‘Explosive Impact,’ Japan’s SM8 Set; Raises Questions About Switch Release

Japan’s SM8 set will be named Explosive Impact and will be released on September 7th!

Lugia-GX and Blacephalon-GX will be featured! Blacephalon is the last of the new Ultra Beasts to get a card in the TCG.

The set will feature 95 cards, excluding secret rares.

Since the past several sets have featured a region based on its featured Pokemon, it seems this will be our Johto set. So far we’ve seen:

  • SM5 Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, released in December 2017, featured Sinnoh (and Ultra Necrozma to advertise USUM’s release).
  • SM6 Forbidden Light, released in March 2018, featured Kalos and Zygarde.
  • SM7 Charisma of the Wrecked Sky, released in June 2018, featured Hoenn and Rayquaza.
  • SM8 Explosive Impact, releasing in September 2018, will feature Johto and Lugia.
  • This just leaves Unova and Kanto.

However, based on past trends, the release of a Johto set is problematic if a Unova set is still releasing and a Switch game is coming out during the holidays (as rumor has lead the fandom to believe up until now).

Before a new video game is released, the previous generation’s last set releases at least two to three months beforehand. Then, the TCG set based on the video games releases one to three months after. For example:

  • Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon for the 3DS were released on November 17th, 2017.
    • Two months before: Japan’s version of Crimson Invasion, the last set of the SM block, was released on September 15th, 2017.
    • One month later: Japan’s version of Ultra Prism, the first USUM set, was released on December 8th.
  • Sun and Moon were released for the 3DS on November 8th, 2016.
    • Two months before: Japan’s version of Evolutions, the last X/Y set, was released on September 16th, 2016.
    • One month later: The first SM TCG set, Sun & Moon, was released on December 9th, 2016.
  • Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire were released on November 21st, 2014.
    • Two months before: XY Phantom Forces was released on September 13th, 2014.
    • One month later: XY Primal Clash (featuring ORAS) was released on December 13th, 2014.
  • X and Y for the 3DS were released on October 12th, 2013.
    • Three months before: Legendary Treasures, a B/W set, was released on July 13th, 2013.
    • Two months later: The first XY set was released on December 13th, 2013.
  • Black 2 and White 2 for the DS were released on June 23rd, 2012.
    • Three months before: Japan’s version of Dragons Exalted released on March 16th, 2012.
    • One month later: Japan’s version of Boundaries Crossed (featuring BW2) released on July 13, 2012.
  • Black and White for the DS were released on September 18th, 2010.
    • Two months before: HS – Triumphant, the last HGSS set, released on July 8th, 2010.
    • Three months later: The first Black & White TCG set released on December 17th, 2010.

So if the rumored Kanto Switch games are coming out in, say, November, there wouldn’t be enough time to release an SM9 Unova set because the SM8 Johto set just came out in September. This could mean one of a few possibilities:

  • The TCG is going to skip doing an SM9 Unova set. The special mini-sets SM6a Dragon Storm had Reshiram-GX, White Kyurem-GX, and Victini Prism Star. The upcoming mini-set SM7a Thunderclap Spark will have Virizon and Genesect (and Zeraora from this gen). A special Zekrom-GX promo is going to be released. So they may release the “stars” of Unova as promos and in these mini-sets as a way of fitting them into this TCG block. However, they’d still forego releasing most Unova Pokemon, which wouldn’t seem fair or “complete” when the other regions were featured in full sets (especially when Unova has the largest number of Pokemon).
  • The Switch game isn’t actually coming out during the holidays as rumors would have us believe. In that case, a Unova set would release in December, then the Switch game and associated Kanto TCG set would release in early 2019.
  • The Switch games are so fundamentally different than previous Pokemon video game releases that the TCG marketing is going to do its own thing, at least for now. This doesn’t seem likely since Pokemon is a transmedia marketing machine.

What do you think is going to happen?

Also releasing on September 7th are new card sleeves and deck boxes featuring Lugia, as well as a binder featuring Ultra Necrozma. Thanks goes to Bangiras for the translations!


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  1. jessalakasam Floette is love Floette is life


    I always knew Dragon Majesty was the Unova set. Mainly since the legendary Zekrom and Reshiram distributions line-up with its release.
  2. KeoKeo Aspiring Trainer


    Wait... does this mean I have to wait until Christmas to get a Gengar GX?
    John Healey likes this.
  3. Zierant Murcielago


    I reject any Kanto game ideas! We’ve visited this region too many times already and honestly it’s so bland! Sinnoh on the other hand... Would much prefer a brand new region to introduce onto the switch. Kanto wasn’t that great, let’s be honest.

    Tcg wise, still waiting for the trend of unused EX Pokémon to have the spotlight... I want my national deck binder to have bling!
  4. aschefield101 is behind you !


    Meh, the TCG artwork in recent years leaves alot to be desired and the SM template needs retiring asap.

    but still...

