In May 2022, Pokémon TCG released the second main series set of 2022. The expansion, Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance, came out on May 27th, 2022. It is the tenth set under the Sword & Shield banner and is the first to include the Radiant Pokémon mechanic. Radiant Pokémon are similar to Shining Pokémon of the past as they include a Shiny Pokémon with holofoil and texture on the figure rather than the background. The difference, though, is a special holo pattern on the text area of the card. Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance also continues the Trainer Gallery, a special subset of Character Rares, Character Super Rares, Full Art Trainers, and Black & Gold VMAXes that began in the previous set, Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars. Follow me through a journey through this latest set as we appreciate the artwork, discuss the card's place in the set, and discuss what certain elements of the expansion may imply for the future of the Pokémon TCG. Today, we check out two Pokémon-V from the set.
Here we have a perfect example of a standard V and a V that breaks the mold when it comes to the art style.
The Galarian Mr. Mime V closes out the Water-type section of Astral Radiance with a very traditional illustration for this card type. Vs and GXs have tended to sit in the "video game 3D art style" with much of the illustrations being contributed by art house 5ban Graphics, who is responsible for more modern Ultra Rares in the Pokémon TCG than any other artist.
Then, we see Luxray V kick off the Electric-types by breaking from the norm and delivering a V unlike any we have seen before. Artist AKIRA EGAWA brings a hand-drawn touch to Luxray that immediately sets it apart from what we expect from Vs, making it a major standout not only in Astral Radiance but in the larger Sword & Shield era.
Stay tuned for the continuing journey through Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance. To look back on this series, click the Astral Radiance tag below. Next time, this journey continues with the main set.