As you can see above, Professor Sycamore and Trainers’ Mail from the upcoming Kyurem Battle Arena Decks will be alternate art promos. Zygarde-EX and M Manectric-EX will join Jolteon-EX and M Lucario-EX from the Mega Powers Collection as alternate art promos, if that wasn’t already obvious.
Since all four cards share the same set symbol and set number as prints from their respective sets, they will retain the same legality as those cards. If TPCi had released these cards as new black star promos, they would have “renewed” the legality of all their prints.
Lucario Spirit Link from the Mega Powers Collection will be a black star promo since it’s a brand new card to the English TCG. However, since Lucario-EX and M Lucario-EX can’t be used in Standard, the promo is useless in that format.
For you collectors out there, Pokemon.com has filed these new cards with their original sets. If you go to look at 2014’s Furious Fists, you’ll see the 2017 M Lucario-EX from above as part of the set.
If you’re a set collector, you have to decide whether or not you want to collect these cards as part of your set binders. Personally, I think that since these cards were not released with the original sets and are promo cards, you can safely just consider them as part of your promo collections like before. Perhaps file them under an “alternate art promo” section of your binder after your regular black star promos, ordering them by date of release. So there, I made the decision easy for you! But how will you decide to do it? Let us know below!
In related news, Pokemon.com just announced that from now on, they will post any card ruling or legality changes before each new set is released. As of now, no cards are banned from Standard (and it’s very unlikely anything will be), some additional cards may be removed from Expanded in the future, and the only rulings change is related to how the term “any effects” precludes effects that alter Weakness and Resistance (see the link for the details on that). But the important news here is that they will be communicating with players in a consistent and predictable manner from now rather than posting sporadic news updates or relying on sites like mine to post rulings from their private message board. I’m glad they’re making an effort to own their responsibilities!