Hello everyone and welcome back to ChannelFireball! This is the one and only home for my collecting series, where I cover all things Pokemon. In my last article I covered the world of card grading and all the happenings in that realm, which I recommend giving a try if you want to slab up the Pikachu of your dreams anytime soon. As for this week, I’ve got a much different article…
I will be talking about Chilling Reign! I know its early but let’s be real, everyone is already excited for the set and I do have a lot to talk about. Not only will I share my early predictions for the cards in the set, both from a financial and playability point of view, but I will also get to tie in the distribution situation for the set and other newly released products. Regardless of if you are already excited for Chilling Reign or not, I’m confident you’ll be once you read this article and you’ll walk away with an informed understanding of the distribution situation as well. Time to get started!
- Unexpected Pokemon TCG Collecting Gems
- The Nearly $1 Million Pokemon Card Trade — All the Details and More
- The Best Winter Pokemon TCG Items
- How to Sell Your Pokemon TCG Collection
- The Top 10 Most Valuable English Set Pokemon Cards
- Protostoise, Crazy Blank & MTG-Backed Pokemon Cards & More!
- The Shining Fates Pokemon TCG Investopedia — The Cards
- The Shining Fates Pokemon TCG Investopedia — The Products
- The Top 10 Pokemon Cards from Hidden Fates & Shining Fates
- The Ultimate Guide to Collectible Card Game Grading
- Pokemon TCG News — Latest Shining Fates Takes, Grading Updates & Logan Paul
- How To Identify Fake Pokemon Cards
- Money Talks — A Financial Set Review of Battle Styles
- The Top 10 Pokemon Cards from Battle Styles
- Errors Everywhere! — Exploring the Many Mix-Ups of the Pokemon TCG
- RARE Pokemon TCG Oddities — Ishihara-GX, Protostoise & More!
- NEW Battle Styles & Shining Fates Top 10 — Analyzing My Predictions
- Pokemon TCG Bulk — What, Why & Where Does It Go?
- Breaking News — The Current State of Trading Card Game Grading
I might have given this section its specific title, but these thoughts could be said for a lot of sealed Pokemon product now. We have seen similar things with recent sets, and I would be surprised if similar occurrences didn’t continue with future sets as well. Just keep that in mind while reading this because it could help put things in perspective and perhaps help you in the future as well.
Let’s face it, Pokemon is on fire right now. Everything is flying off the shelves and the popularity of the game truly feels like it is at an all-time high. There are a few reasons for this, but how we got here almost doesn’t even matter, but how this is currently affecting the community. The demand for everything is higher than it was in the past, some people consider this to be temporary, but I truly believe the game has been changed forever. That’s not to say that Pokemon will remain in the spotlight as I feel it currently is, but I do think that a lot of situations will remain the same. This includes new product popularity, box breaks, card grading and other things of that nature. Pokemon put out a statement a couple months ago stating that they were going to be on top of the distribution side of things to avoid exorbitant prices on sealed products, but we have not seen the complete effects of that yet. While Shining Fates ended up performing worse than people expected, I think part of that’s because the supply was strong enough to fill the demand, which obviously hurts the product’s price point as well. The fact of the matter is that it isn’t as easy as just snapping your fingers and having more Pokemon cards fly off the press, things like this just take time and I’m sure Pokemon is working towards improving the situation.
Now that I’ve covered the general situation of sealed product now, I can talk about what I know and think about the distribution of Chilling Reign. It is a bit early, but the set release is only a month away which means distributors have already given businesses their allocation numbers. These allocation numbers have surprised a lot of people because I’m seeing reports of significantly lower allocations than usually, meaning businesses are getting less product than they asked for or none. While I don’t blame them for it, this clearly means that their plan to produce more product has not come to fruition quite yet as there seems to be much more demand than there’s supply now. This will lead to increased prices for the sealed product off the bat and will likely carry on until some sort of additional supply comes along. This could happen to a lesser extent with the prices of the singles as well, but I’m much less confident in saying that now. If it did happen, it would likely be a rich get richer situation where the already sought-after cards have slightly inflated prices. If it weren’t already obvious, I also think product will be hard to obtain in store, meaning you’ll have to pay the increased prices to obtain the sealed product.
Overall, I do believe in Pokemon to increase the price of future sets. This will deter scalpers and help with the prices of newly released products, which is good all around. I think the demand will remain like what it is now for the foreseeable future, as people don’t want the product because it is expensive, so they should be even more interested once prices are more normal. Not entirely related to this, but I could see distributors raising prices at the wholesale level a bit, which would likely mean a slightly higher price than our previous normal but nothing close to what we’re seeing now.
Thanks go to PokeBeach for all scans and translations!
All the cards I think have real potential, whether that be in the short- or long-term.
