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The Top Five Cards Of Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon – Team Up

Sun & Moon - Team Up was the first set to bring both TAG TEAM GX cards and Alternate Arts to the Pokémon TCG. What are the top five cards?

Four years ago, Pokémon TCG released the ninth main series set of the Sun & Moon era. The expansion, Sun & Moon – Team Up, came out on September 9th, 2022. Sun & Moon – Team Up added quite a lot to the hobby, including a special card type that would later become the most sought-after style of chase card in the Sword & Shield era. I'm talking, of course, about Alternate Arts. Sun & Moon – Team Up also introduced TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX, which featured two Pokémon on a single card. These species shared at least one of their typings. TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX were available as standard TEAM TEAM GX cards, Full Arts, Alternate Arts, and Rainbow Rares. Sun & Moon – Team Up was also the last set to include Prism Stars. This English-language expansion was based on the Japanese set Tag Bolt and took inspiration from the Kanto-themed games Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! Let's look back on this influential set and appreciate the artwork that would lay the groundwork for the current Alternate Art-themed era of Sword & Shield and beyond. Today, we count down the top five cards of Sun & Moon – Team Up.

Team Up cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Team Up cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
  • 5 – Celebi & Venusaur GX: The first card of the set gets this top slot. It also kicks off a trend of the top four that you will see permeate the ranking here, which is that the standard TAG TEAM GX cards by Mitsuhiro Arita rather than the Alternate Art versions are getting the top slot. That is because, to me, this set hasn't quite seen Pokémon TCG figure out that Alt Arts should let artists go crazy. As a result, Arita, arguably the top in the hobby, creates more beautiful cards. Beyond that, some of these Alt Arts, including the Celebi & Venusaur, were actually pulled out of the set and made into SM Black Star Promos, which you can see here. If these had been included, a few of them would've ranked.
  • 4 – Eevee & Snorlax GX: Same reasons as above, with Arita delivering the cuteness here.
  • 3 – Gengar & Mimikyu GX: This card shows Arita's skill in letting Pokémon interact on the cards, with Gengar and Mimikyu looking like they're doing their own Team Rocket pose.
  • 2 – Pikachu & Zenrom GX: Frankly, this may be the most iconic image Arita has created since Base Set Charizard in its pose and grandiosity. Arita's talent for iconography is second-t0-none.
Team Up cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
Team Up cards. Credit: Pokémon TCG
  • 1 – Latias & Latios GX Alternate Art: The only Alt Art to outrank its Arita-illustrated TAG TEAM GX is this Latias & Latios Alt Art which went down as the top valued English-language card of the Sun & Moon era. Artist Sanosuke Sakuma simply gets how Alt Arts bring something new even in this first set, with this card being not only strong in its illustration but also concept. These two paired dragons coming together to form a heart is such a memorable image that the chance of pulling this one card has driven up the price of Sun & Moon – Team Up packs for years now.

Stay tuned for the journey through this teamwork-themed set as we continue to spotlight the cards and artwork of Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon – Team Up. Next time, the spotlight continues with a complete expansion review.

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Theo DwyerAbout Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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