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Will Crown Zenith Be The Best Pokémon TCG Set Of All Time?

The Pokémon TCG has revealed the English-language versions of new cards coming in the next special set. January 2023 will see the release of Crown Zenith, a special set that will only be available in branded products rather than booster boxes. The art-themed Crown Zenith closes out the Sword & Shield era as The Pokémon Company International plans to switch over to the Scarlet & Violet series block in March 2023. Crown Zenith is largely based on Japan's VSTAR Universe, which was a reprint set with a large Secret Rare section which introduced two new card types: Art Rares and Special Art Rares. Art Rares are much like Character Rares but they do not show Pokémon with Trainers, rather showing them in their environments or sometimes even interacting with other species in interesting ways. Special Art Rares are like Alternate Arts, combining the idea of Art Rares with mechanics like V, VMAX, and VSTAR. With so many beautiful and unique card types here… could Crown Zenith be among the most beautiful Pokémon TCG sets of all time?

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

I think the cards above give a strong indication of why I think this might be the best-looking set of all time. The Sword & Shield era has constantly upped their game when it comes to showcasing unique art styles since Sword & Shield – Battle Styles, an apocalyptically underrated set, reintroduced Alternate Arts. We later saw Character Rares return and Character Super Rares debut with special Trainer Gallery subsets in Sword & Shield – Brilliant Stars. Now, Art Rares, Special Art Rares, and Gold Alternate Arts seem to be the culmination of this era's celebration of artwork.

What I'm wondering about is the Pikachu Art Rare. In Japan, that Pikachu card is only available in a certain kind of God Pack which includes all nine of the Art Rares pictured around it, which all connect to make a single image. I highly down the English-language TCG would ever do that, but time will tell.

Japanese sets often give us early ideas of what the English-language sets may include, so be sure to keep an eye on our coverage. You can stay tuned for previews of VSTAR Universe cards as well as updates on everything Pokémon TCG 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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