Shadow Rider Calyrex V & VMAX
This card’s value is going to be determined by its playability level, as it is really nothing special outside of potentially being a strong card. Its Ability is Zoroark-GX’s, except better, which really says a lot considering Zoroark-GX has one of the best Abilities in the history of the game. Calyrex’s Ability combines this draw power with another strong Ability, Psychic Recharge, which means it has Energy acceleration as well. Its downsides are that it does not have the best attack because it would require time to build up to a real damage output, but this can easily be fixed by pairing it with a strong attacker such as Dragapult VMAX. Additionally, it does have a questionable Weakness in Darkness because Eternatus VMAX does have potential to be floating around still. I would not consider that to be a huge threat, though, as Urshifu has helped keep it at bay.
Spiritomb is hot, that’s for sure, but not very hot, so don’t get too excited. This card will be worth pretty much nothing, which is honestly the case for most low-rarity staples. Spiritomb will not be played in Standard and won’t even be a staple in Expanded, but it will see some play there. This card is Oricorio and Karen in one, a nightmare for decks like Mad Party, Night March and Vespiquen. It should just replace the spot that either of those used to take.
Oh boy. Snorlax may sleep a lot, but it would be a crime if you slept on Snorlax. This is by far and away the best card in the set from a collecting aspect. Snorlax is an absolute fan favorite. An OG. It now has a golden form in a time where Pokemon is extremely hyped and sought after. I expect great things from this card. I will have a solid understanding of the price range for this card on release, so keep an eye out for that in my future Chilling Reign article. That can be said for a lot of the cards in this article as well.
Secret Rare Basic Energy
There seem to be updated forms of the secret rare Fighting, Water and Psychic Energy being released in these sets. They will be sought after, but I’m not sure how much value they will hold. Each of these is sitting at around $30 right now, their current forms at least and I imagine those prices will drop once this release happens. At the end of the day, I expect all their prices to settle between $25 and $30. I know it is bold to predict prices this early, so take that with a grain of salt, but that’s how I feel, and I think that’s reasonable considering the situation. High floor and low ceiling for these. Not much going on in either direction.
Full Art & Rainbow Art Supporters
I find a way to talk about these in every article. I don’t even try to do it, it just happens. Maybe it is because there are many opportunities to talk about them, maybe it’s just because I look like full art Sophocles… There are usually a couple that set themselves ahead of the pack, which I will narrow down before my next article on Chilling Reign, but most of them remain lumped together in the “future potential” category. They sort of maintain their prices and fly under the radar until sealed product dries up, which leads to sealed product prices increasing in price, which then means cards such as full art Supporters and rainbow rares start to reap the rewards. This is very noticeable with sets such as Lost Thunder and Team Up. With, this does not happen to every Supporter of every set, so this is just something to keep an eye on. This is especially true because I’m not sure how Pokemon’s supply promise could play into this, as it could hurt or prolong the process. Just keep an eye on cards like this. From every set. Please. I will always remind you, but keep an eye on them.
Rainbow Rares in General
These are in a similar situation to the one above, but not exactly. It is usually not a situation where they all get bought out and/or some “randomly” spike. It is more so that the ones that are sought after off the bat due to their playability or collecting appeal are quite expensive. The other ones generally maintain a midrange value, so not really anything too special and then slowly increase as time goes on. I put these in the hot list because they have a lot of future potential, they are the some of the rarest cards in the set and they are going be sought after off the bat because they are some of the most exciting cards as well. The rarer, the better, as always.
Nothing going on here. Some of these cards may be ones that I think might receive hype elsewhere.
I put this card on the list because it has the same Ability as Decidueye-GX, which was once a dominant force in the competitive scene. Inteleon is no Decidueye-GX, though, so don’t treat it like one. Decidueye-GX was played a couple times, mostly in Decidueye / Vileplume and in Decidueye / Zoroark / Ninetales years later, both to a decent amount of success. However, Inteleon does not stack up to Decidueye for many reasons. First off, it does not have the speed acceleration that either of those other decks had, in the form of Forest of Giant Plants or Alolan Vulpix and Alolan Ninetales. This makes all the difference, especially because the current format is much faster and more aggressive than the ones in which Decidueye saw some success. Finally, 20 damage does not make as big of a difference now as it did back then. There are few setup decks for you to prey on and main attackers are rocking absurd HP numbers.
Galarian Articuno V & Galarian Zapdos V Regular Arts
I wanted to talk about these because all the birds got a lot of love when they were first revealed. However, I only consider Moltres to have any real potential. We will talk more about that bird later, lets stick to the other two for now. Articuno is just not a card that provides good value when it comes to resources or draw power, so I don’t see it getting much play. Its Ability is the inverse of Zoroark’s Trade, which just does not seem like something that would be consistently beneficial, especially with cards like Oranguru competing for its spot. As for Zapdos, I just think Eternatus was running rampant when the card was announced, but it has since seen a huge reduction in play, which hurts the value of this bird quite a bit. While they are cool Pokemon, I just don’t see either of them getting use.
