A lot of people are talking about the supply of Shining Fates product and the insane demand for it, along with the products and cards themselves. This information is relevant and quite important – I’ll be writing two articles about the set’s release! Today’s is considered part one: coverage of the cards and general information.
The second, set for sometime next week, will cover the logistics and sealed side of things. As a general overview, I will talk about the products that feature this set, supply and demand, and how I think the market will handle it.
As always, consider checking out some of my other work here on ChannelFireball!
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Shining Fates Overview
Shining Fates is an extremely hyped set that will release in February, and that is for good reason. Not only does the set feature incredible artwork with a ton of shiny Pokemon and Ultra Rare cards, but it is also the predecessor to Hidden Fates. Anyone reading this should be familiar with the hype around the Hidden Fates release just two years ago, along with the craziness and price increases we saw along the way. While I do have a deeper comparison to provide between these two sets, that will be covered in part two of this article, so keep an eye out for that. Today I just want to cover some basic information and review the contents of the set.
So, before I get to discussing the cards themselves, I wanted to discuss prices in relation to set releases. While a lot of competitive players get excited about highly playable cards coming out, most of the time those cards do not end up being the most expensive ones. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, along with the fact that high rarity versions of these cards tend to be expensive, that is just something to keep in mind when looking at a new set. For people from the collecting side of the hobby, this should be an easy task, but I wanted to mention it for the players that may end up reading this.
Additionally, prices change, and there are certain points where a card might be cheaper or more expensive. Not only does supply and demand play into this, but so does the timeframe in which you are involved in the market, and what exactly you are trying to do. With that being said, I am going to cover the generics of each card I review here, but I will be providing more market information and logistics in part two of this Shining Fates review, like I said before. I recommend checking that out, especially if you would be into a more technical look at some of the cards and products.
Lastly, I do have one final thing to say that I feel is important. I know a lot of you out there are just interested in collecting Pokemon cards and find these articles to be interesting, which I think is great. To those of you out there involved in the hobby in a financial manner, I encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions when it comes to speculating or investing in a card. While this is true of all my articles, and while I think today’s article will have lesser opportunity to encourage someone to act upon the information provided than others, I wanted to offer that advice as well. Additionally, I obviously attempt to be as accurate as possible, but I would hate for someone to regret a decision they made based on the information I provided. To go along with this, I do not have any plans to invest in Shining Fates cards now, as I feel the information I have is incomplete thus far, but I will provide an update in a future article if that changes.
Shining Fates Card Review
I’m not going to review every single card in the set, as that feels like it would get repetitive and a lot of them are not significant. Additionally, a lot of them can be lumped together, which you will see occur for review purposes in this article – you should have my general thoughts on every card. If you feel I missed anything or have a question about a particular card, feel free to comment down below!
So, to stress how I rank each thing in terms of importance, this review will be broken down into sections. Also keep in mind that the entire set hasn’t been revealed in English just yet, so many of the scans will be of their Japanese counterparts.
1. The Top 5
The top five most appealing cards from a financial point of view. Many of these should end up being expensive, but that may not be the case right away. These should have exceptionally large demand. This top five is not in a particular order – all I know is that Charizard VMAX would be first if they were.
So, full art Supporters have quite the buzz around them lately, as they have been increasing in price around the board. This can make even the least popular Supporter cards have potential, but Skyla is iconic at this point. Additionally, if you look at the previous full art Skyla cards, you will be able to tell that this card is historically performs well. The artwork of this one is fairly like the first two variations, which makes it an even safer bet. Not much else to say here, but I have a lot of confidence in this card in the long term. That doesn’t necessarily make it a great investment, and I will talk about why that is in part two of the article! Not specifically regarding Skyla, as I have no opinion formed right now, but regarding collectibles. You will see what I mean.
This card has a lot of the same things going for it as Skyla does, as it is a full art Supporter with high quality artwork. The differences are that we have not seen a full art Poke Kid before, so we don’t have a direct comparison for it. More importantly, the artwork of this one features an Eevee cosplay if you will, which is like themes that we have seen have success in the past, such as the cards where Pikachu is dressing up as another Pokemon. While it is not quite the same, that general theme as had great success, and this is a full art supporter on top of that, so I have some faith in it.
