Pokemon TCG

Take Azelfie

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I have been playing a lot of the PTCG recently, mostly playing SWSH ---> Battle Styles (or just swsh sets only) but I also wanted to dip my toes into some of the other formats just to check it out. I know that Welder decks in standard and probably expanded are really good so I wanted to build a deck with Magcargo GX, mostly due to me owning a Rainbow Rare version of the card in person, liking the cards abilities, and just because I really like Magcargo. I shoved in a full line Slugma + Ditto Prism Star (who can be used to evolve into any Pokemon) and 3 Magcargo GX (because it is the main attacker) as well as 2 of the Smooth Over Magcargo who compliments Magcargo GXs Crushing Charge ability. Alternatively if you have Oranguru from Sword and Shield and a fire energy in your hand you may also use that to set up for Magcargo GXs Crushing Charge attack. NOT ONLY THAT but Oranguru + Magcargo have insane synergy basically allowing you to grab ANY CARD from your deck. Just for perspective the only other cards in the game that do this are Camping Gear from Battle Styles which requires you to end your turn after doing so and Computer Search which not only requires you to discard 2 cards from your hand before using it but because it is an ACE SPEC, you can only use one copy of it. This flexibility is super helpful in allowing you to find all the pieces you need.

Magcargo (Celestial Storm)
[Ability] Smooth Over: Once during your turn (before your attack) you may search your deck for a card, shuffle the deck, then put the card on top of the deck.

Magcargo GX (Lost Thunder)
[Ability] Crushing Charge: Once during your turn (before your attack) you may discard the top card of your deck. If it's a basic energy card you may attach it to one of your Pokemon.

Oranguru (Sword and Shield)
[Ability] Primate Wisdom: Once during your turn you may switch the top card of your deck with a card in your hand.

Ditto Prism Star (Lost Thunder)
[Ability] Almighty Evolution: Once during your turn (before your attack), you may put any Stage 1 card from your hand onto this Pokémon to evolve it. You can’t use this Ability during your first turn or the turn this Pokémon was put into play.

For the attacks there are really only 2 attacks you ever want to use. The main attacker, Magcargo GX, has the capability to OHKO just about any mon in the game with the correct set up due to its attack being scalable. With Lava Flow you deal 50 damage + 50x, where x stands for the amount of energy you discard off that Pokemon. Of course it requires a lot of set up but due to Magcargo's own ability to accelerate energy as well as the other supporters in Blacksmith and Welder, you can charge up around 4 energy every single turn on average (1 Crushing Charge, 1 manual attachment, 2 from a supporter.) This allows you to reach numbers like discarding 3 to kill a low HP V Pokemon like Boltund V, Crobat V, and Dedenne V. Discarding 4 energy + a Choice Band allows you to OHKO Tag Team Pokemon such as Arceus, Dialga, & Palkia GX and Pikachu & Zekrom. And while it can be a bit of a stretch, you can even discard 6 energy to kill VMAXes which are the highest HP Pokemon in the game.

Though we also have a few secondary attacks here. The first one is Magcargo's GX attack, Burning Magma, which can be used early on if you don't have the tools to attack yet and simply discards the top 5 cards of the opponent's deck. Most of the time this can lead to you discarding an important one of trainers they may have in their deck though it can also slightly backfire by adding a supporter to their discard for them to VS Seeker. Oftentimes I don't go for this attack but it is okay in some circumstances. The real secondary attacks of the deck come from Volcanion who has a very powerful set up move in Flare Starter. If you choose to go second (which you should often do in this deck to play a Welder on your first turn) you can accelerate 3 energy from your deck to your Pokemon in any way you like. This is pretty good for getting to those higher numbers and still having energy left over for the following turn. And Volcanion also has a back up attack which isn't too important but might make KOing a VMax or Tag Team Pokemon easier. With High-Heat Blast, for two energy you deal 50 but if you have 4 energy in play it does 110 which again is helpful and can even curve the break point against certain VMAX pokemon (like Togekiss and Victini VMAX who have 310 HP) into making it so you only need to discard 3 energy as opposed to the 6 you needed before.

