Hello ChannelFireball readers, welcome back. Before I get started, I recommend checking out my last two articles where I went deep into everything-Shining Fates. They would do a great job of getting you up to date on how I think about new set releases, especially regarding such a strong and popular one such as Shining Fates.
Today will be an extension to my Shining Fates thoughts. I’ll be covering the top 10 cards of Hidden Fates and then speculating the top 10 cards of Shining Fates, drawing some comparisons and forming some opinions. One set has been released for a while now, and one is just making its way into circulation – this should be a great way to gain a different perspective on two of the most hyped sets of all time.
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Before hopping into the top 10 lists, I wanted to discuss each set as a whole, along with what you might be able to do with the information gathered today.
Hidden Fates was released in August of 2019, and due to the incredible demand, has seen a few more release waves since. Upon each opportunity to get these cards, the prices are generally above MSRP due to the high demand for the products, and the availability does not last long at all. While the additional supply helped to keep the card prices at bay for a little while, we have seen some of the prices starting to grow, and I think that will continue moving forward. Prior to the announcement of Shining Fates, I had truly not seen any set like this one, both in terms of contents and hype.
As for Shining Fates, most of the products have a release date of February 19th, and the remaining products are set to release on March 5th. If you do not know what the different options are, I covered the entire array of products in my last article. Anyways, the demand for this set has at the very least matched the demand that was seen for Hidden Fates, and possibly even exceeded it. I do not think this is purely due to the quality of the set, as I do not consider Shining Fates to be strictly better or worse, but Pokemon is far more popular now than it was when Hidden Fates was rolling out. However, due to the similar contents of the sets, along with the high demand, I consider Shining Fates to have some serious potential. Regardless of how you participate in the hobby, this set has great collecting appeal and presents a great opportunity for people to make money as well. While I believe the ship has pretty much sailed on trying to obtain product at wholesale pricing to resell it, that does not mean investments in individual cards should be overlooked. I am not here to tell you what to do with your money, and I have no concrete plans to participate in this myself, but many cards in Hidden Fates have performed well thus far and I believe that opportunity lies in this set as well.
I would say the biggest and most concerning thing about Shining Fates is the giant drop off in value after the chase card is accounted for. If you look at Hidden Fates, there are a lot of cards worth a considerable amount of money. I just don’t see the shiny VMAX cards reaching the same levels as some of the Eeveelutions. While a set’s contents is not a requirement of a set’s value increasing in the long run, this does not change the fact that the singles might be a bit weaker than the ones in Hidden Fates. There is no shame in that, though, as the set could still be a great one without surpassing Hidden Fates. This is just for the sake of comparison, as I see this as a relatively large difference now. The previously mentioned hype and higher involvement in Pokemon could help make up the difference, though, so we will just have to see how things unfold.
Past just getting to look at some of the most popular cards in the hobby now, the top 10 Hidden Fates list can be a good reference for how some of the Shining Fates cards may act. This is a useful tool, especially if you can compare it directly to how you expect Shining Fates to go. While none of this is concrete, and everyone should make their own decisions, this should be convenient in determining some of the better performing cards of Shining Fates.
Since this set has not released yet, this top 10 list does require some speculation and estimations, but this is my best effort at putting together an accurate top 10 list for the set. This could certainly change if pull rates are different for any card, and unfortunately, I do not have a crystal ball, but like I said, I tried my best. While collectability does play a role here, as that effects price, each list will be formed based on current prices or price projections, depending on the set.
#1 Charizard VMAX
This should be no surprise to anyone, and I would be shocked if anyone placed this card lower than the number one spot on this list. While there is obviously plenty of room for movement amongst this top 10 list, along with some cards losing their spot completely, this card’s ranking is just not negotiable to me. It is the definition of a chase card. Every single time a set comes out with a card like this, people out there open hundreds of packs to pull it. That is because Charizards of this tier have very low pull rates, meaning one in every 200 packs or less. Charizard is just the most popular Pokemon in the hobby right now, a timeless classic without a doubt. If you look at some similarly distributed Charizards, you can get a decent gauge of the price history of them and potentially get a good hold on what this one’s price might look like.
