Following the events of Battle Road 2007 and the Winter Challenge, Battle Road 2008 was the final tournament series under the Battle Road brand that had begun back with Battle Road 2002. It was also the most brief regional tournament circuit of the Battle Roads, as only a spring tournament was held due to a bomb threat.
With only Battle Road Spring being held, only one trophy card was distributed for these tournaments. This was a previously released trophy, the Miracle Diamond.
Path to Worlds
The 2008 World Championships were held on August 15-17, 2008 in Florida, USA. The 1st place winners (there were 2 due to the “Block” tournament structure) of each age division for Battle Road Spring 2008 would be invited to the Champions League Spring 2008, and the winners of that tournament would be invited to Worlds.
Battle Road Spring 2008
The spring tournament was scheduled to occur at 5 venues nationwide, starting March 23, 2008. Only 2 of the regional tournaments occurred before a bomb threat caused the remaining 3 to be cancelled.
- Hokkaidō tournament: Sapporo Park Hotel, Sapporo on March 23, 2008.
- Kansai tournament: Asia & Pacific Trade Center (ATC), Osaka on March 30, 2008.
- Kantō tournament: Sunshine City, Tokyo on April 12 and 13, 2008.
- Chūbu tournament: Nagoya Congress Center, Nagoya on April 20, 2008.
- Kyūshū tournament: Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Fukuoka on April 29, 2008.
As with previous years, players were divided into junior, senior, and masters age divisions:
- Junior League / Born after 1997 (1997)
- Senior League / Born 1993-1996 (1993-1996)
- Master League / Born before 1992 (1992)
Not much documentation of Battle Road Spring 2008’s tournament structure survived, as most of the archived news about the event focused on the bomb threats and the event’s subsequent cancellation.
However, from winner records it seems like the tournament split competitors into 2 blocks: A Block, and B Block. The 1st and 2nd place winners of each block’s age division were awarded prizes.
For the initial qualifying round, we can assume that it likely either used the “Stage” structure or traditional qualifier structure from the previous year.
All visitors to the event received a Magnezone promo card. They also received a “Pokemon Card Game DP Card List” book, which had over 70 pages of card images from the DP expansions.
Players who participated in the main tournament received a cosmos holofoil Dusknoir card.
Those who were skilled enough to make it to the Final Tournament would receive a cosmos holofoil version of Cynthia’s Feelings.
The top 4 winners (1st and 2nd places from both blocks) of each regional tournament received a Miracle Diamond trophy card, presented in a new plaque design.
Since only 2 events of the Battle Road Spring 2008 were held, only 24 copies of Miracle Diamond were issued through this tournament series. This brings the total copies of Miracle Diamond to 120 (96 in Battle Road Summer 2007, 24 in 2008).
The 1st place winners of each A Block or B Block were invited to Champions League Spring 2008, the national championships match for Japan.
In April of 2008, the Pokemon Company received a threatening letter from an unknown individual warning of an explosive threat at the Battle Road events. In response to this, Pokemon cancelled the rest of the tournaments for Battle Road Spring 2008, and there was no subsequent Battle Road Summer 2008 tournament circuit.
To make up slightly for things, all members of the Pokemon Daisuki Club (the successor to the Pokemon Players Club) would receive a sealed pack of 3 cards in the mail. These 3 cards were the Magnezone, Dusknoir, and Pikachu given out in the spring tournaments.
Much like previous years, Battle Road 2008 also hosted a variety of side events at each venue.
This activity had participants answer quiz questions. Hints to these quiz questions were hidden throughout the venue. Answering 4 correctly would earn participants a Riolu card.
Unlike most cards given away at these events, this Riolu card was not a promo card. Instead, it was a Riolu from the Heatran vs. Regigigas preconstructed deck.
Participants could bring this Riolu to a Pokemon Center store and purchase a booster pack of the latest DP expansion, Temple of Anger or Cry of the Mysterious. Doing this would award them with a promo card of Riolu’s evolution, Lucario.
Battle Trial Website
Before attending Battle Road Spring 2008, players could visit the official Pokemon TCG website and play a Flash game called “Battle Trial”. They would have to present an achievement from playing the game on a mobile phone and show it to a staff member at the event. Doing so would award them with a cosmos holofoil Pikachu promo card.
Pokemon TCG First Classroom DP
This event returned from the Winter Challenge and Battle Road 2007. It cost 300 yen and was an interactive activity that taught kids how to play the Pokemon TCG. It was divided into Piplup, Turtwig, and Chimchar classes. Children would pick a class to join, and then would be loaned decks to play with to learn the game.
At the end of the class, they would receive a cosmos holofoil Pokemon card corresponding to their class, as well as a playmat and a “Pokemon TCG First Book”. These cards would be later re-released as non-holos in the 2008 Entry Pack DX.
Entry Battle / Entry Tournament
This side event was a small tournament that used preconstructed 30-card decks. It was meant for beginners, specifically those who had just completed the “Pokemon TCG First Class DP” activity. Players who participated in this event would earn a participation prize, but it is unknown what card it was.
Heatran vs. Regigigas One Day Battle
In this side event, players were randomly assigned to either the Heatran team or Regigigas team based on their player ID number. They would play games with 30-card half decks, and whichever team had the most wins overall would win. Participants would get a cosmos holofoil Buck’s Training promo card.
There were also “Victory Award” cards for the winner, as well as “Excellence Award” cards, but it is unknown what they were.
Another constant presence at every official tournament, this corner sold various official merchandise and Pokemon Center goods. Notably at Battle Road Spring 2008, this corner likely sold unlimited booster packs of the World Champions Pack, a special Japanese expansion containing cards from the English-exclusive EX Power Keepers set, as well as reprints of promotional cards like the Gold Star Eevee evolutions from the Pokemon Players Club.
The special set was first available in first edition through the Pokémon Card Game website and at Summer Battle Road 2007 venues. It was intended for Japanese players so they would not be at a disadvantage at the 2007 World Championships.
The Battle Road Spring 2008 packs were unlimited edition ones, and only sold at the event venues Sales corners. Due to the fact that the spring tournament was only held twice, unlimited World Champions Pack cards a much more rare than their 1st edition counterparts.
Battle Road 2008 was the final Battle Road tournament. It was replaced with the “Pokemon World Championships Japan National Team Decision Tournament” for the latter half of 2008. These tournaments awarded the final trophy card in the “trio” for this generation of tournaments, the Wonder Platinum.
The cosmos holofoil Cynthia’s Feelings awarded for Final Tournament players is also exceptionally rare since with only 2 tournaments ran, very few copies of the card were distributed. Without more detail on the tournament structure, it is unfortunately impossible to estimate the total number.