The next international expansion for the Pokémon TCG, Sword & Shield—Evolving Skies, is set to release in just over a month on August 27th 2021. Based on the products that The Pokémon Company International has revealed so far, Evolving Skies is expected to pull in cards from three Japanese expansions: Eevee Heroes, Skyscraping Perfect, and Blue Sky Stream.
Since those sets have been fully revealed, we now have a good idea which Pokémon are likely to make an appearance in Evolving Skies. Here are the most valuable 'mons you might pull in the upcoming expansion for the Pokémon Trading Card Game.
All eight of Eevee's evolutions received all-new Pokémon V and VMAX cards in the Japanese expansion Eevee Heroes and its supplemental promo set. While Flareon, Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Espeon VMAX are not expected to appear in Evolving Skies, we are very likely to get those cards in a yet-to-be-announced promotional product.
The Grass-type Pokémon Leafeon is expected to appear on six cards within Evolving Skies. Along with a regular V and VMAX card, Leafeon will also have a full-art V card, an alternate-art V card, a secret rare VMAX card, and an alternate-art VMAX card.
The Ice-type Glaceon is also expected to appear on six cards within Evolving Skies. Since ice isn't a supported type in the Pokémon TCG, all of Glaceon's cards are Water type.
The Fairy-type Pokémon Sylveon is expected to appear on six cards within Evolving Skies. With Fairy no longer supported as its own type within the Pokémon TCG, Glaceon's cards are all Psychic type.
Adorably serious Umbreon is the last eeveelution expected to get six cards in Evolving Skies.
Evolving Skies will mark the return of support for Dragon-type Pokémon cards, and several old favorites are coming back to celebrate.
As the mascot for Pokémon Emerald and one of the three super-ancient Legendary Pokémon, Rayquaza has been a fan favorite ever since Generation III. Just like the four Eeveelutions above, Rayquaza is expected to appear on six cards in Evolving Skies, with an alternate-art Rayquaza VMAX as the rarest and most coveted version.
The original Dragon Pokémon from Generation I, Dragonite is set to make its very first appearance in a Sword & Shield TCG expansion. While no Dragonite VMAX cards have been revealed either internationally or in Japan, we will be getting three Dragonite V cards in Evolving Skies.
The Steel/Dragon-type Duraludon was introduced in Sword & Shield. As a relatively new Pokémon it won't command the same kind of nostalgia as Dragonite or Rayquaza, but fans of its skyscraping Gigantimax form will have multiple versions to collect in Evolving Skies.
The giant bat Pokémon Noivern will also grace three Pokémon V cards in Evolving Skies, doing its best Gargoyles impression in a moody new alternate art.
The most dramatic glow-up Pokémon of generation I, Gyarados will get its first Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX cards in Evolving Skies.
Spooky tree Pokémon Trevanant will also get V and VMAX cards, the better to haunt your nightmares.
Dracozolt is technically Electric/Dragon type, but for the TCG, The Pokémon Company decided to emphasize Dracozolt's Electric typing. At least they still get to hang out with all the other Dragon types in Evolving Skies.
As an allusion to werewolves, Lycanroc has three forms depending on when you evolve it from Rockruff. Lycanroc V and VMAX depict Dusk Form, the cool compromise between Lycanroc's cuddly Midday Form and edgelord Midnight Form.
The final Pokémon VMAX in Evolving Skies is the trash mountain itself, Garbodor, depicted here in Gigantimax form with a plane... for scale... which is also part of its body? Garbodor is weird.
Every Pokémon covered so far will have a V card. In addition, five other Pokémon will appear on V cards for the first time:
Out of these, Suicune V is the most likely to cause a stir among collectors. Suicune first appeared as one of the three Legendary beasts back in Generation II, and had an important role in the fourth Pokémon movie. Old-school fans are going to want the newest version of their favorite stoic wuff.
Only three Pokémon will appear on cards with the special gold rarity: Froslass, Inteleon, and Cresselia. Regular versions of all three cards were printed in Chilling Reign last month, so these are purely for collectors (and players who really want to flex).
If you missed Galarian Articuno, Galarian Moltres, and Galarian Zapdos when they appeared in Chilling Reign, don't worry—all three are expected to return in Evolving Skies. These versions may not be as flashy as the Pokémon V cards, but they do all feature an ability that lets you attach energy to them for free when you play them to your bench from your hand.
The Legendary Birds will always inspire nostalgia, regardless of which region they're from. If their abilities prove strong enough, these cards could become popular with collectors and competitors alike.
The Pokémon Company is sure to reveal more as Evolving Skies approaches, including translated versions of the alternate-art Pokémon VMAX, and information on where players will be able to find Flareon, Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Espeon VMAX. In the meantime, visit TCGplayer to see the full list of announced sealed products and to preorder Evolving Skies Pokémon cards as they're officially previewed.