It’s 2021 and we’re just a few days away from Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl releasing on Nintendo Switch. The Diamond & Pearl era is held fondly in many Pokemon fans’ hearts leading to huge excitement for the remakes of the 2006 classics. This week, we thought we’d enter a time machine and head back to the D&P era of Pokemon TCG to look at chase cards from back when – starting with one of our favourite sets of all-time: Diamond & Pearl Stormfront.
By the time Pokemon Diamond & Pearl Stormfront was released in English on November 5th 2008, the Pokemon VGC was well and truly into the Platinum era. Pokemon Platinum, the enhanced version of Diamond & Pearl featuring Giratina and the amazing distortion world, was released in September of 2008 making Stormfront the final Diamond & Pearl Pokemon TCG expansion.
Stormfront continued down the same road as other sets from the Diamond & Pearl era by featuring chase cards in the form of the LV. X mechanic. The set includes five LV. X cards: Dusknoir, Heatran, Machamp, Raichu, and Regigigas. The Raichu LV. X and Regigigas LV. X are the winners here in my opinion. They combine fan favourite Pokemon alongside sharp pops of colour making Raichu LV. X is one of the best LV. X card arts of all time. I don’t want to shy away from any of the LV. X cards from Stormfront however. The PSA Pop report for them all is low ranging from Raichu with 27 PSA 10s in existence to Regigigas with a seldom 9.
The LV. X cards are great but it’s the new type of card released in the set that propels Stormfront above the rest from the same era. If you’re a regular Ludkins Media reader, you’ll know that we talk about nostalgia on what seems to be a day to day basis. Stormfront is no different. The Pokemon Company decided to introduce retro cards to pull on our heartstrings by giving artists from classic cards the opportunity to reimagine their take on cards with a modernised spin.
Mitsuhiro Arita was given the task of redesigning his classic Kanto fire starter trio from Base Set by creating the chase cards for Stormfront. Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard were all given a new coat of paint and a slight 3d imaging alongside a beautiful holo pattern. I know many are bored of the Charizard hype, but I think it’s hard to not state the beauty of these cards. The Charmander secret rare is my favourite Charmander card of all time with its perching blue eye in a holographic field. These are the cards that make this set the best Diamond & Pearl set of all time starting a trend of further retro cards throughout the Platinum era of the TCG.
If the retro cards weren’t enough, Pokemon also included a tiny subset of shiny Pokemon with reverse holo patterns. Drifloon, Duskull, and Voltorb tie the set up nicely and provide what I and many others believe to be the best expansion from the Diamond & Pearl era.
We’re going to be running through some of the best expansions from Diamond & Pearl in the lead up to the worldwide release of Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl on November 19th. What do you think of Stormfront? Do you have any of these cards in your collection?
John-Anthony Disotto – Ludkins Media Editor-in-Chief
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