This week we've got a nice mix of spec buys, competitive all-stars, nostalgia-driven purchases, and genuine head-scratchers. Let's jump in.
This was the last promo Pokémon card Wizards of the Coast printed before they lost the license. The only time you could get it was in 2003, when a copy came in the DVD of Pokémon 4Ever. Why didn't you buy Pokémon 4Ever when you had the chance! You must feel pretty foolish.
This card has the lowest number of unique purchases on our list, at a grand total of... four. That means just four people bought enough copies to Suicune (basep-53) to lift it to our top 10. If they were were trying to raise the price, they succeeded: the average price of Suicune was $20.58 last week, and now it's selling for almost $10 more.
Scoop Up Net (swsh2-165) shows up in any deck alongside Pokémon with one-use abilities, but especially in Eternatus V (swsh3-116) decks and Mad Party. Eternatus loves reusing Galarian Zigzagoon (swsh1-117), and Mad Party decks like having ways to recycle Dedenne-GX (sm10-57). It has only been printed once, in Rebel Clash, so you can expect it to hold some value until they print it again.
These days we have Professor's Research (Professor Magnolia) (swsh1-178), with Professor Magnolia looking like she's about to offer a mission to James Bond. This old Professor Oak card looks like he just caught you sneaking potions out of his private stash. Astonishingly, this isn't a spec—lots of players just decided this would be the week they picked up the cranky Poké PhD.
True to their nature, Snorlax slows the game down. In the lead up to Vivid Voltage players were excited to build a full-on control deck around this beefy boy. Since then, player Robin Schulz innovated another option: adding Snorlax to Decidueye (swsh3-13) decks for extra card draw and consistency. Playing Snorlax on your first turn lets you use all your Quick Ball (swsh1-179) cards and refill immediately, even if you're going first.
This is another spec buy by a very small number of investors. Right now Dubwool V (swsh2-153) isn't worth much, but if we get Dubwool VMAX in an upcoming set, its price could climb.
For now though, I'm not so sure this is a wise investment. The February set Shining Fates is rumored to include a lot of cards from Japanese set Shiny Star V, which included a very sparkly version of Dubwool V. I can't see Dubwool V going up in price with a shiny reprint on the horizon.
Pikachu V (swsh4-43) Charge attack lets it set up perfectly to evolve to Pikachu VMAX (swsh4-44) and deal 270 damage the next turn. That will one-shot nearly anything—even Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (sm12-156) barely survive with 10 HP. Slap on a Vitality Band (swsh1-185) and you're golden.
Pikachu VMAX hasn't made it to the top tier of Standard, but that's not going to stop players who just want to experience the delightful round wonder.
Curmudgeons, hipsters, and curmudgeonly hipsters (like me) are always on the lookout for single-prize attackers that can stand up to Pokémon VMAX. The new Charizard might fit the bill. Royal Blaze can deal up to 300 damage in a single shot, and with Heat Fire Energy (swsh3-174), Charizard can even survive Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX (sm12-156) Ultimate Ray after they've boosted it with Altered Creation GX.
Plus, everyone loves Charizard.
Every deck wants more card draw. Dedenne-GX (sm10-195a) provides that draw, without using up your precious one-Supporter-per-turn.
Basically every competitive Standard deck is running Dedenne-GX (sm10-195a), Crobat V (swsh3-104), or both. If you can only afford one of them, Dedenne-GX gets the nod by virtue of being about $10 cheaper.
Everyone loves Charizard! This version of the Flame Pokémon evolves into Charizard VMAX (swsh3-20), which at time of writing has a market price of $86.55.
I'm inclined to think both of these cards are more valuable to collectors than to highly competitive players. G-Max Wildfire does more than enough damage to one-shot most opposing Pokémon, but it requires five energy to use, two of which you have to discard every time you attack. To me, that looks too slow to assemble and use.
Clearly though, I'm in the minority with my skepticism, because people are racing to buy copies of Charizard V. Determined players will accelerate to five energy with Volcanion (sm10-25) and Welder (sm10-189). At 330 HP, Charizard VMAX can survive nearly any attack at least once, so hopefully that gives you enough time to get to five energy so you can light 'em up.
This supporter is essential in every competitive Standard deck, period. It's the only legal card that can switch out your opponent's active Pokémon 100% of the time.
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That's all, folks. Poke the speech-bubble-with-a-face in the bottom right to leave feedback on this article. Until next time, may all your Professor's Research (Professor Magnolia) (swsh1-178) produce significant results.