June is finally here, and that means it is only a few more weeks until the release of Pokémon Sword & Shield—Chilling Reign!
The recent news of big box stores removing product from shelves (as well as fewer releases this month) has diminished some of the immediate demand for product, which can be bad for resellers, but perfect if you're trying to pick up cards without paying a premium. Despite the drop-off in interest for cards from Battle Styles and Shining Fates, we are already seeing the hype return as prices for Chilling Reign product soar in anticipation of release.
Even though May was a calm month, June is certain to bring a bunch of new excitement to the Pokémon TCG! We know a lot of information about Chilling Reign, even if we don't have the full set list yet, and the new format coming later this year will shake up a lot of card prices in the $5 to $25 range, so if you don't open the big chase card there is still plenty of value in these sets. With that in mind, let's see which cards to pick up while they are cheap!
As we get nearer to the Standard format change on September 10th, players will be digging deep into the roster of Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX to find cards that can break the new format open. When the Pokémon-GX rotate out, Zamazenta V will skyrocket in playability as it can now nullify every attack from popular decks based on cards like Eternatus VMAX (swsh3-117) and Charizard VMAX (swsh3-20).
Zamazenta's fellow legendary, Zacian V (swsh1-138), will likely continue to lead decks to victory without Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (sm12-156) and Lucario & Melmetal-GX (smp-SM192), and now Zamazenta V can sit in the active slot and tank hits while you power up your Zacian V for a clean sweep. If you're planning on playing the TCG in the new format, having access to Zamazenta V could mean the difference between losing and winning before the format is figured out.
Battle Styles introduced two new mechanics to the Pokémon TCG: Rapid Strike and Single Strike. Chilling Reign looks like it will continue to add support to these strategies.
Though Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX had a lot of hype behind it before Battle Styles released, the decks that showed up in events afterward failed to impress players compared to the already dominating decks like ADPZ, Eternatus VMAX, and even Blacephalon. In the new format, however, the power level of cards will be shrinking as the incredibly potent Team-Up-GX Pokémon will no longer be playable, potentially putting cards like Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX at the top.
We have also started to see cards confirmed to be in Chilling Reign like Zeraora V that can dish out a ton of damage in Rapid Strike builds. Rapid Strike decks will be in a great position in September, and Battle Styles cards are currently at their lowest, so these cards are perfect to pick up while the rest of the community is sleeping on them.
Although the Single Strike cards aren't looking as strong as their Rapid Strike partners, that means it is currently even easier to pick up a full deck that can be ready for the next format. Houndoom (swsh5-179) is an awesome card for ramping up your energy on your main Pokémon, and will become even better as we see more Single Strike energies added to the game.
With the Single Strike cards being added to the game with Chilling Reign, there are a lot of new ways you can play this deck. Picking up the available cards now can set you up for success without having to spend a fortune investing on a new deck.
In a few short months, the Dedenne-GX (sm10-57) dream will finally be over and it will be time for Crobat V (swsh3-104) to shine! Since they were introduced to the game, Crobat V has popped up in a ton of decks as additional copies of Dedenne-GX that can help you dig deeper and keep your hand full. When we lose access to one of these cards, however, expect to see the other one even more as it becomes one of the only ways to fill your hand without using up your supporter card for the turn.
While The Pokémon Company International has done a good job of reprinting Crobat V so that it is accessible for a majority of players, there are still premium versions (full art and shiny) of the card that could climb in price when players want to "bling" out their decks. The premium versions of Dedenne-GX were able to climb toward the $15 to $25 price range, and currently, the full-art version of Crobat V is only $10 and the shiny version is only $4! These versions of Crobat V are a great investment at a low price, with plenty of listings and a potentially explosive future only a few months away.
If you missed out on opening Battle Styles packs during the craze over the last few months, it might be time to finally dig into the set.
Like Shining Fates, a ton of Battle Styles product was opened when people were looking for the chase cards to sell, and this meant that prices dropped on everything since there were always more copies available. Now that time has passed, more stores have a backstock of Battle Styles booster packs, and unlike Shining Fates, the top-end chase cards have also come down in price so that the entire set has started to level out.
We can already see the same cycle of early high prices and lower availability leading to lower prices and higher accessibility a few months later, so if you haven't already bought into Chilling Reign, it might be better to hold off and pick up the cards you were missing from previous sets until the hype calms down.
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The Pokémon TCG Hype Train isn't stopping any time soon, and even when it slows a little bit there are plenty of cards and products to pick up before the next explosion of excitement. June brings Chilling Reign and the return of big box stores selling Pokémon cards, so if you've taken a bit of a reprieve from hunting down packs in the wild, it is almost time to renew the hunt! Personally, I'll be going after a playset of product-hover id="234267" to start working on a new Rapid Strike deck now that the cards are cheap and plentiful enough to grab!
If you want to see what I'll be picking up this month across all TCGs, you can follow me on Twitter where I talk about all things TCG related and show off my greatest pulls and biggest losses!