Pokémon TCG: Evolving Skies Expansion: Complete Review

Now that we've gone through all of the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies products, it's time for a spotlight on the beautiful cards of this set. This is the seventh expansion in the Sword & Shield series and it is notable for reintroducing Dragon-types to the Pokémon TCG after an almost two-year absence. In addition to this focus on Dragon-types, particularly Rayquaza and Duraludon, Evolving Skies has a prominent focus on Eevee and its evolutions. This set is one of the most celebrated sets not only of 2021 but in recent years, with its Alternate Arts, in particular, being a huge hit in the Pokémon TCG community. Now, we conclude our long-running spotlight series with a final review.

Cards of Sword & Shield - Evolving Skies. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Cards of Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies. Credit: Pokémon TCG

I'll admit it. I was initially uncertain about the Pokémon TCG's choice to adapt Japan's Eevee Heroes, Sky Stream, and Towering Perfection as a single set. Mixing the Eeveelutions and the Dragons seemed like it'd make a set that was far too stacked and uneven.

I couldn't be happier to be wrong.

In my coverage of Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies and for my own personal enjoyment, I opened more packs of this set than any previous set that has ever come out. I was then and remained stunned by the diversity of this expansion. What I expected would be an over-stuffed set instead is a set that has a new and strange joy around the corner. With a long list of incredible Alternate Art Vs and VMAX, Rainbow Rares, three beautiful Shiny Gold cards, and the best collection of Trainer Supporters we've seen in a Sword & Shield-era set, there has never been a more fun expansion to open in my opinion as someone who has loved this hobby for a very long time.

Cards of Sword & Shield - Evolving Skies. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Cards of Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Aside from the immediate fun of opening packs of this Eevee and Dragon-themed Pokémon TCG set, there are many cards here that will be remembered as all-time greats. The Alternate Art craze is happening for a reason: the Pokémon TCG is hiring some of the best artists they've ever used to illustrate beautiful cards with visually interesting concepts that have something to say about the Pokémon pictured. Rayquaza flies away from Zinnia as if released by this mournful trainer on the V Alternate Art. On the Umbreon Alts, one pictures the Dark-type Eeveelution reaching for the moon while another card pictures it standing before a gathering of nocturnal Pokémon. From an artwork perspective, Sylveon VMAX Alternate Art is one of the best-looking cards ever printed, which is something that can be said about multiple cards in this set.

It can be difficult to look at the place a newer set has in a hobby that has been around as long as the Pokémon TCG. I think it's clear, though, that Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies is far and away from the best set of the current era. I'd put it up there with the likes of Base Set, Neo Genesis, XY – Roaring Skies, and Hidden Fates as an all-time great set. I give it…

10/10. A modern classic that will be remembered as a contender for the best ever.

Click our Evolving Skies tag here to explore my spotlight series on Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies. Next up… Celebrations!

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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