March has come to an end. The snow has melted, flowers have begun to bloom, and Battle Styles Booster Packs are finally available enough to find in stores. Now that the month is over, it's time to see which cards were able to ride the hype and which cards have seen better days. Today, we'll go over my picks for this month's winners and losers, as well as my expectations for the future health of the Pokémon market.
Finished $6, up 300% from $2
Players have been clamoring for a solid poison deck for quite some time, and they may finally have enough pieces to build it! Cards like Weepinbell (swsh5-2) that auto-poison your opponent's Pokémon can make Toxicroak incredibly punishing without even using up your attack for the turn. Whenever there are players that want to overwhelm their opponents with crippling status effects, you can expect Toxicroak to be there.
Given that this Toxicroak was released in the Sword and Shield Base Set, it is slowly becoming harder to find which, combined with its powerful ability, have led to the increase in price.
Finished $4, up 166% from $1.50
Much like Toxicroak above, this Articuno offers a strong ability on a 1-prize Pokémon. Articuno protects your bench from supporters, which has the potential to be game-changing considering how many decks are running four copies of Boss's Orders (swsh45-58).
1-prize "toolbox" Pokémon are slowly becoming more and more popular (especially when you consider some of the cards rumored to be coming to the game in the next set). If you were able to pick up packs of older (but still in the Standard format) packs like Team Up, it might be time to go through your foils to see if any other cards have shot up in price!
Finished $18, up 38% from $13
Zacian V has been the king of the format since its release, and the only surprise is how this card has managed to stay as cheap as it is. Over the last year, decks have tried their best to unseat one of the three top-performing decks that include Zacian V, and except for Eternatus VMAX, no deck has been able to take too many wins away from it.
Now that Battle Styles has started to settle down and the newer strategies have been unable to take over the format, Zacian V will likely keep going up until something is finally strong enough to knock it down for good.
Finished $11, up 323% from $2.60
When I initially looked over Battle Styles, Victini V was one of the Pokémon V that I rolled my eyes at and moved on without looking too deeply. Looking back, I wasn't technically wrong about the new Victini V, but Victini VMAX (swsh5-22) from Battle Styles proved to be way better than I originally thought.
The original Victini V from the Sword and Shield Base Set, when matched with the powerful Victini VMAX, has found its way into a few different decks as both Pokémon have access to Spreading Flames, an attack that lets you pull energy from your discard pile to your Pokémon to power up some of the stronger Tag Team Pokémon like Mewtwo & Mew-GX (smp-SM191) or Reshiram & Charizard-GX (smp-SM201). As long as so many tools exist for fire Pokémon to power up their board, Victini V and Victini VMAX will continue to be worthwhile investments.
Finished $9, up 125% from $4
It was only a matter of time until every piece of the ADPZ deck rose in price, and the last lynchpin of the deck, Mawile GX, has finally risen with the rest of the deck. Nearly every deck in the game plays cards like Dedenne-GX (sm10-57) or Crobat V (swsh3-104) to help fill their hand with cards after they've played out their initial hand, and Mawile-GX throws a HUGE wrench in this plan by forcing Crobat V and Dedenne-GX onto the bench before your opponent can take advantage of their abilities.
Mawile-GX is an incredibly important card when it comes to closing the floodgates your opponent has access to, and if you're planning on playing Standard this year, you should probably look into picking up a few copies of Mawile-GX before they go up further in price.
Finished $135, down 55% from $300
Finished $70, down 30% from $100
Battle Styles may have started off incredibly strong, but the chase cards, Rapid Strike Urshifu and Single Strike Urshifu, have been unable to hold onto their initial price tags. Now that time has passed, a few tournaments have shown unimpressive results of the Rapid Strike and Single Strike archetypes. Add in that Battle Styles cards have flooded the market since everyone has been in a mad dash to open packs, and it isn't too surprising to see these cards falling in price.
Unlike Pikachu VMAX (swsh4-44) or Charizard VMAX (swsh3-20), Urshifu doesn't have the same nostalgia factor that will keep prices up and has to rely on competitive relevance to be worth hundreds of dollars. Until either deck is able to take a top spot in a tournament, these prices will keep slipping.
Finished $23, down 26% from $31
Despite some great showings in recent tournaments, Eternatus VMAX continues to dive in price. The gold-on-black design of the card looks absolutely beautiful, but the popularity of Shining Fates has made plenty of cards from the set plummet in price.
While the card is going down in price, Eternatus VMAX is still a powerhouse, and this alternate art version is unlikely to get reprinted, so picking it up around the $20 price tag could be worthwhile for the future when Shining Fates is not being opened as often as it is now.
Finished $355, down 33% from $526
Just like the Eternatus VMAX (swsh45sv-SV122) above, the Shiny Charizard VMAX from Shining Fates has suffered a similar fate in that a surplus supply has overtaken demand. As the biggest chase card in the set, seeing this card drop from $500 to $350 hurts quite a bit more than Eternatus, but $350 is still a lot of money for a card that was released only a few weeks ago.
Despite this drop, I think that, given this is a shiny Charizard in full art form, the card will go back up in price and become one of the more expensive modern Pokémon cards. If you can manage to hold onto this card for a few more months, it will likely be worth much more than it is now.
Finished $7, down 42% from $12
I picked Kyogre, but I could have put almost any of the Amazing Rares here.
When the Amazing Rares were first shown publicly, they looked... well, amazing. They have unique rainbow swirls around the artwork and a unique mechanic that requires three types of energy to pull off incredible attacks. Unfortunately, the heavy cost in their attacks and lack of Pokémon abilities have kept most of the Amazing Rares from being competitive, and the chase value of more popular cards like Pikachu VMAX and Charizard VMAX have kept them from reaching any higher than a $20 price tag.
Ultimately, the Amazing Rare Pokémon might be worth "something," but it might be better to move them at their current heights or send them out to be graded for your collection than to hope to see a massive return.
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The last few months brought us two incredibly popular sets, Shining Fates and Battle Styles, which have both had major price fluctuations due to how much they've been opened. Like we saw with Champion's Path, most of the cards in these highly opened sets dropped drastically because of how much supply exists. If you're looking for singles or sealed products to pick up as an investment, looking beyond the last year of releases may be better while the current craze keeps prices on current cards low.
As always, you can find me on Twitter where I will be crying about my current losses on my Shiny Charizard VMAX or deciding whether I want to sell my Snorlax VMAX (Secret)s. For a more in-depth look at my thoughts on the Battle Styles set, you can check out my Buyer's Guide or Box Break Guide!