so might your opponent. You also might end up with 3 cards, your opponent 6; or you both might end with 3 cards; and so on. In the right conditions, Ilima just might see some play, but will likely end up being used even less often than good ol’ Birch.

Lillie

Lillie is a unique character in the Alola Region. She’s quiet, quirky, and carries around a bag with a mysterious Pokemon. Lillie is also helping out Professor Kukui as his assistant, in exchange for staying in Kukui’s loft.

Lillie (Japan)

Lillie (Japan)

Here’s the card text for Lillie:

Draw cards from your deck until you have 6 cards in your hand. If you used this card on your first turn, draw cards until you have 8 cards in your hand.

You can’t play more than 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

Lillie is an interesting new Supporter card. We’ve had supporter cards in the past that let you draw until you had so many cards, but Lillie is a little different. If you play the Lillie Supporter on your first turn, you get to draw cards until you 8 in your hand, instead of 6.

It’s a nice bonus, but not game-changing. I’ll likely play Lillie myself in new decks, but I don’t see Lillie replacing Sycamore or N.

You might even be tempted to play 4 Lillie to increase your odds of getting one your first turn, but I don’t think I’d recommend it. Sycamore and N still seem better and your deck will get all kinds of clunky if you try to play 4x Lillie, 4x Sycamore, 3x N or similar….

Team Skull Grunt

Team Skull is the resident “evil team” of the Alola Region. You might think that Team Skull would be in the same league as Team Rocket, Team Magma/Aqua, Team Galactic, Team Flare, or Team Plasma, but you’d be wrong…

Most of the residents in Alola consider Team Skull to be … more annoying than a menace. Team Skull has unique moves and a fascination with rap music. They’re also hilarious to watch and make fun of. Poor Team Skull…

Team Skull Grunt (Japan)

Team Skull Grunt (Japan)

Here’s the text for the Team Skull Grunt Supporter:

Your opponent reveals his or her hand. You may discard 2 Energy cards you find there.

You can’t play more than 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack).

Interesting…when I first saw Team Skull Grunt on the Sun & Moon set list, I imagined that it would be a clone of Team Flare Grunt, which allowed you to discard an attached energy from your opponent’s Pokemon. Instead, Team Skull Grunt lets you see your opponent’s hand (always a bonus) and you can discard two Energy cards! Then again, if your opponent doesn’t have any Energy in-hand, you’re out of luck.

Obviously, this doesn’t remove already attached Energy. However, this includes Special Energy, so if your opponent happens to have 2 DCEs in-hand, you get to discard them both. Even if they’re energy-less, you still get a free peek at their hand.

Keep in mind if your opponent plays cards like Super Rod, Special Charge, Energy Retrieval, and so on, those discarded Energy probably won’t be too much of a disruption, just a minor annoyance–like Team Skull. 😀

Not sure how much play Team Skull Grunt will see, but it’s a fun little card with a twist on Energy denial.

Hau (Japan)Hau

Hau is your “friendly rival” and grandson of Melemele’s Kahuna Hala. In the video game, Hau chooses the starter Pokemon of the type that’s weak to your own starter.

In addition to a Primarina, Incineroar, or Decidueye, Hau also raises an Alolan Raichu, Komala, Crabonimable, and an “Eeveelution” of the type that’s super-effective against your starter, either Flareon, Vaporeon, or Leafeon.

In the TCG, the Hau supporter is the new Tierno or Cheren. Simply “Draw 3 cards.”

Interestingly, the Hau Supporter was not included in Japan’s Collection Sun or in Collection Moon.

Instead, Hau is from the Starter Set Decks released in Japan.

New Item Cards

Big Malasada

Big Malasada (Japan)

Big Malasadas are the local delicacy in the Alola region. Malasadas are apparently some sort of fried, sweet bread. While I’ve never tried one personally, they seem to be very delicious and are one of Hau’s favorite foods.

Here’s the card text from the Big Malasada Item:

Heal 20 damage and 1 Special Condition from your Active Pokemon.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

Big Malasadas heal only 20 damage to your Active Pokemon, but also a Special Condition, like Poisoned, Burned, Asleep, and so on.

Still, healing items don’t see much play, but the Big Malasada item is a nice addition to the Sun & Moon Base Set.

Nest Ball

Nest Ball (Japan)

Nest Ball (Japan)

Nest Balls in the game allow you to easily capture Pokemon of a low level. In the TCG, they work a little differently than other Poke Ball variants…

Here’s the card text for the Nest Ball item:

Search your deck for a Basic Pokemon and put it onto your Bench. Shuffle your deck afterward.
You can play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

That’s right, instead of putting the Basic Pokemon into your hand, you put it directly onto your Bench. That means you won’t be able to use it to activate the ability of Pokemon like Shaymin-EX Hoopa-EX, or Dragonite-EX, which need to be played from your hand to your Bench.