#2 Eternatus VMAX
This is one of my bolder predictions, as this card could easily be towards the end of the top 10 as well. If it has a higher pull rate, it could be like some of the mid-tier secret rares, that end up around the $20 range. While that is certainly not a total flop, that would also definitely not grab it the second spot I have it at. However, if it has a relatively low pull rate and the set remains strong in the long run, I see this prediction as accurate. This is especially true if Eternatus VMAX remains playable in the competitive formats, as that would increase the demand for the card and turn some of the copies floating around into played ones over time.
If you look at the full art Supporter cards from recently released sets, you will see that a lot of them are high in price now. While this is a great sign for full art Supporters, you cannot take it totally for granted because a lot of these prices have been caused by buyouts. Additionally, if you look at sets such as Hidden Fates and Champion’s Path, which have huge chase cards in them, the “lower tier” cards such as this one tend to be relatively weak in price. The thing here, though, is that this card has previous versions you can look at as well. It took a while, but both previous full art Skyla cards are over $40. This gives me a lot of faith in this card, and while this set has a lot of potential long term, a price tag of around $40 would be great competition for some of the higher spots on this list. Some of the other full art supporters have potential as well, as I said in part one of my Shining Fates review, but they are more speculative options than this one because they do not have the same quality of character featured on them. Regardless, though, those are something to keep an eye on.
#4 Eternatus V
Before I rattle off a bunch of shiny VMAX cards, we have the Eternatus V secret rare. This card will be act very similarly to the Eternatus VMAX when it comes to price over time, since they will have similar pull rates and are very comparable cards. However, the Eternatus VMAX is always going to be worth more, as it is simply another tier above the regular V.
#5 Centiskorch VMAX
I placed this at the top of the shiny VMAX cards due to the playability and hype that is surrounding It right now, but it could easily fall below Lapras and Ditto in the long run, as those Pokemon are a lot more recognizable overall. In the past, high rarity versions of playable and popular cards have demanded a solid premium over their competition, which is most of my reasoning for this ranking. Since playability and current hype does play a factor, I would consider this card to be a riskier choice in the long run, but that is looking at things from a risk/reward point of view, and that does not change my thoughts on the card’s ranking currently.
#6 Lapras VMAX
Lapras is a historically great Pokemon, which is why I have it highly ranked amongst the Pokemon VMAX. I could easily see this card taking a higher spot in the long run, as Centiskorch VMAX is the most unpredictable card in my opinion. Past that, I would be surprised if it pushed too much higher, but I could also see it overtaking the secret rare cards if things go right for it. The only thing separating some of the lesser VMAX cards and this one is that this Pokemon has more staying power and is much more recognizable.
#7 Ditto VMAX
Ditto VMAX is another card that is benefiting greatly from the fact that it has been around for a while, as that makes a big difference in my mind. Additionally, the style that this card has taken on did well when Pikachu VMAX were featured with it, and while that is a subjective statement, especially because it featured such a popular Pokemon, I could see that benefiting our friend Ditto here as well. There is just something about a Pokemon being clearly unnaturally large that gets the Pokemon community going, as I certainly remember Alolan Exeggutor being all the rage for a minute as well. These pretty niche factors just go to show how close I predict a lot of these cards will be value wise, as such little separates them off the bat. This just reinforces my thought that maybe this set will be a bit weaker than Hidden Fates, as Hidden Fates has far more big hits in it. Only time will tell, though.
#8, #9 & #10 Rillaboom VMAX, Grimmsnarl VMAX & Toxtricity VMAX
Okay, so these last three cards were ranked where they are because they are simply better than the other options to come out of Shining Fates, as they are on a higher tier, meaning they will very likely be more valuable from start to finish. The fact of the matter, though, is that these cards will likely be comparable in price. I just don’t see one having a gigantic advantage over the other, as none of them are fan favorites or playable. It is very possible that these get knocked out of the top 10 in the long run, as I don’t see them moving up on the list, and cards such as the full art Supporters have potential to make their way into the top 10. Sorry for lumping these three cards together, but like I said in the overview, the value starts to fall off hard after the chase card of the set, and I just don’t have a lot of commentary to offer for these cards individually.
