‘Team Up’ Elite Trainer Box Images, Features New Energy Designs!

Product images for the Team Up Elite Trainer Box have now been revealed!

The box will include the new Energy designs used for the Tag Team block. We first saw them in Japan’s Eeveelution decks a few weeks ago.

The box will also include a Tag Team GX marker instead of a regular GX marker.

Team Up products will hit store shelves February 1st. We posted the rest of the set’s product images the other day.

In other news: As expected, the regular version of Magikarp & Wailord-GX will be removed from Team Up and used exclusively in the Towering Splash-GX Box. The special art version of the card is being used to advertise the set, as you can see in the last image below:

We learned from the SM9 Tag Bolt reveals the other night that Tag Team Pokemon will come in four rarities — the regular card, a special art version, a full art version, and a rainbow rare full art version. Examples:

Pokemon also e-mailed us an interview they conducted with Mitsuhiro Arita and Atsushi Nagashima, the TCG’s director at Creatures:

Interview with Creatures

Q: What are TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, and how does the new mechanic work?
A:   (Nagashima) Pokémon-GX were introduced in the Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon expansion and have been very popular ever since. They have special GX attacks that are extremely powerful, but a player can use only one GX attack per game.TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX represent a powered-up version in which two Pokémon-GX come together to form a dream team and battle together.

Q: How will TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX affect TCG gameplay?
A:   (Nagashima) The biggest effect to the gameplay environment will be the new TAG TEAM GX attacks. These attacks have the power to quickly subdue your opponent’s Pokémon and take control over the game, but it’s extremely important for the player to decide the right moment to use them and what plays they need to make until that decisive moment. The downside to these TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX is that your opponent gets to take three Prize cards if they manage to Knock Out one. This makes normal Pokémon-GX and non-GX Pokémon even more important than before, and will give many more Pokémon a chance to shine in battle.

Q: Is there a concern that they are too powerful? How have you ensured that games won’t end too quickly?
A:   (Nagashima) They are extremely powerful, but since your opponent can take three Prize cards if they manage to Knock Out one, they will only need to Knock Out two TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX to win the game, so players need to be careful when using them.

Q: How do you think TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX will impact deck building?
A:   (Nagashima) While TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX have extremely powerful attacks, these attacks also require a lot of Energy to use. This means that players will need to include Trainer cards to support the types they use in their decks, as well as support Pokémon that boost their TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX.

Also, the opponent will win if they Knock Out just two TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, so, players will need to think about how they can also insert normal Pokémon-GX and non-GX Pokémon into their strategies. With the introduction of TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, a deck’s sub-attackers and the player’s individual play skill will become even more important.

Q: How rare will TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX be?
A:   (Nagashima) I think they will be coveted about the same amount as normal Pokémon-GX. Even if a player pulls just one TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, they can make it the center of their deck.

Q: Which pair are you most excited about, and which one is most powerful?
A:   (Nagashima) I really like Pikachu & Zekrom-GX. We really spent a lot of time getting this card just right and making it feel good to play in the kind of deck that we envisioned players would build around it. I also think that Magikarp & Wailord-GX will get a lot of attention—not just because of its illustration, but it’s also a very interesting card.

Each TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX has its own strengths, so it’s hard to say which one will be the most powerful. I hope that everyone will find a favorite of their own.

Q: Were there any pairings suggested that would have been just too powerful?
A:   (Nagashima) Pairings with Arceus. We just couldn’t come up with a partner that was suitable for the Pokémon that is said in legend to have shaped the world. I still want to keep trying to find a good pairing with Arceus, though!

Q: How hard was it for the artists to design the cards with two Pokémon, instead of the usual one?
A:   (Arita) My goal with the illustrations was to make the art on the card look as if the two Pokémon in each pairing were represented as two equals that were facing their opponent together.

The illustrations on the TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX generally cover the entire face of the card, but we still needed to consider that the text elements overlay the bottom half of the card. With this limitation in place, it was especially challenging to make the Pokémon look like equals when there was a big difference in their sizes. Even at times when I thought I nailed it, it didn’t look right when we put the illustration in the frame and added the text elements.

Another challenge was that the position of the blue bar for the GX attack differs between cards, so I needed to adjust the poses of the Pokémon to make the overall image not feel too tight and also get creative with color use to give the impression that the illustration continued through the bottom of the frame. I’d sometimes even add special effects.

Overall, I had to adjust and edit so that the illustrations look good in the context of other card elements; sometimes, the illustrations appeared strange when divorced from the card frame and text elements.

With the TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, I needed to take into consideration what the card would look like in its final printed state even more than ever before. Each card probably took the effort of two regular cards to create.