This week's winners include three Amazing Rares and a promo Mew from a short-lived Japanese youth culture magazine. Let's jump in.
250 damage is nothing to sneeze at, and with a pair of Twin Energy (swsh2-174), Lugia can one-shot nearly anything on turn two. That's a best-case scenario, however. The Standard deck built around Lugia remains a fringe part of the metagame, held in check by Lugia's relative fragility at 130 HP and by Wind Pressure's significant drawback.
Still, its low market price has attracted buyers who either want to crack the code of making Lugia competitive, or make a profit when someone else does.
The new version of Jirachi has largely failed to unseat Jirachi (smp-SM161), which appears in several competitive decks—especially ones that rely on finding an early Welder (sm10-189) to power up their attackers. But a day may come when someone develops a deck that's better served by Dreamy Revelation than Stellar Wish. Until then, this Jirachi is relying on its Amazing Rare status to keep its price up.
This Zacian is another of Vivid Voltage's Amazing Rares, along with the above Jirachi (swsh4-119) and another Pokémon later in this list. These six Pokémon all feature a prismatic rainbow background, a new "A" rarity symbol, and attacks that require three different kinds of energy.
So far, that three-energy hurdle has kept these cards from having much impact competitively. If that hurdle could be cleared, however, Zacian (swsh4-82) is arguably the best of the bunch. The vast majority of competitive decks are playing Pokémon VMAX, which means Zacian's Amazing Sword attack could reliably deal 300 damage. Plus, Metal Armament helpfully accelerates Zacian's energy to get it to that point.
An extra-rare card with untapped potential? Of course it's a best-seller.
Back in December, Dedenne-GX (sm10-57) was #3 on this list. This week it's gone, and Crobat V is filling in instead. Both Pokémon act as pseudo-trainers with their card-draw abilities, and practically every competitive deck runs one or both of them.
I'm just surprised they didn't both make the list. Last time I speculated players preferred Dedenne-GX since it's less than half the cost of Crobat V, but now that they've switched? I guess players are upgrading.
The third Amazing Rare on the best-sellers list this week. Having to discard all its basic energy whenever you attack feels really bad to me. But Rayquaza isn't on here for its competitive potential—people just want to own a beautiful, rare Dragon-type card with nostalgic appeal and a spray-paint-splatter background.
If colorless energy doesn't disrupt your strategy too much, this card is incredible. Whether you're attacking with single-prizers or Pokémon VMAX, you always want to get your Basic Pokémon out of your deck and onto your bench.
Competitively, you're most likely to run into Capture Energy in Eternatus decks. Eternatus VMAX (swsh3-117) gets stronger for every Darkness Pokémon in play, so sticking more Basics on your bench directly supports the strategy.
A lot of collectors have spent the last three months pining for the Secret Rare version of Charizard V from Champion's Path, a premium expansion that wildly exceeded expected demand.
That card currently has a market price of $282.88, down from over $600 back in September.
The Sword & Shield version isn't quite as shiny, but at $11 it's practically a steal, so collectors have been picking up copies left and right.
Mandatory for all competitive Standard decks. Next!
Mew is this week's speculative buyout. First printed as a promo back in 2000, this card was included in the July issue of Gotta Magazine, a Japanese youth entertainment magazine that ran for 18 months from December 1999 to July 2001.
As an old card with a low price and a unique history, Mew is a prime target for speculative buyers. Despite their efforts, however, its market price remains under $2.
Featuring cool art of one of the most iconic Pokémon in the franchise, and just barely looking competitively viable if you tilt your head and squint, Charizard has risen to become the top-selling Pokémon single. In more casual settings this Stage 2 is a beast, drawing you the best of three cards every turn and dealing up to 300 damage with its Royal Blaze attack. Against tier 1 Standard decks... I'm not seeing it's easy to one-shot Zacian V (swsh1-138), but it's more than worth the losses you'll have to suffer to get there.