Pokemon TCG: Paldea Evolved Prerelease Build and Battle Deck

My only big plan this Memorial Day weekend was to go a Pokemon TCG Paldea Evolved prerelease. I got lucky and got exactly the mini-deck I wanted. Baxcalibur is the best deck and promo by far.

My deck was basically Baxcalibur, whatever water pokemon I can pull and tons of draw cards and energies. I guess my plan worked as I went a perfect 3-0 and honestly none of my games were even close. I built the deck to super consistent and once you get Baxcalibur in play it pretty much game over.

Here are my pulls from the packs from both the build and battle deck and my prize packs. I wished I could have use the Quaquaval ex in my deck but I didn’t pull a Quaxly. I don’t think I would ever use Chi-Yu or the golden grass energy in any decks but they can be good trade bait.

All in all, Baxcalibur was so much fun to play in the prerelease that I am thinking about building around it for Standard.

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Pokemon TCG: Cyclizar ex & Mimikyu ex Box

I got a Pokemon TCG Cyclizar ex box and another Mimikyu ex box for $20 each which I think is a slight discount for the Cyclizar ex box. Both boxes have 1 promo ex card, 1 jumbo card, 1 super random card and 4 packs (2 Scarlet and Violet, 1 Silver Tempest and 1 Lost Origin for the Cyclizar ex box and 2 Silver Tempest, 1 Fusion Strike and 1 Brilliant Stars pack for Mimikyu ex Box).

For the Cyclizar ex box, I finally pulled a Forest Seal Stone. It is selling for $10 which is very surprising since it is just a rare card. But it shows up in a lot of decks and I really needed one so I am very happy with my pulls even though I didn’t get a hit.

For the Mimikyu ex box I got a lot more hits. I got a Radiant Alakazam, Appletun V and Alolan Vulpix V. I also got a Yveltal and Kirlia which are useful cards for deck building.

Overall, not bad pulls from two ex boxes.

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Wizkids Encounter in a Box Prison Break

I saw this Wizkids Encounter in a Box: Prison Break at my local board game store and I was intrigued. It comes with some minis (1 3D, the rest 2D), wall pieces, two double sided maps and a scenario booklet. So you get basically everything you need to run a one shot. At $30, I think it is just cheap enough just to check it out and I am excited to run it soon. Wizkids has similar products for Dungeons & Dragons called Adventures in a Box but they were $80- $90 which is honestly not a price point for something I will probably use only once or twice. I spend A LOT of money in this hobby already.

I actually only use a grid and minis maybe every other DnD session. My group is very creative so I often make things up on the spot so it is often easier to use the theater of the mind. But I admit it is always more fun to use minis and it does makes encounters feel more special when you actually do use them.

Overall for me, this set is nice as maybe an one shot to run with a new group (maybe even for those new to the game). I don’t really have space to buy too many minis or terrain pieces and this set give you just enough to play DnD with. The pieces included really do look great too. Although the sheriff, my 3D mini, has a bit of black paint on her nose and makes her look kind of like a skeleton or a necromancer which maybe I can use to my advantage.

Finally just note, even though the box is advertised as “everything included” and “ready to play”, it is missing stats so you still need the Monster Manual to play. I guess they did this so it can be “compatible with most RPG systems”.

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Upgrading the Pokemon TCG: Palkia League Battle Deck

Pokemon TCG league battle decks are one of the best ways to get into the game and probably one of the best Pokemon TCG products in general since they give you pretty much everything you need to play. As the name implies, these decks are perfect for league battles and I have found these decks are usually pretty competitive with a few tweaks. The latest in this series is the Origin Form Palkia Vstar deck. It was actually one of the decks I was interested in from Standard so I picked it up to play at my next League Challenge tournament.

