Pokemon Sword and Shield TCG unboxing: Opening packs, up close with foil

Today we're taking a look at a box of Pokemon cards from the newest set, Sword and Shield. The Pokemon TCG: Sword & Shield expansion was announced to be released officially on February 7, 2020, but The Pokemon Company decided to send us some packs and starter decks so we could do a bit of an unboxing and closer look. UPDATE: More packs, time to open!

The Pokemon TCG: Sword & Shield expansion includes a total of 202 different cards. Each pack includes 12 cards, including at least 7 common or uncommon (or better) Pokemon cards, one Trainer, one reverse-foil version of a base set card, and a rare. Below you'll see an example of a pack's contents. This array of cards came from a pack we just opened!

You'll also find one new art Pokemon energy card – they look radical for this set! You'll also find (not pictured here) a Pokemon Trading Card Game Online card (to enter in for a digital pack in the game's app).

The foil cards in this set come in a few different designs. In the image here you'll find a couple of Water Type Pokemon with a foil design. A new sort of foil design also appears in some Rare cards in the set – black star, foil patterning surrounding Pokemon in image, but not outside of rectangle graphic box. That sort of rare foil type isn't new in and of itself, but the design will be new to collectors in the USA – one might call it a vertical line foil pattern.

The colors in this latest foil pattern on Pokemon cards in the Sword and Shield set make rainbows of light move back and forth like you're playing wind chimes. A similar pattern can be seen in some previous sets exclusive to Japan. Below you'll see a couple examples of foil patterning that appears on some of the more extravagant cards of the set.

Easily the most fantastic-looking cards in the set are the V and V-MAX cards. V is a sort of Pokemon similar to what we've seen in past sets with EX and GX, but here the designers of the game have taken things up a notch with the artwork. Even the least rare of these monsters is aesthetically dazzling enough to get excited about.

Next, another pack. This pack included an Oranguru foil (vertical pattern) rare and a reverse holo Sobble. Nothing too fancy – can't win em all!

Another pack included an alternate art Cramorant V. This is card 198/202, where the other version of Cramorant V has the exact same stats and abilities, but is card number 155/202. Both are considered Ultra Rare.

Aside from the packs, The Pokemon Company sent three theme decks, too. Theme Decks – aka starter decks – are pre-constructed decks of cards made to allow players to get in on the new set without having to purchase enough packs to construct a full deck. The cards in this deck are not particularly rare – and they're not random, like a pack of cards. Three different theme decks are available at launch: Rillaboom (Leaf), Cinderace (Fire), and Inteleon (Water).

This set was announced with a release date of February 7, 2020, for retail stores in the USA. You'll find individual packs (like we've opened here), as well as starter decks and a variety of other combinations of cards in stores as early as this Friday! Stay tuned as we reveal more!