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.
When I envisioned this part of this long-running spotlight on the incredible cards of Chilling Reign, I knew this Moltres would need its own piece. When I see this kind of card with artwork so unique that it cannot be compared to any other Pokémon cards, I think back to my younger self, collecting Wizards of the Coast-era cards as a kid. Cracking Base Set packs and hoping for a Charizard, as we all were. You know the deal. Imagine a time traveler showed that young kid this card? He'd faint.
When the Japanese version of this card first debuted in Matchless Fighter, I wrote for Bleeding Cool that this would undoubtedly become a chase card, if not the chase card, of Chilling Reign. Some comments doubted that, as this card is an Alternate Art Full Art rather than a Secret Rare. For a while, the Blaziken VMAX Alternate Art Secret Rare was indeed the most valuable of the set, with the Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX Alternate Art Secret Rare as the second. Now, as prices of Chilling Reign begin to even out with most cards dropping in value, this Galarian Moltres V Alternate Art has shot up to a current market value of $147.36, eclipsing every other card in the set. There's something very special about the artwork here by Shibuzoh that speaks to the collector base more than rarity. This is the card to pull from Chilling Reign.
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.