Magcargo GX (Lost Thunder)
[F][F][C] Lava Flow: 50+ damage. Discard any amount of basic energy from this Pokemon. This attack does 50 damage for each card you discarded this way.
[F] Burning Magma: Discard the top 5 cards of the opponent's deck. You can only use 1 GX attack in a game.

Volcanion (Unbroken Bonds)
[F] Flare Starter: Search your deck for a [F] energy and attach it to one of your Pokemon. If you go second and it is your first turn, instead search up to 3 [F] energy and attach them to your Pokemon in any way you like. Then, shuffle your deck.
[F][F] High-Heat Blast: 50+ damage. If you have at least 4 [F] energy in play, this attack does 60 more damage.

Next up are the trainers and supporters. This format has VS Seeker which is one of the most powerful cards of all time, it allows you to add any supporter from your retreat area to your hand. This synergizes well with another deck thinner in our format Battle Compressor to get specific Supporters into the retreat area. You can also choose to send some Fire Energy to the discard area as well have both Fire Crystal and Blacksmith who synergize with it. Some 1 of supporters we run to compliment VS Seeker. Brigette places 3 basic Pokemon from your deck onto the bench. Since your reliant on Magcargo's for the entire deck to work placing Slugma down quickly can allow you to get your entire deck online which makes her a fantastic inclusion in a deck like this. N is an infamous card and is an extremly good way to slow the opponent down if they are too far ahead. He makes both players shuffle their hand into their deck and draw cards equal to the prize cards remaining. This deck isn't too affected by N himself even if you are winning since your Pokemon basically allow you to draw into anything and everything you could ever want. One of the reasons we aren't affected by N is because of Colress who is one of the best draw cards ever printed in my opinion. He shuffles your hand into the deck and draws card equal to the amount of Pokemon in play and because of how bench heavy your deck is you'll often draw around 4/5 cards alone off of that and that's not even considering the opponent. If they don't have a lot of Pokemon in play Macargo can easily OHKO and end the match early but against decks that are using their bench space effectively this will give you a LOT of cards. Guzma is extremely powerful because he lets you swap your opponent's active Pokemon with one of their benched ones and do the same to you. This alongside the fact that Magcargo can OHKO most things means that setting up a Pokemon on the bench isn't really a safe play for the opponent. And we also run two Professor Juniper/Sycamore/Research which is a simple discard your hand and draw 7 cards. This is a great early game card for fishing for your set up cards like the Slugmas or Heavy Balls and such.

VS Seeker (Phantom Forces)
Put a Supporter card from your discard pile into your hand.

Battle Compressor (Phantom Forces)
Search your deck for up to 3 cards and discard them. Shuffle your deck afterward.

Brigette (BREAKthrough)
Search your deck for 1 Basic Pokémon-EX, or 3 Basic Pokémon (except for Pokémon-EX, and put them onto your Bench. Shuffle your deck afterward.
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack)

N (Dark Explorers + More)
Each player shuffles his or her hand into his or her deck. Then, each player draws a card for each of his or her remaining Prize cards.
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack)

Colress (Plasma Storm)
Shuffle your hand into your deck. Then, draw a number of cards equal to the number of Benched Pokémon (both yours and your opponent's).
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack)

Guzma (Burning Shadows)
Switch 1 of your opponent’s Benched Pokémon with their Active Pokémon. If you do, switch your Active Pokémon with 1 of your Benched Pokémon.
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack)

Professor's Research (Sword & Shield + More)
Discard your hand and draw 7 cards.
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack)

The other two supporters we run are 1 Blacksmith and 4 Welder. Welder is a crazy card who not only allows you to accelerate 2 energy from your hand onto a Pokemon but also draws you 3 cards afterwards. On top of your deck having crazy search potential you also has insane draw as well with this card. Blacksmith is similar but he accelerates from the discard area instead and doesn't draw you cards. He's more of a late game card since you'll probably have a lot more Fire Energy in the discard and saving energy in your deck and hand can be useful for proccing the Crushing Charge. As previously mentioned we have Battle Compressor and Fire Crystal who can both add energy to the discard which can then be added to the hand via Fire Crystal. Lastly we have 2 different kind of supporters here in Heat Factory and Giant Hearth. Heat Factory allows you to discard a fire energy from your hand to draw 3 which is good for finding your cards in the early game to get set up and Giant Hearth allows you to discard a card from your hand to find 2 fire energy. You can even discard a fire energy to duplicate the amount in your hand. This is an especially important card for making sure you are getting full value out of your Welder.

