Pokémon Scarlet and Violet loom large on the horizon, but there’s still time for one more trip through the Galar region for the popular trading card game. Crown Zenith launches on January 20th, and its slew of boxes, tins and special selection will focus on alternate art treatments, including new Galarian Gallery cards.
Crown Zenith will be the first set of 2023 for the Pokémon TCG and the ultimate conclusion for the Sword & Shield era before it joins the video game series in the Mediterranean-inspired Paldea region. According to a press release from The Pokémon Company, the set will span more than 160 cards in multiple unique formats, including the first alternate art VSTAR Pokémon.
The set will include 17 Pokémon V, which are more powerful versions of their normal counterparts and set the stage for evolution into the even more extravagant VSTAR and VMAX Pokémon - Crown Zenith offers eight and five of those cards, respectively. The publisher didn’t provide a full list but did confirm that Zacian VSTAR and Zamazenta VSTAR, Galar’s legendary doggy duo fashioned after the eponymous sword and shield, will serve as face cards in some of the boxes.
Alternate art is definitely the biggest sell for Crown Zenith, which reportedly contains a larger than usual number of unique treatments. Chief among them is the Galarian Gallery, a suite of 70 cards ranging across all types and rarities, that showcases the Pokémon and characters’ “uniqueness” with full artwork. Mewtwo VSTAR, Darkrai VSTAR and Hisuian Zoroark VSTAR are confirmed to be part of the Galarian Gallery.
Nine of the Galarian Gallery cards will form a larger mosaic when laid out together. This is likely different from the V-Union mechanic, which requires players to assemble all four pieces of a more powerful Pokémon before it can be played (sorry, Yu-Gi-Oh! did it first with Exodia). Nine cards is a monumental task to pull off during a match, so expect these cards to feature some beautiful panoramas or a scene with notable characters, instead.
Collectors will also want to keep an eye out for three new Radiant Pokémon, which feature shiny versions in the card’s artwork. Charizard, Charjabug and Eternatus will flaunt their variant colourations in Crown Zenith, which launches worldwide next year on January 20th . Booster packs and some of the collections will be immediately available, while other products will periodically drop through May.