The next expansion of the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield era is coming soon. Battle Styles will debut in March and is expected by the community to be a set that appeals more to players of the game than to collectors, due to the focus on a new battle mechanic that blocks the artwork a little bit. However, that perception is being challenged by a new leak that has revealed some of the most beautiful cards in the set. Here is an early look at the Japanese versions of these cards, which feature in the sets Single Strike Master and Rapid Strike Master. Those two sets will release simultaneously in Japan this month and will then be adapted for English-language collectors into the one Battle Styles set. Here is what appears to be the complete collection of Full Art cards and Hyper Rare/Secret Rare cards, which includes the Rainbow Rares and the Gold Cards.
It appears that a rogue photographer and PokéBeach have revealed some of the cards set to be the most coveted in the entirety of Pokémon TCG: Battle Styles. While only time, gameplay in the TCG, and collector interest will determine which of these become the "chase" cards that everyone is after, the truth is that it mostly comes down to beautiful cards featuring beloved Pokémon. Some of the standouts to my eye include:
- Mimikyu Full Art: Folks love Mimikyu, and this is a terrific card. I hope to pull this one myself because the market is going to drive up the price of this one immediately.
- Tyranitar Alternate Art: Honestly, for my money, this is the best card in the set. It tells a story, it connects to another card, and it has character. Plus, as a Full Art card, it will have texture, which will elevate this beautiful, soft artwork even more. Hopefully, Pokémon TCG sees the reaction to this card and lets other normally ferocious Pokémon show their soft sides with cards like this.
- Victini VMAX Rainbow Rare: Cute Pokémon turned gigantic. Glimmering rainbow. Beautiful art. Could this become the next Rainbow Rare Pikachu VMAX? Oh boy. That card is currently selling for $400 USD pack fresh, so this is certainly one to pull.
- Shiny Houndoom Secret Rare: Pokémon fans love Shinies! While Shining Fates will undoubtedly be the bigger set, Houndoom is a popular species, and putting its Shiny form on a secret rare is a recipe for a highly coveted card.