The Cards Of Pokémon TCG: Crown Zenith Part 42: Magnezone & Altaria
Magnezone & Altaria both get Galarian Gallery cards in the special Pokémon TCG expansion Crown Zenith that debuted in January 2023.
The Sword & Shield era of the Pokémon TCG has come to an end. Three years of expansions dedicated to the region of Galar, with some love for Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl's revitalization of Sinnoh and Pokémon Legends: Arceus's introduction of the ancient region of Hisui, have led to this moment. Crown Zenith, a special set celebrating the Sword & Shield era, was released on January 20th, 2023. It was primarily an adaptation of Japan's VSTAR Universe set and also featured a collection of cards that were cut from other English-language sets and more. Like other special sets, including Champion's Path, Shining Fates, Celebrations, and Pokémon GO, Crown Zenith packs were found in specially branded products like Premium Collections and Elite Trainer Boxes rather than booster boxes. This set featured the Galarian Gallery subset, which introduced Illustration Rares and Special Illustration Rares, originally called "Art Rares," to the hobby, which set the standard for the following Sword & Shield era, which used these card types as their primary Secret Rares. In today's installment of this Crown Zenith spotlight, let's take a look at more cards from the Galarian Gallery subset.
This Altaria Illustration Rare features a mixed-media depiction of this fan-favorite Pokémon. Artist Asako Ito uses crochet, photography, and more to create this unique and beautiful card. I mean, how could you not love Altaria's little slippers? We often see Ito's work on standard cards rather than Full Arts like this, so I am absolutely thrilled to see Ito's gloriousness get placement in VSTAR Universe's collection of Art Rares. Ito has been contributing cards to the Pokémon TCG since the Sun & Moon era, with some standouts being Espurr from Sword & Shield – Silver Tempest and Wigglytuff from Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike.
This gorgeous Magnezone Illustration Rare showcases Magnezone working with Magnemite and Magneton in a highly detailed factory illustrated by Shinya Komatsu. Komatsu is new to the hobby but has already made quite a mark. Their first card was Octillery Character Rare from Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, with their second ever card being the Machamp V Alternate Art, the $100+ chase card from Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance. How many artists can come into a hobby 25 years running and deliver a set's chase card as their second-ever contribution?
Stay tuned for the journey through this special set as we continue to spotlight the cards and artwork of Pokémon TCG: Crown Zenith. Next time, the spotlight continues with the Galarian Gallery subset.