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The Cards Of Pokémon TCG: Crown Zenith Part 63: Hoopa Illustration

OKACHEKE delivered a beautiful Hoopa V Special Illustration Rare in the final Sword & Shield-era expansion, Crown Zenith.

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 GOCrown 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.

Crown Zenith cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Crown Zenith cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG

Hoopa Unbound is depicted hoarding a ton of gold in this Special Illustration Rare by artist OKACHEKE. OKACHEKE is new to the Pokémon TCG as of the Sword & Shield era, with their first contribution showing up in Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign. They started out with a trio of cards in that set showing off a highly rendered, 3D style on Ice Rider Calyrex V Alternate Art, Skwovet, and Shuppet. Other memorable OKACHEKE cards since then include the meta-relevant Flaaffy from Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies, Alcremie Character Rare from Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars, and Hisuian Sneasler V Alternate Art from Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance. OKACHEKE also gave new Paldean species Tatsugiri and Mabosstiff their first cards in Scarlet & Violet this year. The first major OKACHEKE hit of the year, though, is the Orthworm Illustration Rare from Japan's Snow Hazard which will likely be adapted into Scarlet & Violet – Paldea Evolved.

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. You can read more about this iconic trading card game right here at Bleeding Cool.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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