Over the years, the Pokémon TCG has featured many different patterns used on their holographic cards. Some patterns lasted for years, while others had short stays, making them markers for their short time in the franchise. In this next installment of A Holographic History of the Pokémon TCG, let’s take a look at a style of card that debuted in the Sword & Shield era: the Pokémon-V Full Arts.
From a collector’s perspective, the artwork of Pokémon-V Full Arts harkens back to the Pokémon-EX Full Arts of the Black & White and XY eras. Full Art cards are characterized by two major features:
- A color used on the actual linework that permeates an entire era and style of card
Note on the Sword & Shield – Vivid Voltage Pikachu Full Art above that the actual linework on Pikachu isn’t black but is silver foiling. The Black & White and XY eras used gold linework for their Full Art Pokémon-EX, while the Sun & Moon era switched it up to blue for their Full Art Pokémon-GX and red for their Full Art Ultra Beast Pokémon-GX. Now, the way that the Full Art Pokém0n-V harken back to the EX is by recapturing something lost in the GX era: beautiful, varied backgrounds.
Full Art GX used flat backgrounds with colors corresponding to the Pokémon’s typing. Full Art Vs, on the other hand, sees the Pokémon TCG allow artists to vary their backgrounds, creating colorful and sometimes trippy patterns that both elevate the art and lean into the texture of the card. Look, for instance, at how the texture on the Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies Espeon card goes along with the beautiful background pattern.
This new style of Full Art has led to these cards becoming very popular with Pokémon TCG collectors. If a popular species, like the Pikachu above, gets a Full Art, it will often become more valuable than even the Secret Rares of a set.
This isn’t the only style of Full Art Pokémon-V introduced in the Sword & Shield era. There is a variant. March 2021’s Sword & Shield – Battle Styles brought back alternate art cards which now appear as V in the Full Art section and VMAX with the Secret Rares. Stay tuned for a future episode of A Holographic History of the Pokémon TCG as we dive into Alternate Arts or, as they are sometimes called, Special Arts.