Over the years, the Pokémon TCG has featured many different patterns and styles used on their holographic cards. Some styles lasted for years, while others had short stays, making them markers for their short time in the franchise. In this next installment of A Holographic History of the Pokémon TCG, let's take a look at the first-ever card style that asked players to bring two pieces together to form a single image on a playable card: Pokémon LEGEND.
Pokémon LEGEND cards arrived during the HeartGold SoulSilver era. Along with Pokémon Prime, they replaced Lv.X cards as the sought-after Ultra Rares that collectors wanted to pull. While Prime cards featured holographic borders and backgrounds to create some level of continuity with Lv.X cards, LEGENDs were a completely different kind of pull. Closer in style to Full Arts due to their lack of a large border for text, LEGEND cards depicted the artwork of two Pokémon sideways in order to connect to another card. To see the full image, the cards would be tilted horizontally and connected. Most LEGENDs depicted two Pokémon together, but there were Ho-Oh and Lugia LEGENDs that depicted the two on their own.
The entire surface of these cards was holographic, leaving ample room for the illustrations to sparkle. Like all holos from this era, these used the classic galaxy foil which was active in the Pokémon TCG until the Black & White era, when the horizontal line style took over.
LEGENDs posed a challenge for binder collectors like myself. I opted to collect these by displaying the LEGENDs in each set on their own page, with the remaining space taken up by filler cards turned around, in order to let the artwork for these dazzling, connected cards to have the room to shine.
As per the name, these cards only depicted Legendary species. They arrived in HeartGold SoulSilver base and continued through HGSS – Unleashed, HGSS – Undaunted, and HGSS- Triumphant. Species that appeared on these cards were Ho-Oh (solo), Lugia (solo), Entei & Raikou, Raikou & Suicune, Suicune & Entei, Kyogre & Groudon, Rayquaza & Deoxys, Darkrai & Cresselia, and Palkia & Dialga.
Interestingly, the connecting style of card has now returned to the Pokémon TCG with V-UNION cars. These cards depict a single species on a large image divided into a whopping four connecting cards.