Hello everyone and welcome back to my collecting series! Battle Styles is all the rage right now. In my last article, I covered the set as a whole and gave my general thoughts on how I thought cards would perform. I am going to continue reviewing the set today with my top 10! Cards are chosen with future value in mind, but the current situation of a card also influences things as well. Let’s get started!
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Battle Styles Overview
Pokemon is still super hyped right now and this set is no exception. The cards are selling out everywhere and prices are high – demand is through the roof. Despite not having a Charizard chase card in the set, it’s still very exciting – it introduces new mechanics and has a lot of popular Pokemon. It may not be a Charizard, but the set does have a chase card that will be around for a while, even after the prices eventually stabilize. More on that soon!
Speaking of price stabilization, the fact of the matter is that a lot of the current single prices feel like prerelease prices. What I mean by that is that they feel artificially high because people don’t have the cards yet, which happens every set before the cards roll out. The difference here is that they have been released, but there just weren’t nearly enough, which lead to the prices staying very high. I think that for the most part, a lot of the prices will drop. This could change how my top 10 list looks in the future, but for the most part, I think the actual contents is pretty accurate (just potentially at different price points). While this list was comprised largely of cards performing well currently, some of the ordering was based on my prediction on how the cards will perform, as I want this to be a decent indicator of the future as well. Throughout the article, I will talk about how I feel about the price of certain cards, so keep an eye out for that too.
As always, I strongly encourage you to do your own research before making any decisions after reading this article. While I try my very best to provide accurate information, I am sadly not a time traveler and I would hate for someone to regret a decision they made based on what I wrote.
The Top 10
#1: Tyranitar V 155/163
This card is getting a rave review from me, I don’t think I could be a bigger fan of this card. As soon as I saw the scans of the set, I knew this was going to be a home run. In general, alternate arts have performed very well so far and this Pokemon is a very popular one. On top of that, the artwork is very nice in my opinion and other people seem to agree. As for a comparison, I would compare this card to the alternate art form of Latias & Latios-GX, currently sitting at just over $200.
With Tyranitar sitting at $150, it is already well on its way – I do not think its current price is unreasonable. However, I do expect this price to decrease before it increases. It just seems likely that a dip will occur after more product rolls out, hype dies down a bit and people focus on other cards and releases. This happens with a lot of cards, even ones that end up performing very well in the long-term.
#2: Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX 170/163
This is the second most expensive card in the set currently and I do not think that is just because of hype. While I do think the price may decrease some, I do not expect it to drop so much to the point where it is not competing for the higher spots on this list. This card feels comparable to the alternate art version of Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX, but their prices are not comparable at all now. ADP, currently sitting at $80, is one of the best cards in the game and has incredible artwork. It has also been released for a while, so its price is stabilized and proven. It does have potential to continue to increase, but I don’t think there will see any major jumps out of it.
Anyways, as for Urshifu here, is it currently at a whopping $150. That is an incredible difference and while I have a lot of faith in this card, I would be surprised if it stayed that high forever. It has yet to prove itself in a competitive setting and the price difference is just so massive that I can’t wrap my head around it now. Regardless, I do think that this card will always compete for a top spot on this list, as I do not see all the other cards holding their price if this card drops a lot.
#3: Single Strike Urshifu VMAX 168/163
This card is the twin of the card I just discussed and honestly one that received a rave review. While I am a fan of this card as well, it is in a totally different spot than the one above this one, so don’t place these two on the same level. First off, this card is not playable at all, unlike the one I just discussed, which makes all the difference for an already expensive card such as this one. If it were playable, it would be in the exact same situation as the card above this one, as they would be comparable in pretty much every way, but that is just not the case.
Editors Note: Single Strike actually has seen some success in online events – players like AzulGG have continued to improve upon the base list and it seems like it might cement itself in the metagame!
Lastly, this card is sitting at $80 right now, which is substantially lower than the Rapid Strike version, but this also feels like its cap. It is not a playable card, it has release hype and I just don’t see it increasing much further than where it is now. On the other side of things, I would not be surprised if this card’s price decreased, temporarily or for good.
#4: Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX 169/163
This card is too popular and expensive to not talk about, but unfortunately, it is just a different variation of the second card I reviewed on this list, the alternate art Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX. I say unfortunately because it is never fun to pack a top 10 list with a bunch of similar cards, but these do have some differences between them and I plan to discuss those and more.
The main difference is simply the rarity discrepancy between this card and the one I previously discussed, as alternate arts of this quality tend to outrank their hyper rare equivalents hard. They are more appealing to the average collector because they look nicer and their pull rates tend to be lower. This just makes them more collectable overall – this has already been seen in the past with cards like Arceus & Dialga & Palkia-GX.
With that said, I think the alternate art will always outrank this one. This means that their prices are sort of connected at the hip, so keep an eye on that as things progress. Sometimes the market will catch up with one card and not the other, which can be a great indicator that a price is about to move. This happens with graded cards a lot especially, as sometimes a raw card’s price will be comparable to the price of a high graded card, which generally means that the raw card is going to increase in price or the graded card is going to decrease in price, which is a similar situation to what could end up having here. Just something to monitor.
