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Chilling Reign Set Review

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Chilling Reign is finally here! Made up of the Japanese sets Jet-Black Spirit, Silver Lance and Peerless Fighters, the sixth entry in the Sword and Shield series sure is something special. As Battle Styles featured Urshifu prominently, Chilling Reign is all about Calyrex! 

A Frosty Introduction

The High King Pokemon takes the reins of his trusty steeds! Both Ice Rider Calyrex and Shadow Rider Calyrex feature heavily, with V and VMAX forms apiece! Each of them feature 3 different card arts as well! The special full art print continues the style first seen in Battle Styles, with the Pokemon in storybook style! 

The chase cards this time around are something special. Not only is there the already mentioned 4 Calyrex forms, but the Galarian Birds make an appearance! Galarian Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres are here for the first time!  These cards both look and play amazingly, and the secret arts are even better. 

CRE Birds

Mind Over Matter

Chilling Reign adds a large amount of support to the terrifying Psychic Aggro archetype. Cresselia gives players the ability to get 3 energy on the field turn one, which can then be placed on your Shadow Rider Calyrex V or Galarian Zapdos V! This absurd first turn allows you to Set up in ways that are frankly, unfair. The perfect starting hand means setting up with Cresselia on your Calyrex and swinging for 170 on your next turn using Zapdos! This is possible with the starting hand of:

Galarian Zapdos V
Shadow Rider Calyrex V
Aurora Energy
Psychic Energyx2
Switch/Bird Keeper

And would also require your opponent to have 2 Pokemon Vs on the field. Stocking your deck with cards like Professor’s Research, Bird Keeper and Marnie allow you to keep this speed up every turn! Make sure you only use Psychic and Aurora energies, even on Zapdos, to allow Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX to deal around 250 damage per turn! Hang around to the end to see my full Shadow Rider Calyrex deck!

CRE Psychic

Treasure Trove

For you collectors out there, the set offers a huge amount of fun too! A huge amount of Trainer cards are getting beloved full-art treatments. 13 of them to be precise! This ranges from brand-spanking new cards like Klara, Peony, Peonia and Avery, to a reprint of Caitlin from Plasma Blast! Unfortunately, not all of the alternate art V cards made it to the English release, although they are expected in a product between now and Evolving Skies. Celebi V and Sandaconda V, in-store promos in Japan, are not available in their Secret Full Art forms in the west, yet. 

Chilling Reign Packs and Blisters

Onto what you can actually buy at Zatu! First off, we have the booster pack and booster boxes, a staple of any card game. A single pack contains 10 cards, and the booster box contains 36 packs! The booster packs also make an appearance in the supplementary Checklane Blisters. There are 4 1-pack variants and 2 3-pack variants. The 1 pack variants have reprints of Darkness Ablaze holos for the Blaziken line and the Decidueye line, as well as brand new art for Black Star Promo variants of Holographic Morpeko and Holographic Phanpy. They also all contain a collectible coin, and you can buy them in bundles

The 3-pack blisters contain either a Single Strike Snorlax, or an Eevee, both with new Black Star Promo card art, as well as 3 Chilling Reign boosters! The Snorlax is a fantastic basic pokemon for any Single Strike deck, as its Single Strike Tackle ability can be used very early for massive damage! Eevee is a great pickup too, as the next expansion includes a lot of Eeveelutions and Eevee-flavoured cards! Both of these also get the fantastic cosmos holofoil treatment! Just like the other sets, you can buy both at a reduced price!

CRE Promos

The "Box"ing Ring

Finally, we have the Elite Trainer Box. The box features either Ice Rider or Shadow Rider Calyrex, but the contents will be the same no matter what, just with different art. Each box has 8 Chilling Reign Booster Packs, 64 sleeves featuring the same Calyrex as the box, 4 dividers, a Damage Counter Dice set and some status markers. There are also some booklets to teach you how to play, and a fantastic box to store your cards in!

Hungry for more Chilling Reign? Preorder the Ice Rider and Shadow Rider Calyrex V-Boxes and get a guaranteed High King Pokemon for your collection! These contain the promotional card, a giant version of it and 4 Chilling Reign packs! 

Conclusion for Chilling Reign and Deck List

Chilling Reign is a great set. The support for previously ignored deck archetypes feels like it will reinvigorate paper play, and the new collector chase cards bring something special to the game! It is likely one of the best sets for a while, and when the rotation happens expect to see Chilling Reign be incredibly strong!

CRE Deck

As promised, here’s my Shadow Rider Calyrex deck list.

2x Creselia (Chilling Reign)
2x Galarian Zapdos V (Chilling Reign)
4x Shadow Rider Calyrex V (Chilling Reign)
4x Shadow Rider Calyrex VMAX (Chilling Reign)
2x Crobat V (Darkness Ablaze)
2x Jirachi (Vivid Voltage)
3x Bird Keeper (Darkness Ablaze)
4x Professor’s Research (Sword and Shield/Champion’s Path)
3x Boss’s Orders (Rebel Clash/Shining Fates)
4x Marnie (Sword and Shield)
4x Quick Ball (Sword and Shield)
3x Switch (Sword and Shield)
4x Fog Crystal (Chilling Reign)
3x Old Cemetery (Chilling Reign)
4x Aurora Energy (Sword and Shield)
12x Psychic Energy

This deck is all about speeding up your play and getting your powerful ‘mon, namely Calyrex, in before your opponent can do anything! Use the Aurora Energy on Jirachi and Zapdos to activate Amazing Star! As your entire energy base is Psychic energy, you can then put so many in play your opponent can’t stop Calyrex dealing crazy damage! Aurora Energy counts as Psychic for the purpose of Max Geist. Get your entire energy base on the field early, and deal 480 damage a hit!