BBM's final baseball set of 2018 (well that has a cover date of 2018 anyway) is the Fusion set which was released about three weeks ago. This is the third edition of this set and it's similar to the two previous ones - which is pretty much what you'd expect from BBM lately.
The 144 card Fusion set basically operates as a season summary set. The players who are included in the "regular" cards are selected due to them achieving some notable feat during the 2018 season - I'll touch on this more in a moment. There's also a 24 card subset highlighting the statistical leaders for the 2018 season. There's also a 10 cards "1st Version Update" subset and a 14 card "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset.
There are 96 "regular" cards in the set. Half of these (48 cards) highlight an achievement by a player this season. The other 48 cards feature a player that has a relationship with those achievements. Confused? Let me attempt to explain with an example. Kenta Uehara of the Fighters hit a home run on June 18 of last season. Uehara thus became the seventh pitcher to hit a home run in the 14 seasons of interleague play. Uehara is card #037 in the set. Card #038 is Tsutomu Iwamoto, a Fighters pitcher who homered during interleague play back in 2005.
As with the two previous sets it's not always entirely obvious to English speakers what the achievement being celebrated on each card is (although I know that Shun Yamaguchi's no-hitter is one of them). One thing I need to point out is that the obvious milestones like Seiichi Uchikawa's 2000 hits are not covered here but rather in the "Great Record" insert set. These cards only cover the regular season so Tomoyuki Sugano's no-hitter against the Swallows in the Climax Series is not included. The cards are not evenly distributed per team - there's six cards each for the Tigers and Lions but only one Eagle. Most of the big names are included - Yuki Yanagita, Shogo Akiyama, Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh, Hayato Sakamoto, Yoshihiro Maru and Tetsuto Yamada. The biggest omissions are Sugano, Takahiro Norimoto and Seiya Suzuki (although Sugano and Norimoto both show up in the Leader subset). Norichika Aoki has two cards - one for something he did on May 3rd and the other for something on June 14th. The sole Eagle is Kazuki Tanaka who was named PL Rookie Of The Year - Tanaka did not appear in either the 1st or 2nd Version set this year.
It seems that for the Fusion sets BBM departs a little more than normal from their standard "pitchers pitching, batters batting" photos so a lot of these cards have great photos. Here's some good ones:
The "Leader" subset features the 2018 statistical leaders for 12 categories for each league - Batting Average, Home Runs, RBIs, Hits, OBP, Stolen Bases, ERA, Winning Percentage, Wins, Saves, Hold Points and Strikeouts. If a player led the league in multiple categories then he has multiple cards - for example Tomoyuki Sugano led the Central League in both ERA and Strikeouts and therefore has two cards in the subset. However he tied for the league lead in victories with Daichi Ohsera of the Carp and so the two share a card. The Leader cards are numbered #097 to #120.
The numbers for the "1st Version Update" cards pick up where this year's 2nd Version set left off - they're numbered #601 to #610. The cards use this year's 1st Version design. The players include three players who were traded this season - Hiromi Oka who was traded from the Fighters to the Marines, Hikaru Itoh who was traded from the Buffaloes to the Baystars and Hiroyuki Shirasaki who was traded from the Baystars to the Buffaloes (for Itoh). Itoh is the only one of the three who had a 1st Version card with his original team. Two of the other players were foreign players who signed in July - Ariel Miranda of the Hawks and Kyle Martin of the Lions. Four of the players were ikusei players who were registered to the 70-man roster and played for their ichi-gun team - Kotaro Ohtake of the Hawks, Geronimo Franzua of the Carp and Samuel Adames and CC Mercedes of the Giants. That's nine of the ten players. The tenth player I'm actually very annoyed at BBM for including. It's Duente Heath of the Lions and the reason I'm annoyed about it is that BBM included a "1st Version Update" card for Heath in the 2nd Version set. They could have included any number of other players - there was a large number (for NPB) of mid-season trades as well as a bunch of guys moving from the ikusei squad to the 70-man roster of various teams. Hell they could have actually had a "1st Version Update" card of Kazuki Tanaka. But for some reason they choose a second card of Heath. Nothing against Heath - just don't know why they'd do an extra card for him.