In September 2022, Pokémon TCG released the second main series set of 2022. The expansion, Sword & Shield – Lost Origin, came out on September 9th, 2022. It is the eleventh set under the Sword & Shield banner and is the first to include the Lost Zone mechanic, which appears as a teal and purple aura around certain Pokémon. This appears on standard cards, holos, Vs, VSTARs, and even Trainer cards. The Origin Forme Giratina-themed Sword & Shield – Lost Origin also continues both Radiant Pokémon as well as the Trainer Gallery, a special subset of Character Rares, Character Super Rares, Full Art Trainers, and Black & Gold VMAXes that began in the first set of the year, 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 conclude this series with a complete expansion review of Sword & Shield – Lost Origin.
The penultimate set of Sword & Shield
The Pokémon TCG has pulled out the stops for the final year of Sword & Shield. The final four main series sets (with Lost Origin being the third) have Trainer Gallery subsets featuring 30 cards, including Character Rares, Character Super Rares, Full Art Trainers, and Black & Gold VMAXes that can be pulled in the Reverse Holo slot. This particular set also has three Radiant Pokémon from the main numbered set, which can also be pulled in that slot, making openings of Lost Origin quite dynamic.
Overall, this set has quite a few beautiful cards with the Trainer Gallery in particular offering stunning art. The Hisui focus introduced in the direct previous main series set Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance continues here with the added focus of Giratina and spooky-themed Pokémon. Notably, Hisuian Zoroark and Hisuian Goodra join the fold as VSTARs, but this set also leaves room for a focus on more classic species than Astral Radiance did, with some of those species being Delphox, Kyurem, Rotom, and Aerodactyl.
This is also the only set to feature cards with the Lost Zone mechanic which shows up on the cards in smoky teal, magenta, and purple tendrils. This aura appears regardless of card type, but one cool quirk is that when it appears on holographic cards, the holo-foil extends beyond the normal border to encompass the Lost Zone smoke for a cool, unique look.
Giratina leads the main set, Pikachu leads the Trainer Gallery
Giratina is the set mascot and it features on six cards in the set, including a Pokémon-V, VSTAR, Full Art V, Alt Art V, Rainbow VSTAR, and Gold VSTAR. The Giratina V Alternate Art is arguably one of the most beautiful and intricate Alts ever produced by the Pokémon TCG as it shows Giratina soaring through what looks like a realm beyond our comprehension. That is only one of four Alts in the set which makes this card type significantly harder to pull than in the days of Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies when there were more than a dozen. Outside of Giratina, the main set is quite eclectic, spanning eras while still introducing new Hisuian species from Pokémon Legends: Arceus such as Enamorous.
Pikachu leads the Trainer Gallery with a whopping four out of 30 cards dedicated to the franchise mascot, including a Character Rare, Character Super Rare V, Character Super Rare VMAX, and Black & Gold VMAX. Add the Charizard Character Rare and the Mew Black & Gold VMAX to that lot and we have what is clearly the best Trainer Gallery out of all four sets that featured this subset type.
9.5/10. Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Lost Origin delivers a strong main set with a stunning Trainer Gallery. When the Sword & Shield era is over, the conversation for best set of the entire run will likely be Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies, Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, and Sword & Shield – Lost Origin.