Among the 170-plus cards in the latest Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, Sword & Shield—Brilliant Stars, there’s a special 30-card subset dubbed the Trainer Gallery, complete with its own numbering system (look for the “TG” prefix in the card number). As the name suggests, these lavishly illustrated cards mostly focus on Pokémon alongside their Trainers, and they each seem to be telling their own story. Let’s check out some of these stunning cards here—be on the lookout for others as you’re opening your booster packs. They’re sure to stand out in any Pokémon TCG collection!
When it comes to rival characters, none may be as iconic as Blue. This audaciously arrogant Trainer has been giving players trouble since the very first Pokémon games. Blue is featured on three different cards in this subset, appearing alongside Flareon, Vaporeon, and Jolteon. The Flareon card stands out to us, though, as it shows Blue in an uncharacteristically pleasant mood. We typically only encounter him in battle, so it’s nice to see him in a quieter moment petting one of his beloved Pokémon partners.
The enigmatic N has proven to be one of the more popular Trainers in the world of Pokémon. The former leader of Team Plasma has always had a special connection with Pokémon, but this bond has proven to be especially strong with the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom and Reshiram. This card shows N and Zekrom soaring above the clouds. Judging from the smile on N’s face, the pair doesn’t have a care in the world. Frankly, we couldn’t be happier for them.
If you’re ever in the mood for a quick scrap while visiting Galar, you can always stop by one of the region’s Battle Cafés! A Café Master is always there and ready to provide a daily challenge. Right now, though, this Café Master is happy to take a break from work and battle to spend a relaxing moment with his Alcremie. We’re utterly charmed by this serene scene, with the café’s dim lighting and the dust motes shining in the sunbeam. The sweet little Pokémon is so delighted by its beverage, and the Café Master couldn’t look more pleased. Forget the battle—we want to visit this café and enjoy the mellow atmosphere.
Poor Bill! The guy’s just trying to get some work done, but there’s a rambunctious Eevee getting into all his things! Look at all those carefully organized papers in utter disarray! How long is that going take to straighten up? Oh, and don’t think we didn’t notice that picture of a Nidorino you have clipped to your organizing drawer there, Bill. Still, despite the chaos Eevee is causing, Bill can’t get upset—his sheepish grin at the Pokémon’s antics speaks volumes. We imagine Bill’s filing this experience under “Eevee thinks it’s helping.”
Talk about a vibe. If ever there was a Pokémon TCG card that practically screams “summertime,” it’s Oranguru here. Just scope out the bright blue sky filled with fluffy, white clouds, the gentle breeze that’s blowing, and that selection of tasty Berries and refreshing beverages. Sina, Professor Sycamore’s faithful assistant, relaxes on her hammock while Oranguru lounges on a pile of pillows and cools off with its fan. The card’s bold yet cheerful colors drive home the point that this is the sunniest of days.
Wow. How dreamy is this card? Sylveon are traditionally just over three feet tall, but when Laverre City Gym Leader Valerie Dynamaxes her Pokémon, it truly becomes a sight to see! This Sylveon VMAX card shows a Sylveon so big that Valerie can ride on its ribbonlike feelers! Despite its imposing scale, Sylveon is still sweet enough to make your teeth hurt. The muted pastel colors and soft edges imbue this artwork with an ethereal quality.
This Mimikyu V card is good for a chuckle. We see Mimikyu sitting in a patchwork chair, alone in a room lit only by the glow of a TV that’s casting ominous shadows against the wall. Unbeknownst to the Pokémon, Acerola—its Trainer and the Trial Captain of Ula’ula Island’s Thrifty Megamart—has just walked in and is absolutely shocked by what she sees. What could Mimikyu be watching that has scandalized Acerola so? Perhaps a terrifying horror movie? Maybe (as we suspect) it’s something like a sappy rom-com that’s wildly out of character for this traditionally spooky Pokémon.
When choosing the Trainer Gallery cards to show off here, we tried to select a variety of different Pokémon, but geez…we simply couldn’t not share both of Mimikyu’s appearances in this subset. Despite her noticeable distress on the Mimikyu V card, Acerola is as content as can be on this Mimikyu VMAX card. And who can blame her? If we were friends with a Dynamaxed Mimikyu and were flopped down on its apparently soft body, we’d look content, too! You also can appreciate the contrast between the cheerfully bright trees with falling flower petals and the eerie red glow that highlights Mimikyu’s body. Cute and creepy—that’s Mimikyu!
Rapid Strike Urshifu V
This Rapid Strike Urshifu V is one of those cards that captures a split second in time. Mustard, the aged yet spry Dojo Master from the Galar region’s Isle of Armor, is training with his Urshifu. It looks like the Legendary Pokémon has initiated a precise strike, but Mustard is just too quick! The dynamic poses of the Pokémon and its Trainer, along with the water swirling around Urshifu as it attacks, provide a sense of exciting movement and action. You’re good, Urshifu, but you’ll need some more training before you can best your Dojo Master!
On the opposite end of the spectrum is this Umbreon V card. Karen and her Umbreon partner don’t appear to be engaged in a fierce battle. In fact, between the Indigo League Elite Four member’s relaxed posture, Umbreon’s static (if attentive) pose, and the darkening sky illuminated by lampposts, the scene appears positively chill. What has caught Umbreon’s attention? What’s the meaning behind Karen’s sly smile? Whatever the answers, it’s clear that these partners are perfectly aligned and ready for whatever life tosses at them.
Pretty great, right? And remember, this is just a sampling of the Trainer Gallery cards that can be found in the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield—Brilliant Stars expansion. Keep your eyes open because who knows? We might see more Trainer Gallery cards in the future!