Today's the release of the fourth set in the Sword and Shield series, Vivid Voltage, featuring what the official Pokémon website calls "the delightful round wonder" of Gigantimax Pikachu.
So round, so wonderful.
Let's take a look at which cards players are most excited to pick up. Here are the top 10 presellers from Vivid Voltage.
An unconventional supporter, Allister draws you three cards then forces you to discard at least one. That makes Al better than Milo (swsh2-161) in terms of the control you have over what you discard, but still worse than Professor's Research (swsh1-178) at both filling your discard pile and refilling your hand.
Cool art though.
Thunder Snipe is a neat ability for hitting Pokémon on the bench. Unfortunately, most Pokémon V and Pokémon GX can stand up to 160 damage, so you're unlikely to get a knock out. If you need help powering up Zapdos, look to number 7 on this list.
Most of the time when a card sells really well, part of the reason is that it's cheap. It's easy to justify an impulse buy (or a speculative buy, with the aim of reselling) when each copy of a given card is under a dollar.
That's not the case here. Jirachi is the most-hyped card in the set, and as I write this, its market price is $38.31. But players are still buying, because its Dreamy Revelation ability is just that good. Jirachi offers filtered card advantage to absolutely any deck, and with U-Turn Board (sm11-211), it's usable every single turn.
This is solid acceleration in Lightning decks. While giving your opponent a prize feels bad, you can build your list to minimize Electrode's downside—say, by relying on Pokémon VMAX, which give your opponent three prize cards when they go down. That way, Electrode doesn't change the math on how many of your Pokémon your opponent needs to knock out to win.
Pikachu VMAX loves this card.
It's big, it's basic, it burns. Most importantly, it evolves into Coalossal VMAX.
Coalossal VMAX has more HP than any other Pokémon in Vivid Voltage, its second attack deals more damage by default than any other, and it self-accelerates. In other words, there are reasons people want to play it. Coalossal V is just here to make that happen.
Talonflame V flies into the active spot whenever your hand is empty, draws you six cards, shrugs off a hit, then retreats for free. What more do you want?
You should expect to see this in every Fire deck for a while.
I gotta figure the players buying Stone Fighting Energy are the same ones who put Coalossal V at number 6. Coalossal VMAX is big beefy boy who hits like a truck, and with Stone Fighting Energy, it'll be very hard to knock out.
Its first attack screams, "build around me!" and you can buy a copy for under a dollar. Of course Garbodor is a top seller.
Remember a few paragraphs ago when I kept talking up how tough Coalossal VMAX is? If you have 10 Pokémon Tools in your discard pile, Garbodor takes it down in one shot. A lot of players are chasing that dream, and I'm not sure they're wrong.
Even though Shedinja is technically basic, you can't put it into play unless you're evolving Ninjask, so it's effectively a stage 1. Its attack looks strong, but given Shedinja's paltry 30 hit points, it won't survive to use that trick a second time.
Is sacrificing Sedinja a fair price to take down a VMAX you can't handle any other way? Probably, but that's a best-case scenario. In time, we'll see how often Shedinja saves the day and how often Boss's Orders (swsh2-154). In the meantime, players are happy to spend $0.93 a pop to find out themselves.
Yes, I'm cheating. But booster boxes of Vivid Voltage are currently outselling every Pokémon single on TCGplayer besides Quick Ball (swsh1-179) and Marnie (swsh1-169). With tabletop play at a standstill due to COVID-19, players know buying a booster box is the most efficient way they can get codes for the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.
That, and folks can't get enough of the delightful round wonder.