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The Primal Clash Player's Guide is a booklet included within the Primal Clash Elite Trainer Box detailing the Primal Clash expansion of the Pokémon Trading Card Game. The booklet is written by Wolfgang Baur and was published by The Pokémon Company International in 2015. The content features strategy for the new cards introduced within the Primal Clash expansion as well as a complete checklist for the expansion.
Welcome to the Pokémon TCG: XY—Primal Clash Elite Trainer Box!
The first section gives a brief introduction of the Primal Clash expansion, detailing the what the Elite Box contains, as well as a short overview of what is covered in the expansion.
Mega Evolution Pokémon and Primal Reversion Pokémon Galore
The Primal Reversion Pokémon are truly on par with the Mega Evolution Pokémon in this set, and the Hoenn region's legacy of powerful, ancient Pokémon remains strong. With fully a dozen Pokémon-EX, the XY–Primal Clash expansion is not just big in card count—it's got huge weight to throw around!
One of the two keystone cards in XY—Primal Clash is Primal Groudon-EX, with 240 HP and the awesome Gaia Volcano attack. It costs and does 100 damage normally—or, if there's a Stadium card, it does double that damage and discards the Stadium card. Better yet, Primal Groudon-EX has one of the new Ancient Traits (more on that later): Ω Barrier, which makes it nearly immune to effects of your opponent's Trainer cards.
The regular version of Groudon-EX is just as great, with 180 HP, a Rip Claw attack for 30 damage that can discard an Energy from your opponent's Active Pokémon, and a Massive Rend attack for that delivers 130 damage. If there's no Stadium card in play, that's an even bigger hit than Primal Groudon-EX can deliver for the same Energy Cost!
The other headliner card of the XY—Primal Clash expansion is, of course, Primal Kyogre-EX, with both a full-art version and a regular version. Like Primal Groudon-EX, this card has an Ancient Trait: α Growth, which lets you attach two Energy cards at a time to Primal Kyogre-EX and works quite well with its Tidal Storm attack. It costs and requires you to move 2 Energy from Primal Kyogre-EX to a Benched Pokémon, it does 150 damage to your opponent's Active Pokémon, and it does 30 damage to each of your opponent's Benched Pokémon-EX. If your opponent is playing with lots of Pokémon-EX, you can send a tidal wave of damage crashing over the entire team!
The regular version of Kygore-EX has a great 180 HP and a Water Pulse attack for 30 that also leaves the opposing Pokémon Asleep, and a Giant Whirlpool attack for 140 that also returns 2 Energy from Kyogre-EX to your hand.
The regular Aggron-EX has Steel Headbutt for that does 50 damage, or 80 with a successful coin flip. Raging Hammer requires but delivers a base 60 damage, plus 10 more for every damage counter on Aggron-EX.
Mega Aggron-EX has 240 HP and the Megaton Slam, which lets you flip a coin if you like. It's a calculated risk: flipping heads means you double the damage (240 total!), but tails means it does 20 damage to every one of your Benched Pokémon.
Mega Aggron-EX and Aggron-EX are both pretty great on offense. You might say that spawn big aggro.
Mega Gardevoir-EX has 210 HP and a Brilliant Arrow attack that does 30 damage times the amount of Energy attached to all of your Pokémon. The only upper limit to the damage is how many Energy cards are in your deck!
The regular Gardevoir-EX has 170 HP and Life Leap that does 20 damage and heals itself for the same amount. So if you bump up the attack power, you bump up the healing too—can anyone say combo? The second attack is Shinning Wind for , which does 100 damage and removes Gardevoir-EX's weakness for the next turn.
Ancient Traits are roughly similar to Abilities on other Pokémon, but they appear in a special red or blue box at the top of the card and are new in the XY—Primal Clash expansion. Each Ancient Trait is the same whenever it appears: more than one Pokémon might have the same Ancient Trait, and once you get to know them, it's clear there are four such traits available right now. Here's the scoop, Elite Trainer style!
The α Growth (that's "Alpha Growth" with a special letter) Ancient Trait is about speed. Pokémon with this Ancient Trait can power up twice as fast as usual. You'll find this trait on Swampert (36/160), Whiscash (41/160), Gorebyss (52/160), Primal Kyogre-EX (55/160 and 149/160), and Kingdra (108/160).
Whenever a Pokémon with this Ancient Trait is healed, you double the amount healed. It works great with Trainer Cards like Potion, or with healing Abilities. You'll find this on Ludicolo (37/160), Eelektrik (64/160), Tentacool (71/160), Azumarill (104/160), and even little Bidoof (117/160).
Attacking two times a turn is a great way to overwhelm your opponent, and that's exactly what this Ancient Trait lets you do. If the first attack Knocks Out an opposing Pokémon, you get to attack again as soon as your opponent chooses a new Active Pokémon! Check it out on Torchic (26/160), Nidoqueen (69/160), Medicham (81/160), Excadrill (97/160), and yes the surprisingly quick Bunnelby (121/160)!
Do you hate Pokémon Catcher, or Enhanced Hammer, or other Trainer cards that put your Pokémon in a tough spot? Well, Ω Barrier prevents exactly that situation. All effects are ignored by this Pokémon. Sceptile (9/160), Magcargo (24/160), Electrike (60/160), Rhyperior (77/160), and Primal Groudon-EX (86/160 and 151/160) all have this Ancient Trait.
Last Card Tricks
Stomping colossal Pokémon aren't the only thing XY—Primal Clash has to offer—there are also some great catch-up cards and Trainer tricks to check out. The most interesting of these might be the Trainer cards with the "last card" mechanic. They're all power effects, but you can play each one only when it's the last card in your hand!
