The Pokémon TCG is gearing up to release their next set of Japanese-language cards this month with Matchless Fighter. For English-language collectors, Matchless Fighter will be one of the sets that the next major Sword & Shield expansion, following Battle Styles, will be based on. Looking at these Japanese sets, which are smaller and tend to be combined with other sets to make up English expansions, give us a preview of what is to come in upcoming expansions. Some of the most intriguing Matchless Fighter cards that have been revealed so far feature the first-ever Pokémon cards showcasing Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos, and Galarian Moltres.
The beautiful Pokémon Vs show off the Galarian variants of the original Legendary Birds, which marks the first time these will ever appear in the TCG after their release in the Sword & Sheild: Crown Tundra video game expansion last year. This regional change isn't just aesthetic, though. Notice that the cards have a different typing than usual. Galarian Articuno is Psychic-type, Galarian Zapdos is Fighting-type, and Galarian Moltres is Dark-type which will lead to some unexpected gameplay from those playing the Pokémon TCG and TCGO, the game's competitive online variant.
While more cards featuring the Galarian Birds have yet to be revealed in the set, I would expect to at least see Full Art Vs and Rainbow Rare variants.
As far as the English release, nothing has been announced other than a name and a date: Chilling Reign on June 18th. Other upcoming Japanese sets include the dual sets Silver Lance/Jet Black Poltergeist and the special release, Eevee Heroes which has been announced to include the most Alternate Art cards in a set, ever. It will be interesting to see if and how these sets combine to make Chilling Reign, the English-language follow-up to Battle Styles. Battle Styles is set to release on March 19th, while Matchless Fighter will release in Japan on the exact same day.