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Complete Expansion Review: Pokémon TCG: Pokémon GO Special Set

During the Sword & Shield era, the Pokémon TCG has released at least one special expansion every year. A special expansion is a set of cards that does not include the current era's title in its name and is often directly themed to a certain topic. Another feature of special expansions is that they come only in set-specific products rather than booster boxes and individual packs. For example, a main series set would be Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance and Sword & Shield – Lost Origin, while a special set would be Shining Fates, Celebrations, and the topic of this new spotlight series, the Pokémon GO expansion. Released on July 1st, 2022, this special set was made in partnership with Niantic Labs, the mobile developer behind the iconic game Pokémon GO. The set adapts and pays homage to certain elements from the game while also continuing current elements of the TCG including VSTARs, Radiant Pokémon, Alternate Arts, and more. Follow me through a journey through this set as we appreciate the artwork, discuss the card's place in the set, and talk about what certain elements of the expansion may imply for the future of the Pokémon TCG. Today, we continue a final campaign review.

Cards of Pokémon GO. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Cards of Pokémon GO. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Pokémon GO seeks to pay homage to the game on which it's based. It does this by showcasing elements of the game in card art, such as depicting the incredible Defender Blissey on top of a Gym while other cards show Pokémon Lured to a stop. Many of the cards by N-DESIGN Inc. are rendered like the GO Snapshot mechanic, blending photography of real-life locations and even people with 3D artwork of Pokémon.

Cards of Pokémon GO. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Cards of Pokémon GO. Credit: Pokémon TCG

The chase cards in this set are Mewtwo VSTAR in its Rainbow Rare, Gold Secret Rare, and standard form, as well as Mewtwo V Alternate Art which pays tribute to the original Legendary Raids trailer from the game. Also, the three Starters get Radiant Pokémon cards here which can be pulled in the Reverse Holo section. I love Radiant Venusaur but found Radiant Blastoise and Radiant Charizard to be completely underwhelming. The overall set is very strong, but these cards seem like simple drawings that would've been better as uncommons rather than actual chase cards.

Final Rating

7/10: This special Pokémon TCG set based on Pokémon GO is a strong set with interesting cards, with only really the Radiants leaving something to be desired. The GO Snapshot-based cards are visually interesting, the game references are fun, and the chase cards, while they are not high in number, are interesting and strong.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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