With over 185 cards, the latest Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion, Sword & Shield—Vivid Voltage, is chock full of stunning new artwork featuring a wide variety of Pokémon. We're taking a look at some of the pieces that stood out to us among a collection of beautiful illustrations that really enhance the game experience. And of course, we're also checking out the expansion's new Amazing Pokémon. These special cards feature a vibrant rainbow splash of color that extends beyond the normal boundaries of the image.
Charging into Action
Whether they're gearing up for battle or simply enjoying some exhilarating playtime, it's always fun to see Pokémon TCG cards that depict their subjects in the midst of action. Take, for example, Genesect here. The Mythical Pokémon is barreling full steam ahead with such speed that the entire background has begun to blur. We don't know where it's going, but with its claws bared and cannon at the ready, we're glad we're not in its way. Likewise, we wouldn't want to tangle with Charmeleon. Sure, it has some fearsome-looking flames emerging from both of its ends, but it also appears to have burst through a large, metal structure to reach its intended target. Those panels look heavy, and little Charmeleon is just casually shoving them aside. We're content to watch this action from afar, thanks. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Wailord, who is certainly charging into action, but judging by the Pokémon's grin, it appears to be all for fun. Just a big, happy breach on a sunny day (although, we do feel a little bad for the poor Wailmer caught up in Wailord's excitement).
Pokémon and Their Trainers
Typically, Pokémon tend to appear on their Pokémon TCG cards by themselves or, occasionally, with other Pokémon. It's somewhat rare for a Trainer to join a Pokémon on their card art. Sword & Shield—Vivid Voltage, however, gives some Galar region Trainers a chance to shine with their Pokémon partners. Charizard is looking fierce with Galar League Champion Leon boldly standing in the wings, directing it in battle. Nessa and Drednaw appear to be having a more relaxed moment together. From the look of things, Nessa has just released her Pokémon friend from its Poké Ball for a quick break by the shoreline. There's no time for Hitmontop to relax, though. The Handstand Pokémon is determined to improve its battle prowess under the guidance of Bea. Pokémon and Trainer both appear to be in perfect sync!
Please Don't Take My Picture
Every now and again, there's a Pokémon TCG card featuring a Pokémon that appears to have been caught unaware. Just look at adorable Wooper here. This diminutive Pokémon appears positively shocked that we're peeking in on its bath time. Which, yeah…understandable. However, Wooper's evolved form Quagsire also seems a bit perplexed, and it's just chilling out in the ocean. Come on, you two—don't you want to be on a Pokémon TCG card? Poochyena looks quite standoffish on its card art. Although, considering we find the Pokémon crouched in a searchlight while backed up against a graffiti-filled wall, we're wondering if we've caught the Bite Pokémon amid some mischief. And we must feel sorry for Whismur here. Something has made this poor Pokémon so sad that its tears seem to fill up a fountain. We wouldn't want our picture taken during such an emotional time, either. Don't worry too much, though, Whismur. You're too darn cute to have an “ugly cry.”
Time Passes On
We expect an illustration to capture a specific moment in time, but with a bit of creativity, an artist can depict the flow of time. That seems to be the case on some Pokémon TCG cards, such as Electrike. Just check out the color of the sky as it shifts from sunny blue skies (complete with lens flare!) to a bright, colorful sunset. It suggests to us that the Lightning Pokémon has been perched on that rocky precipice for hours, staring defiantly into the distance. Electrike's evolved form, Manectric, almost appears to show the opposite. Has Manectric been running from sunset through the break of dawn, emitting bolts of electricity all the while? We hope so, because that would be awesome. Likewise, Sandile and Magearna are posed amidst skies that seem to show time passing. Whether the Pokémon is posed for action like Magearna or just hanging out like Sandile, this artistic trick is a clever way to tell a lengthy story with a still image.
The Sword & Shield—Vivid Voltage expansion introduces Amazing Pokémon cards. These colorful new cards highlight Legendary Pokémon and Mythical Pokémon and feature Attacks that require two or more Energy types to use. You can easily identify an Amazing Pokémon by the rainbow “A” logo in the lower-left corner of the card or (and this is a more obvious identifier) the rainbow burst emerging from behind the Pokémon and spreading out past the usual art boundaries. There's a lot of variety in these cards, too—no two rainbow bursts are the same. Check out Zacian and Zamazenta. Zacian features a smeared explosion of color while Zamazenta's card has a splatter design. Jirachi's card utilizes a tight swirl of color that complements its fierce facial expression. Also, be on the lookout for Celebi, Raikou, and Rayquaza. These splashy Amazing Pokémon will undoubtedly become highlights of your collection.
Of course, all these cards look fabulous but remember that there are plenty more works of art to be discovered in the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield—Vivid Voltage expansion. You're bound to find a few that connect with you!