Pokémon TCG Japan's Dark Phantasma Preview: Character Rares

The NEW Pokémon TCG set has arrived in Japan. Dark Phantasma was released on May 13th, 2022, and continues the focus on the Hisui region that debuted earlier this year in the Nintendo Switch game Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Like the previous three sets (Battle Region, Time Gazer, and Space Juggler), Dark Phantasma features cards with certain Hisuian species for the very first time. This Zoroark-themed set also continues the VSTAR mechanic introduced this year and sees more Radiant Pokémon cards (formerly thought to be called "Sparkling" cards) that depict species in their Shiny form with a unique reverse holo pattern. These sets, along with the upcoming Japanese sets Lost Abyss and Incandescent Arcana, will likely be the basis of the next English-language set, Sword & Shield – Lost Origin, coming in Summer 2022. It has now been revealed that this set will continue the current trend of Character Rares and Character Super Rares, so let's take a look at some of those today.

Dark Phantasma cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Dark Phantasma cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Those who played Pokémon Legends: Arceus will have a deeper appreciation of this Spiritomb Character Rare illustrated by Hitoshi Ariga. Spiritomb is drawn with its trainer Vessa, though players will remember that Vessa is who tasks players with collecting the spirits that make up this conglomeration of wicked souls… before seemingly revealing that she actually is part of Spiritomb herself. Then, we have a much less creepy Hisuian Arcanine Character Rare that is so far the TCG's best depiction of this new regional variant. Illustrated by You Iribi, Hisuian Arcanine is pictured playing with its trainer, Rei.

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 Dark Phantasma cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG right here at Bleeding Cool.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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