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The Cards Of Pokémon TCG: Crown Zenith Part 64: Zamazenta Illustration

Artist Haru Akasaka made his Pokémon TCG debut with this Zamazenta Special Illustration Rare in Crown Zenith after iconic Pokémon GO artwork.

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

The final Zamazenta card of the Sword & Shield era is this (ironically scarlet & violet-colored) Special Illustration Rare by Haru Akasaka. Akasaka uses a stunning, lush red color palette for the forest environment of this Legendary Pokémon. This is Akasaka's first contribution to the Pokémon TCG, but fans of Niantic's Pokémon GO may recognize his artwork from the game's Five Year Anniversary celebration seen here. It has been fun seeing the mix of artists contributing to Special Art Rares in this set, as we have seen first-time artists, returning legends, as well as artists like this who have played in the Pokémon world but not yet the TCG. Akasaka has stuck around into the Scarlet & Violet era, contributing cards featuring Muk, Florges, Oricorio, Masquerain, Larvitar, and Chandelure.

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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