This card does have a little bit of potential, but I’m confident in its demise. I’m also confident it will receive some hype because it is like cards that have seen great success in the past such as Brigette and Pokemon Collector. The issue, though, is that this card is very slow and does not have a lot of great targets now. Additionally, it does not have something to immediately search it out like Brigette does in Expanded, meaning you would have to include many copies in your deck to find it consistently. Additionally, not being able to play a Supporter on your first turn has really hurt cards like this one.
These damage buff cards always get attention. It is sort of a pet peeve of mine. I can’t explain it, but I really don’t like it when it happens. It’s kind of funny, I know, I’m literally laughing to myself about it as I’m writing this. With, Karen’s Conviction will likely never see any competitive play. Not only is it a damage buff Supporter, which are historically unplayable outside of Kukui, but it has multiple further requirements to it as well.
This goes for all the Energy in the set to be honest, as it looks like none of them will see the light of day. I chose Lucky Energy because the other ones are mostly bad enough where I doubt, they will even be discussed, but it is something about Colorless Energy, I guess. Draw Energy was talked about as well and never saw much play. Draw Energy is a better card than this one because it gives you the immediate benefit of drawing a card as opposed to having to wait. Sure, this one has the chance to draw you more than one, but it can be played around and, in most cases, draws you one or two cards anyways. These sorts of Energy also must compete with Capture Energy due to the similarity of the cards which does not bode well for them either.
“Bulk” Ultra Rares
They might not all literally fall into the bulk category, but I wanted to convey that unfortunately a lot of the ultra rares in this set just don’t have much potential from the financial and competitive aspects. There’s a chance I missed something, but for the most part if it was not discussed here, it belongs in this category. This can be said for a lot of the other cards in the set as well, but I feel like there’s usually more attention on the ultra rares.
Gold Trainers & Gold Pokemon (Not Named Snorlax)
These sorts of cards have most of their value determined by their playability level since they just aren’t very collectible, which is bad news for this set of cards. None of them seem to have much hope in the competitive world, which means they won’t be very valuable either. They won’t be worth nothing either, though.
Who knows what the future has in store! Only time will tell.
Ice Rider Calyrex V & VMAX
Metal Weakness is horrifying, so I doubt this sees play until Zacian V is out of format, which means waiting until that happens. However, I like this card as an attacker, and it has a lot of support options available as well. It will be a matter of what the meta looks like in the future and how this card stacks up to the opposition.
Galarian Moltres V Regular Art
I put this in the maybe section because unlike its brethren that received horrendous reviews earlier in the article, this one does have some potential. I could see it being used in Expanded Turbo Dark, as it does have Dark Patch as an Ability, only to itself of course. This is the same Ability that Darkrai-GX has, but that’s a one-time use and functions differently than this one, but they do both have the Energy acceleration and recovery thing going on. Dead End GX is something that’s utilized quite a bit by Turbo Dark, so I could see them not wanting to give that up entirely which is why I didn’t put Moltres in the hot section. I could see Moltres taking over, seeing no play, or seeing a split alongside the Darkrai. Only time will tell, and we might be waiting a while because I’m not sure how Turbo Dark is shaping up in Expanded now.
Maybe has potential down the line. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see a great way to activate its attack now. It is a great attack, though and this card could easily be splashed into Pikarom or something similar. Just not time for this one now, but maybe in the future.
This is like Welder but for Water Pokemon. You get to draw three cards and excel one Energy card, which is sort of a blessing and a curse at the same time. You have the benefit of it being Energy efficient and requiring less of you, but it also means that you may have a harder time accelerating Energy immediately. This could hurt the tempo swing off the card, which is something that Welder is notorious for. Additionally, this card does have competition for the job in Frosmoth, which is a great form of Energy acceleration for Water Pokemon. It just has not seen play because there has not been a great selection of Water Pokemon to work with, which is another barrier for this card. Ice Rider Calyrex may be the missing piece to the puzzle, though. I guess we will have to see how things go.
- This setlist isn’t exactly how the finalized one will look, but it is a solid estimate, so hopefully nothing important was left off or gets removed prior to release.
- Sealed product is performing very well right now, keep an eye on Pokemon’s production situation though.
- As more Rapid Strike and Single Strike cards are released, Octillery and Houndoom gain more potential. Keep an eye on those as well.
- These are early predictions, so I will be back as things get more finalized with more opinions as well.
- The higher the rarity, the better it gets. Keep that in mind for cards that I discussed in the hot section, such as Shadow Rider Calyrex.
That’s it for this one, everyone! I know it is early, but this set seems to have a lot of wheeling and dealing potential. Not only does it contain some cards that will please the collecting community, but the competitive scene will potentially be picking up some tools as well. It is always a good thing to have such a balanced set, so I doubt anyone will be disappointed. I’m excited to see how the set performs because Pokemon is selling no matter what right now, but I’m curious to see how people like the set once the initial hype wears off. Anyways, I will be back next week with another article. I’m always open to suggestions, so feel free to comment down below if you have any topic ideas. Regardless, I hope you all enjoy the world of Pokemon until I return.