I wanted to include that I think the Eevee VMAX promo card is something to keep an eye on as well and did not include it in my top 10 because it is not a set card. At this point in time, I am not sure I would have included it anyways, but I wanted to put my thoughts on this one out there.
Additionally, I think a majority of the full art Supporter cards will struggle soon after release, but then increase in value as time goes on. This is just based on the popularity of full art Supporter cards now, and I could be off here. I did not want to flood the list with them, since I am not fully confident in a lot of them but didn’t want to have them remain mostly absent in this article either.
In its current state, the list is dominated by the Shiny Pokemon VMAX. While this might not be exactly how things unfold, especially exact ordering, it is a very safe estimate and I expect most of it to hold true. The fact of the matter is that the list is comprised of the higher end cards of the set, which just makes sense. The information above can be taken into consideration as well, along with print run quantity and pull rate percentages.
Unlike Shining Fates, this set has been released, and while things may change moving forward, I was able to provide a concrete list for the current top 10 Hidden Fates cards. You will probably sense a theme here, as the Shiny Vault portion of the set does dominate the top 10, which is no surprise.
Everything I said about the Charizard VMAX from Shining Fates could be said about this Charizard-GX. It was very similarly distributed, assuming the pull rate for the Shining Fates one is comparable and has all the same things going for it. This Charizard-GX was the first one to be released, and is an already established set, so there are those differences for the time being. In the long run, I expect the Charizard VMAX to perform better, if the print run size and pull rates are comparable. This is strictly speculation, though, and only time will tell for sure.
This card signals what adds up to be a fair chunk of the Hidden Fates top 10, as every Eeveelution is in the top 10 except Glaceon-GX, which is another card I think has potential in the long run, for obvious reasons. Unlike Shining Fates, which unfortunately seems like it is going to be mostly Charizard VMAX or bust, this Umbreon represents another incredible pull to come out of Hidden Fates. This makes opening the packs a lot more reasonable, as many cards bring some value to the table, which simply increases the value of the set overall.
Next up, we have another Eeveelution, Espeon! Espeon has always gone hand in hand with Umbreon, as they tend to appeal to similar fan bases, and were sort of joined at the hip when the Umbreon and Espeon Star cards were printed. While Sylveon and some of the other Eeveelutions are wildly popular as well, these two are always the safest bets when making predictions and trying to figure things out. Unfortunately for Espeon, I am very confident that the top two spots on this list are simply untouchable, but that just goes to show how much competition there is in this set. While the top spots in Shining Fates were like this in my mind, the list quickly dropped off, and it had nowhere close to this level of depth. That could be because an established set is being compared to an unreleased one, but I just can’t help but feel that way. It is an overwhelming feeling, and for some reason makes me nervous, even though I am not involved with Shining Fates in the slightest now.
The last Eeveelution on the list, but there is no shame in that, as having the fourth spot is still incredible when the competition is so steep. For a long time, Sylveon was more valuable than Espeon, and I could see that being the case again further down the line. Other than that, though, the fact that this is one of the last Sylveon ever printed thanks to the removal of Fairy-type Pokemon from the card game, has got to be beneficial for this card. There will be no further Sylveon printed as far as we know, and this is one of the best Sylveon cards out there, if not just the absolute best.
Now that we have covered the Eeveelution army, we have another popular fan favorite, Mewtwo-GX! Mewtwo is a historically great Pokemon, and if you doubt that in the slightest, just look at some of the other higher end Mewtwo cards that have been released. From old to new, Mewtwo is a safe bet to perform well, especially in such a strong set like this one.
This is a nice change of pace, as this is the first card on the list as this is not a GX card from Shiny Vault. It is a full art supporter card from Shiny Vault, though, and has so much more going for it. Not only is it a card from a valuable sealed product that was hyped from the start, but it is a very playable card that features a very popular character on it. On top of that, Supporter cards have been very sought after lately, with a lot of price increases and some buyouts happening. From the looks of things, Cynthia is a card that just steadily went up over time, though, when you love to see when you are trying to determine the strength of a card. Unfortunately for Cynthia, though, she has some extremely steep competition here. Unfortunately, I highly doubt this card will ever be able to surpass Mewtwo-GX or any of the Eeveelutions above it, and I could easily see Glaceon-GX cracking the top 10 and/or Darkrai-GX moving on up the list.
