Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign is the latest expansion from Pokémon TCG. It focuses on the Legendary Pokémon Galarian Articuno, Galarian Zapdos, Galarian Moltres, Shadow Rider Calyrex, and Ice Rider Calyrex. It continues the Rapid Strike and Single Strike mechanic introduced in Battle Styles. Chilling Reign is known for its inclusion of a large number of Alternate Arts both in the Full Art portion of the set and the Secret Rare portion. These Alternate Arts were popular during the tail end of the Sun & Moon era with fan-favorite sets such as Unified Minds, Cosmic Eclipse, and so on, but Chilling Reign, Battle Styles, and the upcoming Evolving Skies set have made this style of card more popular than ever. With this series, we will spotlight all of the exciting pulls from Chilling Reign, 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.
Note that because Rainbow Rares use essentially the same artwork with a different color palette that we already covered in our earlier pieces, these installments will focus more on value and collectibility rather than the artwork focus that this series normally uses.
- Celebi VMAX Rainbow Rare: This was personally my favorite Rainbow Rare to pull in the set. It's a relatively affordable, middle-of-the-road Secret Rare as far as market value, with a current value of $23.11 as of this writing, but I find it to be the best on the art front. I personally love the Rainbow Rares but feel there should be a smaller selection in modern sets, and this one is the perfect example of a card that deserves the double-R treatment.
- Blaziken VMAX Rainbow Rare: This card goes to show the direction of the Pokémon market. People value Alternate Arts more than Rainbow Rares, pretty much full stop. The Blaziken VMAX Rainbow Rare is currently worth $26.16, while the Alternate Art equivalent is worth $129.01 as the most valuable card in the set, clocking in at over a hundred dollars more.
- Calyrex VMAX Rainbow Rare in both its Ice Rider and Shadow Rider forme: The same is true of these two cards. The Alternate Art Shadow Rider and Ice Rider are respectively the third and seventh-most valuable cards in the set, with the Rainbow Rare versions the fourteenth and thirty-second. Stunningly, the standard Shadow Rider VMAX is more valuable at the moment than the Rainbow Ice Rider. This kind of direction makes me wonder if the Pokémon TCG will note the trend and pull back on Rainbow Rares soon.
Next time, the spotlight on Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield – Chilling Reign continues with the set's incredible Secret Rares.