The core of 3/2 Palkia V/ Vstar and 1 Radiant Greninja is very strong. It can hit hard and it is fairly consistent. Knocking out a V pokemon first goes a long way. Also, I underestimated it at first, but the Irida engine is really, really good. I think it is one of the primary reasons to play a water deck. As for the changes, I basically went with a Ralts/ Kirlia/ Gardevoir line instead of Bidoof/ Biberal line to draw cards. This allows me to have a Plan B with the deck. You can draw your whole deck, play 1 or 2 energy recyclers, use a Gardevoir to charge up a Kyogre and then mill 5 water energies from the deck to deal 250 damage to two of your opponent’s benched Pokemon which is usually 3 or 4 prizes alone. (An alternate way to power up Kyogre is using the Palkia Vstar ability). I also tweaked the trainer cards a bit to be more consistent in the early game and play 4 Cross Switchers which combos with Irida.

Here is the list I will probably play at my next Pokemon League Challenge tournament.

3 Origin Forme Palkia V
3 Origin Forme Palkia Vstar
1 Radiant Greninja
1 Manaphy (from Brilliant Stars)
1 Kyogre (from Pokemon Go)
4 Ralts (from Astral Radiance)
4 Kirlia (from Silver Tempest)
2 Gardevoir (from Chilling Reign)

4 Iridia
2 Melony
1 Boss’ Orders
1 Miriam

4 Nest Ball
4 Level Ball
1 Ultra Ball
1 VIP Battle Pass

4 Cross Switcher
1 Escape Rope
2 Choice Belt
1 Echoing Horn
1 Lost City

2 Energy Search
2 Energy Recycler
10 Water Energy

I have tested this list on PTCGL a bit and I have had some success with it. It is probably a solid tier 2 deck so it is a good option if you are on a budget or looking to playing something a little different. I know I am since I am tired of playing Lost Box mirror matches.

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Thrift Store Haul: Hatch, Sweet Existence Strange Planet Card Game & More!

I found a few more tabletop game and books this month at the thrift store.

First off I got Hatch The Dragonology card game. I honestly wasn’t expecting much but it has a dragon themed and it basically Rummikub with extra special powers. The rule book is terrible but it is nice fun filler. I also wish it came with a little more cards in the deck though. If you play with 4 players, the deck runs out too fast. I got this for $2.

The second game I got is Sweet Existence, Strange Planet card game. I don’t have high hopes for this game either and I haven’t tried it out yet but I love the comics. I believe I also got this game for $2.

Finally I have a few books I got for about $1 each. The Chronicles of the Egg New Lands and Fred- X Rising were both signed by the authors and I couldn’t resisting picking them up (it helps that they were so cheap). The last book reminds of Dungeons & Dragons. It is a small book of fantasy short stories. Maybe I can steal some story ideas for my own campaign.

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Random Pack Break: Marvel Battleworld Treachery at Twilight Battle Ball

I have seen these Marvel Battleworld Battle Balls for sale at big box stores and I was intrigued by the game. They definitely have eye catching packaging (although in hindsight they are a bit impractical to store). I finally got one at a good price.

The Battle Ball has everything you need to play for a solo game. It has 5 battle cards as the obstacles you have to overcome, two heroes (one you have to rescue), 1 special dice and a bunch of counters. My starting hero is Shuri and my hidden hero is Groot. The Groot card and figure were sealed separated to serve as a surprise for the first time you play.

The game itself is pretty simple. You basically have 4 attack types, mind, energy, strength and speed. You roll the dice add the applicable bonus on the hero card and hope it beats the target number. There is some strategy on assigning heroes to battle cards that they have the biggest bonus on but it is pretty much super luck based. The game is also very quick and probably too easy at least with the cards I got. A game for me last about 2 minutes and I have easily won the 3 games I played so far. But honestly the game is kind of bonus to the little collectible figures.

As for the figures, I really, really love Groot. He is super cute and it is probably one of the figures I wanted the most from the set. I got this Battle Ball for $5 and if I can find them for even cheaper, I would be interested in picking more up.

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Stop and Swap Haul: Lego Books, WWE Choose Your Adventure Book & More!

