August 07, 2017

The Highlights Cast by the Burning Shadows

Let’s take a closer look at some of the coolest cards in Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows.

Amid all the discussion of epic battles and intricate strategies, it's easy to overlook the fantastic artwork on display on Pokémon TCG cards. Artists add their own style to Pokémon portraits, recognizable locales, and depictions of memorable events to add beauty and flair to the fun of Pokémon TCG battles.

Even as each artist puts their own spin on the cards they illustrate, it's fun to look for themes that run throughout an expansion. We've discovered some of these themes in the Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion that stood out, including beach scenes, depictions of Team Skull's activity, and more. But really it's just a chance to take a deeper look at all the amazing artwork that the talented artists contribute.

For five days, we've examined different artistic themes in the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion. Now it's your turn to take a closer look at your own card collection to appreciate all the beautiful illustrations on display!

Troublesome Tags!

If there's one group that could mess up the beauty of the Alola region, it's Team Skull. These ruffians are causing mayhem and spreading graffiti all around the islands, including in the habitats of many of Alola's Pokémon. You can see their handiwork in the background of many cards in Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows, such as Charmeleon and Wobbuffet.

Team Skull is even daring enough to make cameo appearances on some cards where their vandalism is on full display. Look closely to find members of the gang behind both Heracross and Rhydon.

Keep searching for more colorful graffiti all over the artwork of the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion. But don't worry about Alolan Muk-GX...those multicolored stripes are just the Pokémon's normal appearance in Alola!

Hit the Beach!

The Alola region is a tropical paradise, an archipelago bathed in gorgeous sunny skies and moonlit nights. So it's not surprise to find so many Pokémon in the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion playing, battling, and relaxing on its many beautiful beaches! Slowking has found a nice patch of coastline to gobble up some snacks, and Bewear waves in front of a backdrop of tropical palms, with the endless sea in the background. And of course Sandygast and Palossand are right at home in the sand.

It's not just Pokémon that have taken a shine to island life: trial captain Lana has come to the banks of Brooklet Hill to reel in her first catch of the day on her cool Supporter card.

The beach theme is present throughout the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion, so keep an eye out for more Pokémon and people on the shores of beautiful Alola!

Pokémon Guest Stars!

Even as you gear up to battle your friends in the Pokémon TCG, some of the amazing artwork in the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion already portrays scenes of interesting Pokémon matchups. Note the epic clash taking place on Raichu's card as it faces a menacing Croagunk. On its own card, Toxicroak, Croagunk's evolved form, shows off in battle against a Gardevoir that can surely hold its own in any conflict. And on Passimian's card, Lucario seems to be on the receiving end of one of Passimian's powerful attacks. Or perhaps the two are just having a nice game of catch?

Other Pokémon appearances aren't obviously confrontational. Kingdra is keeping a watchful eye on a distant Azumarill, as the water swirls around the two Pokémon. And the simple and amazing stylings of Eelektrik's card shows the Pokémon swimming alongside schools of Finneon and Luvdisc.

With all the incredible artwork shown in the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion, you may notice even more Pokémon making cameos on other Pokémon's cards. Stay on the lookout for these unexpected appearances.

Set Sights for Alola!

Many of the Pokémon that appear in the Sun & Moon—Burning Shadows expansion were first discovered in the beautiful Alola region. But upon closer inspection of some of the artwork, it's not only the new Pokémon on display, but the region itself! Several of the locations are easily recognizable: Croagunk is taking in the view from the Hokulani Observatory, located high atop a mountain on Ula'ula Island and accessible by the Exeggutor Express bus, which is visible in the background. And anyone who has reached the Elite Four in the Pokémon Sun or Pokémon Moon video games got there by using the elevator that Alolan Grimer is riding.

But not all of the locales are so obvious! The deep red background of Shiinotic may lead you to believe the delicate Pokémon is playing with fire. In fact, it's Ula'ula Meadow, a field of beautiful crimson flowers with a distinctive wooden platform zigzagging through it. No doubt a Baile Style Oricorio is dancing somewhere nearby, even if it isn't in the artwork! At first glance, Riolu seems to be running down a secluded beach—but you can see a lighthouse rising in the distance. Could it be the one in Akala Island's Konikoni City?

There are even more Alola landmarks to be discovered on cards in the expansion. See which places you can recognize!

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