Pokémon TCG Japan: Violet Ex Preview: Iron Treads Special Art Rare

Iron Treads gets a Special Art Rare in Pokémon TCG Japan: Violet ex, showcasing the futuristic elements of this Paradox Pokémon.

It's time for a new era. Pokémon TCG Japan has released two sets that kick off Generation Nine and bring Paldean Pokémon and Trainers to the Pokémon TCG for the first time. These two sister sets are Scarlet ex and Violet ex. These sets and as well as three 60-card Starter Set ex decks will be the basis of the English-language set Scarlet & Violet base coming out internationally on March 31, 2023. Starting with these sets, English-language versions of the sets will now more closely mirror Japanese expansions, using silver borders and set codes instead of set symbols. Scarlet ex and Violet ex also see the return of the original lowercase ex card type as well as the debut of the Terastal ex card type that will replace Vs and VMAX as Ultra Rares. We also now know that Illustrator Rares and Special Illustrator Rares, a card type that debuted in Crown Zenith, will return with this set, with ex cards being the mechanic we'll see depicted. Today, we take a look at another Special Art Rare (called Special Illustration Rare in English) from Violet ex.

Scarlet ex & Violet ex cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Scarlet ex & Violet ex cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

As we discussed in the previews of the standard Iron Treads ex, this is a Paradox Pokémon. This kind of Pokémon is relative of a modern species from either the distant future or the distant past. Iron Treads is, of course, a Donphan relative from the distant future. This Special Art Rare by KEIICHIRO ITO leans into the futuristic aspects of Iron Treads here with an image that could easily be the cover of an intense sci-fi novel. ITO has been with the Pokémon TCG since Sun & Moon – Unified Minds, contributing memorable cards, including perhaps the definitive card of the entire Sword & Shield era: the Umbreon VMAX Alternate Art from Evolving Skies. This card will thankfully be nowhere near as high in value as that Umbreon when it comes to the secondary market.

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 VSTAR Universe 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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