Sword & Shield—Battle Styles releases today! That means our Top 10 list must be full of the new cards, right?

Not quite.

One of the things I've had to learn about Pokémon finance is that sealed products massively outsell card singles. The majority of buyers aren't playing the game—especially now, with in-person play on hold due to COVID-19. Instead, they're either collecting the cards, or picking up cards they can resell to those collectors. Either way, buyers want to know that the cards they're getting are as close to Near Mint as possible. And they're willing to play the sealed lottery for the certainty that comes from pulling the card directly out of its packaging.

(I should point out that I don't endorse this strategy. On average, the contents of a sealed product are less valuable than the product itself. At TCGplayer, we work with our sellers to ensure you get your cards in the condition you ordered them.)

Even buyers who are primarily interested in playing the game may prefer to buy sealed products so they can get the accompanying code that lets them open the same product on Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. PTCGO is the best venue for hard-core players to practice and test decks, and the codes are the only way to get lots of PTCGO cards quickly. Plus, the prices for singles tend to drop significantly once a set actually releases, so even buyers who want singles will likely bide their time for the best deal.

For those reasons (and probably others that I'm overlooking), buyers don't preorder singles. They preorder boxes and boosters. As a result, none of the new singles from Battle Styles made our list this week, even though product-hover id="229277" are selling faster than anything that did make the list. Think of this week as a snapshot of the market before people start opening Battle Styles and selling their unwanted copies of product-hover id="233359".

#10: Alcremie VMAX (SHF 073)

This is a secret rare reprint of the Alcremie VMAX (swsh35-23) that came in Champion's Path. Interest in it has picked up significantly in the past week, and I don't know why. The average quantity per buyer is low, so this isn't a result of price speculation. I couldn't find any competitive decks that are using Alcremie VMAX (though its Adornment attack looks nutty with the right setup). Its price has remained constant at just below $5 since the start of the month, despite the new attention it's received.

At this point, I'm chalking up Alcremie's popularity to pure luck of the draw. Congratulations on your good fortune, Alcremie VMAX. We bought you a cake to celebrate. WAIT-

#9: Yveltal (SHF 046)

Yveltal is back to being the only Shining Fates Amazing Rare on our list. Its price has continued to dwindle over time, making this card a fantastic pickup for fans of the Pokémon that Griffin McElroy once nicknamed "Hot Topic."

#8: Boss's Orders (Giovanni) (RCL 154)

Boss's Orders is back! Except, it kinda never left. The only reason it hasn't shown on up in our Top 10 list for the past few weeks is that after being reprinted in Shining Fates, it dropped below our $1 cutoff. It's been hanging out with Quick Ball (swsh1-179), Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165), and the other trainer cards we never mention because they cost pennies and always sell well.

The Boss's Orders (swsh45-58) is still silently outselling everything on this list. But this week, the older (more expensive) version of the card also attracted a bunch of buyers. I can't imagine it's going to be collectible, so this looks to me like another indication that players are expecting to play face-to-face soon, and they're grabbing all the Standard staples they can.

#7: Pikachu SWSH039

A foil version of this flirty Pikachu was guaranteed in every blister pack that came in specially marked boxes of General Mills cereal earlier this year. This past week a few speculators picked up enough copies to launch Pikachu into the Top 10.

The card has actually dropped in price since speculators took interest, so it might be a while before their gamble pays off.

#6: Crobat VMAX SWSH099

This is one of the two possible promo cards guaranteed in every product-hover id="230391". As we've seen time and again, guaranteed promos are guaranteed to top our list, as folks treat them less like collectibles and more like rebates.

#5: Crobat V SWSH098

The other promo from that collection.

#4: Dedenne-GX 195a 214

The speculation on this card a few weeks ago might as well never have happened, because after a little wobbling, its price is right back where it started: between $3 and $4. Dedenne-GX came to its Top 10 status this week the honest way: through consistent demand by players who like drawing cards.

If I were a seller, I don't think I'd wait to unload these. product-hover id="216699" and Crobat V (swsh45-44) are valuable because they let you refill your hand without using your precious one-supporter-per-turn. Starting today, they'll be competing with product-hover id="234047", and depending on how things shake out competitively, they could lose some of their market share.

#3: Dragapult V SWSH096

One of the promos from product-hover id="230392". You know the drill.

#2: Dragapult VMAX SWSH097

...And here's the other one.

#1: Crobat V (SHF 044)

For the fourth week in a row, Crobat V has soared into our Top 10 thanks to being reprinted in Shining Fates. Despite flying high, its price has stayed fairly stable between $6 and $7, which is much lower than its pre-reprint price of $12.68. I'm not sure whether the demand or supply will dry up first. For now, they're both holding steady.