I love the idea of Stop and Swaps and with the warming weather, there is pretty much one every week in NYC. Bring a bunch of stuff to donate and leave with a bunch of new stuff. You just never know what you may find!

I am always excited to find Legos for cheap or in this case free! I have a nice collection that is slowly growing and if I had to guess, 90% of the Legos I got were either deeply discounted, found at thrift stores or found at somewhere similar to Stop and Swaps.

I also got the Lego Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles but this one is missing the minifigure.

I am pretty excited about this WWE choose your adventure book, Race to the Rumble. I loved choose your adventure books when I was a kid and I still love them now!

I also got a bunch of other books too. The Count Draculation Monster Riddles book is basically filled with bad fantasy themed dad jokes and I might use some of them in my D&D campaign sooner or later. All the other books I am probably going to give away to friends and family.

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Pokemon TCG: Arcanine Scarlet & Violet 3 Pack Blister

I had low expectations about the Scarlet & Violet set but I have been pleasantly surprised so far. Today I got the Pokemon TCG Arcanine Scarlet & Violet 3 pack blister. It has the Arcanine promo and 3 packs of Scarlet & Violet.

I have been lucky with 3 pack blisters in the past and I got lucky again. I pulled a Koraidon ex and a secret rare fighting energy. With the Hawlucha rare too it is really tempting me to build some sort of fighting deck some time soon.

As I said before I wasn’t expecting too much from the Scarlet & Violet set especially with the rotation. But I have built four decks already the Miraidon ex (Flaaffy box build), the Gardevoir ex, Shadow Rider Calyrex VMax deck and the Lost Box Giratina deck and they are all tricky but fun to play with.

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Thrift Store Haul: Dungeonquest, Horrified Board Game & More!

Oddly enough the theme of this month’s haul is fantasy and I am very excited about what I was able to pick up at thrift stores. I got some great deals!

I am pretty excited to pick up this Dungeonquest board game for $5. It is out of print and seems to sell for a lot more on eBay. One of my regulars at my board game meetup wanted to play a dungeon crawl/ Dungeons & Dragon style board game and I didn’t have good one in that genre until now. I hope to learn the game and bring to my meetup soon. It looks like a ton of fun!

The other board game I picked up this month is Horrified. I know it is a co-op game against classic movie monsters and it is super popular but that is about all I know of the game. I got this for $2.

I also picked up two books for $1 each. I read a lot of fantasy books so I do mixed them up a bit but if I remember right, I didn’t really like the Warded Man series/ The Demon Cycle by Peter V Brett mostly mostly there were way too many characters and things happening at the same time. So an epic battle scene might end in the cliffhanger at the end of the chapter, go to something else seemingly unrelated (it may tied in together much later in the book) then only conclude the battle scene like 5 or 6 chapters later. I hate that. But I love the world and magic system Peter V Brett has crafted. Brayan’s Gold take place in the same world but it is much shorter and I think it is aimed at young adults so I hope it more straightforward.

The second book is a children’s coloring book, The Book of Beasts Color & Discover. It is a very pretty book and it has blurbs about mythological creatures from around the world. I am hoping I can pick up a few ideas I can use for my D&D campaign. The book was partially colored (like maybe 4 pages) by a talented kid already (like some of the picture use a bit a of glitter to make it pop off the page). Who knows maybe one day I get into coloring books and finish this book.

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My Latest Disney Pin Haul

I finally went back to Walt Disney World! I used to go every year but due to the pandemic and rising costs I haven’t visited it since 2019. While there, I got to do of a lot of my favorite things including pin trading! Here are the pins I picked on this trip.

I got this Epcot 40th anniversary pin display banner from the Disney Outlet store and the pins I got from either trading, mystery packs or from the outlet store too. My favorite pins have to be the Chinese New Year Donald Duck, Ms Marvel (one of my favorite comic book superheros but haven’t watched the show yet) and the Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (from Hong Kong Disneyland). I am also happy to find any new Figment pins of my collection.

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