“Scarlet ex / Violet ex” Secret Rares! Rainbow Rares Gone, Special Illustration Trainers!

The secret rares from Scarlet ex and Violet ex are now appearing on social media! The set officially releases in Japan this Friday. The cards from this set will become part of our Scarlet & Violet set on March 31st.

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“Scarlet ex” Secret Rares

“Violet ex” Secret Rares

Full arts for Terastallized Pokemon will feature a silver-colored background, a “shattered crystal” texture for this background, and a glittery overlay. Similar to shiny Pokemon, they’ll have sparkles as part of the background artwork. The color of the sparkles matches the Pokemon’s Tera type. For example, Gyarados ex’s sparkles are blue.

As expected, Rainbow Rares are gone. They were missing from last month’s VSTAR Universe, but now we know they won’t be returning to regular sets. They were first introduced in 2017’s Sun & Moon. They ran for six years across two generations. A noticeable amount of online fans voiced displeasure with them because they were seen as “gaudy” duplicates of full art cards. They also made it more expensive to complete sets.

Instead of Rainbow Rares, we’re now getting “Illustration Rares” and “Special Illustration Rares.” These feature unique artwork; according to TPCi, they “showcase Pokemon in their natural environments and offer a closer look at their unique personalities.” They were first introduced in VSTAR Universe (our special Crown Zenith set). They can feature any Pokemon, such as a common Sandile or an ultra rare Gardevoir ex. This way all Pokemon cards are eligible for a secret rare version, not just the big Pokemon of a set.

The “Special Illustration Rares” will feature a rainbow glitter effect over the cards like the old Rainbow Rares.

As the English set description implied, we’ll also be getting “Special Illustration Rares” for Trainers! This is also to replace the Rainbow Rare Trainers that were featured in recent sets.

It took Pokemon a long time to arrive at Illustration Rares. The first precursor was “Special Art” cards, which were first introduced in 2019’s Team Up set. These cards offered unique illustrations of a Pokemon-GX in addition to their standard full art and rainbow rare versions. “Character Rares” were the next version of them, introduced in 2019’s Cosmic Eclipse set. These featured special artwork of a Pokemon with their Trainer.