The Pokémon TCG has outdone itself with its latest release, Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike. Fusion Strike, which was released in November 2021, is the largest expansion that the Pokémon TCG has ever released with a whopping 264 cards before Secret Rares. The set is partly based on the Japanese expansion Fusion Arts but also adapts several key Japanese promo cards as well as cards from sets like Eevee Heroes that were left out of that set’s English equivalent, Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies. Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike is notable for its focus on the Mythical Pokémon Mew and Gengar VMAX, as well as its introduction of a new Battle Style to the competitive TCG with Fusion Pokémon now joining Rapid Strike and Single Strike. Now, let’s take a journey through the best cards in this staggeringly large set of Pokémon cards.
Two installments ago, I pointed out that Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike has the weakest selection of Full Art Trainers of any Sword & Shield-era set thus far. That has mostly been because ever since Sun & Moon, the Pokémon TCG has had consistently awesome Full Art Trainer offerings, so it’s less that this is a bad selection and more that the others are just so good. Fusion Strike hits gold with Elesa’s Sparkle and the Chili & Cilian & Cress card is solid as well. Then, there are cards like these. Sidney is decent if a bit boring due to the drab colors but, to be frank, I couldn’t imagine less interesting Full Art choices than Schoolboy and Schoolgirl. I do like that Trainer Classes get the Full Art Treatment, as that leads to some solid cards such as Doctor, Aroma Lady, that kind of stuff. However, there’s nothing really that screams Pokémon about these designs. They’re not horrible cards by any means, but compared to sets like Sword & Sheild – Evolving Skies which has Zinnia and Raihan, and Sword & Sheild – Vivid Voltage which has Nessa, Bea, and Allister, this line-up is left lacking. That said, Fusion Strike is called a bad set by some, but I don’t personally see this. Other than the Trainer line-up, I find it to be a strong offering with good normal cards, great Alt Arts, and perhaps the best collection of standard Full Arts we’ve seen so far.
Next time, the spotlight on Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike continues with more cards from the set. You can follow this spotlight series by clicking our Fusion Strike tag.