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 Togepi family.
Artist Mizue draws a Togepi so cute that it has me almost forgetting how much I miss the Fairy-type in the Pokémon TCG. I am a player rather than a collector so I can't comment on if the lack of this card type improves or worsens the game, but man, I miss that pink aesthetic for these softer, cute Pokémon. The most beautiful card of this line goes to Tika Matsuno's Togetic, which looks as if it is in a dreamlike land of periwinkle flowers. Togetic smiles softly, overjoyed by the beauty of this scene, and I can't help but share the sentiment. The line culminates in a hazy, airbrushed-style holographic Togeiss by sui that uses a faded but colorful background that looks great on the standard holo of the regular card as well as the flat illustration on the reverse holo version.
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.