Astral Radiance, the Pokemon Trading Card Game''s latest set, includes 189 regular cards, including a suite of full- and alternate-art supporter cards and Pokemon V cards.
A number of rare cards with a special rainbow or golden colouring are available, as well as a 30-card trainer gallery miniature set, which allows you to chase a lot of Astral Radiance cards.
Best Astral Radiance cards
- Dark Patch
- Hisuian Heavy Ball
- Radiant Greninja
- Machamp V (Alternate Full Art)
- Darkrai VSTAR
- Hisuian Samurott VSTAR
- Origin Forme Dialga VSTAR
- Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR
There are 246 new cards to collect in Astral Radiance, which makes it a meaty set by any standard. That doesn''t mean every card is necessarily a hit, though. Below, weve picked out the Astral Radiance cards that are different, but a couple cut the line only on appearance. (Looking at you, Machamp V.)
The release of a new Pokemon TCG set is always an exciting time for many collectors. This way, chase those ultra rares and slotting cards into a new binder provides a good dose of serotonin. Sword and Shield - Astral Radiance
Dark Pokemon is stronger than they have ever been in some time in Astral Radiance. Between Darkrai VSTAR, Hisuian Samurott VSTAR, and a few other cards, darkness decks are wildly powerful with the new set.
Dark Patch, a remake of Dark Explorers, is a powerful way to boost Darkrai VSTAR, which does damage based on the amount of Darkness energy you attach to your Pokemon. Just be sure to pair Dark Patch with Ultra Balls or Quick Balls in order to extract the energy into your discard pile where Dark Patch can find them.
One of the greatest pleasures in the Pokemon Trading Card Game is discovering that you have awarded one or more of the cards key to your decks win conditions. After playing a Quick Ball, only to discover that the basic Pokemon youre has listed on your six facedown prizes can be devastating.
Heuian Heavy Ball is able to obtain some much-needed prize card manipulation, which is in the Standard format. Decks using the Inteleon engine will find Hisuian Heavy Ball particularly useful as they are dependent on having as many Sobbles on the bench as possible to fully use Drizziles''s handle.
Irida makes a case for being one of the best. It allows you to search your deck for a water Pokemon, which, coincidentally, is the typing for one of the most powerful Astral Radiance cards. (Spoiler: youll see it a bit further down this list.)
Irida gives decks with respect to Inteleon''s algorithms - lists like Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX and many of the new Palkia builds were seeing. All in all, Irida will be an invaluable feature in many water-type decks in the new Standard format.
Since the launch of the base Sword and Shield set back in early 2020, Pokemon V, VMAX, and VSTAR cards have been the foundation of almost every competitive deck. Because of this, cards that turn them off tend to be extra powerful - and Astral Radiances Miltank is a great example of this.
It is also humbling to see heavy hitters like Arceus VSTAR rendered useless against a fabled cow. Miltank is currently being paired up with Chilling Reigns Blissey V to a surprising success in the Standard format online.
Radiant Pokemon is one of the most powerful and versatile cards available on the market, but these cards are limited to one copy per deck. Three of them have been released in the set, but the best one is Radiant Greninja.
Card draw will always be a bonus to any deck, and it helps Greninja well integrates with some of the sets stronger water Pokemon such as Starmie V and Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR. Throw in a Melony or two and even the Concealed Cards discard requirement isnt all that bad.
Machamp V is only on this list because of how excellent it is. Look at it! Is it a pillow or a sack of flour? Is it shopping for itself or for its trainer? Does Trapinch help out? It''s unlikely that this is one of the best alt art cards ever printed.
Darkrai VSTAR, a new mascot for the Astral Radiance set, has a lot of utility thanks to its Star Abyss capability. Although getting two item cards from your discard pile is evidently helpful, Darkrais Dark Pulse is not a flaw, killing 30 characters for every Darkness energy attached to it.
Pair it with some Dark Patch acceleration, like Galarian Moltres V or Dark Patch, who got a reprint in Astral Radiance. It''s safe to say that Darkness-type decks are in a good place with this set.
Another reason to contemplate playing Darkness-type decks in the Astral Radiance format is that the Merciless Blade attack does 220 damage total if the opponent Pokemon is already damaged, resulting in Samurott''s ability to disseminate damage counters, such as Galarian Zigzagoon and the Quick Shooting Inteleon from Chilling Reign. If you do not want to draw one, you may always lean on Samurott''s own VSTAR power, which allows you to distribute four
One look at Origin Forme Dialga VSTARs'' ability to understand why it is one of the finest cards in Astral Radiance. Taking two turns in a row is undoubtedly extremely powerful, particularly in a scenario where two- and three-prize Pokemon make up the majority of attackers. Imagine taking down a VMAX Pokemon with Star Chronos, claiming three prize cards, and then getting another turn!
Use a Bosss Orders to create a Pokemon V that you can knock out with a Metal Blast and you may win another two prizes. The downside is that Star Chronos requires a huge amount of energy, but you have toss a couple Metal Saucers into your deck and get it created.
Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR, a popular Pokemon for Astral Radiance, is nothing short of a true powerhouse. It does not shine until the midgame as both players have loaded benches, but the potential to do 260 damage in one swing is enormous. However, it is extremely powerful, allowing you to power up some of the more demanding water Pokemon in the set - such as Radiant Greninja, whose attack requires you to discard two energy.
Palkia already has a number of top-tier competitive decks, including this list which has won the Melbourne Regional Championship this month.