Sword & Shield – Battle Styles is the latest expansion from Pokémon TCG. It focuses on the new Legendary Pokémon Urshifu and introduces a new mechanic for those who play the game: Rapid Strike and Single Strike style attacks. This new mechanic begins in Battle Styles and will continue at least through the next two Pokémon TCG sets, including June's Chilling Reign and August's as-of-yet untitled expansion. Battle Styles isn't just a player's set but is also a collector's dream, as this expansion reintroduces Special Art Cards (or, Alternate Arts) which were popular during the tail end of the Sun & Moon era with fan-favorite sets such as Unified Minds, Cosmic Eclipse, and so on. With this series, we will spotlight all of the exciting pulls from Battle Styles, which you can see as they release by following the set's Bleeding Cool tag. This time, we continue with a closer look at the set's Full Art Trainer Supporter cards.
- Phoebe Full Art: Phoebe is the "waifu tax" card of Battle Styles. This is what the phenomenon of Full Art Trainer Cards featuring female characters going up in price is called, as full set collectors will now have to dole out the funds to get a card that is inflated because… well, because a certain portion of the fanbase are into these cards intensely. The tax isn't as high with this one as some, with Phoebe Full Art ending up at a current value of about $40 USD, whereas previous sets (like the Lillie in Ultra Prism) end up going for hundreds of dollars. Interestingly, the card is valued so high above the other Full Art Trainer Supporters that it is not only the most valuable Full Art Trainer of the set but is also more valuable than any of the Rainbow Rare Trainer Supporters with the exception of the Rainbow Rare variant of this exact card. The next closest in value is the Rainbow Rare Cheryl followed closely by the Full Art Cheryl.
- Rapid Strike Style & Single Strike Style Mustard: So we had the most valuable, and now we have the least. I personally like the cool blue color palette of Raid Strike Style Mustard, but let's be real. When it comes to these Full Art Trainers, we know that "Master Roshi with an eyebrow issue" over here wasn't going to really be able to compete. These cards like this are a bit of a relief to me, though, as when I go after a complete set, I'll be able to add these to my collection at a lower price if I'm not able to pull them from packs.
Stay tuned for more Pokémon TCG: Battle Styles as we move our spotlight to the Full Art Trainer Supporter cards.