Celebrations released two weeks ago, but there are still more ways to celebrate Pokémon in 2021! Fusion Strike, the newest set for the Pokémon TCG, will release in less than a month on November 12th.
Fusion Strike is named for the fusion strike "battle style" mechanic it will introduce to the Pokémon Trading Card Game. Like the single strike and rapid strike cards first introduced in Battle Styles, fusion strike cards will have a special logo and interact with certain rules text.
For example, Mew VMAX is a fusion strike card with an attack that lets you use the attack of one of your other fusion strike Pokémon. While single strike Pokémon tend to have high-power attacks, and rapid strike Pokémon tend to deal damage to benched Pokémon, fusion strike Pokémon tend to have abilities that let them negate their opponents' strengths.
Along with new twists on gameplay, Fusion Strike will include new cards of a few fan-favorite Pokémon that are bound to interest collectors. Celebrations is a tough act to follow, but Fusion Strike has a few big names like Mew and Gengar that will help it stand on its own. While the full set list has not yet been revealed, Fusion Strike is highly likely to include cards from the Japanese set Fusion Arts, which was released back in September. That gives us an excellent idea of what to expect.
The Pokémon Company International has confirmed that the smallest, pinkest cat in the world of Pokémon will appear in Fusion Strike. Currently, Mew is expected to appear on a total of six cards: three versions of Mew V, and three versions of Mew VMAX.
Mew recently beat the odds by becoming two of the 10 most valuable cards in Celebrations, so there's definitely demand for this psychic feline.
According to Google search research by TheToyZone, Gengar is actually the single most popular Pokémon in the United States of America! While that doesn't mean Gengar VMAX is going to rival Charizard VMAX (swsh45sv-SV107) in price, you should still expect Gengar V and Gengar VMAX to be among Fusion Strike's chase cards. While The Pokémon Company International hasn't officially confirmed that Gengar V and VMAX will be in Fusion Strike, we know that Gigantimax Gengar will be on the front of product-hover id="247656", so at this point it's all but guaranteed.
Gengar is expected to get three cards in Fusion Strike.
The Pokémon Company International has revealed that Fusion Strike will include a total of eight Pokémon VMAX. With Mew and Gengar accounted for, here are the Pokémon we're most likely to see in the remaining six slots.
Some version of Rillaboom VMAX is confirmed to be in Fusion Strike. Most likely, it will be a translation of the Japan-only promo released earlier this year, which has different rules text from the Rillaboom VMAX (swsh2-18).
Like Rillaboom, Cinderace VMAX (swsh2-36) has already been printed as a Pokémon VMAX back in Rebel Clash, so the version alluded to by The Pokémon Company will likely be an English translation of a promo that was previously released in Japan.
TPCI has also confirmed we'll get a new version of Inteleon VMAX: most likely the version from the High-Class Deck released in May alongside the Gengar deck.
We've now seen an English version of the Boltund VMAX released in Fusion Arts, so it's all but guaranteed to appear in Fusion Strike. Boltund Boltund V (swsh2-67) back in Rebel Clash, but the Dog Pokémon hasn't had a VMAX card until now. Its Bolt Storm ability looks incredibly potent.
Chandelure VMAX and Greedent VMAX were also in Fusion Arts, so they're both likely to make an encore in Fusion Strike. Chandelure (swsh2-33) last appeared (with no Rule Box) in Rebel Clash, the second Pokémon TCG set in the Sword & Shield series back in 2020. Greedent was introduced in Generation VIII, so it has already appeared in four Sword & Shield sets.
There will be 20 Pokémon V in Fusion Strike. Assuming that every Pokémon VMAX in Fusion Strike has a corresponding Pokémon V as usual, that leaves 12 Pokémon V.
Genesect V and Hoopa V have been officially confirmed on the Fusion Strike landing page.
Tsareena V and Crabominable V were both in Fusion Arts, so they're likely in Fusion Strike as well. That leaves eight Pokémon V unaccounted for.
While our level of certainty drops off considerably after this point, Poké expert JustInBasil has a good track record of guessing the contents of upcoming releases based on the cards that have been published in Japanese ancillary sets. Here are his predictions for the remaining eight Pokémon V of Fusion Strike:
Latias and Latios both got new cards in Fusion Arts that will likely appear in Fusion Strike. The Legendary twins may be single-prize Pokémon, but their attacks are tailored to take down opposing VMAX. If you don't want to put them in harm's way, Mew VMAX can just copy their attacks for much less energy. As Legendary Pokémon with some competitive potential (depending on how Mew VMAX performs), Latias and Latios are worth keeping an eye on.
Deoxys is the first card we've seen that counts as all three battle styles (single strike, rapid strike, and fusion strike), so that's cool. This is also the first time the Mythical Deoxys has appeared in a Sword & Shield set. I have more faith in Latias and Latios winning the playability lottery, but this is still another Holo Rare you shouldn't ignore.
Flaaffy is cute and all, but it's far from the most popular Pokémon in the franchise. So you may be surprised to learn that Flaaffy might become the most valuable card in all of Fusion Strike.
To understand why, there's two things you need to know. First, gold Pokémon cards have historically had ridiculously low pull rates, which makes them exceedingly rare. Second, this is a premium version of the Flaaffy (swsh7-55) from Evolving Skies, and its Dynamotor ability is about to be even more bonkers once we get Boltund VMAX. If Flaaffy fulfills its potential and becomes a tournament staple, all the top players are going to want gold copies to bling out their decks. Low supply and high demand? Sounds like a money card.
Fusion Strike doesn't look as impressive as Celebrations, but it's tough to compete with product-hover id="250320". Regardless, the set is delivering a new archetype to Standard and has plenty of cards that collectors will want to get their hands on. As always, for the best prices on sealed products, you should preorder your cards early.