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The Hidden Fates Player's Guide is a booklet included within the Hidden Fates Elite Trainer Box detailing the Hidden Fates expansion of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The booklet is written by Wolfgang Baur and was published by The Pokémon Company International in 2019. The content features strategy for the new cards introduced within the Hidden Fates expansion as well as a complete checklist for the expansion.
Welcome to the Pokémon TCG: Hidden Fates Elite Trainer Box!
This Elite Trainer Box contains a great combination of boosters, Energy cards, dice, card sleeves, and extras—congrats on stepping up your game to the Elite level. The Pokémon Trading Card Game: Hidden Fates expansion adds more than 65 cards to the Pokémon TCG, and in the special Shiny Vault subset, it revisits more than 75 favorite cards from the Sun & Moon Series—this time with beautiful textured art featuring Shiny Pokémon. A dream for any collector!
Train hard, choose your Pokémon companions, and take the journey of an Elite Trainer!
New Pokémon-GX Faces from Familiar Places
The nine new Pokémon-GX in Hidden Fates follow a distinct theme—they're all Pokémon originally discovered in the Kanto region, and a couple of them make excellent companions to some of the new Trainer cards in the set (we'll get to them later). Fittingly, three Legendary Pokémon from Kanto appear as the first-ever triple TAG TEAM—Moltres & Articuno & Zapdos-GX! Read on to see how these cards stack up in battle:
- Pinsir-GX: Watch out for those horns when battling Pinsi-GX, a Basic Pokémon with 180 HP and two attacks that each cost . Its Superpowered Horns attack does 110 damage with no strings attached, but if the right opportunity strikes, you cand do 160 damage with Guillotine-GX. Just keep in mind that you can only use one GX attack per game, so weigh your choice carefully!
- Charizard-GX: This fan favorite is a Stage 2 Pokémon with 250 HP and a pair of the powerhouse attacks. For , Flamethrower blasts out 140 damage, and for the same Energy cost, you an Knock Out just about any Pokémon with a massive 300-damage Flare Blitz-GX. Again—choices, choices!
- Starmie-GX: Starmie, a Stage 1 Pokémon with 190 HP, pairs swimmingly with Trainer cards that feature Misty. Its Star Stream attack for helps keep Energy flowing by doing 40 damage and letting you attack 2 Energy cards from your discard pile to 1 of your Pokémon. Spinning Attack deals 100 damage for , and Hydro Pump-GX for does 40 damage plus 40 more for every Energy attached to Starmie-GX.
- Gyarados-GX: This Stage 1 Pokémon is a big leap from little Magikarp! With 230 HP and the Dragon Rage attack that costs for 130 damage, plus Hyper Beam-GX for the same Energy cost but for a massive 240 damage, this is a straightforward that will deliver some Knock Outs.
- Raichu-GX: Of course, Raichu-GX is a Stage 1 Pokémon (you won't get any bonus points for knowing which Pokémon it evolves from!) that has 210 HP and the Thunderbolt attack that does 120 damage for . Spark Ball-GX does 200 damage for the same Energy cost. No too complicated and definitely effective!
- Mewtwo-GX: This Legendary Pokémon has 180 HP and two attacks: Super Psy Bolt, which does 110 damage for , and Psycrush-GX for the same Energy cost but with a touch more oomph at 120 damage—plus, your opponent has to discard all the Energy attached to their Active Pokémon! What a great way to stop an opponents game in its tracks!
- Onix-GX: This Basic Pokémon has 200 HP and a big attitude. Its Bind attack for does 30 damage and leaves the opponent Paralyzed with a successful coin flip. Heavy Impact requires for a straightforward 150 damage. Finally, its Rocky Avalanche-GX attack for does 200 damage and makes Onix-GX much tougher to Knock Out—it takes 100 less damage from attacks on your opponent's next turn. Hang tough, Onix!
- Wigglytuff-GX: A Stage 1 Pokémon, Wigglytuff-GX has 210 HP and starts off with the Rolling Rush attack for , doing 100 damage plus 30 more for each heads you flip in a row. For the same Energy cost, Lovely Star-GX does 130 damage and heals all damage from Wigglytuff-GX, which means your opponent will really have to work twice as hard to bounce this Pokémon into the discard for a Knock Out!
- Moltres & Zapdos & Articuno-GX: This is the massive TAG TEAM trio that everyone will want to get in their hands on! Its impressive 300 HP and Trinity Burn attack that does 210 damage for are a great start. That Sky Legends-GX attack takes this TAG TEAM to even greater heights, though, because if it has attached, it gets shuffled back into your deck while doing 110 damage to 3 different opposing Pokémon. That could easily be 3 Knock Outs—and the game!
