Custom Sets: Pokémon Gold and Silver, part 2
Hello! Today’s post will discuss reprints and their effects on the design of my second Pokémon set.
One of my plans with these sets, in order to keep their size relatively controlled, is to reprint as few cards from previous sets as possible. That means only new pokémon from that generation, and only new TMs that didn’t appear in previous ones. A few things had to be reprinted in order to make the set more balanced and coherent, however.
Gen 1 Pokémon
Gen 2 has new evolution stages for gen 1 pokémon, which means that gen 1 pokémon are directly referred to in those cards. Since the set is designed to be fully playable by itself, i had to include any gen 1 pokémon that are referenced by gen 2 cards. I only reprinted cards i strictly had to, however. For instance, Clefairy is referenced by Cleffa, but Clefable is not, so the latter isn’t included. Similarly, Kingdra references Seadra, and Seadra itself references Horsea, so both of those were included. Most of these had little impact on the overall design, though they did contribute to blue’s overflow of cards (which i’ll discuss next week). I did change the art and pokédex entries on these, just to make them a little different.
Existing Magic cards
As i mentioned last week, i make these sets exclusively with content from the games and nothing else. As is the nature of things, however, names do end up repeating themselves, in this case for TMs. This gen there were 5 of these cases. Endure worked just fine. Dragon Breath was a little odd, and it made me tweak a few mana costs to ensure it had some targets, but it was also fine; i upped it to uncommon because the effect is a little niche. Sandstorm is a horrible card that not only breaks the color pie (should be white) but also ruined the enchantment semi-cycle i had planned for the weather attacks and i hate it; i also upped it to uncommon, but this one mainly so that it would show up less often. The final two were trickier. Protect is one half of a split card; i’m not sure what Wizard’s policy is on reprinting halves by themselves, but it made little sense to me so i made a new card instead. Nightmare also had to be a new card, for reasons that should be obvious. I’m bundling these two under the parallel universe that my Evolve mechanic lives in.
Gens 1 and 2 share a few TMs. As mentioned above, i didn’t want to reprint any to make the set feel new and keep it relatively small. At the end of design, however, it became apparent to me that several staple effects were missing, and i chose to reprint four TMs to fill the gap a little. White got Hyper Beam, blue got Psychic (which i highly regret not having made a hard counter – that is, a spell that can counter any type of spell – in gen 1; i had little choice in this gen, but on the next one i should be able to fix that), black got Dream Eater, and red got Fireblast (which is itself a reprint, clearly one of the better ones). Unfortunately, mono green literally did not have a single TM in both gens except for Blizzard, and it should be obvious why i didn’t want to reprint that again. This also made me realize that i’ll inevitably have to reprint more TMs in future gens, and that made me try to design more staple cards that i could easily reprint in the future, which led directly to Hidden Power’s redesign (it was a janky color-changing aura before, so no real harm done). I also added new art to these.
Gen 2 only has two new pokémon that evolve from a stone, and both of those evolve from Sun Stone, a stone also new to this gen. Regardless, i decided to include gen 1’s stones to aid with mana fixing. These don’t have new art because they’re all from the same artist and i wanted to keep the consistency (it’s also not easy to find fanart of stones).
The gyms are different, so they weren’t reprinted. The functionality is exactly the same, however, so the new ones act as functional reprints. As with last gen, only eight of these lands are gyms; i made sure that the two that didn’t get a gym last gen (white/blue and white/black) got one this gen. More gyms also makes it easier to trigger Victory Road, which returns with new art. It should go without saying that each basic land type was also reprinted with new art.
All the reprinted cards are now available in the card gallery. Next week i’ll start discussing how the set was balanced, namely its color distribution. Until then!