Japan's latest subset, Dream League, launches today, and is possibly one of the most stunning in the Sun & Moon block. Let's take a look at my five favourite cards AND show off all 12 of the “CHL” character full art Pokémon/Trainer cards!
It would be super easy for me to make a “Top 5” from the set just full of the beautiful CHL cards, but that would take attention away from many other amazing cards from Dream League.
#5 – Empoleon
Design-wise, I would say that Empleon is right up there with my favourite water Pokémon. I was disappointed with the Ultra Prism artwork, so it's great to see this card have more focus and emphasis on Empoleon's face/top half, as opposed to other arts recently that focus on the body.
What makes this Empoleon even more awesome is that you can also play the new full-art CHL Piplup card featuring Dawn if you want to really bling out your decks. Doing 130 damage for two Colorless energy is pretty decent also, this Empoleon might see more play in the future.
#4 – Lillie’s Clefairy Doll (Secret Rare)
This card (also available as a regular art Trainer in the set) is an awesome call-back to the original Clefairy Doll from the 1999 Base Set. Clefairy was originally going to be the “mascot” of the anime, but was later changed to Pikachu after focus testing, so it's great to see Clefairy getting more love in recent years.
TCG wise, it's great to see another “Robo Substitute” type card, a Trainer that counts as a Pokémon. Lillie’s Clefairy Doll has even more potential also as at any time you can choose to put the card onto the bottom of the deck. Helping prevent you from decking out, and even freeing a bench space if you need to put more Pokémon down. Can't wait to try it out!
#3 - Reshiram & Zekrom-GX (Regular Art)
Although the alternate art version of Reshiram & Zekrom-GX features N more prominently, I love that this “regular art” GX card has more of an emphasis on the legendary duo, with N looking super chilled between the two, whilst they are preparing to battle.
Pokémon TCG players will also be VERY excited about this card as it's probably the strongest in the set, and has potential to be a “Tier 1” deck straight out the door. For 1 Fire, 1 Lightning, you can discard any combination of those two energy types from your benched Pokémon to do 90x damage.
In recent months, Pokémon (such as Ultra Necrozma-GX and Blacephalon-GX) that don't have a cap to the amount of damage they can do, have been doing really well in this era of high-HP, Tag Team-GX Pokémon. I can't wait to start testing this deck!
#2 – N's Resolve (Full Art)
Black & White's N has always remained a super popular character, even long after the Gen 5 era had finished. He's had some stunning full art Trainer cards before, including the gorgeous one from the “Best of XY” Collection Box, but N's Resolve is almost in a league of its own.
From the mysterious runes in the background, the light emanating from his hand, and his dark/mysterious form, there is just so much to love about this full art Trainer card. Players of the aforementioned Reshiram & Zekrom-GX deck will also be keen to get hold of this card, as it helps attach energies to your benched Dragon Pokémon. Make sure to pick up your copy quickly if it's included in our November set, Cosmic Eclipse!
#1 - Solgaleo & Lunala-GX (Alternate Art)
There is a heavy feeling of love and sadness as we approach the end of the Sun & Moon series of cards as I chose my #1 from Dream League. Solgaleo & Lunala-GX more prominently features Lillie than the regular art GX card, and the whole card just looks prerrt and really pops out from the background.
Thankfully for collectors, Solgaleo & Lunala-GX won't be as obviously powerful and heavily used in the TCG from the beginning, as it's more likely to be a 1-2 copy inclusion in some Malamar-focused psychic decks, due to its heavy energy requirement to attack. Take nothing away from it though, this card truly is a stunner and is very much deserving of it's number one spot!
BONUS – All 12 “CHL” Full Art Pokémon Character Cards!
The real reason most of us are here and will likely be buying multiple boxes of Dream League is probably not for the above cards, but for these GORGEOUS full art character cards. It's so great to see such a range of trainers from across the generations being represented alongside their partner Pokémon.
Apparently you get three of these cards per Dream League box on average, which should make these relatively affordable (around $8-12 each currently) to collect all twelve. Bare in mind the Clefairy (Lillie) promo card is only available to those that purchase booster boxes of the set in Japan, so make sure to pick those up early!
Special shout out to this AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL, STUNNING full art Pikachu (featuring Red) card though. So much nostalgia, feels and everything relating back to starting our original Pokémon journeys in 1999. As a Pikachu fan, and someone who is excited to test out this card alongside the new Raichu, I love all this card represents. I pray that it gets released in a collection/box tin in English, so I don't have to pay $25+ each a copy if it's included in the main Cosmic Eclipse booster packs this November!
Dream League is released in Japan on August 2nd. This set will be extremely popular, make sure to pick up your box(es) as soon as you can!
Stephen Kent – Ludkins Pro Player