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 the Cynaquil line that, for the first time in this set, features Hisuian Typhlosion rather than the standard and, until now, only Typhlosion from Johto.
A basic but cute card, the Cyndaquil of this set is illustrated by sui who depicts the Pokémon's blazing flames casting a hazy glow around the ravine over which it stands. Then, we get a galloping Quilava by artist Pani Kobayashi who brings a colored pencil vibe to this drawing. Quilava looks sly and happy, and the background is beautifully picturesque in this unique style. It is TCG staple Kouki Saitou who brings this line to its new culmination with the terrifically designed Hisuian Typhlosion. This ancient variant of Typhlosion was introduced into the Pokémon world with the open-world RPG Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and it gets its first TCG appearance here with this holographic rare. This isn't the only Hisuian Typhlosion in Astral Radiance, so stay tuned tomorrow as this line advances with a V and VSTAR.
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.