It’s been a short while since Battle Styles burst onto the Pokemon TCG scene, packing a punch and introducing the Rapid Strike and Single Strike style Pokemon cards to offer whole new ways of building your deck. But now it’s time to cool down and hunt for the legendary Calyrex in the biggest Sword & Shield TCG expansion ever released, Chilling Reign.
What is Chilling Reign?
Based on the second DLC for Pokemon Sword and Shield, Crown Tundra, Chilling Reign is all about the legendary Pokemon found in the frigid south of the Galar region. However, we haven’t completely forgotten our trip to the Isle of Armor in Battle Styles, though, and so both Rapid and Single Strike Style cards will be coming back for a second outing here. For those who missed them the first time, Styles are cards that are meant to guide how you build your deck: Single Strike Pokemon focus on big, direct damage, while Single Strike is more mischievous, causing interesting effects and toying with your opponent.
For collectors, Chilling Reign is going to be a doozy, with over 70 alt-arts and secret rares to hunt for. Headlining the set is Calyrex, a regal Pokemon with a huge crown, and its trusty steeds, Glastrier and Spectrier, with them joining forces in the stunning Ice Rider Calyrex VMAX and Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX cards. These will come in lots of different art styles, but the ones you really want to pull are the holo-rainbow prints!
They aren’t the only Legendaries here, as the new Galarian forms of the Kanto birds – Articuno V, Zapdos V, and Moltres V, make an appearance, as well as the Alola Mythical Pokemon Zeraora. All of these come in stunning full alt-art versions as well, with my particular favourite being Galarian Zapdos V being the embodiment of SPEED.
What Other Cards Should I Look Out For?
It’s not just those powerful Legendaries you need to keep an eye out for, though. Golden shiny Pokemon are back too, with shiny Electrode, Bronzong and Snorlax all being among the most rare cards in the entire set. Galarian Rapidash, Galarian Slowking and Blaziken are all getting V or VMAX treatments, including some incredible alt-art for Galarian Slowking V, showing him just chilling out by a stream. It’s brilliant that Chilling Reign is carrying on Battle Styles’ trend of having alt-art cards showing Pokemon just vibing, just like the last set’s adorable Tyranitar.
There’s also an emphasis on Supporter Trainer cards to help bolster your deck. Honey, Avery and Klara from the Isle of Armor finally pop up, as well as Peonia and Peony from the Crown Tundra. Peonia is particularly exciting, as she lets you swap out your prize cards with cards in your hand! We have a few returning faces from older games too, like Brawly and Flannery from the Hoenn region, Caitlin from Unova and a Siebold from Kalos. All of these come in both normal print and holo rainbow rare, which always looks fantastic.
Time to open some packs!
If you’re a fan of cracking packs, Chilling Reign is coming in lots of different ways for you to enjoy. There are two different styles of the Elite Trainer Box, which both come with eight booster packs, a set of dice, sleeves, coins, a player’s guide and some basic Energy cards. The only difference between the two is the mascot Pokemon featured on the sleeves and the colour of the dice: blue comes with Ice Rider Calyrex, while purple comes with Shadow Rider Calyrex instead.
Checklane blister packs are back, too. Each of these come with a coin and specific card to help kick off your deckbuilding, with Phanpy and Morpeko being available in the single pack checklanes, and Snorlax and Eevee coming in the three-packs. There are also two premium Checklanes, each coming with a single pack, but with three included cards instead of the one. One includes the entire Torchic/Combusken/Blaziken family, while the other includes Rowlet/Dartrix/Decidueye, giving you an entire evolution line to build around!
As an expansion, Chilling Reign looks like it is comfortable building on the things Battle Styles’ massive shakeup introduced, while also putting out some really awesome rares to go looking for. Whether you’re boosting your Battle Styles deck with the like of Galarian Slowpoke V Single Strike or Metagross VMAX Rapid Strike, or just hoping for some choice pulls to trade with your friends, Chilling Reign is going to be really, really… cool.