The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) is one of the most popular and enduring collectible card games in the world. Since its debut in 1996, the Pokémon TCG has captivated millions of fans with its strategic gameplay, stunning artwork, and diverse roster of creatures. The game has also continued to evolve over the years, introducing new mechanics, card types, and expansions to keep the game fresh and exciting. One of the latest innovations is the Paradox Rift expansion, which is set to launch on 3 November, 2023.

The Pokémon Paradox Rift expansion is based on ‘Paradox Pokémon’, which are mysterious and powerful creatures introduced in the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet video games. Paradox Pokémon are anomalies existing outside of the normal timeline, and they can be either Ancient or Future versions of familiar Pokemon. It is a little odd to wrap one’s head around the idea, but it is seemingly a means of keeping the door open for Pokémon of, quite literally at this point, anything and everything.

As the name implies, the Paradox Rift expansion will feature both Ancient and Future Paradox Pokémon as new card variants, each with their own unique traits and abilities. In this sense, Ancient Paradox Pokémon are fierce and resilient, with attacks dealing massive damage and high HP values ensuring they are a challenge to knock out. Future Paradox Pokemon, on the other hand, are sleek and cunning, with abilities and attacks harbouring extra effects to allow for some clever tactics. Both card variants will have distinctive icons – namely an ‘Ancient’ or ‘Future’ signifier – and backgrounds to distinguish them from regular cards.

In addition to the new Paradox Pokémon cards, the Paradox Rift expansion will also bring back Technical Machine cards, which were last seen in the Rising Rivals expansion all the way back in 2009. For the uninitiated, Technical Machine cards are special Pokemon Tool cards that can be attached to any Pokémon to give them access to a new attack. These cards can be useful for adding versatility and surprise to a deck, as well as complementing certain strategies – especially with the new Ancient and Future variants on offer.

Much like more recent expansions, Paradox Rift will be fairly sizeable containing over 180 cards, including 13 Pokemon ex, seven Tera Pokémon ex, 34 illustration rare Pokémon, 15 special illustration rare Pokémon and Supporter cards, 28 ultra rare full-art etched Pokémon ex and Supporter cards, and seven hyper rare gold etched cards. Some of the notable cards in the set include Roaring Moon ex, Sandy Shocks ex, Iron Valiant ex, Iron Hands ex, Garchomp ex, Mewtwo ex, Armarouge ex, Gholdengo ex, and more.

The Paradox Rift expansion will be available in booster packs, Elite Trainer Boxes, and special collections at participating retailers worldwide and is most likely already available for pre-order from specialist retailers.

Fans who might want to try out the Paradox Rift expansion before its official release date can do so digitally via the Pokemon TCG Live app for iOS, Android, macOS and Windows devices from 2 November, 2023. The app will let gamers collect and battle with the new Paradox Pokemon cards online, as well as receive some in-game bonuses when they log in.

Right on the heals of Paldea Evolved, Obsidian Flames and Pokémon 151, collector’s might not be all too keep for the Paradox Rift expansion. Pokémon trainers on the other hand, might be pleased with the fun extras on offer. Whether players prefer the brute force of Ancient Paradox Pokemon or the finesse of Future Paradox Pokemon, there seems to be a decent amount of options to build new and interesting decks, but only time will tell if this new set will be worthy for collectors.

Owner, founder and editor-in-chief at Vamers, Hans has a vested interest in geek culture and the interactive entertainment industry. With a Masters degree in Communications and Ludology, he is well read and versed in matters relating to video games and communication media, among many other topics of interest.