Get an early look at the Pokémon TCG Astral Radiance, the Arceus-inspired expansion

We’re just weeks away from the release of the next expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Astral Radiance hits stores on May 27, and we got an early look at the new cards joining the game. Although technically an expansion for Sword & Shield, Astral Radiance is inspired by Pokemon Legends: Arceus. It features Hisuian versions of select Pokémon, as well as background artwork that Arceus players are sure to recognize.

Astral Radiance follows the formula of other recent Pokemon TCG expansions by containing VMAX, VSTAR, and V Pokemon. I pulled one of the two VMAX cards in Astral Radiance, a ferocious and hypnotic Machamp that is an absolute unit. Machamp’s G Max Chi Strike ability deals 240 damage. The two VMAX cards are joined by eight VSTAR cards and 21 V.

Machamp VMAX

Like the Brilliant Stars expansion that was released earlier this year, there is a subset of Trainer Gallery cards with unique artwork. The Trainer’s Gallery features 30 unique cards that are numbered outside of the 189-card main expansion. I pulled out a Rapid Strike Falinks which features several of the adorable little caterpillar types.

Falinks Trainer Gallery
Falinks Trainer Gallery

Astral Radiance also introduces a new type of Pokémon card into the fold: Radiant Pokémon. There are only three Radiant Pokémon in the expansion. Unfortunately, I didn’t pull one out to show here, but they sound pretty good. The trio are Shiny Pokemon with “engraved artwork”.

If you’ve spent time wandering around Pokémon Legends: The World of Arceus, you’ll no doubt recognize the geography that surrounds the Pokémon in Astral Radiance. The volcano looming over Hisui on Firespit Island can be found in the background of a group of Pokémon. All regions of Hisui are represented here, from the vast plains of Obsidian Fieldlands to the frigid tundra of Alabaster Icelands. Regular Trainer cards also call Arceus. I took out Jublife Village, as well as a holographic Adaman.

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Check out the slideshow below to take a look at dozens of new cards in the Astral Radiance expansion. It’s worth noting that Astral Radiance includes Togepi sitting on a fence, which made me think of Humpty Dumpty, which in turn made me worry that Togepi would take a big fall and break his shell into even more jagged pieces.


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