Blacksmith (Flash Fire)
Attach 2 Fire Energy cards from your discard pile to 1 of your Fire Pokémon.
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack)

Welder (Unbroken Bonds)
Attach up to 2 Fire Energy cards from your hand to 1 of your Pokémon. If you do, draw 3 cards.
You may play only 1 Supporter card during your turn (before your attack)

Fire Crystal (Unbroken Bonds)
Put 3 Fire Energy cards from your discard pile into your hand.

Giant Hearth (Unified Minds)
Once during each player’s turn, that player may discard a card from their hand. If they do, that player searches their deck for up to 2 Fire Energy cards, reveals them, and puts them into their hand. Then, that player shuffles their deck.

Heat Factory Prism Star (Lost Thunder)
Once during each player’s turn, that player may discard a Fire Energy card from their hand. If they do, they draw 3 cards.

Lastly are some of the extra items and Pokemon here. Heavy Ball allows you to search your deck for any Pokemon with a retreat cost of 3 or higher which can allow you to search for Slugma or either Magcargo. Speaking of, although I'm running the Slugma from Primal Clash, Slugma from either Cosmic Eclipse or Lost Thunder would also be also be usable here. While they all don't have the greatest attacks available to them what's more important is their 3 retreat cost which makes it searchable off Heavy Ball. Computer Search is still quite good even though the combination of Oranguru + Magcargo can do it for free because it can instead allow them to set up for Magcargo GXs Charging Crush instead. Though if you wish this card is easily replaceable by Dowsing Machine, another Ace Spec who discards two cards from your hand to retrieve any card from the retreat. We also run 2 Float Stone, a card that negates the retreat cost on Pokemon allowing to more freely move about. Choice Band which adds +30 damage to the attacking Pokemon when fighting an EX or GX. since most basic GX/EX Pokemon sit around 180/280 HP this is the perfect number to hit if you wanted to those numbers easily. And finally we have Bodybuilding Dumbbells which is moreso a filler card BUT it brings Magcargo GXs HP to 240 which is just barely enough to escape Zacian's Brave Blade from OHKOing you.

Heavy Ball (Next Destinies + BREAKthrough)
Search your deck for a Pokémon with a Retreat Cost of 3 or more, reveal it, and put it into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward.

Computer Search ACE SPEC (Boundaries Crossed)
Discard 2 cards from your hand. (If you can't discard 2 cards, you can't play this card.) Search your deck for a card and put it into your hand. Shuffle your deck afterward.
You may only run 1 ACE SPEC in your deck.

Dowsing Machine ACE SPEC (Plasma Storm)
Discard 2 cards from your hand. (If you can't discard 2 cards, you can't play this card.) Put a Trainer card from your discard pile into your hand.
You may only run 1 ACE SPEC in your deck.

Float Stone (Plasma Freeze + BREAKthrough)
The Pokémon this card is attached to has no Retreat Cost.

Choice Band (Guardians Rising)
The attacks of the Pokémon this card is attached to do 30 more damage to your opponent's Active Pokémon-GX or Active Pokémon-EX (before applying Weakness and Resistance).

Bodybuilding Dumbbells (Burning Shadows)
The Stage 1 Pokémon this card is attached to gets +40 HP.

Some cards that aren't in the list but heavily worth considering are Rescue Stretcher which allows you to either choose one Pokemon from the retreat are and add it to your hand or shuffle 3 Pokemon from your retreat area into your deck. This is especially helpful in case you prized the other Smooth Over Magcargo for example. You can also run another copy of Oranguru, since it is a really important card for the deck it would suck a lot if it ever got prized. Finally is Switch and Escape Rope which are just a 'just in case' card where you don't want to Guzma that turn and have your Float Stones in play already. This can be helpful if they Guzma a non-GX Magcargo, Volcanion, or Oranguru into the active and you don't have Float Stone on them. Nothing too notable otherwise.

