In 2019, Trainers were introduced to the Galar region and its newly discovered Pokémon in the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield video games. During the Sword & Shield era of the Pokémon TCG, numerous Pokémon from the Galar region debuted with stunning art, powerful attacks, and metagame-warping Abilities. Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic cards from the Sword & Shield era that feature Pokémon discovered in the Galar region!
Here, Inteleon gracefully poses in the forest above what appears to be a small pond. Light shines behind it, accentuating its stature and highlighting its water-shooting fingertips. Inteleon, the Secret Agent Pokémon, is famous for its Shady Dealings Ability. The capability to search any Trainer card out of the deck is a powerful tool to have; the fact that Inteleon searches out 2 Trainer cards made it one of the most powerful support Pokémon during the Sword & Shield era of the Pokémon TCG.
Flying Taxis are everywhere in Galar, and they’re always carried by the Raven Pokémon, Corviknight. Featured in the latest Pokémon TCG set, Sword & Shield—Silver Tempest’s Trainer Gallery, a cabbie and their Corviknight take a break from transporting customers across Galar. The size of Corviknight in relation to the cab is highlighted in this artwork that conveys moment of calm in a busy day for both characters.
Morpeko may be the “hangriest” Pokémon discovered in the Galar region, but in this artwork by Mitsuhiro Arita, it appears to be well-fed and all smiles. Only a few Pokémon V-UNION were released during the Sword & Shield era; Morpeko received the honor of being featured in an illustration that spans multiple cards. When the four cards are united, Morpeko can be seen jovially charging up its signature attack.
Duraludon debuted in Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield as Raihan’s ace Pokémon. In this card from Sword & Shield—Evolving Skies, artist Naoki Saito illustrates a scene in which the two share a plate of curry, a popular dish in Galar. A Rotom Phone is preparing to snap a photo of the two enjoying their meal together.
Dragapult is one of the fastest Pokémon from the Galar region, and it quickly found its way into many competitive decks when it debuted in Sword & Shield—Rebel Clash. Thanks to its Max Phantom attack that does 130 damage for 2 Energy and spreads 5 damage counters around the opponent’s Benched Pokémon, Dragapult VMAX set up multi-Prize Knock Outs over the course of a match extremely well.
The Legendary Pokémon Zacian made its debut in the Pokémon TCG with Zacian V in the Sword & Shield expansion. Its powerful Brave Blade attack that does 230 damage for 3 Metal Energy ensured that Zacian V quickly became one of the strongest Pokémon in the game and the primary partner of the popular Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX. This artwork featuring Zacian V was released in Sword & Shield—Astral Radiance’s Trainer Gallery, and it depicts Hop and Zacian partnering up deep in the Slumbering Weald following the post-game events of Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield.
Flashy attacks are usually the name of the game for Pokémon TCG cards, but Zamazenta V bucked the trend with the Dauntless Shield Ability. Thanks to that, Zamazenta V was able to stall towering Pokémon VMAX and maybe also knock off a Special Energy or two with Assault Tackle. This rendition of Zamazenta V was released in Sword & Shield—Astral Radiance’s Trainer Gallery and features Hop and Zamazenta charging into battle together at the top of Hammerlocke’s Energy Plant.
Eternatus is the source of the Dynamax phenomenon in Galar, and no card better showcases the sheer power of the Pokémon than this rendition of Eternatus VMAX from Sword & Shield—Lost Origin’s Trainer Gallery. Artist Mitsuhiro Arita depicts Chairman Rose flanked by Eternatus in its Eternamax form; both have a nefarious air about them. In this artwork, the pink eyes on Eternatus’s appendages are especially frightening as they frame Chairman Rose.
Sword & Shield—Battle Styles introduced Rapid Strike and Single Strike cards. The most iconic of these might be Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. It dominated competitive play on release—its G-Max Rapid Flow attack could Knock Out up to two Pokémon at a time. In this artwork from the Sword & Shield—Brilliant Stars Trainer Gallery, the full size and grandeur of Rapid Strike Urshifu in its Gigantamax form is emphasized by a sunny backdrop with clouds that draw the eye to the center of the card.
Ice Rider Calyrex—the combination of Calyrex and its trusty steed Glastrier—made its debut in Sword & Shield—Chilling Reign. Artist OKACHEKE portrays this partnership on an icy lake. The addition of other Pokémon and a snowy mountain backdrop emphasizes the pair’s connection with nature and the Crown Tundra. Both Calyrex and Glastrier are Legendary Pokémon and clearly command the frame, yet they also appear gentle in their strength.