After the events of Battle Road Spring & Summer 2007, a final series of winter regional tournaments was held around Japan from November 25, 2007 to January 20, 2008. This was known as the Pokemon Card Game Winter Challenge.
The Winter Challenge event distributed a few new exclusive promo cards, but also was a source for several previously-issued promos, most notably the Mysterious Pearl that was previously awarded in Battle Road Spring 2007. This series of tournaments is responsible for a large majority of the Mysterious Pearl cards distributed.
The event was held nationwide, with 8 total locations and 11 total days.
- Hokkaidō tournament: Sapporo Park Hotel on November 25, 2007.
- Chūbu tournament: Nagoya City Small and Medium Enterprise Reconstruction Hall on November 25, 2007.
- Kansai tournament: Kobe International Exhibition Hall on December 8 and 9, 2007.
- Hokushin’etsu tournament: Toki Messe on December 9, 2007.
- Tōhoku region tournament: Yume Messe Miyagi on December 22 and 23, 2007.
- Kyūshū tournament: Marine Messe Fukuoka on December 24, 2007
- Kantō tournament: Sunshine City on January 12 and 13, 2008
- Chūgoku tournament: Venue NTT Cred Hall on January 20, 2008
Admission was free, and unlike the Battle Road tournaments, participants didn’t have to enter a lottery to participate. Instead, the main tournament was first-come, first-serve, with a variety of side events at each venue.
All participants who attended the event (they didn’t have to play in the main tournament) received a promo Leafeon card, presented to them in a “Pokemon Card Game Winter Challenge Event Play Guide”. This guide book also doubled as a small card binder, with a single binder page to put cards won at the event into.
The Challenge Arena
The main tournament at the Winter Challenges were know as the “Challenge Arena”. Players were divided into junior, senior, and master age divisions. All participants received an exclusive Glaceon promo card.
“Winning Battle” Tournament Structure
Junior league players would bring 30-card half decks and play 3-prize matches. Senior and Master league players would use full 60-card decks and play 4-prize matches.
Players were free to play anyone in their age division, and 2 consecutive wins would award 1 point. The goal for players was to rack up as many points as possible within the tournament’s open time to earn prizes. The tournament ran from 9:00 AM local time to 4:30 PM.
Upon reaching 3 points, players would earn the “Victory Award”, a Time-Space Distortion promo card given away at the previous Battle Road 2007 events.
Reaching 7 points would award players with the “Excellence Award”, which earned them a Mysterious Pearl.
Winter Challenge featured many side events. Most of these side events issued promo cards, though not all of them were exclusive to this event.
Pokemon TCG First Classroom DP
This event was located at the “First time stage”, a pun on the theme of “time” controlled by the legendary Pokemon, Dialga.
Previously available at Battle Road Summer 2007, this event was not free to enter, and cost 300 yen. It was an interactive activity that taught kids how to play the Pokemon TCG. It was divided into Piplup, Turtwig, and Chimchar classes. The Pikachu class offered at the summer tournaments was not available at this event. 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. Participants at this even also received a booster pack of the latest expansion, Moonlight Pursuit or Dawn Dash.
Entry Battle / Entry Tournament
This was the second event at the “First time stage”.
This side event was also at the Battle Road Summer 2007 events alongside the Pokemon TCG First Classroom DP event. It was a small tournament that used preconstructed 30-card decks. Participants were able to select one of 3 cards that had previously been distributed in the “Pokémon Center Trade Please DP” event, held earlier in July 2007.
This side event was one of two at the “Open Space Stage”, a pun on the “space” controlled by the legendary Pokemon, Palkia. At this side event, a staff members cosplaying as an Elite Four member from the Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl games would battle.
Player who spectated and then answered quiz questions could get a promo Electabuzz card that was previously given out in the second “Pokémon Center Trade Please DP” event, held in November 2007.
This was the second event at the “Open space stage”.
Players would learn about trading cards between each other at this activity. After learning, they could take a quiz and earn a Magmar promo card previously given out in the second “Pokémon Center Trade Please DP” event, held in November 2007.
Challenge the Gym leader / Team Galactic
At this event, players could battle staff members dressed up as gym leaders or Elite Four members from the Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl games. The leaders of Team Galactic (the villainous organization in the games), Cyrus, Saturn, and Mars, were also there. Playing against them would award them an Infernape Lv. X card, along with a coin featuring Electivire and Magmortar.