Rescue Stretcher (Guardians Rising)
Choose 1:
•Put a Pokémon from your discard pile into your hand.
•Shuffle 3 Pokémon from your discard pile into your deck.

Switch (Sword & Shield + A LOT MORE)
Switch your Active Pokémon with 1 of your Benched Pokémon.

Escape Rope (Battle Styles + More)
Each player switches their Active Pokémon with 1 of their Benched Pokémon. Your opponent switches first. (If a player does not have a Benched Pokémon, they don’t switch Pokémon.)

Oh and finally we are running a 1 of Dedenne GX and Crobat V. When you play Dedenne you discard your hand and draw 6 cards and when Crobat is played you draw cards til you have 6 in your hand. And the energy count is at 14.

Dedenne-GX (Unbroken Bonds)
[Ability] Dedechange: When you play this Pokémon from your hand onto your Bench during your turn, you may discard your hand and draw 6 cards. You can't use more than 1 Dedechange Ability each turn.

Corbat-V (Darkness Ablaze)
[Ability] Dark Asset: When you play this Pokémon from your hand onto your Bench during your turn, you may draw cards until you have 6 cards in your hand. You can’t use more than 1 Dark Asset Ability each turn.

That's it, I just wanted to really talk about some of the decks I'm playing since I've recently gotten back into the game and I'm having a lot of fun. The last time I played the TCG was around the end of the Black and White era so being able to replay the game has been an absolute joy.

 
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I was able to get my hands on one of the 7-pack Shining Fates Boxs (The Dragapult one, really cool).

I got 3 shinies! I got a Full-Art Shiny Grimmsnarl V, Shiny Rotom, and Shiny Morpeko.

My younger brother got a Crobat one, he didn't have a great luck. He got a Crobat V (not shiny), the cool Rainbow Yveltal, but only one shiny, a Nickit.
 

biggie

champ
is a Live Chat Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
Does anyone play the online version of the TCG? I've recently gotten pretty into it and am spending an increasing amount of time playing.

Right now I have an Eternatus deck and Mad Party as my two main decks. I'm trying to build a Cramorant V deck with Porygon-Z, but I still need a few pieces.
 
Since a lot of people here may not know about it, I have two websites I would massively recommend to those getting into the TCG and want to know more about the competitive scene and deckbuilding:

https://play.limitlesstcg.com/tournaments

Limitless is the website for TCG tournaments. It's used to run almost all unofficial online tournaments at this point, standard and expanded and for fun formats, and even if you aren't interested in playing, you can use it to look at all the winning lists and see what decks are doing well. Here's an example screenshot of the top 8 of the recent chill tournament with >500 players (!!!!), and if you were to click on the button on the right you could see decklists.

1619198160675.png

https://dinodata.app/

Dino data is one for the data nerds out there. It collects and organizes a huge amount of data from online tournaments into a bunch of different stats, including matchup spreads and win percentages of certain card choices vs others in decks.
Here's the matchup graph for most of the top decks in standard format as an example:

1619197550116.png
 
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biggie

champ
is a Live Chat Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
Since a lot of people here may not know about it, I have two websites I would massively recommend to those getting into the TCG and want to know more about the competitive scene and deckbuilding:

https://play.limitlesstcg.com/tournaments

Limitless is the website for TCG tournaments. It's used to run almost all unofficial online tournaments at this point, standard and expanded and for fun formats, and even if you aren't interested in playing, you can use it to look at all the winning lists and see what decks are doing well. Here's an example screenshot of the top 8 of the recent chill tournament with >500 players (!!!!), and if you were to click on the button on the right you could see decklists.

