2022 Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance Review 

Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance is the latest expansion, featuring the Origin Formes of Dialga and Palkia, appearing in the set as V and VSTAR cards.

Astral Radiance also introduces a sparkling new mechanic unique to Shiny Pokémon.

It might be slightly overshadowed by the upcoming Pokémon GO expansion, but there’s still a number of major hits to look out for. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the best Astral Radiance cards, including key stats, and why they’re so popular.

Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance: Key Stats 

Release date: May 27, 2022 

Cards in set: Astral Radiance is part of the Sword & Shield series, and has 216 cards in total

Average Booster Display Box Price: $100/£80

RarityCard Count
Rare Holo V28
Common40
Uncommon47
Rare21
Rare Holo32
Rare Holo VSTAR7
Rare Holo VMAX4
Rare Radiant3
Rare Ultra35
Rare Rainbow18
Secret Rare Holo11

Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance: Best Cards  

We’re looking at the cards as pure collectibles, that can be graded and taken care of.

To begin, we’ve listed five of the biggest hits contained in Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance, along with their current resale price and any relevant additional info about the Pokémon card.

5. Hisuian Samurott VSTAR 209 (eBay)

Hisuian Samurott VSTAR (Secret) (209)

The Hisuian Samurott VSTAR from Astral Radiance is where we’ll begin. The Gold Secret Rare version is one of the more popular cards from the collection, with the border popping thanks to a strong design against the red, white, and blue of the Pokémon. 

The water/dark Hisuian Form was introduced in Generation VIII, as a deadly counterpart to the version found in the Unova region. With an abundance of these Hisuian Samurott VSTAR cards in packs, and a large print run, it’s fairly affordable right now.  

Check prices of Hisuian Samurott VSTAR on eBay 

4. Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR 208 (eBay)

Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR (Secret) (208)

Sticking with the Gold Secret Rare versions, the Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR card is another hit from the collection. 

Palkia’s Origin form released as part of Pokemon Legends: Arceus. As the game page notes;

“This is the true appearance of Palkia, the Legendary Pokémon that is said to control space.​ Palkia has the power to warp, destroy, and create space itself. They say that the very space in the world where Origin Forme Palkia resides is in shreds, as if it had been torn to ribbons.​“

The Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR card is still one of the more affordable options to make the list, coming in at roughly $40 at the current time of writing. We still expect it to dip over the next few months as more copies enter the market.

Check prices of Origin Forme Palkia VSTAR on eBay 

3. Origin Forme Palkia V Alternate Full Art (eBay)

Origin Forme Palkia V (Alternate Full Art)

On the subject of Palkia’s Origin Forme, the V alternate art card is one of the more interesting images you’ll find in the TCG. The artwork is reminiscent of optical illusions, with an impossible background that sees Palkia in the middle. 

Time Gazer and Space Juggler were the original Japanese sets, and you get to see the god of matter, space, and the cosmos as he warps reality around him. 

It currently sells for roughly $70. 

Check prices of Origin Forme Palkia V Alt Full Art on eBay 

2. Origin Forme Dialga V Alternate Full Art (eBay)

Origin Forme Dialga V (Alternate Full Art)

The next card to make the list features Dialga in its Origin Forme.

It’s game page says:

“This is the true appearance of Dialga, the Legendary Pokémon that is said to control time.​ Dialga has the power to warp, destroy, and create time itself. The flow of time is said to be in constant flux in the world where Origin Forme Dialga resides, always moving in different directions and different speeds.”

The Special Full Art print features artwork by Mitsuhiro Arita, and it’s one of the more valuable cards from the Astral Radiance set. 

Check prices of Origin Forme Dialga V Alt Full Art on eBay  

1. Machamp V Alternate Full Art (eBay)

Machamp V Alternate Full Art

Machamp V was included as a Regular card, a Full Art card, and a Special Full Art card in the Astral Radiance expansion. We’re looking at the alternate art card, which shows the Pokémon making use of his extra arms and strength in a town setting. 

Machamp has always been a popular Pokémon, as one of the original 151 who is the result of an evolution via trading. Expect to pay over $100 at the current time of writing, potentially more for a crisp copy. 

Check prices of Machamp V Alt Full Art on eBay 

Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance: Box Prices 

A Pokémon TCG booster box comes with 36 packs, and should be available online around the $110 mark, give or take a few dollars either way. As the highly anticipated Pokémon Go collection is following so closely, there has been some doubt as to the long-term appeal of Astral Radiance. That’s one explanation for why booster boxes are cheaper than normal. 

Check Astral Radiance box prices on eBay 

Sword & Shield – Astral Radiance: Summary  

Astral Radiance is a fun set, even if there’s no chase Charizard to be found inside. Regardless, there’s a major hit which is likely to pay for an entire booster box in the form of Machamp V, as well as a number of mid-tier cards going for $50+. 

The drop rate for Astral Radiance isn’t the best we’ve seen over the years, while boxes continue to be printed at extreme rates. If you’re looking at graded versions, we’d stick with PSA 10s when they eventually make their way onto the market.  

Overall: 3/5

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