Archie works wonders for decks, grabbing a Pokémon from your discard pile and putting it on your Bench (and note that Kyogre is a Water type!), and also letting you draw 5 more cards. That sort of swing can bring you back from the brink of defeat and put you on the road to victory. Also: notice how a certain Key Stone is visible in the art for one version of this card, but not the other? Sneaky artists!
Same story as Archie's Ace in the Hole, but you grab a Pokémon from your discard pile to put on the Bench. Any Pokémon, like, oh, Primal Groudon-EX. Straight to your Bench—without triggering the Primal Reversion rule. Game over? Could be!
Dangerous Levels of Pokémon-EX Detected
There are a record-breaking 12 Pokémon-EX in the XY—Primal Clash expansion—two Mega Evolution Pokémon-EX, two Primal Reversion Pokémon-EX, and eight regular Pokémon-EX. They all feature lush art for everything from the Metal types to the Grass types! Here are the ones we haven't already covered:
The Dark Forest attack for just puts 20 damage down and keeps your opponent from retreating next turn. Wood Blast for does 50 damage to start with, which seems so-so for a Pokémon-EX—but the attack does 20 more damage for every Energy attached. With three, that attack hammers the opposing Pokémon for 110 damage!
Tumbling Attack does 30 damage, plus 30 more on a coin flip. Explosive Jet is the real story, though! For , you can discard as many Energy from any of your Pokémon as you like, and the attack does 50 damage for each one! This Pokémon combines really well with Blacksmith (XY—Flashfire, 88/106), which lets you fish Energy out of your discard pile. OK, every Fire type is a great combo with Blacksmith, but this one especially so!
The Water Veil Ability makes Wailord-EX tough to stop: whenever you attach an Energy to Wailord-EX, you remove all Special Conditions from it. Which is good, because its High Breaching attack requires a LOT of Energy: . That attack does 120, and afterward Wailord-EX is Asleep—but Water Veil ensures that as long as you have more Energy, it will be ready to attack next turn!
Some Pokémon are all teeth, and this is a prime example. With 170 HP, it's not the biggest Pokémon-EX around, but it sure is mean. The Hunt attack for just switches one of your opponent's Benched Pokémon into the Active spot and does 30 damage to it. Hunt is a nice way to keep your opponent's best Pokémon out of the fight, but the Jagged Fang for does 100 damage and discards an Energy from both Sharpedo-EX and the opposing Pokémon. Yowch!
Shield Energy, Wonder Energy, and Four New Stadiums
With Groudon and other Pokémon taking advantage of Stadiums in play (or smashing them flat, in some cases), it's worth seeing what new arenas are out there. The XY—Primal Clash expansion offers 4 new proving grounds for your Pokémon battles!
This one's for the Pokémon, and addition to providing Energy, it subtracts 10 damage from every attack. Better still, this adds up if you have multiple Shield Energy attached. A Pokémon with 3 Shield Energy subtracts 30 damage from attacks!
Fairy-type Pokémon live by their own rules, and they seem to do amazing things. Wonder Energy definitely makes that happen, as a Pokémon with Wonder Energy attached does not suffer any addition effects from your opponent's attacks. Special Conditions, switching around, being prevented from attacking or retreating—none of those apply, and that's great news. (They still take damage, though!) Naturally, this Energy does not work for any other type of Pokémon, just the Fairy types!
This stadium makes it easy to heal your Pokémon, as once each turn you can heal 30 damage from each and every one of your and Pokémon. If any of those Pokémon has the α Recovery Ancient Trait, it gets healed for 60 damage every turn!
Once per turn, you can discard a or Energy from your hand to draw 2 cards. That's nice to have in a deck that burns through cards as quickly as and decks sometimes do—but will you regret pitching that Energy later on?
Sometimes it's important to think back to your early days. Or, at least, to your Pokémon's early days! This Stadium lets both player's evolved Pokémon use any attack from their previous Evolutions. It's like going back in time!
Each Basic Pokémon has no Abilities so long as this Stadium is in play, regardless of whether that Pokémon is in play, in your hand, or in your discard pile. This stops those Bench-sitting immunities and breaks up opposing combos pretty nicely! However, remember that Ancient Traits aren't abilities, so Silent Lab doesn't affect them.
Pokémon TCG: XY-Primal Clash Card List
This section lists out the 160 cards of the XY—Primal Clash expansion, and their rarities.
Original Japanese Game
The Pokémon Company International
- Director of Production
- Director of Product Development
- Production Coordination
- Project Coordination
- Theme Deck Development
- Rulebook Writing
- Elite Trainer Box Booklet Writing
- Design Direction
- Graphic Design
- Card Typesetting
- Booster Pack Illustrations
- Theme Deck Illustrations
- XY—Primal Clash Logo
- Special Thanks To:
- Kenji Okubo
- Richard Simpson
- Yasuhiro Usui
- Russ Foster, Jay Moon, and Doug Storms
- Junko Takaba
- Ben Regal
- Mike Fitzgerald
- TPCi Editing Staff and Dylan "ExoByte" Mayo
- Wolfgang Baur
- Hollie Beg and Wolfgang Baur
- Eric Medalle
- Kumi Okada, Kevin Lalli, Hitomi Kimura, and Adam Law
- Ginny Baldwin
- Ryota Murayama
- Eric Medalle
- Creatures Inc., The Pokémon Company, and The Pokémon Company International
Pokémon TCG: XY-Primal Clash Showcase
This final section details the two Primal Clash Theme Decks: Ocean's Core and Earth's Pulse.