Hello ChannelFireball! TrainerChip here with another collecting/investing article. This is a very exciting time in the world of collectible Pokemon. Evolving Skies is just around the corner, and Celebrations won’t be too far behind. These sets are going to be highly collectible, and certainly seem like worthwhile investments as well. I plan to do more in-depth articles about both sets a little closer to release, once we know a bit more about the contents of each set.
But for today, I want to talk about my top 10 cards from the first Sword & Shield block with regards to long-term potential value. With this first block ending with the release of Battle Styles earlier this year, I figure now is a great time to speculate on the future of many of these cards. The first block will include any cards with the “D” regulation mark in the bottom left corner of the card. So, this list will consider all cards from Sword & Shield, Rebel Clash, Darkness Ablaze, Champions Path, Vivid Voltage, Shining Fates, and some promo cards as well.
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This top 10 list is going to be in reference to the long-term potential value. There are no guarantees in the collecting and investing world, so nothing I write on here should by any means be considered fact. This is just my opinion based on years of collecting and monitoring how cards retain or lose their value.
I’m going to make a lot of comparisons to cards from the XY and Sun & Moon eras that factored into my reasoning to include many of these cards. As with all cards, highly graded copies will certainly be better investments in the long term. If you have any of these cards in gradable condition, I recommend looking into grading them! If you would like to learn more about grading your Pokemon cards, check out Jimmy Pendarvis’s articles on the topic:
As with any top 10 list, there will always be a few cards on the outside looking in. I could see any of these 5 cards breaking into the 10th-6th slots easily, so they are cards worth keeping your eye on! These are listed in no order.
Snorlax VMAX Rainbow Rare
A secret rare version of a popular Pokemon is always something to keep your eye on! Snorlax doesn’t quite stand up to some of the other cards on this list, but when you compare this card to similar ones like the Rainbow Rare Eevee & Snorlax-GX from Team Up, it stands to retain a good amount of value!
Pikachu V Full Art
This is the first of a few Pikachu cards on this list. Pikachu is Pokemon’s mascot, and as such is one of the most collected Pokemon. Generally, Full Art and Secret Rare versions of popular Pokemon do very well long term and this card fits that criteria perfectly!
From a subjective standpoint, the artwork on this card is also super sweet, which also draws many collectors to this card specifically. I think this a great card to get graded, and high grades of this card are sure to keep their value.
Donphan Staff Prerelease Promo
Spoiler alert, but there will be more info on the Vivid Voltage Staff Prerelease promos later in this article! This card is the least desirable of the four promos, but Vivid Voltage was the end of the Staff Prerelease promos altogether.
Quick Ball Secret Rare
It is not often that a competitive card will rank this highly on a list like this, but I really do believe Quick Ball is just that good! Pokemon has shown no signs of getting rid of, or even rotating the Expanded format. This list is in reference to long term value. But even after Quick Ball rotates out of the Standard format, I expect it to still be heavily played in Expanded, allowing the card to retain much of its value. And of course, there is always the chance that this card could see a reprint, which would boost its value even more!
Note: This is the only card on this list that I would not recommend someone to get graded, as its value comes almost entirely from its playability.
Zacian V Secret Rare
This card is here for a combination of its competitive value, and its collectible value. It’s obviously one of the strongest cards in the Standard format right now, which is what drives the price of this card currently. But Zacian is one of the Legendary Pokemon of this current generation, and it also stands to remain a solid competitive card after it leaves the standard format. For these reasons, this card is worth keeping your eye on!
It’s no secret, Charizard is the most highly sought-after card in any set it is included in. And for good reason. Charizard is one of the most popular Pokemon, and it has certainly gotten a lot of love in the Pokemon TCG the last couple years. It feels like almost every other set has a chase Charizard card to go after, but that hasn’t stopped these cards from retaining their value.
Alright, not that we’ve gotten some of those honorable mentions out of the way, here is my top 10 most collectible cards from the first block of the Sword & Shield era of the Pokemon TCG!
#10: Marnie Full Art
This card is the only non-Pokemon included on this list. Marnie is a fan favorite character, and this card is also very good in the competitive game. Even after this card rotates out of standard, it is still a solid option in the Expanded format, meaning this card should retain some playability value as well. I would compare this card to Lillie from the SM era. The Lillie Full Art from Ultra Prism has become one of the most valuable cards of the whole Sun & Moon block of cards.
I don’t know if this card will really reach that kind of value, especially with an alternate full art version of this card coming in the Marnie collection later this year, but as of now I believe it warrants a top 10 spot on this list.
#9: Charizard Vivid Voltage Prerelease Promo
It should be no surprise to see a Charizard card in the top 10, and don’t worry, this is the first of quite a few Charizards on this list. Prerelease promos always hold their value well, and when you factor in the fact that this card is a Charizard, it stands to really be a solid investment option. Prerelease promos can be difficult to get in a 10 from any grading company, so if you are able to secure a highly graded copy, I would consider it worthwhile.
