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 Secret Rare cards. The coverage of Rainbow Rare cards will focus more on the current value of these cards, as the artwork aspect was covered in the other installments where the standard versions of these cards appear.
- Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX Rainbow Rare: This card is in the same situation as the Single Strike Rainbow Rare. It's cool, yes. It's stunning to pull, yes. However, the return of Alternate Arts and the new addition of Alternate Arts to Secret Rare slots rather than just Full Arts have made the Rainbow Rare equivalent of the same cards a bit less exciting. As of this writing, this is currently the sixth most valuable card in the set at a current value of $44.48.
- Rapid Strike Urshifu VMAX Alternate Art: This is currently the most valuable card of the set and is recognized as one of the two major Chase Cards along with the Tyranitar V Alternate Art. This card is visually one of the most unique Pokémon cards I've ever seen, with a style that looks more like the current Dragon Ball Super super rares than anything familiar to Pokémon TCG. The mixture of stunning artwork and rarity make this hit the current value of $135.59 USD as of this writing, which is more than double the Single Strike Urshifu Alternate Art Secret Rare, despite the cards being equally difficult to pull. That comes down to the artwork being superior, but I still believe the value of this card will drop. Not very low and certainly not much under $100 for the foreseeable future, but Urshifu still doesn't have the recognizability and nostalgia factor, which is generally what makes up a chase card. For those waiting to buy this card as a single, I'd recommend waiting a bit as more and more packs of Battle Styles are opened.
Stay tuned for more Pokémon TCG: Battle Styles as we continue our spotlight on the set's Secret Rares