View attachment 335011

https://dinodata.app/

Dino data is one for the data nerds out there. It collects and organizes a huge amount of data from online tournaments into a bunch of different stats, including matchup spreads and win percentages of certain card choices vs others in decks.
Here's the matchup graph for most of the top decks in standard format as an example:

View attachment 335007
I've been on Limitless looking for decklists recently. One thing I don't get is a bunch of the decklists have cards that aren't released yet in them. How is this possible? (For reference, a Galarian Moltres in an Eternatus deck)

I am very much looking forward to Chilling Reign being released, hoping for some psychic cards to be released to help check all the Urshisfus running rampant.
 
I've been on Limitless looking for decklists recently. One thing I don't get is a bunch of the decklists have cards that aren't released yet in them. How is this possible? (For reference, a Galarian Moltres in an Eternatus deck)

I am very much looking forward to Chilling Reign being released, hoping for some psychic cards to be released to help check all the Urshisfus running rampant.
You might be looking at Japanese results. Cards generally release 1-3 months earlier in Japan.

1619204808548.png


The tournaments labeled JS or JE use Japanese formats which feature the new cards not released here yet.
 

TheMantyke

Sentient Movepool Trivia
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I've been playing the TCG since 2014 with obvious off time thanks to corona. I absolutely can't believe what's happening to the physical cards right now.

Target and other stores are going to stop carrying the game thanks to people getting so desperate for product they're stalking distributor trucks. This is astounding! I lived through the amiibo panic back a few years ago and it led to some camp outs but... not this!

It has been entertaining seeing stuff no one cared about back in 2018 like shining legends and that XY deluxe box suddenly becoming the new hot shit, but now I'm worried what'll happen once corona calms down. Are kids going to be able to get this stuff anymore? Our league was like 70% kids and now they're not going to have anything to actually play with. The fact an eevee set is lined up in just a few months just seems like it's going to make things even worse. At least the singles market seems mostly unchanged outside of the fancy alts of ultra rare stuff.
 

Take Azelfie

More flags more fun
Yeah it really sucks, the Walmarts in my area are still providing but they are changing their restocking schedule, limiting the products each person can buy, and which of the three stores in my area gets the good products that week... It's impressive but the fact that they have to go to such lengths in the first place is sad.
 

biggie

champ
is a Live Chat Contributoris a Battle Simulator Moderator
I think it'll begin to level out. It just so happened to be a perfect storm of people with money and nothing to do (thanks corona), the 25th anniversary of the TCG, and a reduction of product being made thanks to raw materials being used for other things (PPE, etc.). They're already talking about reprinting some of the more sought after sets and I think a lot of the scalpers who are throttling the already short supply will move on to something else.
 

Pikachu315111

Ranting & Raving!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
So they released the standard card list for the new Eevee-based TCG set, Eevee Heroes, and there's something about it that strikes me odd.

Looking through the list you may notice only 4 of the Eeveelutions got VMAX (Umbreon, Leafeon, Glaceon, & Sylveon). This is because the other four got their VMAX separated into the Special Set (you know, the premade decks which nowadays is two or more in a box so they can charge more that two people can start playing right out of one box). That's all find and good... but why separate Umbreon and Espeon? Sylveon is a standalone so they could have easily packaged it with the Gen I trio.

"Do people really still pair the Eeveelutions with the Gens they were released?"

True, once an Eeveelution is released its pretty much part of the mass, only thing originally connecting them was evolution method but even now that has been muddled a bit. Still, a lot of veteran players probably keep them paired in their mind out of either nostalgia or just to remember them and pairs do share some design similarities the other Eeveelutions don't. Oh, and the TCG itself pairs them together via Trainer Cards which power them up!

I just find it odd (and a bit funny) how they separated Umbreon and Espeon in this way only to then have a Trainer which links the two together!

This also expands onto which ones get the special Fighting Styles trait. Umbreon gets Single-Strike while Sylveon gets Rapid-Strike. Heck, even if they did switch Sylveon with Espeon but didn't want Espeon to have a Fighting Style, I'd say Glaceon would make a bit more sense being Rapid-Strike as it too shares a Trainer Card with another Eeveelution (and then in the Special Set they could have Vaporeon being Rapid-Strike and Sylveon being Single-Strike, that way all generations with an Eeveelution has an Eevee with a Battling Style (and each of them having a power-up Trainer Card that isn't shared with another that has a Fighting Style)).

