A new era for the Pokemon Trading Game has begun. Earlier this week, the Pokemon Trading Card Game released its first Sword & Shield set. The new Sword & Shield set not only contains Pokemon first seen in Pokemon Sword and Shield, but also two new kinds of cards - Pokemon V cards and Pokemon VMAX cards. Pokemon VMAX cards represent Pokemon in their Dynamax or Gigantamax forms, and will likely be a big part of the Pokemon TCG over the next few years.
Of course, the Pokemon TCG isn't just about getting the most powerful cards. There are also plenty of Rare and Ultra Rare cards that collectors will be hunting for, simply to add these cards to their collections. So - what cards should you be looking for as you open up "Sword & Shield" booster packs? Here are the eight hottest cards according to the online retailer TCGPlayer.com.
Zacian V is likely the hottest Pokemon card in "Sword & Shield" due to its bulkiness and high attack strength. Zacian can dish out a whopping 230 damage with its Brave Blade attack, although it can't attack on the following turn. Players can cycle between Brave Blade and Zacian's Intrepid Sword ability, which allows players to draw three cards on their turn and attach any Steel energy to Zacian at the cost of ending their turn once the cards are drawn.
This is particularly useful early in the game, allowing players to set up their Pokemon and cycle through their deck to get any other cards they need before their opponent is ready to attack. When coupled with the Lucario & Melmetal GX card (which has a GX move that reduces damage to all Steel Pokemon by 30), Zacian V is a major threat that will be used a lot in the coming months.
Market Price: $26.00prevnext
Professor's Resarch (Full Art)
Professor's Research is the new version of Professor cards, which traditionally are used to discard a hand and draw 7 new cards. Professor's Research has the same ability as Professor Sycamore and Professor Juniper cards from older set, and a change to the rules means that a player can only have either Professor's Research, Professor Sycamore, or Professor Juniper in their Expanded decks.
Professor's Research is a handy card to have to dump disappointing cards and draw new ones, and the Full Art card is a gorgeous alternative to the standard card.
Market Price: $26.25prevnext
Zacian V (Full Art)
Full Art cards are alternative versions of Pokemon cards with holographic art that goes all the way to the edges. Not only do these alternative art cards look absolutely stunning, they're also rarer than the standard variants. One big difference between Sword & Shield and past sets is that only Pokemon V cards and Supporter cards have Full Art variants, which means there's less Full Art cards to collect than in the past. Players want Zacian V Full Art cards mainly to bling out their competitive Steel-type decks.
Market Price: $32.00prevnext
Marnie (Full Art)
In addition to being the hearthrob of the Galar region, Marnie has a great Supporter card that allows players to cycle out their hand without discarding it. Playing Marnie forces both players to shuffle their hand and then place it on the bottom of their deck. If either player put their hand on the bottom of their deck, the player who played Marnie draws 5 cards and their opponent draws 4 cards. Not only can this cripple an opponent by pushing their good cards to the bottom of the deck, it also offers a good alternative to discarding cards that could come in handy later.
Market Price: $35.00prevnext
Professor's Research (Secret Rare)
The four most expensive cards are all "Secret Rare" cards, rare cards that aren't officially on the Sword & Shield card set list. These cards are either made with golden holofoil or rainbow holofoil and are a lot more rare than even the Full Art cards mentioned earlier in this article. The Sword & Shield cards also use a new holofoil variant, one that uses a glitter effect rather than the textured holofoil from the Sun & Moon series of cards.
Market Price: $38.00prevnext
Marnie (Secret Rare)
Marnie's Secret Rare card is a hot commodity among Pokemon TCG fans. While Pokemon V and Pokemon VMAX cards have either Full Art or Secret Rare variants, the Supporter cards have both variants available. You can choose between the Full Art or the rainbow holofoil Secret Rare cards, or you can aim to have both in your collection if you're willing to spend a little extra on the secondary market.
Market Price: $43.75prevnext
Quick Ball (Secret Rare)
The Quick Ball is one of those Trainer Cards that helps pull Pokemon from your deck and get it into your hand. While you can only play the Quick Ball by discarding a card, it allows you to search your deck until a Basic Pokemon is revealed and then put it into your hand. Since Pokemon V cards and some Pokemon GX cards are technically Basic Pokemon, this means that you can use the Quick Ball to pull these from your deck in a hurry and even put it into play on the same turn that you draw it.
Market Price: $51.00prevnext
Zacian V (Secret Rare)
The Zacian V card is a unique Secret Rare, one that uses golden holofoil instead of the the rainbow holofoil used for other Secret Rare Pokemon cards. Zacian V and Zamazenta V are the only two golden Secret Rare Pokemon cards in the set and the only two Pokemon cards to have more than one variant version. It's no wonder that a Golden Zacian V is so highly sought after, and is currently the hottest card on the Pokemon card market.
Market Price: $66.50prev