Shining Fates and Battle Styles sealed products are currently available for presale, but singles from these upcoming sets are not. As a result, most of the market movement this week has been around those few products, and the market for singles has felt a bit stagnant.
Even so, a few odd duck singles have caught the eyes of speculators. Let's see what they're up to.
Celebi is the only Aamazing Rare on the list this week, and while it has slipped from its 7th place slot two weeks ago, its price has continued to climb.
The number of unique purchases is high, which suggests we're not seeing a targeted buyout by speculators. Buyers just enjoy owning a unique, rare version of a nostalgic Pokémon. Who could say no to those big, big eyes?
This card's success, on the other hand, is driven by speculation. A small number of investors have bought out this promo card in the hopes that its price will rise.
Whatever four-dimensional chess game they're playing, I don't get it. Meowth VMAX (swshp-SWSH005) isn't especially rare since it came in every copy of the Meowth VMAX Special Collection, which you can still buy. The card has zero competitive potential. Meowth is generation, 1 and therefore nostalgic for everyone who can still recite the Team Rocket monologue by heart. But I wouldn't call Meowth "beloved"—he was a non-entity in the games and the silly butt of jokes in the anime.
Who are investors going to resell this to?
This straightforward Item card is a four-of in several competitive Standard decks, including the current deck-to-beat (Pikarom), and the up-and-coming rogue deck (Snorlax Control).
Why are players willing to slot a card that does absolutely nothing 50% of the time? Mostly, because VMAX decks are blazingly fast. If not disrupted, Eternatus VMAX (swsh3-117) can start attacking on turn two and rack up one-shot after one-shot—and if your Pokémon are VMAX too, it only takes two knock outs to end the game. In this situation, attacking first can mean everything. Knock out Eternatus and you'll be up three prize cards and half way to victory. Attack second against Eternatus's 340 health, and you might as well do nothing at all.
Crushing Hammer (swsh1-159) can slow down Eternatus VMAX (swsh3-117) by one turn, giving you a second chance to luck your way into the first meaningful attack of the game. Other decks with more energy acceleration aren't as vulnerable to Crushing Hammer (swsh1-159), but when you need it, you really need it.
What do you call a Supporter card that doesn't follow the only-one-per-turn rule? There are two right answers, and Crobat V (swsh3-104) is one of them. Nearly every competitive deck plays at least one copy of this flying purple egg.
It's hard to get a read on the players who are buying this card. They're not competitive players—Charizard (swsh4-25) is fun, but nowhere near the top tier of Standard. I'd expect collectors to focus on shinier, rarer versions of Charizard over the one you can get in a Theme Deck. And if investors were picking up copies to resell, I'd expect them to pick up dozens at once. Instead, the average number of copies per order is just over two.
My best guess is that casual players of all ages bought the Charizard Theme Deck, and now they're getting the other two copies of Charizard (swsh4-25) they need for a full playset. Whatever the reason, Charizard just earned itself a spot on our top 10 list for the fifth time in a row.
Dedenne-GX (sm10-195a) is the other non-Supporter Supporter on this list. If you thought it was Eldegoss V (swsh2-19), you earn partial credit—that card just missed the cut as our #11 best-seller.
Two weeks ago I said I expected Charizard V to remain at or near the top of this list until the release of Shining Fates. I'm sure glad I added "or near," because here we are at rank #4.
Charizard is still the second-most iconic Pokémon in the whole franchise, and this promo version (with Charizard hovering nonchalantly in front of a pink-and-blue void) still feels exclusive while being relatively affordable.
A minuscule 10 buyers picked up enough copies of this card to land it in our #3 slot. That's what we in the biz call "speculation."
This card came in free marketing kits designed for North American game stores and distributed last September. Due to the pandemic, most of those stores couldn't hold regular events, which means the contents of their kits wound up in storage or online, instead of in the hands of players.
Some enterprising souls have discovered that stores are selling these limited-print cards for a dollar apiece. At that rate, even a small price increase could mean huge profits to whoever corners the market. We'll see whether that bet pays off.
In the old days, knocking out the right opposing Pokémon meant picking up one prize card and denying your opponent a strong attacker. Now it means picking up three prizes and denying your opponent the centerpiece of their deck.
Pokémon V and VMAX are everywhere, and Boss's Orders (Giovanni) (swsh2-154) is the easiest way to force one to the active zone right when it's weakest. If you're playing Standard and don't have four copies of this card, you're doing it wrong.
I normally don't include sealed products on this list—it's "Best-Selling Pokémon Cards," not "Stuff." I'm making an exception this week because this booster box had more unique buyers than any other Pokémon card or product, by an order of magnitude.
What's more surprising is that the Shining Fates Elite Trainer Box isn't anywhere close, even though that set is closer to release and is practically guaranteed to be packed with highly collectible versions of competitive cards. That means something for everyone, and I expected it to be a slam dunk. My best guess is that buyers are splitting their preorders among the other sealed products from Shining Fates, like the Pikachu V collection. If that's the case, I'm glad they're taking Zach's wise advice to heart.