EDIT: I also noticed they only have one Eevee card, don't have a VMAX for it (yes, I know they already released one, but still), and also it has a rather seemingly powerful move where for one colorless Energy it can search for 3 Pokemon-V cards in your deck and put them in your hand!

EDIT 2: Wait a second, is the only reason they're doing this Eevee Heroes set because the current TCG gimmick are "V" Pokemon?
 
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A Wonderful Card;
another essay by xaviere
1622820422225.jpeg

As you read in the garbordor essay, this was the card people wanted to pull in Guardians Rising. The other tapu’s were good, but this was very good for support, and most decks ran at least 2.

Part 1, The Stats; 170 HP was average for a gx, and not having a weakness was appreciated(although not having a resistance was annoying). A retreat cost of 1 was good, and it was a psychic type, so it could hit weakness on garbodor and other things weak to psychic.

Part 2, The gx attack; this was fine. Most times you wanted to use a better gx attack or acerola if you wanted to heal, but it had it’s uses.

Part 3; The normal attack; Energy drive was mewtwo ex’s x ball, but it couldn’t hit another tapu lele for weakness. The attack was good, and costing a single double colourless energy(aka dce) was also good, but if it could hit another lele for weakness, this would be a repeat of the mewtwo wars back when mewtwo was released. (the best way to beat a mewtwo ex with a dce, was with your own dce mewtwo, and a plus power.)

Part 4, A Wondrous Ability; Wonder tag was what made this so good. For the cost of putting this on your bench, you could get any supporter, for free. You could get a kukui for an extra 30 damage, a skyla for any item card, or a guzma to preform a switch and bosses orders, in the same card. Keep in mind these are only 3 examples, there are probably more that could be used.

(it’s gonna be a while until the next essay, so it won’t be posted soon.)
 
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Pikachu315111

Ranting & Raving!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
Sylveon listed as Psychic just ain't right.

#BringBacktheFairyType
I think a major problem with Fairy is that they introduced it with its own Energy Type. Had it been like the Dragon-type and used a combination of other Energy-types probably would have stayed around longer. But as biggie said, Dragon-type is coming back at least temporarily so Fairy may too, probably minus its own Energy.
 

Pikachu315111

Ranting & Raving!
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there’s actually an interesting piece of trivia about fairy energy!
so it can’t be found in swsh on packs, which would mean that normally, you wouldn’t be able to find it with the new energy design.
View attachment 347806you can find fairy energy in the elite trainer box energy pack! Currently, this is the only way to get the new fairy energy design.
Huh, if I had to guess why, it's probably because there are still a few Fairy-type Pokemon still legal. And since the recent TCGs don't have Fairy-types, pointless to have it in booster packs as it would feel like you've wasted space on a card the buyer can't use with the set. HOWEVER, for a special TCG box meant to be an accessory booster? Sure, throw in a pack of Fairy energy, at worst they just won't use it but can still use everything else in the box including the other packs of energy (in this case the Fairy Energy pack isn't taking away anything unlike in the Booster Pack).
 
What's everybody's opinions on the upcoming dragon. Types cards?they look pretty op with dnite V ,the insanely buffed hydreigon,duraludon vmax and dialga. (Not that I play it I just collect it so I'm a noob in tcg and still have aot to learn lol)
 
Dragons not having any weaknesses or resistances is a choice. I get nothing is weak to dragon but I don't think anything's really weak to Colorless either but it gets weaknesses/resistances
 
I'm glad the dragon pokemon have no weakness. Considering they're all basically kneecapped by their absurd attack costs it helps balance them out, especially since weakness is so defining in a 3 prize format. Shame that of the ones revealed so far, the only ones close to viable are Ray Vmax and maybe flapple and altaria.
 
V-Union cards are coming to TCG, bringing back the multi-card mechanics last seen since Call of Legends, but on a whole new level. The revealed unions are Mewtwo, Greninja, and Zacian, all in their own prepackaged sets. I relatively just entered playing with TCG, so it is fun being introduced to massive mechanics early. Also since someone else will post it if I don't...
 

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