As the second Pokémon TCG set under the Sword & Shield banner, Rebel Clash has a lot to prove. Pokémon V and VMAX cards were still new as a mechanic and many new species were getting their first-ever feature on cards. Now that we've had some time to settle into this set and compare it to subsequent Sword & Shield-era expansions, how does Rebel Clash hold up>
Rebel Clash does indeed have some amazing cards. When looking at the standard Pokémon cards, the pastel artwork of the Shuckle card stands out, as does the adorable Vulpix, and striking Phantump. The V cards are weaker than other Sword & Shield era sets but have some winners too, with Ninetails, in particular, looking terrific. The VMAXes were also hit or miss, with confusing POVs like the Copperajah VMAX and then all-out bangers like the Dragapult VMAX. The Full Art cards were every bit as beautiful as previous sets as far as the artwork goes, with Dragapult V Full Art, Eldegoss V Full Art, and the Trainer Supporter cards standing out, but the selection of Pokémon on these left a lot to be desired.
The weakest Pokémon TCG Sword & Shield expansion?
It's true. Rebel Clash is the weakest expansion in this current era so far, but that doesn't mean there's not cards to love here. The reason that this set failed to live up to the standard set by Sword & Shield and then exceeded by both Darkness Ablaze and Vivid Voltage is the same reason the set doesn't have any true chase cards: the Pokémon it focuses on aren't interesting enough. Personally, I love every Pokémon but even with that said, I know that some are more popular than others. This set could've benefitted from an appearance of a more popular species like Darkness Ablaze, for example, which has that Charizard VMAX as the chase card but also gives players a chance to pull cards featuring Mew, Scizor, Crobat, Salamence, Butterfree, and Houndoom. While it's obvious that these new sets must also focus on the new generation, balancing it out with better choices of species would have helped Rebel Clash become a more even set.
6/10: While Rebel Clash is still absolutely a fun set to open, the lack of interesting potential pulls puts a ceiling on the hype this Pokémon TCG expansion generates. There's a lot to love here but just not as much as other sets released in 2020.