Now that the Pokémon TCG has announced Sword & Shield: Chilling Reign as the next official English-language expansion to be released in June 2021, we can begin to piece together what the set will look like by observing current Japanese-language sets. It is well established that Chilling Reign will be comprised of three different Japanese sets, including the March 2021 release Matchless Fighter which focuses on the Galarian Birds, Slowking, and Blaziken in addition to the as-of-yet-unreleased sets Jet Black Poltergeist and Silver Lance which include Calyrex cards. Now, it's likely that not every single card from these three Japanese sets will appear in Chilling Reign. Sometimes the English-language releases mix and match with, for example, 2020's special set Champion's Path including cards not included in direct adaptations. We already showcased some of the cards that may appear in the set, so let's look at some of the chase cards from Matchless Fighter that collectors might see show up in Chilling Reign.
One of the most interesting things about the Pokémon TCG this year is the glorious return of Alternate Art cards. These are done in the Full Art style, which means that they are textured and numbered at the end of a set, but feature a more unique style of artwork. Generally, we will see a Pokémon get a traditional V card and a Full Art version which showcases the Pokémon in a simple pose with silvery lines in the art and a colorful background. Now, starting up again with Battle Styles, select cards will also have this Alternate Art style. All of the Galarian Birds have it, but the ones we're focusing on today are Slowking and Blaziken. Slowking's style looks like something from a trouble artist's dreams, while Blaziken looks almost like graffiti. Seeing the Pokémon TCG stretch the boundaries of what you can expect a Pokémon card to look like is stunning. I'd expect these to be major chase cards in Chilling Reign, along with the Full Art version of Clara. Trainer Supporter Cards featuring female characters have been skyrocketing in value, so this is going to be a card that collectors will want to pull or buy before it goes through the roof. It's a wild market out there!