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The Cards Of Pokémon TCG: Astral Radiance Part 30: Alt Arts

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 move to the Full Art section of the set with a specific focus on the Alternate Arts (or "Special Arts") of the set.

Cards of Astral Radiance. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Cards of Astral Radiance. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Astral Radiance includes six Alternate Arts: Beedrill V, Hisuian Lilligant V, Hisuian Sneasler V, Machamp V, Origin Forme Dialga V, and Origin Forme Palkia V. Today, we look at the beautiful art of the first three of these.

Artist Narumi Sato takes on the Beedrill V Alt Art and beautifully subverts what we'd expect from a Beedrill card. While the card is intimidating in theory due to the swarm of person-sized bees, it's also stunningly beautiful as the Pokémon fly over what looks like an endless bed of flowers. Speaking of flowers, kodama is the artist behind the Hisuian Lilligant V, which paints a detailed and engaging scene of Lilligant skating on a sheet of ice. Under the ice, we can see Basculegion, Hisuian Qwilfish, and Overqwil. Over the ice, we see Spheal, Pachirisu, Rufflet, and a trio of Starly. Finally, OKACHEKE draws Hisuian Sneasler V with a painterly touch showcasing this clawed Pokémon scaling a cliff to get to its young Hisuian Sneasels.

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 Full Art section of the set.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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