Pokémon TCG Pull Rate Quest: Astral Radiance Part One

Too often, Pokémon TCG influencers will rush to make a sweeping statement about a new set's pull rates. It's going to be interesting to see how the latest set, Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance, is seen because it has a special Trainer Gallery subset consisting of Character Cards, Character Super Rares, Full Art Trainers, and Black and Gold VMAXes that can be pulled in the Reverse Holo slot along with the new card type Radiant Pokémon. This increases the number of pulls that one can expect to get in a Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance opening. In the interest of dispelling the idea that we can establish pull rates so early in a set's existence, I'm here with Pull Rate Quest, a series at Bleeding Cool where I open Pokémon TCG sets to show that you win some… and you lose some. I love the idea that openings like this can help show people what to expect in a set, but remember… a lot of it comes down to the luck of the draw. Let's open a booster box of Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars and see what we can get in this installment of Pull Rate Quest.

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

Here are my pulls from this Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance booster box:

  • Regular holos: 6
  • Radiant Pokémon: 2
  • Pokémon-V: 4
  • VMAX: 1
  • VSTAR: 1
  • Full Art V: 0
  • Alternate Art V: 1
  • Full Art Trainer: 0
  • Rainbow Rare VSTAR or VMAX: 0
  • Rainbow Rare Trainer: 0
  • Gold VSTAR: 0
  • Gold Trainer Item or Stadium: 0
  • Trainer Gallery – Character Rare: 4
  • Trainer Gallery – Character Super Rare: 1
  • Trainer Gallery – Full Art Trainer: 1
  • Trainer Gallery – Black & Gold VMAX: 1

Which means…


This was a very Trainer Gallery-centric box. I had a theory after opening my first Astral Radiance box that the addition of the Radiant Pokémon card type as something that could be pulled in the Reverse Holo slot was not at the expense of Trainer Gallery cards but rather Reverse Holos. That seems true. This box had a whopping seven Trainer Gallery hits, which is the most I've ever hit including Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars boxes. In addition to those seven, two Radiant Pokémon popped up in the Reverse slot.

Outside of the Trainer Gallery, the standard Rare slot hits were decent to normal. I'm always happy to get an Alternate Art, and the Hisuian Sneasler V Alt is beautiful, but that was the only hit above VSTAR/VMAX. To me, the perfect layout of a booster box contains a Secret Rare and a Full or Alt art… or two. This box ended up being weaker in terms of that, but the Trainer Gallery hits were so far beyond stacked that this was pushed into the territory of being a stellar box.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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