    WTB a new game in the franchise, not the rebooted one we get every year (or 2).
    MetalPharoah likes this.
  5. Ryn7321 real magnet hours


    I'd love to wait another year for the Switch game, as long as I get my Alola x Unova set.
  6. Wechselbalg "okey"


    I guess I won't get a (playable) Excadrill-GX then. Or at least not anytime soon. Oh well.
  7. jessalakasam Floette is love Floette is life


    I agree, Kanto was pretty boring. However, keep in mind the rumors claim this game takes place in after the events of G/R/B/Y/FR/LG meaning it'll likely differ from the Kanto we know. Especially if the 100 years later rumor is true
  8. Max Maxwell Aspiring Trainer
    Max Maxwell


    Is this the set with Suicune GX?
    Sure for Celebi Prism :p
  9. starg09 Aspiring Trainer


    Hmm... So we now have:

    • August set, Celestial Storm. We get Japan's SM7 and SM6a (Champion Road) there.
    • September mini set, Dragon Majesty. We get SM6b (Dragon Storm) there.
    • November will surely have SM8, and posssibly combined with SM7a (Thunderclap Spark)?
    So, we still have SM7b (Fairy Rise), with no release date in the horizon... And maybe some "Best of SM" special set? Would be nice to get that one over here again, kind of like with Legendary Treasures and Call Of Legends (and definitely not because I'd be ok with a Lele reprint lol)
  10. Merovingian Dead Game Enthusiast

    Articles Head Member

    Excited that we are getting Blacephalon-GX. With how much they are pushing Ultra Beasts and support, I wouldn't be surprised if Blacephalon-GX becomes the next Shaymin-EX.
  11. George Plays 4 Ultra Ball in Every Deck


    Will this FINALLY be the set with the original Eevee-evolution GXs???
  12. Scourge188 Aspiring Trainer


    Are you surprised Kanto is revisited so much? That will always be the case. It is the original place where the franchise started. Kanto is bland compared to the other gens because new mechanics and what not were not introduced during its time. Maybe though that will change with a switch game. Who knows, just hope it is good
  13. Holden Sheeks a.k.a. WinterShorts
    Holden Sheeks


    Anything involving Lugia cards of any sort gets approved from me. Maybe it'll involve his Elemental Blast from the good ol' 2006 days.
  14. Paul Weiskopf Gwentigone
    Paul Weiskopf


    I definitely think the switch games will be a later release. Also, since we're getting Zekrom, Reshiram, and White Kyurem GX, is there any hope for a Black Kyurem or regular Kyurem GX?
  15. Luplayz The Master of bad Pokemon


    Yes!!!!we get Blacephalon in this set! Nobody can resist the eyes....! (I can't post the image ;-; )


    I realize that some of you dont like kanto... thats fine... but the main purpose why the Switch game is Kanto is because Nintendo/Pokemon want to play the Nostalgia card to get fans my age (Original Gen) to come back to Pokemon.

    I've looked into the switch rumors and everyone 25+ years of age have looked me in the eye and said that's cool.

    i agree with them, I cant wait to replay Kanto because Yellow was the my very first Pokemon Game. This is being done on purpose to bring back old fans who have a switch, entertain current fans of all ages, and maybe even allow players who never played the originals to play in Kanto.

    right now, im still trying to decided between Eevee or pikachu.... As long as i can still get a Sylveon is some way... i'll be happy.
    Starsoulklr likes this.
  17. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    I have to wait till the end of the year to get a Vaporeon and Pidgeot GX. I'm also hoping I get it in Pokemon Duel as well around this time. I'll either have a great Christmas or a lame one.
  18. crystal_pidgeot Bird Trainer *Vaporeon on PokeGym*


    This is why I don't enjoy the newer gens as much. They complicate things so much for no reason. Legendary Pokemon control space and time, life and death and come from different dimensions. Pokemon lost that simple feeling and now its all doom and gloom.

    Kento was simple. None of the Pokemon were that over designed and you got what you got. Mewtwo wasn't this Pokemon that could wreck the universe like the newer legends could. Mewtwo was just a beast. Everything felt leveled with the only threat being Team Rocket wanting to make money using Pokemon. Sure people can say its bland but that was the appeal of the ecosystem in the game so I'm really looking forward to this 100 year in the future Kanto game with Mega Evolution. I think the series is in need of a soft reboot so I hope this does that.
    OppositeAttract likes this.
  19. Green778 It's always darkest before the dawn...


    If this is Johto Set... Suicune GX could be possible (finally...):p

    Well... the rumours are about to be either busted or confirmed since of the upload of the new Private Videos on the Youtube Nintendo/Pokemon Channels. A little patience is all we need. Everything will have settled until E3
  20. The Binder Guy Aspiring Trainer
    The Binder Guy


    Nice, the exploding clown finally gets a GX card.

    As for what's happening in terms of the Switch, I have a feeling that it's going to be a spin-off or something similar to Colosseum/XD.