The Pokémon TCG: Sword and Shield—Darkness Ablaze expansion launched today

Check out the new cards and some deck tips for this expansion.

Screengrab via The Pokémon Company International

The third Pokémon Sword and Shield Trading Card Game set became available today. The Darkness Ablaze expansion contains 201 cards of various Pokémon, including Generation V Pokémon and Pokémon VMAX like Charizard and Eternatus.

It’s a dramatic set. “The velvet night glows, burns and blazes astoundingly bright as the Legendary Pokémon Eternatus arrives as a Pokémon V alongside Centiskorch V, Mew V, Galarian Slowbro V, and many others,” the description reads.

This expansion is made up of the Infinity Zone and Explosive Walker sets from Japan. Players will also find Pokémon VMAX in their Gigantamax forms, like Charizard VMAX, Grimmsnarl VMAX, and Butterfree VMAX, for example.

There are new Galarian versions of Pokémon in this expansion as well as Galarian Darmanitan and Galarian Sirfetch’d theme decks. Players will also encounter new trainer cards including gym leader Piers and Chairman Rose.

Deck tips

  • Eternatus VMAX’s Dread End attack does 30 damage for each of your Pokémon in play. Play Crobat V and use its Dark Asset Ability to draw more cards, potentially finding even more Pokémon to play with.
  • Rose lets you attach two basic Energy cards from your discard pile to one of your Pokémon VMAX, but it comes at the cost of discarding your entire hand. With the Rose Tower Stadium card in play, you can then draw three cards to get a fresh hand.
  • Reminiscent of the old Night March deck from the XY Series, Bunnelby, Dedenne, Polteageist, and Galarian Mr. Rime all have the Mad Party attack, which does 20 damage for each Pokémon in your discard pile that has the Mad Party attack. Discard as many as you can to do some big damage.

The Sword and Shield TCG sets that were previously released include the basic set and the Rebel Clash expansion. The next expansion in line, the Champion’s Path, will start to release on Sept. 25. It’ll bring an additional experience to the card game with gym badges to collect.

Players can buy the physical version of the cards or play the game online. The Pokémon TCG online game is available for Windows, Mac, iOS devices, and Android devices.