While I am very confident in this list since they are established cards for the most part, as well as there not being much that could change the situation the card is in, this Greninja and the card that follows it are the ones I am most skeptical of. Greninja did win Pokemon of the year once, so while it does not have the same recognition factor as some of the Eeveelutions, it does have some popularity to it despite the hate this Pokemon receives from the competitive scene. However, Greninja-GX is one that increased in value quickly around the time that Pokemon started to increase in popularity, which makes me feel like the growth is less natural than some of the other cards on this list. This is not to say that this price will suddenly crash, but I am less confident in the growth of this card in the long run than I am about some of its competition.
A lot of what I said about Greninja could be said about Scizor in terms of stability and pricing, so just keep that in mind as I review this card.
Scizor has been around for a long time, which would make me confidently declare it as a superior to something like a newer shiny Pokemon with no hype to surround it, but the fact that Scizor has surpassed cards like shiny Charmeleon, Gardevoir-GX, and Glaceon-GX, really surprises me. I know Hidden Fates was released a decent amount of time ago now, but it was available for a long time after that, especially when you take the additional supply that was rolled out later.
I don’t have much of anything good to say about this card, sadly, but I will say that I would not be the least bit surprised to see this card be surpassed as the set truly ages.
Darkrai is an extremely popular Pokemon, and some of the rarer Darkrai in the past have performed very well as they age. This goes for cards such as full art Darkrai-EX and Darkrai Lv.X, which were not even clear targets at the point in which they were released. They just existed, and then started to increase in value overtime. The demand was always somewhat there for them, but in my mind, this Darkrai-GX has been far more sought after in the early stages of its lifetime. I would not be the least bit surprised to see Darkrai move up this list, as I am far more confident in this card than I am in the couple that lead up to it.
To round out the Hidden Fates top 10 list, we have the only card that isn’t a full art Shiny Vault card. These lower level shiny Pokemon are often referenced as “baby shinies”, and Charmander and Charmeleon are by far the best two baby shinies out there. This factors in popularity and pull rate. Not all baby shinies are equal, as some of them are less likely to be opened in packs. This is clear as day if you open Hidden Fates packs yourself, as you will see just how easy it is to open some of the baby shinies, and how infrequently you will open some of the more sought-after ones. Additionally, Charmander, as a relative to Charizard, is just an extremely popular Pokemon and I do not see that changing anytime soon.
One thing I wanted to note is that Charmeleon and Gardevoir-GX were both very close to being included in my top 10, and easily could be if this snapshot of sorts was done on a different day.
Additionally, I wanted to stick to the set cards, which is why the alternate promo Rayquaza-GX did not make the list. If I had included it, it would have been in the sixth spot, meaning everything six and lower would be moved down a spot. The cool thing about this Rayquaza-GX is that it is pretty in the clear from reprints, whereas Hidden Fates might not be due to Pokemon’s reprint announcement. Not super significant, but food for thought.
Also, one final thing. While I said positive and negative things about every Hidden Fates card, I reviewed for the most part, I wanted to make it clear that I am a current owner of a lot of Hidden Fates single cards. Most of them are at grading and were not purchased with the sole intention of holding them, but I will do as I see fit when they are back in my hands. This includes all the cards discussed if a lot of cards not discussed as well. Not all the cards were ones I chased after intentionally, a lot of them were ones that just came in naturally as I was buying collections during the period in which Hidden Fates was in a cooling period. The only cards I intentionally went out of my way to purchase a lot of were Charizard-GX, the Eeveelution GX cards (especially Glaceon-GX), Mewtwo-GX and Cynthia. I just wanted to provide this information so that it did not ever seem like I was trying to be deceitful or manipulative.
The top 10 cards in Hidden Fates are going to put a bow on this one, everyone. I hope you all enjoyed the article! Whether it be due to the speculative top 10 Shining Fates list, or a look back at one of the most popular Pokemon sets of all time. Both sets are truly incredible and have a lot of similarities, so it will be interesting to see how they compare in the long run. If you are looking for more Shining Fates content and have not already checked out my two-part set review, go give it a read! Otherwise, I will be back next week with another article. If you have any content suggestions, feel free to comment down below. Otherwise, I will see you then.