Top 10 Best Alternate Art Cards in The Pokemon TCG: Sword & Shield
July 31, 2022

Top 10 Best Alternate Art Cards in The Pokemon TCG: Sword & Shield

When Alternate Art Cards (Alt arts) returned to The Pokémon TCG with the release of Battle Styles in 2021, fans were once again able to chase more than regular Ultra Rare cards to complete their sets. Their re-introduction into the TCG brought a variety of new and interesting card concepts that would quickly become the must-haves for every type of collectors. With a large variety of of these Alternate Art Cards to choose from for our list, we took into consideration multiple factors to select our Top 10. You can also find these cards by browsing through all Pokémon Singles.

  • Art Design (uniqueness, style, appeal)
  • Price / Value
  • Pull rate
  • Excluded Promo Cards

Top 10 Pokemon: Sword & Shield Alt Art Cards

#10 — Beedrill V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH10: Astral Radiance

To start off our list, the beautiful Beedrill Alt Art that no one expected is a great example of an inexpensive card that boasts lots of appeal with its design, colors and the fact that Beedrill is not typically a popular Pokemon. 

 Beedrill V (Alternate Full Art)


#9 — Origin Forme Palkia V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH10: Astral Radiance

Following the introduction of the Origin Forme Palkia / Dialga in Pokemon: Legends Arceus, we got to see both get an Alt Art version in Astral Radiance. While Dialga's colors make the card extremely desirable, Palkia's design, inspired by the mathematical staircase painting created by M. C. Escher gives it a spot on our list. It also fetches a decent price making it a good value / design choice.

Origin Forme Palkia V (Alternate Full Art)


#8 — Tornadus V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH06: Chilling Reign

Chilling Reign boasts a good variety of Alt Arts that deserve recognition, but a rather interesting one is this Tornadus Alt Art, a comical yet powerful image showing the true strength of nature. One could say it may also resemble the fabled emergence of a Genie from its bottle. 

Tornadus V (Alternate Full Art)


#7 — Single Strike Urshifu V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH05: Battle Styles

Battle Styles gave us 4 different Urshifu Alt Arts, and while this one is far from being the most expensive, it's design is easily the best when it comes to displaying Urshifu's strength. The card is rather inexpensive, has a decent pull rate and is thus an easy pick up for any collection.  

Single Strike Urshifu V (Alternate Full Art)


#6 — Gengar VMAX (Alternate Art Secret) - SWSH08: Fusion Strike

Gengar has been a fan favorite Pokemon since Gen 1 and what better way to make a first Alternate Art appeareance than with an oversized Gengar swallow-up! Considered to be one of 2 ultimate chase cards from Fusion Strike, Gengar VMAX earns a spot on our list for Design, Value and Fan Appeal. 

Gengar VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)


#5 — Hisuian Sneasler V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH10: Astral Radiance

Astral Radiance as a set knew how to pull on the heartstrings — For any fans of the game Pokemon Legends: Arceus , this Alt art card is a must have. Featuring the Hisuan Sneasler V climbing a mountain, you can't help but feel like is a screenshot taken directly from the game. Bonus points for being a medium-value card. 

Hisuian Sneasler V (Alternate Full Art)


#4 — Tyranitar V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH05: Battle Styles

Back to where it restarted, can't make a list of the best alternate art cards without mentioning the king of Battle Styles. Sleeping Tyranitar is easily one of the best comical designs out there. The Emboar that hides in the back makes it even better. This card fetches the highest price in Battle Styles making it a high-value chase card. 

Tyranitar V (Alternate Full Art)

Alternate Art Honorable Mentions

With so many Alt Arts, especially from Evolving Skiesit's hard not to mention a couple great ones that many out there are still to this day looking to acquire.

Espeon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret) - SWSH08: Fusion Strike

Espeon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)

Leafeon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret) - SWSH07: Evolving Skies

Leafeon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)

Mew V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH08: Fusion Strike

Mew V (Alternate Full Art)

Rayquaza VMAX (Alternate Art Secret) - SWSH07: Evolving Skies

Rayquaza VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)


#3 — Galarian Moltres V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH06: Chilling Reign

Looking for a true display Pokemon Card? This Galarian Motlres V hits you with a bright pink on grayscale that simply pops and features complete symmetry. While Zapdos usually gets the spotlight when it comes to the 3 legendary birds, this Moltres Card is a must have and a well-valued choice.

Galarian Moltres V (Alternate Full Art)


#2 — Machamp V (Alternate Full Art) - SWSH10: Astral Radiance

This card makes it all the way to 2nd place for multiple reasons. First, no one expected it - Machamp is not an incredibly popular Pokemon but the reveal of this Alt Art had everyone going crazy over its design. The card not only encapsulates what Machamp could do on his day-to-day but the style is simply amazing. Not to mention that it managed to outprice both the Palkia and Dialga Alt Arts in Astral Radiance. 

Machamp V (Alternate Full Art)


#1 — Umbreon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret) - SWSH07: Evolving Skies

There's a big ongoing debate as to whether this card is THE best alternate art of the Sword & Shield Sets - but undoubtedly, a cards price does speak volumes when it comes to overall demand, rarity and design. Umbreon is a fan favorite and Evolving Skies is notorious for having bad pull rates, making this card even harder to acquire. With a set reprint on the horizon, it's unclear how the cards value will be affected but being an Umbreon, it will surely hold a lot of value going forward regardless.     

Umbreon VMAX (Alternate Art Secret)


Special Upcoming Mention

As the new Pokemon TCG Set: Lost Origins is nearing release, we did get a chance to see a card that could presumably disturb out rankings, and that is the Giratina VSTAR Alternate Art which we can expect to see. We can only speculate on its settling price but we assume it will top the set as the most valuable Alternate Art of Lost Origins. 

All "Lost Abyss" Secret Rares Revealed! - | Poké Forums



Alternate art Pokémon cards are definitely highly sought-after and with good reason! In the future, it's very likely these will hold great value and also be a solid addition to anyone's collection!