This has got to be the best “baby” shiny in the set. I say best because I think it will be the most sought after and likely the most valuable, so I am speaking from an objective standpoint when I state that so confidently. Everyone has their favorites, of course, and that can make any of the shiny Pokemon the best in their eyes, which is exactly why the shiny cards have so much potential. Despite Bunnelby being a random Pokemon, and not much of anything in most people’s eyes, it is one of my favorites. Anyways, as for Suicune, I have a little bit more to say. Suicune is the only legendary Pokemon to have a baby shiny card printed for it, it has incredible artwork, and has been a fan favorite for as long as I can remember. There are Pokemon out there that have more significance, but Suicune has been around for a long time unlike a majority of the shiny Pokemon printed in this set, and that means something for sure.
Yet another shiny card. Honestly, a lot of what was said above, and what I will say below, is why I placed this card in this section. Be sure to check out all of that, as I do not want to repeat the same information over and over as for why shiny cards have potential. With, though, I do have some thoughts specific to Galarian Ponyta that I wanted to share. I do not know if it is basic common knowledge or not, or maybe I have finally lost my last marble, but Galarian Ponyta is one of the most popular Pokemon in the Galar era. It reminds me a lot of Alolan Vulpix for some reason, they don’t really look similar or anything, but they have a similar vibe to them, and I could see this Galarian Ponyta card acting similarly to Alolan Vulpix. Past that detail and potential comparison, the artwork on this card is incredible. I will say that about a few cards in this article, and that is because this set is packed with great art, but I have to say that this Galarian Ponyta artwork is truly top tier. While that may not seem important to some of you, it can absolutely have an impact on pricing and demand.
The holy grail of the set, no question about it. Charizard is extremely popular across the board now, and this is another card people will be losing their minds over when the set is released. It will have a low pull rate, probably one in every 200 to 400 packs, and that is something to keep an eye on. It will be hard to pull no matter what, but the exact number matters, and that is something that can be overlooked for cards not already in the spotlight. While I am trying to avoid throwing around numbers in this article, as they can be hard to predict and doing so can be somewhat dangerous, I will provide my estimate on this one. At release I expect this card to be somewhere between $600 and $800. This is a topic I plan to cover in my next article, along with how I think time will affect this price.
2. Other Significant Cards
While the top five contained the most appealing cards of the set, there are plenty of other cards with potential as well, and this section will cover some more of those.
This card in a unique inclusion in the article for many reasons! It is a playable card and has absolutely zero collecting appeal to it. Additionally, I do not believe this card will be very valuable in the short term or the long term. It is also a reprint, with the exact artwork as its original. However, I do believe it will still have some demand, not for this exact copy, but players who just need to own Crobat V in some form. Sorry for the collectors reading this, this is the one card in this article that is not for you. Hurray for the players, though. The situation at hand is that Crobat V was already a relatively cheap card for what it is, a stable in competitive play floating around $10. It is now receiving this reprint, along with the shiny version that is being released as a promo in a Shining Fates product. While I expect the promo to be more expensive than the others, the overall accessibility of Crobat V will increase, which will decrease the price of the card and be great for players.
Reshiram, Kyogre and Yveltal
I don’t have a whole lot to say about these, but I will say that I think Amazing Rares were underestimated when they were first released. I saw a lot of people comparing them to Prism Stars and even BREAKs, which is simply not the case. Sometime after the set dropped, some of them were selling for $7 to $10. While these are an example of the “worst” Amazing Rares (Raikou and Celebi), they now sell for $15+. Since these three are not particular attractive like Rayquaza or Jirachi, nor do they have the playability potential that Jirachi does, I expect them to be comparable to Raikou and Celebi in the long run. They may have a slight edge or disadvantage depending on their pull rates and overall supply of the set, but comparable still seems like a likely possibility, nonetheless.