Shiny Art for Dozen of Pokémon and Pokémon-GX!
Collectors, this set is loaded with the Shiny forms of all kinds of Pokémon—including tournament-staple Pokémon-GX—from throughout the Sun & Moon Series. While their Abilities and attacks may be familiar, their artwork is full of stunning texture and color. Here are some notes on a handful of our favorite Shiny takes on returning Pokémon-GX:
- Decidueye-GX: You wouldn't want to run into this Decidueye-GX in the middle of he night—you night not even see it coming! A dark color scheme is especially fitting for a ruler of the shadows like this Grass-type Pokémon-GX that originally appeared in Sun & Moon—Guardian Rising.
- Charizard-GX: This Shiny variant of Charizard-GX from Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows has a dark and dangerous vibe in charcoal with crimson wing. And that Raging Out-GX attack still seems like a good way to flatten an opponent in a game that runs long.
- Greninja-GX: Originally appearing in Sun & Moon—Forbidden Light, this Greninja-GX has gained an extra layer of stealth with its dark-as-night Shiny coloration. Thanks to its Shuriken Flurry Ability, you can deal out 3 damage counters any time you use Evolution to get it onto the field.
- Electrode-GX: This delightfully quirky Pokémon-GX from Sun & Moon—Celestial Storm is still puzzling players with its Extra Energy Bomb Ability, which ends with Electrode-GX being Knocked Out. But its Shiny form looks better than ever here in cool blue and white.
- Mewtwo-GX: Full Burst is still a great attack for , and seeing Mewtwo-GX from Shining Legends in a green-and-white Shiny form is wonderful. Could be a collector's oddity, could be a parallel universe...who can tell with Mewtwo?
- Lucario-GX: With a move called Cantakerous Beatdown and with big damage numbers, this Lucario is still a welcome addition to the lineup in Fighting-type decks. And its Shiny artwork is a fresh spin on a familiar face from Sun & Moon—Forbidden Light.
- Guzzlord-GX: Sometimes a monstrously massive Pokémon gets a reputation for being dark and devouring. The Shiny form of Guzzlord-GX from Sun & Moon—Crimson Invasion still looks like it's going to gobble up the opposition, but with a brighter soundtrack this time. Our question: can it really be a Darkness-type Ultra Beast if one of its primary color is luminous orange?
- Sylveon-GX: The original Sylveon-GX from Sun & Moon—Guardian Rising and the Shiny form in this expansion are both just so cute! Can they be superpowered twins? Play them both in a deck and confuse your opponent!
Dozens of other Pokémon and Pokémon-GX in the Shiny Vault subset have alternate art, each with a surprising or subtle variation in color that makes an exciting addition to your collection. If you're eyeing these treasures for your next deck, keep in mind that any card marked with a Yellow A Alternate symbol will rotate out of the Standard format along with the expansion where it was originally printed.
See what you can discover in this set that surprises you with visual twists and double takes!
Six Super Combos!
The Hidden Fates expansion has some great combinations, both with cards from earlier expansions and within the new set itself. Here are some big moves you could pull off with a little planning—and a little luck!
- The Team Rocket Discard
Use Jessie & James to discard Weezing from your hand, forcing your opponent to discard yet another card from their hand. Then, Arbok's Rocket Tail attack does 50 damage—plus 80 damage for Jessie & James being in the discard pile. Team Rocket's up to no good again!
Starmie-GX has some great attacks to begin with, and you can make them even better with Misty's Cerulean City Gym, boosting their damage by 40. There's definitely a home-team advantage in Pokémon battles at this Gym!
- Knock Out Resistance
Onix-GX is a mighty Basic Pokémon with 200 HP—which makes it tough for your opponent to Knock Out! Make it even more difficult to knock Out with Brock's Pewter City Gym, which causes it to take 40 less damage from your opponent's attacks. If it does take damage, use Pokémon Center Lady to keep it battling even longer. Any big-HP Pokémon can become a major obstacle for your opponent with the right support, but Brock's beloved Pokémon in Brock's Pewter City Gym is an extra-tough defender.
- Welding Your Way to a Win
Charizard-GX looks simple at first, even tough its Flare Blitz-GX attack does a whopping 300 damage—enough to take down even a TAG TEAM Pokémon! The trouble is getting to that cost quickly. One option is to use Welder to charge up faster and surprise your opponent with a huge KO!
- Trinity Star Burn
The first-ever TAG TEAM trio has a whopping 300 HP, but its Trinity Burn attack is a little tricky to power up. If you can get a , , and Pokémon onto your Bench, Arceus 's Trinity Star attack can make things easier. You can search your deck for a 3 basic Energy cards and attach them to your Pokémon, meaning you can get that , , and Energy for Trinity Burn! And when the time is right you can follow that up with the Sky Legends-GX attack to do 110 damage to 3 different Pokémon—potentially getting three or more Prize cards at once!
