As Pokémon TCG players internationally prepare for the English-language set Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign to release on June 18th, Eevee fever is spreading in Japan and beyond. The Japanese set, Eevee Heroes, was released in May and contains highly collectible Alternate Art cards featuring the Eeveelutions. Interest in this set has spread beyond Japan, and now the Pokémon Company International has confirmed that their August 2021 set, which will follow just two months after Chilling Reign, will include Eevee Heroes cards. What does this mean for the current Pokémon TCG market?
To understand what's going to happen when Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies comes out, here is a basic explanation of what these English-language sets do. Japan releases a great deal more sets than the English-language wing of the Pokémon Company. These sets, when translated, are often grouped into larger sets with some cards left out and put into other sets. For example:
- Shining Fates largely adapts Japan's Shiny Star V, but debuted Shiny Star V's Shiny Charizard V earlier and put it in the English-language Champion's Path set which was entirely made up of cards removed from other sets, while removing the Marnie Full Art altogether and making it into a promo.
- Sword & Shield – Battle Styles combined the Japanese sets Single Strike Master and Rapid Strike Master into one set.
- Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign combined three Japanese sets (Matchless Fighter, Jet Black Poltergeist, Silver Lance) to make one set. A small selection of cards were removed. The removed Galarian Rapidash was made into a promo, while the remaining cards will likely be tacked onto another set.
- Sword & Shield – Evolving Skies, as announced yesterday, will adapt Eevee Heroes, the Rayquaza-themed Sky Stream, and the Duraludon-themed Towering Perfection into one set.
Bearing this in mind, I would predict that we will see increased interest in the Pokémon TCG once again with the release of Evolving Skies. Eevee Heroes has been highly in demand, so much so that the Pokémon Center had to do a lottery to determine who would be able to purchase it. My suggestion would be to pre-order Evolving Skies at your local game store only if they are able to guarantee they will cut off pre-orders at a number that will allow them to still deliver if they are allocated products.