Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign is the latest expansion from Pokémon TCG. It focuses on the Legendary Pokémon Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos, Galarian Moltres, Shadow Rider Calyrex, and Ice Rider Calyrex. It continues the Rapid Strike and Single Strike mechanic introduced in Battle Styles. Chilling Reign is known for its inclusion of a large number of Alternate Arts both in the Full Art portion of the set and the Secret Rare portion. These Alternate Arts were popular during the tail end of the Sun & Moon era with fan-favorite sets such as Unified Minds, Cosmic Eclipse, and so on, but Chilling Reign, Battle Styles, and the upcoming Evolving Skies set have made this style of card more popular than ever. This time, we continue this ongoing series with a closer look at the set's beloved Alternate Art (or Special Art, as some call them) cards.
- Ice Rider Calyrex V Alternate Art: Of the four available Calyrex Alternate Arts in the set (including also a V for Shadow Rider and then Secret Rare VMAX cardss for both), this is the most affordable… but honestly, it's right up there with my favorite. I love the peaceful atmosphere of this card with the cute little Deerling approaching this new Legendary Pokémon.
- Zeraora V Alternate Art: This is one of the most desired cards in Chilling Reign. When looking at the current market value of this set, this is the sixth highest valued card in Chilling Reign after the Blaziken VMAX Alternate Art, Galarian Moltes V Alternate Art, Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX Alternate Art, Snorlax Gold Secret Rare, and Galarian Zapdos V Alternate Art. This is a beautiful card on its own, but the popularity of Zeraora as a Mythical has a lot to do with it as well. As a collector, the value of the cards personally doesn't mean much to me as… well, I want the whole set, not to sell them! It's interesting, though, to see where the market goes from a collector's point of view, as fan interest in chase cards can make a set quite a challenge to complete. It says a lot about the community's appreciation of Alternate Arts, for example, that of the cards I listed above, five of the set's biggest cards are Alts.
- Galarian Rapidash V Alternate Art: This stunning card looks like the cover to a high fantasy novel. The glowing colors here work beautifully with the foil. Galarian Ponyta and Rapidash are two of the absolute best regional variants of classic Pokémon, and I just can't wait to pull this card myself. Interesting, the standard Rapidash V was cut from Chilling Reign and instead released in the SWSH Black Star Promos set. Only the Full Art and Alternate Art appear as cards that can be pulled in Chilling Reign packs.
With this series, we will spotlight all of the exciting pulls from Chilling Reign, which you can see as they release by following the set's Bleeding Cool tag. Next time, the spotlight on Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign continues with the set's incredible Alternate Arts.