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Ace Spec cards return to Pokémon in Paradox Rift

When I first read the news coming out of Pokémon Worlds, my immediate reaction was “what the heck is an ace spec card?” While I collected the cards back when the game first launched, I only just started playing it recently. For newer players, the term “ace spec” seems completely alien, but for long-time players it can trigger some painful memories of broken interactions. This card type hasn’t been seen since the Black and White days. So what is it?

Powerful, Unique Items

Ace Spec cards are item cards with powerful effects. So powerful that, like Radiant Pokémon, you can only have one in your deck. Some of the original ace spec items let you discard cards to tutor, or gave certain Pokémon new abilities. Scramble Switch lets you switch your active Pokémon out and shift its energy. Gardevoir would like a word with this card.

We don’t know yet what ace spec cards we’ll be seeing yet in Paradox Rift – just that we’ll be getting them. I would love to see some of the older ones (like Scramble Switch and Master Ball) reprinted. Given the power level difference between cards back in 2013 and now, I can only imagine the sorts of new goodies they might cook up.

Ancient and Future Pokémon

Paradox Rift, as the name implies, will also bring paradox Pokémon to the card game. These are classified into two groups: Ancient and Future. Speculation is that there will be special interactions based upon which classification a card falls into. More than likely there will be items, trainers and special energies that synergize with each. Even without those, the few cards that have been spoiled already look pretty powerful.

Oh. And the art is cool.

I really like the ability on this card. Thermal Reactor says “Once during your turn, when this Pokémon moves from your bench to the active spot, you may move any amount of fire energy from your other Pokémon to it.” If my local meta wasn’t dominated by Chien Pao EX, and Iron Moth wasn’t weak to water type, I’d be pretty excited to throw this into my Arcanine EX deck. It’s a nice backup if Armarouge is taken out.

The downside? Heat Ray (a) only hits for 120 and (b) can’t be used on the next turn. Fortunately, there’s a good chance new Ace Spec cards might give these ancient and future Pokémon additional abilities.

Only time will tell

We’ve still got quite a while until Paradox Rift comes out. Official release isn’t until November 3rd, 2023 in the US. Keep checking back here and over at Pokémon Rundown for updates as we get closer!

About the Author
Silver has been playing Magic: The Gathering and other trading card games off and on since 1999, and is a lifelong roleplayer. They believe in Rule 0 and The Rule of Cool, and that the gaming table should be a safe space for everyone.

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