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Pokémon TCG Japan: Snow Hazard & Clay Burst: Raichu Illustration Rare

The first Illustration Rare revealed from the next wave of Scarlet & Violet sets in the Pokémon TCG features Raichu sleeping peacefully.

The next two sets of the Scarlet & Violet era are arriving on April 14th in Japan. The two sets, Snow Hazard and Clay Burst, will largely focus on the Treasures of Ruin Legendary group from the region of Paldea introduced in Scarlet & Violet. In this expansion, all four Treasures of Ruin (Chien-Pao, Ting-Lu, Chi-Yu, and Wo-Chien) will receive Pokémon ex. This set follows Pokémon TCG Japan's Scarlet ex and Violet ex and the subset Triplet Beat which was released in early 2023, kicking off the new Paldea-themed series block that will presumably run for the next three years. Snow Hazard and Clay Burst will merge with Triplet Beat as the basis for Scarlet & Violet – Paldea Evolved, the second English-language expansion set of the Generation Nine era, which will release on June 30, 2023. The Pokémon ex mechanic, the main mechanic of this new era, continues in Snow Hazard and Clay Burst, as does the layout of the Secret Rare section, which includes Illustration Rares, Special Illustration Rares, Full Art ex, Full Art Trainers, Special Illustration Rare Trainers, and Gold cards.  Today, let's take a look at the first Illustration Rare revealed for the set, which features Raichu.

Snow Hazard & Clay Burst cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Snow Hazard & Clay Burst cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Man, I'm so happy to get a Raichu Secret Rare so early in the Scarlet & Violet era. Normally, it is the unevolved Pokémon that get shafted when it comes to Secret Rare and Ultra Rare cards, but things are different for Pikachu and Raichu. Pikachu is the franchise mascot, so of course, it gets tons of cards, while Raichu tends to get left behind quite often. Now, we are just a few sets into Scarlet & Violet and we get a gorgeous Illustration Rare featuring Raichu by artist Toshinao Aoki, who depicts Raichu letting off bolts of electricity while it sleeps peacefully.

Japanese sets often give us early ideas of what the English-language sets may include, so be sure to keep an eye on our coverage. You can stay tuned for previews of Scarlet & Violet cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG right here at Bleeding Cool.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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