#5: Single Strike Urshifu VMAX 167/163
Once again, this is essentially the lesser version of the third card on this list, the alternate art Single Strike Urshifu VMAX. I said some things under the review of the card above this one that also stand for this one, so feel free to keep that in mind as you read.
This is the only card in the article that I am going to give a relatively negative review, so enjoy it if that’s what you came here for. This card is not playable and has much less collector appeal than the alternate art version I already discussed and is seemingly already at its price peak. Only the best hyper rares tend to be highly priced for the most part and that takes time too. This card is at $36, which is high for the average hyper rare and I would not place this card into the elite category of them, that’s for sure. It is also newly released, cards tend to decrease in price some once the set is in circulation and I just don’t see the demand for this card picking up enough in the future to save its price.
Sorry for any Single Strike Urshifu fans out there, but I am not hopeful for the future of this card. My opinion could always change in the future, though!
#6: Houndoom 179/163
I love this card as well! Not only is it a fan favorite Pokemon, it has nice artwork and is a very playable card as well. Playability ushers greater demand and thus a higher price. This is especially true in the long run, as this also means copies will have their condition worsened by being used in decks and cards naturally become scarcer as sets age. This is just the natural order of things, there is no exception here and I think Houndoom will benefit from that.
While I do have a lot of faith in Houndoom, I am honestly not sure where its price will settle. It is currently at $53, which feels like that could be where it ends up settling, but I would also not be surprised to see it increase further than that. Regardless, even if it only increases a little, I still think it has the potential to outperform some of the cards on this list that are currently above it. That is because those cards are mostly hyped because they are newly released and some of them are very strong for competitive play, which tend to be attributes that wear off over time. This is the opposite of how I feel about Houndoom, so you can see why I think it has the potential to pass them.
Only time will tell, though and this is probably the card I am most unsure about. The only thing I know is that I would be surprised if the price settled much lower than where it is at now, regardless of if any temporary dips happen or if the card ends up not being used in competitive decks.
#7 & 8: Phoebe 175/163 & Cheryl 173/163
These are the seven and eight spots, but I decided to lump them together because they are in a very similar position and I have the same things to say about each card.
Whenever a new set is released, I always look at the full art Supporter cards. They have performed very well overall, have been subject to major price increases over time and buyouts due to how popular they can be. This makes them a consistently appealing set of cards, especially when they are at their low point, so I always keep an eye on them.
As for this set’s Supporters, it seems like the secret rare versions of Phoebe and Cheryl have the lead early, but honestly that means very little to me overall. None of these cards seem to have a large appeal advantage over the others, which leaves them all in a similar position in the long run, even ones that are not listed here. Additionally, despite only listing the secret rare versions here, the actual full art versions have a lot of potential as well.
I don’t have much else to say – full art Supporters are always keeping an eye on.
#9: Empoleon V 146/163
This is one of the cards that easily could not have made the list, but I have a lot of faith in this card and its current price was comparable to the other contenders for the lower spots. It was also more interesting in my opinion and I have more to say about it.
Empoleon V is currently sitting at $40 with seemingly low availability, as there are only 12 listings on TCGplayer and the price begins to increase as the lower listings are glanced over. While newly released cards always have the price to drop further, this price already feels low for this card. Empoleon is a popular Pokemon, the artwork on this card is incredible and it seems very comparable to alternate art cards such as Gengar & Mimikyu-GX and Magikarp & Wailord-GX. The only difference being that those cards are more playable in the competitive scene than Empoleon likely ever will be, but that is certainly not the only factor here.
For starters, those two cards were released two years ago now, meaning they have had time to develop and settle into the market. Gengar is currently sitting at $50 while Magikarp is sitting at $60. I would be surprised if Empoleon V did not start to compete with these two in price as it ages, so this card is something to keep an eye on. It may seem like going from $40 to $50 would not be that big of a deal, but at the end of the day that is a 20-percent increase and the card has the potential to increase more than that. In my mind this seems like a safe choice, especially if the price decreases soon, as the risk level seems low in my mind. Despite my strong opinion on this one, form your own opinion before making any decisions.
#10: Octillery 178/163
Octillery barely snuck into the top 10, which is sort of surprising to me. The price of this card, for once, is going to be determined largely by the playability level of it, which has yet to be determined it seems. In a similar fashion, Rapid Strike Energy and Single Strike Energy secret rare prices are in the same boat and they did not come close to cracking the top 10 this time. I think that the exact playability of all of these are up in the air and in person events are still suspended, which further hurts the price of cards like these. I would keep an eye on all three of these moving forward. As for Octillery itself, it is slightly different because Pokemon tend to have more collecting appeal than Energy cards. However, Octillery is not exactly a star-studded Pokemon, so its price will not be influenced a whole lot by that.
I just wanted to say that there were some cards that could have made it into the top 10, such as the alternate art Urshifu V cards, but they were comparable in price to the cards included and similar cards had been covered already. On a different day the lower end of this list could look different.
That’s going to be it for this one! I hope you all enjoyed my top 10 list, which is a solid indicator of how cards are performing now and how they might perform in the future as well. If you liked my review, I recommend checking out my last article where I covered the set as a whole – it contains some additional Battle Styles information. I’ll be back next week; in the meantime if you have any questions about this one or recommendations for the future, feel free to leave a comment down below. I really do love hearing from you guys.