While I think all the shiny cards have potential, more on that later, this Zigzagoon stood out to me due to its playability. I know, I know, I ragged on playability earlier on the article! Unbelievable! Anyways, this card is truly something special. It is a shiny card, with great artwork, that is used a lot in competitive play now. It reminded me of shiny Malamar from Hidden Fates at first, but I then realized some key differences. For starters, this Zigzagoon can be used as a tech card in decks that are not Eternatus VMAX, meaning it has more use than just for the deck it is mostly intended for.
Past that, a key difference between the Malamar and Zigzagoon are their stages. If someone wanted to use four shiny Malamar, they also needed to get four shiny Inkay, otherwise the whole thing would be incomplete. In this case, though, they can simply purchase four Zigzagoon and be good to go. I don’t mean to make this section a giant comparison to another card, but it is similar in some ways, and it felt like a good way to explain my thoughts on the card. One thing that may temporarily hurt the playability factor of any cards being released now is the lack of in person events, as that may decrease the demand and thus the price of the card. This is a card to keep your eye on, for many reasons.
Ball Guy, Bird Keeper, Piers and Rose
Full art Supporters have always been somewhat popular, especially ones with particularly stunning artwork, but that has become even more true as of late. A lot of Supporters have grown in price, whether that be due to a buyout or natural demand, and I think those increases will continue to happen. These cards are no exception, as they have great artwork and feature some new characters for the most part. The Skyla and Poke Kid mentioned earlier in the article have a leg up on the rest, but other than that I would rank them equally. Pull rates will influence the prices, and the early stages of things might be rough as people rush to sell their extra pulls, but I am hopeful for these in the long run. That can honestly be said about a lot of the cards I am discussing in this article, as prices do not just steadily increase until they hit the moon. More on that in my next article!
3. Other “Baby” Shiny Pokemon
The fact of the matter is that outside of a couple of frontrunners, it is difficult to determine how these cards will act. However, I am very confident that all of them will have some sort of value and will certainly have some demand. Each Pokemon represented here is someone’s favorite Pokemon, all of them have incredible artwork, and they are in a set that will have a very large demand. I will have more thoughts on how price stabilization and such will unfold in my next article, which will be very relevant for this section and the one below.
4. Other Shiny Pokemon V
This section has a similar vibe to it as the baby shiny cards that I just covered, and that is because they are in a similar situation, just at a different price point and rarity. These cards all have incredible artwork and are ultra rares in a very popular set, which sets them up for great success, especially over time. The thing about these though is outside of Charizard VMAX, none of them slapped me in the face is being significantly better than the rest. I very easily could have placed these in the other significant cards section above, but I felt reviewing these would be repetitive and not add much of anything. These are another group of cards to keep your eye on, like be the baby shinies.
5. Everything Else
Rusted Shield and Rusted Sword
So, unfortunately, this contains most of the “regular” set (the shiny cards are a part of a subset) and nothing else. This is because even the “worst” shiny cards have some relevance, and the fact of the matter is that a lot of the regular set contents simply don’t. There are some exceptions, as I reviewed above, but for the most part I feel that none of the regular set cards have potential and a lot of people in the hobby just don’t care about them. I did want to mention, though, that the set has a couple of playable reprints, which is cool to see. Additionally, there are some new cards with playability potential here as well. They just don’t have much relevance from a financial aspect.
Lastly, you may have noticed that I did not share my thoughts on the promo cards that Shining Fates products have to offer. This is because I wanted to save this for my products review, which will happen in part two of this article.
I hope you all enjoyed my thoughts on Shining Fates so far! If there is anything you would like to see included in part two, feel free to comment down below. I am always looking to cater my articles to my audience, especially when it comes to a more flexible topic such as next week. All the information included will be stuff I consider when making decisions about a product – I have a lot of experience with this!
Until next week, I hope you all enjoy the world of Pokemon, as there is a lot of exciting stuff happening right now. Not only is it the 25th anniversary, but we have a new set coming out soon, and a few content creation announcements happened this week.