Let's take a trip through recent Pokémon TCG history. On May 5th, 2017, the Pokémon TCG released the second set of the Sun & Moon era: Guardians Rising. This set focused primarily on the Guardian Deities of Alola, Tapu Koko and Tapu Lele, which were introduced in the Generation Seven games. This set also included the Pokémon-GX mechanic introduced in Sun & Moon Base three months prior and includes quite a large number of Full Arts and Secret Rares. Increasing the number of Full Arts and Secret Rares in sets is a trend that has continued to this day. Now, we begin our journey with the Ultra Rare GX cards of the set.
- Wishiwashi GX: Wishiwashi may look like a Barboach or Tynamo-sized Pokémon in its Solo Form, but this "Small Fry" Pokémon bulks up incredibly when it joins others to make its School Form. The School Form is pictured here, looking quite monstrous as it floats through the depth of the ocean.
- Vikavolt GX: I like Vikavolt, but this card is the epitome of the computer-generated style that artist 5ban Graphics, as well as Pokémon-GX in general, are critiqued for. The Sun & Moon era would later try different styles for their GX cards to great success, but these early sets did struggle with a reliance on this style which ended up rendering many of its Ultra Rare cards a bit lifeless. The electrical effect here is cool, but this card ends up lacking the personality of the hand-drawn artwork of the common, uncommon, and rares.
- Tapu Koko GX: The Tapus get a ton of cards during the Sun & Moon era, and this one has some of the same issues as the Vikavolt card, but I think it works better for this one. The 3D style ends up working for the weirdness of Tapu Koko, making for a more effective visual style.
With this series, we will spotlight all of the exciting pulls from Guardians Rising, which you can see as they release by following the set's Bleeding Cool tag. Next time, the spotlight on Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon – Guardians Rising continues with more Pokémon-GX.