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Pokémon TCG: Astral Radiance Elite Trainer Box Early Opening

Today is a special day, Pokémon TCG collectors. Today, I'm giving you an early look at the next Pokémon TCG expansion, Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance. Courtesy of The Pokémon Company International, I have a booster box and an Elite Trainer Box to open so we can experience this brand new set together. First, I opened the booster box, which you can read about right here. That's the opening where we get our first true experience with the set, so be sure not to miss it. Now, let's see what a Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance Elite Trainer Box has to offer.

Pokémon TCG: Astral Radiance ETB. Credit: Theo Dwyer
Pokémon TCG: Astral Radiance ETB. Credit: Theo Dwyer

This time around, Darkrai is the focus on the Elite Trainer Box's artwork. This is an interesting choice as the park artwork shows the Hisuian Starters, Origin Forme Dialga, and Origin Forme Palkia as the set mascots. However, Darkrai is indeed featured in this set with a V and a VSTAR, which is represented in a foreboding red and black color palette on this impressive, minimalistic Elite Trainer Box illustration.

Inside, you get eight packs of Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance which is of course the main draw. In addition to the packs, the Elite Trainer Box comes with dice that are themed to the box colors, sleeves emblazoned with Darkrai's reaching form, dividers, damage counters, a rule book, a set checklist, energy cards, and more items to help with competitive play.

Elite Trainer Boxes are historically one of the most popular Pokémon TCG items for a reason. They offer a solid number of packs as well as fun, exclusive bonus material. My favorite ETB item has always been the sleeves, though I admit that I wish and have wished since Shining Fates that the Pokémon TCG would go back to the glossy sleeves, as the current matte sleeves mute the beautiful artwork of the cards.

Let's open these packs and see what we can get. I lucked out hard with my Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance booster box, so it'll be fun to see if the terrific pull rate continues here.

Pokémon TCG: Astral Radiance ETB pulls. Credit: Theo Dwyer
Pokémon TCG: Astral Radiance ETB pulls. Credit: Theo Dwyer

Oooooh, and it does. My first pack yielded the biggest hit of the opening: the Gold Secret Rare version of the Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR, which is sure to be one of the biggest hits of the set. That would have been quite enough for any Elite Trainer Box, as not even a 36-pack booster box guarantees a Secret Rare, but this box wasn't even close to done. With the rest of my packs, I pulled a Full Art Oranguru V, a Darkrai V, a holo-rare Togekiss, and the Hoothoot Character Rare which is, to me, the best illustration in this set's Trainer Gallery.

I strongly recommend picking up a Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance Elite Trainer Box. Not only is this a dependable product when it comes to any Pokémon TCG set, but it's also this set that is special. Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance has some great cards overall but what makes it so fun to open is the Trainer Gallery subset and the chance of a Radiant Pokémon replacing the Reverse Holo slot. Your chance of a good box with this set is way, way up!

My Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance opening series begins with a bang. Thanks again to The Pokémon Company and stay tuned to Bleeding Cool as I begin my Pull Rate Quest series to show our readers more of what they can expect from this exciting new set.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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