Timer Ball

Timer Ball (Japan)

The Timer Ball is used in the video games to easily catch a Pokemon where many turns have passed. In the TCG, it’s a unique coin-flip Poke Ball variant that’s just weird.

Here’s the card text for the Timer Ball item:

Flip 2 coins. For each heads, search your deck for an Evolution Pokemon, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

First off, it’s a coin-flip item. Not a fan. For each heads out of 2 coins, search your deck for a non-Basic Pokemon.

So you can get 0, 1, or 2 Pokemon, including Stage 1, Stage 2, Pokemon BREAK, Mega Pokemon-EX, and any other non-Basic Pokemon (“Evolution” Pokemon).

Poison Barb

Poison Barb (Japan)

The Poison Barb is an interesting all-new Pokemon Tool in the Sun & Moon Base Set. Don’t have any other tools to use in your deck? Try Poison Barb and inflict Poison on your foes!

Here’s the card text from the Poison Barb item:

Attach a Pokemon Tool to 1 of your Pokemon that doesn’t already have a Pokemon Tool attached to it.

When the Pokemon this card is attached to is your Active Pokemon and is damaged by an opponent’s Pokemon’s attack, the attacking Pokemon is now Poisoned.
You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

Again, I’m not sure how much play Poison Barb will see, but if you don’t have any other Tools in your deck, why not give it a try?

When I first saw this card (before it was translated), I assumed that it would either be a one-time use tool or that it would have to be moved to your opponent’s Pokemon to be used, but apparently not! Instead, Poison Barb stays on your Pokemon and poisons any Pokemon that attacks it. Not game-changing, but neat.

Repel

Repel (Japan)

Players of the main series Pokemon games should know what Repel does. Spray a Repel to keep the wild Pokemon away! But what could a Repel do in the Trading Card Game, where there aren’t any wild Pokemon?

Here’s the card text for the Repel item:

Your opponent switches his or her Active Pokemon with 1 of his or her Benched Pokemon. (Your opponent chooses the Benched Pokemon to switch.)
You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

It seems like Repel is like a one-sided Escape Rope, but it only affects your opponent. This card essentially forces your opponent to switch their Active Pokemon with one of his/her Benched Pokemon, and they get to choose which one.

It’s different from a Pokemon Catcher or Lysandre in that your opponent gets to choose.

Rotom Dex

Rotom Dex (Japan)

Zzzt! Zzzt! Rotom has invaded the Pokedex–Zzzt!

This item card is also very new and has an interesting effect.

Here’s the card text for the Rotom Dex item:

Count your remaining Prize cards, then shuffle them into your deck. Draw the same amount of cards and place them face-down as your new Prize cards.

You may play as many Item cards as you like during your turn (before your attack).

The Rotom Dex allows you to shuffle your Prize Cards back into your deck and get all new ones. Weird. (Just like the Rotom Dex).

I can picture a couple scenarios where this card can be very useful. If you’re like me, you try and figure out what your Prize Cards are during your first opportunity to search your Deck (such as when playing an Ultra Ball). If you discover that a critical card is stuck in your Prizes, the Rotom Dex has a chance to get it out and back in your Deck. Other than that, not too useful. Interesting. Weird. Zzzt.

Secret Rare Items and Energy?!

The Pokemon TCG has had Secret Rare cards for a while, but Secret Rare Item cards haven’t been seen in the last few expansion sets. Secret Rare cards (or “Ultra Rare” in Japan) have a number greater than the number of identified cards in the set, like 150/149.

In the past, Secret Rare cards for items looked similar to their regular counterparts, but with a gold edge. Now, it appears that in addition to a gold edge, item cards get a revamped design, including being Full Art cards!

It looks like Ultra Ball, Switch, Nest Ball, and Rotom Dex will be getting all-new Full Art, Secret Rare prints!

In addition, both Psychic Energy and Metal Energy are getting a gold-edged Secret Rare print, likely to symbolize the Pokemon Sun & Moon mascot Pokemon: Solgaleo (Metal) and Lunala (Psychic).

A new rarity for Pokemon cards was shown in Japan’s Collection Sun and Collection Moon: “Hyper Rare”. Nothing official is yet known about “Hyper Rare” cards, but the 8 Pokemon GX in Collection Sun and Collection Moon get 3 different prints: Regular Art (RR), Full Art (UR), and the Hyper Rare (HR) print.

These Pokemon GX cards are: Lurantis GX, Lapras GX, Espeon GX, Lunala GX, Umbreon GX, Solgaleo GX, Tauros GX, and Gumshoos GX.