#8: Snorlax Staff Prerelease Promo
Vivid Voltage was the last Pokemon TCG set to do Staff Promos for prereleases. The original intention of staff promos was to award judges and tournament organizers for running prerelease events. These cards became incredibly sought after and collected and it was not uncommon for stores to stop awarding these cards to the people who were originally intended to receive them and just sell them on the secondary market instead.
While no reason was given when Pokemon decided to cease production of Staff promos, I would speculate that they were stopped since the spirit of what these cards were meant to be had been so far removed from what was happening. Regardless of this, this Snorlax hits so many boxes as to what makes a valuable card in the long run. It’s a popular Pokemon, it’s an exclusive card, it had a limited print run, and it is one of the last of its type. All these factors drive the potential value of this card up.
#7: Charizard VMAX Shiny
This is the newest card on this list, being released in Shining Fates earlier this year. Being a Charizard card, it just makes sense for this card to be on this list. This is most likely the only Charizard card that will ever be released that showcases the Pokemon as a shiny in its Gigantamax form. This, combined with the fact that this card is from a short-printed special release set, are only good for its potential value.
#6: Charizard VMAX Rainbow Rare
The artwork on this card is the exact same as the previous entry on this list, the only difference being the previous card is a shiny, and this one is the Rainbow Rare Version. Rainbow Rare cards are interesting to me. I personally prefer Full Art and shiny versions of cards to the Rainbow Rare pattern pictured above, but since Rainbow Rares are also Secret Rares, they will command a premium. I think that entries six and seven on this list could be flip-flopped either way, but overall, the cards are just very similar and should long term retain similar values.
#5: Pikachu VMAX Rainbow Rare
This is the last Rainbow Rare card on this list. This is currently the only card from Vivid Voltage that has over a $50 price tag, and as it stands this card normally sells for around $200. This is the first ever (and as of now, only) Rainbow Rare Pikachu card that doesn’t feature another Pokemon as well. There is of course also Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, but that card doesn’t focus solely on Pikachu. Being a Secret Rare, a Pikachu, a VMAX, and being the most valuable card in its respective set, lead me to believe that this card is a great collectible and investment option.
#4: Charizard V Shiny
This is personally my favorite card on the list. I’ve been a big Charizard fan ever since I chose Charmander as my starter way back in Pokemon Red Version. I’m not alone in that sentiment, and that is one of the reasons Charizard is as popular as it is. This shiny, Full Art, Secret Rare version of one of the most popular Pokemon in the game, and that’s why it is so high up on this list. This card has already become one of the most sought-after cards in the Sword & Shield era, and I don’t expect that to change in the future. This is one of six cards that features a shiny Charizard, and as of now is one of the cheapest.
This card is the last “set released” card on this list, so you may be curious or even surprised to see some of the cards in my top three.
#3: Special Delivery Pikachu
If you go by current prices, this card is currently cheaper than some of the other cards on this list. But we’re looking at the long term here. This card has decreased in value over the last few months from its high point of around $300. There was a lot of hype around this card when it first came out, so the demand seemed to be much higher than it was. Since then, the price has stabilized, but I think it won’t be too much longer before this card starts to increase once again.
For those who aren’t aware, this card was originally released as a Pokemon Center Exclusive promotional card last summer. You got a copy of this card for free with any $25 order. These cards were totally gone within a few days, and shortly after the interest in this card increased. I think with the upcoming release of Special Delivery Bidoof and Special Delivery Charizard, interest in this card could spike again, causing it to go up in price. And looking at the long term, there is a much lower supply of this card than possibly any other card below in on this list (excluding the Staff promo cards.)
#2 – Lugia Staff Prerelease Promo
I already went into a good bit of detail about the Vivid Voltage Prerelease promos specifically, and all that remains true for this card. Lugia is a very popular Pokemon, so when you have an exclusive card like this that features a Pokemon as popular as Lugia, it is sure to be a great investment.
#1 – Charizard Staff Prerelease Promo
This card being number one should be no surprise. It is currently the most expensive card on this list, and of all the cards on this list it is almost certainly going to be the one to be the most valuable moving forward. It is easy to make a comparison for this card since there is a regular and staff prerelease promo of the Evolutions Charizard as well. The Staff Evolutions promo has continued to rise in value year over year. While I don’t expect this card to get to quite the level that the Evolutions print is, it will certainly continue to rise, and it will remain a great investment and collecting option!
Wow, that’s a lot of Charizard! Compiling this list made me realize just how much love Charizard has gotten over the last couple of years as a collectible card. I think in most investing facets, this would lead to a decrease of interest, and would over saturate the market. But I don’t think that will be the case with any of the cards on this list. These cards are all great collecting and investing opportunities, and I look forward to seeing where all these cards are over the next few years.
Thanks for reading as always! If you are purchasing any Pokemon singles or sealed product, don’t forget that ChannelFireball is the place to do it! If you are buying anything on the site, please be sure to use my code CHIP to help support me, and my content! Until next time, keep playing, and keep collecting Pokemon.