Art of the Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield—Lost Origin Expansion

Now that the latest Pokémon TCG expansion, Sword & ShieldLost Origin, has arrived, it’s a good time to take a closer look at some of the incredible artwork that can be discovered within it. This time around, we will focus on two artists who created illustrations for this set and on several cards that are set in the Hisui region. Read on to see these cards along with a few of our other favorites.

Cards that feature bright, bold colors are sure to stand out, and the artist known as kurumitsu always delivers on that front. Their cards in this expansion also tend to use analogous colors (that is, colors that are next to each other on the color wheel) to give the art a natural feeling. Just look at Pikachu here—the card’s vibrant yellow and green tones create a serene scene, and Pikachu looks positively adorable as it prepares to nosh on that Pecha Berry. The cool colors on the Mawile card reflect the cave setting, but the gems embedded in the cave’s walls add a splash of warmer color. The various shades of blue on Porygon’s artwork lend a high-tech look that reflects the Pokémon’s technological origins. Judging by Lampent’s card, though, kurumitsu isn’t afraid to work with complementary colors as well. The Pokémon’s burning yellow and orange flames against the blue and purple sky suggest a fierce, high-energy attack!

We looked at a couple cards (Magmar and Sawk) by Shinji Kanda back when the Sword & Shield—Brilliant Stars expansion was released, but we wanted to give this artist their full due here. They only have two cards in this expansion, but they’re both gems. Like kurumitsu, Kanda also relies on bold colors, but with a much sketchier, almost harsh look that is captivating. The contrast between the vivid neon colors and inky blacks on Ariados’s card is striking and makes the Pokémon look rather fearsome. This style works especially well for Giratina V, who appears to be flying through the Distortion World. The rainbow of colors amid the stark blacks, combined with the maddeningly intricate details, give this card a look that’s almost overwhelming.

A few cards in this expansion look back into the world of Pokémon’s distant past with artwork that depict scenes from Pokémon Legends: Arceus. The Mr. Mime card features the mischievous Mr. Mime who hangs out in the back alleys of Jubilife Village, making life difficult for the residents there. Machoke is looking mighty powerful as it strikes a pose on Castaway Shore in the Cobalt Coastlands. We can see Firespit Island’s volcano looming in the background. Speaking of looming mountains, it’s hard to miss Mount Coronet in the distance behind Goomy. Just be careful when exploring the Hisui region: you never know when you might cross paths with the troublesome Miss Fortune Sisters.

In Pokémon Snap and New Pokémon Snap, you’re tasked with taking photographs of Pokémon in their natural environment. These photos are graded on such factors as the pose, how large and centered the Pokémon is in the frame, and if there are other Pokémon in the shot with it. While admiring the various cards in Sword & ShieldLost Origin, a few immediately made us think that their images would get a high score in Pokémon Snap. Take Shellos and Gastrodon here—two nicely centered Pokémon variants interacting in the same shot. They’re great pictures! Clefairy is even better. You have the main subject centered while other Clefairy frolic around it, giving us some good close-ups as they play during their Moon-Watching Party. It’s sure to be a high-scoring photo! Just be wary when it comes to Falinks. You might think you’ve captured half a dozen of the Pokémon in a shot, but no! According to their Pokédex entry, they’re technically one Pokémon. No bonus points for you there, pal.

Seeing that full moon on the Clefairy card also made us notice how often it was out on other cards in this expansion. The glowing full moon on Shuppet’s card combined with the dark clouds and ghostly mist swirling around the Pokémon combine to create an eerie vibe. Shuppet may look a bit silly as it unleashes its Tongue Slap attack, but we know it’s out for a night of eating negative emotions. The full moon returns to dramatically illuminate Hisuian Zoroark as the Pokémon perches atop a tree while its luxurious fur blows in the night wind. We only see the moon’s reflection as Politoed stares up at it, but it does set a relaxing mood. Enjoy your evening, Politoed!

Of course, this is just a sampling of the many beautiful cards that you can find in the Pokémon TCG: Sword & ShieldLost Origin expansion. There are over 190 cards there in total, so you’re bound to discover some new favorites.

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