In May 2022, Pokémon TCG released the second main series set of 2022. The expansion, Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance, came out on May 27th, 2022. It is the tenth set under the Sword & Shield banner and is the first to include the Radiant Pokémon mechanic. Radiant Pokémon are similar to Shining Pokémon of the past as they include a Shiny Pokémon with holofoil and texture on the figure rather than the background. The difference, though, is a special holo pattern on the text area of the card. Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance also continues the Trainer Gallery, a special subset of Character Rares, Character Super Rares, Full Art Trainers, and Black & Gold VMAXes that began in the previous set, Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars. Follow me through a journey through this latest set as we appreciate the artwork, discuss the card’s place in the set, and discuss what certain elements of the expansion may imply for the future of the Pokémon TCG. Today, we check out my personal favorite V and VSTAR pair from this set.
Artist Shin Nagasawa delivers a standard Pokémon-V that is somehow even more beautiful and unique than the same Pokémon’s VSTAR. Hisuian Typhlosion’s design is stunningly gorgeous and strange, with purple and red balls of fire bursting forth from its body. This is the best look at the character’s design, and it’s both badass and creepy in this haunting illustration. The Hisuian Typhlosion VSTAR by 5ban Graphics is a much more intense shot as it shows the ancient version of Cyndaquil’s ultimate evolution lunging at the ‘screen’ as flames burst out all around it.
Stay tuned for the continuing journey through Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance. To look back on this series, click the Astral Radiance tag below. Next time, this journey continues with the main set.