- Misty's Rushing River
Start by putting a few Naganadel on your Bench and using the Charging Up Ability to soak up some Energy. When the time is right, play Misty's Water Command to move those Energy to your Psyduck, Horsea, Staryu, Starmie-GX, Magikarp, Gyarados, or Lapras—your pick!
Top Trainer Cards!
The Hidden Fates expansion offer a few great Trainer cards with tricks and tactics and ways to turn a losing game into a clear win! These are our favorite new Trainer cards from the main expansion and the Shiny Vault subset both for power decks and for fun.
- Brock's Peter City Gym
This Stadium card is all about Onix-GX, which feels so at home in this place that it takes 40 less damage from the opponent's attacks. Super niche and super fun!
- Brock's Training
If you know Brock's favorite Pokémon, you won't be surprised that he likes to keep them full up on Energy. With this Supporter card, you can attach an Energy card from your hand to 1 of several Pokémon—including Geodude, Sudowoodo, Rhyhorn, and even Onix-GX.
- Jessie & James
Your opponent discards 2 cards from their hand—but you have to discard 2 cards from your hand, too. For extra Team Rocket trickery, play this Supporter card when it's the last card in your hand.
- All Eight Kanto Gym Leaders
All eight Kanto Gym Leaders are in this expansion, which hasn't happened for quite some time in the Pokémon TCG. Choose your favorites, and then see what strategies you can come up with using cards featuring them and the Pokémon they're known for using in battle.
- Misty's Cerulean City Gym
Sort of the opposite of Brock's Pewter City Gym, this one is about putting Starmie-GX on double-time offense! All Starmie-GX do 40 more damage to the opposing Active Pokémon!
- Misty's Determination
Discard a card from your hand to look at the top 8 cards of your deck and take 1 of them into your hand. This is a fantastic way to trade in a card that's not very useful in a particular match for a card that makes all the difference. Misty's Determination gives you a definite boost!
- Misty's Water Command
Misty is always looking to keep her Pokémon well hydrated. This Supporter card lets you shuffle around any and all of your Energy to Psyduck, Horsea, Staryu, Starmie-GX, Magikarp (which doesn't need much!), Gyarados (which really does need it!), and Lapras. It's musical chairs, but for Energy!
- Pokémon Center Lady
Let the healing begin! With the gentle support of Pokémon Center Lady, 1 of your Pokémon recovers 60 damage, and all of its Special Conditions go away. This card is a great way to keep your biggest stars battling at full power.
The Champion of the Sinnoh region is a popular Supporter in Pokémon TCG tournaments, and she reappears in Shiny Vault of a full-art card with the Shiny forms of Lucario and Garchomp, two of her trademark Pokémon. Use this versatile Trainer to replace your hand with 6 new cards—no matter how many were in your hand to begin with.
Your boy Guzma returns in Shiny Vault as a new full-art Supporter card that certainly makes a statement ad ins a useful addition to almost any deck. Not sure if you can tell...but we're Guzma fans!
Pokémon TCG: Generations Card List
This section lists out the 69 cards of the Hidden Fates expansion, and their rarities, along with the 94 cards from the Shiny vault subset.
Original Japanese Game
The Pokémon Company International
- Producer: Kenji Okubo
- Director of Production: Richard Simpson
- Product Development: Yasuhiro Usui, Jim Lin, and Doug Ferguson
- Production Coordination: Russ Foster, Jay Moon, Doug Storms, David Hoskinson, and Ross Garrett
- Game Development: Dylan "ExoByte" Mayo, Kyle Sucevich, Nik Davidson, and Paul Peterson
- Project Coordination: Mikiko Ryu, Yoshi Uemura, Noriko Tseng, and Jen McNulty
- Translation: Ben Regal, Bryson Clark, and Satoko Deas
- Elite Trainer Box Booklet Writing: Wolfgang Baur
- Rulebook Writing: TPCi Editing Staff and Kyle Sucevich
- Editing Coordination: Anja Weinbach
- Editing: Hollie Beg, Wolfgang Baur, and Holly Bowen
- Design Direction: Chriis Franc
- Graphic Design (Creative): Doug Wohlfeil, Adam Law, Kumi Okada, Cara Weiss, Anupa Patel, Huy Cao, and Kevin Fish
- Graphic Design (Card Localization): Ginny Baldwin and Christopher Brittain
- Graphic Design (Logos): Huy Cao
- Booster Pack and Playmat Illustrations: PLANETA Igarashi
- Special Thanks To: Creatures Inc., The Pokémon Company, and The Pokémon Company International